Plymouth to Dakar in a Car Bought For £100 – Part 4 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.

25 August 2004 – What Mr Smokey don’t know can’t hurt him…right?

Q. So, Mr. Smokey, what do you know about cars?

A. They can help you pull chicks, oh yeah!

Q. Chicks?

A. You know, birds, babes… the lay-deez! Uh huh – They love the ride!


Q. Right. So what you’re saying is you know nothing about cars?

A. Well…

Q. About engines and bearings and filters and exhausts.

A. Of course I do, guys just know all that kind of stuff naturally.

Q. Have you ever changed a tire?

A. Come on, give me a hard question, I’ve changed hundreds of tires.

Q. Name one?

A. Why?

Q. I’m just curious that’s all. Name one time when you changed a tire.

Q. Well, there was this one time – this was years ago – when my dad asked for a hand with a really fiddly tire and I mean it was a beaut. This was the Mount Everest of tire changes. A real humdinger.

Q. What did you do?

A. It was easy. It was too easy! It was nothing. Click my fingers, just like that, it was done.

Q. Yes, but what did you do?

A. We changed the tire.

Q. What specific things did you do? The lugnuts, the hupcap, come on man, give me details!

A. Don’t want to.

Q. Why not?

A. I’ve got nothing to prove. I’m a guy. We fix things. It’s as simple as that. Change a plug, fix a light bulb, repair a car, it’s all good.

Q. Then why won’t you answer my questions?

A. Okay, okay. One question though, that’s all your getting.

Q. How did you change the tire?

A. Well first I got a spanner – 

Q. Surely you mean a lugwrench?

A. Yeah, of course. So, I got the lugwrench and I start to unscrew those big screw things – 

Q. Sorry to interrupt again, but what about the hubcaps?

A. The hubcaps?

Q. You did leave the hubcaps on, didn’t you? It’s not like you’d want to start to change the tire with the hubcaps still on.

A. [Laughs] Of course I left them on, any idiot knows that.

Q. HA! Got you! You can’t leave the hubcaps on, you fool, they cover the nuts and the wheel.

A. Well, I…

Q. You don’t know the first thing about cars at all do you?

A. …….


Q. So what really happened?

A. I passed my dad a spanner.

Q. A spanner. 


Q. And was that it?

A. It was the wrong size. 

Q. You don’t know the first thing about cars do you?

A. No.

19 September 2004 – Children’s Hospice Week

Today marks the start of Children’s Hospice Week in the UK – a week-long celebration of the fantastic work that Children’s Hospices do, and a good time for fundraising.You can find out more about Children’s Hospice Week at the swanky new ACH website – are all sorts of events going on – you can hold your own Butterfly Tea Party to help raise money. We did think of holding one ourselves, but the last time we did any home baking the emergency services had to be called…There will also be collections at Somerfield supermarkets, and indeed you can meet Gavin at Somerfield on Old Street, London, a couple of nights this week. Please talk to him, he doesn’t bite (as long as you donate some money).We’re also using Children’s Hospice Week to launch our own fundraising part of the site – and you can now donate quickly and easily online using credit or debit cards by visiting There are links to our fundraising page all over the site, and to find out more about the different things that your donations will get you visit the “Help us” page.

28 September 2004 – Gentlemen, start your engines

It is with great pleasure that we can officially declare the Pit Lane open. We thought about doing a proper opening ceremony, you know, putting up some red ribbon, hiring a former soap opera actor to come and cut it, and handing out fizzy wine in plastic cups. Unfortunately Dirty Den from Eastenders claimed to have a ‘prior engagement’.

Anyway, you can now access the Pit Lane from the menu bar, and you get to use our super-sophisticated password protected entry system, meaning that only those who have donated some money to our charity get access to the Pit Lane. Massive thanks to Alan Woolston for writing the code for the password, his IT prowess may make him slightly geeky, but he knows 47 ways to kill you with his little finger, so much respect is due.

What are you gonna find in the pit lane, then? Well, at the moment there’s some useful answers to questions which everyone seems to want to ask us. There’s also some comedy coincidences between us and the film Smokey and the Bandit. There are some choice photos going up, including pictures of Beauty as she’s appeared in a number of films – some of which may come as a surprise. There will also be a live daily journal which we’ll update as we embark on our adventure. Basically, then, its ram-jammed full of great stuff, is guaranteed to be much funnier than the main site, and is yours from the take-home price of just £5 (although don’t be ashamed to give more…).

So ladies and gentlemen, start your engines please, the Pit Lane is now open…

[2022 Note – I have no memory of doing this or inventing OnlyFans in 2004!]

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