Friday, 20 November 2015

I Killed the Chevy

Before we set-off for the TT in May, the Chev-Dawg was loaded to the ceiling and had two race bikes strapped down on the trailer. I stroked her dash and said “Just one more trip baby. Get us there and back.” She did just that. But a few weeks after returning from the TT, she  started giving problems. I spent many a weekend working on her… but it was just one thing after another. It was as if she was giving up.

Chev-Dawg's introduction to motosickle racing: Darley Moor 2007

She broke down twice on me and left me stranded – I got recovered at great inconvenience. I spent many hours working on her and had spent quite a bit of moolah in parts. She had an upcoming MOT (road worthy test) and I knew it would come with a big bill as the front steering bits were worn-out. I thought I had got all her problems (except the front steering…) sorted. I drove her around for a few weeks until one night, I was just outside Heathrow on the way home when the oil pressure gauge drops to zero.

Working on cars... you've got to lye in the dirt... at funny angles... siezed bolts are the norm and they're dirty bastards.

 I fuckin' HATEworking on cars.

I pull over. I could smell oil. I pop the hood. In the darkness, I could see the right side of the engine gleaming with oil. Fuck. A major leak somewhere. I had a look around and weighed up my options. 1) Spend the next 6 hours getting recovered and have an oil-dripping mess on my driveway for me to fix. 2) Have her recovered to a garage that can fix her and hand me a big bill. 3) try get her home and straight onto eBay.

Overloaded, she got us, the bikes and a shit-load of gear to the Isle of Man and back for 7 campaigns. This was 2012

If she didn’t make it home, I was no worse off than now. Still had to be recovered. I was pretty pissed-off with her - on her previous break-down I vowed it would be the last time she left me stranded. So, I started her up and pointed her north for the 70 mile trip home and gave her beans!

ManxGP & Classic TT 2013. Two bikes on the trailer...

...and a Ducati 888 stuffed in the back!

10 miles into the trip the engine started knocking… I just put my foot down to try make the 60 miles for home go quicker. Surprisingly, she kept on going… 10 miles, 20 miles, 30 miles. She was going down with a fight.

14 miles from home and the engine knocking get louder and louder. Then 'Clunk'... I freewheel her onto the M1 hard-shoulder.

I’ve killed the Chevy.

ManxGP and Classic TT 2014

I go through the whole farcical process of getting recovered for the third time: A tow guy arrives in an hour to get me off the motorway. It’s considered a dangerous place so they are twice as quick as normal… still takes an hour though. He drags me to the nearest service station… who haven’t done a car service in more than 20 years… they only offer  shit food and gas. At least the coffee is good. Another wait for the mobile service guy to arrive… have a poke around and tell me it’s fucked. No shit Dood. Another wait for a flat-bed truck to take me and the Chevy carcass the remaining  10 miles home.

TT 2015 - the Boerewors Bros Epic TT Adventure!

This whole process take 6 hours and after laying some planks and old sheets under the dripping Dawg I’m in bed at 04h00. Up again at 06h00 to hitch a lift with my neighbour to the station to get to work. Yay. It takes me the week to recover the lack of sleep.

The next weekend I take all my crap out of her… take some pics and she’s on a 5 day eBay auction. A week later a guy with a flat-bed arrives to take her away.

Dirttrackin' too. Transport...

...pits, accomodation, storage... she did it all!

 I have fond memories and she was solid n good… till near the end. She had a number of niggles… 20 years driving and 170 000 miles does that. She’d done a lot of hard work hauling bikes and gear around the country’s race tracks. Some may say abused – I say worked. I loved the old girl and she’d served well but I’d just lost the appetite to keep her going. She was just getting old and I was tired of being let down. Reliability is key... without reliability... you have nothing.

I'm sorry it had to end this way...

I took the advice I have been given over the last few years by friends and family and it was time to move on.

Goodbye Chev-Dawg – you’re the best damn car I’ve ever had.

The 4.3l Vortec V6 was a gem... 200bhp she could haul anything all day long.

Chevy Astro tintop - knackered engine... one careful owner... a snip at fourhundredbucks.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015


I’ve been meaning to do this post for a few months now…

Part of getting to and competing in the TT earlier this year was the Indiegogofundraising campaign. 50% of all donations that weren’t for tyres, caps or tee-shirts was given to help others in need of financial assistance through the Kiva micro-lending site. The campaign raised £340 whichworked out to $450 in loans. This is where the loans went:

The Kiva micro-lending system is not perfect. But I believe it helps people that are less well off than most of us and that are normally excluded from financial systems work their way out of poverty, be able to provide for their families and add value to their communities. Hand-outs through charity is a short-term solution and does little to help the millions of people around the world break out of the cycle of poverty. You also have very little idea of where your money goes with these big organizations.

These micro loans help the disadvantaged help themselves. Sign-up and you can lend as little as $25. All the loan repayments from Armando, Aurora and Caesar will be continuously re-lent to help others – so your donations will keep giving

Thank you for your generosity :-)