Le Mans or Bust

Archive for April, 2006

I’ve got a little list…

Monday, April 24th, 2006

…they’ll most of them be missed probably, but I couldn’t resist the chance to quote G&S.

There’ll be tinkering next weekend, and so far I have the following to look at with the help of Matt, Chris, Phil , Ian, hell…whoever’s about.

1) Get my DYK started (did you see what I did there) by ensuring a fully charged battery, a primed fuel filter, and double checking that the glow plugs (at £40 a set) are not causing any starting difficulties.

2) The headlight. Hopefully just a matter of a bad earth, and after cleaning off some verdigris, all will be well.

3) The wiper. This is a dashboard out job, and apparently, if it’s anything like a Series 2 Landrover from which the mechanism is half-inched, a complete swine of a job.

4) The rust-proofing work (Matt, you’re doing a sterling job, keep it up!)
5) The stereo (but I’ll leave that to Chris I think)

6) The TAXI light

7) The sponsorship (although that’s really one for the week and not of paramount importance. We’re doing it anyway for fun, but if anyone wants to give us money/parts/stuff in exchange for 2000 miles of mobile advertising to some of the most enthusiastic car owners in Europe, then do let us know)

.I've see tidier balls of spagetti

Blimey, I’ve seen more well ordered bowls of pasta, and, I’m not sure if I should be worried or not by the presence of a fire extinguisher…

Yellowgrey ? But the taxi is black ?!?

Friday, April 21st, 2006

Two people have already mentioned this to me, it seems to be a point of confusion.

Yellowgrey is just the name of the host website, nothing to do with the taxi itself which is certainly black (with patches of rusty brown)

New Dyk 6

Obstacles are only there to be destroyed

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

The “ghetto satnav” system is now fully jury rigged and operational.

Technical problems and solutions for geeks and spods :-

Fooling Autoroute into thinking it’s installing from a CDROM when you don’t have a CDROM - MagicISO and DaemonTools.

Fooling Autoroute into using a signal from a Fortuna GPSmart which uses a fixed non-standard baud rate - Franson GPSGate.

Although in the end I ditched the Fortuna which is horribly unreliable and keeps turning itself off in favour of my Garmin Geko 201 which has a cigarette lighter power lead of its own too..

And there I am, at my house ! The next challenge is to take it out and let it direct me as a test.

Ghetto Satnav

…along for the ride…

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

Hello, my name is Matt, and I’m just along for the ride. When I first heard about the idea of going to Le Man in a Jag or a Taxi, I was praying for the Jag.

But now the Taxi has arrived and I see it everyday, I look to the Heavens and cry “WHY!?!”

All I can do now is pitch in and see what fun is in store for us…

The Fifth Member of the Crazy Party

Post from the Wheelman.

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

Greetings, my name is Tom, and I like driving. I’m going to be doing most of the driving on this outing (at least I hope so), which is going to involve piloting DYK through France (once I get it running again).

I was originally going to replace my dull yet functional Audi 80 with something more interesting to pilot us to Le Mans, and I made the mistake of asking these fine Gents what I should get. Chris responded that I should buy a 6l V12 Jag, and I agreed as long as we’d all split the cost. I’m not quite sure how that metamorphosed into a London Cab, but it has more character, and may even get us there (and I can run it on chip fat).

This was what I used to drive btw:

Me and something slightly faster.

I claim some responsibilty.

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

Hi, I’m Chris and it was me who first mentioned the idea of a taxi, I would like to claim it was all some sort of beautiful moment of epiphany with a choir of angels but the real reasons were born out of me not wanting to drive my Renault Clio all the way to Le Mans

The conditions of the scheme were a maximum £500 total cost for 4 people and something “with style”, so I hit fleaBay as soon as I could and taxis popped up relatively early in the proceedings. Rejected ideas included a hearse as that seemed to be tempting fate just a little too much.

The main reason I got involved in this project was so I could legitimately buy a bowler hat.

Hat Hat Hat

Out from behind the curtain.

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

I’m Orde and I’m the web monkey. I went along with this idea and it was too late to back out by the time I realised we were serious about it. I take full credit (and absolutely no responsibility) for us ending up with a taxi - it wasn’t my idea or my decision but I lobbied relentlessly for all of about a half an hour before any lingering resistance caved like a bunch of speleologists on a field trip.


Hello there

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

It wasn’t my idea to get a taxi, but I think I might have been the first to proclaim the idea genius. My name is Phil, and if somebody has a bad idea, I will usually go along with it out of morbid curiosity.We are going to Le Mans, but nobody wanted to take their own car. We decided to buy one for less than £500 and take that. The only rule was that it had to have style. There was much talk about getting a Jaguar, and a little talk of other cars, then somebody suggested a taxi. Specifically, a grand old black cab; a Hackney carriage; and ours is certainly hackneyed.

There’s work to do, and we might not make it, but the right kind of stupidity can be heroic, and arriving at the destination isn’t always the most important part of the journey.

I’m in it for a laugh, and because there are no good stories in careful planning and sensible choices. I haven’t made myself particularly useful so far, so I had better get my finger out and start doing something helpful.


Take ze next left.

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

I’ve started work on a SatNav setup using only accumulated junk that I wouldn’t be upset to see inside a burning taxi at the side of French Motorway.

A mighty 266Mhz Panasonic Toughbook has been called into service, with the addition of my first GPS (theres a good idea for Fisher-Price) which will need a good wrap of Duck tape to hold the innards in place.

I’m currently wrestling with installing Autoroute 2006 on a machine with only a floppy drive but thats the sort of challenge I must embrace.

I gather Autoroute 2006 will talk to me, I wonder if it will adjust its accent to continental travel ?

Is it just me ?

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

Orde : Is it just me or does anyone else keep catching themselves thinking that what we are doing is insane?

Tom : Yup, there’s a slight whiff of insanity about the whole thing, and I’ve got a mixture of looks when explaining the plan ranging from admiration to fear that I’m a nutter. No-one has had a bad word to say about it though.

Phil : No. It makes the most sense of anything we’ve done for ages. I might say different if I’m stranded on some French motorway.

Chris : I don’t think its insane in slightest. I’m just happy that we’ve taken up the challenge to go the extra mile with something, rather than just doing the minimum to make it happen.

J885 DYK