Why do things never procced according to plan? Just as everything is looking cherry sweet, life throws you a curveball. Or as it was in this case, some ignorant fool trips you up through his own selfish incompetence and utter lack of respect for the people with whom he shares this world – and the roads upon it.
Do I sound somewhat upset? Good. Because I am. This incident unfolded about three weeks ago, but I have refrained from sharing it with you until now, as I’m sure that would have only led to the use of language which should probably never see print. By now, I think I have calmed down just about enough to share my grief with you – maybe…
During the first half of May, I finally got around to bringing my Green Devil over to the UK. It was great having both my 02’s in one place again and my intentions were to start exploring the British historic hillclimb scene. Having not driven my hillclimb 02 for a fair while though, there were a few minor niggles which I wanted to see to first. Besides I also needed to join a UK-based motorsport club and get myself a national license so I could compete. Well, those plans have all changed rather abruptly now.
I’ll try my best to keep the following description of what happened as factual as possible in an attempt to prevent myself from getting too emotional. I was on a short test-run of the Green Devil after I had been fettling with the 45DCOE Webers at home in the drive. On a small backroad only a few minutes from home, the road narrows in from two lanes to one. My lane continues unchanged, while the oncoming lane ends with several bollards. As such, I think it’s fair to say that it is painfully obvious which lane has the right of way. Despite this, an oncoming SUV turned into my lane leaving me nowhere to go. It all happened rather quickly as I really had not anticipated any other scenario then him stopping. I swerved to avoid the SUV, and while I did at least manage that, I sadly also managed to impact a big drystone wall to my left. CRUNCH!!
Now, I understand that people make mistakes and accidents do happen. But when the SUV driver stopped for a second and then hurriedly sped off – well, that’s hardly a mistake. That’s deliberate! And that’s leaving the scene of an accident, without even checking whether I was alright.
My beloved little Green Devil now needs a little bit of ironing out. With the SUV driver disappearing into the distance, it was awfully clear that this would all have to go through my own insurance company. Luckily though, I have it on an agreed value, so fingers crossed, it should hopefully all turn out alright in the end. But it’s still an absolute nuisance.
For starters, the Green Devil will naturally have to be off the road for a while now, during which I can’t proceed with my hillclimb plans. Furthermore, even with the insurance company involved, there will of course still be a cost for me – 1) there’s an excess which I must pay, and 2) with things like this, there are all too often a few small extra things which I might decide to improve now that we are at it anyway, and that will of course be at my own expense. But the most annoying part is that I really don’t want fresh paint anywhere near my Green Devil. I accept that I now have no choice, but the old paintwork displays a delicious and charming patina which I feel really suits an old race car like this one. It wears its age and scars with pride. But now the whole front panel, the frontspoiler, the left front wing and the bonnet will obviously have to be painted, and unless my painter really nails it, they will stand out like a sore thumb against the rest of the paintwork.
There’s also the whole hassle of sourcing the required parts. The front inner and outer panel is currently NLA, but what really brings a tear to the corner of my eye is the left front indicator. Only about a year ago, I decided that there was no point in me storing a pair of very rare and sought-after NOS Italian-market-only front indicators on a shelf. Instead, to my huge and rather childish delight, I fitted them to my Green Devil. Now of course, one of them is scrap, and finding a replacement will no doubt be close to impossible as they have been NLA for several decades. Here’s hoping that one of my many friends from the 02-community will come riding in on a white horse with a NOS (or very clean secondhand) Italian left front indicator…
So what can I take away from this? Well, at the moment I’m probably still too upset to see anything positive in it. I’ll let you know if I feel differently at the end of the whole process. But one word of advice is to doublecheck that you have your classic car on a decent classic car insurance and that the agreed value corresponds with the current market value. I believe I’m okay on that account. I guess another consideration is whether it would be a crude move to always have a dashcam installed in our beloved classic cars? I just despise modern contraptions and wires littering the interior of my classic.
What say you dear reader? Do you have your classic on an agreed value insurance? Do you perhaps even accept having a modern dashcam in your windscreen? And please, please, please, someone share with me their own similar experience, and make sure to tell me it had a fairytale happy ending. I’m feeling vulnerable right now and need comforting…