The Kebab Kids

Sold As Seen

Born: 1990
Nationality: German
Model: Opel Corsa i
Miles on clock: 186,274
Colour: Rat Look Three Tone Red
Max Speed: Speedo broken
Cost: £300

I should know better than to buy a car in the dark, and from a German as well.

He went by the rather unlikely name of Windolph and he went as red as the car when he showed me that the service book was last stamped in September 2001.

Little Oscar, as it has been christened, is on German plates, and German export plates at that. Had I known just how difficult it is to get a car with German plates insured in the UK, I would not have parted with the hard earned readies so easily. However, I did manage to find an Arfur Daley type character who sold me some third party insurance. Mind you, 310 was more than I paid for the car, and when you put in 9 years full no claims, and a rather high 250 excess, it does seem a lot. Still, thanks to a wonderful escape clause in the policy, I am allowed a 14 day cooling off period so I can cancel my insurance within 14 days. Trouble is, we are leaving for Africa 15 days later!

Maybe, just maybe, I should have bought this car a little bit earlier than 15 days before we leave, but that's another story. I will also put to one side how I am going to add European and African insurance, never mind tax the thing, never mind explain to the border control officers that the log book is in Herr Windolph's name, rather than mine.

The first thing I checked on the car was the hazard warning lights and thankfully they work - and something tells me they may be used once or twice on this roadtrip.

On a semi serious note, driving this little thing makes you reflect how much cars have improved over the years. Stuff we now take for granted like airbags, electric windows and the like are nowhere to be found. Mind you Oscar does have a radio. Now I just need to find someone who can get it to work :)

In case you hadn't guessed, our mechanical skills stretch to being able to change a wiper blade.

My initial attempts at applying a fancy paint job were pretty hopeless, when I saw that the paint wasn't sticking like I thought it would. Here you will see one of the go faster (if only) stripes already running.

  

  

So I had a rethink - and listened to a friend for once who told me that emulsion wasn't the answer, but spray cans were.

  

So, out came the sketch books, pencils and stencils and then I spent an hour surfing the internet for suitable camel images. This is not something I want to do again - you would be very surprised what some people think are cute camels. Anyway, armed with numerous aerosol cans, we started spraying - and with some paint sticking to the car for once the design gradually took shape, and we now have a car worthy of getting lost in the desert.

  

As an aside, I do hope you noticed the snazzy steering wheel cover - we know how to accessorise a car!

  

All in all, I am chuffed with the eventual outcome and I think the car will will be very useful out in the Gambia, when it is eventually sold for charity.

I have to say it kind of tickles me that little Oscar will have real street cred in Banjul, and will no doubt be cherished for many years to come.

Update - Oscar actually made it all the way to the Gambia, and only broke down three times en route. The car arrived rather worse for wear, and we have popped up some pictures to show just how worse for wear.

Photos to prove we did the trip !

Snow? Yes, our map reading skills meant we somehow took a diversion via the Pyrenees
Coming out of Fez, Morocoo. My wonderful un-lingual navigator said the sign meant Stop, so I did
So we parked up by this camel sign to take a photo, and then from the desert came this nomad with his noisy beast
If you ever do this trip, you will get to see many, many camels
This chap popped out of nowhere and said his hobby was "collecting bank notes"
Welcome to Mauritania
In the Sahara
So, that's where the dent in the roof came from
I knew we should have joined the AA
Well and truly stuck
Luckily, help is at hand
Turn left when you get to the Atlantic Ocean?
You said you wanted a beach holiday
This local fisherman is holding up, yes, a fish - notice his bucket
Sand sweeping across the road
That chair that once was at the back of our garden shed now has a proud new owner
Petrol stations are non existent in parts of Senegal
Do you know the way to the Gambia?
trans gambia highwayThis really is The Trans Gambia Highway
Made it !
The Team The Route The BangerTake me homeTake me homeTake me home