We had bought this car secondhand a few weeks before the holiday, thinking it would be just the thing for trouble free travelling. It was a seven seater Montego estate with fold down rear facing seats. The garage must have seen us coming because it turned out to be a money pit. We got to know the Britannia rescue call centre people quite well during the three years we had it. The exhaust was the first in a long line of faults which cost us about £3k. The wiring caught fire on the way to scouts one evening, the rear tailgate piston broke one afternoon in the supermarket car park, the suspension went, the brakes failed, we had a fuel leak etc etc etc. Finally we gave in and bought a newer and more reliable car.
Paul loved his cars and was always terribly disappointed when they were broken, as they always seemed to be. We always seemed to get cars that had been made on Friday afternoons when no one was trying!
George the risk taker, a child with his glass always nearly full, found the whole thing a big exciting adventure. Sam the worrier, who really took after his dad and had his glass permanently almost empty, worried about the car falling off the back of the tow truck, the fact that he had a lap belt on, the fact that Daddy couldn't do up his seat belt and the possibility that the young man might exceed the speed limit. I said to George that it wasn't exciting, but actually I did find it rather fun. It would have been most unwise to admit that to Jim and Sam though, so I kept quiet.
So anyway, Jim's day got a bit difficult, and he had to complain to the garage where we bought the car, as the exhaust was held together with duct tape and paint when they sold it to us. I have tried this subsequently and it never works for long. We got home safely and it didn't snow, for which we should be grateful. It doesn't snow in July usually, but you never know.