Percy hasn’t been very busy this summer so far. With the unexpectedly hot weather in the UK, Percy hasn’t been the first choice of transport around central London for us. With his black paint, unshaded street parking, heating stuck on full (involuntarily) and a self-shutting passenger window, we thought it best Percy be left alone to cool down. Daytime temperatures have been reaching 33 degrees Celcius outside and a flesh-melting 100 degrees inside Percy (at a guess). It’s also the school holidays, which means Percy isn’t needed to take Nina to and from school, so he’s getting a summer holiday of his own.
Percy’s classic car insurance has an annual milage limit of 3,000 miles and we’re getting close to that, with nearly 4 months to go until the renewal date, so we’ll have to start thinking about purchasing some extra mileage when Percy’s summer holiday is over. It shouldn’t be a problem, as when I first took out the insurance policy I checked with the helpful Denise at Peter Best Insurance that I could buy extra milage if I needed it. Percy has clearly been so useful and fun to drive that we’ve used him more than we anticipated we would.
Percy does have a longer than usual trip to Oxford coming up in a couple of weeks and another big one to Bath shortly afterwards, so no doubt we’ll have more Percy personal stories to share then…
In the meantime we’ve been spotting a few more private Fairway Drivers around the UK. We found a black one in Cambridge a few weeks ago and saw a cream coloured Fairway that looked like it was on wedding duties, with ribbon tied across the bonnet, in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, just yesterday. Today we spent a lovely day at the seaside in Brighton and saw this cream coloured Fairway Driver parked in the marina…
Someone else has clearly taken to personalising their Fairway, and it prompted me to look for anything else that we can add to Percy’s rear parcel shelf at a car boot sale in Brighton, but we didn’t find anything suitable, so the daisies are staying for now. We’re yet to be inspired for a new theme for Percy’s back window… suggestions welcome!
Speaking of customising the Fairway, we caught an intrepid example of this on the Channel 4 TV programme Gadget Man with Stephen Fry recently. Stephen Fry is famously a fan of the London taxi, owning a TX4, which he even drove across America. On the Gadget Man show he was test-driving the ‘Amphicab’- a Fairway Driver made water-worthy so that it can seamlessly switch from land to water and help your commute across London by utilising the Thames.
Whilst this modification for entertainment’s sake might sound like the kind of thing featured on Top Gear, which I recently slated, the difference here was largely in Fry’s approach to the project. In contrast to Top Gear’s willing destruction of cars, Fry was nervous before the unveiling of the Amphicab, saying that he loved the Fairway and didn’t want to see it ruined. He seemed pleased with the relatively subtle modifications to its appearance, with a small propeller under the rear bumper and a control lever on the dashboard the only obvious additions.
Driving towards the river, Fry’s Fairway clearly suffered from some of the same quirks as Percy, with the driver’s sun visor falling down… (we have removed Percy’s altogether because it wouldn’t stay up)
After a nervous entry into the water and a moment of lost control resulting in a collision with a moored boat, Fry and the Fairway Amphicab were off, sailing down the Thames at modest speed, drawing much intrigue from passers-by on the banks and bridges.
Right, I’m off to Ebay for second-hand outboard motors…..