- Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Racing with Pistonheads :D

A quick update, mainly to reveal some fantastic news - Pistonheads, the popular motoring news, forum & car sales website, are interested in my plan to go hillclimbing in France and have agreed to follow my progress next season with event write ups and features on the webpage!

With nearly 500k members and around 5 million people clicking onto the website every month, it's a fantastic opportunity to shine the spotlight on the sport of hillclimbing. 

Targeting so many motorsport enthusiasts should also make perfect sense for anyone looking to work with me and have their products or services featured throughout the year.

The car is being vinyl wrapped next week as I've finally settled on a look that I'm happy with - it's a bit Union Jack (& Tricolore as it is French!). I have a few people interested in featuring their logos on the car so it will be great to see it all take shape over the coming months - it helps that I studied graphic design as I've been able to play around on Photoshop to my heart's content. I really enjoy the process of putting my own stamp on a race car and the Formula Renault is such a gorgeous shape to start with that I can't wait to see it in 3D. I picked the colours over at Signs & Graphics yesterday, the blue is a metallic and should look really cool in the bright French sunshine :)

Mock up of the finished design 

A few weeks ago I took most of the body work home and spent the weekend filling and rubbing down all the repairs, cracks and gravel rash - circuit cars have a hard life. Being a bit of a perfectionist I want it to look as good as it can, so I went to town with the P38 and wet & dry. I needed a serious manicure afterwards, but I think once wrapped the finish should be pretty good and worth the stiff knees and sore thumbs!

Other news is that I now have a tail lift fitted to the van. After weeks of searching on eBay for one that actually measured the correct width between the posts, I bit the bullet and bought one from a few photos and a vague reassurance that 'it was working when we took it off the van...' For £230 it was a fraction of the new cost so I just crossed my fingers and hoped that it wasn't a pallet of scrap when it turned up at the fitters. I was over the moon when they phoned to sayit actually looked really good and I'd bought a tidy one, phew! 

As it came without the control box I asked them to fit one on a long, curly cable so I can move around the car while its on the ramps. We left the tail board off as it won't be needed and will most likely be weighed in for scrap, but we tested it with 750kg first which it lifted without complaint - woohoO! 

I've got some measurements now to get the ramps made so hopefully I can get those in build as it went to the coach builder today to have the cab extended and roof chopped down. Once these two stages are completed I can put the car inside and start to measure up for the living area which I'll be building myself  - I'd like to have done the roof and cab but have visions of it all disintegrating like a broken spaceship as it hurtles down the autoroutes! It feels like a good start, and gives me time to think about the next stage... I was toying with the idea of something really different for the interior asI've always loved the idea of speccing my own T5 campervan, so I have a few ideas on how I'd do it. I always think that motorhome interiors look a little clinical & boring... But then I was lying in bed worrying about the amount of time and everything there is to do so I'm going to focus on the 'absolutely necessary' things like running water, a shower, loo and lighting, then all the other bits like a fridge, heating and cooker will have to follow if it's on schedule. In my mind I know how I want it to look, it's just that making it all look nice is low down on the list of priorities for the time being!

On the practical side, I've been advised by my friend who will be helping me install all the electrics & plumbing to buy a tatty old caravan to strip out. It's a great idea and will save a lot of money and time searching for things like cables & fittings as it should have 90% of what I need (defo getting a new loo though!). It's something else to track down though, and as my tow car is being sold for a cheaper hatchback I have no way of dragging one home... 

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