REMEMBER that old poem by Benjamin Franklin that starts off: ‘For the want of a nail, a shoe was lost.......?’
Well, after an incident that occurred the other day while I was driving our trusty long-term Ford Transit, I can well see how that story came about.
I had just nipped into the local Indian takeaway for a spot of supper and I suddenly discovered that the Transit, unlike the Iveco Daily I had on test recently, did not have one of those little plastic hooks especially designed for tasks such as carrying home hot food. In fact, I believe they are called curry hooks.
Now call me a fool if you will, but I placed the bag on the passenger seat and drove off. I know now that it was pretty stupid and asking for trouble, but at the time hunger was gnawing at my insides and all I could think of was getting home PDQ and getting my chops round that bag of eastern goodies.
I hadn’t gone far before the inevitable happened. Someone pulled out across my bows unexpectedly and I slammed on the anchors, allowing the standard fitment ABS brakes to do a spectacular job of stopping me.
As for my food, the lamb passanda went one way, the onion bahjis went another and the pilau rice flew across the floor and wedged itself under the clutch pedal.
What rice there was left in the container had a great greasy dent through it where the bottom end of the clutch pedal had sliced through it as I stopped.
By the time I had scraped up the remains of my takeaway it looked as though I had just found it in the bin. I’m sure there is still a Peshwari naan lurking somewhere under the seats but I’m damned if I can find it!
So in the light of my bitter tale, I intend to rewrite the old fable as follows:
For the want of a hook, a curry was lost
For the want of a curry, a temper was lost
For the loss of a temper, a cat was kicked
For the disappearance of a cat, a mouse was let into the house and allowed to gnaw its way through my electricity cables, shorting out the house and burning it to the ground....
(Okay, I think we get the picture, Ed)
The good news is that, apart from this little tale of woe, the Transit is thundering through life like a hero, with no signs of stopping. Just about everyone here has driven the van at some time or other and all have been singularly impressed with its car-like stance. That’s some praise as some of those who have driven the Transit have never been behind the wheel of a van before in their lives.
In terms of mileage, we have hardly run it in at 5,750, but nevertheless the common rail unit is loosening up nicely and is becoming almost indecently fast. And even the long stalk gearlever that we complained about in a previous test seems to be getting smoother.
Gross vehicle weight (kg): 3,500
Payload (kg): 1,652
Load volume (cubic metres): 13.9
Max power (bhp): 125/3,800
Max torque (lb-ft/rpm): 210/1,500-2,200
Prices (excluding VAT): £19,100
Optional extras: executive pack (CD player, power windows, power/heated mirrors, front foglights, Quickclear screen, second keyfob) £550; Security pack (perimeter alarm, full-width unglazed bulkhead, rear parking sensor) £350; load area protection kit (full-length bonded rubber mat, heavy-duty trim boards) £150; passenger airbag £150; air conditioning £800
Total price (excluding VAT): £21,100