Staples2Naples 2005: Preparations, part nine

TALK about cutting it fine. I picked up Molly from Marlow Motors in Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire, this evening with a fresh new clutch installed. Our destiny is set – we WILL be taking the Allegro on the Staples2Naples run.

I was having doubts yesterday, though. I had dropped the car off at Marlow’s on Saturday, hoping the owner, Mike, would be able to sort it out pretty quickly the following Monday (yesterday). A quick ‘phone call to Mike at lunch time confirmed my own suspicions – he’d stripped what he needed to and had removed the old clutch (it was worn out), but couldn’t find anyone who stocked a new clutch for the E-Series Allegro.

Luckily I was at work, and my boss, CCW Editor Russ Smith, chucked a copy of the Maxi Club magazine and suggested I give Ernie Jackson a call to see if he had one. I rang straight away – and, yes, Ernie had one. Phew!

So, I dashed up to Lincolnshire straight after work, and picked up a clutch assembly and oil seal, for a reasonable £42.50.

Our destiny is set – we WILL be
taking the Allegro on the
Staples2Naples run…

This morning, I dropped off the clutch and waited… Three hours later, Mike called me – the clutch is fitted and everything was now working fine.

So, we’re back to where we were for a brief moment on Saturday afternoon – everything is working on the Allegro, it doesn’t shake now above 80mph, and as far as I can tell, we’re now finally in good shape for S2N. I’m intending to run the car to work and back tomorrow in order to check that everything is working as it should be, and then on Thursday I’ll head for Calais, picking up Declan on the way.

I’m sure everything will be fine, but right now, I’m really nervous – and part of me is saying that I should most definitely not take the Allegro to work for fear of something else breaking or dropping off… I keep saying, ‘what else can go wrong?’, and then something else happens which proves that there’s loads left that can go awry.

Here’s to wishing us luck – I suspect we’ll need it!

Keith Adams
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