Last month I made feeble excuses to justify my long term Caterham as eco friendly thanks to its 500 kg kerbweight and tiny 1.6 liter engine. Now I have a new aphorism; if you really want to go green, ride on the back of a breakdown truck. That’s what I did on the way back from my holiday in Wales and I guarantee my scheme will cut your tailpipe emissions and up your mpg figures. All you have to do is get stranded on the A458 with no oil pressure. After a week in St David’s with family, we packed our bags and headed for Aberdaron. But rather than join the procession north on the A487, me and my shotgun, riding car mad mother hatched a plan to turn inland at Aberystwyth, explore the dams around Rhayader, then aim for Aberystwyth via a few roads I discovered on our Performance Car (Mercedes SLR). None of that happened. Traffic clogged the A44 from Aberystwyth and visibility was next to nothing, so we pulled over, put the roof up and turned back, only to hear a horrible scraping noise. The bracket on the front exhaust guard had rusted through and was barely hanging on. Exhaust guard in boot, off we went, the rest of the journey passing uneventfully.
I took to the A458 for the journey home. It’s a lovely twisting road and the Caterham had enough power to turn all but the shortest straight into overtaking territory. It was then the oil pressure plummeted off the gauge. With 150 miles ahead of me, and a dry sumped engine under the bonnet, I did the sensible thing and pulled over. I called the RAC, was quickly recovered and taken to Welshpool, where a thorough diagnosis and test drive revealed it was only the oil pressure sender playing up. Satisfied that nothing was a miss, I was sent on my way, but naturally my confidence was dented and I took things a little slower. Shame.