Whilst the Kawasaki is off the road – whilst I recover from my serious crash last year – I thought I’d take the opportunity to swap the numberplate over, as the ZRX’s ‘plate is ‘better’ than the Abarth’s.

Getting them off the vehicles and onto retention certificates was easy online but I then hit a snag in that you can’t immediately reassign them until the new registration documents (that you won’t be using for anything else other than immediately making them obsolete) arrived.

Great! So whilst the bike is fine in my garage, I had to park the 124 on a private road for a couple of days until I could get it reinsured with its new numberplate.

So 2000 RM is no more (in terms of the 124); long live 3 RHM!

Well as it’s the 124’s third birthday – already! – it was off to the dealer for a pretty expensive service and its first MoT test.

Unsurprisingly it passed despite its equally unsurprising rusty rear discs (given it had effectively been parked for three months thanks to the motorbike collision).

So there we are: 19,864 miles of smiles. Now do I keep it until it gives up the ghost or do I trade it in towards a sensible Alfa Romeo Gillian Quadrifoglio?

Well that was nice.

I haven’t driven the 124 since the very start of July because on Sunday 7th I had a serious collision that left me with a list of “life-changing injuries” according to the police and media.

This week I upped the weight on my left leg on the advice of my physiotherapist and hydrotherapist and sought the advice of my pelvis orthopaedic consultant who said I could now drive again providing I can do an emergency stop (I’d earlier driven an auto hire car with no issues).

The 124 has been charged with a solar charger after we had a flat battery but hadn’t been started or moved so it took quite a bit of turning over before it started but wasn’t as seized in terms of the brakes as I expected.

Good to be back driving it though.

Link for attention (re the injuries): http://www.tiger1200.uk/2019/08/23/a-slight-hiccough/

Just signed up with the Gentleman’s Jolly to have a luxothrash along the North Coast 500, Scotland’s answer to Route 66.

Should be a blast!

2017 North Coast 500

So yes, it appears that Richard Hammond really does like the Abarth 124 Spider.

No surprises there then!

It’s on Amazon Prime Video, The Grand Tour Season 1, Episode 11 “Italian Lessons”

Hammond gets the Abarth 124 Spider a little sideways

So with the Spider semi-run-in, a nice day forecast and a model friend, Miss Pixie, staying and shooting with us at ours, it seemed rude not to give the Spider a good clean and then go and take some photos.

We had planned a Thelma & Louise theme to the shoot, but as it turned out it was far too windy for that, sadly, so we opted for getting Ali and Pixie to pose in and around the car anyway. Thank goodness for heated seats too…

As it turned out, the car looked just as beautiful as they did:

It’s arrived – well, a week ago, but I was in Malta on holiday and then away in the Netherlands on business – so I finally managed to pick up the Abarth 124 Spider this morning from MotorVillage Marylebone.

And it’s lovely! Pretty car! A really throaty burble too. Hit the Sport switch and in the wet conditions just as we’d collected it, it was keen to go a little sideways – very controllably. As demanded by friends, we had the theme from the Italian Job playing as we headed down Park Lane and homeward past Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament.

It’s now all set up for my gadgets and my stuff is in the stash areas, some of which are hidden from view which is a nice touch.

Planning is already under way for a mountain-based Eurothrash in 2017: with the Alps again like last year in the MX-5 or the Pyrenees like I visited on the ZRX.