In the past few weeks every now and then there was news about the transmission rebuild but when this pic arrived I knew we were close.
Today the shark finally made it home but it wasn’t all smooth cruising.
At 06.00 hrs. the radio starts playing it’s wake-up tune. I have arranged a driver to take me to Antwerp central station as I have to get on a train at 7. VOF De Loods is only about half a mile away from Den Dolder station and a 2 hour train ride with 2 changeovers awaits. I have about 7 minutes for each changeover, punctuality and trains in the same sentence is a no go so it’s a bit risky but it’s a risk I have to take, after all it’s for a greater cause. The train arrives at Rotterdam station, the first changeover, with a 5 min. delay and after a dash I jump on the train to Utrecht as the train whistle sounds. The rest of the journey runs smoothly. I arrive at the Loods just before the rain starts pouring down. The reception is, as it always is, warm and after a cup of coffee and some talk about the job done, Kees asks me to take the Shark around the block and to let him know if I’m happy with the set-up. I’m more than happy with the shark :-D. There’s two things I notice: “Short shifter” definitely means short and the speedo isn’t working. The first, I like and the latter is solved quickly and soon I’m on my way home.
After a petrol stop I hit the highway. The Bilsteins offer a bit of a stiffer ride but I do like them a lot and an accurate shifting shark and a happy driver cross the Belgian border.
Just across the border disaster strikes: the shark acts as if it’s out of gas and I barely manage to park it on the road verge were the engine stalls. After few fruitless attempts to start the shark again I get out of the car and disheartened I decide to go looking for petrol. I’m quite sure I had filled her up enough but somehow it felt like she ran out of gas. I had just passed a gas station so I might give it a try before I try anything else. I quickly learn that “having just passed a gas station in a car” is not the same as getting back to it by foot and I return with a dry mouth to what could be a “dry” car. In the meantime help as arrived with petrol but to no avail, it still won’t start. I don’t have any tools with me so there’s only one (expensive) solution left. I have to call “Touring” a Belgian “breakdown assistance” company (the mechanical kind not the mental one :-) I won’t mention the invoice but after 74 minutes a mechanical assistant arrives. He has a half-hearted attempt to start the car and seems very reluctant to do any further analysis while parked next to the busy highway. I can’t really blame him but then again my mental state of mind has seen better days at that moment. Towing the shark home in full rush hour is all there’s to it. I hear some ooh’s and aah’s from the admiring children who clearly think the car on the trailer is a beauty. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Finally at 16.30 hrs.the car is put on the driveway. Immediately I take out a 10mm socket and remove the fuse panel. All the time during the highway ordeal I was thinking “If only I had a 10mm socket...” Fuse N° 17 and N° 22 look a bit odd placed, they aren’t broken but I do replace them. As soon as N°.17 is in, the fresh air blower works again, it hadn’t worked all day. Replacing fuse N°.22 doesn’t make a significant difference except when I gently turn the ignition key: The divine sound of a V8 engine bursting to life lightens my mood. A spin around the block shows that the problem is solved. Smooth cruising awaits and now that I do have the Touring breakdown assistance insurance I’m sure she won’t break down on me again but even at rest there’s joy. With the new Bilsteins her stance has changed and my god: what a beauty.