Episode 13. Talbot Alpine C562 NJM. (Part 3).

With a new MOT clenched firmly in my grubby little hands, it was time for another year of happy motoring adventures in the Alpine! I'd promised Mrs Clint that we would go to see her Nan who lives about 100 miles north from our place, but I'd forgotton that, and made arrangements to pick up some wheels for my Range Rover aswell, these were getting on for 150 miles east of our place... No matter I thought, I'll get up early, fuel the Alpine up, pick up the Rangey wheels, back home for 12(ish) ditch the wheels in the hall in our flat, pick up the family, head off to see Mrs Clints Nan, it's gonna be a piece of cake! So, seats down, tank full of BPs finest, well, no, not their finest, I'm not made of money! And off we go! It was going quite well, I arrived at the sellers house, picked up the wheels, and headed home, back home by 11:37!! And I never broke the speed limit once! Infact I plodded along at a steady old 60, which if I'm honest I prefer! Slung the wheels in the hall of our flat, picked up the wife and kids, and off we went, not forgetting to point out to Mrs Clint that I was back by twelve as requested, infact 23 minutes before twelve, I could tell by her stearn look that she was VERY impressed!

So after driving for over an hour, and racking up about another 85 glorious trouble free miles the Talbot decided that what we needed to experience was the joy of coasting to a halt beside a busy A34, which was lovely! Oh, with a grumpy wife and family on board just to add to the fun! After a brief argument about how I've run out of petrol I went to investigate the problem... Sure enough, there was no petrol coming through the line, which only added fuel to Mrs Clints fire! "See!!" She exclaimed, "You've run out of petrol!!" Well, knowing that I had over 1/4 of a tank left, I tried to explain that I still had loads left. But, of course, being a very angry, and by now hungry woman she was having none of it! So, reluctantly I did the walk of shame, some 2.5 miles to the nearest petrol station...

 Or atleast, I would have, had I not got picked up by a kind fellow called Timba who not only drove me to the petrol station, but he drove me back too, and he even paid for the petrol!! I guess he probably took pity on my, let just call it play-worn car! The silly thing was, that just prior to this event I was thinking that this little Talbot was far FAR better than it ever had any right to be, I was having an absolute blast driving around in it. It was so good to drive, and so reliable right up to this point!

Anyhoo, once back with the Alpine beside a busy A34 I preceeded to put about 95% of the gallon into my car, and guess what, it still wouldn't start! But that mattered not to mrs Clint, who by now was even more angry than before due to boredom, the heat, the two little Monsters going nuts, and of course, HUNGER! I figured I wouldn't make a point of saying I told you so, as by now if we were in a cartoon, I would be looking like the main course of a big meal or something!

I was sure, infact I knew the problem was feed, so I decided to tip a drop of petrol from the can into the carb, and away it went... Briefly! This proved to me atleast that the problem was feed, or lack thereof, however it's safe to say that it didn't help Mrs Clints mood at all! But, I persisted with this method of starting my car until I watched a big lump of red sludge go up my fuel line and into the carb...

Nice! A couple more splashes of petrol, and finally, away it went, I then drove the ramaining 15 odd miles to Mrs Clints Nans, and then 100 miles back to BelongaClint without hitch... Almost! Just 10 miles from home, it happened again, I still had a good couple of splashes of petrol in the can, and so I went about trying to start it in the manner that I had tried earlier. But this time it just wasn't having it. I cranked it over, and over, and over, and over, and eventually my battery was flatter than Keira Knightleys chest! Then I decided that my brother needed a trip out to the A34 for a bit of impromptue towing fun! Of course, as ever he showed up, camera in hand, and photobombed farcebook with images of me and my Alpine broken down on the side of the road! Great! With his impromptue photoshoot over he then hitched my car up to the back of his estate car, and within about half a mile of being towed while it was in gear it was running again! Good times!

Once back home I gave a call to my friendly motor mechanic, and several days later the Alpine was dispatched to his workshop where it had the fuel tank removed, and drained. While he was at it he also installed some new fuel lines and filter, and once more I was ready to cruise in the Alpine.

Now, as a rule I always try to get my petrol from the same service station, and 95% of the time it's a BP service station near to my house. I've been driving the Alpine for a while, and I think that apart from the first fill when I picked it up, it's only had petrol from this station since I've owned it. However after picking up Mrs Clint and our two little Monsters I did just top the tank up with some petrol from the Supermarket. I never do that, but it was on the way to Mrs Clints Nans, whereas the BP is across town in the opposite direction! Foolish! Anyway I went to my normal BP service station after I had had my tank cleaned to put in some new fuel, and I told the manager there about when I broke down and told him about the red sludge that was in my tank. The manager there told me that it couldn't have come from his tanks, as his tanks were meticulously clean! I thought well, that's fair enough, I was only mentioning it to him, and I had never had any trouble with any of my other cars, and after all I had rather foolishly put supermarket petrol in it the day it broke down on the A34. But the thing is, since I've had my fuel tank cleaned out, and new lines put in from the tank to the carb the Alpine has only had petrol from this BP service station, and although this time I didn't break down I noticed that I have got some more red sludge in my fuel filter. So I decided to go into the petrol station and have another word with the manager. But of course he still wouldn't have it, and insisted that there was no way it came from his service station as his tanks were spotlessly clean! I don't really know why I expected him to believe me, but I guess because I've been using that service station for nearly 20 years, he might listen to my concerns. As in my mind as my petrol stank has been cleaned out, and I've got new fuel lines and filters, and I've only used petrol from one station since, then it can only have come from that station surely? Anyhoo, no matter, I have since switched to Shell... As the used to say in the adverts, Keep Going Well, Keep Going Shell! 

Lastly, within a couple of weeks of my brother photobombing farcebook with images of me broken down beside the A34, and being towed in my Alpine by him, which is, obviously, quite frankly hilarious! I got this phone call one evening as I was eating my dinner, guess who it was... Yep, it was my brother, with his "My Porsche is broken, can you hire a trailer and pick me up, I think a bearing in the trans-axle has let go, and it can't be driven!" Of course I can I said, hold on, let me just make sure my camera has good batteries in it! Revenge is better than Chrsitmas!

He who laughs last... Probably hasn't got the joke! Old cars eh, never a dull moment! Of course shortly after this photo was taken I decided that I would sell the Range Rover, so hopefully my brothers little Porsche won't decide to break down again, as I can't tow a big trailer like that one with my little Talbot, and thats the only car left in my collection with a tow bar fitted.