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European Road Trips - Back to UK.


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Bloody Hell Eddie! Original content...



Upcoming European Road Trip planned...but

First thing - find a battery with a charge...having used all the fancy battery chargers I have and having no luck at revival - I've got my quality Babcock out...

I hums like an electricity sub station, has a dangerous aura and gets very hot but maybe it will revive one of the half dozen flat batteries I have...


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So what car am I hoping to take?

Hoping is the word...let's see...for extra amusement I am going to take my potentially least reliable.

It's French, 90's, almost 200,000 miles, turbocharged, needy and well...

Will it do it? Da da da - anyway I've bought a folding bike to put in the back...

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There is some lovely (factory)  welding on the car too - this is the bonnet catch...some of the car is surprisingly agricultural where it's unseen. Had to pop the bonnet through the grille as one of the latch armatures (of two) has failed.


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1 hour ago, High Jetter said:

Fnarrr! Chodspeed, are you going far or collectioning anything interesting while away?

Yes I'm really going as far as the car will take me - probably the hard shoulder of the M2 - I can probably snarl up Dover...

It's France and then down into Spain possibly  - I've owned this car 5 years but never used it -bought on a whim  so it's time to use it up - but if it proves problematical I will take one of my others - I have a W124 which featured here last year.

It's also the maddest choice really - plenty of fun. It's certainly the most glamorous car I own. An ageing Bardot...

But frankly the Citroen is less of a worry because if it FTP's in France I won't bring it back...it can join all the others there...

After that there is a trip to the Baltic possibility - right up to the Russian border depending on the politics. But I may take something else then - like a Landcruiser.

I want to be in France for the election...🇨🇵

I'm off next week - waiting for the tourist mayhem to subside.

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Last time I was away I saw this disused petrol station for sale. I quite fancied having Bibendum on the desk in reception whilst I pottered about out back with old Citroëns in my dotage.

I'll see if its still available when I pass by next  - though I'd only rent it mind...


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And I'm taking a UK RHD clutch cable  with me - the one thing which I think would be difficult to source in France. These have a fairly nasty cable-operated clutch - and of course a foot operated parking brake...

Plenty on the road in France - even more parked in fields and gardens these days...


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Well Babcock (they were and are a high-class engineering firm so there is some quality there) did the works - reviving my dead battery. Olde Skool chargers really are good for pancake flat batteries  - look out for one next time you are at the local car boot etc. So no more battery swapping I hope...

Talking of car boots  - this is now back from the bike shop after a complete overhaul. It rides very nicely for what is - I took it for a spin just now - I'd never used it before - it's a Taiwanese knock-off of a Brompton -type thing - but dumping the mudguards, stand and stupid rack has lighted it considerably. Just hope I don't need it...



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Well just a little preparation going on.

These have an underslung spare - and a nasty dusty horrible process it is to get to it...but worth a check just in case (I once had a flat on the M20 where I could not the spare out of it's cradle). New tyre is going on to just in case it has to go back on the car. Nice to see the tools present. Just needs the whole lot oiling and going back on.

Apart from that a top-up of LHM (woefully low when I checked - they have to go up to full-ride height to check  - which gets missed when casually looking under the bonnet at the little float...

These have a lot of glass so get very hot inside - I discovered why the sun-roof doesn't work...the motor is in the boot...and the eclectic windows are well eclectic...I could end up a rosbif Rosbif on the Corniche...


These people did not have to change a wheel too busy changing girlfriends...oh those French.


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  • lesapandre changed the title to Upcoming XM European Road Trip

Just dickering about looking at any breakdown cover - I think it's non mes amis...fair enough this is for a year but any repatriation is based on market value - what's an old XM worth - sensibly not a lot...OK we could argue the toss..


But the clincher is here - service history...he he it came with nothing and I may be fettling it before departure and it has had it's belts done - I have the invoice but there is nothing else. Be very easy to get my claim rejected...


So I may try something the French end - all I want is towing off the Autoroutes - nothing fancy...I will get towed somewhere like this maybe...France still has some great rural garages...




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  • lesapandre changed the title to European Road Trips - Back to UK.

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