My latest adventure with Pepito (my M5) was somewhat of a disaster. I decided to go to Upstate New York on a Friday. Driving from Brooklyn to Syracuse is 5 hours of mild boredom, unless, of course, it is accompanied by one of those special, Upstate New York snow storms, and night.
Foolishly, I run the car on summer tires. Good tires, but particularly slippery in snow. So what would normally take 5 hours becomes 7 hours of slow plodding and white knuckle slips at speed.
Well, it sucked, but it was going to get worse.
About 30 miles short of my destination, I decided to phone a local friend. Jon just happened to be going to a birthday party of a mutual friend, and it happened to be close by. Cool.
I decided that it would be a good idea to get off the road, have a drink, and crash as a hotel instead of along the highway.
Jon gave me the address, I plopped it into the GPS, and I was off the highway and on my way to some Bourbon.
At this point, the weather decided to go blizzard on me.
Chugging along a back road that was barely plowed, I began to get a little nervous. Eventually I reached that sort of desolate country road that you dread to break down on.
You know the one; no houses in any direction for miles, with empty fields on either side of the road to provide great, three foot high snowdrifts to slam through. Pepito is low, so this makes for some serious fun.
Anyway, I'm in the middle of nowhere, in a blizzard. I barrel down a large hill and notice that, damn, it has another side.
I wasn't traveling fast enough to make it up the next hill. Damn. I backed up, turned around, and tried to retrace my steps. No traction, no luck.
I started to notice that there were no cars coming on this road. After 15 minutes of trying to swing the car out of the bowl I was stuck in, I realized that this might me the end. I might end up having to get towed out of here.
So, I did what any idiot would do; I gave it one more try. Driving with the door open at 45 MPH in reverse, I lost my line a little, smacked the driver-side parking light and fender, and wedged my self next to a guard rail. Sweet. I was screwed, and damaged.
I sat there for a little while, wedged against a guard rail on a desolate country road in the middle of a blizzard in a street car. F*ck it! I ******* the gas and managed to work my way away from the guard rail and back onto the road. Just then I noticed lights approaching over the crest of the hill. A human?! A 4x4 rolled slowly down the hill toward me. I had my window down, snow blasting into the car. He rolled his down as he slowed to a stop next to me. "You stuck?". Yessir, he had a chain and I had the tow ring in the back! He proceeded to fishtail and slide up that hill with me in tow, in reverse. I could barely see anything with the blizzard in my face as I stuck my hear out the window to drive.
After we unhooked at the top of the hill, he asked me a favor, "If you ever have one of these," he said, pointing at his truck, "make sure to do the same for somebody." I said that I surely would.
So, I continued on my way, unstuck, but still damaged, to the bar where my drink was waiting. At this point I was very cold, wet, tired, and pissed that I hurt my Pepito.
I continued following the GPS, but I noticed that it seemed to be taking me further away from habitation. It finally had me on the worst stretch of road I'd seen that night. I had to keep the car going 40, otherwise that would have been it. Stuck. Finally, the GPS twanged "Arriving at zero zero seven, on right". WTF? I was in the middle of a field! The closest house was over a mile away in the distance.
The GPS had decided to put me in the middle of nowhere, and I had followed like a lemming. So I re-entered the destination, verified it this time (f*cking idiot I am), and went back in the direction I had come after spending 25 minutes digging myself out (I carry a shovel too).
On my way there, I realized that I hadn't even needed to go down these county roads. The bar I was going to was just off the highway. Anyway, I made it, got nice and wasted with old friends, and generally felt glad to be alive. Pepito was damaged, but not too badly.
Oh, and that morning, my car was towed. That helped my spirits.
So, that was the trip.
The repair is another story.
My claims adjuster looked at the scrapes and the dent, gave me an estimate, and took the car. I got a nice big Dodge Magnum to drive for a week (car? truck? wagon? what is a Magnum?) So the repairs were done, and I went to pick up my freshly painted (on one side) M5.
Inspection time: Paint looks good. Uh... "Somebody buffed through the paint, down to the steel". "Oh, uh, yeah.", their body man said. "We'll repaint that for you.", says the insurance adjuster. Okay, I don't mind too much, but I'm a littler perturbed. I get into the car, start it up and take off into th... whoa! The SRS light is blinking... WTF? I switch on the lights; "Parking Light" warning comes up on the dash. I switch the car off. "Okay guys, this is a problem". I say I'll come back in a week to get the rest of the problems ironed out. I leave, get the family, and park it in front of my apartment.
The next day, I go out to Pepito. Huh? I notice that the driver side door is unlocked. Whatever, I must have forgotten to lock it. I get in and set up. The car is dead. No juice. I whip open the hood, and jump it from a portable battery thing I have in the trunk. Great. So the handle that they fixed doesn't actually work; doesn't lock the car, doesn't lock... wonderful. I leave for the city.
It's too late to make this long story short, but let me try from here on:
I brought the car back over to the body shop today. They reset the SRS light. Great. They'll fix the paint next week. Oh, and the clip for the fusebox cover is just gone. Don't know why, don't know where. On my way back from the garage, my old Pepito turned 100,000! Still running strong!