View Full Version : OOPS SHE DID IT AGAIN

Big Birds Car
13-02-2008, 01:52 PM
Well only just got into work today for 12.30 (should start at 8).
Big Bird rang home at just gone midnight to say she had had an accident and could I go to get her.

Fuming as I was Knackard and wanted an early night I grabbed the boy and a tow rope and headed off to where she said she was to tow her home :crylol:
On arriving her car was in the hedge!!! :shock: and looked a bit worse than what I had anticipated (I thought a front wing or rear end spin).

She left work at midnight got about half a mile down a country lane, lost it on a bit of ice and caught the off side front corner on an embankment, she then slid up a tree which threw the car onto it's roof in the middle of the road, slid down the road (nice blue paint and glassfibre ingrained in the tarmac). She then slid up the embankment on the other side of the road, the car dug into the soft bank and flipped over one and a half times before coming to rest the right way up in the hedge, at which point she switched the still running engine off. (good girl, didn't stall it :rofl: ).

Police arrived with an ambulance and she was carted off to hospital for checks and the car was recovered as it was in an unstable place (on top of a hedge).
She was checked over and we left the hospital at 3am, got home for 3.30.
Up early to do a paper round for the middle daughter (don't ask VERY long storey) and then decided to collect the crashed car so as not to incur storage charges (cost 105 as it was). :shock: :shock:

Although she was fully comp, I decided to not bother as her insurance will rocket if we do claim (second write off in less than 6 months :annoyed: ) and to be honest they would probably just scrap the car and we would end up with no extra money anyway.

I have to say the car held up very well, the sunroof went pop as did the front and rear screens plus the drivers door glass (she put her head through that one :shock: ) The front nose cone got ripped off along with the headlights and the bonnet is not looking too bad (half a days work)
The two leather Probe seats I put in at the weekend are ok and I obviously did something right as they are still fixed firmly in place.
A couple of the wheels are scraped badly as is the near side side of the car and the roof has split in two places, the front panel has broken but both the doors open and close without any snagging whatsoever.

Anyway I was impressed with the two kits I bought at the end of last year, both monocoque kits and now I am seriously impressed with the Quantum (Big Birds now slightly knackard car) as it held up to a massive accident and she is not seriously hurt.

Everyone who has seen it (Police and recovery people) are very impressed with how it didn't just disintegrate.

Anyway Big Bird is still in a bit of shock and I now will probably be looking for a new car for her as I still can't get to work on the Nova and she needs transport.

In conclusion when your dad says, I quote last words before she went to work last night, "Take it easy it is VERY icy out there" DON'T turn round and say "Yeah whatever" :rofl:

Will she learn? I'm not so sure

13-02-2008, 02:20 PM
Bugger! Glad to hear that she's ok, if not a little banged around, BBC. Cars and parts can be replaced - people can't. We're dealing with the same right now - an inch of ice on local roadways, and currently raining animals. People still insist on going over the speed limit :annoyed:

I'm sure the others will chime in with a hearty 'get well' for the Mrs.!


13-02-2008, 07:06 PM
We will, but it's daughter not 'Mrs' Rick!!!

Glad she's okay, very glad you hadn't finished the Nova for her to total (sounds like she'd be needing a screen, and would have found out if the roof could lift the car? Glad she's not on your insurance too!!

13-02-2008, 08:47 PM
Ah..sorry about that! Not enough background info in my mental files for everyone :bleh:

13-02-2008, 09:11 PM
Give her my best Paul.

Big Birds Car
13-02-2008, 11:35 PM
Thanks all, she is fine albeit with a few bumps, bruises and small cuts.
This was her first insurance, as before this she was on my insurance policy and wrote off the family Peugeot 406 last year.

I had a better look at the car earlier and I am still really amazed at how well it took the hit, will do a bit of a strip down at the weekend and see exactly what has suffered.

I'll pass on your regards.

Anyone driving kits this time of the year just be careful they are not as driver friendly as a modern (read boring) vehicles with abs and airbags.

14-02-2008, 12:24 AM
Nice to hear that your daughter is shaken and not stired.

Many moons ago my then 18 year old brother crashed his MK1 escort back in OZ. With in a week of having it returned from the panel shop he rolled it after being rudly awoken on a dirt road by the cattle grid he just drove over. Since then he has totaled about 7 cars and is entering his late 40's . Will they ever learn????? doubt it.


Big Birds Car
14-02-2008, 08:51 AM
That's not really helping much Bushy, I'm still funding her :shock:
whilst she tries to sort out what she really wants to do in life.

Many more crashes and I'll be bankrupt :cry: well her crashes and the wife shopping will anyway :laugh:

14-02-2008, 02:53 PM
Hi BBC - I'm so glad to hear BB is OK after that - it sounds like quite a shunt. She has my full sympathy because I've been there and I most certainly have done that :(

Thrice in the Nova, once in Big Orange, which swapped ends on me when I hit black ice, although in every case the damage was nowhere near as bad as you describe.

So this was the Quantum was it? Its certainly an endorsement of the car's structural strength, and to do that many sumersaults she must have been going some!

I still find the public perception of fibreglass cars to be very poor. They seem to have a single collective memory of seeing a Reliant Regal dissolving into a ball of confetti, when the reality is sooooo much different. I once watched a daydreaming cyclist BOUNCE off the side of a Reliant Robin that had just appeared from a side road. I mean, really Bounce - the door panels just flexed to absorb the energy and then bop... The cyclist is on the floor wondering what happened. I guess there would have been some star cracks in the gel coat, but even so...

If nothing else BB's unfortunate accident certainly demonstrates the inherent strengths of fibreglass monocoque construction!

Get back on the road as soon as you can is the only option. When you hit ice, there's nothing you can do - you're just a passenger.


Big Birds Car
14-02-2008, 11:42 PM
Lauren your correct it was the Quantum.
New pride and joy whilst Nova not getting worked on
We liked the front view
Don't like the look anymore
Roof a bit split
Big Bird surveying the damaged side
Will try to spend some time at the weekend to see how bad the main structure is or isn't to decide if it is salvagable with some glassing and elbow grease. The only bit I know I have to locate that isn't standard is the drivers door window, but Quantum are still going so maybe they have some spare glass, who knows.

15-02-2008, 05:18 AM
Damn. Glad she's ok.

Never heard of the Quantum. Looks like a great car. Is it a kit, and if so, what are they based on?

I'd get into contact with the Quantum people, and say you're looking to replace the drivers side window after an accident. Then when they ask how bad the accident was, send them the photos. They may even be interested in buying it off you for further study of how it held up in the accident, and/or you may be lucky and get a kick back.

I agree with Lauren about how people underestimate the strength of fiberglass cars. I'm often told I'm living dangerously driving a fiberglass car. I just point to Corvette, but a lot of people don't believe me they were fiberglass.

I also read somewhere about the strength of the weave of fiberglass being stronger than steel, and how at each point where the weave crosses is a crumple zone and that the energy at each 'crossover point' is increased expediently during an accident.

15-02-2008, 08:16 AM
BBC - I'm seriously impressed by how the car stood up; a comparable steel monocoque would have crumpled extensively in the same circumstances, although clearly that absorbs more of the energy that is otherwise transferred to the occupant(s).

I think Cyco is right - many kit manufacturers cannot afford full type approval (including crash testing), so they look to customers for feedback. Their reputation can only be enhanced by this kind of incident, as skidding on ice absolves both driver and manufacturer of any blame and the car acquitted itself very well. Maybe Quantum would provide the side glass for free if they knew you were keeping the car!

Depends how flush they are of course :D

Hi Cyco - the Quantum is a kit car that was first produced in the late 80's/early 90's, based on a Ford Fiesta. It was originally marketed as a convertible 2+2, but later a full hardtop coupe was produced (H4). They were always at the "sensible" end of the kit car market, which makes them good everyday cars. Reminds me of the TXR Tarragon of years gone by, but better engineered in every respect :D

Repairing a full fibreglass monocoque is usually a specialist job, and its obvious that landing on its roof has damaged the structure - is repair a viable option? Given that no crash repair place is likely to want to touch it?

Good luck with whatever you decide to do, but the main thing is that BB is OK, everything else is secondary...

To the causal observer you'd think we spent most of our time crashing our cars, but if you drive 'em a lot in all weathers that's what happens!


15-02-2008, 08:39 AM
Heck, it did stand up well - but those through tears in the structure are going to make it very hard to make it strong again - the fibre reinforcement strengthens structure by stopping micro-cracks propogating, (the same way you can stop a full crack dead in many materials by drilling a hole at the end of it) - but that Quantums body has done a life-saving job by absorbing all that energy. The whole thing has got to be suspect, it just won't have any 'life' or 'safety margin' because it's given its all... Sadly, or happily in this case - I'd treat it like a deployed airbag - it's done its job but you wouldn't try and re-pack it.

Worth the time looking for a new body on Ebay?

Big Birds Car
15-02-2008, 10:21 AM
Cyco as Lauren says the Quantum was based on the Mk2 Fiesta XR2. Everything except the body of the fiesta was used, all running gear, interior, glass etc. the headlights were from a MK1 fiesta and the two door glass were specially made for the job. I drove it home some 90 miles and it hadled and went better than the original Fiesta as it was lower and lighter. The down side was the foot brake that you really had to get used to as it uses a cross bar that transferred the push on the pedal via a bar accross the bulkhead to the master cylinder on the passenger sid eof the car. (just never felt brilliant, but not the cause of the accident).

The original engine is a 1.6 CVH unit but I had recently bought an 1800 EFI unit complete with wiring loom etc. to put in it. Well if nothing else it saves me some time messing with that conversion. :crylol:

Alex, I agree with your obsevations, however I have a friend that works on bodywork all day long and am going to get him to look it over to see if it is useable or not. The initial inspection would suggest that it is only the roof area that has lost it's strength (the front looks worse than it is as the whole front "bumper/lights are a bolt on item).
I was wondering of bonding in a roll cage would give it it's strength back? I was thinking that a six point cage glassed into the floor and bonded to the underside of the roof may do the job, what do you think?

I have effectively written it off in my mind, as you say it's done it's job and I can't ask for more than that, so I'm not really that fussed if my friend says there is too much structural damage.

15-02-2008, 12:12 PM
I'm sure you could have the damaged areas visually made good, but you would just never know how much of the structure had been affected. We have similar problems when one of our composite spacecraft structures is damaged (like dropping off a turnover trolley, or maybe hitting a low bridge... can't say any more, my future employment prospects may be affected :D ) - in most cases you just have to write it off and start again, unless you can put together a convincing model based on finite-element analysis...

Bonding in a cage will relieve some of the stresses otherwise absorbed by the structure, but how much? Again, without detailed analysis you won't ever know. I agree with Alex, if it were a steel monocoque it would be easier to walk away from because it would be squashed into a little ball. Because the Quantum looks so intact it is just harder to turn your back on. Perhaps Quantum can advise you on possible repairs, but I think its a write-off.


15-02-2008, 07:28 PM
Quantum on Ebay -325 buy it now here you go:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Quantum-Coupe-Tra ... dZViewItem (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Quantum-Coupe-Trackday-Hillclimb-Race-Project-Turbo_W0QQitemZ150216451798QQihZ005QQcategoryZ2975 0QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

16-02-2008, 04:28 AM
Must admit, after I made that post, I did some research on the net into Quantum. But thanks for the info. I checked out the Quantum car club website, and a couple of the guys have made a new nosecone (http://www.quantumowners.com/img/EddieBumper1.jpg) for it, which updates the looks, and does look the business.

I also looked for one in Oz, haven't found any yet, but still looking. ;)

The reason I mentioned getting in touch with Quantum about your accident, is because of a piece of Eureka history. Years ago, someone was driving their Eureka along, and someone came out a side rode in a Valiant Charger at speed, and tore the front off the Eureka, up to the rear wall of the front 'boot'. Otherwise, the car was ok (same with the occupants).

When Alan Purvis heard about it, he paid to have it shipped to his factory so he could inspect it, and to see how it stood up to the damage.

Would you believe they rebuilt the front end of the VW (steering/suspension, etc), and then Alan made a partial mold of the front end of the car, and then glassed it on. Apparently you would notice the difference, unless it was parked next to another Eureka, then you could see the additional thickness where the two sections were joined.

There's some photos and a newspaper article, I'll see if I can dig them up.

16-02-2008, 08:52 AM
That's the difference between a bodyshell and a monocoque, Cyco - you can hack the shell around as much as you want, (within reason) because basically it's just a pretty shape stuck on the chassis (The tub section does stiffen the chassis, I know - Steve McHugh's sculpture shows that you can fillet the front and back to an amazing degree - but he's kept the important central 'box')
You can't treat a monocoque in the same way, because the body is designed to support itself - no descrete 'boxes' - all areas contribute to the strength of the whole.

Big Birds Car
16-02-2008, 10:52 AM
Thanks Alex, have contacted the ebay quantum seller just waiting for a reply.

Cyco, have been in touch with quantum as you suggested and asked a few questions about strength etc so will see what they say BUT, having had a look this morning (first chance in proper daylight) I have noticed further damage and really unless I make it a fun convertible I won't be happy letting Big Bird loose in it with just repairing. The B post on the drivers side has taken a huge knock and is broken at the base as well as at the roof join, so not going to do it.

Will let you know how we get on.

Nova work still stopped (always something getting in the way :crylol:

Got the Rossa Mot's and taxed Wife loves it so brownie points there :cool1:

Big Birds Car
16-02-2008, 11:25 PM
Quantum Bought and collected, comes with loads of odds and sods including two engines and at least one turbocharger and manifold, will have a really good look tomorrow. Shell looks good though, so hopefully it will be a case of transferring all the interior and bits etc. from the original to the new shell (can't see a FINGERS CROSSED emoticon) :crylol:

17-02-2008, 11:45 AM
Excellent - have fun! (One day you might even get a chance to work on the Nova - is there a secret subplot where it ends up being yours? :tongue: :tongue: )

Big Birds Car
01-09-2008, 10:48 PM
Well I :giveup: she has only gone and done it again. Just about finished the Quantum (mot tomorrow) and managed to get the next project in the garage (Quantum wouldn't fit but the Jester does) (sorry all you ugliest kit car watchers, yes it's a jester).
Got a phone call late Sunday night "don't shout at me but I've crashed mummy's car" So off I went with trailer to collect. She has braked for a roundabout and spun it, smashed the nearside rear wheel against the kerb and hit a lamp column on the roundabout. Ripped the whole of the rear bodywork off (not difficult really), pushed the subframe over to one side, smashed the exhaust and I can only get 2nd. and reverse gears. Will have to wait till the weekend to see all the damage.
To say the the wife isn't a happy bunny would be an understatement.
I'm not too chuffed either, especially as I thought the next project would only take three months and I could then get back on the Nova. Now I have two projects and it will be the wifes decision as to which one gets done first.
Kids,why oh why did I have so many. More importantly why can't big bird actually drive!!!! Oh she said she was only going slowly :laugh: sure, I checked there was no deisel or oil on the road so not falling for that one.
That's now three write off in one year and they say women are less likely to have accidents, I don't think so eh Lauren (only kidding).

02-09-2008, 01:13 AM
Here in the States the big deterrent for "young adults" is the insurance rates...maybe she needs a reminder...

02-09-2008, 05:27 AM
Here in the States the big deterrent for "young adults" is the insurance rates...maybe she needs a reminder...

yeah three more years :clapping:

02-09-2008, 07:14 AM
Hmmm - I don't think women have less accidents, they're just less likely to be of the "end-over-end-seven-times" variety, which fortunately seems to be the case here :D

As always, the main thing is that nobody got hurt, but I'm guessing that BB stacked the GTM Rossa?

It's just a friend of mine worked in a Rover dealership for a while and he was always out in the recovery truck picking up MGFs that had gone off the road backwards. They had a bit of a reputation for snappy oversteer, particularly in the wet, and with a near identical arrangement in the GTM (Mini/Metro subframes front and rear) it does make you wonder how suitable the mid-engine configuration is for normal road use.

I tend not to listen to those road-test cliches like "it stays glued to the road unless you are really stupid with it", they are almost always conducted in dry conditions, and they have to say that otherwise no-one would buy the car. Kit car testers are even worse, they are effectively employed by the industry so can hardly be trusted to be objective.

I'd be interested to hear just how fast BB entered the wet roundabout, it may have been slower than you think. Until I can get a feel for the Green Machine on a wet skidpan I'm tip-toeing around in the wet, 'cos lightning can strike twice :blushing:

Do you think you will be able to repair the monocoque shell BBC? Good luck sorting it!