Friday, 2 December 2011

One of many virtues

The right truck

My bride tells me that patience is not my most noteworthy virtue.

She should know, as we’ve been married for thirty four years.

I reckon that’s changed with advancing years. My evidence for this statement resides in recent experience with an e-bay purchase.

I bought this item (a hardtop for our MX5) on 25th August. I was probably a bit lucky to snaffle it, as they’re as rare as hens’ teeth and fiendishly expensive when new ($3000+).

I got this one for a third of that, so I was feeling pretty chuffed.

Problem was getting it from Melbourne to Toowoomba.

I was warned by the wise (members of local MX5 clubs) that these things don’t travel well. Simply loading it into a truck as is would be seriously tempting the courier Gods.

OK I thought – no problem – I’ll drive down to Melbourne, clip it on, and drive it home. This would combine a nice drive in the country with shipping the goods north. I’m always looking for excuses to drive this thing all day.

Unfortunately, the seller broke the bad news that it was lacking the vital parts (“Frankenstein” bolts and striker plates) that would attach it to my car. There are about 20 different combinations of hardtops and MX5s, despite the fact that only three models exist (NA, NB and NC), and the only way to be sure was to view the car and the hardtop together.

I wasn’t going to risk buying parts sight unseen, driving to Melbourne, and then finding that it wouldn’t fit because I didn’t have the right combination of parts.

Plan B was to get a crate made in Melbourne, ask my obliging vendor to pack the hardtop inside, and freight it north.

I found a crew in Melbourne, who knocked up crates, and gave them the dimensions. They fabricated a crate for $137 which was reasonable. I didn’t realise how reasonable until I saw the crate for the first time today.
It's sturdy

There seemed to be an interminable delay in getting it picked up from the vendors place in Melbourne – about ten days actually. I kept hearing that they “don’t have the right truck”. The couriers work alone, so if they’re shifting anything substantial they need a truck with a hoist.

Did I say “substantial”?

This crate would be proof against nuclear attack, and probably weighed four times as much as the hardtop.

Anyhow, it arrived today, after a further 24 hour delay getting it from the depot in Toowoomba to our place because (wait for it) they “didn’t have the right truck”.

It's nearly as big as the car

The hardtop fits. I know that because I’ve already tried it on, carefully avoiding the temptation to take it for a run with only the front clips engaged.

I figure that after waiting four months, another week or two sourcing the attachment parts won’t be a problem. It’s in good nick – although I might get it sprayed to match the MX5. It’s black – too hot in this climate.

Waiting for the attachments and the paint job is no hassle.

I’m patient now. Even my bride says so.

Black or silver?                                                                                                                                                                             

  It looks OK fitted.

1 comment:

cav said...

A bargain is often not.

BTW I note your style of writing is changing.

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