Time to update the thread as we have ticked over to a new year.
A spot of bad news on the Lupo this morning. Turned the key and the engine barely cranked. Tried again and it did nothing, not even a click. I have plenty of electricity and the car bump starts fine so I'm fairly certain the starter is dead. It has given some subtle clues towards that over the past few months. There is no relay and the wires are undamaged. One final check will be to see if 12 volts get to the wires on the ignition switch. Amazingly a replacement starter motor is currently about £28 on ECP. It looks like a 5 min* job to remove the starter. I'll have it off tomorrow for a look, but at 150k miles it's entitled to fail and the car has seen some very heavy use.
The Range Rover is currently off the road since the insurance expired and I haven't got round to renewing. I'll wait for the month to tick over and it will be back then. I need to fix the oil leak. Fortunately I struck lucky at UPullit and there was a diesel there P38 there. I got quite a nice parts haul, one of which was the entire oil cooler with the hoses. What I learnt about it is that the oil lines into the oil filter housing are a push fit, with a clamp holding it on. I can't see a clamp on mine, just loads of silicone sealant. Now that the spares are to hand I can dig deeper. Ideally it's just the O-rings or maybe even the clamp missing/bodged. If there is more damage I'll just replace the whole thing, so all the bases are covered. I also scored a replacement HVAC panel, which I refurbished for the hell of it and sold surprisingly quickly. The next day I started mine up the pixels started going. Oh well, I'll just use the knowledge gained from fixing the now sold spare and fix the existing unit. It's quite easy.
The Perodua was fun on account of the thrill of winning a roffle, but ultimately it needed shifting on and has been re-homed. It helped pay for Christmas.
Then the MX-5 happened. This put right my bad luck on MX-5s. I wanted a proper go in one since having a test of Snagglepuss's and realizing they are amazing. I did buy one off here in the autumn, but it turned out to be more broken than hoped and I bailed out. One landed in my lap which is both working well and much more solid than all the others I have seen for lemonade money. Having had a proper go in it, it has confirmed that yes they are utterly amazing, even the NB. I've had a little tinker with this one and now have a bit more of an idea of what they are all about. All the info on this car can be found in the for sale thread. If I could run another car longer term on the fleet I certainly would keep it till the summer, but I can't so it will move on, and I'm not willing to part with the Jags at this point, they are just too good. I would keep a ratty very MX-5 cheap one for longer I think for a laugh. One like that roffle car from last year would need to land on my lap (what happened to that one anyways?). As a car, the MX-5 fits like a glove.
Both the Jags are behaving very well indeed. I'm waiting for better weather for Jag tinkering, but in the meantime they are just being enjoyed and hosed down regularly to keep salt off. Really for supposedly such troublesome cars, the X306 and X100 have been great. Obviously the LPG thing on the XK8 means I'm not having to worry about filling up all the time. A full tank of LPG is about £25, beat that! Upcoming XK8 jobs are bonnet cables and front brakes followed up by a tidy up and then start thinking about the MOT. For the XJR I would first like to replace the secondary timing chain tensioner as it amazingly still sports the original. It should have the redesigned second generation unit. After that it might be time to think about changing the S/C lower pulley for more turbine-like shove. I'm still on the lookout for back boxes to fit to the XK8. It's great, but too loud.
At the end of February I have another special test drive of a manual XJR6 lined up. This time it's an auto car converted to manual, well known to XJR6 lickers on various user groups. I'm really looking forward to seeing it as it's an example that has been VERY thoroughly gone through and is probably pushing around 400 BHP.
Coming back to the Lupo. It's a great car, but I'm thinking I want to quict while I'm ahead. In short, fix the starter, replace front brakes, MOT, then start looking for a Fiat Panda diesel. It's the only logical alternative for very frugal dailying, and Jim Bell has with his convinced me that I want one. Other benefit of the Panda, although it isn't as simple as the Lupo, is that it isn't going to shake any bones and is a good few years newer. I'll be keeping my eyes open. I could keep the Lupo, but subjecting it to a second heavy year's use might just start to tip it over to the tired side and I don't want to be the one who kills it. If someone wants first dibs, let me know.