Dutton Kit Cars and their owners
So. I've been rally driving a little over a year now. Had a mate who was semi-retired from the scene but didn't want to part with his car once and for all, so he'd been hiring it to me for a very reasonable rate. But most informal arrangements of this sort tend to come to a messy end, so I was kinda half prepared to have to end up buying it after all or lose out on it altogether.
Irritatingly, I kept spare cash and driveway space for the day that never came, to the point that I promptly forgot about probably having to buy the 205 at some point. I enjoy a wee game of rugby, and always make a point of gathering a squad of pals and getting a skinful for the Calcutta Cup match. You know, for the once-in-an-ice-age occasion that we might actually win and have a good old rowdy knees up. So we're actually leading at half time and the phone goes ping. It's that social nightmare Facebook, but this time it's thrown an alert for someone posting on a local motor club page, trying to offload a Dutton. I'd seen another one being Autotested some years before and was quite impressed with how accurate the guy was, even though the thing was running like a pig and stalling everywhere.
So, with a head full of Brewdog's finest Punk IPA, I retreated outside to the beer garden and made the call. It was £500, had been sitting for three years, and had a stuffed engine but came with a good replacement. Sounded great - a cheap little project. Even managed to persuade a drunk mate to go halves on it. £250 up front each and halved costs sounded brilliant. Even it was a total dog we could break it and recover costs. So we congratulated each other on our purchase and got another round in.
Rugby restarts. Scotland are doing their usual trick of playing 60mins of good rugby and 20mins of garbage. Phone pings. Facebook again. It's my pal with the Peugeot. Toys have been launched from prams in the same sentence that dummies have been comprehensively spat. Never one who likes being told what to do, he's taken exception to another set of new safety rules roughly aimed at making things less fun. So he's packing it in, once and for all. And the car and all the spares are up for sale. Back out to the beer garden I go and just about manage to press the correct buttons.
So yeah, obviously we lost. And I'd drank a fair bit. So the next day was spent with a fuzzy head trying to explain to my pregnant wife where I'd be putting these two cars and what I planned to do with them exactly. In hindsight, of course, I'd not have jumped at the Dutton if I'd known I was going to have to buy the 205, but I'm nothing if not true to my word. Even with a hangover that could have felled a grizzly bear. Luckily, the Phaeton appears to just be in need of a little fettling and TLC. And I knew the 205 was good to go. Straight into a clump of trees on Mull last weekend, as it happens, but that's another story. The Dutton's coming along ok - the original engine was full of mayonnaise and swarf, and the coolant driven auto-choke on the carb is completely choked with gunk. Hopefully once the new engine is fitted and the carb cleaned out, it won't need too much more to run. We'll thrash the life out of it at an autotest in early may and try to suss out what else it needs. Will report back.
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