A little 21st century elbow grease still goes a long way, even on 19th century cars, and Renault Minute, the fast-fit no-appointment network of Renault service centres, was able to help dozens of 100-plus year old cars on Sunday's 2006 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
Three teams of Renault Minute technicians patrolled the first half of the 60-mile route and were stationed at the halfway point in Crawley to assist entrants driving their cars built before 1904 on the 110 th London to Brighton event.
"We had a really busy day," said technician Richard Asquith, who was on the road in a Renault Minute Kangoo Van with Chris Dale. "We stopped for around 30 cars, most of the early casualties came around Brixton Hill - we pushed one car up most of the way up, trying to coax it back into running under its own power! Some drivers were managing to carry out their own repairs, but some borrowed tools from us, or used our oil and water, or were just grateful for our moral support and elbow grease."
Renault Minute technicians stationed at Crawley were responsible for getting entrant number 4, a twin-cylinder, 3¾ hp water-cooled 1896 Peugeot back on the road. Driver Ralph King and co-driver Jenny Atherton from Perth, Western Australia ran into trouble coming into the halfway coffee stop at Crawley when the 110-year old car lost most of its coolant through a leak that Mr King was unable to fix with the limited tools and spares he'd been able to bring over on his flight from Australia.
Renault Minute technicians Derek Holden and Ian Burgess, located in Crawley Market Square, spent half an hour under the car fixing the leaking system, and refilling the cooling system with 40 litres of water. "It was great to see the Renault Minute technicians here, they've been a big help. What they've done is fantastic, absolutely wonderful!", said Mr King as he prepared to drive off for the final 25-mile leg to Brighton.
In addition to helping veteran cars from all over the world make the trip between London and Brighton, Renault Minute has 83 service centres for all makes of car across the whole of the UK, operated by franchised Renault dealers and Renault-authorised independent garages. They provide servicing and repairs for all makes of cars with and without appointment, specialising in wear-and-tear components; brakes, exhausts, tyres and batteries, oil changes, shock absorbers and MOT tests. Every job includes a free 25-point safety check .Published 8 November 2006