With the MG now happily residing with the new owner (air whistle fixed, incidentally!), it is now time to draw my attention back to Herman.
Herman (he's German!) is a 1998 BMW 728i, looking resplendent in Oxford Green metallic. Having had a Xantia 110 HDi for several months for the weekend commute of a 500-mile round trip (South Cornwall to Wiltshire), I eventually proposed to MrsHarris, to which she accepted. Couple of months later, wedding preps are in full swing, and the Xantia stopped scratching my itch. Whilst a very nice car, it was just that little bit too noisy for the motorway. So, whilst my bride-to-be was investigating wedding magazines, I was nose deep on my phone browsing luxobarges on the sly. My price range was extremely limited - Â£1000. The offerings were bleak - an Audi A8 seemed promising initially, but the intergalactic mileage and battered bodywork put me off, not to mention the potential repair bills. Same could be said for Jaguar.
Eventually, I widened my search, having the bonus of being able to look at both Cornwall and Wiltshire, and a very brief advert appeared in the Auto Trader, on Valentine's Day of all days. The advert said the car had a full MOT and ultra low mileage - 56,700. I called the seller immediately, who turned out to be located in Plymouth. I received the bad news that someone was coming down from London to view it, so I gave him my number and asked him to call me if it fell through for any reason. MrsH, had been behind me the entire time, rumbling my dastardly scheme. Whoops. She didn't approve of my plans and only stopped short of forbidding it. I spent the rest of the day in a huff.
The next day, the phone rang.
"The buyer is being a bellend and messing me around with couriers, if you can view it today, I'll hold it for you."
I looked at MrsH, with the biggest, saddest puppy-dog eyes imaginable, and she rolled her eyes and let me head down to Plymouth. That was going to be tricky, as it was rapidly approaching noon on a Saturday, and I needed some readies to waft in his face. Mercifully, I found a bank that was still open and willing to give me a grand in cash. I headed straight to my brothers' house in Plymouth, and parked the Xantia on the driveway. I hopped in the SAAB, and we headed over to the sellers house.
As soon as I saw Herman in the flesh, I said to my brother "I'm buying it.". It looked immaculate from every angle and had just been serviced with fresh brakes, started and drove perfectly and had a wadge of receipts.
I didn't even haggle. I even gave him another fiver to drop it off outside my brothers' house to sort out the insurance.
Straight away, I insured Herman (strangely cheaper than the Xantia), and set off back home to Wiltshire with no issues whatsoever. MrsH seemed to like it, which was a bonus, and both our sets of parents assumed it'd be a one-way ticket to financial despair and ruin. During my runs home, I would regularly see 34-36MPG, which was absolutely fine, considering I was wafting along in a quiet, comfortable, safe car, which had a decent turn of pace and really good handling. Fast forward to August, and Herman had an additional duty to attend to:
Since then, aside from routine servicing, six tyres, and some rear control arms, he's only had one snag, which was the drivers' door lock seizing. requiring me to hit the door with a mallet, damaging the paintwork in the process. He's become part of the family, and occasionally MrsH gets to drive him, which proves a shock to oncoming motorists! He now sits at 77,889 miles.
Oh, and some cretinous cow, attempted to murder him just off the M5. He shrugged it off and got repaired under their insurance.
So, the purpose of this thread is to document the ownership of Herman, to see what is involved with running an old luxobarge as a daily driver, and share any heartaches along the way.
As a parting gift, here are a few more shots.