I will certainly be following updates on this, very well bought. Looks a great project. I am a big fan of the colour and the beige interior. I remember a boy in my year at school had wealthy parents and his dad had an identical one brand new. A world away from the E reg Escort 1.3L my dad had at the same time! I was never a fan of Renault’s but the Monaco is a real cut above the rest, it is fantastic. I understand your dilemma regarding lack of space/ too many cars but as someone has already said you regret the things you don’t do more than the things you do. I believe you made the right decision and that this was meant to be. Congratulations! this is an absolutely fantastic early Christmas present to yourself.
Post revival - as part of my occasional series - today I was in a gloomy Central London and was able to drop in on the old Rootes HQ (getting back to their Rootes - geddit?) at grand Devonshire House in Piccadilly.
Rootes had their very posh company base here and car showrooms - no ordinary Coventry address for them.
Devonshire House was built 1924 as a speculative office development - designed by American architect Thomas Hastings of Carrere and Hastings of New York (it's their only British building).
It incorporated shops/showrooms on the ground floor, some fronting directly onto Piccadilly, as well as an entrance to Green Park Tube Station - and a posh 'porticoed' entrance at the rear.
The building became the UK headquarters of Citroën, their showrooms occupying the lower three floors and they remained chief occupant until 1936. Part was also rented as their headquarters by 'The Rootes Group' from 1920's until their financial difficulties and demise in the 1960s, with offices and ground floor showrooms.
Sir William Rootes - Piccadilly in the background. In those days when you really made it you got a white phone. Perhaps he is there fretting whether to build his new small car in Scotland...
This big building all stands on the site of the original 1740 Devonshire House - the London address of the Dukes of Devonshire - which was controversially demolished in 1924 - though the gates survive moved across the road to Green Park.
Audi had their showrooms here more recently until 2018 - but the whole Piccadilly frontage is occupied by an M&S and a bank these days. Rootes comings and goings now long gone...that there was once a bastion of the British car industry based here would not occur to any modern everyday passer-by.
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! The lone and level sands stretch far away." - Shelley.
Later on Piccadilly I was able to just pap this lovely Silver Cloud as it swept by - the V8 version with quad headlamps. Real style never dies...
(Devonshire House in the background)
PS Had a proper tyre fitted so it’s no longer driving around on the space saver. I was almost reluctant to as it added to the rolling disaster zone vibe (which I was quite enjoying) but it drives and corners a bit more nicely now.
It's taken five months of frustrating work fixing various electrical gremlins and leaks and it failed to even reach the garage on two previous occasions when i booked it in for MOT. I fought through a nasty infection to overhaul the engine gearbox and carbs when i should have been in bed then the seat then collapsed when i fitted the new interior.
I found this car sitting in a garage in Nottingham where its been since 2015 upon initial inspection the car seemed good i couldn't have been more wrong. Ive been lucky enough in all the years ive owned and restored old Rovers not to have a LEMON but this was easily the most frustrating car ive had to deal with. As with my previous projects i restored it from my drive braving the weather and sometimes working into the night. Time after time i would fix all the faults and get everything as it should be but as soon as the car saw the MOT bay something broke or refused to work. I was at breaking point around November and had promised the kids a bonfire and put serious thought into torching it.
Looking back i am glad i didn't because today the car finally passed MOT it's first since 2014 the horn failed on the way home so clearly i have some minor bits to do but i am so glad its got a fresh cert. This will be the third SD1 ive rescued and restored i dont think il be doing anymore as working on Rover for years has rendered me an invalid 🤣
Long live Rovers and all who sail in them!
Ooooof! I can't say mk10’s are my favourite Jags but this certainly had presence at the NEC when I saw it a few weeks ago.
This was a surprise. Looks like a typical eastern European truck but there's a web address visible in the pogweaseled paint - 'kentvale.co.uk'. Kentvale is the car transport division of EM Rogers from Northampton, so it was only about 20 miles from its former home and probably would have been up and down here quite often carrying cars to and from Bicester Heritage.
Okay, have had a chance to sit down for more than two consecutive minutes now, so let's get a proper post written up.
Back in 2003 I had a Saturday job at a little independent used car dealer out in the middle of nowhere in Aberdeenshire. I quite often found myself pursuing their trade ins which they deemed to old to be worth cleaning up to sell themselves. Which I used to be welcome to basically for scrap value - which in 2003 meant about 30p.
I got a few pretty good bargains I reckoned.
This Renault 11TC was £125 I think.
Sailed though the MOT and I got a decent year's motoring out of it. I only really sold it on because it turned out that this straddled the line between the pre and post facelift car and had been assembled from whatever they found laying around the factory floor. A lot of things didn't even vaguely match what either the phase 1 or 2 cars should have had.
Plus by then it had done the main thing I wanted it to, which was keep the Metro out of the worst of the winter.
This Saab was £60.
This was the good side, the other one had a huge poor accident repair on which had been painted with what appeared to be red telephone box paint. It was also absolutely rotten around the driveshaft tunnels and boot floor. The gearbox had serious issues and the engine hadn't had an oil change in about ten years and made some truly interesting noises. This was bought as a "run it on nothing unnecessary till the MOT runs out" basis. It did then yeild a good number of useful spares.
The front wheel looks odd in that photo because I was in the middle of replacing the wheel bearing so things are just sitting there - which I think was about the only thing beyond a service I really did to it. Think I maybe changed the thermostat.
It basically expired about a week before the MOT ran out when a missing manhole cover in Aberdeen ripped out the lower nearside ball joint.
There was a free Astra 1.3 Merit (in beige) which I don't think I have a photo of, and a £20 Proton 1.5GL which I basically did my last learning how to do driving test relevant things like reversing around a corner on a local private road (we literally had a mostly paved mile plus long farm road 100 yards from the house which I was allowed to use with permission from the land owner).
However probably my favourite of all the random stuff that followed me home was this.
Which cost me either £20 or £60, I can't remember. It had a couple of days MOT left, so shortly after I got it home my father took it down to the local car guy in the nearest village to see what it might need for a test.
Sadly it was condemned as the rear suspension arms were rotten. Bearing in mind the car was worth...well...I'd just paid that for it it wasn't worth repairing. Now I'd have kept it around just as a lounge to listen to my music on the epic sound system in - but as my father was the one making the calls because I was at college, it turned out that I never saw the car again. I drove it about 3 miles in total I think. Which also means that the above is the only photo I have of it save for a horribly grainy underexposed one of the interior.
We were always a family who tended to forgive and forget, but that was one thing which I really did hold a grudge about for many years, just saying to bin it without even consulting me.
I always vowed that one day I'd properly own another one.
Fast forward to ~2010 when I was more a master of my own fate and had some usable disposable income, they'd basically gone extinct. So I stopped looking.
Until someone in a Telegram chat posted a link to the C&C classified as for this a couple of days ago.
Is was clearly somewhat scruffy, the photos weren't great but the ad sounded like it was written by someone who was into cars. Plus it was actually written in real English which in 2022 feels like a real rarity.
Initially I sat firmly on the "I absolutely do not need another project" idea. However having then looked up how many were left and realising it was pretty local I decided it had to be worth a look. If I didn't I'd forever question if I'd made the right call, and am not expecting to find another pop up.
This is despite the fact that the car I'd already got on my driveway for the spring 2023 project was parked on what used to be my front lawn because I'm already out of space. So if I bought it something would absolutely need to move on - one in, one out and it isn't optional.
So I sent a message to the seller. What followed was an entirely pleasant E-mail conversation back and forth completely out of character with any experience buying or selling a car to the general public that I've had in the last ten years. It was arranged that I'd pop over this weekend to have a look at it.
I was going into this with the expectation of finding it to be quite rotten on account of a somewhat colourful MOT history, and knowing there were a bunch of little other things off the bat in need of sorting. So my expectation was to view it and probably walk away.
I'm greatly appreciative of @Six-cylinder and @AnthonyG (I think - correct me if I've tagged the wrong person) for ferrying me over there today and to assist in sorting out some further logistics I'd fouled up.
I got there and found the car...pretty much exactly as described. I didn't obviously have it up on a ramp and there's only so much you can do trying to lay on the ground on an active public road, but while there have been some patches here and there, it looks by and large pretty clean. I think the suspension arms (which wrote my original one off) have been replaced as they look far newer than the rest of the car.
The only rust I immediately found which will want attention sooner than later is some on the inner wings where some seam sealant has blown out. The outer wings bolt on and I don't think it will be the end of the world to sort once they're off. Might actually be far enough away from the strut tops because of how far back they're set not to be an MOT issue - but it wants sorting either way.
Interior was in decent shape, leather desperately want drowning in leather feed, but everything's there and looks in decent shape. Bit of obvious wear here and there not no splits I've noticed yet. Especially glad the Monaco specific door cappings are okay as they'd be an absolute nightmare to find replacements for I imagine.
We had a quick trundle around the estate and the car seemed to drive fine enough. There's a drop-linky sort of rattle from the offside front and it's got the usual horribly baggy 80s Renault gear change that needs it's bushings replaced, but from the driver's seat that was about it. Temperature gauge sits higher than I'd like, but I'm positive I've seen that on these before, and the highly technical "how long can I hold onto the hoses for?" Test and "Can I smell coolant?" Tests say it's running at a perfectly sane temperature. Most importantly though the gauge got to that spot then stayed steadily there rather than jumping around all over the shop.
I was prepared for the brakes to be in a bit of a sorry state given she's only done a few hundred miles in the last five years, but they actually seem absolutely fine.
Despite having basically told myself it was going to be too much of a project before we got there, I had to admit it was actually a pretty good candidate for a rolling project to tinker with and fettle. To be absolutely honest with myself, much more in line with my abilities than some of the stuff on the Cavalier. Particularly that one bit of welding on the offside inner sill which I would almost definitely wind up needing to get someone in to do. Chassis leg I reckon I can manage, but the sill is a bit more complicated.
So a deal was done and we headed for home. I'd originally expected to take Six-Cylinder along to drive it back as I'd generally found short term insurance (I'll get it transferred to mine on Monday) to be really steep lately. So when it came back at £19 I was surprised - and just set that up there and then and off we went.
No petrol station shot as the seller had already filled it up for us! So have one in a random Waitrose car park instead.
It's always a little unnerving driving a car back when you've bought it - especially a 34 year old French barge which even when it was new had something of a reputation for flaky electronics. Double that when it's barely turned a wheel in the last five years.
However she wafted the 40 miles or so home without missing a beat and in utter comfort.
Did I mention, comfort?
I kind of expected that my 19 year old memory of the levels of comfort were very rose tinted. Nope, I was spot on.
Initially I thought someone had stuck a silly rear exhaust section on. I recall these being annoyingly expensive even back in the early 00s, so that wouldn't have surprised me. However a bit of quick investigation...
Figured out it was just a trim...so that's now gone. Much better.
She needs a clean. Like really, really needs a good deep clean.
Exactly as per the advert, the paint does indeed need help in several areas. There's some pretty epic clear coat peel.
The radiator grill is peeling particularly badly too.
Plus a nasty scrape running a good portion of the way along the driver's side.
The passenger's door catch clearly needs adjustment as it requires an unreasonably heavy slam to latch fully.
The LCD display for the clock/stereo/outside temperature display clearly needs either a cleaned zebra strip or replacement ribbon cable.
The warning light for the washer fluid level is lit...
That may be as simple as it actually just needing to be filled, haven't even had a chance to look yet.
Heater blower is a bit squeaky.
Nearside front door speaker grill likes to eject itself from the door when you close it.
Few lamps out in the dash/switches, but nowhere near as many as I expected.
Does look good at night.
I do remember thinking that the style of lights they used on the central cluster in the dash with the brightly lit symbol on a dimmer field looked really smart. Still do.
Though speaking of the dash, it's hard not to mention this strangeness which wouldn't have been out of place in a Citroen to be honest.
I haven't tried the windows yet, nor the sunroof - which I didn't really notice until we were underway - that will definitely not be getting touched until spring!
Central locking does try to work, though it doesn't quite manage to actually get all the doors locked. Sure a clean and grease of things will sort that. I do only have one set of keys (and no remote sadly), which I'll need to resolve sooner than later - though it remains to be seen how much of a pain that weird door key is to get cut.
Overall, seems a reasonably solid base to work from. Hopefully will get a bit more of a chance to look at it further in the daylight tomorrow.
Did it make *sense* to buy? Probably not. However I have literally been after one for the last 19 years - so logic be damned.
Few lamps out, but nowhere near as many as I'd expected.
Will need to retake this once I've silenced the angry orange light of doom - haven't yet ascertained if that means adding washer fluid or disabling the level sensor. 34 year old French electronics...place your bets.
just came across a Nifty blog post from someone who had a few carriages back in the day,
which contains this neat photo of as the chap correctly says an Acedes Mk10, Model 57, looks like its DPH523B
Me too. Plus I wanted the latest, most practical version for its driveability, so a cute little Mk3 was never on the cards.
In that vein, some more fettling has been achieved. I persevered with sealed beam headlights on my LR Series 3 for as long as I could, but they're just not bright enough for modern traffic. Even connected via their own loom with direct feed and earth to the battery they're still too dim, especially when faced with an oncoming modern car festooned with the latest wanky LEDs. I ordered a pair of Wipac Quadoptics (standard Defender fitment) and when Royal Mail could eventually be arsed to bring them I got on with fitting them.
BAD THINGS had happened to the alloy headlamp cowls. Neither was held on with the proper fasteners - one had bodged in metric bolts fitted, and the other had just been completely fucked with the wrong size bolts over the years and was clinging on by one bolt. I ended up tapping the holes on that one out to M8:
but found the correct BSF nut and bolts for the other side. Some muppet had also fitted the rubber gasket between the bowl and headlamp retainer, rather than between the bowl and wing. Meant the cowl wouldn't sit correctly so I drilled out the nasty rivets holding the bowl in and bolted it properly to the wing with gasket in between. All now sits together nicely.
I put Halfords 200% brighter H4 bulbs in the quadoptics. Spot the difference between sealed beam and new set up:
Aroundabout this point I had a visitor to the garage. The front doors were open and I heard a commotion, looked up and saw this character:
I'm no ornithologist - it's obviously a hawk, but what kind?
Clearly evolutionary effort was expended on flying and talon development rather than intellect, because the daft sod couldn't be persuaded to fly out again. Eventually I hit on the idea of turning the lights off so the light outside was brighter, which did the trick and off he / she flew!