The handover was as efficient as ever and after a quick word they managed to find me a convertible Smart For2 instead of the For4 they’d booked for me so I could keep the top down. It turned out to be a good call as the next 4 days had fantastic weather though the For2 feels dangerous at half the speed I’d take corners in the roadster. Once you learn to slow down and drive round the understeer it’s not too bad a means of transport on a sunny day but I couldn’t live with one.
I was glad to get my Brabus back all resealed and now not just water but air tight. The boot now needs a good push to close and you can see the canvas roof bulging out a little when everything is closed tight. A weeks work but they did a great job and after a couple of weeks I can confirm that the Roadster leaks are sorted; not even a drip gets inside now.
With new door and roof seals working perfectly it seemed things were just going too well. One morning, I woke up in the usual rush to work and a quick scan of my tyres (which I try to do before every journey after a tyre came off its rim on my S2000 when I was sideways) showed a small bulge. Checking the pressures it was down to only 10psi when it should have been 29. I’ve made a mental note to check my pressures more often now as it’s almost impossible to tell how low 35 profile tyres are until they are almost flat.
Checking for the cause turned up a nasty rip in the side wall that must have been caused by a pothole, cutting down through the rubber edge and into the alloy, I was not amused. A few minutes messing around in the passenger footwell found the electric compressor under the mat and carpet and it looked like it was holding well enough to limp into work.
A quick phone round as soon as I got into the office darkened my mood further; it was going to be tricky to track down a set of Michelin Pilot Sport tyres in 225/35/17 with none at my usual web discount locations. My trusty local fitter managed to track some down that could be shipped up from a depot and fitted the next day so that was as good as I could do. 18k miles on the rears so far but they only looked half worn however it was safer to change them both. A new pair worked out at £158 each fitted which was quite competitive to what I’d seen online but still expensive compared to the less well known makes that could be had for less than half the price. The Roadster boot is the perfect size for a 225/35 17 wheel (you can just imagine one of the German technicians insisting on the size at the design stage) and I’ve kept the good part worn tyre in case I get another puncture.
The new rears have upset the balance slightly, more understeer being the predictable result: I’ll just have to work a bit harder to wear them down a bit faster.
With summer in full swing I’ve been off mountain climbing at weekends a couple of times and the Roadster is just big enough to fit all the ropes and gear. Having a passenger in the car slowed me down a bit too (nail marks in the door handles are hard to get out) and I managed 360 miles on one tank with the 5lr reserve still to pop up so a credible 55mpg. The lack of cold air-conditioning (next thing I’ll need them to look at when it gets serviced again) might have helped the mpg but would have been nice when the left-seat-brake didn’t want her hair disturbed with the roof down.