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emo The story of our Carol a.k.a. 'spud'

12 Sep 2012 21:44 #15720

As most of you are aware we recently won a Carol on eBay, so yesterday afternoon we headed off with a trailer to go pick her up.

We left at 2:30pm and travelled non-stop 170 miles to Tunbridge Wells. With a little help we finally reached our destination and Jamie very skilfully reversed the trailer along a narrow lane to the side of the property. Jamie eventually stopped the car and asked anxiously "is that her?". I looked around, I couldn't see anything but trees and buildings, "where?" "there, where the lady is climbing into"... still I couldn't see it. It wasn't until I got out of the car that I realised what Jamie was referring to:

There lay Carol at the side of the lane, sheltered by the green trees and surrounded by stinging nettles. My heart sank. I'd had a sick feeling in my stomach on the trip down that there may be something wrong, I didn't know what, just a feeling I had which I'd tried to dismiss.

I began to run it through my mind. We were tired, thirsty and hungry, I'd already transferred the money to make sure we didn't lose her, we'd travelled 170 miles here over 4 hours because of the traffic, what on earth were we going to do?

Not a word was exchanged between Jamie and I, we were a bit stunned to be honest, and instinctively Jamie began to prepare the trailer.

We walked over to Carol and the lady inside said she would start her and move her into the lane despite my pleas that she didn't - a car sat that long without lubrication? I didn't want to risk it. Thankfully Carol was completely dead despite being 'on charge' when we arrived. Eventually a 3rd car was bought up and Carol was carefully dragged from the ditch, her handbrake by now seized firmly on.

The ladies were very nice and friendly, and seemed genuinely sad to she her go. They did comment that they did contemplate leaving Carol there in the lane when they moved house the next day (today) - and that sealed my decision - she was coming home. I figured if we didn't take her she'd be left either to rot or scrapped by the people moving in, not realising how rare she was.

Carefully Jamie loaded her onto the trailer and fastened her down ready for the long journey home. Sadly due to her flat tyres and the width of the lane she had to be loaded onto the trailer backwards... which meant we had to keep it to 50mph all the way home to prevent the trailer snaking on us!!!

With Carol loaded and ready to go we gave the ladies a chance to say a final farewell and headed off stopping at the services on the M25 on our way home:

Our journey home was very long, restricted to 50mph and having been awake for nearly 18 hours we were both starting to flag and took it in turns to sleep and then swap over and drive at the next service station. However the times we were both awake Jamie began to plan how he was going to get Carol going again. Starting with the lock and hinges that were nearly seized solid.

We finally arrived home at 12:30am and promptly locked up and went to bed! hehe

This afternoon I came home to find Jamie had taken her off the trailer, taken the trailer back, and taken some photos of Carol in the process:


Notice the funky twin exhaust and sadly the green tyres.


Every gap was now covered in a dense spider's web:

Her paint work and features thick with years of tree sap and grime:



We were delighted to find she has her original Carol mats (though the driver's side has a hole clean through):


Earlier in the day I had sent a text to TADO asking how to open the bonnet, with all the spiders in there I didn't fancy sticking my hands in places just to see if there was a latch release in there! He very kindly pointed me in the right direction and we were finally able to see the engine:





Jamie then dragged the vac outside and began to tackle the worse of the webs.

We plugged the battery charger in and gingerly turned on the ignition:

Success we had dash lights!

Something continued to click very loudly though under the bonnet, a box with a HT lead which I assume is either the coil or a control box for the ECU.

Side lights and headlights were a success though we had less luck with the rear lights, and no luck with the indicators on the passenger side until I wiggled the stalk, still nothing from the rear lights though.


We had hoped to take a look at the floor, but we ran out of daylight.

We haven't seen any rust yet, and her the components we have seen such as her anti-roll bars seem quite solid.

Her rear shocks have completely failed though, she hops further than my little bunny ever could hehe I'm not too confident of her brakes either.

Oddly in the boot is a random collection of parts including a clutch and what looked like brake discs, there's also a turbo timer in there too. There's parts of a new exhaust on the back seat and lots of documentation.

There's some really nice features on this Carol, the roof, the wind deflectors with 'carol' etched on them, the speakers on the rear shelf, the original mats... all nice little features. I think she should polish up well - I also think Jamie has taken quite a shine to her and I've already told him I'd like her to become his project (I've got plenty to get on with hehe).

Hopefully we'll have some more assessments to come including taking the head off to see what the internal damage is. The only thing in the water expansion tank is oil, and the only thing under the oil cap is water!!!

I'm glad we bought her home though.

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Last Edit: 24 Aug 2014 11:45 by wh1teleopard.

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12 Sep 2012 21:52 #15721

Glad its been taken in and made at home with a few other kei car friends :thumb:

Would have been completly criminal to have scraped something so rare :unsure:

I look forwards to seeing the carrol hopefully rise to its former glory and be out n about on the roads again 1 day :smile:

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12 Sep 2012 22:23 #15725

wow! she doesnt actually look that rough bodywise? cant wait to see her get the jamie treatment! :D :thumb:
we look forward to meeting her at the meet - just hope our carol will make it! we're waiting on new topmounts from japan at the mo.
ours had knackered shocks when we got her too and I know gruss is looking to swap his too - may be a common problem?

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12 Sep 2012 22:27 #15727

I really enjoyed reading that story. What a happy ending.

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13 Sep 2012 06:54 #15731

Poor little Carol.
Now she's got a new caring home. 
Can't wait to see her in a few days.  Just get those spiders out first.  :ninja:

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13 Sep 2012 07:32 #15733

Did you say anything to them about the misleading advert/pics?
I would have gone slightly mental at them looking at the state of the car and the 5yr old pics used on the advert. I hope you got a bit of a refund at least.

Anyway, good work on the save and fingers crossed it's back on the road without too much work  :thumb:

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13 Sep 2012 20:50 #15742

To be honest I don't think they were being intentionally misleading with the adverts/pictures. I don't think they realise the damage that's been done by leaving her in a ditch for 6 years.

Jamie gave her the first wash today!



We found all sorts of things in the boot, unopened boxes of parts including a clutch, pressure plate, release bearing, brake pads, timing belt, aux belt, tensioner... we just hope these parts aren't in there because the timing belt broke!

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Last Edit: 24 Aug 2014 11:47 by wh1teleopard.

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13 Sep 2012 22:24 #15745

Surely she wouldn't have tried starting her up if the timing belt had snapped would she?  Then again she did park it in a ditch so...

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13 Sep 2012 22:25 #15746

Wow it's amazing how much diffrence a clean makes, looks a million times better after only havering the green n webs removed :)

Hopefully they were just there as spares n not due to actually needing them :thumb:

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13 Sep 2012 22:50 #15748

Looking forward to seeing this! Want to check a few vac pipes around the inlet manifold and it's interesting to see how the HT leads are routed under the intercooler. Might Change my current setup  :ninja:

oil and filter change *16/01/10 *27/08/10 *06/11/10 *16/04/11 *17/12/11 *17/03/12
Timing belt and tensioner and Alternator belt change 11/06/11

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