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Formula Autos

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About Formula Autos

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    Rank: Bedford CF A-framing a Renault 6

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  • Location
    in the glow of Sellafield
  • Interests
    old Fords mostly, but any old shite'll do


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  1. My Uncle got stuck in a situation where he could only justify buying another nearly-new Toyota off the local main dealer's lot time and again in the '80s. No other dealer would offer him a decent part-ex on his current one. "Japanese, innit mate?Nobody wants 'em." Eventually he bit the bullet, took a hit on a part-ex for his Corolla, and "upgraded" to a Mk3 Escort Laser.
  2. In the later (Ray as minder - '91 to '94) series of Minder Arthur Daley's car lot was renamed "Daley into Europe", and Arthur was importing RHD cars at a substantial discount. Fiction, I know, but there was usually some truth behind the ideas in the series. I'd imagine importing cars like this was a relatively common thing for savvy consumers back then. Back when some people actually bought new cars. With cash. Imagine a Daily Mail Motor Review now - there'd probably be no list prices, just from £xxx per month after each description.
  3. Licence to Kill - the second Timothy Dalton Bond film, from 1989.
  4. I saw one of these at a car show once and was talking to the owner about it. He loved the thing, but said getting parts was interesting - they were often available, but you had to figure out where you recognised some of them from if they didn't have any makers' marks on them. The grille on his, for instance, always struck him as being slightly familiar. I think he said he'd owned it a few years before he realised it was a Vauxhall Senator grille, fitted upside down. The rear lights were off another Vauxhall I think as well, and the alloys on his were the same as the one in the photo posted here. IIRC I think he said they were off a rear engined Skoda, of all things. I got the impression it was a kind of Scrapheap Challenge version of an Elan. Though none the worse for it, he reckoned.
  5. A good few years ago I experienced first hand how difficult base spec can make selling a car. Especially a "premium" one, as this one was. A neighbour in the cul-de-sac where I lived was trying to sell his F reg black 2 door E30 BMW 316i. His half-arsed attempts st selling it extended no further than telling anyone he met that he was selling it, and putting a for sale sign in the rear side window (on the drivers' side, so rarely seen by pedestrians either). Which meant the sign was only really seen outside his house, in the works car park, and at the petrol station. He didn't go anywhere else much. I thought this was why he'd struggled to sell it. So I low balled him, and got it for a good price. He was happy to let it go as it was an on-cost taxing and insuring it, and he preferred his short commute to work on the motorbike he'd bought to replace it. He did tell me though that anyone who came to look at it commented on how basic it was. It had no front headrests, an ancient Pye radio robbed out of his previous Cavalier, keep fit windows, and was a bit grubby. There were daft (but easily fixable) issues like number plates that needed renewed as well. Plus (and perhaps most crucial of all?) it had the 316i badge on the boot lid. A quick spruce up job from the scrappy, where I got a set of bottle top alloys, a pair of matching headrests, and a Blaupunkt radio cassette from a 5 series they had in made it look instantly better. Though I forgot to buy the plastic bits with holes in that also had to replace the blanking plugs currently in the top of the seats. So I had to go back to that scrappy again, and they stung me for these bits. Plus a bit of scrapyard raiding when I took it on holiday to Scotland yielded another black boot lid (a de-badged one at that) with a small colour coded spoiler, some front fogs, and a couple of genuine OEM speakers for the rear. I also got lucky in that scrappy and found an M Sport gearknob in a crashed 6 series, that screwed right on in seconds. With all that on it, a good clean up, some plush carpet mats, and a decent advert in Autotrader it sold no bother for a tidy profit. It drove exactly the same as it ever did, but now it looked like it could have been a 325i or something. I mentioned all the extras I'd fitted in the advert, and got plenty of interest. The neighbour I bought it off even considered buying it back off me, given how smart it looked. Though he knew what I'd paid him, so offered me less than others did. So from base spec in looks to top spec, and no bother selling it once that was done. Mind you, this was in '99. Those looking to impress their neighbours now would just go and get a brand new 325i on PCP or something.
  6. Increasingly common in Cumbria now that a lot of cop cars have ANPR set-ups. I assume it must allow them to see the address of the registered keeper. If it contains the word "farm" at all, then that's maybe why they pull people over?
  7. The only picture of it appeared in Auto Trader in about June 2001. I bought the ex Mayoral Rover off the Local Authority where I work. It was a P reg, and had just racked up a big bill for brakes, tyres, and a battery. So, just consumables then. But the accounts department got scared and suggested a change of car. No service history, so I negotiated hard. The bloke in charge of selling it said no to my offer. Only advertised on the staff intranet, so no-one else was interested, and he came back to me a week later inviting me to put in a sealed bid. By which time I'd gone off the idea of pursuing the car, so I put an even lower amount in as a bid. I was the only bidder, so it was mine. The Council's garage were responsible for its upkeep so I rang them to see what history, if any, they had on the car. The bloke in charge of selling it obviously hadn't thought of this. I was invited to pop round and collect " the file". Which was chock full of checklists from every time the car was inspected by them ( which was every time it was about to go on a long journey by the looks of it), every receipt, and a fully stamped up service book. Stamped by the local Rover dealers, and every 5,000 miles or so at that. Result! I used it a bit and got it tidied up over the next few weeks and stuck it in AutoTrader. The phone rang off the hook all day when I was out at work, and my Mother (who stayed in to answer the phone for me) reckons there were at least four people wanting it sight unseen when she mentioned "the file". The only drawbacks? High mileage, DieYoung Ditchfinders all round ( which squealed when cornering above sedate pace), and a small hole above the centre of the windscreen where I filled in the mounting point for the Council's crest with a blanking grommet (of the type boy racers use to fill in the holes left when they take off their back wipers). "The file" contained something from the dealer's about it being a special order with the (small) engine it had for the spec, and about how they'd done the hole for the crest free of charge after it was PDI'd. I think it might have been Sterling spec. High up in the range, at least. It was un or de-badged though, so the spec was uncertain. IIRC I made any easy £1600 profit. T'was black, on a P plate, with a grey leather interior. I sold it to a guy who came down from Dumfries for the full asking price. I think he may have had a limo company. 17 years on, the details are a bit hazy. I remember the juicy profit though. The next mayoral car was leased though, so I wasn't able to buy the Omega that replaced it. Anyhoo, drifting back to the point of the thread .....
  8. I once went and had a test drive of a seven year old Lexus at a franchised dealer. I liked the car, but not the price, and started trying to chisel them. Then the salesman's pitch started; long flowery descriptions about how I wasn't just buying a car, I was buying a lifestyle. No knicker elastic would remain unsnapped if I drove past in this wonder machine. A world of unimaginable opportunities and magic moments awaited, if I only signed on the dotted line. My response; "Aye, whatever Pal. It's a silver diesel repmobile. What price to change are we really looking at here?" The guff continued, so I left, went to a Ford dealers where they just chucked me a set of keys, left me alone with my thoughts. Basically, they treated me like a sentient being, whose head didn't need filling with airy concepts about how buying a car would change my life. I bought a Mondeo off them. Nowt wrong with chucking people keys and letting them decide for themselves. The whole sales spiel/Willy Wonka/ mind control thing makes me think the actual product isn't actually much good.
  9. 4 Fords - Escrote mk4 pez, Cougar V6, Mongdeo dizzler hatch x2 1 Volvo - 460 pez 1 Jag - X-type dizzler estate 2 SEAT - Ibiza mk2, Arosa. Both pez. 1 Peugeot - 106 dizzler 1 BMW - E30 base 2 dr pez saloon 1 Rover - 820 pez saloon So that shakes out as something mostly Ford, possibly saloon, and definitely pez powered. Mk 5 Escrote/Onion Ghia? Preferably with velour seats and wood-you-believe-it trim.
  10. Jaaaaags, of course! A Senator with a boot full of Scampi Fries from the cash and carry didn't quite cut it in the same way as an XJ40 would. Granadas? Pffftt! Proper pub landlords drive Jags.
  11. Just caught up with this terrible news. I can't really add anything that hasn't already been said, very eloquently, by so many on here. Dave will obviously be very sadly missed on here by all of us. I pretty much only dip into Autoshite occasionally these days, but if one of Dave's threads was on the board it was always required reading for me. RIP.
  12. I used to leave a car in a lock-up garage and got talking one day to the guy who had the next lock-up. His garage door didn't lock, and occasionally he'd park one of those RWD '80s Toyota Corollas coupes in there (AE86?). It wasn't the tidiest example, but it did work properly. His security measure was to throw a piece of cardboard on the dash that had written on it something along the lines of "Parked here because it's broken. Probably the clutch. Don't try and steal it - you'd be wasting your time". He often came back to find the garage door open/ not how he left it. But the car was always there. Worth trying as a free security measure?
  13. I have an example of said crap fwd Ford for middle aged men and opened this thread with some excitement. Which was then exceeded. Noice! Top bombing!
  14. Sorry to hear the news Eddy, but glad you seem to be on the mend. If there's ever any local meet ups or anything PM me - if I can make it to any events I might be able to swing by Barrow and give you a lift. Not driving doesn't have to mean missing out on the fun. Only if you're well enough to go, mind.
  15. Anything Ford or VAG that we didn't get over here, such as 2 door Granadas and Jettas would "wash their face" as the OP put it. The scenesters would love them. Rarity trumping the LHD issue in such an instance. For extra ££££££ don't forget to add a pineapple topping to any Jetta.
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