21 hours ago
Friday, 17 April 2015
The Micra Mystique - a future classic
We got one of these cute little Nissan Micra cars (they were called the Nissan March in Japan) last Autumn, after spotting it for sale second hand at a local garage that we often drive past. The two tone colour is amazing - orange and pinkish purple, designed to appeal to quilters - and it had very, very low mileage for a car that was nearly 15 years old. It was also in amazing condition. We didn't know much about it when we bought it, but spotted that things like the aircon and hifi systems were much higher quality items than you'd usually find in a small car. It is easy and fun to drive, and I've even managed to cram a full kimono talk into the back. We like it so much, we decided it might be worth keeping as a future classic.
Unfortunately, some idiot managed to drive into it while it was parked near Glyn's office just after the Easter holiday.
It must have been a van or a truck to hit the rear door so high up. It is even higher than the Land Rover bumper. We haven't found out who did it, but the police have been looking at CCTV camera footage in the area, so there is a chance they might find the culprit and they are looking to charge them for driving away from the scene of an accident if they do.
We were sure the car would be written off by the insurers, as the bodywork repair would be expensive and it is an old car = not worth a lot of money. It seemed a real shame for relatively little damage, as it was only the door that was hit (luckily!)
I started looking for another door, with the idea of having it resprayed. I quickly found out that the paint job could cost more than the cost of the car! Apparently, the paint added about £1500 to the cost of the car when new, and it is done with metallic particles in clear layers.
The paint is called Chromaflair. There's a real paint sample on the back of the brochure, although it didn't scan very well. It looks more purple here - the colour of the car under street lighting. The orangey gold shows up better in daylight.
eBay came to the rescue. I found a seller who was breaking the same model for parts, via a listing for another part, contacted him and we drove down to Birmingham to pick it up on Friday morning, before setting up for World Textile Day. The replacement door is slightly scuffed, but there is no deep damage and it should polish out. We are feeling very, very lucky. It has all been a series of bizarre coincidences, starting with me finding a pot of acrylic craft paint with exactly the same colour effect when I was teaching at Tudor Rose Patchwork just before Easter - I bought it thinking it might come in handy to retouch a small scuff on the bumper.
While I've been hunting, I also found an original sales brochure up for grabs on eBay so, with a view to starting to show the car in a few years' time, we got that too. Searching around on the internet, I found out that only 1000 of these cars were made and, as of Autumn 2014, there were only 341 still on the road. There must be a few less now, including the one that provided the replacement door. We've decided to look out for another car the same, with the idea that we'd gradually morph the two cars into one, as necessary to keep a Mystique going for another few decades at least. So if anyone spots another of these for sale, please let me know.
With the two tone effect, it would also make a fun subject for a shot cotton quilt!