Tales of my Trabi #7

My Trabi’s rust bit the dust! He could also run about as long as an asthmatic in a marathon through a plume of volcanic ash and stop on a penny the size of Saxony. As I work in the field of education, I get these long periods of time off called summer holidays. They’re like annual leave, but longer. Superb if you ask me!

As I had done for years up until this current year, I would spend my summers working for a wonderful summer school in Weymouth. Whilst working with teenagers from all over the world, I had been pondering the one question which really mattered. Was it to be something revolutionary about the field of education? The difference in pedagogy between primary and secondary aged pupils? The layout of my classroom in my NQT role? Of course it was which name to christen my beloved project car…priorities people!

During my summer away I had consumed much cider, what else is the West Country for? It was consuming cider and engaging in top grade banter about a fellow colleague that we created the legend of Igor. A mythical beast with a suspicious Russian accent who would stalk the living and drag them to his depths in the underworld. Some say that he once murdered a whole village because they failed to sacrifice a goat at the stroke of midnight, all I know is that this would make great inspiration for an Iron Maiden song.

Writing this series of posts was tedious referring to this vehicle as “my Trabant” or “the Trabi”, so at the time it was torturous to not have given my vehicle a name. Such blasphemy is akin to naming your child Baby for 5 months because you couldn’t be arsed to think of a suitable moniker. August 2016 marked the rebirth of “my Trabant” as…Igor.

Readers of last week are probably thinking at this point: Why are you talking about education, holidays and goat sacrifices? Valid point dear reader, you would like to find out what else happened to my Trabi following the summer, right?

Indeed, cash was now low thanks to my Toyota’s gearbox destroying its fifth gear en route to Barcelona in August. So progress was on hault until around mid-November. Firstly, I replaced all of the original DDR tyres with second hand legal replacements for the MOT. Four tyres for ¬£60 is a bargain to pass the inspection, however these will one day be replaced.

An email to Martin in Heinz later and I now have a replacement carburetor too. Tired of failing with carburetor spray and animal sacrifices, I decided to take the plunge and purchase a reconditioned full unit. Is this the lazy man’s way or the thinking man’s way? I’m not sure!

All that was needed now was a trusted mechanic to fit the part and tune it correctly. Upon replacing the tyres, I happened upon a workshop with a plentiful amount of tasty restored air-cooled VW goodness. Anywhere that has resprayed Beetles and Types 2’s is decent in my eyes. After a brief conversation, a time was arranged after New Year for collection and a trailer sent.

Igor was then sent away on an adventure with a rather grumbly car transporter to see the magical Wizard of Oz. Would this potentially costly venture solve Igor’s drinking problem? Find out next time.

Bon voyage!


by Mike Armstrong


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