The good news first: Our fleet is complete! But it was a long way to this point…
As mentioned in the last blog entry, we made a short stop in Giessen on our way back from Brussels to have a look at a Volvo V70. A lot of test drive was not possible, because the car was unfortunately deregistered, but the car made a solid impression except for a slightly disassembled boot lid, and most important to us: The TÜV is still relatively fresh! So we didn’t hesitate long to welcome the Volvo as our newest team member.
The further plan was to register the car as soon as possible and drive it to our headquarter in Clausthal-Zellerfeld the following weekend. Our thoroughly well-grounded plan didn’t succeed though and this will be start of our odyssey.
Odyssey Part I
First of all, the previous owner no longer had the current TÜV report and could not tell us where the last main inspection had taken place, which meant a lot of telephoning for us to receive the duplicate. After a week, we had learned a lot about the history of our third car and were able to locate the last testing institution via the registration office. After minor complications with the registration (thanks to the German bureaucracy…) we finally got the number plates to pick up the Volvo from Giessen.
Odyssey Part II
Marvin and Tobias agreed to this task and set off for Gießen one Tuesday afternoon. But the ride ended already before Kassel, when Marvin’s Ford was not able to get started during a traffic jam. Unfortunately, in the left lane. And unfortunately, the traffic jam slowly dissipated. The two pushed the Ford as far as possible to the guardrail of the left lane and then adjusted the right moment to get themselves behind the guardrail on the right side. After the police had been informed, it didn’t take them 5 minutes to get to the scene and stop the traffic to allow us to push the Ford onto the emergency lane. There we waited for the tow truck, which tugged us to service station in Kassel.
To return without a car was of course not an option, so Michi entered our loyal Volvo 850 and collected Marvin and Tobias in Kassel. Then we continued together to Gießen, where the V70 was already waiting for us.
Odyssey Part III
Cause it had become quite late in the meantime, the previous owner had placed the Volvo on the road with the help of the second key and put the key in the glove compartment, so we only had to attach the license plates and would have been ready for the way back. Wrong thought. After the license plates were screwed on and we opened the rear door, the alarm system went off. After many long seconds of panicky pressing buttons and trying to deactivate it, it was quiet again. At least for a few seconds until Michi opened the passenger door, the alarm went off and everything got a little less panicky than before. When we wanted to start the car, only a very strange clatter came out of the engine compartment, otherwise nothing happened. What’s the first thing you try out? Jump-start the engine. Of course we had jump leads with us, because the battery of the Volvo 850 had been a bit moody lately. Unfortunately the result was not the desired one. Next step: Attach a tow rope and try to start while rolling. And indeed, the V70 started! (our current assumption is that the starter has a blow away, but since such peripheral technical components have no particular relevance for a real rally car, we will continue to rely on muscle power or the tow rope for starting the car)
Light at the end of the Odyssey
After the whole crappy evening we went to Michi’s sister, who lives in Gießen and offered us quite a good pizza midnight lunch, which we gladly accepted with joy (and hunger). Afterwards we went back to Clausthal (surprisingly even the V70 showed kindness and started without grumbling), where we arrived after several breaks without further problems.
A small anecdote at the end
Since we of course have to check the rally cars for their long distance suitability on test drives, the V70 with Marvin was in Hanover at 1 a.m. next Saturday. After the Volvo had worked without problems before, no problems were expected. Apart from some minor inconveniences, like the alarm system triggering three times, which probably woke every person in the surrounding residential area who was not sleeping sufficiently soundly, there were no difficulties. In order to avoid unnecessary attention through apparent car theft in foreign countries, we should probably take another look at this before the rally.