When I set off for work this week on foot, I made a slight detour to check on Percy as he’d been parked in the same spot for almost a week, but he looked fine to me, with no windows smashed (I don’t know what I was expecting but I do like to check).
I then came home to find the Percy’s new battery (Banner Buffalo Bull 105AH) had been delivered so wasted no time in going to fit it, mumbling “positive first, negative last” all the way to Percy (didn’t want to fry myself or Percy). I had to borrow my kind neighbour’s trolley to transport it from the flat to the end of the road where Percy was laid up, because it wouldn’t have been fun carrying it by the two tiny plastic handles- dropping that on your foot could win you prizes for Halloween!
I was coming up towards Percy when I noticed that there was something missing, he looked like his wheels had gone! I thought surely not, it’s not the kind of area where people actually put cars on bricks (let alone a 2 tonne taxi) to steal the wheels and they’re taxi wheels for goodness’ sake. As I got closer, trolley in tow, I realised that it was in fact our chrome hubcaps that had been pilfered by some rotten thief. However, perhaps one with a sense of humour, as he’d kindly left us the two on Percy’s left side, but helped himself to the right, which was oddly right under a lamp-post and unshielded by cars.
Well, it wasn’t the most pleasing start to the evening but I did manage to install the new battery without setting fire to myself or Percy, and he started up like a dream. However, I still had the small matter of finding some replacement hubcaps for him. I was all set on removing the two remaining hubcaps and just driving him around without but as you can see from the picture above, he looks ridiculous, like he’s floating on a magic carpet. Umm, actually it is Halloween….
I couldn’t stand seeing him without his shiny shoes, so I texted Graham (who sold Percy to us) to ask if he had any spare chrome hubcaps for sale, to which he replied he had several and in different styles. I also searched around on the internet and research told me they were roughly £10 each for new ones, but I didn’t know what size, whether they’d be any good (you can’t really tell on a screen) or how long they’d take to be delivered. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted new ones, just in case the thieving swine returns for the other two he left behind!
A day later, we were home watching TV after work and I received a text from Graham asking if we’d be home in the next hour as he’d be working a late shift and had some hubcaps in his cab for us. I was rather surprised and less than 45 minutes later we heard the honk of a TX1 outside. I rushed down to the street to greet Graham and he took out four new chrome hubcaps which were of an older style (perfect for Percy), showed me how to put wire round the inner rim and where the valve goes. I hadn’t actually decided whether I wanted to purchase them yet at that point, but Graham had so kindly driven them to us and they did complete Percy once again. We would much rather buy them off a fellow Fairway enthusiast than a website anyway. He even had two used hubcaps that matched Percy’s remaining two, so that we could drive around London in those and switch to our new super shiny ones if we go to any London Vintage Taxi Association shows or events.
So thank you very much Graham (if you’re reading) for coming to Percy’s rescue and you must give us your address to post the cheque to.
On a final note, for those who read one of our previous posts about my attempts to find a cabbie to give Percy CPR, we have some pictures of the Chapel/Pavillion cab shelter, and were even very kindly let inside by whom we presumed was the owner (a very kind lady, as only cabbies are allowed inside).
Once inside, we were greeted by a hand-painted mural of a Fairway Driver on the walls, beautifully painted by her brother.