Le Mans or Bust

Archive for the 'Musings' Category

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.


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.

Some photos of my Dyk.

Sunday, April 9th, 2006

A few shots from before Tom started playing with his Dyk.

New Dyk 6New Dyk 5New Dyk 4New Dyk 3New Dyk 2New Dyk 1

Pick up for Bennett.

Sunday, April 9th, 2006

Got a lift to Blackpool to pick up the taxi that will be taking us to Le Mans and back (I hope). We gave it the once over, and all seems to be well mechanically, although the list of niggles is quite long.

A 4 speed auto (yuck) box, and a naturally aspirated 2.7 Nissan Diesel engine, this is apparently the cream of the FX4 taxis. The trip across the Pennines was interesting, as it’s not the fasted vehicle I’ve ever driven. Top speed of 70mph (once, downhill), but I’m not inclined to do that as it felt very much like I was staring into the jaws of death. Average cruising speed of about 55mph.

 The steering is vague to say the least, but you can put on a 1930s suit and pretend you’re in an old film as you waggle the wheel from side to side. At least you’ll crash with your sense of humour intact. Once it bites however, you turn, and boy how you turn. Believe everything you’ve read about the astonishing turning circle of these things, and if you’ve read much about chronic understeer and heart-in-mouth moments when exiting roundabouts, believe that as well.

The brakes are excellent though, as the RX8 that I nearly destroyed will testify. My bad, as I was trying to follow the advice when driving automatics, and left foot brake. That’s fine until 10 years of instinct kicks in when going slowly up a hill and reaching to change down.

I think I’ll stick to traditional methods in future.


Friday, April 7th, 2006

TB:  “Hello, I’d like a quotation please, but before I go any further, it’s for a Black Cab.”

Insurance Conmpany:  “Sorry, we don’t do taxi insurance.”

 TB:  “It’s for Social Domestic & Pleasure use only.”

Insurance Company:  “Oh…no sorry, still can’t help/What car?  It’s not on our system/Yes, that’ll be £800 third party only limited to 3000 miles.”

 [Repeat ad nauseum for approximately 3 hours]


It was suggested by a colleague at work that I try Footman James.  What can I say, apart from singing their praises to the sky!  After warning me that they probably wouldn’t be competitive, they proceeded to offer me a Fully Comprehensive policy, including European breakdown (very imporatant), with unlimited mileage for less than half of the price of anyone else.  I’d recommend them if you have something classic/slightly unusual to insure.

It Begins…

Thursday, April 6th, 2006

—– Original Message —–
From: Tom
To: Chris, Orde, Phil
Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2006 4:33 PM
Subject: RE: Le Mans.

Gents, we have a taxi.  Oh **** what have we done!

FleaBay Auction 

J885 DYK