It was all planned out nicely, I was going to drop off Betsy at Valley Gas on the Monday morning, it was going to get a full professional valet in the afternoon and then Matt (Custom Car phototographer) was going to spend the Tuesday doing his thing whilst the car was at Valley Gas - seemed fitting seeing as it had spent most of it's life their so far. Then the following weekend Valley Gas were going to take Betsy over to Holland for a big reveal to the public at the Motorama event in Holland.
Alas, thanks to COVID-19, it was not meant to be. That Monday mentioned above was announced as the first day of lockdown, "stay home", "no excuses". I received the call. I was gutted.
Patience was the name of the game. Betsy sat tucked away in my garage, every now and then when the weather was nice, I would give her a gentle nudge to wake her up (she does not like getting up in the morning, or the early afternoon either!) and roll her out of the garage into the sunlight and give her a dust off... on the very rare occasion I took her for a 5 mile round trip, just to make sure everything was still working.
Then I got the call from Matt. Lockdown lifted, could we carry on where we'd left off, albeit Betsy was at home with myself and not at Valley Gas, so we made the decision for Matt to come visit me at home. I had an idea about taking the car out to a place where I used to store it, there would be a good backdrop for storage units and some fields, but I also got the garage all tidied up and photo worthy. Matt arrived, we talked about the "other" children on the driveway, I started Betsy up and pulled out of the garage. We totally forgot about the home garage, but hey, at least it got a tidy up! Then off we drove to the location I had in mind. I asked for permission and no-one said "no", so off Matt went to his car, got all his equipment and did his thing.
It was an absolutely lovely day, sun was out, there were clouds, but not cloudy, the grass in the fields had just been cut. A white horse was chewing away on grass and wondering what the odd flash of light was all about. We had numerous joggers / cyclists coming by and every single one of them started the greeting with, "What is it?".
Matt took how ever many photo's he needed, with a drone too... and then we moved to taking interior shots, that was completed and I said, "oh, don't forget about the inside of the boot". I popped up the boot and photo's were taken... then something went snap. Oops! Now the boot lid would not close, it was stuck up at an awful angle, I pressured it down as much as I could, but it now looked like a VW beetle bootlid where they leave it ajar to get more airflow.
Now we had to do the driving along shots, so you'll probably see more from the passenger side and if they are from the drivers side, they'll be cut off to not show the boot!
Then the day was done. I bumped into David from Classic Car Management (where I used to store Betsy), we had a chat, he hadn't seen the final version of the car, it was good to get his feedback.....and he was keen for me to get the car to him to fit an MSD to sort out those "morning starting issues". Then I drove home and found that both the boot brackets had snapped on the welds. To be fair, they were made about 8 years ago and they did look like a temporary job that we'd just forgotten about upgrading as they were in place and working. So Betsy, is not sitting in the garage again, awaiting me to get the welder out and make some beefier brackets for the bootlid. But, hey, I' not in a rush, it's not like she's going to any shows in 2020 :-D
So, here are some "sneek peek" photo's I took, they are just poor mobile phone images taken with a cheap Huawei phone, so don't expect anything amazing. You'll have to wait until the Custom Car magazine comes out later in the year to see the output from Matt - I'm sure they will be awesome! I'm sure they'll also show the many different colours that the car looks under different light conditions, something I didn't really appreciate until I was looking at her from different distances in different light. Hey, I'm usually sitting inside it trying to prevent anyone from driving into her to notice the colour of the paint!!!!