Sam Thorburn’s Firebird

“I’ve owned the car for nearly 2 years now,  I’ve always wanted a black Firebird, and unfortunately this one came up on ebay while I was out with some work colleagues for a beer whilst on operations in Cyprus. Peer pressure won the day, and I was 10.5k worse off by the end of that night.

The most memorable road trip would be the one I made when I bought the car. The previous owner lived in Essex, so I eagerly hopped on the train from my base in Norfolk and made my way down there. It was love at first sight, even more so when I heard it run for the first time!
As can be expected from a 36 year old car, a lot of the wiring had seen better days. This became painfully clear after I’d started my journey from Essex to my parents house in Lyme Regis.
It was a rainy day, so as the windscreen filled with drops of water, I flicked on my windscreen wipers and…..nothing. it was fairly fine rain so I decided to press on. After a little while, the windows began to steam up.  So I flicked on my heater and…..nothing. To really complete the joy I was experiencing, while doing 60mph on the southbound M11, I discovered that the seals on the removable T-Top roof were leaking. Onto my leg and the back of my t shirt.
I pulled over at the first services I could find to attempt a roadside repair. After much wiggling I gained wipers. I called that a win and set off again.
On the M25 the wipers were working on an ‘as and when’ basis. The steaming up issue I solved by driving with my window down. It was November and raining but i was wet from the leaky roof anyway so i chose staying alive over comfort.
I got into my groove for a while and made good distance with little to report. Once I hit the A35, however, the old girl threw me 2 more curveballs. Number one, the cast iron engine loves to overheat in traffic (cue billowing steam at the side of the road) and number 2, my 4 headlights added up to the power of 2 candles. This lead to a hilarious balance of driving slow enough to see the road ahead, but not so slow as to overheat the engine.
That journey took about 9 hours, I was cold, wet, tired and my nerves were shot but at no time did I stop grinning. This is exactly what classic car ownership is about, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

P.S. its all fixed now.” – Sam Thorburn

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