Hello, I’m Julie.
I am an unemployed Mum in South West England. Since I was a child I wanted a classic Mini, my Grandparents next door neighbour had one when I lived with them, and it reminds me of happy times.
A few years ago my Husband bought me the car of my dreams, a classic mini. Over the years we have spent a lot of money on not just maintenance, but on improvements to my car, lovingly named Mavis. I did not knowingly let her rot, this was as much a shock to my mechanics as myself.
Sadly yesterday she broke, and dramatically. Going at slow speed, there was a clunk, then a bump and a squeal. The rear left of my car had dropped. I was praying it was just the radius arm, or a retaining bolt somewhere had moved, but it’s the subframe. This is like the cars skeleton, everything is built on and around this. Without this repair it’s terminal, but I cannot afford this right now. The part itself will be around £400 plus a fixings kit, and undoubtedly more damage will be uncovered as the snapped subby is removed.
This may sound silly, but I feel lost, I feel a kind of grief. This car is so much more than just wheels and a motor to me. I have chronic health conditions, and cannot work because of it. I sleep about 10 to 16 hours a day, and this is not by choice. That little car is my freedom, when I’m too tired to walk Mavis is my legs. I don’t mean I drive sleepy, I mean when my legs and body just don’t have the strength left, I can rely on Mavis. She’s small enough to park nearly anywhere, so I can park as close as possible to places I need to go. Mavis has a tiny little engine, running the original 998 engine - it’s not a fast car, and Only 4 gears. She is an 1989 Rover Mini Mayfair, an increasingly rare classic British vehicle.
If Mavis had failed at speed I could have died, as it caused one wheel only to lock up, I would have spun out at motorway speed. Luckily no one was hurt. Unlucky in a way too, as this means that this massive bill is not motor insurance claimable. If it had happened to result in a crash, insurance would likely have totally covered this.
I am truly gutted, and am fighting tears. I’m desperate enough to beg strangers for money. I have nothing of value to sell, or I really would be doing that first.
Anything would help.
- Sarah Bailey