I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey.



Since owning a convertible car I have only ever wanted to now drive a convertible for the duel feature of having the top down and keeping cool in the summer months and also the roof up in the winter months, a kind of year round all in one package.
As with most cars, as they get older they lose their value and some more so than others, particularly if you car manufacturer is one of those that brings out a new car every few years.  
I always keep a track of how much my insurance creeps up each year, even though I have never made a claim and also the cost of road tax, so when I realised that if I kept my car for another year it would cost me a further £20 in road tax and possibly the same in insurance, I decided to look about for a new car.
I have realised that buying a convertible car in the cooler months of February to March is a lot cheaper than as apposed to June or July time when the same car can be £700 to £900 more expensive, so I thought now was as good a time as any to see what was about.
I wanted my next car to be more city efficient and started to look at a smaller car as the seating capacity of my Peugeot 207cc never really got used so I could quite easily go for a two seater this time around.  I have always loved those Smart cars and after reading many reviews the Smart Fortwo has matured into a more serious contender in the microcar segment. It has not lost its quirky and funky looks, but the Fortwo now sports improvements where it counts, including revised powertrains, new premium features, and a stronger body structure.


Parking is a real big factor when you live in the urban jungle and this car lets you park like other convention cars or the perfectly legal Smart park way.



Part of what gives the Smart Fortwo its more mature looks is its evolution from a one-box to what Smart calls a "one-and-a-half-box" design. That is apparent thanks to the Fortwo's distinct hood. The wheels are still pushed out to the corners and the rear track is still a bit wider than the front, which helps maintain the Fortwo's sturdy-looking stance. Speaking of sturdy, Smart has improved the Fortwo's tridion safety cell, which is normally painted a contrasting color to add visual pop to the exterior.


For anyone who has never looked closely at or for that matter sat inside a Smart car, they will be pleasantly surprised.  I am 6ft 1 in statue and of a clunker build and yet there is more than enough room inside this tardis of a car.
Inside the Fortwo boasts improved materials, design, and features. The dashboard, for example, is highlighted by a number of infotainment options including smartphone integration, CD/DVD, navigation, a touchscreen, and a premium JBL sound system. The interior features accents finished in a honeycomb pattern, which is also used for exterior elements including the grille. The dashboard and door panels are available with a mesh-like fabric, and the three-spoke steering wheel can be optioned with multimedia buttons. Taking a page from recent Benz models like the C- and S-Class, the Fortwo features instrument and infotainment panels that appear to float in front of the dashboard. Oversized round air vents and bright colour schemes, however, ensure that the Fortwo maintains its funky look.


Some cars boast a wow factor just sitting on their forecourts and others have that driving experience like no other but for me the Smart car had that funky fresh look about it and was more than practical and economical. If I had not chosen the sporty convertible version of the Smart ForTwo then I could have saved even more money as the entry level Smart ForTwo’s have zero road tax and congestion charge, but for me paying a mere £30 a year road tax and a reduced rate congestion charge has still made this car the ideal choice for any city driver.

Wheely Good

Since owning my car there has been one thing that has been put on the back burner from day one, it is that of the wheels. It seemed that the last owner looked after the car except for the wheels. The previous lady owner drove the car off of the forecourt for less than a few weeks and found the car to powerful for her but in the process of ownership for those few weeks she managed to scuff every alloy wheel.
It has been bugging me since owning the car and finally I got round to finding someone who could come to either my home or workplace and repair my wheels.
Alex from Autoshine-alloys did a cracking job and now they look like new.


work _in_progres




Lights On Lights Off

We are in such a throw away society that when things break we just bin them, but what happens when we need to fix them because throwing them away is not an option?
Today one of my break light on the car decided to blow and I had the choice to book my car in at the garage and pay about £25 to get it fixed or do it myself. I thought that if the instruction were int he car manual then it was designed to be fixed and not to use a garage to do the same job.
I had the bulb and so I thumbed through the pages of the car manual until I came across the lights section. Ok it was not overly easy to disassemble but breaking it down in stages and taking my time, I did change the bulb myself and so saved myself a trip to the garage and a bill at the end of it.

change_brake_light - 2

change_brake_light - 1

Anthony's 17th Birthday

I will always see Anthony as my younger gaming buddy and even though it is his 17th birthday today he will always to me be little Anthony, you get older but somethings just do not change.
Anthony is a good lad and for his birthday he wanted to learn to drive so everyone has chipped in to buy him some driving lessons.  I think being a smart lad that he is, if he passes his theory test it will not be long before he will be passing his test and on the roads in his own little run around.

ant taxi



I think by now we all know how much Wayne loves his cars and at any given opportunity that he gets to test drive a new car he jumps at the chance, this gave me an idea for last years christmas present as buying gifts for Wayne was getting evermore harder to find something new and original.
Last year I thought that getting Wayne a driving experience at Mercedes Benz World would be just the ticket, but not any old driving experience, I had to get him the works, the complete package with all the circuits, skid pans, wet straights and above all for the whole experience to be recoded all in a sporty AMG.
Even though today was cold, it was a nice clear and bright day and from the short themed video I put together you can see that even the cold weather did not stop Wayne from enjoying himself.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Today Wayne and I visited Woodcote nurseries to see its yearly show of classic and vintage cars. This particular show has gone from strength to strength and is now firmly established as a friendly event for local car enthusiasts and anyone else with an interest.
The show is free to attend, so even more of a reason to get a chance to see vehicles from throughout the ages, there is a few local stalls selling cakes and drink with all proceeds going to the aid of St. Raphael's Hospice.
So all in all, a good day out.


Break! Break!

Today saw the first time in three years, some tinkering to my car.
Whilst driving home yesterday, a very kind motorcyclist flagged me over to say that none of my break lights were coming on. When I got home to check them it was an intermittent problem, was it a short in the trunk, oh perfect opportunity for the 9 to 5 sketch: Police officer notices the cars break blinking:
(*po-Police Officer, vn-Violet Newstead, jb-Judy Bernly, dr-Doralee Rhodes)

po-Evening, ladies. May I see your license and registration?
vn-Why? I wasn't speeding.
po-Your taillight is blinking.
vn-It is?
po-Are your signals on?
po-There must be a short in the trunk.
vn-A short in the trunk?
vn-We've got a short in the trunk.
po-Probably a defective wire. Want to take a look?
vn-Do we want to take a look?
dr-No. We can’t. We don't have time.
vn-We're on an emergency.
dr-That's right. She's a doctor.
po-You're a doctor?
vn-You think I'm a beautician?
po-I didn't see the badge. What's wrong?
vn-I’m taking this woman to the hospital, and she's very sick.
po-Which one of you is sick?
jb-I am.
dr-She is.
vn-They're both sick.
po-What is that you're hiding there?
vn-It's rat poison.
dr-She ate it.
vn-She ate the rat poison. That's why they're sick.
po-You ate rat poison?
jb-I thought it was Skinny and Sweet. It looks just like it...except for the skull and crossbones. Can we go now, officer? I'm not feeling well.
vn-She's not well. I've got a dying woman, and you want to look in the trunk?
po-I'm sorry, doctor.
vn-If we don't make it, you're responsible.
po-Don't worry, I'll give you an escort.
dr-An escort.
vn-He's going to give us an escort. Lord.
po-Follow me.
vn-Forget it, Man, we can’t wait!

Well, after phoning Peugeot, Croydon and being told it would cost over £130 just for them to look at it, Wayne started to phone around for a mobile mechanic and came across Mo-Tech advertised in
Mo, was great, told us the part to get and then arranged to come round today to fit it. The service was brilliant and he was quick, clean and very professional and also a very polite, a quality not often found in a mechanics.
Job done and all fixed for less than £40 including parts.


The Green Girl Needs An M.O.T.

Those of us who own cars really do take it for granted just how well they run with some or little attention to what is under the bonnet. Normally the only attention we give our cars is topping up the windscreen reservoir and making sure the petrol level does not drop to low, other than that the car is left to its own devices to tick over from year to year.
Today however I put my car in for more than just an M.O.T. as today she got a full service.
I took the car down to my regular mechanics 'The MOT Shop' who looked after me for yet another year.
It can be such a job to find a mechanic that does not rip you off simply because you know very little or nothing about what is under the bonnet.
However much I tell people the best option is always to deal direct with the manufacturers this does not apply in the car world, if you stuck to that option you would be sure to get ripped off.
Well done Dave at 'The MOT Shop’ Wandle Service Station you have yet again done wonders with my car.



How time flies, I cannot believe it but my car is 1 year old today.


Scratches And Scrapes

I am very particular with where I park my car and in some cases if I cannot park in a safe place then my plans either no plans are made or cancelled.
Today I had a photo shoot in Brighton. At the best of times parking is both hard enough and costly. Depending on where you park seems to affect the parking fees. I could not begin to imagine the dramas residents must go through in order to park near to their homes.
Because my client lives in an area where parking spaces are for residents only, I was forced to park along the sea front. However a further drama was to unfold when leaving to go home.
I was washing my car the next day and as I was leathering the car down, I thought I noticed some dirt that I had missed. However it was not… it was some scrape marks, roughly the size of my hand. As I knew they were not there the day before, I assumed I had done this when pulling away. In fact thinking back, I heard a scraping noise and got out of the car to check the alloy wheels and saw nothing. I assume that that was when I caused the damage to the front bumper.
Well, owing to the wonderful skills of Ian Johnson at Paintbox, Cheam, my car is now back in pristine condition after what I call ‘a bit of a make-up’.