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Everything posted by Datsuncog

  1. It also looks like the planned legislation provides scope to enforce consumer protection, including compensation to vehicle owners, on manufacturers who fail to meet safety, security and environmental standards. Can't help but think these powers would have come in handy when Volkswagen were rumbled for cooking the books with their 'defeat devices', and claiming unrepresentative fuel consumption and emissions figures in their ads. It would have saved owners from having to pursue their own legal avenues for redress. I imagine this is all the more pressing as more and more new cars are fitted with autonomous devices, like parking assistance and automatic lane detection systems. If it turns out there's a software fault which can create danger for other road users, I'd sure as hell want to make sure it's not up to the car manufacturers' accountants to calculate it'd be cheaper to pay compensation for those killed and maimed than to recall their faulty products, Pinto style...
  2. Cool, will do! Looking back through the thread here, I've been ignoring the MR2 since 22 October... time was I would have just bought it and worried about punting it on later, but that turned out to not be a very good way of doing things. Fingers crossed it's still there on Friday morning, sure!
  3. Shit, I didn't know you were looking one - there's been a red Minichamps one kicking around an antiques stall at the market in Belfast for a few weeks now. Missing its mirrors, dusty and without a box lid - but priced at a fiver, if memory serves. If I'm in on Friday, I'll see if it's still there?
  4. Haven't seen it for a while now, but there was a local giffer running a 70s-looking left-hooker Wartburg with a fairly recently issued Northern Ireland numberplate... Stuff of legend. (Sorry for the low-res dashcam crop - I do have a few marginally better pics of this car but can't put my hand to them right now!)
  5. Great progress here! Now looking satisfying close to being an aktual car again... I really enjoyed my redblock 240 estate; amazingly, everything worked bar the tailgate lock and the trip counter reset button (even if the wipers were ve-e-e-e-ry slow). Lovely solid feel, and a great engine note. Sadly, it got a bit crispy towards the back end and after some dire warnings at MOT time, I passed it back to the previous owner for £30 less than I'd paid eighteen months before. It ended up having a rather short but very eventful trip to Mildenhall Raceway, and that was that. Regrets...
  6. Diecast-related delivery this morning: Ordered late on Tuesday night, arrived on Saturday morning - for less than the price of a wanky latte, too. Hey, it's an old publication - but it has some great pics of stuff I never knew existed. The same seller had another three copies listed for sale for £2.87 each, posted, so... As a bonus, I love the pic of the authors on the back of the dust jacket; it looks like a snap of them getting busted by their wives doing a spot of illicit diecast trading round the back of the garage.
  7. Crumbs, here's hoping any potential buyer does their homework... Although I'm not sure the ex-taxi status checks out, given the moon miles: Would anyone really think that a vehicle like this had only covered 12k in three years? And then drop thirty large on it without checking?
  8. Some hail yesterday afternoon turned everything white for a bit, but no snow over in these parts just yet... and fortunately the massive trampoline in the garden of the house behind didn't quite make it over our hedge to destroy the plants and saplings, instead getting stuck at an awkward angle. Bloody trampolines.
  9. Update to the smoke-spewing brand-new boiler: the heating engineer fella is meant to be calling this morning to take a look (he was 'away' yesterday, apparently); he reckons it just needs some adjustment. I'm less convinced, but we'll see... Fortunately, we still have the ancient solid fuel fire fitted to the house from before the boiler went in - managed at least to keep the living room warm last night while the storm raged and screamed round the house, while the back boiler ensured plenty of hot water this morning. Sometimes low-tech wins.
  10. One for both the OMGSNOKAOS Thread and The Breakfast Thread, impressively.
  11. Lovin' that R18 estate. Shame the seller seems to be a bit confused about what they have...
  12. Wasn't the LEJOG hero Montego 1.3 estate originally 'doctor owned'?
  13. Finally got our old oil boiler replaced last week, after thirty-one years' service (found an installation tag on it from September 1990). It was still working fine, but following its annual service in September we were made aware of worsening corrosion around the main boiler case (it lives outside, in a brick boilerhouse round the side). It was always pretty heavy on the kero, so MrsDC advocated that I change the habits of a lifetime and we replace it before it actually went bang, to avoid being stuck in the freezing cold. So we shelled out many pounds on a new energy-efficient A-rated condensing boiler. This morning I'm aware that it seems a bit chilly in the house, and on touching the radiators, they're barely tepid. Then the next-door neighbour comes banging the door, claiming that we're gassing them. Right enough, round the side of the house there's a powerful smell of fumes, and rather than white condensation coming out of the vent, there's what looks like thick grey smoke. So I shut it all down. I can't get through to the heating engineer, and there's snow forecast for later today. Fucksticks.
  14. Looks utterly miserable. I'd love one.
  15. Available very cheaply online, that one... https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/THE-COLLECTORS-ALL-COLOUR-GUIDE-TO-TRANSPORT-TOYS-AN-INTERNATIONAL-SURVEY-OF-/123327910584?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286&mkrid=710-127635-2958-0
  16. This 'un? Don't have that one yet - probably should...
  17. Just realising that they must have changed the cover slightly at some point to make the title font more modern. As you were.
  18. Great to see they all arrived safely - and to tell the truth, I can't even remember what's beneath the paper there!
  19. That's brilliant... and isn't there someone on here who has those very words set as their signature? At least I know where it's from now!
  20. We have a winner. I thought the bonnet line looked a little low too, but apparently not. I didn't start pulling at the cover though; looks like it's been parked up for a while, and oddly the tax is shown as expired (but not SORNed). It's also parked up in a student area, but hopefully no-one will go fiddling with it after a few sherbets too many.
  21. Great book, that - I must have worn out the copy in my local library during the late 1980s. Found my own copy in a charity shop a few years back, otherwise I'd be all over it!
  22. Cat Piss Tarp Challenge for today. Answer to come later!!
  23. I really liked the Sunny B11 Coupé I was running around 1999/2000. Badged as a Nissan on the front and a Datsun at the back; the V5 listed it as a Datsun, so that's what I went with. Giffer-spec 1.5 with a beige interior, it was surprisingly nippy from a standing start. It cost me £350 from a small-time dealer, and the tyres were completely perished and barely able to hold air - so my first journey was a very slow wobble over to Bobby Shaw's Scrapyard where I paid £100 for a brand-new set of Firestones (they weren't just a scrapyard, they did tyres, batteries and exhausts too). 5-speed box and luxurious equipment like head restraints and a clock put it miles ahead of the HC Viva it replaced. Still, I felt like a sell-out for running a 'modern'. Never gave me any real bother in nine months or so of driving, other than needing a new o/s wheel bearing and an intermittent fault with the indicator which was probably a bad earth, but which I fixed using a secondhand unit from a scrapped Nissan Prairie. Unfortunately some lowlives put the windows through with a hammer one night (they did about five cars in the street), and glass was NLA from Autoglass or other indie operators. I ended up buying an utterly hanging early B11 for £50 and stripping it for its glass. Although I got it all installed into mine ok (with lashings and lashings of Tiger Seal), it was never quite right and there was a bit of water ingress after that. Some of the plastic window trim also detached itself on the dual carriageway, and I never did find it again. Ultimately it was the insurance costs that made me part with it - I'd paid only £100 extra onto the last three months of my existing policy (with Endsleigh) when I changed from the Viva, and thought that would be a broad indicator of the price difference, but when renewal time came I nearly choked when they quoted me £2,600 for TPO cover. Even when I found another broker who could do it for £1,650 , it was costing me nearly all my part-time wage packet, and so I ended up selling it for £180 and just getting the train to uni. Nine months later I bought a 1.1 Fiesta and it only cost me about £750 to insure; I was a bit wary of Japanese cars after that. An identical maroon Coupé came up on Car and Classic about five years ago with plenty of giffer-dings, but was keenly priced at only £650. I probably should have gone for it, but couldn't make it work at the time.
  24. Garage forecourt shot of the Outback. The illumination's a lot less green than the Forester's instrumentation - and looking dangerously modern, with all that digital odometer business...
  25. I'd argue that they hadn't quite reached the end of the road, as far as their products went - as evidenced by the fact the core businesses of Matchbox and Corgi were able to adapt and thrive selling diecast cars, post-bankruptcy. I agree that Dinky went to the wall because they failed to develop their product line effectively. They were on the way down from the early 1970s, when they decided that cost-cutting was the key to survival, rather than a product-led recovery. A grab-bag range of superannuated models from old TV shows and undercooked new products in all sorts of scales was incoherent, and made a mockery of what the name once stood for. They could have repositioned themselves as makers of more affordable pocket money toys (as they tried to, right as the very end with their Matchbox-sized Hong Kong-made range), but it seems that their management had no real plan to put them back on track. For whatever reason, production costs for Dinky Toys remained 20% more than at Corgi or Matchbox, despite looking quite naff, and that was a price premium the market couldn't stand. Toy fads have always come and gone, and you're quite correct that toy cars had their day in the sun during the 1950s and 60s, only to fade a little when the winds changed, and games consoles and action figures like Star Wars came in. But kids still like toy cars, and if my reading of the situation is correct both Mettoy and Lesney fell over due to problems which were more to do with the wider financial climate of the early 1980s than simply with their product offerings. Lesney's collapse in June 1982 was linked substantially to its rather unwise purchase of US-based model kit maker AMT in 1978. Not only did a further squeeze in oil prices increase raw material costs, but the popularity of model kits seemed to be in decline - and so Lesney found itself operating in a perfect storm of having to meet crippling interest rates to repay this debt for a loss-making company, coupled with a collapse in their core export sales as the strong pound at that time hobbled UK-based businesses. Lesney had already begun partnering with Universal Toys to produce their Disney range of diecast toys in Hong Kong - it's possible that if this partnership had been more advanced, production could have shifted offshore, out of the Hackney factory. This would have freed the company from some of the global currency issues arising when making cheap, price-sensitive goods - and is one reason why the UK tends not to make products like this anymore. This is exactly what happened in the end, but only after Universal Toys bought most of the diecast business from the receiver, restarting production in Macau. Mettoy suffered similar issues by overreaching themselves in trying to develop its Dragon home computer; despite reasonably strong sales in the the UK market for the Corgi range, when their critical export toy sales dried up due to the strong pound, they had limited reserves to carry on. Help never arrived, and they folded in October 1983. Corgi's former managing director, Peter Katz, recalled in 2012: "Mettoy was the last to go, largely because of the Dragon computer. In the years 1979-81 [...] you had I think 25% inflation, which doesn't help if you're exporting. Usually if you have that sort of inflation your currency will devalue, but it didn't devalue because we hit North Sea oil at the same time. So you had the miserable business of cutting back, cutting back, cutting back to try and maintain your viability. But there's just so far you can go. Toys are pretty simple products but you couldn't automate assembly, for instance, because each little car would have needed quite different fittings. What we didn't do is transfer a big chunk of our production to the Far East and close a factory. That would have been an abomination to the Board at the time." Freed from the moribund Mettoy group, Corgi's operations were bought out by their management from the receiver in March 1984, and they succeeded in building up the diecast business again from the Swansea factory, with a greater focus on promotional models and collectables rather than relying purely on toyshop sales. Perhaps unfortunately, the revamped Corgi did so well that Mattel took notice, buying it out in 1989 and swiftly transferring production from Wales to its factories in China. And that was that. You're right that the last Corgi Juniors were pretty unappetising - they just seemed crude and a bit naff, compared to the 1980s Matchbox offerings. But the early ones with the metal bases and hub-type wheels are tremendous; I'm still looking for a few of those for the collection. If it weren't for the mad scramble to compete with Hot Wheels resulting in the hastily-assembled Whizzwheels and Rockets ranges, it would have been interesting to see what Corgi Juniors could have given us...
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