As you may well recall back in July I had the best part of seventy days to transform what was basically a shell with an engine and running gear into a fully functioning StreetKa. Did I manage it? Ha haaa! Of course not.
To be fair, by the time Summer officially ended on Wednesday, September 22 at 20:21hrs BST I really should've had it done, and I fully expected to. But in the middle of August I suddenly found mysef with no spare time to go playing with the StreetKa, and this went on for about a month. So, about a fortnight before the deadline, and with my spare time begining to open up a little I decided that I'd get as close as I could to finishing it. I managed to find a fella who was selling a pair of SportKa bumpers just 30 miles from BelongaClint, the thing was though, they looked more like StreetKa bumpers to me, and so I asked him if he was sure that his bumpers were for the SportKa. He said he was certain, so, after a bit more searching around on t'internet I was certain that they were infact StreetKa. So I bought them, but even as I was collecting them the seller was adamant that they were for the SportKa, I decided that at £80 for the pair, I'd take the risk, even though I was pretty sure that there was no risk at all.
With the bumpers fitted, clearly proving to myself if nobody else that they were StreetKa and not SportKa this really left me just needing tail lights to get it into a position where it would be MOTable. I was foolish here, because just a month or so previously I was taking the roof, folding roof cover, and bonnet off a car that had tail lights. Why on Earth didn't I buy the tail lights too? Why didn't I have the bumpers? What kind of fool am I? Well, I'm sure you know the answer to the last question, a BIG fool! But I didn't have the bumpers because they were quite scraped, I think that perhaps the previous owner of the blue StreetKa was driving it by feel, and not by looking where they were actually going. Either that, or they were using the force, it's just I'm not sure the force was strong in that one. Plus, I thought that with so many panels being blue it wouldn't have looked quite right. My feeling was that at that point in time the correct colour for bumpers for this particular car was black, however, there were no black ones nearby, so dark grey was the next best option I thought, and looking at it now, dark grey works for me.
Anyhoo, the search was on for a set of tail lights, it would seem that these would prove to be quite difficult to source, as it would appear that they are one of the first things that get sold off when someone is breaking a StreetKa. I contacted the fella who I bought the blue bits from, but he told me that he had already sold the tail lights. I kicked myself, why didn't I buy them while I was there? Anyway, that didn't help as I felt there was little point in beating myself up over my own stupidity. But eventually I did manage to find someone with a pair, but the trouble was, they were in Southport, 233 miles from BelongaClint, and to make matters worse, they didn't want to post them. I thought about just bodging in a set of trailer tail lights just to get it through the MOT so that I could drive it while I found the correct units, but I decided that I'd try and badger the seller into posting the StreetKa units first. He had already agreed that I could have the tail lights for £50, and in the end he said he'd post them for a further £20 as long as I accepted that if they got broken in the post then it was my fault and there'd be no refund. I wasn't exactly thrilled by this, but I figured that as long as he packaged them properly they should be OK. I figured that while he was selling me the tail lights I'd see if I could get the petrol filler flap too, even though it was going to be yet another colour on the bodywork. He said that he's need another £15 for the filler flap, so that brought that days purchase costs up to £85 for the lot! This to me sounded a lot, but I was stuck without it, and so paid the money and waited patiently for the bits to arrive. A couple of days later, and a parcel arrived at my door, the box looked in good shape, and so I carefully opened it up to be delighted that not only was it my StreetKa tail lights and petrol cap, but they were all in good shape, and not broken like I feared. There was a problem though, no rear fog lights, and no reverse light. I messaged the seller to tell him that the lights had arrived in good condition, but as I had asked him for all the tail lights I had expected to get the fog, and reverse lights too. He told me that he didn't include them because they're part of the bumper, and not the tail light cluster, but for another £40 including the postage this time he would send me the reverse and fog lights. I did think about it, but I figured that as I don't have the proper StreetKa front fog lights, and plan to fit somthing universal at some point, then why not fit universal fog and reverse lights on the back too, it would almost certainly work out cheaper. I hit fleabay looking for some lights.
I found various square universal lights, but I felt that perhaps round was the way forward, or atleat I felt that one of them should be round to fit in the hole in the bumper where the original reverse light would go. But then I found a fella selling new tail lights for lorries, and he had them in varous flavours including a brake/reverse light combo. I figured that a brake light was probably every bit as bright as a rear fog light, and as the size seemed close enough to the size of the hole it would sit in I thought that at just £7.50 including the postage I'd go for that. The brake/reverse light arrived, and it was pretty soon realised that it was just too big for the hole it needed to go into. So after the rubber bit around the edge of the light was removed, and a further hour was spent carefully filing the plastic shell of the light it was still just too big. I decided that what I needed to do was to lubricate the hole in the bumper with some washing up liquid, then try and convince the light to squeeze in there! It took a fair amount of convincing, and at points I really thought I was going to break it, but it's in there, and it's so tight it's never coming out again in one piece!
So that was that, despite still being very incomplete, it was complete enough to go for a MOT. The first available slot was actually on the last day of Summer, the 22nd of September. I crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best.
To be honest I fully expected it to fail, and fail it did. The MOT man presented me with 14 items that needed attention before the StreetKa could return to the street. Most of it's problems were fairly minor, but one of them was that the nearside rear integral body structure or chassis has excessive corrosion to the extent that overall security or stability of the body is impaired. I had been expecting that there was going to be some rust repair needed, but I really thought that it would be more than this, I was bracing myself for it to need a similar amount of repair as a certain rusty Carlton I have in my collection. So I was pretty happy with this. My friend Paul took care of all the items that needed attention for me, including the rust repair which I was quite greatful for, before taking it for a re-test on the 3rd of October which it passed.
However, the 3rd of October is a good week and a half later than the 22nd of September, the last day of Summer, the day that I had to have it finished by to win the bet I had made. This fact was not lost on Dave, my scrap collecting friend. He called me up just after 20:30hrs on the 22nd of September and said that he'd just checked the DVLA website to see that the StreetKa had failed it's MOT, and therefore it was not on the road, aaaaaand therefore it was not on the road by the end of Summer. He then went on to ask when he could come and collect it? I told him that that wasn't going to happen, I'll pay him the £300. He laughed and said I take it you're having the work done to pass the MOT? I said that it was in progress as we speak. He asked me how much I thought that would cost? I said I really didn't know, but it's probably going to be in the region of £300 - £400. He said that this was going to work out to be quite an expensive little StreetKa, and as I'd put so much time, effort, and money into it I could have it, and he'd even throw in the battery! He then reminded me that he likes Camden Hells lager, and he's thirsty! I was pretty happy with that, I hope he's not expecting £300 worth of Camden Hells lager though.
In the end the parts needed and labour for the MOT work came to just £319.87 which I thought was pretty damn good. But although the StreetKa is MOT'd is it finished? No, not really, and I don't think I'll ever finish it to the point where it looks like it should. For example I can't see me ever getting around to putting a carpet, or the interior trim in the back of the cockpit in. I doubt I'll ever put the carpet and trim in the boot either, this sort of stuff, in this car atleast doesn't worry me. I will however put the roll hoops in, and probably finish the dash so it looks complete, as at the moment there's a fair bit of it missing, and it's ugly to look at.
But as of right now, it's MOT'd, taxed, insured, and ready to go, I'm even looking at it sitting out there on the street, and I've got to say, I'm pretty happy with it. There will be further tweakage I think, but I doubt I'll ever get around to painting it one colour, or making it pretty, I really like it how it is, which is actually a bit of a surprise to me as I thought my OCD would struggle with the multiple colours and flaking paint. As for what it cost, well I'm pretty sure that I shouldn't have kept tabs on that as back when I started I remember whinging that I wasn't going to be paying £1000 for some half decent looking StreetKa, and it turns out I haven't, I've paid much more! With all the used parts of StreetKa I've had to buy, and the new parts and labour for the work for the MOT I'm way over £1000, and would I call it half decent looking? No, not at all! But you know what, despite the cost, and the effort I, and other people have put into this car I am pretty happy with the outcome. Like I said, it's not finished and there are a few things I want to still do to it, and things I need to buy for it that put the cost up further, but thats OK. I didn't build this to sell I built it for me, for my own enjoyment, and so for the foreseeable future atleast I really can't see me parting with it. I doubt I'll ever buy another StreetKa, so before I even think about selling it I've got to really make sure that itch is well and truly scratched.
As ever, updates as they occur!
TOTAL SO FAR... £1143.37.