One man's trash - Faine 451

By: Jon Faine

Presented by

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Jon cleans out his shed and is delighted to unearth long forgotten treasures

I have had another clean out of the shed. Not Covid related – that was last year’s clean out. This year, with two cars absent – one sold and the other getting some long overdue professional attention – I was able to get access to and excavate the bowels of the shed and discover things long forgotten.

I found parts for cars that I no longer owned – to be utterly brutally shatteringly frank, cars I have not owned for a very long time indeed. Parts acquired so long ago I have no recollection of how I came to own them. I used to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of where everything was, where everything came from, what it cost and where it belonged. Now I am finding happy surprises as I explore deep into the roof cavity, and find oddities and novelties that I may as well be looking at for the first time in my life, such is the surprise.

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Two complete sets of headlight buckets and lamps for the DS Citroen, together with all the mind bogglingly complex little angle cranks and rods and cables and brackets and stays and adjusters and swivels and pivots and spacers and tiny little things that do not have a name but in French have probably got a poetic handle that makes you smile and think of a cheeky drop of Beaujolais and a trout with almonds on the river bank while a canal boat chugs past in the afternoon sun piloted by a man in a beret smoking on a Gauloise while serenading an Audrey Hepburn look-alike who is about to throw her picnic rug into the back seat of a grey and muddy slightly battered but still energetic 2CV.

Other DS parts were found in multiple boxes – switches, relays, spheres, heater boxes and thermostats, roof rubbers, broken instrument clusters, exhaust brackets, clamps, mysterious pipes that might be left over from the only EFI DS I have owned which would have been about twenty years ago, a steering rack, hydraulic pump, radiator shroud, and a complete and rather tidy stainless steel rear bumper assembly that I had no idea I owned. Off to new homes, to gather a different brand of someone else’s dust for probably another long sleep but useful just in case they are needed!

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Also an original factory steering wheel boss for an E9 BMW 3.0CSi that I sold years ago fitted with a glorious Nardi wooden rimmed after-market accessory steering wheel instead, a stylish wooden luxury fitting that perfectly matched and enhanced the rich walnut timber veneer around the three dial instruments and the timber veneer on the central transmission tunnel and perfectly accentuated the magnificently patinated factory leather seats - seats that the buyer ripped out and at vast expense replaced with identical new non-factory leather in the most insane vandalism that I had ever heard of. Until I learned the same buyer of ‘my’ BMW also had air conditioning installed – not once but twice, unhappy with the first version - and replaced the factory supplied optional wheel rims with new ones of exactly the same design but shiny instead of aged and then also reversed the five speed Getrag conversion that had cost me a fortune and allowed the car to cruise quietly at the speed limit on the freeway and had the four speed factory manual box re-installed, and then went and sold the car for the same price he had bought it for and basically just walked away with a huge loss and in his two years owning this magical supercar had only driven it a few hundred clicks despite spending as much on pointless modifications as he had spent purchasing it….

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And the 1920s Citroen B2 front and rear guards, running boards, front seat and frame, roof bows and canvas roof complete with glass rear window in what I must admit is a very attractive period chromed surround, plus side curtains on roller blinds that looked pretty much 1920s period fittings, a complete two-panel pivoting windscreen with bracketry and butterfly nuts and other parts not needed for the Caddy boat-tail replica I am building.

The sense of liberation from freeing up the space – to say nothing of the cash – is euphoric. I can finally move some of the more relevant boxes of spares that I have for cars I still own and get them off the floor and onto the now available shelves. And start the cycle all over again of finding things that just might come in handy one day - and end up ten years from now needing another clean out!

 

From Unique Cars #451, April 2021 

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