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Smart Roadster - The poo brown go-kart.


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136 replies to this topic

#1 ONLINE   SiC

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 11:44 PM

Boughted at bottom of Page 1.
I'm really getting the hots for the Smart Roadster.
Reading pistonheads they appear to have robo auto gearboxes that you love or hate, electronics that goes fritz ("SAM" aka body computer) and they leak everywhere. But on the upside they are supposed to be great fun to drive and like go-karts.

They're getting reasonably price now, with them obtainable between 1k and 2k. I am maybe on the look out for ones a bit cheaper with "problems" - bad idea on these? They look reasonably DIY'able cars - with engine removal doable on the drive. Of course a 700cc engine helps in this.

So what's the real deal on these? Can the leaks reasonably be DIY fixed and SAM units DIY fixed/replaced? Worth the headache running one gives?


  • Barry Cade. likes this
Current Fleet:
2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp - The fun one that is the last hurrah before kids
2007 Honda Civic EX CTDi - The reliable runner that is like the family pet.
2010 Aldi A4 - Owned to placate the wife on my crap buying


My history: 2003 Clio II 1.2 16v (First car), 2003 Honda Civic 3dr 1.7 CTDi (Isuzu lump), 1992 Mazda MX5 1.6, 2005 Mazda RX8 192bhp, 2005 Saab 9-3 1.9TiD 150bhp, 2007 Honda Civic 2.2 CTDi, 2004 Renault Scenic 1.6 Auto (Now Kiltox FiL), 2004 Saab 9-5 2.3t (Now Hooli), 2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp
Wife history (that she used/owned but I had frequent use of): 2002 Renault Clio II 1.2 16v (Billabong!), 2006 Mazda MX5 1.8, 2004 VW Golf 1.6 FSI, 2005 Renault Scenic II 2.0 (went bad from the drive back when buying it!), 2002 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16v (now phil_lihp ex-colleague), 2005 Renault Laguna II v6 (Now angle)

#2 OFFLINE   Barry Cade.

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 11:52 PM

Been watching these too, one for sale locally for 700 quid. Quite tempted as I really liked my for two. All the coding stuff with Sam and clocks etc worries me though.

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#3 ONLINE   SiC

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 11:54 PM

All the coding stuff with Sam and clocks etc looks really interesting to me though.


FTFM (Fixed That For Myself)
Current Fleet:
2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp - The fun one that is the last hurrah before kids
2007 Honda Civic EX CTDi - The reliable runner that is like the family pet.
2010 Aldi A4 - Owned to placate the wife on my crap buying


My history: 2003 Clio II 1.2 16v (First car), 2003 Honda Civic 3dr 1.7 CTDi (Isuzu lump), 1992 Mazda MX5 1.6, 2005 Mazda RX8 192bhp, 2005 Saab 9-3 1.9TiD 150bhp, 2007 Honda Civic 2.2 CTDi, 2004 Renault Scenic 1.6 Auto (Now Kiltox FiL), 2004 Saab 9-5 2.3t (Now Hooli), 2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp
Wife history (that she used/owned but I had frequent use of): 2002 Renault Clio II 1.2 16v (Billabong!), 2006 Mazda MX5 1.8, 2004 VW Golf 1.6 FSI, 2005 Renault Scenic II 2.0 (went bad from the drive back when buying it!), 2002 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16v (now phil_lihp ex-colleague), 2005 Renault Laguna II v6 (Now angle)

#4 ONLINE   SiC

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 12:21 AM

The leaks all look DIY fixable. Quite a few guides around - e.g. http://www.theroadst...ex.php?cat_id=5

If you sort the leaks then the SAM body computer stays out of harm's way by the looks of it! Funny how people give Renault such a slating for their mid 2000 vehicles hatred of water when others weren't much better!
Current Fleet:
2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp - The fun one that is the last hurrah before kids
2007 Honda Civic EX CTDi - The reliable runner that is like the family pet.
2010 Aldi A4 - Owned to placate the wife on my crap buying


My history: 2003 Clio II 1.2 16v (First car), 2003 Honda Civic 3dr 1.7 CTDi (Isuzu lump), 1992 Mazda MX5 1.6, 2005 Mazda RX8 192bhp, 2005 Saab 9-3 1.9TiD 150bhp, 2007 Honda Civic 2.2 CTDi, 2004 Renault Scenic 1.6 Auto (Now Kiltox FiL), 2004 Saab 9-5 2.3t (Now Hooli), 2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp
Wife history (that she used/owned but I had frequent use of): 2002 Renault Clio II 1.2 16v (Billabong!), 2006 Mazda MX5 1.8, 2004 VW Golf 1.6 FSI, 2005 Renault Scenic II 2.0 (went bad from the drive back when buying it!), 2002 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16v (now phil_lihp ex-colleague), 2005 Renault Laguna II v6 (Now angle)

#5 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 02:09 AM

They drive really very nicely (about 5 years since which is too long), I think Gordon Murray has had one as an everyday car for years.


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#6 OFFLINE   colc

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 08:55 AM

They DO leak like a bastard........only car I've ever known to leak through the bloody door mirrors..................They are fun to drive, although the gearbox doesn't exactly enhance the whole "sports go-kart" image


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#7 OFFLINE   hpi_matrix

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 09:07 AM

I too have been tempted by these things, the only thing that seems comparable is a Suzuki cappuccino.

 

Are parts easy to get?



#8 ONLINE   anonymous user

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 09:09 AM

Unless you're really good with electronic stuff and/or know someone with access to the Mercedes software don't. When the water gets in the SAM unit the car dies, it's not just a case of fitting a new one as it all has to be taught to talk to everything else. Great fun when they are going but too complicated for me. Mine died on the M4. (wipers,horn,windows all doing their own thing, added thousands of miles to the clocks and then lost power and gearshift) Parts supply good/expensive, very good enthusiast website (evilution ) which you can join
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#9 OFFLINE   hpi_matrix

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 09:10 AM

Unless you're really good with electronic stuff and/or know someone with access to the Mercedes software don't. When the water gets in the SAM unit the car dies, it's not just a case of fitting a new one as it all has to be taught to talk to everything else. Great fun when they are going but too complicated for me. Mine died on the M4. (wipers,horn,windows all doing there own thing, added thousands of miles to the clocks and then lost power and gearshift)

 

Is it possible to get a hooky version of the software? Like VAGCOM?



#10 ONLINE   anonymous user

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 09:18 AM

Not sure what is out there, all I do know is that even with the proper stuff and new parts, plus replacement new parts when the first lot didn't work I still hadn't had mine back after three months, it was nearly fixed a few times, but there was always something different that wouldn't work

#11 ONLINE   cort16

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 11:26 AM

I think they can be hard work but worth the pain when working well.

I estimate this car needs £3000 maybe £4000 spending on it to get it rite and when this is done it will be wotrth about £1500!!


#12 OFFLINE   Pete-M

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 11:30 AM

Engines are a bit grenade-y. I've seen a lot of dead ones which didn't reach 60k miles.

214837.png 180526.png

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#13 OFFLINE   Jams

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 11:36 AM

I like the look of these also. I saw a brabus one in the local pound shop car park. Looked well with the big wheels etc

#14 ONLINE   Vince70

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 11:57 AM

I had one from a year old for about 3 years and never had much hassle with it..
Like what has been said before the gearbox isn't the best about and the car would of been great if it had a manual box and a small jap engine.

The Merc main dealer that mine would go to for servicing was less than useless and any small problems with the car I would normally repair myself rather than trust them with warranty work.

I did though have the clutch software update and the mirror and door rubbers upgraded under warranty plus a steering rack and steering wheel but to be honest mine didn't leak but I wanted to be on the safe side so blagged the modified parts under warranty.

The only real downside I found was the interior plastics were crap quality and It didn't did feel that Well screwed together plus mine was a garage queen so it didn't get much use so was very low mileage by the time it was sold on.

But saying that when I had mine a friend also had one at the same time and his was a nightmare so I guess it's pot luck if you get a goodun.

Would I have another roadster well I was going to buy one again a couple of years back and in the end my bottle went so I went for a safe bet and bought a tidy Z3 instead and must say even at 20 years old the old Z3 does feel better screwed together than my smart roadster did at a year old, but with cars like the roadster it should be heart not head that wins when buying one.

I think the 700cc engine in the later roadster though is meant to be a bit more reliable than the earlier 600cc suprex engines due to having an oil cooler and it can be updated to Brabus BHP with a simple remap.

But reliability besides it does look a lovely car especially in jack black and I still have a soft spot for them as I still have one sitting in front of the fireplace and luckily this one doesn't have a soggy Sam unit.

Also if you go for a brabus version check the wheels as the things are made of tin foil and are known to buckle if you as much as drive over a fag packet.

Its also built in France so I think it wouldn't be right if the electrics were trouble free anyway.

image.jpeg
image.png
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#15 OFFLINE   Supernaut

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 01:55 PM

As an alternative, I know of a Suzuki Cappuccino in Aberdeenshire. It needs some work...

#16 OFFLINE   gm

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 06:04 PM

I'm sure I've posted this before but as it's such a beauty* it deserves a second outing

HPIM0532.jpg

I had an absolute hoot driving this for a week, the drinks company had a fleet of novelty vehicles (smarts, beetles, minis etc) that they would loan out to pubs and clubs, as long as they were being seen around town promoting their crappy alcopops, they were happy.

Excellent handling, shitty gearbox were my lasting memories, I'd happily have another go on one, especially if someone else was paying :)
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#17 ONLINE   Ghosty

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 06:29 PM

I don't know much about these but I really like the look of the hatchback ones. 

 

smartcoupe1.jpg


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#18 OFFLINE   RoadworkUK

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 06:43 PM

Probably a dreadful idea, but since when has Autoshite been about buying 'good' cars?

These are absolutely hilarious. Buy some and throw them away as they break.
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#19 ONLINE   Kiltox

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 06:47 PM

Unless you're really good with electronic stuff and/or know someone with access to the Mercedes software don't. When the water gets in the SAM unit the car dies, it's not just a case of fitting a new one as it all has to be taught to talk to everything else. Great fun when they are going but too complicated for me. Mine died on the M4. (wipers,horn,windows all doing there own thing, added thousands of miles to the clocks and then lost power and gearshift) Parts supply good/expensive, very good enthusiast website (evilution ) which you can join


To be fair, SiC is THE FUCKING MAN with electrical stuff to the point owning a Laguna II doesn't faze him at all so I think that's covered
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#20 ONLINE   SiC

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 06:50 PM

Thanks for the feedback from everyone thus far. Sounds like a top recommendation. :)

I much prefer* electronic problems than mechanical. So if one goes fritz on me, it makes a great challenge. In fact I'd rather buy one pre-broken if it means it's uber cheap. Despite all the potential of it, very few come up spares & repairs. Maybe because owners don't admit to it? :D
  • anonymous user, dome and Vince70 like this
Current Fleet:
2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp - The fun one that is the last hurrah before kids
2007 Honda Civic EX CTDi - The reliable runner that is like the family pet.
2010 Aldi A4 - Owned to placate the wife on my crap buying


My history: 2003 Clio II 1.2 16v (First car), 2003 Honda Civic 3dr 1.7 CTDi (Isuzu lump), 1992 Mazda MX5 1.6, 2005 Mazda RX8 192bhp, 2005 Saab 9-3 1.9TiD 150bhp, 2007 Honda Civic 2.2 CTDi, 2004 Renault Scenic 1.6 Auto (Now Kiltox FiL), 2004 Saab 9-5 2.3t (Now Hooli), 2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp
Wife history (that she used/owned but I had frequent use of): 2002 Renault Clio II 1.2 16v (Billabong!), 2006 Mazda MX5 1.8, 2004 VW Golf 1.6 FSI, 2005 Renault Scenic II 2.0 (went bad from the drive back when buying it!), 2002 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16v (now phil_lihp ex-colleague), 2005 Renault Laguna II v6 (Now angle)

#21 ONLINE   SiC

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 06:52 PM

I don't know much about these but I really like the look of the hatchback ones.

http://images.cdn.autocar.co.uk/sites/au...


Yeah Coupé back is my favourite too. Unfortunately seems to be a popular favourite too as it attracts a premium.
Current Fleet:
2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp - The fun one that is the last hurrah before kids
2007 Honda Civic EX CTDi - The reliable runner that is like the family pet.
2010 Aldi A4 - Owned to placate the wife on my crap buying


My history: 2003 Clio II 1.2 16v (First car), 2003 Honda Civic 3dr 1.7 CTDi (Isuzu lump), 1992 Mazda MX5 1.6, 2005 Mazda RX8 192bhp, 2005 Saab 9-3 1.9TiD 150bhp, 2007 Honda Civic 2.2 CTDi, 2004 Renault Scenic 1.6 Auto (Now Kiltox FiL), 2004 Saab 9-5 2.3t (Now Hooli), 2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp
Wife history (that she used/owned but I had frequent use of): 2002 Renault Clio II 1.2 16v (Billabong!), 2006 Mazda MX5 1.8, 2004 VW Golf 1.6 FSI, 2005 Renault Scenic II 2.0 (went bad from the drive back when buying it!), 2002 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16v (now phil_lihp ex-colleague), 2005 Renault Laguna II v6 (Now angle)

#22 ONLINE   anonymous user

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 07:31 PM

SiC if you haven't looked at evilution it's worth checking out, to join properly and access all of it I recall a one off fee (I think it was £10). It helped this technophobe work out how to change the stereo so it must be good.
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#23 ONLINE   SiC

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 07:40 PM

Yeah they frequently come up in Google searches.

I'm possibly going to wait till January before I go get one (famous last words), as from personal experience it's the best time of year to buy a convertible. I'd just need to off load the Saab first...

No doubt a bargain will come up locally in the wrong moment for me and I'll have to buy it...
Current Fleet:
2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp - The fun one that is the last hurrah before kids
2007 Honda Civic EX CTDi - The reliable runner that is like the family pet.
2010 Aldi A4 - Owned to placate the wife on my crap buying


My history: 2003 Clio II 1.2 16v (First car), 2003 Honda Civic 3dr 1.7 CTDi (Isuzu lump), 1992 Mazda MX5 1.6, 2005 Mazda RX8 192bhp, 2005 Saab 9-3 1.9TiD 150bhp, 2007 Honda Civic 2.2 CTDi, 2004 Renault Scenic 1.6 Auto (Now Kiltox FiL), 2004 Saab 9-5 2.3t (Now Hooli), 2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp
Wife history (that she used/owned but I had frequent use of): 2002 Renault Clio II 1.2 16v (Billabong!), 2006 Mazda MX5 1.8, 2004 VW Golf 1.6 FSI, 2005 Renault Scenic II 2.0 (went bad from the drive back when buying it!), 2002 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16v (now phil_lihp ex-colleague), 2005 Renault Laguna II v6 (Now angle)

#24 OFFLINE   martc

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 07:46 PM

Is it possible to get a hooky version of the software? Like VAGCOM?

 

VAGCOM would certainly improve it's fuel consumption.


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Hello happy

#25 ONLINE   Dave_Q

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 07:50 PM

I looked into them a bit, its the rings that go on the engine, manifesting as a misfire so beware of "just needs a coilpack m7"

I drove a tall version as a delivery car for a national pizza concern once upon a time, getting it off the line is a bit of an art as the auto gubbins is a bit slow to respond, but we discovered that if you are hooning, don't touch the lever and nail it, they change up automatically at the redline, much quicker than the manual changes. It was a semi-auto only so this isn't the full auto mode, its secret race mode.
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#26 ONLINE   SiC

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 07:54 PM

I looked into them a bit, its the rings that go on the engine, manifesting as a misfire so beware of "just needs a coilpack m7"


The valves are prone to burning up to afaik. I believe these 700cc later engines are a bit stronger than the originals.
Current Fleet:
2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp - The fun one that is the last hurrah before kids
2007 Honda Civic EX CTDi - The reliable runner that is like the family pet.
2010 Aldi A4 - Owned to placate the wife on my crap buying


My history: 2003 Clio II 1.2 16v (First car), 2003 Honda Civic 3dr 1.7 CTDi (Isuzu lump), 1992 Mazda MX5 1.6, 2005 Mazda RX8 192bhp, 2005 Saab 9-3 1.9TiD 150bhp, 2007 Honda Civic 2.2 CTDi, 2004 Renault Scenic 1.6 Auto (Now Kiltox FiL), 2004 Saab 9-5 2.3t (Now Hooli), 2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp
Wife history (that she used/owned but I had frequent use of): 2002 Renault Clio II 1.2 16v (Billabong!), 2006 Mazda MX5 1.8, 2004 VW Golf 1.6 FSI, 2005 Renault Scenic II 2.0 (went bad from the drive back when buying it!), 2002 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16v (now phil_lihp ex-colleague), 2005 Renault Laguna II v6 (Now angle)

#27 ONLINE   SiC

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 10:43 PM

I just remembered this thread!

A quick update on my status...

Tried buying this:
s-l16001.jpg
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/142256928106

Looked perfect and just what I wanted (Coupe). However after 3 hour drive for collection, it had a whole heap of little problems - short MOT, ABS reluctor rings replacing, 4 tyres, new sump, cracked front and back bumpers, only 1 key, no record of service for the last 4 years and broken aircon. For £2100 I wanted it to be a bit better example tbh.

Saw this come up locally at £250 starting:
post-20071-0-08195500-14871964991.jpg
http://www.ebay.co.u...e-/292019705607

Went to see last week. Guy was really sound and perhaps too honest - especially in his advert. Not my favourite colour, but different and not too offensive.
Thought at the time:

The electrical problem I suspect is water ingress. As it happens occasionally I think no permanent damage done just moisture from sitting around. Wet under the back seats so it's leaking somewhere, but around the body computer is dry. Looking at the wet door speakers, I suspect it's coming in through the door mirror gasket. Easy enough fix.
Gear selector fault I reckon is just the clutch actuator. The acutator shaft looked pretty rusted. Probably never been replaced. Often it's water and internal grease goes manky and slows it down. Suspect just cleaning it out and replacing grease will get that going. Failing that, acutator are £250 brand new. Second hand £50.
Needs a really good service. All Fluids+filters+plugs+leads. Brake discs and pads were done 2 years ago and not many miles on them, but pretty rusted up. Front tyres are date coded as original to the car - which he said they were original too. Backs were 2010 but knackard. So 4 tyres. Pirellis are £300 all-round.
So yeah I reckon it needs £600 spending on it. As reasonable ones go for £1500 starting atm and good for £2000-2500, my mental internal max is around the £700-800 mark. Ideally £600 odd.


Ended up winning for £686.66 today! Looks like I bought an example with many of the common faults mentioned in the previous (and helpful) posts above. :P
But its cheap and its a project.

Next step is collection. I'm debating whether to risk the 20 mile trip back to Bristol with a dodgy clutch selector (robotic auto-gearbox) and 13 year old tyres. Normally you could say you take it slow and easy, however there is this obstacle on the route back:
Screenshot 2017-02-15 22.41.15.png

Which really doesn't seem that attractive place to breakdown on a cold, wet, windy winters evening! Or even worse, a blow out of a tyre on there.
  • Barry Cade., garethj, M'coli and 8 others like this
Current Fleet:
2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp - The fun one that is the last hurrah before kids
2007 Honda Civic EX CTDi - The reliable runner that is like the family pet.
2010 Aldi A4 - Owned to placate the wife on my crap buying


My history: 2003 Clio II 1.2 16v (First car), 2003 Honda Civic 3dr 1.7 CTDi (Isuzu lump), 1992 Mazda MX5 1.6, 2005 Mazda RX8 192bhp, 2005 Saab 9-3 1.9TiD 150bhp, 2007 Honda Civic 2.2 CTDi, 2004 Renault Scenic 1.6 Auto (Now Kiltox FiL), 2004 Saab 9-5 2.3t (Now Hooli), 2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp
Wife history (that she used/owned but I had frequent use of): 2002 Renault Clio II 1.2 16v (Billabong!), 2006 Mazda MX5 1.8, 2004 VW Golf 1.6 FSI, 2005 Renault Scenic II 2.0 (went bad from the drive back when buying it!), 2002 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16v (now phil_lihp ex-colleague), 2005 Renault Laguna II v6 (Now angle)

#28 ONLINE   loserone

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 10:47 PM

That's part of the adventure surely?


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#29 ONLINE   Junkman

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:41 AM

Jayzuz those sure is ugly.

If I were a year or two younger, I'd probably get me one, despite the engines are service items I hear say.


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#30 OFFLINE   320touring

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:48 AM

Well bought:)
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