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Author Topic: On the road with (one of) the world's smallest!  (Read 16138 times)

Stuart Cyphus

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On the road with (one of) the world's smallest!
« on: June 30, 2007, 08:51:23 PM »
Especially for bobbiebubble ( :-*) and everyone else, herein lies the account of Saturday 30th June 2007, the day the only road-legal Mini-Comtesse in the UK finally took to the roads of Witney in earnest.   :o

 It was way back in last November that it almost made it out on the open road for the first time, but problems with the gearchange precursed it from going further than two trips round the block. Drive-It Day in April saw both the second attempt and the second fail, the reasons being a blocked driveway for the most of the day and a terminally flat battery.

 Today, 30th June, and on the first clear day I've had for three months, myself & Dad set to to finally sort this thing out! First job was the battery, and the replacement of the moped battery with something with a bit more omph. But that entailed new leads and a new location for the new (bigger) battery....  The question of the leads had been solved three weeks earlier with the acquisition of a positive lead from a Triumph TR7 and a negative lead from some sort of modern Skoda, and these were bolted into place. The new battery being placed on the floor. Flick the switch, pull out the petrol tap, tickle the carb, prod the starter and up it runs. Almost stalls, pull the throttle cable a bit, almost run over one's foot (fully automatic isn't it), adjust throttle stop, runs OK, switch off, let the blue haze dispurse. Now for the change-speed contol knob that pulled off last November.

 A ferret in the shed produced a bit of dowling that had once served as the main perch in the budgie cage, hole drilled through, slip it on the cable, tighten pinch bolt, job done. Nothing else left to do, and it's wheeled out into the road. Run through the starting procedure again, insert ones self into said vehicle, foot on throttle and off we go....  

 Twice round the block and all is well, third time around and I keep going! This time turning right insted of left and for the next quarter of an hour I explore most of the back roads of the estate on which I live. At the end of the estate beckons the main A40 trunk road from Oxford to Burford. I concider the possibility's in my mind. The Comtesse is going well, the road is (fairly) quiet. The Comtesse will have to go along that road sooner or later as it is booked into the Burford rally on 10th & 11th July, so why not now!!!

 I approach the roundabout, nothing coming, out I turn! Two miles to the next turning and at a steady 17mph in a 60 zone, the Comtesse bumbles valiantly on. Now & then a car wizzes by. Most are 4X4's, of which bumpers are generally directly in line with my nose. Unlike some people, such things don't unduly bother me, for after all, I did used to be a banger racer! After a while, we approach the traffic lights to turn left into the Downs road. The lights are red. As we wait, I count the cars behind me. Humm, only three. The lights change, off we go. The comtesse takes a while to build up its revs before it wants to change into top gear. Never mind, the cars behind can wait! The Downs road is three miles long, and about a third of the way along, I see a moped coming the other way, like me a youngster is riding it. He sees me, grins broadly and we wave to each other. Most other people I've driven past are too dumbstruck to do anything other than impersonate a goldfish.

 At last reaching the end of the Downs road, it's another left turn, round a roundabout. a glance in the mirror tells me I have a lorry behind which is three times taller than I am. As I exit the roundabout, I notice the drivers mate hanging out of the cab window with a camera in his hands. On the home stretch now and back into the estate. A car passing on the other side of the road completely fails to notice the red light on the pedestrian crossing. The light is green by the time I get there so on we bumble. Left again & back into Mirfield rod, in & out of the usual slalom course of cars parked everywhere & up the drive of Number 6, an hour & half after leaving.

 There were some who said, when they first saw the Mini-Comtesse, that I'd never do it. That I'd never drive it further than the end of the road. Today I think, KAU 724N ( :-*) proved them all wrong.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 09:55:29 PM by Stuart Cyphus »

witney44

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Re: On the road with (one of) the world's smallest!
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2007, 09:19:55 PM »
Well done Stuart. :-* This is what we should be doing with our Microcars. Getting out there, on the roads, to see smiles on peoples faces as you toodle up and down the roads.
I must ask. What was the ferret doing in your shed with the perch from the budgie cage? Had the little furry thing just eaten the feathered one? ;D Hope to see the Mini-Comtesse at School House Farm. I'm toying with the idea of riding my 1958 Mobylette there!
Rob. ;D
« Last Edit: June 30, 2007, 09:46:03 PM by witney44 »

marcus

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Re: On the road with (one of) the world's smallest!
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2007, 02:11:04 PM »
So, I am not the only one puzzled by this ferret in your shed...how did it know you wanted the dowell? Is it actually a talking ferret? I think driving a Mini Comtesse might be affecting you!
Just remember: as one door closes behind you, another slams in your face

Stuart Cyphus

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Re: On the road with (one of) the world's smallest!
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2007, 02:37:45 PM »
We're as mystified about this ferret in the shed as everyone else, but it does keep finding us useful bits & bobs from out of the furthest reaches so it has a home here for as long as it likes.  Actully, the offical little furry thing round here is Molly the cat. Therefore does this mean Molly is moonlighting as the phantom ferret??? The mystery deepens!  Plus my brother brought his rat round today for its annual weeks holiday, so now we have a ferret in the shed, a rat in the bedroom & a cat in the house! Its starting to sound like a Dr. Struss book round here!!!!!

                                (Offical Announcement; No feathered things were harmed in the making of this launacy)

witney44

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Re: On the road with (one of) the world's smallest!
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2007, 02:53:01 PM »
As long as the Phantom Raspberry Blower :P doesn't turn up, you should be OK!
I think I like the ferret if it keeps finding useful bobs. ;D
« Last Edit: July 01, 2007, 02:55:39 PM by witney44 »

Bob Purton

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Re: On the road with (one of) the world's smallest!
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2007, 07:19:56 PM »
Excellant Stuart! What did I tell you? Once you start driving them the real fun starts!! Dont wear it out before open day though, I want my ride! Congratulations, Bobby Bubble.

marcus

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Re: On the road with (one of) the world's smallest!
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2007, 07:47:40 PM »
There seems to be too much wildlife in this conversation, I think I will have to bring my long tailed short legged African dog to the open day, if I can fit him in DUF, my Trojan. My dog is sometimes friendly, but does have a voracious appetite; the locals call his breed "Crocodile".
It is great the response you get when driving a micro, even in London I regularly notice other cars about to cut me up, then they suddenly notice that all the normal rules of "Road Arrogance" no longer apply, and they wave me through...EVEN when they have the right of way! But I always remember that amusement is great but you must also do your best not to delay or irritate other drivers, and always drive considerately and carefully, and give faster cars every chance to get past you, then they enjoy the spectacle without being inconvenienced.
 I have to say though, that I think modern cars are too fast, and that encourages drivers to use the available performance, which is now far beyond what congestion levels permit.
Just remember: as one door closes behind you, another slams in your face

Stuart Cyphus

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Re: On the road with (one of) the world's smallest!
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2007, 03:19:10 PM »
As long as the Phantom Raspberry Blower :P doesn't turn up, you should be OK!

 "PPPHHHUUUURRRRRPPPPPPH!"   :o   Oohhh he just did! Mind you, I'm more worred about the phantom flan flinger.....  Oh yes, that ferret in the shed is very good at finding interesting bobs. Hope, Monkhouse, Purton & Dobie to name just a few! Don't think I'll bring him to the Open Day though if Marcus is going to bring his dog....

 General traffic doesn't really seem all that bothered by the sight of the Mini-Comtesse ahead of them on the open road. Just stay close in to the kerb & they can get by. I learnt that with the one time the Argson Electric made it round the show ring under its own power. Everyone else can move a darn sight faster & easier than you, so hold your line & let them go.

 Don't worry Bobbybubble, You'll get your ride. You have ticket number 5. Anyone else want a go?

P50

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Re: On the road with (one of) the world's smallest!
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2007, 07:07:23 PM »
I'll have a try!
"Men of worth act like men of worth, and men of genius, who produce
things beautiful and excellent, shine forth far better when other people
praise them than when they boast so confidently of their own achievements."
-Benvenuto Cellini

Stuart Cyphus

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Re: On the road with (one of) the world's smallest!
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2007, 07:11:32 PM »
Swap you a drive of my Comtesse for a drive of your Trident P50....    ;D
« Last Edit: July 02, 2007, 07:21:49 PM by Stuart Cyphus »

Trident

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Re: On the road with (one of) the world's smallest!
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2007, 07:32:16 PM »

 Don't worry Bobbybubble, You'll get your ride. You have ticket number 5. Anyone else want a go?
Quote


What !, there are only 5 people so far queing up for a ride.

P50

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Re: On the road with (one of) the world's smallest!
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2007, 10:56:33 PM »
Hmm is that a fair trade?  Cheeky.  The Trident is not ready yet.  How about a go of my Scootacar? 
"Men of worth act like men of worth, and men of genius, who produce
things beautiful and excellent, shine forth far better when other people
praise them than when they boast so confidently of their own achievements."
-Benvenuto Cellini

burford57

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Re: On the road with (one of) the world's smallest!
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2007, 07:10:30 PM »
Please can I have ticket Number 6, Stuart?

Number 6?  I am not a number, I am a free man!

Nick D.

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Stuart Cyphus

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Re: On the road with (one of) the world's smallest!
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2007, 09:07:15 PM »
You've already got ticket number 3 allocated to you Nick,  :-*. Swap you an extra go for a few views of the Nippi and a ride for Dad on the Tuk-Tuk.....

 Do tell us more about that Nippi. It's not the Red one from Kiddlington is it??.......  :-*
« Last Edit: July 03, 2007, 09:09:17 PM by Stuart Cyphus »

Bob Purton

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Re: On the road with (one of) the world's smallest!
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2007, 10:09:06 PM »
Stuart is far too young to remember the prisoner! Regards, Patrick Macgoohan.