Inspired by the recent excellent thread on inheriting the shite lifestyle, I was reminded of one family car that I’d love to revisit. With the numbers left and the price they command it’s unlikely I ever will. So instead I thought I’d ask the AS community to share their memories/experiences.
In 1989 we had a pretty cool (to 9yr old me) but seriously rotten 1980 Lancia Delta 1500. This was one of many motors that had ended up requiring serious structural & mechanical overhaul and whilst handy with the spanners, Dad decided enough was enough and deserved a ‘new’ car.
Available budget seriously restricted choice and after a brief test drive in a Yugo 45a (dismissed as gutless) we ended up at Jean Pierre Skoda looking at an E reg 120L ‘five’ in white. Something must have been amiss with the 120 as he came out with a range topping 130GL, 88 ‘F’. No photos of the actual car that I can lay my hands on but is was exactly like this:
Except the colour was more of a light ‘primer’ grey. Over the next 7 years we went everywhere in this thing, including my first trip abroad. It survived one accident, two or three top end rebuilds and ended up with upgraded weber carb replacing the original (Jikov?) and home brewed electronic ignition.
Obviously it was a source of endless playground jibes, yet still fondly remembered. Even now I can recall that great part throaty, party tinny & metallic exhaust note (the whole system was basically two down pipes and one silencer) and how it seemed to corner so well. I still remember the odd details like the funny little lever between the front seats to operate the choke and the release for the engine cover that was inside the n/s/r door shut – my job to pop the lid on the way out of the car when dad wanted to check something. The side opening front ‘boot’ was an oddity – only Dad was allowed to close this for fear of denting the bonnet… Inside the bonnet shut there was another lever I always had a strange compulsion to pull that released the spare from under the car.
Eventually it started to deteriorate rapidly and Dad returned to the world of shite, replacing it with a Rover 820e of the same age in about 1996. I gather it then became someone’s first car and got written off. All that remains are a couple of ‘Tona’ spanners now part of my toolbox.
So… Anyone else similarly disturbed by an encounter with one of these?? In the late 80’s – mid 90’s they seemed to be on every street corner and then quickly disappeared.