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First impressions
October 29th, 2014 2:30 pm     A+ | a-
With anticipation I approached Jacks Garage, having only seen Poppy in photos and based on the previous call I didn't know what to expect.

john and Viadas met me in the tiny reception area that is adorned with photos of customers with Joseph (the owner.) You have to take the photos with a pinch of salt, he is either really proud of his customers or he can't stop admiring his own image... Not my place to suggest which. 

Viadas puts the kettle on and offers me a biscuit, normally a sign of bad news or a big bill.... I am expecting bad news....

They ask how much I paid for Poppy, so I tell them, they ask if I saw her first "no" was the tiny and short reply that passed from my lips.

Viadas is shaking his head and mumbling something about "it is bad" I look at him and he continues "possibly the worst one we have ever seen." 

John is more upbeat about it "sure it's bad, but we can fix it" 

This results in Viadas staring at me with the wide eyed look of someone who has just opened the gates to Hell, for a former Tank Driver you would have thought he had seen it all by now....

Tea and small talk over John takes me to their storage facility to see Poppy, the light isn't great where she is, thank the stars, but already I can see what was meant by "Swiss cheese" 

There are holes where there shouldn't be, including massive ones in the solid steel rear bumper... Like a mad giant termite had attacked it, not a well campervan at all.

John kicks the side of her, "careful" I start to mumble as half of the panel detaches itself and falls to the ground. "Don't worry" says John "I was going to replace that anyway."

She is in what looks like her original colours, so that's a start but she is enough to make a strong man weep, I can understand the fear I smelt in the office earlier....

On her plus side, her interior is in good condition and it is a Devon Moonraker complete with the swing out cooker and bunks... Part of the appeal of buying her is the interior. 

John says something but I didn't quite catch it, I ask him to repeat it and he says "it's a big job but I'm not scared off it, want us to go ahead after we price it up?"

Now it's my turn to look at him as if he is mad... "Of course, she's worth saving" I say.

We amble back to reception for more tea and then Viadas shows me some of the parts that were in Poppy, including a new complete front axle. 

I head back back to the tube after, full of tea and dread about the total bill... Johns final words ring in my head "relax, we can fix her up like new"
 
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