March 22, 2013

It is with great sadness that Bankstone News must this week report that our much loved motoring correspondent and chief test driver Marty Butch passed on a few days ago. Though you would never know it from his sleazily rugged exterior, Marty died tragically young and will be greatly missed by someone or other, we feel sure. He is survived by a string of abandoned families, unpaid bar tabs and a whiff of foul language still hanging poignantly in the air.

As a tribute to Mr Butch, we here offer his final – tragically incomplete – road test review for Bankstone News. We’re looking for a new motoring correspondent, incidentally. If you’re interested or would like to suggest a replacement, please feel free to contact editor@bankstone-news.co.uk In the meantime, here for one last time, is the (metaphorically) immortal Marty:

If there’s one person who’s guaranteed to get all over-excited about a small economical car, it’s that flippin’ Dickon Tysore. I thought he was never going to speak to me again after I ditched his Panda that time, but now he’s not only talking (god, does that man like to talk!) he’s positively imploring me to road test this new Volkswagen Up he’s got. It’s ‘blue motion’ he tells me proudly. Last time I had a blue motion was after I necked an entire bottle of Curacao at Christmas.

The model he’s really after, he tells me, eyes lit up and drooling at the very thought of it, is their new electric one – but that’s not out til next year.

“It’s called…” he chortles merrily, “and as a fellow Yorkshireman, I think you’ll appreciate this…” Tysore’s not from Yorkshire, mind, he’s from Nottingham or somewhere down south, but doesn’t want anyone to know that. “…it called an e-Up!” How we laugh, or rather, how he laughs, and laughs… and then laughs some more. He actually gets up, walks over to that machine he has in his stripy boudoir of a boardroom, makes himself his third or fourth cup of some gut-churning brew, and sits back down again, chuckling all the while.

“It’s the little white one next to the Jonesmobile” he finally gets out – sliding the keys at me across the desk. “You can keep it over the weekend, but I want it back on Monday – in one piece – along with your review.” I grunt assent. I’m mostly a man of action, as opposed to words, me. “And try and take in some nice scenery while you’re out with it”, he tells me. “See if you can get round some of the places we’d be likely to visit on the Medieval Monkeys run.” I shudder at the mention of those bloody monkeys. Three fookin’ year I’ve trailed round Yorkshire after that miserable bunch. Not doing that again!

Out in the yard, Tysore’s Up is easy enough to find. I’m sure I saw some kind of titty flick once called Up. I fire her up and get her out of the car park with barely a scratch and burn off home for tea. She’s roomy enough inside – for a TOY CAR – but her 3 cylinder engine makes a heck of a racket. She’s even got wind up windows in front – what a joke! Over a couple of pints down the Headless Ferret later on I have a bit of a brain wave: Tysore says he wants an e-Up. I’m going to make his dreams come true!

First thing the next day (before I’ve even had dinner) I’m down in the shed, dragging out this sodding great battery I nicked out of this total loss artic cab the other week, and using a winch and pulley rig to swing it into the boot of Tysore’s sorry-arsed motor. I have to put the seats down, mind, coz there’s hardly room to swing a gnat in there. Next I drag out some wiring from that washing machine that blew up last year, and in no time flat I’m pretty sure I’ve bodged up Britain’s very first e-Up. Wait til Tysore sees this!

I nip back inside for a good supply of fags and a couple of four-packs of John Smith (I scoop up a couple of mags and a bottle of Teachers as an after thought). And I’m all ready to take this baby on her maiden voyage. Turning the key, and… that’s funny… what’s that fizzing sound? Oh f


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