The Gas Fired Monster (GFM) is the village wing of www.fethiyetimes.com trusty transport. She’s 17 years old, boxy and a rather dull beige. But with the new MOT looming will she make it?

The Gas Fired Monster (GFM) is the village wing of www.fethiyetimes.com trusty transport. She’s 17 years old, boxy and a rather dull beige. But with the new MOT looming will she make it?

Boxy but Good

It wasn’t love a first sight when we first saw the beige Tofas Kartal for sale.

The boxy 1980’s design (Based on a Fiat 131), beige in colour with a brown interior just doesn’t set the heart racing.

But we knew these cars are well respected in Turkey for their cost effective parts and go anywhere capabilities.

As a bonus the car had been modified, as many are in Turkey, to run on LPG so it would be cheaper to fuel.

Her 17 years seem to have been tough if the lining of the roof inside is anything to go by. A brown splattered stain makes us think she may have been an extra in the film Pulp Fiction!

So after a brief test drive and all the necessary tax checks we handed over what seemed like a small fortune for what was then a 15 year old car.

Go Anywhere Capabilities

Since then the GFM has covered some tough, rough and varied terrain.

We’ve been on dirt tracks that would test a four wheel drive but have nearly always emerged unscathed except when we’ve inadvertently driven into a ditch or two!

But its super strength means even when it’s rescued by a tractor it doesn’t show any damage – to the eye at least.

Never Let Us Down

{mosimage}Nearly everything on the car has gone wrong but GFM has always helped us to get home.

For example, after we descended the long, long hill from Mugla to Akyaka, the brakes faded and went altogether. Luckily this didn’t happen whilst we were actually descending but when we got going again after a small tea stop on the flat. It turns out the old brake fluid had boiled but after letting GFM cool for an hour we were back on the road again.

In another incident a pipe to the heater in the car burst filling the cabin not only with a white mist but also a loud hissing sound. We bailed out of the car pretty quickly as you can imagine only venturing back when the steam had gone.

Luckily the pipe had burst in such a way that by turning off the heater we were able to isolate the leak and get home safely.

Will the Old Girl Make it?

A new tougher MOT was introduced in the Mugla area on 1 January 2009.

We were worried for GFM. People we spoke to said the new tougher Visa test (MOT) would effectively wipe all the old cars off the Turkish roads.

With our old visa soon to expire we bit the bullet and began the process.

So did GFM pass the test or was she consigned to the scrap heap?

You can find out shortly when we tell the whole story in our series “5 Days to get our Vehicle Visa”.

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