The thing with dream cars is that you have to get the timing right. I managed it very well with the XM. Values were rising fast, and I managed to buy the last cheap, decent one. The joy was such that I kept the thing for 18 months. It was great!
I've missed out on loads of cars, especially Eastern Bloc stuff - the stuff I remember seeing everywhere and being fascinated by as a child. FSO Polonez? They've all gone. Ladas? Now worth a fortune for reasons I don't understand. Rear-engined Skodas? The same.
I'd noticed that the Favorit was fast heading the same way. It was time to act. I checked out a few online, but quickly discovered that cheap Favorits are all ROTTEN. Then Faberge-Greggs posted his for sale. Only problem was, I'd have to get rid of the Rover to make room for it. That didn't make any sense at all.
So, I sold the Rover to a friend and headed to London. There was work to do on the way, so have a very non-Autoshite photo of some E-Types and a filthy Rover.
My mate wanted a lift to collect his Alfa 145. This turned into an UTTER FARCE of typical Kent traffic. This is a rare shot of us actually moving. I was knackered, so my mate drove.
After a couple of nights with relatives, and more work, I finally headed to Princes Risborough to say goodbye to the Rover.
It occurred to me on the way that the Rover was a bloody steal at £425 (I paid Mr Boll £375, which was also a bloody steal, but had recently put £150 of tyres on it. MAN MATHS FAIL). However, I think it's gone to the right home, as the new owner gave me a lift to the station in this.
He even made me sandwiches, but there are no photos, because this is not Facebook.
LIVE REVEAL ANTICS
Then I drove 240 miles home, which was only sometimes exciting. This BMW wanted a chat.
Some impressions then. I like it. Which is good, because they say don't meet your heroes. Fortunately, my heroes aren't very exciting, so there's no hype to get in the way.
No PAS, no electric windows, no heated seats, no electric mirrors, no automatic gearbox - it's practically a gym on wheels.
It's remarkably comfortable on the motorway, revving at or around the same revingtons as the Rover was, just a but noisier. However, there is far less wind noise.
The fuel gauge is an utter cock. It won't update unless you turn the ignition off. This almost caught me out. I thought it was ever so economical! After 100 miles, I stopped to stretch my legs, and it's a good job I did, because I then noticed how little fuel I had. Motorway fuel. ANNOYING.
The bodyroll is hilarious. Despite being warned about the cheap Chinese death rings, I found it gripped enough on a wet roundabout to cause door handle danger, but no loss of grip.
It isn't very powerful. As it's an LXi rather than an LXiE, I reckon it must be the 54bhp motor. It takes an age to wind up to speed, but can seriously piss people off in far nicer, newer cars once it gets there.
The footwell is a bit tight, and my left foot has nowhere to go. This might become a problem as the Matiz is exactly the same.
The intermittent wipers aren't. The odometer is broken, as is the load area lamp. I DEMAND A REFUND.
It came with half a tank of fuel though.
Most people on The Internet think I'm an idiot. Situation normal.
More once it happens.