- Monday, 23 February 2015


I've been waiting for this day for a looooooong time. In some ways it's been quite strange having bought the car I've dreamt of owning all these years, to then not actually have it sat in my garage all this time. But then MGR weren't in a desperate need of the space and I was (my garage has been like a builder's merchants the last few months!) so it's worked out well. But today the day came to collect it, and I was very excited!

It was a bitterly cold day today, sunny & dry but freezing and the wind cut right through me as I pulled the van up at MGR. I'd spent the weekend working on it and emptied the garage as well as making some chocs on elastic that I can pull out of position from inside the van and securing the ramps. It's really not far off now and should be finished in good time - my knees are demanding a holiday and I've given up painting my nails until it's all done! 
Once again I was nervous as we wheeled it onto the ramps, my fingers already numb from handling the extensions that were reluctant to go in the slots. I know it lifts the car but it's still slightly alarming to watch, albeit this time I was inside the van and made sure nobody was stood on board before pressing the magic button...   I needed to know I could unload it solo once I got home, and after a little bit of manoeuvring it slotted perfectly into position. I could perhaps of fitted the floor slightly lower, but to be honest everything finished up exactly where I'd marked it without any near misses so I was really pleased and very relieved - rebuilding the floor at this stage was not an option! Like I really don't know what I'd have done, apart from go slightly crazy and have a huge meltdown.

Some elements of the van have been planned to the n'th degree and some have just come about by chance (and luck). One that I'm really pleased with is the fact that you can access all the storage down the side through the door. This means that if you stop at a petrol station to fill your Jerry can or you want to strap down the rear wheel you don't have to open the back up and clamber around.

Unloading back at home it all went pretty smoothly. I don't know why - maybe because there has been so much building up to this point and as the first CFM round  draws ever closer the pressure is starting to mount, but I just expected something to go wrong at some stage. I've never put so much work & effort into preparing for a race season, just getting to the first round will amount to over 6 months hard graft - every weekend, all the time spent planning & researching... I know it will all be worth it and I never stop thinking about the end goal, but sometimes it is a lot to put yourself through when you're doing it on your own and there is work, keeping fit, eating properly (you can't live on croissants) & housework mounting up. My house is full of car parts at the mo so I've given up being fastidious until Spring!

But today was one of those perfect days when the stars and moon are in the right position in the sky and everything just goes like clockwork (I even sold a machine at work between collecting from MGR & leaving early) sometimes you just need a little luck :D

I even scored a home run when I drove by a weigh bridge on the way home, and held my breath as I waited for the figure... 3,120kg!! Fab news, it means that after the moped I still have 300kg to play with which should be ample. This is all the result of careful guess work, and some more luck.

Seeing the car stood so low and and wide in the garage made it all feel so worth it, I know I can move it around on my own now and feel a bit more confident at the prospect of touring France this Summer. 
Now I can start getting used to how it all works and fits together, familiarise myself with all the notes I made at MGR over Xmas and work out some kind of routine for spanner checking. I knew my old car like the back of my hand and working on it was so easy most of the time - you knew what to check and how to get to things. I'm sure the FR will be the same, but I'd like to have made a good head start before HebĂ©crevon...
Next stop - testing!!


  1. So inspiring. I too spend pretty much every weekend and spare hour working on my track car project! (still at least 6 months or so away from completion). Wishing you all the best for this season, I will be following with much interest!! kind regards,

    1. Thank you Patrick, it's all worth it though isn't it?! I tend to find the time just flies by when I'm working on anything to do with racing - painting the inside this weekend so the van is nearly ready :-)

  2. Great blog. Been on a similar journey myself against pay drivers and pro teams. You might find this helpful. http://www.ggoodwin.net/2014/12/running-your-own-race-carhow-hard-can.html
    Good luck with it.

  3. This is all hugely impressive Charlie! I just about manage basic car maintenance but this is whole other level! Best of luck.