Day 5. Day 5 was special. For the first time in the Wales trip we actually set off as a proper convoy! Nothing (immediate) to fix. Wahey! Took until the last day to do it, but we got there :)

First step, fuel!

The previous night, 4muddyfeet presented awards! Twingotamer won fastest at karting, Mr BRZ won...shall we say ‘bravest’ driver ;)

I, however, humbly accepted the award for ‘most entertaining’ ;) pride of place on the front of the Fiat:

Blinked. Slick...

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The end-result of this was that I got to drive around Wales with a sticker proudly claiming the fact that I am ‘definitely not a sheep-shagger’. The Welsh, true to the warmhearted nature we’d experienced so far, thought this was very entertaining ;)

All went smoothly until Duurtlang was a little over-ambitious turning into a junction and clipped a kerb at quite some speed...

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Still, let us test out the BX’s party piece of putting the suspension at the top of its travel, sticking an axle stand under the corner and lowering the suspension so it picked its own injured wheel off the ground ;)

Once that was fixed, we managed to get the first and only photoshoot of (nearly) the whole gang! Managed to miss Mr Elise and Mr Cappuccino who could only make the first half, but still!

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Proud that in its highest position the BX rivals the Pajero for ground clearance ;)

After a day of convoying around some more lovely Welsh roads that was that :) what an absolute adventure.

Wasn’t quite over for us yet though. After stopping off in Shrewsbury overnight (some awesome pubs there), our little gang wended our way home. We very nearly got home without needing to work on a car every single day, but this last time we were pleased to help.

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About 10 miles from home we came across an old boy in a cracking jacket and a 1920s Rolls Royce stranded on the side of the road.

All it needed was the spare wheel swapping over, but there’s a locking ring inside it that had got jammed trying to take it off. Little did he know that he’d met the perfect people for the job!

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Tools out, old wheel off and new wheel on. All done in no time :)

There’s some serious engineering in one of these. You can tell the designers were involved in aircraft back in the ‘20s. Just check out the hub:

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Monster splines locate the wheel, and there’s a funky single wheelnut with locking teeth to prevent it unwinding (it was the outer toothed section in the wheel that had got dislodged and stuck).

The engine’s a similar work of art:

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The chap was so grateful he let me have a little drive in it! The gearbox is unsynchro’d and the throttle’s a little tricky. The solution was to just stick it in fourth and lift the clutch (no throttle at all). All 5 metres of the thing just eased itself away...in top gear...without a single splutter or hesitation. I suppose a low-revving 7.7l I6 will do that.

And that, finally, was that :) a few of the guys crashed at my place before their various ferries and eurotunnels in the morning, but that was it.

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So, what did we learn?

  • BiTurbo228 is either very good, or very very bad at road trips. Probably both.
  • Wales is a stunning place full of the whole gamut of driving roads, great scenery, and friendly people.
  • Oppopeeps are a great bunch. If anyone wants to join in any future hi-jinks I’d highly recommend it!
  • It really pays to bring tools along with you, and having at least a bit of experience to dive in and fix things. There’s at least four separate occasions we’d probably have been stranded if we hadn’t.
  • I’ve got a lot of work to do on the Fiat (more on that next!).