Sticky patch comes to the rescue
YYour recent mention of the Vauxhall Chevette ( CCW 28 December) made me smile.
In the 1980s I owned a Chevette estate – maroon with red check seats. I paid £100 for it and it gave me faithful service for about six months.
Then on a weekend jaunt into Buckinghamshire with my girlfriend (now wife) the car lost power and would only do 20mph. This made things very awkward, especially going up Wycombe hill when the speed reduced to 10mph. I saw a large motor parts chain store in the distance and headed for it.
On a complete hunch, I bought a Phillips screwdriver and took the top off the Stromberg carburettor. As your 28 December piece suggested, the diaphragm had an inch-long split in it. The store did not have a spare so after a minute’s head scratching I decided to try to repair it using a bicycle puncture repair kit. Sticking a patch over the tear and putting the top back on the carburettor took me ten minutes. I explained to my girlfriend that we may be able to limp the 35 miles back home, but when I got back on the road my Chevette went better than it had ever gone before. Feeling very pleased that we’d got home safely, I promised myself I would replace the diaphragm as soon as possible. However I confess that the car drove perfectly for another three months before I finally got around to fitting a replacement diaphragm. Those were much simpler times.
Vauxhall Chevette – a faithful servant.