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Poor Man's 911


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#1 OFFLINE   MrBiscuits

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 12:28 PM

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:

 

Skod.jpg

 

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.


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#2 ONLINE   eddyramrod

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 01:49 PM

It would be September/October 1995 when I bought my first, and so far only, Skoda, which was a 120L5 in orange.  No pic as I'm in the wrong computer but it was just like the one above, without the vinyl roof.  It was parked outside Chorley Auction when I went one evening to sift through the assorted tat.  After a browse in the yard I wandered outside... where I could take the car for a test-drive, and haggle.  I got it for £90.  That's probably more than it was worth!  However it did serve me through the winter.  One rear door wouldn't open from outside (and was listed as a fail point on the MoT, to my amazement).  Third gear was almost impossible to get into so I quickly learned to use the box as a four-speed, going 1-2-4-5-4-2-1.  The ball-and-socket joint at the foot of the gearlever was worn to hell too and would often slip out, so I carried a 10mm socket and handle, and got very good at undoing the retaining plate and reassembling the joint.  C856 BBU was a heroic little car really.


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#3 OFFLINE   tooSavvy

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 02:19 PM

Skoda 130 = no 'swing axle' + twinpot calipers (as Rapid spec).

In tool kit is a pair of box/tube spanners.

14mm will do a top job on D4F 1.2 16V sparkplugs (Savvy or Clio)... Slides down & aligns the plug :)


Loved both 130LSE and my Rapid.


TS
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#4 OFFLINE   MrBiscuits

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 02:52 PM

Skoda 130 = no 'swing axle' + twinpot calipers (as Rapid spec).

In tool kit is a pair of box/tube spanners.

14mm will do a top job on D4F 1.2 16V sparkplugs (Savvy or Clio)... Slides down & aligns the plug :)


Loved both 130LSE and my Rapid.


TS


Yep, still got those box spanners. Our Skoda had a factory spare bulb kit in the glove box aswell.

Never knew about the suspension differences - I guess that's why the 130s sat fairly level whilst the 105/120 always seemed slightly 'nose up'.

Did anyone else have the 'Lombard RAC Rally Winners' window sticker??

#5 OFFLINE   chaseracer

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 03:03 PM

Thread of WIN.

 

My mate Big Chris had a series of these.  I have many happy memories involving random FTP/jump out/hit something with hammer/wire something back in place/lurch onward.

 

Joy machine.


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#6 OFFLINE   tooSavvy

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 03:10 PM

Thread of WIN.

 

My mate Big Chris had a series of these.  I have many happy memories involving random FTP/jump out/hit something with hammer/wire something back in place/lurch onward.

 

Joy machine.

 

.... I lost count of starter motors (warranty after originally buying 130LSE + I think 2 more...)

 

Fred [Walkerville Garage 'man of action']... I have mentioned him before, when he could get a 'big bag' of pedal rubbers for £not much... then VW supplied them a pair, blister packed for £5... he said the starter motor (direct from VW agents) were totall pish & advised that he would get an 'old one' rewound/brushes for us... SORTED!!

 

TS


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#7 ONLINE   panhard65

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 03:17 PM

My very first car was a 1975 Skoda that we used to rag around the fields when I was about 15. Since then I have only had one other a Rapid that I bought for very little money in about '95. It was a G reg and went well enough but I soon flogged it on for a decent profit to keep my Renault 25 turbo on the road


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#8 OFFLINE   tooSavvy

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 03:22 PM

The Rapid seems to have quite a rep for dissolving reararches.... mine had water ingress at the side window/rear window bottom (water puddles/staining on the parcel shelf).

 

Fab car for 'puddle crashing'... The full 80Gals up the front... like powerboating! + no misfire  ;)

 

TS


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#9 OFFLINE   Bucketeer

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 03:25 PM

I bought a beige 130 Rapid from the auctions I worked at about a dozen years ago. Before committing to purchase I spent two days using it as a ferry car around the yard to make sure everything worked fine. All was good so I bought it and half way home that night it ground to a halt, steam, seizure, utterly dead. I kicked it and walked home, never to return to the prick.
Ace cars, love them.
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#10 OFFLINE   tooSavvy

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 03:29 PM

I bought a beige 130 Rapid from the auctions I worked at about a dozen years ago. Before committing to purchase I spent two days using it as a ferry car around the yard to make sure everything worked fine. All was good so I bought it and half way home that night it ground to a halt, steam, seizure, utterly dead. I kicked it and walked home, never to return to the prick.
Ace cars, love them.

 

HiAb + Cat Pi$$ challenge/barn store...... FleeBay today = early Xmas beers  :-P

 

So short sighted, eh..?

 

 

TS


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#11 OFFLINE   RayMK

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 03:36 PM

Edited to include photos of all but the bent black Rapid (God, that was laborious :?

We've had several.  I think the first one was a black Rapid which had been sitting unwanted in a Skoda dealers in Northampton.  It became my son's car and he loved its handling.  Being young, he of course found the limit one day and rammed a crash barrier on the exit of a roundabout, damaging the front offside wing and giving the associated wheel at least 15degrees of negative camber (bent wishbone).  It then sat on our front lawn awaiting a decision on fixing or scrapping.  After a few months, my car was playing up and I needed a commuting hack for the 27 miles each way drive to work.  I removed the Skoda's front wing and bashed it back to a useable shape, slapped some black paint on it and deemed it presentable at 20 metres.  The bent wishbone was persuaded to straighten in-situ using a hydraulic bottle jack while bracing it against lumps of wood.  No cracks appeared and the neutral camber was restored.  I commuted to work and rapidly became hooked on the superb, sensitive handling.  It went through an MOT and got sold, leaving me to find another more presentable one.  My son spotted a part exchange bargain in a local garage, another unwanted black Rapid.  This one he kept intact, eventually selling it to buy a Nissan 200sx.  I found a beige 135Ric Rapid for sale in Rugby and bought it. The head gasket failed on the way home but was duly fixed and the car ran well until the Heath Robinson standard fuel injection started to fail. I replaced the intake manifold and reconfigured other bits to convert it to a standard carb set-up.  It continued to run extremely well, completing a business trip to Toulouse without  problems, and later a holiday in Germany 4 up (two adults, two 12 yearold kids) and another in the Netherlands.  It was eventually sold when we needed a larger car - kids growing up.  My son also had an Estelle 130LSE which he wanted to fit with a Fiat twin cam unit.  A chap in Bolton said he could do it, we drove up there and left it with him.  After many months, the progress slowed and it transpired that the chap had managed to shear some head studs.  We did not think he had the resources to fix it, so my son, now equipped with a brand new MG ZR, took me up to Bolton and we towed the Skoda home to Northants on a rope.  That was an interesting experience that I would not want to repeat - but we made it.  The forlorn Skoda was sold to someone building a Banham Porsche replica.  A gold coloured Estelle 120LS and an orange 105 completed our rear engine Skoda ownership quota.  Of all of them, my favourite (is that a pun?) was the 105.  It was in basic spec, smallest engine, swing axled form but ran very sweetly.  I enjoyed the handling.  I'll try to find photos on my portable hard drive later.  

 

DSCF0018.JPG

DSCF0106.JPG

Rapid MOT'd Jul03.JPG

Skoda 105S Jun 03.JPG

Skoda Pics 012.jpg

Skoda Scenery 2.JPG

SKODA&~1.JPG


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#12 OFFLINE   Junkman

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 03:40 PM

I once drove one as a hire car in Yugoslavia. It was orange, but whether it was a 130 or not I know not

and I probably couldn't tell the difference even if I cared.

It wasn't as nice to drive as the Renault 10 Major I had previously.


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#13 OFFLINE   anonymous user

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 05:33 PM

There is/was a black rapid sitting on a drive near me. It shared the space with not just one, but two, Tata Loadbeaters.
I'm not sure if it's still there as it can only be seen from the road when the vegetation dies back, remind me to have a look in autumn.
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#14 ONLINE   Hooli

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 05:41 PM

As mentioned in another thread I borrowed one for a few weeks. Much fun was had driving it everywhere sideways as it rained most of those weeks. Great little cars, much more fun than crap like novas.


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#15 OFFLINE   omegod

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 05:46 PM

Is there a common/easy modern engine transplant that can be carried out on these, they look an absolute riot styling wise



#16 ONLINE   Hooli

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 05:47 PM

Why? they had enough go & the aircooled lump made a lovely noise.


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#17 OFFLINE   MrBiscuits

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 05:50 PM

Thanks for the fantastic pics Ray, that orange 120 looks spot on and must be very early for an 'Estelle 2' on an A plate.

 

Was there not someone on this forum with a K series powered one - or did I dream that? These must be one of the easiest propositions for an engine swap, that rear panel is just bolted on and the whole lot can be unbolted from the gearbox & wheeled out.


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#18 OFFLINE   MrBiscuits

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 05:53 PM

Why? they had enough go & the aircooled lump made a lovely noise.

 

They were all water cooled I think - certainly ours had the Rad at the front and long rubber hoses that ran down the back. More than once suffered random overheating episodes due to air locks.


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#19 OFFLINE   omegod

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 05:56 PM

Why? they had enough go & the aircooled lump made a lovely noise.

 

To make it much faster and reliable 



#20 ONLINE   Hooli

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 05:59 PM

They were all water cooled I think - certainly ours had the Rad at the front and long rubber hoses that ran down the back. More than once suffered random overheating episodes due to air locks.

 

I'll take your word for it, I only borrowed one for 2 weeks as I said.


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#21 OFFLINE   Timewaster

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 06:01 PM

1982 ish my mum's Herald was about to run out of it's last likely mot. 7yr old me was bundled in the car and we went to the Skoda dealer in a nearby village.
A 1979 120LS Super Estelle in blotchy Pogweasel burgundy with twin headlights,vinyl roof and alloy wheels but no radio was purchased and the poor old Herald was traded in and left in the corner of the storage yard.
No pictures exist that I know of.
All those things mentioned bring back memories, the sideways bonnet, the choke on the floor. The hidey hole behind the back seats. The sun bleached and split upholstery...
The Skoda served us well for a few years despite never ever starting first time. Always the same, turn over for 5 seconds, make a funny grunt noise and then fire up straight away.
Suspected HGF was it's downfall and it was traded for a 1976 Maxi HL. What was my dad thinking?
A local window cleaner bought it but it met an explosive end when it overheated and he left it outside an army barracks during "the troubles".
They soon got rid of it for him!
The Herald still sat in the compound 10 years later and a guy I knew bought it and cut the rear wings off for a Vitesse he was restoring.
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#22 OFFLINE   tooSavvy

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 06:20 PM

They were all water cooled I think - certainly ours had the Rad at the front and long rubber hoses that ran down the back. More than once suffered random overheating episodes due to air locks.

 

I think the problem was the sensor for the remote fan was on the rad.... a long (cooling) way away from the cylinder head. I have experienced a boiling water bottle in the rear compartment [steam in mirror!!] and no fan on...

 

I rigged an illuminated switch to override [switch ON] fan in stationary traffic & was all sorted  :-P

 

TS


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#23 OFFLINE   Steve79

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 06:23 PM

God this takes me back to my childhood. 1988, Bristol and the old man decided he wants a brand new car after having suffered years of a terminally rotten, wheezy 1975 ford cortina 1300L, and then a mk1 1600L cavalier which leaked oil as fast as it was put in, and a vinyl interior that would give you 3rd degree burns if the sun so much as even looked at it!

 

It had to be cheap mind as he was only a police constable and had a mortgage, me and sis and mum to pay for. So the choices were limited to Eastern Bloc motoring, from Messurs FSO, Yugo, Lada and Skoda. So with me in tow, it was off to the dealers we went.

 

Lada Samara was ruled out straight away due to poor ride. The Yugo Sana apparently drove ok and in practice was decent car but the build quality was crap. Next up FSO. Dad says that it was a joke and just couldn't get used to the gearstick pointing out at such an obscure angle. So Skoda it was then.

 

Now anyone who grew up or lived in Bristol in the 80's knew that there was only one place to get your Skoda fix - Frank Voisey Cars Ltd.

 

Based in Fishponds in Bristol the old style dealership (replaced by a Morrisons) always looked like it was stuck in the 60's. 

 

Frank was an institution in Bristol and thinking back reminded me of Swiss Toni on Harry Enfield show. Always had adverts on HTV West and always in a shiny grey suit. I make no bones about the fact that i loved the Estelle and badgered my dad to buy one. Dad liked the 120L that they had as a demonstrator enough to agree a part ex price on the Cavalier and get one on order. 

 

Dealer contacted him later that week to says that they had a cancelled order and did he want that one. It was a 130 LSE  exactly the same colour and spec as the attached image

 

I loved this car and we went all over the country in it. Mates all took the piss at

school and all of the skoda jokes at the time were rolled out, with the heated window one a particular favourite.

 

But it was the most reliable car we ever had and only had one FTP when the clutch master cylinder went and we had to drive 20 mins back home in 2nd gear. 

 

Dad traded it in in 1990 for a Favorit 136LS which was shite although the boot torch was a nice touch. 

 

E936 LHY disappeared in 1996, never to be seen again. Don't know whether it was scrapped or just left in a garage. If it still exists i would buy it back no matter how rotten it was.

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#24 OFFLINE   MrBiscuits

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 06:33 PM

God this takes me back to my childhood. 1988, Bristol and the old man decided he wants a brand new car after having suffered years of a terminally rotten, wheezy 1975 ford cortina 1300L, and then a mk1 1600L cavalier which leaked oil as fast as it was put in, and a vinyl interior that would give you 3rd degree burns if the sun so much as even looked at it!

 

It had to be cheap mind as he was only a police constable and had a mortgage, me and sis and mum to pay for. So the choices were limited to Eastern Bloc motoring, from Messurs FSO, Yugo, Lada and Skoda. So with me in tow, it was off to the dealers we went.

 

Lada Samara was ruled out straight away due to poor ride. The Yugo Sana apparently drove ok and in practice was decent car but the build quality was crap. Next up FSO. Dad says that it was a joke and just couldn't get used to the gearstick pointing out at such an obscure angle. So Skoda it was then.

 

Now anyone who grew up or lived in Bristol in the 80's knew that there was only one place to get your Skoda fix - Frank Voisey Cars Ltd.

 

Based in Fishponds in Bristol the old style dealership (replaced by a Morrisons) always looked like it was stuck in the 60's. 

 

Frank was an institution in Bristol and thinking back reminded me of Swiss Toni on Harry Enfield show. Always had adverts on HTV West and always in a shiny grey suit. I make no bones about the fact that i loved the Estelle and badgered my dad to buy one. Dad liked the 120L that they had as a demonstrator enough to agree a part ex price on the Cavalier and get one on order. 

 

Dealer contacted him later that week to says that they had a cancelled order and did he want that one. It was a 130 LSE  exactly the same colour and spec as the attached image

 

I loved this car and we went all over the country in it. Mates all took the piss at

school and all of the skoda jokes at the time were rolled out, with the heated window one a particular favourite.

 

But it was the most reliable car we ever had and only had one FTP when the clutch master cylinder went and we had to drive 20 mins back home in 2nd gear. 

 

Dad traded it in in 1990 for a Favorit 136LS which was shite although the boot torch was a nice touch. 

 

E936 LHY disappeared in 1996, never to be seen again. Don't know whether it was scrapped or just left in a garage. If it still exists i would buy it back no matter how rotten it was.

 

I suffered all those jokes - it didn't help when I pointed out that as a 130 it was far superior to the Orange 120 our art teacher had. Frank Voisey's place sounds exactly like Jean Pierre Skoda in Southampton where ours came from - I remember the posters of the Rapid Cabriolet they had on the wall.



#25 OFFLINE   Timewaster

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 06:45 PM

Harry Lock was the local Skoda man. I remember the showroom.
Just about room for 2 cars, wood panels on the wall, a dead pot plant. A little counter with a couple of brochures and an over flowing ash tray and a sales office with a desk, ans a black bakerlite phone.
Two on street petrol pumps with the pipes hung off long booms.
It looked 30 years out of date then.

He sold up and the new owner tarted the place up and when VW took over then the whole place was rebuilt and became bright and shiny.
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#26 OFFLINE   Steve79

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 06:46 PM

They were top blokes in Frank Voisey. A guy who worked in the parts department gave me a corgi estelle in the rally colours when i went in with my dad to collect the 130lse which i still have.
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#27 OFFLINE   mk2_craig

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 06:50 PM

My mums uncle had a green C plater from new, I think he had not long retired at the time. It was looking worryingly brown by 1989 and got part exed for an early Favorit. That didn't last too long either but this was Edinburgh where metal seems to get a hard time. He's now rolling an 05 Ignis that has been his since new - he's 95 next month :)
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#28 OFFLINE   tooSavvy

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 06:59 PM

They were top blokes in Frank Voisey. A guy who worked in the parts department gave me a corgi estelle in the rally colours when i went in with my dad to collect the 130lse which i still have.

 

I got mine at the dealers workshop, Walkerville garage........

 

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TS


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Wallsend?.....it's not the End of the Walled ;<)

35942490325_0815d58667.jpgSUCKS


#29 OFFLINE   stripped fred

stripped fred

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 07:51 PM

Back in 1996 I spotted a blue Estelle 105 lux for sale locally. It had a short mot but I liked it and it drove ok so took a gamble for £60. It failed it's mot on a few bits, brakes and a bush or two from memory, so I did what I could myself (I was 25 with limited knowledge and a rudimentary toolkit) and the garage did the rest. Spent about £300 on it. I drove it round for a bit and really liked it but it was glacially slow. I think the engine was a bit worn. After a while I put it on the verge at the front and sold it for £450. A girl my age bought it with her dad. Well, I had a mad crush on her. I had about as much experience with the opposite sex as with car mechanics. I ended up calling her and coming up with some story about needing to change the oil. Went round the next weekend and changed the oil on her driveway. I then saw her about another 6 times on a weekly basis in the pub but was too shy to ask her out. It didn't help that she was quite posh. I knew my time was limited because she took me out a few times in the car and it would barely exceed 50mph so with thoughts of big end failure not far away i asked her out only to be told she had a boyfriend. I bailed out at that point. I still miss that car, and wonder what may have been with Skoda girl.
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2004 VW Sharan 1.9 TDI SL - proving a very capable family wagon
1987 Toyota MR2 mk1 t-bar - currently SORN, need to use it more!

Previously...
2001 Peugeot 406 Estate GLX 2.0 Hdi - sold to a shiter
1993 Vauxhall Astra mk3 1.7D - sold to a shiter
2004 Alfa Romeo 156 2.4Jtd 20v SW - sold to a shiter
2001 Audi A4 Avant 1.9tdi - dead, engine problem

#30 OFFLINE   mjrose78

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 08:34 PM

My dad had an Estelle 130 LSE back when I was in high school, circa 1992. It had alloy wheels, 5 speed box, vinyl roof, and a sunroof with integral fm aerial! It was still bottom of the school yard car trumps.

I liked it but I never told anyone that. The car was also the butt of many jokes and sarcasm from my dad's workmates. The final nail in the Skoda coffin was a rather ambitious overtaking manoeuvre, thoughout which my mam was shouting "theres a bairn in the back!!". My dad blamed the thin margin of success on a lack of power! The Skoda was replaced my a 4 speed 1275 Montego that hardly remedied the power shortage issue.

We saw the Estelle, E740 BTN, 2 years later in 1994, atop a pile of cars in Scotswood scrappy. Less than 7 years old...

Great cars though.

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