Quick note about the diary cover photograph.<br />
Yes, that's me with a Motorway patrol police car behind at Junction 11 M5. I had been standing on the bridge waiting for a friend to come along the m5 on his Trike which he was riding from Lands End to John O'Groats and back again over 2 days.<br />
I'd been there for a while but when I put my legs over that metal barrier the police car appeared quite quickly.<br />
I had plenty of time to take this photograph, the lady driver had parked too close to the barrier and the large police officer (not fat, just a big bloke) couldn't get out of the door. She had to back up and park a bit further out, even after I'd gone up to them and tried to tuck in his radio and other kit he was packing. We had a good laugh about it when they did approach me.<br />
I said "I could say I've broken down but it would be a lie" to which he replied "Yes, we guessed it wasn't a breakdown, we saw that big flag you've got". I explained about my friend and they joined me. They even said that if I see him coming they'd put their blue lights on for him.<br />
They had been called to investigate because I'd put my legs over the barrier and they thought I might be 'A Jumper'. It was all very good natured and the policeman was also a biker so lots of bike chatter. <br />
They had a call so had to leave me.<br />
As it is I'd missed my friend by a few minutes!
Bought this copper red Mk3 RC in February 2007, drove it home on trade plates and returned them to the dealer on 1st March 2007 when I could use the 007 Reg plates.<br />
I missed, and still think about, my first MX-5, the Splash Green 2002 Mk2.5 in another diary, but the Mk3 RC fills a need while also making it easier to put the hard top up and down. A lot easier than putting hard top on and off on the Mk2.5!<br />
At time of writing (mid February 2021) I've had it 14 years and only in the past few months have I had to spend any real money on it, other than wear and tear, tyres, brake pads and disks etc. A few years ago I had to have the drop links replaced after a a very unobservant lady in a BMW reversed into me and hit my front offside tyre which was stationery but on and angle. Didn't realise there was any damage until the next MOT.<br />
So recently the PRHT packed in, turned out to be the switch console that needed replacing because the passenger window would not go down.<br />
Within a month of that, in January 2021, I had trouble selecting gears. Turned out that the slave clutch cylinder was leaking. Had the slave and master replaced but also the clutch pedal had snapped so that needed replacing also. The dealer mechanics checked and reported the gearbox oil was black and obviously very old. Checking the digital service record it had never been changed so was coming for 14 years old itself.<br />
Problem there was I'd fallen out with the main dealer in Cheltenham, Bristol Street Motors, and had been getting it serviced at a mates garage (Ex-RAF Flight Sergeant Mechanical transport). He always gave me a good price, which was nice, but obviously managed that by neglecting the service interval checks.<br />
I've been very pleased with the new dealer, now based in Gloucester (Johnsons) and I expect they are quite pleased with me considering how much I've spent with them over the past 3 months!<br />
So since new, 14 years ago, I've done 60,596 miles, would have been a bit more if we hadn't been through the past 12 months of lockdowns etc. but, to be honest, I've used my motorbikes a lot more over the past 7 years.<br />
Photos of the car and bikes, since rebuilding a 1989 Suzuki GSX750FK, in 2014 in the images gallery.
Couple of things that did happen;<br />
* flooded passenger side footwell turned out to be the large drain hole in the boot was blocked with Silver Birch seeds. Very easy to sort out, once I'd found out what it was!<br />
* Lady next door hit me, long story but she raked down my offside. Repaired by 'Baylis of Cheltenham' - tip - don't let them do any bodywork! A while later my daughter borrowed my car for a fortnight. it came back with the drivers door restraining bar bolt ripped out of the door post. Took months of trying different things but finally found a bracket that would do the job with self tapping screws. After a couple of years a garage mechanic ripped it out again but they welded the plate on rather than using self tappers. <br />
* I got into the habit of wearing a portable DAB Radio on my belt. Over time this wore down the leather on the drivers seat due to getting in and out. It eventually developed into a hole. Tried to repair it but nothing worked. Couldn't find a replacement heated seat, other than a new one at an exorbitant price. Got a quote for custom made leather covers, very nice but not at Â£600 thank you very much. Found the ones in the image gallery photos for Â£100. They fit very well, just loosened the seats to enable me to secure the clips underneath the seat.