I was the proverbial kid in the sweet shop on Friday afternoon when I called in to Lincoln’s Signs Express to collect my vinyl lettering. The guy who runs the set up asked what it was all in aid of but the look on his face was only one of bemusement as I explained what Banger Does Britain was all about. Still, I’m sure he was more interested in receiving payment rather than knowing the ins and outs of a 1250 mile, sub-24 hour journey across Britain in a 14 year old Rover.
Saturday afternoon and post-F1 qualifying, after the weather had become dry enough, I set about the task of fitting the stickers. I was until that point a virgin in the world of applying graphics to car bodies but I felt having watched plenty of instructional videos online, I’d know what I was doing.
It’s one of those things that looks really easy because you only see experts doing it – when a novice like me tries it, it looked like I was performing a 2011 interpretation of a Norman Wisdom sketch. The smallest of breezes sent a ribbon of sticky backed vinyl whipping around the car, my arms and head like a super-sized fly paper, much to the giggling of passers by. Unless they were just laughing at the Rover.
However, on they eventually went. As you can observe, it’s far from the most professional looking application but the skew-whiff appearance provides a welcome distraction from the charms of the bodywork generally.
I’ve driven around Lincoln a couple of times since the stickers have been affixed and reaction is strange both within and outside the car. I need to get used to the fact that white lettering plastered all over the body is going to get it noticed but it feels very odd to see so many people looking at you as you’re driving about. Pedestrians and other drivers have so far glanced with a frown or an expression of ‘eh?’. Even people walking past the house do so with a comedic double take. Again, bemusement rather than enthusiasm reigns.
Now that the Mitsubishi ASX I was driving has gone back to Cirencester, the Banger Does Britain Rover becomes my daily wheels again for a while, meaning it’ll be taking the route to work every morning. Hopefully the prospect of sitting for eight hours in a public car park will generate more interest in what it’s all about.
Shortly I’ll hear from my co-driver when he’s free for the run and I’ll confirm the date and expected route through my usual channels.
In the meantime, if you see me driving about in the Rover, predominantly in the Lincoln area, give me a wave, beep of your horn or, if safe, take a photo and email me it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the next episode of Banger Does Britain – Living with a Banger