There are pics at the bottom if you don't want to read all the rubbish written below!
So, a few months ago I was discussing charity banger rallies in the pub with a few mates. We decided it was one of the things we had to do this year. So when we got home we drunkenly signed up to do the Scumrun.
The basic rule is you buy a car for under £500 and take it on a route around Europe, getting sponsored to raise money for charity.
We had many discussions about what car to get. I fancied a Lexus LS400, someone fancied a 740i. We eventually decided that a limo would be the perfect vehicle to take 5 people wafting around Europe.
Shortly afterwards we realised it was very difficult to buy a limo, and virtually impossible to buy one for £500. We had seen a nice Granada-based V6 which sounded great, but was up for £700 with not a lot of room for haggling. We even contemplated bending the rules slightly and paying over £500.
Then one Sunday morning I was browsing Gumtree and came across an advert for a Vauxhall Carlton based limo, taxed and MOTed for a mere £450.
The phone call didn't go well. I initially spoke to the owner, whose first response was "Yeah I've still got the car, can I call you back? I had a bit of an argument with a neighbour last night and am just speaking to the police". Slightly worried, I agreed to call him back later.
On calling him back I was greated by his partner, who I assume was in the middle of an audition for a part on Shameless, but I eventually spoke to the owner and agreed to go and see the car that afternoon.
So off we popped down the M1, and around the M25, to West Drayton. If you've not heard of West Drayton, consider yourself lucky. It's a well known fact that one should not purchase a car from Bradford. I think it's safe to say West Drayton should be added to this list aswell.
The owner stumbled out of his flat to show us the car. Rather bizarrely he was wearing slippers, and continued to wear slippers for the entire test drive/sale/handover process. But hey, this was West Drayton, maybe that's normal around here.
The test drive went well, and the car was surprisingly tidy, wearing its 55,000 miles well. We returned to the owner's flat to be greeted by a young man, who climbed out of his flat window and started asking the owner all about the car. "Is it for sale? How much? Yeah I might take it." A classic move, the fake buyer! Executed perfectly aside from the fact that the young man was the spitting image of the owner, and quite blatantly his son!
Attempts to haggle were met with hostility, so we produced £450 in cash, waiting for the owner to remove his belongings from the car, and got out of Dodge!
We trundled back up the M1, and the Limo was safely deposited back home. Much to our amazement actually fitting on the driveway!
Weeks went by with discussions on what to do to the limo to make it more suitable for the Scumrun, and we quickly began running out of time, with a Limo that still looked exactly the same!
We had, however, taken care of the mechanical side of things, with a service and sorting out a minor inconvenience where the thing suddenly refused to start. 1 fuel pump relay later and she was all good again.
After finally deciding to get some spray paint, and just paint the thing, we had this:
Today has been spent mostly getting high in the garage, continuing the painting. Meaning we now have a pretty much rally prepared limo!
There might be a few more additions before we set off on Thursday. The plan is to complete the Scumrun, then bring it back and use it for Le Mans in June. After that we’ll just be selling it on, presumably to Stevie Wonder. I can see the SOTW article now…