On the first of May, Urban Element welcomed a brand new member to the team – a 10 year old automatic Citroen C5.
If we are being honest, first impressions were not brilliant. Jon Ellard, Urban Element’s MD, tweeted: “Think I just bought an Automatic Citroen for £450 thankfully on provisional bid. I don’t want it.”
Our trepidation was not without good cause. With an unverified 90,000 miles on the clock, the car had seen better days. The tyres were gouged, the bumper was scratched, and the inside looked like a rugby team’s changing room.
But this £450 car was to be our champion in the Twin Town challenge. It was bought for the sole purpose of tackling Brands Hatch and Le Mans in an epic 1000 mile road trip through southern England and northern France.
But if this car was to even make it out of the car park, we had a lot of work to do.
As everyone knows, the most important aspect of any rally car is how good it looks. Unfortunately for the big red Citroen, this was always going to be a challenge.
In fact this C5 is the very same model that renowned Automotive Experts Honest John described as: “A serious contender for plastic surgery.”
The first thing we did was get it valeted. The team at Janis Hand car wash did a great job of tidying the car up, inside and out, giving us the perfect base to make our very own improvements.
However this renovation didn’t come without its fair share of hiccoughs. After a poorly thought out attempt to make the car our own (involving a template of the Urban Element logo and a tin of spray paint), Online Marketing Manager Matt Gilbert was forced to take the car home and borrow his wife’s nail polish remover to wash off a stain that looked suspiciously like bird mess. It was not a good start.
Despite this, we queued the top gear music and worked hard to create a car we’re proud of. We added the sponsorship logos to the bonnet and wings of the car. We added check flag decals to the roof, side mirrors, and rear bumper.
We even bought some fluffy dice to hang from the rear view mirror.
In just 8 days the car that was so cruelly mocked by Honest John – and our very own Jon – has been through a much tougher journey then any road trip.
It now looks good.
It has been transformed from a grubby, disowned, family saloon in to a clean and lean touring car. With decals and sponsorship stickers we have gifted the car some of the racing pedigree that Citroen forgot.
And the best thing is, we are now proud to call it our own.
But making the car look good is only the first half of the transformation. Now we pass the car over to team member Brian Hicks who has some truly incredible plans to upgrade the interior and make this a car that will leave all the other teams green with envy. Sorry about that.
A results driven, self-motivated and resourceful director with a proven ability to develop and strengthen client relationships. With 14 years marketing experience Jon’s main focus is to ensure clients receive return on investment from their online investment. Jon has excellent people skills and possesses the valuable ability to explain technically-complex subjects and make them comprehensible.