Betsy needs a makeover

Auckland Travel Blog

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Auckland recycling scheme, just dump in on the side of the road and the van will collect it, after I've finished shopping

I found her on te.co.nz.  She has a small but tidy 1.8 litre petrol engine, green bodywork with silver bumpers and 4 brand new tyres.  I saw the add early in the morning and was the first person to view the car, I didn’t realise though how far I had to travel to get there and ended up hiring a bicycle for the day.  12 km and an hour later I reached the house, sweating like a pig.  The previous owner was a little Chinese lady, not a backpacker, and I could tell she had looked after Betsy very well.  The interiors were clean and all electrics worked fine.  I took her for a spin and it was love at first site, she sounded great, no coughs or hiccups.  She also had a brand new W.O.F (warrant of fitness), which last 6 month and is the equivalent to a road safety certificate ��" it is illegal in NZ to drive without one.

Stinky mattress
  We agreed a price, even less than what I had in mind, and drove to the post office where we completed the sale.  That was it!  I arrived in Auckland on Saturday and by Wednesday I had a new set of wheels, the only problem was her size, quite tiny.  I knew I had to come up with something clever to make her more appealing to backpackers, if I wanted a quick sale in January.

 

The first choice was to take the back seat out, so I had room to sleep.  The most obvious place to store the seat was the roof, or maybe a trailer… no, sod the trailer idea, I didn’t have a toe bar to start with.

Mattress covered with canopy fabric and Good Old Duck Tape (GODT)
  I looked for a roof rack and found one on te.co.nz, but when I got there I discovered that the guy was selling a huge great safari type cage-rack, big enough to strap down a hippo or a baby elephant!  That wasn’t what I had in mind but my trip wasn’t wasted, because I managed to borrow a socket set to take my seats apart.  The day got even better, as I drove back to the city and noticed heaps of household rubbish dumped on the side of the road, ready to be collected.  Apparently this happens once a year and it’s part of Auckland’s recycling scheme.  For me it was Christmas come early!  I love rubbish, it took me three hours to fill up the boot of Betsy with all sorts of crap: my shopping included a bike helmet; 2 warm blankets; some cutlery and kitchen utensils; a slim mattress and a clean canopy tent to cover it up; a camping chair; a trekking backpack; a large piece of clean carpet; a long steel braded cable; a large piece of blue tarp; and 4 tidy curtains… I couldn’t believe my luck, I didn’t have to buy anything else!  Just a few hooks, a pair of scissors and some good old duck tape!

 

When I took the seats out, I noticed that the pitch of the rails they where mounted on matched the pitch of the roof rails, so I didn’t need roof bars after all.

Front seats
  I bought a strip of rubber and a roll of steel wire, and tied both rails together, which saved me another $150.  I worked two days in the car park of a big DIY store, Bunnings:  wrapped the seats in tarp; cut the carpet to measure; screwed the hooks to the ends of the steel cable, which passed through a narrow pocket in each curtain to hold them up; and covered the mattress.   I had a great time!  It was better than sight seeing :-) and Betsy was ready for the ride!       

 

I made one final addition with the purchase of a foldable mountain bike.

lovely clean interiors
  Cost me $100 but it was well worth it. Again, I found it on the TE website.  It’s as big as a proper bike but it hinges in the middle and becomes portable, so you can carry it on a ferry or train, and it fits nicely in the boot of my car.  My previous bike was called Spike because it rhymes… so I stuck with my cheesy theme and called this one Mike.

alicegourmet says:
Looks like you have some luck! Ummmm...is that from my "Abracadabra!"? LOL!
Posted on: Dec 02, 2008
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Auckland recycling scheme, just du…
Auckland recycling scheme, just d…
Stinky mattress
Stinky mattress
Mattress covered with canopy fabri…
Mattress covered with canopy fabr…
Front seats
Front seats
lovely clean interiors
lovely clean interiors
Back seats
Back seats
Back seats
Back seats
small boot... problem
small boot... problem
Back seats wrapped up in tarp and …
Back seats wrapped up in tarp and…
carpet cut to size, lots more room…
carpet cut to size, lots more roo…
Custom free curtain... cosy!
Custom free curtain... cosy!
Auckland
photo by: Fulla