…and we hardly knew ye….
Despite Buttercup being a low-slung Fiat, B would drive it along the most incredibly rough, rocky forest trails. On almost every trip, rocks would bang against the underside. B always dismissed my worries – but the inevitable happened on Sunday.
He came home from another forest trip (by himself), with the engine grinding and roaring; he admitted he had bottomed the car just a little too hard. I could see for myself that oil was dripping from somewhere; B checked and found the sump was damaged and the exhaust dented.
But after standing overnight, the oil leak seemed to have stopped, and the engine didn’t sound so bad – we were able to drive to the nearest shop. So, this morning B decided we could risk a shopping trip into town.
He worried about the odd engine noise (which I couldn’t hear), but was confident enough to put his foot down and take it up to 70 for most of the way.
Disaster came on the outskirts of town – the engine suddenly rattled and banged, the Transit van behind us started flashing its light, then smoke poured out from under the bonnet. We pulled over and leapt out. The Transit pulled up with us and the driver leapt out as well; fortunately we didn’t need the fire extinguisher he was holding, as the smoke stopped almost as soon as B switched off the engine. However, the Transit’s windscreen was a cracked mess – something had come off our car and smashed into it.
The driver was sanguine about it (but of course it wasn’t his vehicle, it wasn’t his fault and things could have been a lot worse); he and B exchanged details, then we got onto our breakdown service.
But we still needed to do some shopping. So I walked into town, got as little as possible, and got a bus back. At the village, I found John from next door waiting to pick me up (B having already arrived back with Buttercup and the breakdown truck). I was extremely grateful for that – carrying two bags of shopping to the bus-stop in town on such a hot day was already quite enough for me and my legs, and I hadn’t been looking forward to hauling everything up the hill from the village.
So, poor little Buttercup is for the scrappers. And I shall do whatever I can to persuade B to get a sturdy 4×4 for our next car!