Time to bring this back from the dead.
Nobody likes TL;DR, so...
Thai-built 850 2.3 n/a on LPG sold at a great loss: 20,000 THB (£500). It had become too much of a liability, even after spending several fortunes on it. Should have been a good car, but just wasn't designed for this climate.
Thai wife divorced after 15 years. We tried, but just couldn't find the joy any more. I wish her the best. I know I'm in a much happier place now. Thankfully no kids.
New shite bought in Chiang Mai, because it was as cheap as renting a modern for a month.
And more fun.
And VERY shite.
The last owner just spent twice the asking price restoring it in 2018 for her androgynous daughter (son) to drive, but she (he) turned it down and bought a new Civic. Their loss...
Keen veterans will ID it straight off; I'm sure we've discussed these... what is it?
The day after collection (and lengthy transfer bureaucracy), it carried five of us up to the top of Mon Chem. A real test, but it performed well, thought oddly high-geared for a car its size.
Next after a quick check-over (bubbles in the screen-wash, and coolant in the water (Thai's almost always neglect these)), a two-day drive from Chiang Mai to the most north-east of Thailand's Northeast, a.k.a. Isaan.
The car performed great - a most unexpectedly brilliant cruiser, lovely tall gearing, and "sufficient" umph. I'm a happy bunny.
Isaan tinkering - mainly refitting the number plates. Involved hammering.
Next to Nong Khai, a town on the Mekong with a bridge to Laos. More of this... nearly a full day...
At times I thought we weren't going to be able to do it, but eventually the car had a passport, and the three of us (car, me, and my Thai traveling companion) all had visas for Laos.
Over the bridge...
That's the mid point of the bridge where the flags change from Thai to Laotian, and the barrier from clean to dirty.
Then a weird crossing like a Scalextric crossover to switch to driving on the right of the road...
...then more red tape to insure the car for Laos, and temporarily import it, fees in three different currencies, we were in!
Just in time to get to Vientiane and walk out to the Mekong promenade for the sun set over Thailand on the other side.
And to sample the Laos-only BeerLao varieties I still prefer the dark one!
I'm only here on a three-day "visa run", as of tomorrow we're back to the Isaan rice fields, and without wifi, but I should be able to upload a few spots from my phone on the 3G.
Back in the game, Tat-lickers!