I'll call this tale ''An Itch That Needed Scratching''. :thumbup: So after the sale of Nicole for almost sensible reasons, it was time to unleash my inner ten year old and tick another thing off my list. Time for a cartoon car!!! 25 February 2014; It was an early start to get into Manchester Piccadily to board the 0915 to Glasgow Central!!! We got to the station early and loaded up with drinks, snacks and car magazines then set about kicking some student birds out of our reserved seats. It turned out they were also heading to Glasgow and to be fair to them we ended up having a good laugh on the way. Got to Glasgow bang on time, managed to resist the urge to buy a kilt and instead set about mostering a burrito from Pinto (well worth a fiver if you're ever in Glasgow). Had a bit of time to kill before the new girl was back from her MOT so off we went to watch Robocop, very good film, left me wanting a bionic suit. Anyway, back to the car... So I'd already spoke with the dealers earlier in the week (Port Dundas Car Sales) and they had her ready and waiting by the time the film had finished. For the record, when a Scotsman says ''five minute walk'', what they actually mean is ''twenty minute uphill expedition''. She only had fumes in the tank so unfortunately I had to stick 30L of Esso ''95'' in to get her back to a Shell or at least a BP motorway services. No problem, running relatively sweelty although a little hesitant under acceleration in fifth from 50MPH. Not something Nicole ever struggled with and not really something my Dad's old Impreza T2000 had struggled with, not unduly worried I put it down to getting the cobwebs out. Dived in at the first BP we came to and knowing that there was a Shell about half an hour further down the motorway I just stuck 20L of Ultimate in and grabbed a Monster. Within a few miles she felt smoother and when asked to pull in fifth she felt less hesitant. Was it the cobwebs or was it the fuel??? Hmmm... We got to Shell, by this time she was down to a quarter of a tank so I did the decent thing and brimmed her with V-Power. A quick p!ss and a ciggie for my sisters boyfriend and we were off again. Now again, with a few miles she was a different car. It looks like somebody had woken up and was enjoying the nice expensive fuel hahaha!!! It was only when we got home that I started faffing with the history and handbook and found a little note from her last owner stating that she only likes 98/99 RON. That'd explain it, luckily we have three Shell and two Tesco within a few miles of home... We got back to Altrincham around 2200 with the new girl having averaged around 28MPG on the motorway. Not too shabby for a, erm, ''hybrid''. A bit of investigation through the history saw that she'd lived in Scotland all her life. Originally being owned by a lady doctor for two years, before being registered to ''Evolution Performance Cars'' for a year and then being owned by a Mr.Lally for five years. The first three years had seen main dealer servicing and then during the ownership of Mr.Lally she'd only ever been looked after by Performance HQ in Fife with my sources telling me she'll have been in good hands there given that the main man Russ is/was the guy behind the Wallace Performance Time Attack cars. After that she spent three years being owned by the Stark family (invoices to two different Starks), which my inner ten year old tells me was the same Stark family to which Iron Man belongs. The healthy stack of invoices totalled up at £9234.16 with a further £1001.93 having been spent on oil changes and general servicing!!! There was me thinking I'd spent a lot on Nicole!!! February 26 2014; Woke up to nice blue skies, so there was only one thing for it with not being back in work until tomorrow... KARCHERTIME!!! No before photos as such, she'd been valeted before collection but the rain on the motorway had undone that on the way home. It wasn't a full detail by any stretch, today was just a case of looking for blemishes to put on the to-do list and getting the motorway grime off and sticking a bit of wax on to help protect everything until I've got the time to break the DA and gazebo out (or take her to Robo) for a bit of correction and refinement. Being realistic, she's a twelve year old car so I was open minded about rust/dings/scratches as long as there was nothing terminal looking going on. There's a few problem areas and water traps on these cars and having had a few in the household before I knew pretty much where to look already anyway. Within minutes I'd cleared half of Fife out of the rear wheelarches... Then whipped off the moist-catching but neatly done ''seam protectors'', cheers Subaru... Blasted the wheels with ''IronBerry X'', my bespoke wheel cleaner, bespoke to me, which is bespoke. Made a bit of a mess... Got my cannon out and showered her with THE FOAM OF CLEANLINESS a couple of times, also covered the porch and drive with it... This was followed up with some foamy Sonus action using the usual two bucket method and half a sheep strapped around my fist. Left her au naturale... After that it was time for a brew (not photographed). Then it was time to play ''Spot The Stone Chip'' and ''Hunt The TinWorm''. All things considered she's not bad at all. The usual stone chips in the usual problem areas and one or two that are starting to show signs of oxidation but certainly nothing that isn't treatbale or easily fixed, however the rear wheelarches do have a little bubble (thanks to the ''seam protectors'' ability to retain dirt and moisture) which will be treated in due course. It's no worse than the bubbles on Nicole's tailgate (thanks Renault), just easier to spot when not hidden by glass. But to be honest from more than a few feet away you can't see any of them and I've tried to capture all of the blemishes in the worse light possible as well so that it'll annoy me into sorting them before spending money on performance related goodies. Method in the madness, see. Once they were all found it was time to break out the JDM wax. YO!!! I'd actually been using this on Nicole for the last two years and it's a great product... And so this is how she stands now, no claying or polishing, just a quick wash and wax. I've a few things on the to-do list, most of which is preventative maintenance to be honest. Beside sorting the paint blemishes I'd like to have the underseal redone and beyond that the suspension will be getting a full overhaul of all bushes, ARBs, linkages and dampers (most likely BC or K-sport coilovers) and then it'll be a case of just adding fuel/tyres/brake bits as and when needed and keeping her serviced nice and regularly. As you'll have probably guessed, she isn't standard but that's a good thing in my book really because it means I don't need to add anything engine-wise so I can focus my efforts on the other bits instead. It should be a nice little project, made up of smaller projects, I've no intention of going down the WRC sticker route or sticking wings/bumpers/sideskirts on etc., as I think she looks more than cartoon enough already as she is. And before anybody asks, I'm not sure if she's faster than Nicole or not to be honest, very different drive and very different delivery. But one thing's for sure, she's a lot quieter!!!