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SierraMikeHotel's Achievements

Rank: Renault 16

Rank: Renault 16 (7/12)



  1. Southern Water are digging up the road directly in front of my drive tomorrow. I won't need to use the car but I also don't want it hit by flying bits of tarmac so I've parked it round the corner. Every time I go into the kitchen I get a sudden burst of adrenaline when I can't see the car outside the window and think it's been stolen. I think I might need to leave a Post-It on the blind so I don't have a heart attack when I open it in the morning.
  2. Little bit different from being completely ignored by a passing Met unit while beating the shit out of a malfunctioning BX alarm
  3. I thought that but you can get aftermarket wipers for it. It smells more like someone looking for a promotion to me.
  4. Today I installed new windscreen wipers on the front of my wife's company car, a 2017 Mercedes C-class. Windscreen wipers! Christ, that's literally the first thing I learned to do on a car. I used to do them for my mum on her Pug 309 before I learned to drive; probably before I'd finished primary school even. Not hard, I hear you say. Two minute job, sez I. Be back in five, put the kettle on. First you have to get the wipers to the vertical position or you can't raise them off the screen because they're hidden under the trailing edge of the bonnet. That's a pedestrian safety feature so no arguments from me, that's all good. Apparently there's a "wiper service" button hidden somewhere around the car but I'm fucked if I could find it so I used the older technique of turning the wipers on then whipping the key out of the ignition at the right moment. OK. Check the instructions on the box containing the new wipers (they're Bosch and not cheap so I do have an expectation of something useful). Nope; just a line drawing of a windscreen wiper (so, a line) and an arrow next to it. I look closely, puzzle, think, manipulate the thing any which way I can think of and there's not a millimetre of movement or give. It's like the fuckers were built into the car - except for the small problem that they're worn out and need replacing. Finally, to my intense embarrassment, I sit in the car, get my phone out and start searching YouTube. Finally I find my answer. You have to tilt the wipers to a certain point, which will allow you to move a slider, which is of course stuck because it lives on the front of the car and therefore gets very dirty. When you have managed to move the slider (which is especially difficult on the passenger side, because the wiper has a big suspension system so when you pull it you're just pulling the suspension and not the slider itself) the old wiper pops off. Is this any better than the system on my 2007 Merc, where it's totally obvious to any idiot how they come apart? Does it improve the performance of the wipers? Does it bollocks. It just makes some designer look clever and makes the job harder for a poor schmuck owner like me.
  5. (unlurks) I have messaged the chap who owned it when I posted that post. Lovely thing. (relurks)
  6. Total pain in the arse, I've been caught out like that. I always request a receipt now, I'm pretty sure they'll accept that.
  7. I've been fairly absent from here lately - just been concentrating on other things in my online hours. Nevertheless, I've thoroughly enjoyed the meets I've been to; scratched my Xantia itch and met many of you lovely, slightly insane people. I've found a welcoming home for my stash of ancient computers (really pleased that they're generating pleasure elsewhere now) and many of you kindly donated to my charity fundraising efforts. I can't own a silly car at the moment but Autoshite is Good People.
  8. I was thinking exactly that on my way home. The difference between the way the controls felt and the power delivery between the three cars was enormous - you just don't get that with moderns.
  9. It's official; I'm middle aged. I turned 40 in September. I'm actually OK about it, no moans and groans from here, but a lovely side-effect was that friends and family came together - I had a lovely party - and as a genuinely unexpected bonus I was given some amazing presents. At 40 you can generally afford to buy a "thing" if you want it, so those presents were experiences of the sort that you wouldn't buy for yourself. My rather wonderful sister- and brothers-in-law got together and bought me a classic car track experience at U-Drive, based at the old RAF base at Upper Heyford in Oxfordshire. I had to choose three cars out of five - Jag E-Type, Ford Mustang, Austin Healey 3000, Mini Cooper and Aston Martin Vantage - and I went for the first three. Minis are BRILLIANT but I have driven them before, and a '70s Aston just didn't quite excite me as much as the others did. The Mustang came first. I wasn't expecting great things, as a drivers car, but I was really keen to grab the opportunity to have a go in one as I doubt I ever will again; they're not exactly common over here. In the context of an airfield it didn't look as big as I expected it too; American cars are big but European cars have caught up fast so I guess even a big '60s muscle car is smaller than a current Mondeo. Nevertheless the view along that big stripy bonnet is quite exciting, and it makes quite a good noise. I'm quite pleased that my first go at track driving was in an auto; I haven't driven manuals very often in recent years and there's already quite enough to think about at track speeds. Honestly? Really not a very good car. The motoring journalism cliché would be to say that it's fast in a straight line but terrible in corners; this is all true but it also wandered about everywhere when I was trying to drive it in a straight line. A stunningly gorgeous car, beautiful from every angle, that makes an amazing noise and accelerates very hard indeed but is only ever under suggestions, not really control, from its driver. The steering is stupidly heavy. The brakes are over-servoed. It wanders about of its own accord on a straight track. I should have hated it, and I think I would if I ever owned one, but the noise made it all better. A beautiful, ridiculous, stupid, wonderful machine. When I got out of the Mustang I was directed straight into the Austin Healey 3000. Now this was a revelation. I drove '70s cars a lot when I was younger and I've had the occasional go in older stuff so I thought I knew what to expect; something really physical and tough to drive, probably with pretty sketchy steering and brakes. It wasn't like that at all; the driving position is apparently intended for a T-Rex (In most cars I have to adjust for long legs and short arms but even my arms are too long for a big Healey). Once we got under way though it was just brilliant; now that I think about it this was my first time driving a real sports car and it delivered. The steering was perfectly weighted, the brakes inspired confidence and it handled just like it should; just perfectly precise. My last drive of the day was in a Jag E-Type; an early '70s 4.3 litre that was restored as a track-day car in 2011. Let's take a little pause here. Surely every classic car enthusiast wants to drive or own an E-Type; it's one of those very few cars where there just aren't enough to go around. So what did I think of this one? Well, as a car, it was more spacious than I was expecting. Sitting in the driver's seat... well, what the hell do you think? Looking past three wipers down a bonnet with an aeroplane engine under it; that has to be exciting. I spent an amazing five minutes with this beast and I felt like a hero, but I probably didn't even begin to discover its abilities. It was always pulling on the leash, wanting to go faster. At the end of the day we got a passenger ride around the track in a '51 plate Impreza. An amazing experience but I may have felt a little inadequate as a driver afterwards....
  10. Car's in the garage. Boiler is awaiting repair. Dishwasher is awaiting repair. Electrician is booked to replace the last of the stupid MR16 ceiling lamps. Will there ever be a time when nothing in the house is broken?
  11. Anyone here own two Talbots, a Solara and a Horizon? One had RAC in the reg, didn't have my phone on me for a pic.
  12. Slowly. I've had several variations of BX, the 1.9 N/A diesel auto was far and away the slowest car I've owned. Doesn't matter though, you're in a BX to cruise not race! Tip top buying, I bloody love these (as I may have mentioned before). Bonus points for it being a Meteor, too.
  13. In 2010 I still had a BX and still thought I'd always run hydraulic Citroëns - shame they stopped making them! I seriously considered a C5 last time I bought a car but they're just a bit too big, the ones I found for sale were overpriced, and the reputation for reliability is... Scary. I certainly wouldn't have believed I'd be in a Mercedes.
  14. I am in one of the poshest places I have ever been, so what catches my eye? A 25 year old Citroën, obviously.
  15. Thanks dude, I'm very well. We live in terrifyingly exciting times so my phone-scrolling time is mostly spent trying to keep up with the news at the moment. Hope to be back on here more often soon.
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