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Daves roffle MGF thread. emissions pass. Finally.

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Three oclock in the fukkin morning....thats not natural....in fact its still the day before, as far as I am concerned.

To be honest though, I had been awake for ages anyway. Pre collection excitement/nerves had me like a kid on christmas eve.


Breakfast of champions normal people.



Assemble....various confirmation printouts - check, passport - check, electric map - check, USB ciggy lighter adaptor - check,  various power leads - check, telephone - well, I am using it to take the photograph, but yeah - check, camera - obviously, yes, since its also the telephone - check. Not pictured, sleeping bag - check.



Dave chooses Escort. It is super effective.



Turns out that at 3.30am in a teeny village, opening a huge sliding roller door on a giant metal box is apocalytically loud. Sorry everyone.


A lot of country roads.



A bit of main road



Some autoroute.



One for The Dash At Night thread, maybe....



oh look, not far off rolling right round the clock. I am excited*

I love driving at this time of day when nobody is around....its like some kind of weird video game.


New LED street lights on the Toulouse ringroad are insanely bright.



Remember where we parked, kids.



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I always use the furthest away carpark because its the cheapest. There is a free shuttle every few minutes. Forgot to take a photo of that but it was just a bus.

Toulouse airport hit by earthquake.



I had no hold baggage and had checked in online so didnt have to queue up with the plebs and just went straight through security. not allowed photos in there. I lined up to have my belt Xrayed and my bag searched for stuff that could bring down an airliner like more than 100ml of water. I never bothered trying to bring my lithium jump starter which I had considered bringing as a backup to charge the phone, but if I got refused would have to trudge back to the car and leave it there so I just couldnt be arsed in the end. Never needed it anyway.

Airside, there is a piano in the waiting area. some smug looking hipster knobber dressed like a depression-era farmhand was wandering back and forth plinking away at it making basic tunes and looking very pleased with himself until this dude sat down and went Full Beethoven.....really impressive. I couldnt help but lol a little.



Kick the tyres and light the fires, big daddy.   .....or something.



I love planes. Even a basic bus like this fills me with glee. Literally a fucking marvel of the modern age and people take them for granted.


FUCK! Aisle seat at the back next to the piss cubicle. Just kill me now, fam. Lesson learned, pay the extra fee and book a window seat instead of letting the computer assign it at random. I like being behind the wing so I can watch it flexing and wobbling.

....Time passes....

Landed at Gatwick and....Jesus, where did all these people come from? Living for so long in a Hillbilly backwater village of 16 people has really shrunk my worldview. I trudged down to the station at the airport and used my booking reference to collect actual tickets out the machine.



The train was grim. Really filthy. The flash has washed out the photo, but the seats were proper minging.



Landmarks. Some of you probably see this shit every day so its no big deal but I was really happy to see this. Country Bumpkins big day out in the city.



I arrived at Pancreas Street and crossed over to Kings Cross.







Had a little time to wait so I dived into John Menzi WHSmith and bought some essentials and people watched for a while. No photos as I was mostly looking at womens bums. Whoever invented leggings should get some kind of prize for services rendered to perving.


The red one is mine.


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At least I got a window seat this time, but no proper table. Action trash novel, sandwich and fizzy water to pass the time.



The train was fine except for some kind of ventilation thing or something like that which made a really loud broken-sounding rythmic pulsing noise non stop.

I like trains. It always amazes me to look out the window and consider the inhuman amounts of materials it all uses... Millions of tons of ballast and sleepers, all the steel, countless thousands of miles of lineside fencing and cable conduits and wiring.....no wonder tickets cost so much!

....time passes....

The train got into Durham pretty much on time and SOC arrived to pick me up. Embarrasingly, I had forgotten his real name, but he seemed to be a super guy. He was driving his own F, (his photo from the other thread)



Confession time - this was literally the first time I had even sat in an MGF!

A quick blast ended with us at his garage where my prize awaited. Andy showed me around the car, demonstrated the hood and suchlike, then I licked my map and stuck it to the windscreen and set it to Dover.



To be honest, I was a little dazed by the prospect of the job ahead so completely forgot to get the Autoshite standard of handover shot and moneyshot. I apologise profusely.

Andy snapped this pic as I fiddled with the GPS and a quick moneyshot as I filled it up..... 49.97, 49.98, 49.99, 50.02 FUCKIT. eh, make it 55.00 then.




 Stopped chez him to pick up the V5 and I paid for a little bit of work he had kindly done to the car for me a few days previously, said our goodbyes and off I went. Andy is a super chap...friendly, helpfull and loads of interesting stuff at his garage. I will leave you my feedback here for all to see... ***** A+ roffler - would win roffle again.


So, whats the car like? Before I get all Old Top Gear with you, I will admit that most of my driving these days is done in saggy, worn out old 4x4s running remoulded knobbly All Terrain tyres...proper farmer-spec stuff with 2 inches of mud in the footwells and 6 inches of slop in the steering and my "posh" car is a baggy old mkVI Escort estate. The Panda is ok but nothing special and while the Metro grips well it has the ride comfort of a pogo stick, therefor my impressions wont be up to the standards of some of our more learned other members.

The cabin is snug. You feel IN it rather than ON it. The seating position suits me prefectly with the steering wheel quite close to the driver but I am short and have stumpy wee legs so HighTower types might find themselves a little cramped? Controls and switchgear are all familiar from various other cars of the same era.

On the move, it picks up well. This one has a lovely sound to it due to a boy racer type cone airfilter on it. Its not mega fast, but certainly fast enough. All the weight in the rear and rear wheel drive means it hooks up well. Yes you can still spin up the tyres if you provoke it but you have to be fairly harsh to do so.  Going for a narrow gap on a roundabout it easily outshines a FWD car which would scrabble for grip and be slow off the mark where the MGF just surges without fuss.

I had never driven a mid engined car before and pushing a little on the bends showed a rather different weight-shift from what I was used to, but it wasnt lairy. Either I am a driving God and naturally picked it up straight away or, more likely, its just an easy car to drive moderately fast. I didnt want to get all InitialD with it as with so many miles ahead of me it would be silly to break it in the first 20 minutes.


Driving on British motorways sucks massive wrinkly elephant cock. Too fucking busy, Too many roadworks. I got zero photos of the journey south as it was a total clusterfuck and I was in no mood to fiddle with the camera. Delays everywhere, a couple of crashes, endless miles of avergae-speed cameras while no work is being done.....nightmare.

The only "interesting" cars I saw on the roads were a slammed breadvan Polo and later a convoy of four Belgian registered bay window Splittys.

Also, I had to piss. I mean REALLY needed to piss. Normally if you ignore the urge, it goes away after a while....not this time. The need built and built, not even farting to relieve some pressure was helping. No service stations for ages....things were getting deperately serious. Honest to God, I was in real pain. I even considered just unleashing it and pishing into the footwell and dealing with the aftermath later. I summoned my inner spirit animal and it took a concentration of our entire combined life forces to hold that piss in. I literally couldnt think of anything else and am surprised I didnt just drive into the back of a truck. Finally...Weatherby. I abandoned the car and turbowaddled inside. No fuck off I dont want AA membership just let me get to the toilet without rupturing something....  

That was the best piss of my life.


I had allowed a three hour safety margin when I booked the Ferry and I fumed as I watched my satnavs estimated arrival time click further and further forwards as I trundled along for mile after mile through England in second gear. The worst bit was a massive queue purely to rubberneck a crash on the other side! as soon as we passed the pace picked up again. I normally stop in Tesco and stock up on Cheddar cheese, bacon, rolls and sausages but just didnt have the time. I pulled into the docks (increased security? fuck no. As usual the Gendarme in the French frontier booth had his feet up and was just waving everyone through without any checks at all) and into the queue.




And then when swapping them over I dropped my French sim card out my phone down the side of the seat. 10 minutes of scrabbling in the fluff eventually turned it up under the seat runner.

Onto the boat and away we went. It was pitch black so no pics from the boat. The crossing was mega-smooth which is just as well is I am not a good sailor. I get seasick if I splash about too much in the bath.

Off the boat in France and again, absolutely fuck all security checks....just straight out and onto the autoroute. 

I tell you what though, Calais is fucking scary. Due to the late sailing and the timezone change it was 12.30am when we landed and while there were few vehicles around the whole length of the fenced section of road past the camps was rammed with dozens of police vans with lights flashing and people milling about or running from the cops.

I neede to sleep but no way did I fancy stopping anywhere in Calais so I headed on. Satnav always says to go to Paris and head south from there..... FUCK THAT. Paris never goes well for me, so I prefer to head down the coast to Boulougne, Abbeville and cut inland to Rouen, Chartres then south. I got as far as Abbevill and had to stop. I parked in a service station carpark and bedded down for the night.

I would guess that Dollywobbler had a slightly* better nights sleep on his last collection mission than I did trying to sleep in a fucking two seater.





On the road the next morning there was a very brief period where it drizzled. Fortunately that stopped straight away as the wiper motor makes an unGodly screeching noise. If I had to put up with that for ten hours I would probably have driven into a bridge pier just to end it all.



If you need to just GET somewhere in France, the autoroutes are awesome....Fast, smooth, free flowing and outside of a few days at the start and end of school holidays, mostly congestion-free.


They are however boring as fuck. You dont see much at all.


Lots of flat empiness.






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80mph selfie. Alternative title - Fat ugly skinhead buys midlife crisis car.









OMFG a traffic jam!!!!!



Which cleared up after about 90 seconds.



Off the autoroutes and onto local turf.



Arrived home.



Tucked up for the night. She ran perfectly for the whole journey - not a single stutter or hiccup, fluids never budged, temp guage barely quivvered, no matter if it was sitting in traffic jams or at [redacted]kph on empty autoroute.



I reset the trip when I left Durham and its now on 976 miles. I will work out MPG tomorrow as I left the fuel recepits in the garage.



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Find myself inexplicably concerned about the Escort at the airport.



Me too. Poor little country car is left all alone in the big city without its garage to sleep in. I hope it doesnt encounter any mean modern cars that try to get it hooked on AdBlue....."go one....just one hit....you will like it...."

There is no public transport where I live at all.....literally none, so I will need to get a lift from someone to the nearest town with a station which is about half an hours drive away, then its a short hop on a train to Toulouse to pick it up and drive home.


Anyway, as an addendum to last nights post....


I was very tired when I wrote it so apologies for the spelling. I also seem to have sworn a lot more than I thought, so fucking sorry about that too.


Describing the car, I never talked about the build quality. Scuttle shake isnt too bad to be honest. Over certain bumps the windscreen frame seems to jiggle side-to-side a bit. My last cabrio was a 306 and it was a lot worse with the worrying feeling of the steeringwheel moving towards and away from you over bumps as if the car were flexing in the middle. I suppose thats the difference between something that is designed specifically versus a hatchback with the roof cut off.

The hood mech is very simple, just two latches on the roof and shove it back. You dont need to get out of the car at all. On the downside this leaves the folded hood piled on the rear deck. I prefer the 306 look which has the hood drop right down behind the seats and a solid cover hinges down to conceal it. Ebay shows you can buy tonneau covers for the MGF for not too much money but I cant be bothered with messing with press studs and stuff like that.


The weather was beautiful and I had the roof down for pretty much the whole journey. Even at night its comfortable with the heater on. Wind buffeting isnt bad at all. In fact wind noise is no worse than having a window open on a normal car. I had to close the roof overnight obviously and a little the next morning till the sun came up and burned off some slight patches of fog. I had to put it back up just after midday as I was getting sunburn on my bonce due to not bringing a hat, then back down again in the afternoon and evening.


Having the roof down is also great for French toll booths, you can just stand up and lean over to the machine!


I fueled up by SOCs gaff, spent the last of my UK cash on a quick 30quid splash in Dover and then brimmed the tank near Orleans I think. It still has about a third of a tank left and my calculations show a surprising 47mpg.....really? thats pretty spectacular IMO. I sat at a steady 70 mph in UK where possible and 80 in France...satnav speeds, the cars speedo seems to over read quite a lot actually....with the occasional blast up higher.

Total costs in Sterling....
Raffle tickets - 32
Flight - 45
Trains - 56
RAC Euro single trip cover - 38
Ferry - 50
Fuel - about 130, but some is left in the tank.
Sweaty service station sandwiches and bottles of water - 30
Some precautionary repairs done by SOC - 60
Dartford toll - 2.50
Autoroute tolls - Dunno yet. I just blitzed them with my bank card each time and never noted the prices. I will find out when I get my statement but normally its a little over 40 euros.
Then I have insurance on top of that, which is only 160 quid for the year.
Im not sure if the RAC Euro cover is worthwhile or not.... I have UK RAC cover anyway from years ago and I kept the policy running to cover me for collections and stuff in UK. The EU side of it....I dunno. Breaking down on an Autoroute is bad - there is a fixed towing fee to get you to the next junction and the RAC reimburses this. It also covers tow to a garage and a couple of hundred quid in labour costs. They say it also covers repatriating the car if its properly deaded, but the smallprint says only up to market value, so if you have an old low value car, they wont bring it back to UK. That would be fuck-all use to me anyway.
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This is clearly an insane idea from start to finish.  The most obvious issues are:


Buying a car, sight unseen

It's an old car, too

From a bloke off the internet

Via a gambling game

In a foreign country.


But I'm not even slightly surprised that it all went smoothly.  Excellent write up, as always.

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