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SierraMikeHotel's chod: From 3 to 250 BHP


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#61 OFFLINE   SierraMikeHotel

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 12:03 AM

I was working at this point but in a low-paid job and the threat of redundancy hovering ever-closer so the massive insurance quote plus the possibility of of great big bills meant that the XM really had to go.  I never remember sales as well as I remember buys (much less exciting) but I think I got most of my £500 back.

 

Meanwhile I'd got wind of a very desirable BX - desirable in the minds of BX-lickers, anyway - a TZD Turbo estate in Olympic Blue, for a ludicrously small amount of money.  It seemed too good to be true but somehow it wasn't.  I made the journey to the posh end of Surrey to discover that the seller had bought the car when it was a bit neglected, patiently fixed all the issues, then it had sprung an LHM leak and it was just the last straw.  I understood the feeling - sometimes cars just don't want to be fixed and you lose interest - but I felt it was worth the tiny asking price.  Talbot came and had a look and was confident that he could sort the leak, so colleckshun commenced.  It would have been an epic thread and I think of it every time I get tailgated by a brand new Range Rover.  I bet he still hasn't cleaned the LHM off his windscreen.  Memorable for stopping for LHM more often that I stopped for diesel.

 

100_3757.jpg

 

This very rapidly became one of my favourite cars, blending a bit of classic appeal with a bit of Citroen fun and magic carpet ride with a lot of serious practicality and usability.  If they were galvanised and built out of modern materials I reckon I'd still have it.

 

As it was, I probably imposed on my friendship with Talbot to keep it running.  I probably couldn't have paid a garage to do all the welding and MoT repairs he did, and appeared to be willing to do in return for cooked breakfast.

 

Crossover post, with Talbot's C25, on one of my many house moves.

 

P060908_16.25.jpg

 

En route to one of the CCC events, with AdamskiBX and his CX.  Check out the stuff that used to live outside my Grandma's house.

 

P130908_11.20.jpg

 

Talbot didn't like his van on this lift.  I understand.

 

P291208_15.0801.jpg

 

GR8 4 snokaos.

 

P020209_13.42.jpg

 

GR8 4 learners.

 

P100109_12.36.jpg

 

Mine was one of those ones where I had ample time to do the math and have that moment of "oh, this is gonna suck..." but nowhere near enough time to actually do anything about it.

 

That winter I had a very slow version of that.  I'd been fine on the way to work two days in a row, then on the third day I went just very slightly faster - like 3mph instead of 2mph - and had that experience until I crashed, very slowly, into a parked car.  Caused a couple of grands worth of damage to it compared to a smashed indicator lens on the BX.

 

This was, truly and honestly, one of the best cars I've ever owned and the one I remember with most fondness.  I'd have kept it if I could.

 

Estate cars are the best thing ever: this drives just like a BX saloon but there's enough space inside to live in it.  The XUD Turbo engine is a delight, and will run on anything between diesel and warm butter.

 

It started getting tired - lots of small faults at the same time - at the 125,000 mile mark and I was, as always, skint.  I was in my current career by then and earning decent money but paying off bills accrued during my crap-job era.  My dad was willing to help me out with a younger car, but he didn't want to put money into what he saw as an end-of-life vehicle.

 

The guy who bought it promised me he'd do it up, but I saw it advertised in parts on other forums within hours of him picking it up.  That still hurts a bit.


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#62 OFFLINE   Talbot

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 12:12 AM

It was fascinating, in a morbid sort of way, what the impact did to the shell.  All the panel gaps had closed up and I think I remember Talbot saying he found ripples in the metal all the way up to the A-pillars when he'd stripped it.


Rear door shutlines:

20071020_ph (17).jpg

The doors would not open without a fairly strong pull or a boot from the inside.


Roof bend at C-pillar. I missed this to begin with. Wasn't until the cracked paint allowed the steel underneath to begin rusting that I spotted it.

20071020_ph (16).jpg

The roof also had a very slight ripple towards the front. Not photograpable, but you could feel it.


Rear underfloor. The height corrector was no longer attached to the axle. You can see where the spare wheel carrier was peeled from the floor, and (although not obvious) the fuel tank had moved slightly.

20071101_ph (3).jpg

It really was a bit of a mess and a real shame about that car. The long-lasting effects on the people are more serious though. Having had my own fairly massive crash when I was 18 (also not even remotely my fault I should mention) I often limp in bad/damp weather and can still feel the effect on a near-daily basis some 25 years later.

Car crashes are awful things.
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#63 OFFLINE   Talbot

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 12:28 AM

and appeared to be willing to do in return for cooked breakfast.


Mmmmm... cooked breakfast!

Also. GR11 for looking Kewl in:

20080920_docs (1).jpg

or at least it would be if my hand wasn't in half the shot!!


The bodge, which reduced a torrent of LHM down to a mere dribble*

20080517_BXbodge (1).jpg


Sideways on shot, looking moody at night:

20080930_BX.jpg


I also remember us spending an entire afternoon getting the tracking absolutely cock-bollock perfect, so it tracked in an utterly perfect straight line, only for some dickhead to drive into the side of it and bugger it up. Oh, and both nearside doors, just for good measure.
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#64 OFFLINE   Tadhg Tiogar

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 12:43 AM

...I had it a month, I think - when a total fuckwit smashed into the back of me.  I was turning off into a driveway, so only doing walking pace, and he never even saw me.  It came out later that he was changing a CD at the time.....


It's worse now with people brazenly playing with their phones whilst they drive.

That's why the CX only comes out at weekends (when it agrees to start, and more specifically on the Jewish Sabbath where I live), as there's much less distracted driving at that time. That reminds me, it needs a run through the jet wash and half a tank to fill it back up to the top.....
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F*ck your Honda Civic, I've a horse outside,
F*ck your Subaru, I have a horse outside.
And f*ck your Mitsubishi, I've a horse outside,
If you're lookin' for a ride, I've got a horse outside

#65 OFFLINE   Tigerfox

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 07:16 AM

Anyone had Tigar tyres from Serbia?

They are either a Michelin or Continental brand. Had them on my own cars and sold them for years when I worked in the trade without any problems that I can remember.



#66 OFFLINE   Heritage motor centre

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 07:39 AM

Great read, some epic cars. I like the look of your first BX best of all. Then again I have a soft spot for late ones as I briefly owned the ex wobbler / minimad5 and subsequent to me cavcraft/ Barrett late BX K-something-SKE
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#67 OFFLINE   beko1987

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 07:58 AM

Yep, I agree with HMC. Spent far too long last night reading it all, can't wait to do the same tonight with today's updates!
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#68 OFFLINE   SierraMikeHotel

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 08:49 AM

I could say so much more about the blue estate!  Loved that car.  I found myself commuting in it (something I've rarely done in my life) about 20 miles on country A-roads and just enjoying the drive every single day.  It was incredibly capable but still fun.

 

I also remember us spending an entire afternoon getting the tracking absolutely cock-bollock perfect, so it tracked in an utterly perfect straight line, only for some dickhead to drive into the side of it and bugger it up. Oh, and both nearside doors, just for good measure.

 

Ah yes, using very high-tech equipment!

 

PICT5956.jpg

 

He was a massive idiot.  Literally pulled out of a side road straight into the side of me (when I had my Grandma in the car, well into her 80s and getting over a hip replacement at the time) and said, "Oh, I thought you'd gone past, but you hadn't."

 

P031008_13.58.jpg

 

There was a scuff on the front wheel as well, so really I'd barely begun to go past.  He gave me duff details as well, so I ended up unable to make an insurance claim for it.


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#69 OFFLINE   SierraMikeHotel

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 09:05 AM

Right, I'm going to move along a little quicker now.  I want to get up-to-date today, because reasons.

 

I mentioned above that my dad was willing to help me out financially as I needed a car for commuting, but he wasn't willing to put it into the BX as he would see that as throwing money away on a car that didn't have much life left.  I disagreed, but didn't have much choice in the matter so went shopping and ended up with this.

 

2012-03-26 13.53.25.jpg

 

i never really got along with it, to be honest.  I think the early cars are quite nice looking, but this was a mk 2 and they're gopping.  It had a good spec and I liked all the gadgets, especially air-con, but I just didn't think it was as good a car as the BX.  Worse ride and handling, less spacious, definitely uglier.  They don't rust as enthusiastically as older Citroens, but the wiring is just as bad and this gave me quite a few problems - failed engine mount and lots of electrical niggles.

 

The interior was quite comedy though - a cheap French family hatchback is obviously vastly improved by the application of plastic wood to its cheap plastic interior!

 

2012-03-26 13.53.11.jpg

 

I am honest enough with myself to realise that I always took against it because I was missing my BX, but I definitely wouldn't have another.


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#70 OFFLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 09:15 AM

Yeesh, you've had some ups and downs - but some absolutely fascinating cars. It's amazing how incredibly distinctive the Citroen BX now looks in your pics, yet until very recently I would have just dismissed them as 'moderns' that were everywhere. No longer!

 

I lived in Portslade at the time and it was actually incapable of reaching the 50mph limit before end of the steep hill on King George VI Avenue.  But why hurry?  Just sit back and enjoy the grumble of an XUD.

 

Heh, I used to live by Blatchington Mill and that stretch of road was a killer... if you ever had your hard-earned momentum killed off by a gold Viva HC doing 15mph flat-out with along line of traffic behind, I can only offer my sincere apologies...

 

"Remember kids, just say NO! Say NO! to Stomil."

 

And that particular Viva was also wearing Stomils, fitted by a cost-conscious former owner... although oddly enough, the only blow-out I ever had on that car was just after it was fitted with Uniroyal rain tyres, on the A27 near Stanmer. Apparently it was a rough bit on one of the Rostyle wheels at fault.

 

Being an XM, it had a sense of humour.  The brake lights stopped working because the clever system that tells you when the brake lights aren't working broke. 

 

Amazingly, my own XM never put a foot wrong until the bottom fell out of it - but I did have a Toyota Corona with this very same malady, which gave a local garage hours of fun* trying to get to the bottom of it.


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#71 OFFLINE   SierraMikeHotel

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 09:35 AM

I had enough of the Xsara quite quickly, chucked it on eBay and went looking for something older and cheaper.  I had decided that spending four figures on a car is clearly a silly thing to do.

 

I didn't have a particular car in mind but went to look at a Volvo S40 that was being sold by a friend-of-a-friend for £800.  I'd never considered a Volvo but immediately fell for this one.  It was a 2.0T, where the T means Turbo.  It was a big old clown car - quite capable of pottering about, looking safe and sober, until you floor it (wait for it, turbo lag) then WHOOSH off into the distance.  Hilarious.

 

2012-05-21 17.04.43.jpg

 

The only problem with it was that it was a saloon, which meant that I owned a Volvo with no load-carrying capacity.  Bit embarrassing, as it meant I had to borrow my ex-girlfriend's Fiesta if I wanted to move something big.

 

It was perfectly reliable in my ownership apart from a handbrake failure.  I didn't have anywhere to work at the time so I put it into the local garage where they cleaned up the mechanism and fixed the problem for, I think, £20 cash.

 

Worst thing to happen in this car was some total shit throwing a brick off a motorway bridge at us on the M4 near Swindon.  It was one of those binary moments: if the windscreen had smashed, I would have been killed instantly (and of course the car would have gone out of control, possibly killing others as well).  Fortunately it held.  Police did investigate, but there were no witnesses and no CCTV so it didn't go anywhere.

 

Photo taken from the driver's seat:

 

DSCF1569.JPG

 

Not long after this my ex and I got a dog, and moved house so that she was walking to work.  We didn't need two cars any more so decided to get rid of the S40 and the Fiesta and replace both with an estate that the dog could travel in more easily.  I was so happy with the S40 that it had to be another Volvo, so we bought a V50.

 

2014-01-08 15.50.51.jpg

 

I liked it less than the S40, to be honest.  The interior looks beautiful but it's ergonomically poor.  The ride wasn't as good  It lacked some of the useful interior bits that the S40 had, like a cargo net, which seemed like a step backwards for an estate car.  The economy was poor for a diesel (low 40s on a run, high 30s in traffic).  And it was unreliable - always with electronics failures. The worst one was a failure of the main engine control unit which cost a grand to put right.  Personally I wouldn't have done it but my ex liked the car and wanted to keep it.  In fact she still has it.

 

2015-08-13 09.21.27.jpg

 

At the same time, my commute to work was about five miles so the intention was always for me to get a motorbike for the commute, and keep the car for longer trips, visiting family etc, at the weekends.

 

My little 1985  Honda came from a friend's grandma, who'd bought it new.  Absolutely lovely little thing.  I don't really use it any more but I can't bring myself to sell it, I'm too attached to it!  I only rode about 30 miles this year but with £18 road tax and £100 insurance who cares.  It's not exactly an expensive hobby.

 

2014-01-21 16.12.53.jpg

 

When I split up with my ex she kept the Volvo and the dog.  I'd moved again and was walking to work so really didn't need a car at all.  Co-Wheels car club has some vehicles locally so I use them when I really need a car.  They have hybrid Yarises (Yari?) which I really, really like.  Not sure I'd be brave enough to own one though, I suspect repair bills on those will be quite big.

 

And that, my friends, brings us up to the present (unless you want to include my wife's company car, which I'm insured to drive, but I don't think it's really suitable for this site).


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#72 OFFLINE   SierraMikeHotel

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 09:55 AM

Heh, I used to live by Blatchington Mill and that stretch of road was a killer... if you ever had your hard-earned momentum killed off by a gold Viva HC doing 15mph flat-out with along line of traffic behind, I can only offer my sincere apologies...

 

 

And that particular Viva was also wearing Stomils, fitted by a cost-conscious former owner... although oddly enough, the only blow-out I ever had on that car was just after it was fitted with Uniroyal rain tyres, on the A27 near Stanmer. Apparently it was a rough bit on one of the Rostyle wheels at fault.

 

I don't remember your Viva but it always was a struggle getting up there!  I lived on the Knoll in 2006-2007 or thereabouts, and had the blue GS and the red BX there.  Rough old place.

 

By the way I've just found out that the Engineerium is up for sale.  I never got to visit before it closed, the owner was intending to re-open it but I guess that plan's changed now :(

 

The blue BX got through a number of tyres and I always wondered if it was because of the alloys, which weren't in the first flush of youth.



#73 OFFLINE   Cavcraft

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 10:13 AM

They are either a Michelin or Continental brand. Had them on my own cars and sold them for years when I worked in the trade without any problems that I can remember.

 

Michelin always maintained they didn't make tyres for other companies or have their own 'other' brands, don't know if that's still true.

 

*Edit: and Tigar tyres used to be bloody awful. Lasted well as they had the consistency of concrete, but didn't handle or grip at all.


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#74 OFFLINE   Tadhg Tiogar

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 11:26 AM

...He gave me duff details as well, so I ended up unable to make an insurance claim for it.


Clearly someone used to thinking on his feet, which suggests this wasn't the first collision he'd had.
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F*ck your Honda Civic, I've a horse outside,
F*ck your Subaru, I have a horse outside.
And f*ck your Mitsubishi, I've a horse outside,
If you're lookin' for a ride, I've got a horse outside

#75 OFFLINE   mrcitroen

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 11:36 AM

Brilliant read. Really enjoyed that. I much much prefer my GS over my BX. Just a far better car to drive. Both are well sorted examples, but the GS is the winner hands down.

I had Tigar tyres on one of my BX's. Awful things. I slid through a set of traffic lights on red. Promptly removed and replaced with Michelins.

Had Barums on a Lada once. Can't remember how bad they were, as Lada handling is bad anyway.
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#76 OFFLINE   barrett

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 11:55 AM

Really excellent thread. We have similar taste in cars (and dogs) it seems.

An Olympic blue BX TZD Break is definitely a dream car for me, especially on those Speedlines. I wonder if there are any left?
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#77 OFFLINE   SierraMikeHotel

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 12:03 PM

I had Tigar tyres on one of my BX's. Awful things. I slid through a set of traffic lights on red. Promptly removed and replaced with Michelins.

 

Funny you should say that.  The first BX I drove was a courtesy car - obviously a scrapper that the garage owner was just using until the end of its MoT.  Nothing on it worked, and the tyres were appalling (don't know what brand they were).  It was raining and I came to a cross-roads, applied the brakes and just slid straight across it.



#78 OFFLINE   Tadhg Tiogar

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 12:08 PM

... the tyres were appalling (don't know what brand they were). It was raining and I came to a cross-roads, applied the brakes and just slid straight across it.


Sounds almost like cross-plies. Actually very close to when I had an Audi 90CD and belatedly realised that the front tyres were so bald that one had worn down to the steel bands....
F*ck your Honda Civic, I've a horse outside,
F*ck your Subaru, I have a horse outside.
And f*ck your Mitsubishi, I've a horse outside,
If you're lookin' for a ride, I've got a horse outside

#79 OFFLINE   RichL

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 04:41 PM

Great stories really enjoyable reading.

Have a picture of what I've just spotted to say thanks

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#80 OFFLINE   SierraMikeHotel

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 10:12 PM

I wanted to get this up to date because I was hoping to buy a car tomorrow and use this as a collection thread but the seller has texted me to say it's been sold. Buttocks :(

#81 OFFLINE   stonedagain

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 12:30 AM

Argos catalogue?

#82 OFFLINE   SierraMikeHotel

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 05:01 PM

So: I am again looking for something to buy.

 

Essentials:

*Absolute maximum budget £1000.  Preferably £800 or under.

*Mid-size estate

*Automatic

*Highest spec possible within budget

*Petrol

*Interesting (in my mind, anyway, which could be completely different from yours)

 

I was intending to look at a Volvo V40 2.0 Turbo today, fully loaded with all the toys you could get on them, which includes climate control and cruise control, 90,000 miles and an MoT history which looked like it had been really loved, but sadly it sold yesterday.  It was advertised at a grand but I would have knocked that down (I paid £800 for my old one in 2012 and got £200 trade-in for it, so there's no way it's worth a grand now that they're a few years older but still definitely not classic cars).

 

I've looked at loads of adverts for Volvo V70s but they're just a little bit too big.  I'd consider a really good one if it came up at a bargain price though.

 

This week I've also bid on a Saab 9-5 2.4 Turbo Vector.  It looked great on the eBay advert but the seller and I couldn't manage to arrange a time for me to look at it.  I wasn't willing to bid too high sight unseen, so I bid £440 and it went for £455.  If it was as good as the advert looked, the buyer got an absolute bargain - so I know there are cars out there within my brief, I've just got to find the right one.

 

V40s and 9-5s are definitely at the top of the wishlist, especially if they're in a high spec, but I'm thinking about a Merc C-class too, W202 or the one that replaced it with the fried-egg headlamps.

 

Otherwise... Citroen/Peugeot stuff is always considered but it would have to be both good and cheap.  Xantia or 306 maybe.

 

This is a possible 9-5, but I'm a bit worried about last year's advisories so I've emailed the dealer asking if they've been sorted.

 

https://www.autotrad...201803094418118

 

This looks like a good C-class, but it's too far away for me to get to after work and I haven't got a free weekend for ages so it will probably sell before I can go and see it.

 

https://www.autotrad...201802274108866

 

Or how's this for a wild-card?  Rover 75 V6.

 

https://www.autotrad...201711091105734

 

I live near Brighton, I don't mind travelling to get the right car but what I don't want is a wasted trip - ie crossing half the country to find that the seller has lied in the advert.



#83 OFFLINE   Talbot

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 10:39 AM

If you want something interesting* don't bother with a Merc. Reliable, comfortable, well Engineered, yes. All of these things. Interesting? Not even slightly.

An early-ish Citroen C5 V6 automatic estate might fit the bill. I'm sure I saw one for sale on the CCC arsebook pages just recently.
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#84 OFFLINE   Exiled_Tat_Gatherer

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 03:16 PM

I'd go far a SAAB - plenty of the 2.3t auto estates seen on various sites.

As long as you're not too afraid of the OMGHGF - a Rover ZTT estate....... brother had one...... perfectly capable motor and it was a hoot to throw around. I'd put one of them on your radar.



#85 OFFLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 03:12 PM

I don't remember your Viva but it always was a struggle getting up there!  I lived on the Knoll in 2006-2007 or thereabouts, and had the blue GS and the red BX there.  Rough old place.

 

By the way I've just found out that the Engineerium is up for sale.  I never got to visit before it closed, the owner was intending to re-open it but I guess that plan's changed now :(

 

Heh, I left Hove in autumn 2005 (after the ex-girlfriend finished her degree at University of Sussex and I accompanied her back to Australia - unwisely as it transpired) so it seems our paths never crossed. I deffo would have remembered the GS if it'd been out and about! Brilliant cars.

 

That's sad news about the Engineerium - and I'm ashamed to admit I never visited it, despite it being literally at the bottom of the street (we rented a room over the One-Stop at the junction of Nevill Rd and Court Farm Rd). Always meant to, but never did - because we could have gone any time, we never prioritised it. Had it been in Arundel or Lewes, no problem... it would have been an obvious reason for a day out. Here's hoping it finds a new owner and re-opens soon.

 

Best of luck with your search for a worthy successor to pass the flame on to - I've seen some pretty decent SAAB estates go for comparatively trifling sums lately, so a cautious +1 for that suggestion. A few years ago an XM may have been a large but worthy contender, but reasonable examples appear to have all gone rather pricey since I last owned one.


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#86 OFFLINE   Tadhg Tiogar

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 03:20 PM

... A few years ago an XM may have been a large but worthy contender, but reasonable examples appear to have all gone rather pricey since I last owned one.


Isn't that always the way? My oul E24 may have been worth up to five grand at best (it wasn't when I sold it!), but now almost everyone seems to be asking ten grand and up for theirs. Except M635CSi, where it's more like fifty grand.
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F*ck your Honda Civic, I've a horse outside,
F*ck your Subaru, I have a horse outside.
And f*ck your Mitsubishi, I've a horse outside,
If you're lookin' for a ride, I've got a horse outside

#87 OFFLINE   SierraMikeHotel

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 03:59 PM

Sooo... What could be going on here, I wonder?

I've skipped work early, spoken to the grumpy dealer to make sure the car is still there, and now I'm on one of the quietest trains I've been on in a while.f7ae331fadb43bdc92ce66bddfbf56fc.jpg
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#88 OFFLINE   Tadhg Tiogar

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 04:00 PM

.....I'm on one of the quietest trains I've been on in a while.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/2018031...


Southern?
F*ck your Honda Civic, I've a horse outside,
F*ck your Subaru, I have a horse outside.
And f*ck your Mitsubishi, I've a horse outside,
If you're lookin' for a ride, I've got a horse outside

#89 OFFLINE   SierraMikeHotel

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 04:01 PM

Southern?

Yes, and only one minute late :shock:

#90 OFFLINE   SierraMikeHotel

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 04:03 PM



That's sad news about the Engineerium - and I'm ashamed to admit I never visited it, despite it being literally at the bottom of the street (we rented a room over the One-Stop at the junction of Nevill Rd and Court Farm Rd). Always meant to, but never did - because we could have gone any time, we never prioritised it. Had it been in Arundel or Lewes, no problem... it would have been an obvious reason for a day out. Here's hoping it finds a new owner and re-opens soon.


I know, I feel exactly the same way :(
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