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Shakin' That Ass!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Those who have read the previous blogs will have ‘met’ The Director of Detailed Planning, Bearer of Burdens and Worries, a rock without whom the odd catastrophe might have befallen the embryonic Forked. Another rock and one whom I must confess I have totally abused and have zero respect for is the company vehicle, The Renault Migraine.

A part of reason for the zero respect is based upon a recent visit to webuyanycar.com to get an idea of the value of le hunk de junk. The erstwhile website valued this fine 2005 vintage of the French car at £250! That’s not a lot of respect! Whatever happened to the website wesellanycar.com?

In addition to the ‘scrap value’, the lack of respect also comes from the ‘challenges’ built into the car. For example, oh how the execs must have chortled when Jean-Paul, the head of design, showed them how for a large part of the population, his team had ‘designed out’ the possibility that they could do something as simple as changing a head light bulb! Think of the increased revenue for the dealers. Yes, if you haven’t come across this yet it is not possible to perform this simple task without rolling on the ground, bending your arm like a swan’s neck, through a small hole in the wheel arch, whilst you remove the connector and a retaining spring, and replace it with the new one, BLINDFOLDED! You might as well be you can’t see what you are doing! Even Halfords will refuse to perform this as part of their ‘We Fit’ service. For Renault drivers, and owners of similarly designed cars, from experience it’s worth persevering, or telling them another branch did it, they might acquiesce.

The Migraine is the strange shaped model, for which the Renault Marketing Team had to devise the ‘shakin that ass’ advertising campaign (www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNFTtdPQtic) to seduce shallow minded men into parting with their hard earned, has many other flaws e.g. hatch back, electric window motors, passenger handles, but that’s for another time.

It used to be a rite of passage back in the old days, the 70’s and 80’s (for clarification) you passed your driving test (eventually for some of us) and then;

  • Mummy and Daddy were in a position to reward you with a car
  • The next Birthday/Christmas present was a car
  • Mummy and Daddy lent you the money to buy one
  • You convinced the bank manager to lend you the money
  • You had already saved up
  • You started saving.......

In my case Dad lent me the money (plus interest) but also insisted on vetting any potential purchase! I was looking for sports wheels, flared wheel arches, a whippy aerial, sports steering wheel, recaro seats, you get the picture. As an officer in the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, knowing my financial situation, and seeing himself becoming my personal mechanic, he was looking for something more reliable. The result, RAP 90G, a Humber Sceptre Mark 3! The car was purchased, and on the way back home a copy of the relevant Haynes manual was obtained. Sadly for today’s teenagers it appears the car manufacturers have ‘designed out’ the need for the Haynes manual.

Anyhow back to the Migraine. For 42 consecutive days he/she/it ‘Va Va Voomed’ (www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrShrLl38Qs) me to and from Bath loaded with a couple of 100 litre ice boxes with stock, pots, pans, water carriers and utensils and never failed. Never in the history of motoring has so much respect been earned, but not given. I just couldn’t do it! But now, from a distance, after enduring the 42 day nightmare, celebrating Christmas and New Year, a luxurious holiday, as plans are being made for 2016, I reflect and have 3 words that I never thought would cross my lips.......

Renault Migraine, merci!

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