Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Porsche to Kubelwagen to Datsun

Word soon got around and our client list grew quickly, so Bob and I decided to move out of the grotty little semi furnished flat we shared in Manama. We then started to look around for a small villa out of town a few kilometres.
Bob and I had hardly any capital between us, so I sold my Porsche 911E Targa to a English chap I knew, which raised some extra cash to fund trips back and forth to the UK in and above what we were beginning to earn.
Willie Zauner offered to lend us his VW Kubelwagen (which were made in Brazil) and we took him up on that for a while. The air conditioning was very good – just doors and no windows!
We started hanging out at the usual nightspots and we met a D.J. called Paul Stephen one evening at the Tylos hotel disco. Paul introduced us to his wife Kate and it turned out they lived in a room in the hotel. In the daytime Paul was also a D.J. for Radio Bahrain, the English speaking local radio station. We got to know Paul and Kate very well and became good friends with them both. They appreciated how hard we were working and they offered to put the word around to get us some more customers.
Through Paul and Kate, Bob and I got to know most of the D.J.’s and we also became very good friends with Tim Manns and his wife Giner. Tim was selling his old Datsun car and he was fascinated when Bob and I said, “We will buy it from you.” The idea was we needed a cheap run around car to get us to and from customers houses and the Datsun could be parked up anywhere without us worrying about it and so long as we could carry our tools in the back it would do the job for us. I think we paid Tim BD 100/- for his car (£160.00). We gave it a bit of a service and we had our cheap run around car.
After we purchased the Datsun from Tim, we would show up at our customer’s house to collect their Mercedes, BMW or whatever model we were repairing, we would transfer our tools into the customer’s car and drive off leaving the Datsun parked up hidden away around the corner on a piece on unused land and definitely out of sight. A few times I wondered if the Municipality would take it away thinking it was an old car dumped as it was that poor to look at!

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