Addendum – The Challenger

I’ve forgotten why exactly, it seemed like a good idea to advertise the Challenger in the school’s Monday News. Obviously, we’d need a car to get out of Ivanhoe so selling it before we left town seems a bit tricky in hind-sight.

Still, we really wouldn’t be needing a four wheel drive once we left Ivanhoe and when Alice responded to the ad but “wouldn’t have the money” until her superannuation payment came through, we came up with a perfect – if complicated – plan.

Nigel was due in Hay court on Tuesday the 3rd of March (Yes, I know we had only just left!) so all we had to do was take the Bear to the Central Coast where he would stay with his favourite grandparents, plus find and buy a car online that we could pick up on the Central Coast.

Then, Kaye would follow Nigel (in the police car) to Hay, deliver the car to Alice (who would travel down from Ivanhoe to meet us). Then Kaye would get a (pre-approved) lift back to the Central Coast with Nigel in the police car, pick up the new car plus the Bear (who was never going to get permission to ride home in Nabiac 21) and then drive back to Paradise Beach in the two cars.

Did I mention that it was complicated?

Now, it really shouldn’t have come as a surprise that as soon as we decided to sell the car, the wheels proceeded to fall off. And so it was that our final trip back to Paradise saw us stall going up the final hill and less than a kilometre from our front door. Thanks to our friendly NRMA man we bade a sad farewell to the Challenger, which was unceremoniously towed away after we stuffed the important items into the back of (good neighbour) Al’s station wagon. This misadventure was followed by another and then another (spark plugs, plug leads, alternator, rear vision mirror and windscreen) until we had spent around $1200 in repairs over the next three weeks…… on a car that was due to be sold.

Still, undaunted, we found and bought a ‘new’ car online (and on the Central Coast) and then drove (for two days) to Hay to exchange the Challenger for the cash.  To cut a long story short, the slight tapping noise that was barely audible at Yass turned into a rather loud banging noise by the time the Challenger limped into Hay.

An oil change and several litres of oil later and the mechanic announced that the car would need a replacement motor (at a cost of around $4,000).  With very few options, we decided that if Alice still wanted the car / bomb she could have it for free – and drove to the motel where we’d agreed to meet, to tell her the ‘good news’.

Alice must have really, really wanted a red Challenger or perhaps she felt sorry for us but after a lengthy discussion and a few phone calls, she and Dallas announced that their mechanic friend in Hay would fix the car and generously offered to pay us $2,000 – which we accepted. I’m not sure if there’s a moral to the story…………..  perhaps “Never let your car know when it’s about to be sold!!!”

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