Since I last wrote things have moved on quiet quickly. The trailer became a hindrance and my youngest wants to kart - so I bought a van. Lap times continue to tumble.

I decided to visit the commercial vehicle auction at Blackbushe a couple of weeks ago. I wasn't there to buy anything, I was just there to get an idea of prices for jumbo vans - height top, long wheel base Transit vans. [Other makes are available].

Watching the vans go through I soon got an idea for what was a good price, I had also done by research on Auto Trader and Exchange and Mart. But I still didn't intend to bid on anything. And then I did - the van had nearly a year on it's MOT and the mileage was decent. After doing my post-buying research I basically paid the right amount. I could have got one cheaper if I travelled up to North Yorkshire but I would only have saved £100 on the headline price, the train fare and diesel back would have taken that back.

Now starts the long process of converting it into a motor home. I've seen some advertised, one stuck in my mind. It had walnut work tops that alone cost £800. Mine won't have. The tops will probably be MDF. I didn't realise how expensive 12v fridges are - a small one will set you back the best part of £300. It's supply and demand I suppose - not much call for them.

The van also needs to be able to take two karts - they will be stowed in the back, one on top of the other. Above them will be the bed. Getting the "garage" part of the van air tight so that the petrol fumes don't help us have a deep sleep will be hard, but not impossible. Proper straight cuts and loads of filler I imagine.

William's lap times have come right down. With almost perfect conditions at Camberley last week he smashed his way into the 32's with a 32:59. The session after that was completely dry and the track even warmer and I'm sure William could have beaten that but his chain came off and snapped on the first lap of the next session. We could have bought a new one from the spares man but we decided to call it a day - we were both on a high but both tired and it was nearly 4pm.

William has really pleased me - he has a Frankenstein kart: the stub axles are different lengths and both bent, the chassis is 8 years old and bent, the back axle is bent, the tyres are old and knackered, the rims are battered and no where near perfectly round, the engine has seen better days, the rear bumper has been forced to fit, the steering isn't true and his mechanic is an idiot.

His mechanic is improving and so will his kart in the next few days ....


Author: Jez Caudle. Published: Tuesday June 23 2015

Tweet