The Heap

Meet the Heap.
Our landlady has very kindly given us the use of it while we’re here.  It’s a Peugeot 205, I think it’s sixteen years old (same as Jeepy, funnily enough).  She described it as a “fun little car” and said she loves driving it.
Hmmm.  I have a suspicion she thinks it’s “fun” and “loves driving it” because she’s high on the fumes which fill the cabin whenever she drives it.
The driver’s seat is broken, and is “repaired” with a thick piece of memory foam.  Actually, this works – it feels completely lopsided and weird when I sit on it, but after a few minutes, I find it has moulded to my shape.
The boot (trunk) doesn’t close properly, and makes a faint rattling noise whenever the car is moving.  However, any noise generated by the trunk is quickly drowned by the sporadic rumbles coming from the front left wheel, where there is a bearing on the way out.  There’s no need to worry, we were told, it’ll be fine for another while…
The landlady emphasised that the Heap is only up to short local trips, but it would be ideal for me to get to the local shops and the horses whenever the LSH has used Jeepy to get to the airport.  Ok, so, the first time he was away, I decided to nip over to Manosque and do some grocery shopping.
After about 10km on the twisty, windy, hilly road to Manosque, the rattle of the boot and the rumble of the wheel bearing were being drowned out by a high-pitched screaming noise, emanating from somewhere around the front end of the Heap.  This got louder and louder, so much so that people were turning to look as I drove past on the busy streets of Manosque.  I tried to make myself look like an eccentric French woman, but to no avail, I could only have looked like a very embarrassed and worried foreigner. 
I finally made it to Hyper-U and switched off the ignition, praying it would start again when needed, to find that the engine cooling fan was also roaring – the sound of the fan, rumbling wheel bearing and rattling boot had all been drowned out by the high-pitched scream.
The fan had stopped by the time I got back with the shopping, and the Heap, true to form, roared into life as soon as I turned the key.  The high-pitched scream didn’t start again until I was about half-way home, on the country road between Manosque and Les Granons, so thankfully, I wasn’t turning heads again.
Don’t get me wrong, we are truly grateful to have the use of the Heap, although I’m not convinced it will last for the whole year.  Without it, I would either have to cycle 7km each way to see the horses when the LSH is away, or I would have to drop him to Marseille each time he’s going anywhere.  I think I’d rather take my chances with the Heap, thank you.
Every time I drive it, I’m reminded of a song my daughter had on her MP3 player when she was in school (I made her take it off, in case she got into trouble).
If you’re someone who is offended by lots of bad language, don’t watch this video.  Everyone else : this perfectly describes the Heap.

There is another car lurking in the Bergerie under the house which we have been ASKED to take for a spin every couple of months, but that’s another story.

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7 thoughts on “The Heap

  1. It seems we've all had our share of Crap Cars!My very first car was a Fiat 1972 500 (google it, it is was a really cute care, also had the engine at the rear) It was bright blue with yellow painted wheel rims. It started with a little lever in between the front seats and had no synchromesh so you had to double-declutch to change gear. It had a tiny sun-roof, too. I remember it fondly, and was sorry I couldn't hang on to it, but we were sent out to California for a year and had to sell it

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  2. Love the song and video. I've had plenty of cars like the one described. Once had a volkswagen bug that had no first gear so had to push it jump in and hit second gear. Stoplights were always an adventure. Anyway, as long as it gets you where you want to go just turn up the radio and sing. I'm sure they'll all think you're very eccentric! (another word for crazy)

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  3. Ha, reminds me of my 1st mini, do ye remember…in Greybrooks. Battery in a feed bucket in the boot, hole eround the gear stick so you got drenched everytime you went through a puddle. The old slide windows which shot open everytime you went over a bump, but it got me and 25 kids all over the country to shows, we always came home exhaustless after going in to whatever field so couldnt hear ourselves think but boy did I love it and still miss it 🙂

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  4. Yes, I do appreciate having it, despite all of the cruel jokes we make at its expense! But it won't be going to Manosque again, mind you, that hilly windy road is just too much for it (and me)

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  5. Our second car is like this, although thankfully not quite as bad yet. Every time I ride in it I feel like I'm taking my laugh into my hands! But it gets great gas mileage so I tolerate the little heap 🙂

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  6. Hahahaha! I remember that song from back in high school! Brings back so many memories, including the first car I ever owned.But, you are lucky to have use of it, and maybe after enough driving around and inhaling the fumes, you will think its a fin car, too!

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