Mrs Shed likes music. Back in the day, she would bang on at Shed about how nice it would be to have a baby grand in the front parlour. By way of a jocular response (he thought), Shed offered her an upright organ in the rear vestibule instead.
That turned out to be a key moment in their relationship. Shed has been facing the music ever since.
Funnily enough, Shed wasn't joking about his small organ. He really did have one. It was a treddle-powered Hammond church jobbie that he'd taken in part-ex for an awful Mk 1 Corsa he was desperate to get rid of.
He still owns this instrument, as it happens, and has lately been toying with the idea of pressing it into some sort of money-spinning service at popular retro events such as the Goodwood Revival. The problem he's always had has been how to transport it and then play it on site without too much physical exertion, because he's not into that. No vehicle he's ever owned has suggested itself as suitable.
Until now, and this week's Shed, the magnificent Rover Metro Chairman.
Probably best avoid crosswinds
It's surely worth buying just for the name alone. Imagine how apocalyptically dodgy this 1.1 would have been going across the Forth Bridge on a breezy autumn day with a portly wheelchair-bound passenger wobbling about in the back, peering anxiously through his or her own poop-deck windscreen as the dedicated wiper squeaked ineffectively to and fro.
Despite appearances though the 60hp 1.1 was a doughty little fellow with his two-valve head, five-speed box and 850kg kerbweight. When the Metro came out in 1990 it was a genuine game-changer that made the old Mini feel like a steel rollerskate. When it died in 1997 as the Rover 100, killed off by a 1-star NCAP crash rating, it was still a sweet little drive.
Nowadays, the cynics look on the poor Metro with scorn, ridiculing the K series engine, the brilliant Moulton-designed Hydragas suspension system that was hopelessly bodged by the factory, the gunged-up radiators, the fiddly handbrake cables and so on. Shed's advice (which he should have heeded when he didn't reject Mrs Shed's leap year wedding proposal) is "try before you cry".
Although this one has literally had high owners, it's also got low miles. Any Metro still running will probably have had its head gaskets replaced long ago, and your man selling this one tells us that it whizzed through its last MOT with no advisories, but even so the composition of the coolant is going to be the first thing you'll check.
That's if Shed doesn't beat you to it. If the organ thing doesn't pan out for whatever reason, Shed has plenty of other outside event ideas for the Chairman. Mobile food outlets based on quirky vehicles are all the rage these days. You can hardly move for Citroen H vans flogging soggy crepes or burnt brown liquid masquerading as designer coffee. The Chairman could easily fend off these foreign interlopers by offering a selection of (ideally small) British culinary delicacies like pigs in blankets, miniature Cornish pasties, or faggots, all washed down by a hearty mug of builder's tea from a giant aluminium teapot sat on a gas ring.
Shed's best idea can't be revealed in detail - intellectual property rights and all that - but it does involve a set of blackout curtains (or perhaps one of Mrs Shed's smaller undershirts), a two-inch diameter hole drilled in the tailgate at an appropriate height and a Kiss Me Quick sign.
Are you the Pope? Or just someone who requires a high roof and a ramp for access. This vehicle is perfect for you. Originally a very expensive conversion back in the 90's for wheelchair access but think the possibility's of use are endless with this timeless classic. Good condition for age runs like a dream with plenty of poke as the added on panels are just fiberglass. Mot until Feb 2017 flew through last one with no advisory's.