After sitting by the roadside for half an hour or so the rescue man came and picked us up. As it turned out, I could use the same rescue company to get me back to Silchester the next day as they would have been closed by the time we got there the previous evening. They did charge me £43 or so as the garage was over ten miles away, which seemed reasonable.

As luck would have it I already had her booked in to have the wings replaced and a to have a small repair to some rust in the rear wheel arch, so she simply went in a few days early. We were due to go on holiday (not in Clara this time, thank goodness!) so I wasn't going to be needing her for a little while.

As I suspected, it was the head gasket that had failed - spectacularly! Apparently the amount of oil that had escaped will provide corrosion protection for some years to come.

As you may recall from previous posts, Clara has always had a bit of an appetite for oil. I had already decided to have the valve stem oil seals replaced - originally without taking the head off - but had then decided to have the head gasket done as well as it is only a few more hours' work.

The following pictures are courtesy of Silchester Garage:

Repairs
Repairs
Repairs
Repairs
Repairs
Repairs
Repairs

I'm rather glad that I didn't see all this going on as I think I should have been rather nervous for Clara! Hats off to the guys who can do this kind of thing! It's way beyond my capabilities. I should probably get it half-reassembled and then discover that I had missed something out...

The next time I got to see her is the day after we got home from our holiday - and many thanks to the guy who came in on a Saturday morning so that we could pick her up.

She really is looking fantastic now! We shall see if her thirst for oil has calmed down now. I did buy five litres of oil from them just in case - on the principal that if I have it I shan't need it!

Clara Repaired
Clara Repaired
Clara Repaired
Clara Repaired
Clara Repaired
Clara Repaired

I am utterly delighted to be able to say that Clara is no longer using any oil or water! 450 miles - and not on motorways or dual carriageways: mostly A-roads and in traffic - and I haven't had the oil filler cap off and the level hasn't changed. This is a record! I realise that this is actually a normal state of affairs with most cars but this is something new for Clara and it feels great. I am now looking forward to taking her on a long run to see if the oil level remains the same. I'm sure it will, as in the old days 450 miles would probably have required about 400ml of oil.

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