Forgot to mention Cavcraft from the bxclub days. Sorry Billy, we've never met in person but it's good to "see" you again!
Is it ever a good idea to go back to an ex?
Bored with my sensible modern I was hankering for a classic car again, and heard that my old GS was up for sale. Sold the BX for the sum being asked for the GS so a zero-cash exchange as far as I was concerned! I was very happy indeed for a while, feeling myself to be most stylish in my classic car.
However she had deteriorated somewhat in the meantime. There was absolutely no charging going on, so I got used to bringing the battery into the flat and charging it up overnight if I planned to use the car in the morning (I did eventually get round to replacing the alternator, but that went on longer than any sensible person would have allowed). The radio had gone, there were some new dents, and the MoT brought a welding bill only slightly less than the value of the car.
The final straw came on the way to the Cropredy festival when a loud and unignorable banging sound started, apparently from under the car. I was passing through Guildford at the time, pressed on to Woking where I have friends, dumped it on their drive and continued by train. Missed the first day of the festival and got it recovered home afterwards, where no mechanic was able to find the source of this intermittent but terrifying sound.
(I caught up with the car a few years later, after it had been through a few more owners who'd just ignored the banging, and apparently it had just been a loose gearbox mounting bolt).
It eventually came to the end if its MoT and (now with a permanent but very poorly-paid job) I really couldn't face the inevitable bill so I came to an arrangement to swap it for a shabby but road-legal BX with a fairly lengthy MoT. A pretty good deal: the other party got a buggered but appreciating classic and I got an old and worthless but serviceable vehicle, with no money changing hands.
The BX was a total shitter already - bASe with the horrid grey interior, many dents, much rust, and an apparently inability to keep the LHM on the inside. Oh, and some electrical weirdness that fried my MiniDisc player. Plus someone made it a bit more shit by trying to steal it the night before I was due to collect it. I'm reliably informed that the attempt failed because the steering lock on a BX (shared with the 405) is completely unbreakable. Shame they didn't make the rest of the cars out of the same stuff, really.
Colekshun was a bit odd, delayed for about an hour while the bloke cleared a charity-shop's worth of clothes out of it. It was utterly filthy inside even after he'd finished.
The thief had smashed the driver's door lock barrel to get in but the central locking still worked, so you had to open it from the passenger side and walk around the car to get in. Much nicer when I had a passenger, because I could give them the key and get them to let us in then pass it back to me. They always gave me odd looks though...
I became oddly fond of the Pink Stink, and even spent actual cash money on cleaning products for it. A couple of weekends' work turned it from Pink Stink to Red Shed. I straightened out the numberplate and even fitted a Tailblazer to it. It was always springing minor LHM leaks as the hoses decayed, but it always got me home - slowly. The N/A diesel engine and automatic box were hilariously badly matched. 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.
All '80s cars should, by the way, have tail lamps that go all the way across the rear of the car. Even if it doesn't show up on a red car.