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#999130 Co-operation

Posted by eddyramrod on 15 May 2016 - 07:38 PM

Being two of the resident American-auto lickers on here, danthecapriman and I have been having some PM chatter about possibly going abroad and bringing one back.  Here's one that we fancied quite strongly until Dan realised his passport had expired...


So you see the sort of thing we like!

Well... then this one appeared in the ebay thread...


Dan and I discussed it at length (when was the last time you had a PM conversation run to 8 pages?) and decided I should bid on it.  We set a ceiling, because neither of us wanted to be involved in a bidding war even though we would be watching when it ended.

And we were outbid.  Fair enough.

Then I got a Second Chance Offer.  Winning bidder turned up, declared it wasn't for him, and scarpered.  The seller liked the car so much he almost didn't send me the Offer, and when it took me a while to reply (consulting with Dan) he almost wanted me to turn it down so he could keep it.  But I didn't.  Consultation showed that we both still thought it was a good buy, so I accepted.  Arrangements had to be made, money drawn, directions printed, etc etc.

So yesterday my friend Roger arrived, a mere three hours later than we had arranged.  Immediately he declared his 2006 Fabia wasn't well and he didn't fancy it all the way to Derby and, crucially, back.  So ok, we went in my Saab.  He liked that, a lot.  Derby is almost 200 miles from Barrow, in case you wanted to know.  You know what my Saab looks like so you don't need pics of that stage of the trip.

So, here we are at the seller's farm.

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Let's take a minute to explore some of his other toys...

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...and believe me, these are only highlights!

So, now let's look at the Cadillac in a bit more detail...

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Don't worry, I do have the bonnet mascot!  Seller removed it at my suggestion, because the car will live outside on the street.  I don't want to lose the ornament!

So, we set off to drive home, after one of the compulsory-element pics...

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Seller directed us to a gas station and a chippy...

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(I might cross-post that one to Cars AndGirls...)  The girl in the white shirt is one of the chippy staff, she just couldn't get enough of the car!  I took a load of pics on her phone of her sitting in it, admiring it from outside... then finally we could have our tea and get back on the road.  We stopped at a couple of services, not least because driving at night with no instrument lighting is pretty stressful!  Especially when you have motorway roadworks for mile after mile, with a 50 limit and cameras.

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So we finally arrived in Barrow at 1.00am, having listened to Ken Bruce covering the Eurovision most of the way up.  Yes, the Cadillac has its original factory AM/FM radio, and it works!

This morning I thought I'd better do something about the lack of door-locking, that the seller pointed out to me.  The car has 4 keys, all slightly different!  One for trunk, one for ignition... er...

A little consultation with Dan brought forth the suggestion that the power-lock actuators might be at fault, and upon dismantling the driver's door, this was indeed the case.

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I disconnected the actuator from the lock and all was well.  One of the "other" keys was found to fit the doors, so now I can lock and unlock them manually.  Good enough.  When I took my dog out, I couldn't resist grabbing this shot...

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And then I decided it needed a clean, so I swept it out, found a carpet offcut for the trunk, and washed the thing.  It does look better.

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Several of my neighbours have come to have a look, and gone away impressed.


What happens now?  Well the immediate plan is just that I should (and will!) drive it, as much as possible given that I don't have anywhere off-road to keep it.  This is at least partly why we went for a mechanically-sound car (which it certainly seems to be) with cosmetic issues.  One worries less about a fresh ding, you know.... To this end I'll be going to work in it tomorrow, and stopping at the Post Office on the way home to get the tax in my name.  This car is the right side of 40 years old, so I get free tax.  Lovely!

What happens in the further-distance remains to be seen.


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#990158 The Last Ambassador. It's Ours!

Posted by rovamota on 01 May 2016 - 04:11 PM

Maybe we're mad, maybe we're sad, but we are delighted to announce that, after much negotiation, www.leylandprincess.co.uk has secured the last of the line Austin Ambassador Vanden Plas, A500 KWK. This car was part of the Heritage Motor Centre collection at Gaydon from 1986 and was on display up until 2003, where it was then sold as part of their auction of some 60 cars in the collection.


Since it was sold it seems it has not been used and was parked on the driveway of the owners house for several years and now still shows the same 11,700 miles on the clock since it was sold at Gaydon.


We know these aren't the most loved of cars but as real enthusiasts we think this car should be saved due to its provenance, novelty value and the fact so few remain. Obviously the car will probably need a fair bit of cash spending on it but we hope to have it looking as good as it did when it was in the museum.


We're collecting it on Friday.


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#1042098 Garage find Rancho - the bronze one. Rust update, p15

Posted by Skizzer on 11 August 2016 - 03:37 PM

Sorry for the radio silence, I'm alright, I just fainted slightly BECAUSE RANCHO.


Rust report:
The sills are very frilly but there are some NOS inners and outers in the boot.

The floor pan looks ok. Rear suspension mounts and lower A-pillars, hmm not sure.

The driver's door is rather bubbly, but there's a replacement (in red).

There are holes where the wing mounted spotlights used to be...but there are two spotlights in a box :-) One is yellow, for maximum Frenchness.

No sign of cracking round the upper tailgate hinges.

It runs and drives! Doesn't even sound very tappety, which is crazy for a Simca. My magic booster pack and a squirt of EasyStart were all it took.

The interior is a bit grubby but all there and not torn. Mmmm tartan seats.

It's only done 62k, backed up by MOTs.

And best news of all, it's officially ours.
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#1129605 That vandalised Ambassador...

Posted by rovamota on 27 December 2016 - 07:16 PM

A week and a half ago we went to pick up the vandalised Ambassador that we won on ebay. We decided to bid for it as it just looked so sad and needs to be brought back to glory once again.


It looks structurally very sound but, thanks to the mindless vandalism, there's a bit of work to do. First job will be to get the engine to go. There's a spark and a smell of petrol but sounds as dead as a dodo. Shouldn't be too difficult though, famous last words.


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We then set off for the uneventful journey home, stopping at Strensham services on the M5 for a comfort break.




Once home it was maneuvered into our garage and left as we were all pretty knackered by this time.
A good nights sleep and a few cups of tea later, the next morning we attempted to get the engine started. Once we'd discovered a connector had come adrift from the coil we found we at least had a spark but there there was very little in the way of any life from the fuel side. I went and got a gallon of fuel and we poured it in but still, no sign of any fuel proceeding from the tank to the carburetors despite the fact we could hear the electric pump working. We disconnected the fuel pipe from the carb and poured fuel directly in which, upon the turn of the key brought the engine bursting into life! It sounded okay apart from the blow from the exhaust downpipe clamps, but then white smoke started billowing from the exhaust - but as there was so little fuel getting through the engine didn't run for long enough.
There was still no sign of fuel from the fuel pump even with the engine running so I decided to remove it for further investigation as it can be removed in a matter of minutes. Once out it became clear what the problem was. There's a short piece of hose that runs from the fuel filter to the pump motor but this one had completely fallen to pieces. The only way fuel could leave the tank was if the tank was filled above the outlet pipe. I managed to find a suitable piece of pipe and refitted the pump back in the tank. 
Once all the fuel pipes were reconnected we could then run the engine for longer, so we decided to fill it with water...
Things got a bit worse from that point on. The engine then ran very poorly and the white smoke, or vapour as we'd now established, got worse. We could see water being spat out of the manifold/exhaust join and pressure built up very quickly in the cooling system. It was quite obvious we had a major coolant leak into the cylinders.
Inevitably the cylinder head would have to come off and so, 20 minutes later (it's hilariously easy to remove on these) it was on the bench. It was quite clear the the gasket had failed on No. 3 cylinder allowing coolant to pass between the fire rings and go straight into the bore and the wet piston just made it more conclusive.
This picture shows the head gasket still sat on the block
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We've decided to dismantle the head and have it skimmed after checking it with a straight edge shows warpage around cylinder three.
In the meantime we'll get on and sort the other issues, but we have all of the glass except the bonded rear quarter. The sunroof was ripped out and, consequently, all of the parts that fix it to the frame have broken and are unrepairable but I'm sure that the sunroof is made by Britax and the mechanisms were shared across all other Austin Rover cars of the time so we may be able to source replacement parts to repair it. 

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#822293 Bentley Turbo R total shite! Now, Brooklands 'R' turbo shite....

Posted by xtriple on 11 September 2015 - 12:04 PM

Well, I have finally, after years of prevarication and double guessing myself bought a Bentley! Just had the phone call from Specialist cars to say that my offer was rejected but he'd take £9200. I said £9000 and he accepted!  Bearing in mind it;s getting a service, new engine mount and new disc pads (and the old owner has still got to pay for the DIM and all the other bits) that's all going to make a sizeable dent in 9 grand!


I have not been this excited in bloody decades!








Ain't she pretty!


Now got to tax, insure (eek!) get full AA cover (on reduced cover as the Honda has its own) and a PRIVATE PLATE :)


Do I do a 'collection' thread next week?  Got to sort out a lift up to Exeter as trains from here are useless and a taxi could be... pricey!

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Posted by Mr_Bo11ox on 09 March 2017 - 10:03 AM

Hows it going gang? I have got a new addition to my fleet of hopeless old shitters and this one is a GAME-CHANGER.


Story goes that I woke up one morning the week before last and had a quick flick through my phone as I am addicted to it (see other bit of forum). Wuvverine had posted an ebay ad for a sherpa van that looked interesting and was cheap as chips. It finished in like 2 hours and I was already full of Sherpa love having recently had a shot in lanky Tim’s sliding door effort. This one looked straight, had the old Freight Rover face on it, and a hatchback rear door so ticked all my ‘Dream Sherpa spec’ boxes apart from having a sliding drivers door and a Perkins prima (Its got a Peugeot XUD). I chucked a bid in of about 260 groat and by the time I had got my computer stoked up at work it was mine for 250!!!!!! YOW!!!!!


It was at a scrapyard in Leicester, about 40 miles from home. I tried to get it Shiplyd but they were all quoting like £120, which seemed just too much. I briefly thought about ‘framing it but then the yard where it was said theyd do it for £80 and in the end I went with that. It got unceremoniously dumped on the drive while I was at work, blocking in Mrs_Nutz’s motor until I could get it started and shifted. Here is what I ended up with:








So its an LDV 200 panel van. Got the 1.9 XUD, power steering and a hatchback. I have to say its much better than I expected and I friggin LOVE IT. Its obviously not free of rust, but what rust it’s got is fairly manageable, I can see one wheelarch is a bit crispy, and theres a bit beside the battery tray that has rotted out the front wing at the bottom, dunno if its an MOT fail but it does need sorting with the welder.



Heres the engine – seems remarkably clean and unmolested. Mileage is 42,000. I have had it started now which took some doing – I have ordered a new set of glowplugs for it. However once started it sounds as sweet as any XUD ever does. Lovely!!!!






Heres Mrs Crab looking on open-mouthed at the sheer beauty that comes with like 35 years of natural evolution of CLASS. She reckoned the rugs in the back seem faintly sinister? To be fair I actually did find a few marbles under them and it would be easy to imagine the van making an appearance in a series of Prime Suspect or whatever. Whats good is, despite not being panelled out inside, it obviously hasn’t been carrying big heavy stuff as there is really not a mark on the side panels from cargo clattering about inside, its amazing really.



This is the crispy wheelarch I mentioned



And this is the grot beside the battery tray.



Get a load of this. LDV security system!!!!!



Still got the fob!!!! Theres no way this has get central locking surely.



Yeah that looks like a quality install, I presume it has started playing up and someone has just chopped through more and more of its wires till it was dead.



LDV-branded radio cassette! Can you believe it?




Interior is a bit grubby, but its all there and not completely ravaged. I reckon it will clean up pretty well




I know that a big LDV killer is rot in the rain gutters. This one is starting to go above the middle of the windscreen but I don’t think its gone through yet, certainly the interior is dry. I will have to do something about this though as that will be a serious problem if it gets much worse.






Morris marina ignition key!!!



This thing just has CLASS oozing out of it, get a load of the clutch master cylinder man. Straight out of an Austin princess or something.


Anyway that’s the van. As I say I did get it started, and it runs lovely. I have no paperwork of any sort for it beyond a receipt from the scrapyard I got it from and I know nowt of its history. It does have ‘Ford & Slater Leicester LDV’ dealer numberplates though. I have moved it up and down the drive and the brakes are a bit sticky but all the steering, clutch etc seem to work as they should. The van has so little traction that it can barely reverse its sorry a$$ up the drive without busting into a big wheelspin, but that might improve when I free off the back brakes a bit more. I am gonna chuck some heater plugs in it this weekend hopefully and then I guess I will try and give the brakes a bit of looking at. I can’t wait to get this on the road and rumble round the lanes in it, I reckon its gonna be class to drive. CHEERZ.


PS. Anyone know if you are supposed to go to town on the front suspension of these with a grease gun every other week?




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#969632 The Autoshite holy grail is now one of us!

Posted by BorniteIdentity on 01 April 2016 - 03:12 PM

What. A. Day.  Certainly one I'll never forget.  We left Watford at 10:40 and arrived at exactly Midday.  1 Hour 20 minutes to do 18 miles.  Well done everyone.  As soon as we approached the car, I got 'the feeling'.  Any regular buyer of shite will know 'the feeling': an aggressive state of biliousness paired with the weirdest boner ever.


This was the first moment we got "Eyeball"




There was just time to bid my chauffeur farewell before Skizzer skipped along with that twinkle in his eye that we all know and love.  After we knocked on the wrong door (of a Latvian woman who thought we were amateur bailiffs) we finally made contact with the seller.  He boasted of much interest and many offers, and proceeded to unlock the car.  No central locking? WTF!!  The car started on the first  turn of the key, and after a little encouragement on the throttle it settled down very well.  Once he'd pulled the bonnet cable manually, the engine was revealed and it's in surprisingly good condition.  Then again, it's coated in oil, so that's probably helped immensely.


And that, really, was the full extent of the inspection.  It's sharing oil (I think) from the rocker cover gasket, and depositing some on the road.  Following that solitary remark, we retired to the vendors (seriously impressive) dining room to fulfil the obligations, the deal was done, and we were back on a North London street.  


Skizzer took the wheel first before he returned to public transport, and was very positive about the car.  "A little play in the steering" and "Clutch is a bit high but nothing bad" and that was it.  We were both really excited.


That's a lie.  


See, I had exactly 2 hours to make it to Milton Keynes - and in that time I had to 


A) Not break down

2) Insure it

D) Attend to fluids and fuel.


I bid Skiz farewell and promptly drove off in the wrong direction.  Bollocks.  Heading towards the North Circular, I actually felt a little bit sad.  This car had been a small but (to me) important part of the rich tapestry of London.  Under my stewardship, the Sierra was leaving behind the gritty urban side streets of Clapton for retirement.  I felt a little guilty.  Happy, petrified, but guilty.




With one eye on the time, and one eye on the temperature needle, I missed the first two petrol stations.  The third seemed inviting with it's promise of pez and oil, so in we went.




Aware that I couldn't really drive any further without smiling for the ANPR cameras, I was relieved of £149 by Lancaster Insurance - and was then on my way.


The car is very, very easy to drive.  The driving position is comfortable, the seats are LOVELY and visibility is impeccable.  Whilst I was nervous that it'd FTP at any given moment, I felt really really safe driving it.  Maybe it was the familiarity of a position I studied for years as a child, or maybe I'm just being a soppy old git.  Like my Mercedes 190e, the car is narrow - so threading it through busy suburbs was an absolute breeze.


The North Circular quickly became the M1, and the car just ran like a little sewing machine.  Never a moments bother from anything.  The car is, by modern standards, a little under geared - it seemed happiest at 60mph, so that's where we kept it.  And, to be honest, I'd have kept going long past my exit, as I'm quietly confident it'd just keep on going.


Junctions passed, and as we approached J14 we got our first peep.



Clearly he identified us as fellow winners at life.


Milton Keynes beckoned, and I felt a mixture of both immense relief and satisfaction that the maiden voyage had been completed without a hiccup.



Greg seemed impressed with the car.


As I drove the last mile, I realised why this car (unlike its peers) had survived so long.  It was still absolutely brilliant at performing its primary function: transport.  Yes, it's a curiosity to you and I.  To others it's urban decay and to some it's probably art.  First and foremost, it's still very good at being a motor car.  Whilst my heart smiles now, I also laugh and wince every time I look at it.  


It's shit.


So, to finish, a few thank you's:  Thanks to Skizzer for having the plums when many (including me) did not.  Thanks to JohnK, AngryDicky and Cheggers for also financing the car.  Big thanks to my friend Emma who drove me (she has terminal cancer at 37, but wanted to make me happy) and thanks to you lot.  Here's the honest bit - I'd have run a mile had I turned up there alone.  But with everyone on board it'll be a hoot.


Sorry to sound like a romantic old fart doing his acceptance speech, but we did something good today.  Well bloody done everyone.



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#1054222 The day Trigger turned into Junkman - P6 Content

Posted by trigger on 30 August 2016 - 09:25 PM

I'll begin from the start, after selling the Mk3 Cortina a few months ago I've been looking our for a new toy, after viewing a few bits of crap and posting about a 100 "what do you think" status on Facebook i came across this Rover 2000 at a local hot rod show. After a bit of bartering we agreed a price and this afternoon i collected it.

It was in Halstead which is about 30 miles away and with my wife in the sick bay after having the veins removed from her leg and unable to drive i had to rough it on a train to Marks Tey so that i could get a lift with my dad.


Manningtree looked very muddy


£8 and 25 mins later i arrived in Marks Tey where my dad was waiting with a trailer to take me to the car.

We arrived at the owners house who was a bloody lovely chap, his wife made us a cup of tea and he spent nearly a hour chatting to my dad about vintage tractors and stationary engines and show me his motorbikes which means nothing to me.



We pulled the Rover out of the garage, as inposted in the News 24 thread it was originally a 2000 SC but its now running a 2200 SC.


And then loaded up dads trailer with the original 2.0 SC engine and a spare 2.2 engine as well as a gearbox, radiator, some trim bits and rear glass.


And then it was the drive back, my god, why have i never bought one of these before?! Its the coolest, nicest car I've ever owned!


I stopped at the petrol station when a customer complimented my car and the young girl behind the till kept asking me about it and telling me how cool it was!



£30 later i was back at the old mans and humping these bloody engines into a back of a barn, probably never to see the light again.




Whilst there i took some more photos before it got dark.






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#780551 New wheels

Posted by Electric Leyland on 01 July 2015 - 09:11 AM

New toy –back to the true essence of Autoshite with a 1979 Mazda 323 1.4L Auto!


Purchased yesterday after nearly careering off the road in excitement on spotting it and with a for sale card in the window. Purchased it on the spot - one careful elderly owner from new, 53k fully documented with all MOTs, ziebart underneath from new, MOT til March 2016. What more could you wish for? Everything works even the clock. And she drives just great!





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#1078139 1975 Ford Granada Coupe - 278 hours of welding so far...

Posted by TripleRich on 04 October 2016 - 08:03 PM

Hi all, new to the forum.  Thought you might be interested in what I’ve got myself into…


I’d been after my first classic car for a while.  If it’s big and made in the 70s I’m interested.  Looked at few things like P6s, Zodiacs, Victors, SD1s and various other things.  Problem was I didn’t want to spend a boatload of money on something that looked alright but underneath was actually a total heap.  The solution was to buy a complete heap in the first place and spend the money fixing it.


So in January I went ahead and bought this from a colleague at work who was moving away and needed to get shot of it.




It’s a part finished restoration (I prefer not started) and it needs a whole load of help if it’s going to stand any chance of using a road again.



It’s right up my street.  Granada Coupes are quite odd and certainly stand out from the norm.

It still has the original engine, box, interior and most trim.

It came with loads of panels I need to repair it (mostly original Ford stock).

It came with so many spares I could probably build a few Granada’s and still have stuff left over.

It was cheap.



Most of the front end has been cut off.

Most of the body structure is quite rotten.

It’s going to take me ages.


I work at a restoration company and my boss kindly allows me to keep the car there.  So I’ve got access to all the gear I need to restore it.  I’ve been busy on the car for a while now so will post more pics over the coming days…



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#972725 Christina's uhh.. collection...

Posted by ChristinaGXL on 05 April 2016 - 07:19 PM

Hi! I figured from my collection of crap I really ought to have a thread here. I hope they're shite enough...


I suppose I should start with the one that actually gets used.


99 Ford Mondeo Mk2 Zetec - Special gaffer tape free edition.


Just a regular old 1.8 Mondeo, I fitted the 2.0 camshafts and MAF, throttlebody and ECU to give it a little more pep. And a full leather interior from a Ghia X I bought for £80 from copart. And it was rescued from a scrapyard.




She shines up really nicely though I do love it. Though unfortunately it does get left out a little thanks to the other cars. I've got a zetec S bodykit for it but I'm feeling evil for removing original crack free bumpers. Unless anyone here needs some then I'll feel better :)





Next up is my Mk3 Cortina, a lowly 1300L but much to all of your disgust I'm sure I'll be making it into a 2000 GXL. Now, I have good reason for this though. A few years back these were pretty easy to pick up for a non insane price, but now that's just not possible. So I got my Mk3 while I had the chance, and seeing the prices of them it's probably the only chance I'd have gotten. It's been my dream car for forever so I'm just going to build it to my spec.


So far I've been doing lots of welding to her, inner wing repairs, replaced the lower portion of the A pillar inside and out, most of the passenger footwell and jacking point, all of the edge of the floor, the lower B pillar, and I'm almost ready to spot weld in the inner and outer sills. Then it's wheeltub/arch repairs (maybe the full quarter) then valances boot floors etc etc etc etc. Basically everything it's a rotbox!











I'll dig out some better pictures / take some more of this one soon so you can see the whole thing. The weather has been pretty unpredictable as of late so it's been a little tricky.



Next up is my Mk1 Cavalier 1600GL with added 400cc.


I rescued this one from a garden in wales, looked awful but I couldn't let it just sit there. My dad had an ascona and it's the first car I remember. Asconas are too pricey now so I thought I'd be happy enough with the Mk1 cav. After all after the ascona he had a mk2 then a mk3 cavalier. 


Here she is as I found it






And how she is today. Admittedly the paint isn't much better but I think it looks quite cool. Interior is a little shredded too, but it's absolutely solid. These are known for chassis rails that just dissolve and this car was ziebarted from new so it's absolutely mint underneath, except for a tiny section towards the rear of the sill. There's some surface rust around the body and a couple of small holes at the bottom corners of the rear window. I renewed all of the ignition parts and did a quick rebuild of the carb and got her running, and it's absolutely spot on. But this one now has to go, I've saved her from no doubt rotting into the floor but I got presented with the chance to get the next car underneath which I couldn't say no to being a Cortina gal at heart. I did sell it on ebay but as usual the buyer decided to just mess me around for 2 weeks. It's a bloody joke.
So onto the reason for it being kicked out: 
1982 Ford Taunus 2.0 Ghia. I think it was new in Switzerland and was originally a 2.0 V6, it's now a 2.3 V6 and has power steering and about everything you could put on a family car in 1982. So maybe not shite, but eh.
Looks really lovely in Venus gold too. There's a few photos on flickr of it too but I won't post them without permission. Only problem is she's still up in Scotland. The money from selling the cavalier was supposed to pay for it's transport back down here. But of course one thing can royally screw up everything. So if you know anyone who wants a mk1 cav do let me know ;)
So that's all my crap so far, the reason I'm skint :D

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#963946 Beige beauty Vauxhall Cavalier mk2 now sold

Posted by panhard65 on 25 March 2016 - 06:53 PM

Well as you may of seen on the ebay or news 24 thread I went to look at a Cavalier today. Well it was a bit of a road trip off up to Tamworth first to collect a set of alloys for my Saxo, then back down to Cardiff to look at the beige beauty. No chance of a live thread as my phone is one of those old ones that actually is a phone rather than a mutimedia device and I forgot to take my camera. I did see a nice Nissan Cedric in brown on the M42 other than that nothing too exciting to report. Anyway when we finally made it to Cardiff due to all the holiday idiots we found the address no problem. A quick look round and it did look as good as the description with just a few little signs of surface rust. I has had a respray and possibly sills but if it has they have been done very well. I was struggling to find anything to knock him down on until he told me it wouldn't start. Great I thought driven all the way to Wales and the bloody thing won't start. I was just about to walk away when I thought I will just check the work he had done on it. He had been fitting a new coil, leads, rotor arm etc try to cure it. I pulled the king lead out to check for a spark and it was the wrong type and there was no chance it would of made contact. I borrowed a pair of pliers off him and crimped the end back on so it would cfit properly and it was away. The brake servo isn't working as it should as the brakes need a good shove to get the thing to stop, but other than that it's fine and drove back ok. So here we go  have some pics.





mmmmmm velour


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#1211621 I'm on a train...

Posted by Skizzer on 24 April 2017 - 07:26 PM


It's a trap - there's two of the buggers.
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#983749 Trip to Japan

Posted by willswitchengage on 22 April 2016 - 01:30 PM

Two weeks in the Cherry Blossom season. Without a doubt, the most incredible place I've ever visited; it makes coming home to England feel like we're twenty years in the past.




95% Japanese cars; all are very sensible. Contrary to what you'd expect, there are no superbikes or cars modified with silly exhausts or massive spoilers. About half the cars are Kei-cars with their yellow numberplates. Any foreign car will be German, a Volvo or a Jeep. Everything was petrol, and the overwhelming majority were automatics. All were essentially new and in immaculate condition - not once did I see a broken down vehicle or a recovery truck. Garages are almost non-existent. Driving is sedate and safe, we could never figure out the road rules but pedestrians were well respected. No horn blaring, everybody was courteous and knew what they were doing. Fuel is about 75p a litre, but I believe lack of parking deters motorists most. There is hardly any parking anywhere, and ingenious solutions involving car lifts and stacking and ubiquitous. Congestion is minimal. Major roads are tolled. Taxis were quite homogenously Toyota Comforts:




The road infrastructure was second to none:






All mopeds and Honda Cubs. Lots of strange three wheeled Honda used for utility:




(yes, you can get Maccy Ds delivered!) There were also bicycles everywhere - to the same extent that there are in the Netherlands or Denmark, or Shoreditch. So many that bicycle parking is a massive problem as there are just so many. Cycling is the transport mode of choice for most, it appeared. There also appeared to be no rules for cyclists - pavement or road (often against oncoming traffic also), you decide! It all was very harmonious, though.




All diesel, a small number CNG. All manual and they friggin love modifying them. A modified truck looks like this:




A normal one looked like this:




And this appeared to be a more typical lorry. 8x4(2?), with a stainless/aluminium body:




Domestic brands (Isuzu, Hino, Nissan, Mitsubishi) have a quadropoly, although I did see a couple of Euro3 style Volvo FH tractors. Small lorries and vans are all the little cabovers that recovery firms and landscape gardeners like over here. There's also some bizarre obsession with modifying gearsticks with these...






Were shit. I went on a couple and they're all indigenous rigids. They're all unrefiend with manual gearboxes, although a few are also hybrids. Europe wins here. Here's a typical bus station, also spot the weird SWB one on the left:








Were out of this world. To get to London I have to get a train I have to use something built in the 1970s and is powered by diesel, where I have to open my door by sicking my hand out of the window to grab the handle. I have to stand or sit in an uncomfortable seat which isn't aligned with a window, and the train will be late. To get between Tokyo and Osaka, I use this:






It has 23000 horsepower, tilts, can do 0-175 mph in three minutes and is never late. Inside they are quiet, spacious and comfortable. The seat reservation system works perfectly. It has a nice toilet and a smoking room. The seats spin around (on local trains they flip over) so you are always facing the direction of travel.




Standard class here is like first class at home, if not better. The train crew bow as they enter and leave carriages. The acceleration is phenomenal - you're pressed against the back of your chair right up to the top speed.




Regional trains were equally incredible. This is a train on Tokyo's Yamanote line:




Every day this one line carries more passengers than the entirety of the London Underground, or France. As does Tokyo's busiest railway station, where the entire population of Manchester passes through it every day, twice. The trains are mind blowingly busy. Again, the system does though work in perfect harmony, is simple to use and extremely cheap. These jingles are constantly played at stations. I loved it:



This is the fastest train in operation, the E5 Shinkansen, with a top speed of 200 mph.




Some trains were old:






Some just looked odd:




They are truly obsessed with trains over there. You can eat one, or eat out of one:








There were even photo booths where you could get your picture taken with one!




You could even sit at the front and pretend you're driving!




Of course, there was Autoshite too...





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#935997 Extremely High-Class Gentlemans Conveyance Acquired.

Posted by Alexg on 19 February 2016 - 09:12 PM

Hi chaps. As some of you have seen in the News24 thread I got spectacularly lucky on my dream Rover 75.

I'd been hunting for a 2.5 V6 Connoisseur SE, pre-Project Deprive and with low (sub 60k miles) and obviously in good condition with history. If that wasn't being picky enough it was preferably in Green and with Cream Leather as I wasn't massively taken on the black. Oh yeah, and I really didn't like some of the alloy wheel options, wanting the plain understated and classier look of the 'Crown' multispokes... so yeah, piece of cake huh?

Impossible to find perhaps, but by a massive fluke one came and found me! I work for a used car dealer and a chance phone call from a local trader asking me to CAP value a car he was buying from elsewhere presented the perfect vehicle. A 2 owner 2001 Connoisseur SE 2.5 Auto with just 39k, history and a cambelt in 2014. I told him I wanted it and 3 days later this honey bowled into view...


Everything I wanted, everything and more. It's mint, I can't imagine finding a better one anywhere. Not a scratch or ding to be seen. It even has the important Gentry spec recess-filling rear number plate although I'm not sure about the GB and towbar (Rover branded) chrome cap.


The real delight was found inside. It's not Cream leather, but an upgrade to Deep Sea Green Personal Line interior, check this out!!!








Flipping unreal!! And again absolutely mint!! It's complemented by Green mats, steering wheel and even dash top! It has loads of other extras too: Harman Kardon sound upgrade, Sunroof and Sat Nav (although disconnected, assume maybe because developed a battery drain) and electric folding mirrors.



I had to pay good money for it, but it's got to be one of the best out there, I'm chuffed as hell! I got the keys today an wafted home like a boss. It drives perfectly with a glorious V6 growl. Here's the required petrol station shot...


Faults? Electric rear blind doesn't operate. Electric seat switches stick slightly, one of the keys is slightly worn and missing a button. So I think I've done alright :) I have a company car for work so this will purely be for Sunday best.


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Posted by Mr_Bo11ox on 25 February 2017 - 04:51 PM

Guys. I know its bad for to start a new thread for a single spot, but look what I saw parked on the roadside in Somercotes this morning. (I urge you to click on the pics for maximum appreciation). I feel like a flippin zoologist who's just photographed a friggin tasmanian Tiger in the wild.


What else can I say? I'm off to the George & Dragon to celebrate this paradigm-shift in 4-wheeled outright stubbornness.








Look at the rear arches on it man.




. I'm not kidding when I say that the whole arse end of this car has been squashed out of shape by presumably DECADES of carrying loads that are far too heavy for it. The rear wings have splayed aout above the top of the arches as if there is a flippin hinge section in the roof above the rear doors. The rear door aft gaps have completely gone.




It did have a load of something in the boot, covered over with a blanket, I'm guessing it was either gold bullion, housebricks or a pallet of osmium. The sills looked like they were on probably their 3rd set of cover sills crudely hammered on over the old ones and tacked along the top & bottom edges.


Just fucking WOW. I so want to see what the trenchcoat-wearing old bastard who drives this, actually looks like. I might g and camp out in the Co-op car park over the road and try and pap him.


Good night.

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#1171402 "WTF did I buy that for" Vol. 875 - Mazda 323 1.5

Posted by Mr_Bo11ox on 21 February 2017 - 12:47 PM

I was flicking through eBay a couple of weeks back and saw a cheapy Mazda 323 3-door for sale, pretty bland, but not unattractive and reasonably rare I think:




I absent-mindedly chucked in a bid of £80, you know the rest.


Here it is on my driveway:






Yeah, I won it for £78. It was in Wiltshire or Warwick or somewhere starting with W that's 100 miles from my house, I thought about A-framing it but then I got a cheap shiply quote so got it delivered, another £96 or something.


After bidding I looked up its MOT history and saw that its had an advisory for 'poor condition underneath' so I expected the worst, (should have looked at that before bidding really).


Its a fairly un-messed with old thing, one little bit of welding has been done on one sill, 78,000, no obvious signs of bodgery.


At the weekend I finally had time to have a proper looks so I gave it a wash and inspection. Took all the wheels off and washed about 5kg of mud out of each wheelarch and cleaned up the alloys inside and out.





To my surprise it actually is a very nice little thing really. the paint is very faded but I think its all original and I reckon will come up a treat with the mop. Don't be fooled by the artificial gloss of these 'wet' photos!






Engine is a 1.5 16v effort, looks a bit like an MX-5 engine? I don't know if it has owt in common with those engines though.




Also whats going on with this inlet manifold? Looks like someone went a bit overboard with their new pipe bender and tig welder.







Interior is OK if a bit bland, its all there apart from the stereo faceplate though. Its got aircon and electric sunroof as well - LUXURY




Rust wise it doesn't seem bad at all. This bit needs a tickle on the LH sill but that seems to be about it. The RH has already had a patch in the same spot. Other problems I have found include dead gas struts on the tailgate, and horrible clattery wipers with about 2" of play in the mechanism, they do work but make an awful racket!!! I see it failed its MOT on a balljoint and a CV boot as well so those need sorting. But, all told its much better than I expected and I don't feel too bad about buying it as its quite a nice little thing, can't wait to get the paintwork sorted out as I reckon it will look ace.



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#1158877 Renault 30 TS - video added!

Posted by doubleyeller on 04 February 2017 - 06:56 PM

Any interest in this beauty me and my mate picked up today?

He grew jealous of my R20, and so has gone one better, and acquired himself a lovely R30!

Some recomissioning works needed as it's been off the road a few years, but nothing too daunting.........




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#1071335 Mainly Mint Minx now too mint due to change in circumstances - Caution: Range...

Posted by Junkman on 24 September 2016 - 04:54 PM

We just met the most wonderful man. He has a unit which is a wonderland of lovely cars.

He gave me the keys to one of them.




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#884264 Stanky's fixerating of vehicles thread - Care in the Community 4-2-17

Posted by Stanky on 09 December 2015 - 01:16 AM

As some of you may know, and fewer still may care, the gearbox on the Almera of many miles has been on its way out for some while. At the last MOT it flew through with but 2 advisories for negligible issues however the gearbox was rated officially 'SHIT' and not long for this world.


Rather than OMGLOL scrap the fucker, I decided to put out a mayday call to the AS massive and a gearbox was sourced from a fellow member who extremely kindly offered it, and various other bits to keep me motoring for just the cost of postage. To this lump of pure technological wonderment I added the finest clutch kit that Euro Crap Art could offer (at under £35) and 5 litres of liquid dinosaurs with which to fill the gearbox of much promise.


At this point, I filled the boot of the almost stricken Almera, which looked something like this




Due to other commitments, the work couldn't be fitted in for 3 weeks, during which time the Almera was given a strict diet of local, critical missions only, which mostly meant my wife driving it very slowly, in 5th gear to and from work 2 days a week.


But tonight, Matthew, I will be SUPER MECHANIC!


I knocked off work an hour early, and took the Nissan to my uncle-in-law's workshop, where he and I set to in the quest to change the gearbox. In an evening. Without ramps. And here is the story in all its detail.


To begin with. The scene looked like this:




The picture is blurry because I was excited. As you can see, its an engine bay. The gearbox sounded like a coffee grinder.


So we began to detach things. I worked at removing bits at the top, while uncle-in-law set to removing the driveshafts from the hubs. Behold a slightly 'underwater' shot of a driveshaft removed from a hub




By this point I'd removed the intake gubbinz, battery, detached the clutch cable,battery tray, starter motor, and myriad brackets




All of these were carefully put in a big pile in the corner for later. Here is a picture of a starter motor




With all this stuff removed, we had access to the box. At this point I stopped taking pictures for a little while because the gearboxes weigh about 40kg each and they are very hard to move about so we both had to actually do some work. The nearside driveshaft goes through a funny little sandwich plate with a hole in it, so you can't just drop the whole lot out. The nearside driveshaft has to be removed from the box, then you can drop it out the bottom with just the offside one connected. So thats what we did, but not before draining the oil out, and what a lot of black gear oil there was...






Then, the gearbox was separated from the engine




With the aid of a big breaker bar.


With the box on the floor, the other driveshaft could be removed, leaving just a sad box






Next, we had a good look at the drain plug. Which had taken on the festive spirit by decorating itself with all sort of sparkly bits of what is probably input shaft bearing, but really could be almost anything




And for those whose eyesight is less good




And that, children, is how chemical metal is made.


So, we now had a gearbox-less car. Next, the clutch. This appeared to be the original item, which after 19 years and 141,368 miles was in less than optimal shape.






With these removed, it exposed the SOLID FLYWHEEL YO




which in this picture looks like it might be made of solid gold. It isn't. But it was on good shape with no scoring or other damage, other than slighly chewed teeth from the starter.


So, on with the new clutch kit. A nice LUK job was mine for just £34 from ECP which seemed a right bargain. It even fitted. A-Mazing.




Next, we had to get the filler plug out of the new gearbox. This was less fun. The plug liked where it lived, and didn't want to come out. Someone had had a go at it some time in the past so it was a bit chewed up, heads were scratched, air tools were tried in vain and so I suggested we heat it up a bit. This worked brilliantly, I stood on the top of the gearbox to stop it escaping, uncle-in law stood on the 1/2" bar and CRACK! it let go. Much back slapping ensued and we all ageed how much better the world is with the invention of fire.


The plug was greased and put back in temporarily to allow the box to be re-fitted. This was even less easy than removal. Eventually we succeeded by me jacking the gearbox up from underneath very carefully while UIL guided it onto the dowels and losely did the bolts up. At this point it was beginning to look like the end was in sight.


The bolts were done up with the air gun, and I guided the box up to allow the end mount to be done up and made the whole arrangement a lot more secure. Then, UIL got back underneath and began to re-attach the crossmember we had removed earlier and locate the bolts in the front and rear mounts.


At this point it looked a bit like this




By this point I had begun to re-assemble the top of the engine bay. The starter was back in, some of the brackets were back in place and I had begun to re-attach the myriad plugs and things to their relevant sockets. There was some to-ing and fro-ing getting the crossmember back in place, which was eventually achieved with the use of precision jacking, and he then re-attached the driveshafts to the gearbox while I kept putting the topside back together.


Here is a re-attached driveshaft in the offside hub




And the air intake stuff, and battery tray re-attached




We then fed the new gearbox about 3 litres of 80w mineral gearbox oil which I reckon should be alright as the spec says 75w/90 so its in the middle and was cheaper than genuine Nissan stuff at £8 for 5 litres. It smells horrible and was green, so probably refined stegosaurus rather than t-rex, which everyone knows makes brown oil.


Then, it was taken back down off its axle stands, the hub nuts done up, wheelnuts done back up, battery re-fitted, clutch cable re-attached and the engine bay looked like this. Pretty similar to how it started




Much tension occurred as we started it up, hoping like fuck that the new gearbox wasn't borked, and we'd remembered to plug everything back in properly. I turned the key and it burst into life, and ticked over like a beauty. It no longer sounds like teeth chattering at idle and revs cleanly and near silently through to 3.5k which was as far as I dare take it on the drive home.


The whole job took two of us about 5 hours to complete end-to-end, which I think isn't bad considering I'd not done it before and we didn't have any ramps. The Nissan is actually quite nice to work on with plenty of space to get to stuff in the engine bay and care had gone into the assembly in 1996 as almost all the bolts came undone without shearing or being seized which made it quite a straightforward process.


This was a massive success and I'm hugely pleased with myself for undertaking this. It wouldn't have been possible without the kind offer of the gearbox from another member on here after my plea for assistance, and without my uncle-in-law to assist, but I definitely contributed to the work and have given the little nissan a new lease of life. Hopefully with these new bits bolted on it'll do another 140k miles and I'll know exactly what to do next time!


I hope you have enjoyed this little insight into my life and my vehicle of awesome mechanical resilience.







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