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Goodbye Felicity

A final picture of Felicity
A final picture of Felicity.

The man was supposed to be here for 10am. He made it for quarter past because, well, this place isn't the easiest to find. He seemed quite impressed by it's remoteness.

It didn't take long to unload the new car, and load up Felicity. After that, and of course I made a coffee for him, it was time for the paperwork. He took the carte grise (ownership document) and filled out a paper stating that I had voluntarily handed over Felicity to him in return for commercial benefit. The prefecture wanted lots of pieces of paper. I photocopied the two, and scanned them. Scans were sent to my bank adviser, who replied within the hour to say that the documents weren't necessary as this car was replacing the other on my insurance, so there was no need to cancel anything.

Then I had him write out the cheque. Which I took a photo of. Six grand. Holy hell...

Still, I'm actually surprised that I managed to save up that much. I will admit that I cheated slightly and used my "thirteenth month" (because I've been employed a long time) twice, which probably made up half of the amount. Also, I've not gone wild and blown my meagre pay on new computers, Playmobil (well, a little...), or anything resembling bling. I eat pretty much the same stuff (I'm not particularly adventurous) and play the lottery (a couple of lines per draw). I have allowed myself Amazon Prime and Netflix, though it must be pointed out that Prime+Netflix+Lottery is still less than the cost of broadband, landline, and mobile.
Whatever, I was able to save six thousand including paying over one thousand for car parts and repairs!


Hello Caoimhe

Yup. That's the name of the new car. If it helps, it's an Irish girl's name. Which means it won't sound anything like it looks.

How it is said is "kwee-va" (or more like "kee-va" in the north, I believe). It means, depending on where you look, "dear" and "beautiful" and "precious" and "gentle" and "kind". Accordingly, it's a fairly popular name.

A more up to date model (from 2013, not 1997!), and also the 'deluxe' version, she features an analogue swing-needle speedometer with two digital readouts on either side. The left indicates the position of the gear lever, six bar fuel gauge, and trip counter. The right is the odometer, a clock, and an external temperature readout.
The left, when starting up, also notifies how far until the next service. As with all of these dinky cars, it's 5000km or annually with a minor oil change at the 5000kms, and a major service at the 10000kms.

Having a poke around underneath, the twin-exhaust is completely and utterly fake. The actual exhaust is a little thing on the left, exactly as it was in the 400.
That's when I got a pleasant surprise. There's actually a spare wheel slung under there. Whoo. I thought this car didn't come with one, but there it is.

Exhaust and spare wheel
Exhaust and spare wheel.

The tyre on the spare is in good shape, too. Not like the sad excuse of a tyre in Felicity. There's a little... thing. Like a sort of socket wrench, that is supposed to be used to undo the spare and also remove the bolts from the wheels. Only it doesn't really fit. It seems just a tiny bit too small.
Now, remember the "things happen for a reason" philosophy? Well, isn't it mighty strange that just the other day I got myself a set of socket wrenches, the largest of which is 19mm, which is the exact size necessary to undo the wheel bolts... So, the 19mm is in the boot.
I recovered the jack from the C1, but it turns out that there is a jack. It's in a little box lurking inside the rim of the spare wheel. Still, the C1 jack is small, so it can sit in the zip bag alongside the warning triangle.

I had thought that the engine inside this car was a later (Z482?) model that was Euro4, less pollutant, etc. As it turns out, the engine is a Z402, exactly the same type as in Felicity. Yet, in the small testing I have done up the driveway and back, it sounds quieter. Shows what a difference some soundproofing can make.

I have little LED lights at the front, low down, that light up when the headlights are off. I'm not sure what the purpose is, exactly. Unfortunately there is no LED lighting around back. I'm not so much worried about oncoming traffic as I am about the cars behind.
There are two levels of fog light. The first is a low front light. I guess being low it will help prevent reflections? The second is the front lights and the more normal rear fog lights.
This is where there's a difference between Caoimhe and most other cars I've seen. The fog light is on both sides. As is the reversing light. Typically the fog light is on one side (driver's side), with the reversing light on the other. But in this car, both lights are on both sides. That makes for better visibility.

I cannot drive her yet. Even though today was a lovely sunny day and it would have been a good day to go to Châteaubriant... because the expected date of delivery was the 27th, everything is set to go as of that day. I have the insurance papers, but cover begins as of the 27th. And the ownership/registration papers will arrive in the post tomorrow (the postman didn't want to leave them in the box without a signature, as it's a government letter). So, I'll be legal as of the arrival of the post tomorrow.

Still, I put the stuff I had in Felicity (medical kit, dashcam, phone charger, blah blah) into place, and had Anna out wandering around while I was doing it. As sunny as it was, it never really got above 12°C because there was quite a stiff wind blowing. But, still, it was warm enough around the side of the house (out of the wind) to open a bottle of coke rather than brew up yet another tea...though it's now half five in the early evening and the sun has lost its heat so I think I might just go and put the kettle on.

As for the state of the car, it was a bit dirty, though that is to be expected given what happened earlier in the week. The sky was apocalyptic orange/yellow. Very bizarre. Turns out, that was dust from a massive Saharan sandstorm. Then it rained out all the dust and the sky looked better but everything on the ground didn't. Still, I can't complain, the Pyrennes apparently went orange for a while because of it falling on the snow...

The naff looking rims look good now. Somebody went and touched them up with red paint so they look proper. And as for the seat, they got and fitted nice seat covers to hide that, and make the car look a lot smarter than that fake leather stuff. I'll certainly appreciate the fabric covers in the summer!

They even found the owner's manual, so I can see that the servicing has been kept up. Plus, it explains how to do things like adjust the brightness of the dashboard. Sadly, that only works at night. It's a fixed (maximum?) level during the day and I'm not sure that it is particularly visible. That being said, the bit you're supposed to be paying attention to (the speed) is always clear.

The radio... functions. But it's a bit naff. I may, when my next pay comes in, get something from Amazon to replace it. The speakers are larger and completely intact, although for some reason they don't have any grilles over them. I'll let you know how they sound, and how the car itself sounds, when I take her out and drive her properly.

Until then, here is a video. I made this one FullHD. Thank goodness for 80GB a month on my mobile, because uploading this (all 736MB of it) via 4G took about an hour. Going that on my broadband with it's ~770KB upstream rate? Well, it would probably still be uploading now, several hours later!


Something to think about: Mom's first car was a clattery old Land Rover that was a money pit. Many years later, her second car was a bright red MG Metro with a sort-of black spoiler thing on the back.
Uh.... sound familiar?!? ☺



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David Pilling, 26th February 2021, 22:46
.. on my car there are daytime running lights, side lights and headlights. It is not possible to turn off all three at once. Daytime running lights are my guess for your LEDs - and are a legal requirement (in cars since the EU law came in). 
Fog lights I've yet to be able to use them legally "According to the Highway Code, you should only use your fog lights when your visibility is reduced to 100 metres" - not as foggy as it used to be, climate change, lack of pollution, fings aint what they used to be.

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