After not a lot of action in fleet recently and with the numbers swelling to 7 cars, drastic measures had to be taken this week. The mighty STUNO has been stoic with the situation of having two of these unwittingly stowed in his back garden for far too long, so Trademe was beckoning for the Bluebird and the Camira, as unfortunately with the latter, I was quite literally unable to give it away to anyone who wouldn't just weigh it in, as I could do that myself, frankly.
Monday saw the 205 in for a new windscreen (under insurance), its second replacement in our ownership, due to stone chips being thrown up by trucks. Once fitted, it was off for a WOF and so with time to kill waiting for both to get done, me and STUNO talked toot over a couple of coffees and then took some photos of the superfluous cars for their upcoming auctions. On the way out to a scenic reserve in the Bluebird, we dropped in to the WOF garage to show it to the tester (who ridicules most of the cars I own) and let him know it was available if he knew of anyone wanting it. Of course, after taking photos he naturally found a buyer but here's a final picture of it anyway:
Then back to see the Camira for some snaps of that, too.
I think it's safe to say that this was probably the worst frontal styling derivative of the original J cars; in fact, things only got worse for the later Camiras, which is really saying something.
The dash is also pretty tragic, too. I guess the first FWD Holden was perhaps aimed at the female market, judging by the heater symbols. Nice addition by GMH there to have A/C marked and then a depressing little blanking plate to really drive home your stinginess.
Anyway, once again, someone local sniffed it out and so another car has left the fold. Looking back at the photos, it's undeniably solid in all other areas except the foot wells but almost five years of ownership and no effort whatsoever by me to rectify this is a sign that I didn't need it. Mrs_Jon never met it, she's not overly keen on the Visa either and it serves no purpose that the Commodore doesn't already achieve, so it's now in the hands of someone who apparently is keen to get it back on the road and supposedly can weld. I'm inclined think it's just a lost cause still but I'd love to be proven wrong.....
On to the Visa now. I've been an absolute bastard to this and just parked it up over a year ago when it showed signs of HGF. I've found a garage that's actually willing to work on it (this proved a little more difficult than I'd hoped) and is a Citroen specialist to boot, so since work has actually gone pretty well for me this year, I might as well throw a bit of cash at it and get it back on the road. This should bring me one step closer to getting the 2006 Mondeo wagon I've bought as a stop gap commuter car sold, as it's bloody boring and is a waste of a large chunk of driveway real estate and also quite a bit of money, such is the skewed used car market over here. Despite being rolled up and down the driveway and having a wash once in a blue moon, it was looking very sorry for itself:
All the black dots are remnants of a white crayon which came with a car polish that my dad applied to the paint chips 3 years ago; GR8 4 highlighting imperfections and attracting dirt. The eagle-eyed may detect a hint of wob in the rear door....
Rumours are that Pebble Beach entrants are shitting themselves over this interior.
After STUNO exercised his left leg with a bit of vigorous foot pumping on the nsf tyre, we chucked a bucket of car wash stuff at it (only the second bottle of it I've bought since moving here - I'm a very lazy car washer), which had a good result on the paint work but almost no effect on the plastic bits, which were heavily ingrained with muck.
However, a bit of drastic pressure washing shifted almost all of it, though it's very apparent that this is not something that can be done that regularly, as it's pretty tough on the mouldings, which have suffered the brunt of 29 UV-intense kiwi summers. Indeed, most of the surfaces are no longer mottled and have been worn smooth - the pencil setting of the lance was actually engraving parts of the front bumper - but nevertheless, it does look loads better and cheered me up no end!
In spite of it not being started in over a year, it turned over on the third crank and idled away happily on 4 cylinders after a minute or two. Still showing signs of HGF sadly, so it hasn't sorted out its issues after all this resting; that's the lazy French for you. Rather like a few of us on here, I happen to have a convenient private test road a few kilometres long which helped to prove that everything is pretty much how it was when laid up - i.e. it bowls along well but the electrics are still buggered.
All being well, it should be holding water sufficiently within the next couple of weeks but the electrical niggles may take a bit longer. Still, I really enjoyed my 5 minutes behind the wheel today, so it can't come soon enough!
Lastly, the gash 16" wheels on the Clio are a thing of the past, replaced with a new set of 15" Ronal Turbo's which came from the UK and proved to be an utter shit fight to get shipped, mostly because they were being sent to a business address. Anyway, they now wear a set of Michelin PS3s as do the 205 ($$high roller$$) and most importantly, Mrs_Jon is very happy with the results!
I'm still in denial about the crippling costs involved but like to think that a similar amount of money can now be legitimately spent on my tat. Apologies for dull Mondeo content there; so far, the above photo is as close as I've got to taking a snap of it.