Plymouth to Dakar in a Car Bought For £100 – Part 3 of 8 (Andrew)

In 2004 a friend and I tried to to drive from Plymouth to Dakar in a car bought for £100. In August 2022, Livejournal sent me an email to congratulate me on my 18 anniversary of starting a journal with them. When I checked the link I discovered they still had all my old online journal (not called a blog then!) entries. I thought it would be fun to publish them again.

11 August 2004 – Version 2.0

The world wide web just got a new addition courtesay of Mr Smokey. Version 2 of is now up and running. It ain’t porn, but it’ll do.

16 August 2004 As one legend dies so another is born

Memphis, Tennesee, 16 August 1977

It was another sweltering Tennessee night in the capital of Blues. As children in the street play stick and ball, and ceiling-fans in bars gently whir in the stagnant southern air, a rumour starts to spread. The King is dead. Done in by one burger too many, those a-hips, they ain’t a-gonna swing no more…

Glasgow, Scotland, 16 August 1977

Rottenrow maternity hospital has seen its fair share of pain and joy. Tonight was to be no different. Exhausted but overjoyed at the birth of their twin boys, the tired parents look proudly on the new life they have brought into the world. “This one,” they say to each other “this one we will call Andrew. And when he grows up he will make us so proud, and never do anything foolish or life threatening.”

Yes my friends, it’s all gone downhill since then. Born on the day that Elvis died, Mr Andrew Todd, the Arbroath Smokey, turns 27 today. Happy Birthday Smokey lad!

18 August 2004 – Show us your love

With a massive thanks to Pete and all at Label Graphics (undoubtedly the finest suppliers of quality self adhesive/pressure sensitive plain and printed labels and labelling equipment the world has ever seen) we will soon take delivery of some fantastic new Team Bandit Bumper Stickers! Complete with comedy slogan and the website address, these are the ideal way to show how much you love us.

How do you get your hands on one of these bad boys? Well, the easiest way is to join the Pit Crew! The Bumper Stickers are sent out as part of the exclusive and very sought after Pit Crew Membership pack. You could always try being very nice to the boys, in the hope that they might just give you one for free, but there are no guarantees…

The supplier of these labels is Peter, one of the finest (and funniest) men on the planet. His company, Label Graphics, do all sorts of amazing labelling wizardry, supplying food and beverage labels, pharmaceutical labels, barcode labels, and I’m quite sure every other kind of labelling stuff imaginable, to some of the biggest companies in the world. Check out their website at – why not start a raging discussion at the Labelling Forum, or pick your favourite Label of the Month (which all seem to be alcohol related – good work fellas!).

22 August 2004Beauty Tips : Number One

Like any good looking gal, our car, Beauty, requires a little bit of protection when she’s out and about. She needs to know that, despite flaunting her bodywork from Plymouth to Dakar, those foreign fellas will only be able to look and not touch.

In no particular order, here are her top personal safety tips for hitting the streets: 

1. Padlocks

Lock everything – Doors, sunroof, the rear boot and anything else you can possibly think off. Remember though that hasps can be forced open so back up your padlocks, by, yep, even more padlocks. Make those fellas work if they want to get their hands on the goods.

2. Curtains

While Mr Bandit has already immersed himself in the latest catalog from Ikea at the very thought of adding curtains to Beauty; Mr Smokey suspects some newspaper and tape to cover the windows will protect her (and Messrs Bandit and Smokey) from both prying eyes and the strong African sun. NB – Covering the front windscreen is a beginners error (unless of course you plan to reverse all the way to dakar in which case – go right ahead).

3. Windows

Finally, if the soaraway Sun or swedish soft furnishings ain’t your thing then how about some metal grilles over the windows? At night these grilles will let you sleep while keeping the windows open but any inquistive visitor out. Perversely though, having metal grilles will make you look like a security van and thus more likely to be robbed (or at least poked at with a stick though the metal grille while you dream about the day you can take a Sherman Tank to Dakar instead).

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