The first item on the list is merely cosmetic but satisfying none the less. Ava has been SORNed, and for the benefit of readers outside the UK I’d better explain what that means.
To have a car on the public highway, even if it just stands in the road outside your house and never moves, you need to have insurance and also permission from the State to do so. This permission comes in the form of a tax called the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), and once you’ve paid (for a period of either 6 months or a full year) you are issued with a tax disc that you have to display on the vehicle (lower left of the windscreen).
If you are the owner of a vehicle the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will keep tabs on you to make sure you’re paying the VED. If you don’t want use the vehicle and therefore don’t want to pay the VED you have to store it somewhere off the public highway and submit a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN) to the DVLA. This is what I’ve done with Ava and she’s on the Port of Blyth’s caravan storage park.
The storage park is supposed to be secure, but she hadn’t been there long before someone stole the Talbot badge from her grille. I can’t understand the mentality of those who just take what they want knowing full well it’s not theirs to take.
So off to eBay and after a long wait (Talbot Express parts are now hard to come by) I was able to get a replacement. It came from a camper of similar age to Ava so was pretty well weathered. I invested in a few small cans of paint and proceeded to make it look presentable. I’ve seen some versions of the Talbot badge with red highlights, rather than plain silver and black, so that’s what I decided to do. Here are the “before and after” shots:
I’m not risking the loss of such a fine piece of handiwork so I won’t be putting it on until Ava is safely out of “secure” storage – and it’ll be glued on with a hefty dose of epoxy resin instead of the spring clips which made the original so easy to detach.