Petrolheadia is dead – Long Live Petrolheadia

I do not know if anybody noticed and if you had not then I am making a huge mistake admitting to all this, but it has almost been three months since any content meaningful or otherwise has been uploaded to the blog. Now I know you have all been very worried about whats happened to the Internets most bestest blog ever and I know for many of you just getting through the week without my all important opinions and expertise has been a struggle. But there have been reasons for me splitting up the one man band for a bit. Sadly no the rumors in the papers are not true, I haven’t eloped to Tahiti with Beyonce and I have definitely not grown tired of cars or jumped off a cliff to the news that Chris Evans after all is helming the bbc’s titanic of a motoring institution (I give it a week). In fact the reasoning is quite the opposite, if anything cars have been the one thing keeping me going. The truth is I have been in a bit of a tough patch reaching the end of a grueling 4 year engineering degree. Amongst other things this made me deal with constant mind numbing dissertation meetings, endless uphill exam revision struggles and the realization that soon the days of loafing around as a student are over and the real working world awaits eeek. To be honest (hoping no potential employers are looking here)  I have known for some time that my future is not in engineering, I fell for all the Issigonis paper napkin romance only to find that now its a completely different world and I honestly cannot say the word dynamics without getting a migraine  the size of spain. Its just no fun to me and the whole future thing has been a bit of a stressy problem to think about and I needed a little break from the blog and just writing in general if i was to get excited again. So I think what im saying is It wasn’t you it was me. So im back with some petrol station flowers, a copy of ronin on dvd on my knees with a poorly scribbled apology begging for you to take me back.

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So where have I been since I ran away?

well im glad you asked, its been a busy one

Bubble car museum (april 17th)

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Well where else do you go for your 23rd birthday party?, the same place you always go (my poor poor parents). seriously if you have never been to the museum near Boston (in Lincolnshire, they also have New York near by bizarrely) you have too soon. Iv been about 20 times now and I never get bored of the oddities and the displays make it a great hour or so out plus the cafe is unbelievable value. I really need to put a review up to do this place justice!

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Lake District twice (may)

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The middle two weekends in may I took off from revision to go explore the lakes, it was meant to be once but I missed the museum the first time enjoying too much mx5 gravel road hooning (within all the lawful limits of course), a beautiful couple of trips through some awesome landscapes which I also should post about sometime and yet another great museum. was awesome to finally see the oldest surviving trevor and to be reunited with the speed 12 for the gazillionth time (i think my visit was what prompted the exciting murray and cosworth news, more on that later also). Plus if you happen to go to the Lakes, take a trip out to Morcambe bay, well worth a trip out on a nice day for an alternative sea side excursion.

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11329814_10206952156860023_597858545614449014_n                                                               “A funny man and a statue”

Speke 2 (may)

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yup i did the unspekeable and traveled to Liverpool after my first exam just to see if i could find any left overs of the old bl triumph plant.  Turns out its a bit of a guarded building supply depot or something now (I got told off for trying to drive in d’oh), by the way if you do not know what speke is then have a look at  this not dated at all BBC video

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London, Luton, Biggleswade and home to Sheffield (June)

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Once my exams were finally over I filled the mx5 with all the crap I ‘need’ to survive and left the glitz and finery of Manchester for a trip to the scary south offering my services as an experienced dogsitter to my girlfriend. I hadn’t become romantic or even thoughtful but saw an opportunity for free board while also getting to go on abit of a jolly. Luckily Vauxhall had heard of my sneaky plan and opened their heritage centre specially for the occasion (yet another future post if your not bored by then), so I got to have a good ‘dropsnoot’ 😉 around the collection which was awesome and I got a glance of the new viva (nothing post worthy there).But I still wish to thank Vauxhall for the time they spent setting up the event, I really wish other manufacturers were more open to the public with the private collections, i’m looking at you dagenham! .They didn’t even give a sales pitch which was nice.

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Once they finally managed kick me from the premises by force, I hopped on the train and asked my mate Borris if I could borrow his bike for a bit. He only agreed once I left him my debit card, a bit cheeky of him but it was still fun to pootle around the capital for a bit, I even got to visit the queen for tea who now drives a nice fiat 500 convertible don’t you know.

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After a 6 day sleep I finally gathered the strength to face the A1 again to head home, but not without an excursion to a place i’ve been wanting to see for years, nope not the taj mahal or the great wall of china via luton airport, but Biggleswade. The silly named small Bedfordshire market town is a place I have streetviewed a million times from google earth, for many boring reasons I have never really had the time or money to go till now and boy was I excited to do a bit of automotive archaeology  . Berkeley did it all for me when I first heard of them years ago, a fringe manufacturer based in a location quite far from the Brummie norm that decided to build mini motorcycle engined bond designed go karts for the road. Like most carchaeology trips all I found was a housing estate with a few road name nods as opposed to a factory, but just to stand on the ground where up till 55 years ago was making crazy cars and caravans and up until 20 years ago was making Womens knickers was exciting enough. I could still get a sense of the scale and that while to the outside world the cars are mostly forgotten Biggleswade is still influenced ever so slightly. I walked around for a good 2 hours hoping to hear or smell a two stroke as the sun was out but sadly nothing apart from a knackered old Bedford van could be heard or smelt. So at four pm today I clambered back into burtle the turtle and headed north through the endless sea of roadworks and jams remembering my neglected blog. I had a thought (the first thought since university broke my spirit), I thought of how fickle the motor industry is and how many great companies,people, ideas and designs fell by the wayside over time for reasons deserved or not. I finally was excited to write again and thought that whilst Berkeley may never open its gates again (without upsetting 150 or so home owners) there was no good reason (That I wasn’t willing to ignore) Petrolheadia towers shouldn’t.

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Here’s to the future no matter how scary it may be.

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