Of Mice and Men…

Today’s post by the Petrolhead is a little different in that it involves my daughters car. The Colt.

One Owner – A Little Old Lady

We actually have the original log book service record of the first owner (a little old lady!).

The Colt has a long history in our family – it started out as my mother’s car and ended up as Jess’s L-Plater.  Jess drove it to University for 3 years until she bought a near new Pulsar. Then the Colt was back in my garage (no one would buy it) until Jess decided to get rid of her new car(Nissan Pulsar) and save money with the old girl!

I will be running through a few of the repairs I have done over the years as an example of the type of things you can attempt yourself. The first is the facelift we gave the paint and a rusty door.

Rrrusty Door has to go

When the Colt arrived from Albany it was basically very sound having completed over 160000kms. Most of the driving it was used for was over long country miles rather than short city, suburb driving. The Colt had been kept in a carport or shed most of it’s life and so the interior was pretty good with a few chips on the paint outside.

In the Chook Shed ….

Having said that I do remember that the last place it was stored was the old chicken shed.  Dad was building a new double garage eventually (for his 4WD and caravan), but in the mean time the old rickety shed that passed as a garage was for the old Subaru station wagon and his motorbike – oh yeah and a tractor. So the Colt was parked under the old chook shed roof. Now whilst there it became a favourite home for a family of mice.

Here is the old shed when it was new – Dad and I built it in 1999.

Now mice like a warm place to live away from the cats and out of the weather. The inside of a car matches those requirements fairly easily. Over the next 12 months of infrequent use the mice visited a number of times and eventually the inevitable happened one passed away. Now the old fellow could not just drop dead on the floor mat no – he had to crawl into the ducting inside the dash!

Here is a shot of the shed in 2003. It had been a chook shed and is now a carport!

We eventually rolled the car out and gave it a clean up and polish and of course the first day out in the heat this dreadful smell rises out of the vents! I am sure it smells like something dead! I volunteer to get to the bottom of the problem and work my way through the dash looking for evidence of the smells source.

Well after half an hour I decide it has to be in the ducting so I pull out the dash fascia and dismantle the vent system. Sure enough the mummified remains of a mouse sits squarely in front of the heater core. I remove the mouse and clean up the best I can before spraying large amounts of eucalyptus oil into the tubing. This covers the bad smell and  eventually no trace of the pong is evident in the car.

I never told Jess about the mouse for a few years since it was to be her first car and you never know how people might react when they know such details! (Like when mum and dad were not told that the house we were renting in the 1960’s, was the scene of a murder – Eric Edgar Cooke was the last guy hanged in Perth)

Shortly after all this dad bought his new Jackaroo and Caravan and so they offered the car to Jessica. We did not want to drive it all the way to Perth so I managed to get it on a back-loaded semi-trailer for $100.  A bargain, considering it would cost $200 to hire a car trailer and move it myself!

A week later the car is in the storage pens out by the airport and we drive out to get the old girl. I park it in the  carport to surprise Jess when she gets back home. She was one pleased teenager that day!

Mmmm I have got a little sidetracked! I will continue the story of the door replacement and paint repairs next post!

Until then,

Happy motoring!

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