Episode 212. Citroën AX. K670 NBK. (Part 3).

Amoungst my friends there has been some controversy surrounding the Sharks Teeth, and I will admit that I think the Sharks teeth look better on the nose of an old war plane than on the sides of a Citroën AX. But I don't have an old warplane, and couldn't fly it if I did, but I do have a Citroën AX, so thats where I'm sticking my Sharks teeth sticker. I'll admit that I did toy with the idea of keeping it stock, but when my two little Monsters saw it they loved it, so they're gonna stay, atleast until the next owner of the AX has it. Besides, as I said, it's just a big vinyl sticker, so should the next owner want to go back to stock when they buy it, then it will be no dramas! I do think that it is a bit of a love/hate thing, and I quite like it with the teeth, it gives it character, although it's comedy character, but it's a fun project, and this is a fun car.


Seeing that we are way past the halfway point of the month I figured that it was about time to go out and take a few pretty pictures of it, I'll be honest they're not as good as I'd hoped. I'd really hoped to have found an old hanger to have in the background, but no such luck, so I'm just going for some photos of it in a field, not very imaginative I know but there you go...

Last night I was sitting at home, bored beyond belief and before long I got the urge to take this little beauty out for a bit of a blast... well, I thought I'd give it a bit of a run anyway! Although it is not as good to drive as the Street Ka was, it's still quite good fun, probably due in no small part to just how light this little thing is.


As it was a pleasant evening, I decided that I would go out, and just drive about. I drove aimlessly about for half an hour or more before deciding that I would head to the coast, y'know, just for a change like. I was heading in the wrong direction when I decided this, but being a bit of a handbrake turn fan when I was in my younger days, and as the road was clear and qiuet I decided to show off a bit to my eldest Monster, and flip the car around. I found an empty, wide stretch of road and went for it. It's been a long time since I've tried such a thing, and frankly the whole event took me by surprise. The little AX whipped round really quick as I tugged on the handbrake lever. I genuinely thought I was about to roll it! It just felt like as we went around the AX was leaning right over. When we came to a stop, there was a new smell in the cockpit, and it wasn't the smell of burnt rubber from the skidding of the tyres. I looked at my eldest Monster, who just looked back and me and said she thought we were going to roll the car over! I said, yep, so did I.

We opened the windows for a change of oudor, and headed off for the beach, although this time instead of taking the windy country back roads, I elected for a bit of motorway cruising for a change, I thought it might be a little safer. Taking my little city car out onto the motorway makes me feel a bit uneasy. Even though I didn't really stray from the slow lane because I must admit that I don't really feel comfortable in such a small light car. I know that you see city cars out on the motorway all the time, but really they were designed for cutting through the city streets like a hot knife through a leper, rather than blasting along a big open motorway type road. At one point on my motorway journey I was tailgated by a fella in a Range Rover who for some reason or another didn't want to overtake me as he had ample opportunities, but he just wanted to sit on my rear bumper instead. He must've been damn close as all I could see in my rear view mirror was the grille and "ANGE ROVE". With my underwear still full from my handbrake turn I didn't really need the anxiety of a two tonne Range Rover pushing me along, and I couldn't understand why he was so close, I still don't. I will admit that I was only doing 60mph, but the motorway was fairly quiet, and so he could've easily pulled out to pass me if I wasn't going fast enough, but he didn't. Eventually when he turned off down the slip road he hammered past me, leaving me in his wake of V8 howl and exhaust fumes. I looked over at him fully expecting to see an irrate man giving me some sort of abuse, but he didn't even seem angry at all, there was no hand gestures or anything, he didn't even look at me. I think he was just travelling in a world of his own, completely oblivious to what was going on around him. Strange that he didn't feel the need to pass me in the five or so miles before he took his exit. I'm guessing that this is just his driving style.


Now then, I wouldn't say that the Ax is an uncomfortable car, it's just that for the most part the cars I chose to drive are often on the larger size, and at the time going from my Talbot Alpine to the Ax was a bit of a culture shock as the Talbot is just that much bigger and for a fat bloke, the more room you have the better! Another thing I noticed when driving along the motorway in the Ax is the road noise from the wheels was really quite loud, and it may well be in the Alpine too except that you don't hear the road noise in the Alpine, due to the roar of the exhaust!  I know it's been gone a long time but I'm still questioning my sanity about my decision to sell the Talbot too! It would seem I've learned nothing in my years of motoring about going from large cars to small cars. Many years ago I had a second generation Pontiac Firebird, and I went from that with all it's leg room, head room, power and comfort, to a Mini pick up, this was quite an unpleasant experience to me. The Mini was good, infact it was in very good shape (should you want to read about it, it's here, Episode 111.) but it wasn't as good to drive as the Firebird. This was no doubt mainly due to the jump from such a big car, to such a small one, and I realise that that was quite an extreme jump, and far more extreme than going from a Talbot Alpine to a Citroën AX, but I feel the same way. Odd really when you think about it as the StreetKa at just 143.7 inches end to end is only marginally bigger than the Citroën AX which is138.8 inches end to end, but I guess what Mrs Clint says is right, those extra couple of inches can make all the difference! Of course, it's more likely to be that he cockpit of the StreetKa only needs to hold two seats, which gives you far more room inside than the AX which has four seats. I dunno, but what I do know is that I felt far more vulnerble inside the AX than I did in the StreetKa... Although, to be honest I still feel marginally safer in the AX than I ever did in the Aixam, but that being said I felt safer riding my motorbike than I did in the Aixam too! Anyhoo, back to the point...


The engine is relatively quiet in the Ax, and it whirrs happily away under the bonnet, but like I said before, the road noise from the tyres is very audable. Although, I don't usually notice it when Mrs Clint, and our two little Monsters are in the car, probably due to the chatter, and the fights over what CD is being played. But driving with just the eldest Monster who was still being quite quiet I found that I focussed on the road noise for a while, before realising that we didn't have the radio on either, and this was probably why I was focussing on the road noise! But before this I'd not really noticed it, my mind being previously occupied counting the dead flys on the grille of the tail-gating "ANGE ROVE"!!

Pretty soon we were listening to the soothing distinctive... Wailing cry from Robert Plant and the repeating, staccato riff of guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham as they belted out the Led Zepplin classic 'Immigrant Song'... "On we sweep with threshing oar, Our only goal will be the western shore..." As we rocked out driving along pretty soon we found ourselves in Calshot, which is a village in the New Forest on the western shore of the Solent, we parked up behind the beach huts that look out onto the beach, and I figured we'd get out and stretch our legs for a bit. After driving the Ax for an hour or so I do feel the need to get out and have a walk round and a woodbine... Well, I would if I smoked, but as I dont, and neither do my children we just had a walk round and chucked some stones into the Solent. I can skim stone with the best of them, and on the very flat sea I managed a seven bouncer! My eldest still has plenty of training left, and hers, despite my best training efforts, entered the sea with a big splash each time! By the time we had tried to put a vast number of stones back into the sea from the beach it was starting to get dark, and as there was still no sign of Led Zepplins long boat being rowed towards the shore we headed for home again. Quick photo of the Ax in the dark...


As you can see I've cleaned my teeth well today. Now, if you've been folowing this little thread from the beginning you have no doubt noticed that I have not yet posted the obligatory first fill shot normally taken the first time I fill up at a petrol station, well, this is because the car had a full tank of fuel when I bought it which probably doubled the value of it! I am really hoping to be able to sell it without ever putting any go-go juice in it, but it's getting ridiculously close...


I'm definately running on fumes now! Still, atleast I know the gauge is working, or atleast moving! I also have my can in the boot ready to tip in if and when I need it, and unlike how Mrs Clint keeps her can, mine already has fuel in it! I find this is a far better way than waiting to run out of petrol, and then have to do the walk of shame to the petrol station with an empty can, fill it up, then walk back to the car. Of course, this isn't how it plays out when Mrs Clint runs out, she just calls me up and I arrive with my full can, top up her car, and she drives home. I then fill up both hers, and my cans, put hers in the boot of her car only to be called out again some months down the road when she's used up the petrol I've given her, not re-filled the can, and calls me out because her car is 'broken' again! Luckily for us all, I'm not the moaning type... Oh wait... So I'll probably just end this little rant right here before I go full on Victor Meldrew.

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