By Callum Tooey
It's February 2019 and I've finally got a few days free to work on Nutmeg. My brother came to help for a few days and together we flushed her radiator and filled her with fresh coolant, we then set about working on the brakes. With some work we were able to bleed them successfully and for the first time in my ownership Nutmeg's brake pedal was not all the way to the floor!
I then decided that I would need a key to lock the doors as none had been provided with the car, so I removed the rear boot latch and took it apart in an attempt to find the key code, this proved fruitless as no keycode appeared stamped on any parts and the tumbler was royally seized inside the mechanism. A local locksmith could not help and the car shop were unable to preserve the lock so the mechanism was reassembled and another job was added to the list.
Unfortunately all was not well as my brother stood up grim faced and said "I think she needs a lot more welding at the front there" I agreed and made a mental note to take her to be welded as first point of call.
With her now running, driving and stopping, we decided to take her for a test drive, I got in and coaxed her out of the garage, went around the block and pulled her back up onto the kerb. I spent a few minutes testing the lights and other peripherals before the engine died suddenly, and even with a few turns of the starter she refused to start back up, putting us once again back to square one.
This put me in a moral dilemma as being only a couple of months before a wedding, and being increasingly busy with work I knew that I would not be able to dedicate the time or resources that she deserves, so I made the sad decision to put her up for sale and in time was offered a reasonable PX for a 86, Vauxhall Carlton which arrived on a trailer from Devon.
After offloading the Carlton we used a combination of brute force and a trick of turning the starter whilst in gear to kangaroo Nutmeg onto the vacant trailer. I took the Carlton for a test drive immediately and found she handled amazingly well and was quite well specced (although sadly German rather than British).
As I arrived home we tried to put the Carlton into the garage, but found it was too long, our little Peugeot stole the top spot on a temporary basis and the Carlton was relegated to the kerb.
In a cruel twist of fate, the very next day a car popped up on a Facebook sales group, it was a 1983 Triumph Acclaim HLS in Opaline Green, my "Holy Grail" and the car I had been searching for years for - I even have a commissioned painting of it on my wall of my house!
Feeling glum about this, I moaned about my 'typical luck' to my fiance who surprised me with her response of "That's your car, use the savings pot and go and get it"
And that's exactly what I did...
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