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Found 210 results

  1. Hi, new member here who loves most things automotive.... I've recently sold a very nice MG ZT 190 with that lovely V6 and a K series Freelander 1 which I had from new. I have a couple of cars neither of which I would term Autoshite, however one of them is from 1968 and is currently under restoration a Lotus Elan (Shhhhh) I do have another car which at the moment is in a very unloved state and needs a fair amount of work , mainly electronic and cosmetic. A 14,000 mile from new, 1 owner Ford Fiesta Mk6..... sounds boring but they have a good following. Take a look at the Vid if you're interested...
  2. This was the ve-hick-all I picked up on Wednesday night from that there Barnsley. I had no reason to buy this at all as it mirrors precisely the same role as the Streetwise, except its 12 years older. It was one of those 'that'll never win' eBay bids with 6 seconds left which somehow won (for goodness sake...). Gotta love a blind sale.... [Adenoids]First purchased by a Mr H Burke from Milton Keynes in 1992 this.....etc etc[/adenoids] It comes with the original book pack and service history up August 2001, then another lone service in 2008, then picks up again in 2018. Previous but one owner spent out on cam belt/water pump/tensioner, a new battery and new plugs in January this year, then a middle and back section for the exhaust for the June 2018 MoT. It's done 61K but it does have some issues.... Original dealer plates (backed up by the initial service history) Some blebbage, this is probably the worst The three concessions to modernity are PAS, central locking and electric windows/mirrors Driver's mirror broken - new repro on the way from eBay for £14
  3. Back in May I decided to get My 68' Lotus Elan S4 SE out of hibernation for the good weather, however I noticed a ticking from the front of the engine....... The fan pulley was just catching. Further delving showed play in the water pump shaft/bearing. This is a very common issue. Now on an Elan it's a head off job so, I orders a kit and takes off the head. Then I spots that the exhaust valve guides are weeping so they need changing. Then I decide to totally strip the engine bay and loom for a tidy up and respray it. You can see where this is going........ Here are a couple of videos ......
  4. As you may have seen I bought this 20,000 mile allegro off ebay for not very much that didn't run and failed it's mot on welding. What I didn't notice was the MOT it failed on was in 2016 and it's not been on the road since 2014! It was a non runner . The previous owner changed the points then couldn't get it to run. It actually turned out to be the starter solenoid, whose live connection was loose I guess dislodged by fannying around with the distributor. I've ordered one off ebay for a tenner but I've bypassed it for now so i can start it and drive it around. It sounds really sweet even though it pops and farts a bit on throttle. Having mulled it over my SD1 did this when the SU had no oil in the dashpot of the carb so something to check. I had to move the Cortina to my other lockup, which doesn't have power but is 100% water tight unlike this one so I intended to it anyway. The mot fail was on 3 bit of welding a non working indicator and the wipers not clearing the screen. The windscreen wipers are missing for some reason luckily I realised before I turned them on. Once in the lockup I had a poke around. It was ziebarted from new and that stuff really does the bizo most of it is really clean. There are some holes though of course. Dream team or nightmare, not sure. I'm not sure I can be bothered dicking around trying to weld this given it's proximity to the screen. I might just remove the rust and use some of that moldable epoxy putty pushed through from the back. Of course it left it's mark I also think it needs or will need a clutch very soon as the biting point is very high. I'll think about that once/if i can get it through an MOT. Some of the arms and rods on the front suspension look very rusty so I may make some attempt to clean them up to so they don't horrify the MOT tester. All in all it seems much less dicked around with than the cortina that's probably been apart and rebuilt 3-4 times. Also the previous owner left the boot full of old shoes. I'll check them later for loafers. I'm also terrible for updating these car blog things but I'll try my best here.
  5. Here we go then. A tale of ridiculous stupidity. Times two. I started yesterday by driving the Subaru Impreza from home to Peterborough - a quick 195 miles with impressively little traffic. The Impreza is at the back of this lot. I helped shift some cars, which meant driving the Mk1 Mondeo saloon - an auto with beige interior. I failed to get any photos. I also got to drive a Merc 190E 2.6, which was pleasant. I enjoyed the wiper. Then it was time to start the caper proper, which meant a train. I made a terrible error. I had train envy. I reached Alfreton to collect a car from Mrbollox, but I was quite a lot early. Bub to the rescue! Hilarity was had. I managed not to die. BONUS VOLVO. Mr B was met and he introduced me to his charming Rover. It was covered in dust and cobwebs and full of his stuff. 0/10 for presentation. In fact, some of his stuff is still in it. I dashed off to grab fuel, as the night was young. I also decided to check the tyre pressures, as I thought the fronts look low. I'm a shit judge of tyre pressures. They were fine. However, the rears were both low! For extra LOLs, the offside rear valve didn't reseat properly and went flat while I was doing the other side. Oh how I laughed. The plan now was to head to Birmingham, jump on a train and collect car number two. Trains are shit though, and wouldn't get me to the car until 11pm. Gee, that's useful! So I drove instead. Yes, a 1999 Daewoo Matiz SE, first sold to, er, me! The only car I've been stupid enough to buy new. It was a lot cheaper 19 years on. That meant another one of these. I'd day-insured the Matiz, which I'm leaving with a friend in Brum, so I abandoned the Rover temporarily and set off - complete with a blowing, rattly exhaust, a shafted CV joint, a coolant leak and a humming wheel bearing. She's going to need some love. However, it was bloody great to drive it again. I'd forgotten just how much I love them. It makes the Nippa feel entirely half-arsed. Not that everything was going to plan... This morning, the Nippa was abandoned at my friend's house and I went all public transport again. I didn't catch or get run over by this tram. The Rover was still where I'd left it in Hinckley, so I took it for a wash. Then, I had a business meeting in Stratford, so I drove over there. There was only one place to stop for lunch. Garden centre! On the way over, the brake warning light had been flashing occasionally. It didn't change with pedal pressure, which led me to suspect a low brake fluid level. However, I couldn't open the bonnet, so I announced how shit I was to the world and went for lunch. Afterwards, I discovered that you push the safety catch to the side, not towards you... The level was indeed low. The meeting overran quite dramatically, so I didn't even start driving back home until 1840hrs. By 7pm, I'd stopped for food and felt exhausted. Food perked me up a bit and I got my foot down. Which meant... Actually, it had delivered 30mpg, so no complaints there. However, 223 miles had taken it down to quarter of a tank! Needs moar capacity. It was wonderful for just eating up the miles though. It's a three hour schlep home, and it wasn't a hardship at all. The ride is good, the gearbox is super-smooth, the handling reassuring. It's exactly what I want - a bit of luxury that isn't the size of a house. It fits Welsh roads. Eventually, home was achieved. I've clocked up over 250 miles in the Rover in a crazy two day spell that included driving four other vehicles. I would relax, but I've got to drive 170 miles in the Invacar tomorrow... Anyway, thanks Mr Boll! I love it. As I suspected I would when you first bought it. Cheers for fixing stuff along the way!
  6. In the cycling world, there is a saying, the ideal number of bikes to own is n, where n=(n+1). This is a live collection thread spread across two days, the difference being, that for one of mine, I'm not selling my old car first. It's not much of a secret what I'm buying or where from, and for those of you that don't know it likely won't be a surprise, but let's have some fun anyway. Onwards...
  7. A few folk have suggested I should post some pics/details of this, so here goes. It really is a project - and one of those typical of me where, 18 years in I have made almost no progress except for dismantling more bits, then wishing I hadn't, and wondering if it's ever going to get done in my lifetime. Back to the start - Back in (about) 1984 I go to a car show in Wollaton Park in Nottingham. I see a Tri-Chevy (55,56,57) Bel Air and resolve to have one one day. In 2000, I see one advertised by Eady's American Autos in Burton Latimer, Northants. It is a (as I later find out), a 1956 210 Sport Sedan, so not a Bel Air, but the same shape. It is also a RHD car that was imported and bought new here - a fact that some folk seem unable to grasp. This is it more or less as bought using the primitive digital photo tech I had at the time -
  8. I hereby formally introduce my Renault 16. There have been mentions of it on other threads but I thought it could use its own. I bought it off Mouseflakes long before I had heard of this place. It was on eBay so I drove down to Bristol to view it. He was due to move house in a few weeks and didn't want to be messed about by idiots so he forced me to buy it a price I couldn't refuse and the deal was done. I went down the next week with a Mercedes Sprinter and a trailer. We emptied his sheds of spares for Renault 16s and other cars. They filled the Sprinter. The Renault spent the next four years at a friends place as we welded it up. It spent a couple of years on its side as that was easier. Old tyres prevented any damage. There are photos of the collection and welding somewhere but no idea where! Then after four years, the welding was completed. Amongst many,many plates it had a second-hand sill and b post fitted. So then it was time to start on the mechanicals. Mouseflakes had never had it running. No idea how long since it had ran. I put a new fuel tank and lines on it. A new battery and it nearly started! After some investigation I realised a pushrod had come adrift. Never seen that before. It started and ran well when that was replaced but soon overheated. The radiator and cooling system wete full of crystallized coolant. I flushed that a few times and moved onto the brakes.... There were non on the back. No shoes, cylinders or anything. No parts I had seemed to match up. I can fix brakes if there is something there to start with but not this. So I trailered it down to a well known R 16 enthusiast in Lincs to sort it out. No rush I said. When he did call back to say it was fixed I asked him to get the rest of the car ready for the road. Again no rush I said... Anyway, due to his illness it never got finished so four years later I picked it back up! I did contemplate selling it but after driving Junkmans example I changed my mind. Since I have had it back I have had it running. It would start but only if the starter motor was tapped with a bar. Not ideal. Neither is it's location... To get the starter out on a right hand drive example you have to remove the joint carburettor and exhaust manifold. I was dreading this but it all came apart and went back together fine, other than the exhaust clamp which was really fiddly. Here is an 'after'photo: Exhaust clamp was off the shelf at my local motor factors. Not sure if this is a spelling error The starter motor was reconditioned at C A Stone of Kidderminster for £50. Well recommended. Next job is to get the radiator re-cored then tidy the interior.
  9. Part two of the replacement for the modern is being collected tonight! Not a very long collection, but it will lead me to my new piece of shite for commuting purposes because commuting in mrs_brownnova's KA was ruining my street cred and giving me backache. So what am I getting? It's got headlight wipers (a personal ambition of mine).... Comfy seats.... A big boot.... I've wanted one since the mid 90s.... ...and it isn't a Volvo. Place your bets!
  10. Gumtree is the devil's portal when you really shouldn't be spending any more money. Especially when you already have two cars on the drive. Doubly especially when your wife has promised faithfully to kick your nuts into the middle of next week if you bring another car back home. Ummm... yeah soo I kinda bought another car! She's not happy but a nice meal out smoothed it over Its getting collected by a local recovery guy on sunday as it's just failed an MOT on two busted shocks and a massive fuel leak. In the meantime, just a little hint
  11. They say a picture paints a thousand words https://flic.kr/p/26EKG4V
  12. The "Project" prefix might be wishful thinking, we'll see.... Voilà. I had this little minx traded in in 2013 against a C5 V6 by a chap off the French Car Forum. I used it for three months, battling against erratic height correction issues, an intoxicating smell of petrol and a slight misfire, which got really bad and provoked it being parked up and my losing interest in it. It sat for three years, until a fellow shiter took a shine for it and towed it back to his mushroom shed. He cured the misfire and then lost interest. Or realised just how much of a task it would be to bring it up to the standard he wanted. Anyway, it was being scrapped, so I wung him £100 and it's back with the idiot who let it get into this state in the first place. The main reason I bought it back was the number plate. Suits the car beautifully. Certainly lived up to it's SLY nature when it outran my mate's 225 RenaultSport Mégane back in the day. I don't know how easy this is going to be to remove from the car, it may need MOT'd, hence the project tag. It's decaying in all the Xantia places.... Christ knows what it looks like underneath. The tyres are buggered, there's a variety of fluids underneath it when parked, the exhaust is hanging and blowing (oi, oi!), and christ knows when the last service was. BUT...... it's a bloody phase one Xantia V6 with 50k genuine miles. It was an absolute peach when it was in full health. It wafted along fantastically and kicked a few German car w*nkers into shape when needed. Always loved the sense of occasion with it. Plip the remote locking, slide in, enter the code, wait for the car to rise while you choke on the stench of petrol, then off you go! In air conditioned luxury, naturally. I really don't know what it's fate will be. It would be such a shame to see something like this meet it's maker, but realistically it would easily hit £thousands to make it the car it deserves to be. It would be an absolute gem to run alongside my Phase 1 Laguna V6 Baccara, but I've a feeling that's very very optimistic. Don't expect this to be a regularly updated thread, or one of particularly good news. But it'll make for pretty pictures if nothing else.
  13. A for sale ad for a Micra caught my sons eye the other day,it had been parked up since 2012 and for some bizarre reason he thought it would be a good project to do over a "couple of week ends" and then move on for To be fair it cost very little and fits in the corner of the drive just fine and it helps mask the fact that the expensive 2pac paint job on my Subaru has also faded somewhat after sitting outside all winter. Considering it's been idle for 4 years it don't look too bad,it doesnt need any obvious welding but the paint is really awful. So the dead battery was put on charge for three days and it seems to have come back to life. The fuel gauge was showing half a tank and the oil / water were both present and correct so an attempt was made to start it. Well being typically japanese it genuinely started first turn of the key and after a couple of mins and a few blips of the throttle it came off its auto choke and sat quietly ticking over. The clutch is super light and bites half way up the pedal,even the brakes work well albeit dragging slightly. I was well impressed that this near thirty year old Datsun (i call all Nissans Datsuns it's an age thing i guess) was sitting there purring away on stale petrol after four years sitting idle when it promptly stopped dead and refused to fire up again. It had lost its spark and after removing the distibutor for a closer inspection the problem was clear to The springy bit had snapped on the points but i had an new set gathering dust in the back of my work van that fitted a treat and now the 988cc engine runs even sweeter. I can't see my sons optimistic "two week turn around" happening any time soon and selling it on once it's mot'd for a worth while profit seems remote when nice tidy ones are about for £700. But it's seems to be a happy little thing and so deserves getting back on the road again.
  14. Greetings all. I got a bit of want for an early mk3 Cav, preferably a carbed 1.6 or 1.8, so when this one reappeared on ebay a few months back I couldn't resist. It had previously been unused for several years, but still had its rear arches and got an mot last summer. The tyres were a mix of an old Michelin, a Cheng Shang and 2 Optimo Auroras(?)- all really ancient and badly cracked and only suitable for growing potatoes in. It got sold to a guy in Lincoln last autumn. He didn't do much with it apart from fill the back of the car with an SRi interior, fit lowered coils and new shocks, new HT leads, distributor cap/rotor arm and plugs. An oil change was a bit too much of a stretch though. Weird. He no longer wanted it so it was mine. So I went over by train, thrust some £50 notes in his hand and drove it the 150 miles home. That was interesting. Very wobbly and scary steering above 60. Mystery knock from somewhere in the front end. Near impossible to get in/out of 3rd and 4th. Brakes pulled to one side. Non-working coolant temp gauge. Dashboard heater control cable snapped or disconnected. First thing to do was check the tyre pressures- all low, down to about 15psi on one front wheel...might have contributed to the unpleasant steering a touch... Noticed there was a split track rod end boot, so changed the pair and had the tracking done. Fitted new anti-roll bar drop arms and bushes as the old bushes were badly split. Changed the black watery engine oil and filter, plus air filter. Changed the coolant sensor- gauge now works. Gave the calipers a clean-up and greased the sliding surfaces and made sure the pistons were moving. Discs are a bit pitted but otherwise fine- ditto the pads- both must have replaced just before it was laid up. Fitted a new crank position sensor as the insulation on the old one had disintegrated. So at that point the car drove/braked ok. It still clonked, but at least I had eliminated the drop links. I then decided that the brown coolant needed a change, which meant the thermostat had to come off to give it a good flush out. I Plus Gased the bolts and carefully undid the bolts. Snap! One of the bolts sheared off. No access to drill it out, so the cam belt had to come off to be able to remove the whole housing. Deep joy. The water pump was stuck fast too- kind of crucial as this is the cam belt tensioner too. However, some thumping with a long piece of hardwood got it moving and it popped out- was in decent nick, so I got a new O-ring for when it was time to refit it. Gave the housing to the garage next to me and they snapped off an easy-out whilst drilling out the first snapped bolt. So I had to find an engineering firm nearby that could drill it out. A few days, and £10 lighter, I got the housing back, bolted it back on, fitted the water pump and cam belt back on. Then I stripped one of the thermostat bolt threads when tightening up the 3 thermostat bolts, so the stat housing had to come off again. It wasn't me being ham-fisted as they only get tightened to 6 lb ft- shagged threads. So I had a Time-Sert by a different firm. Finally got it all back together and running again. However, I had managed to crush the front to back plastic fuel pipe with a jack enough to restrict the fuel supply to cause a failure to start and flatten the battery. Cue new fuel pipe. Fitted a fuel filter into the fuel line before the fuel pump and finally, the car was running again (hadn't completed the coolant flush though). As the car was now running I pulled the wheel trims off, resprayed the rims satin black and got the first pair of new tyres fitted. I decided on Nexen N'Blues for the front. Much better! Jobs to do next before the MOT- finish coolant flush, get new wiper blades, change the gearbox oil, fit new rear tyres and give the Cav a wash. And then the disaster... Possibly unrelated, but In the hot weather it sometimes took 2 or 3 goes to get it started...fuel vaporisation, I thought...nothing to worry about. Then after one run I was at the end of the road and managed to stall it in 2nd, restarted and then pulled up at home. It has been dead since- just won't start. It's got fuel, it turns over but it's got no spark- not a twitch on the HT side, yet it has got 12V at the connector at the LT coil connections. Battery- after settling after a charge is around 13.1V, dropping to around 10.3V when cranking. It was charging fine when running. I have tried substituting a new ignition amplifier, the original crank sensor, new coil and a second-hand black box- no joy Out of curiosity, I opened up the black box...nothing obviously fried there, but that big processor chip says Intel '80! Let's have a look at the fusebox...nope, nothing's popped there. Lots of gaps because it has no luxuries like electric windows, front fog lights etc! So there we are. I have a dead Cav, but at least you can sit in silence surrounded by beige... If anyone has any suggestions on what I should do next, please let me know!
  15. Price agreed - Check Train booked - Check Hotel booked - Check Money lifted - Check Insurance juggled - Check Car actually seen before agreeing to buy - Oh.... Leg one of this adventure is about to get underway, as I leave work to venture home from there it will be a lift in to Glasgow Central train station. Not in the same stakes as the Megabus mission to Leafy London Suburb to collect the Rover. This should be altogether more comfortable. Updates to follow.
  16. Hi Everyone, Well, after finding Hubnut's videos on youtube I discovered this website and other like minded ejits..... So a big hello to you all,,, I'm located in Northern Ireland and have brought around 15 cars over from England over the years, next week it's a Volvo 940 Classic LPT estate.... It's got an MOT but also has few worn bushes, shitty exhaust, and has a hot start issue, all of which I can remedy once I get the thing off the ferry and to my house, I've done lots of projects in the past, but never documented them online, I hoping to let you see my progress with the Volvo here , I'll be posting pics etc soon as I collect the car and will post progress pics throughout. C
  17. A friend in need is a pain in the arse, especially when they persuade you to get their car going that they bought blind at an auction. Not that much persuasion was needed, the thing is quite charming really. However, the engine wouldn’t turn over by hand and the starter had been disconnected sometime before the sale. Soaking the bores in diesel didn’t budge things and there was evidence of water entry on cylinders 2, 3 & 4. Having some time available yesterday and today the head was stripped off the engine, revealing water damage to the bores of those cylinders and the engine still failing to budge. Having previously used Coca-Cola to release seized injectors a bottle was purchased and poured onto the pistons, then left to soak overnight. Hey presto the engine turned over after some jostling, but locked up after half a turn. It was also noted that the valves were not operating when the engine was turning and that a couple of valves were stuck wide open. Damn, the unit has to come out to be stripped, secretly I’m looking forward to getting into this job. I’m not looking forward to procuring parts made of unobtanium though! Anyone that has contacts or recommendations for old Austin parts please let me know.
  18. I'm on a train... ...and you know what that means. Just a short hop. No photo yet because it's London and therefore probably terrorism to take photos on the train. More in a bit. Got to get on to Dayinsure now.
  19. As the title really. I need to get a wriggle on with shifting cars, and the W124 saloon has a broken front spring, giving it mega ganster lean yo!. Need to get a pair of springs, and get it swapped out really, but I've heard horror stories about doing the front end on these. I've seen that there are some internal spring compressors that apparently work and allow removal, they're usually around the £60 mark. Do I need these?, I'll be working outside, on level flat ground, with a number of jacks and axle stands at my disposal.
  20. Evening All, Being a relative newcomer to the beige forum, I fancied a foray into a Project thread. However, as I previously established, the sentiment towards VAG products here can be described as frosty at best. Naturally I assumed I would be hounded off if I were to write a Project thread. However, I thought perhaps it would be an easy solution for venting the hatred of VAG that builds up over time here, and I would thereby be doing a service to the good people of Autoshite. Should this assumption be wrong however, feel free to do the hounding, and I will get my coat! So, back in June of last year, I bought myself a big, ugly heap of German rubbish, in the form of an X reg Audi A4 Avant of the 1.8 petrol flavour. Having cost me a mere 100 beer tokens when I bought it, i was chuffed with my purchase of an apparently working car, with almost a year's MoT left on it. How wrong could I be? On getting it home and doing a little further inspection, I discovered that front and rear wheel bearings were grumbling, the front brakes were binding, the rear shock absorbers were beyond the pail and the tires were balding. Splendid, I thought, a list of light projects for me to be going on with. Again, How wrong could I be? I set about replacing the rear wheel bearings. This wasn't a job I fancied myself, as I presumed it would require a bearing press (being a novice mechanic, in case you'd not already noticed from my dreadful car buying tactics....). And so, I made my first major error - booking a mechanic to come and replace the bearings. He succeeded in graunching up the bolts that hold on the brake caliper carriers before admitting defeat and charging me £80. Bother. So I thought, how hard can it be, and set about removing the trailing arm altogether, to give better access and allow me to remove the caliper carriers and replace bearings, which I did with minimal fuss. Sticking brake calipers were traced to stuck slider bolts, and mended. Rear shock absorbers replaced, cheap bearing press bought and used to replace the front bearings. In replacing the bearings, I removed the brake calipers altogether, draining the brake fluid to be changed at a later date. When this date came, I proceeded to (not knowing the tap-it-with-a-hammer-first trick) strip the threads from several of the calipers where the bleed nipples attached. Again, bother. So, I ordered used brake calipers from a breakers yard and received the wrong ones. I ordered them again from a different breakers yard, and received the wrong ones. Finally I got hold of the right ones, and fitted them. No to worry, I thought, I was near the end of the issues and soon miles of trouble free motoring would be mine. I refer to my previous comments regarding my own wrongness here. Having replaced the calipers, I started the Audi again, only to see the ABS light come on, and stay on. Bother. So, (As I was later corrected upon doing without first reading the fault codes.... only so many times I can use the novice mechanic excuse....) I replaced all four ABS sensors. Finally, I decided it was MoT ready, and booked it in, quietly confident that it would pass. My lack of correctness is now getting dull. It failed on a nice little list of issues, both front springs being broken, and catastrophic Carbon monoxide emissions being just a few. Cue jokes about VAG products and emissions.... I can only assume that it was MoTed by VW themselves last time... So currently, I'm in the process of remedying the broken springs issue (and the shocks while I'm at it, as they're tatered too...) and updates will follow, should the VAGness not be deemed too distasteful for this establishment. Please do let me know your thoughts on this, I've no wish to create a disturbance to the autoshite serenity* Thanks, abelw44
  21. Morning shiters, you join me as I'm about to leave the house:
  22. I'm not been on here for a good long while due to various reasons. I got a dog and have been spending all my spare time with her which has been great, i'd also sold all my old chod which meant that all I had to post about was my constantly fucked vectra which was depressing to think about, let alone write about. As luck would have it middle of last year I got a mk1 golf gti through work for scrap money. The downside being it was a cat B burnout, but as everything from the windscreen forward was fine I thought I'd get a caddy/front damaged golf and have a cheap project... Fuck me was I wrong,seems the vag boys can rival the ford guys for scene tax. VW project is now on the back burner as something better has arrived. My dog getting sunburn My other dog after it got burnt So I've got new shite, but what did I get...
  23. A few weeks ago I went over to my friend Ray's house to oversee a photo shoot with one of his cars. Ray is something of a character, in the best possible way. He is an expert in conservation, and used to work at the Brighton Pavilion in that capacity. He lives in fabulous, semi-rural location in an old cottage surrounded by 'ancient' outbuildings which he has mostly constructed himself over the last 30-odd years out of scraps of building material. He also has a great little collection of scruffy old cars - a Riley Nine, a 1930 Standard Nine, a Vintage Humber, an Edwardian electric car and this fantastic 1922 Albert G3 Sports Model, which is the car I was interested in that day. Ray is quite a private chap so no photos of his set-up, but trust me, it's totally idyllic. The cars are all tucked away in rickety wooden sheds covered in ivy and they all look pretty much ready to expire, except in fact they are fastidiously maintained but kept very much Oily Rag cosmetically. Ray spent the first 30 or so years of his life driving exclusively prewar cars. Eventually, with two young children in tow, he capitulated and splashed out on a modern car - a Morris Minor Van. This was replaced shortly thereafter by a Traveller - this was the late 1970s, I'd guess. The Traveller was never replaced, and has been his 'modern' car ever since. Him and his wife use it almost daily for all duties. They've never really seen the point in 'upgrading' when it does everything they need. When Ray's Daughter was 17 she was learning to drive, and wanted a car. Quite by chance Ray heard of a Morris Minor four-door for sale locally and went to investigate. It was being sold by its first owner, an elderly lady who had been William Morris's secretary. The Minor had been her daily driver since 1965, but on her retirement she had been giftted a brand new Minor, one of the last made, which had been in dry storage ever since. She was about to start using her 'new' Minor after some years and no longer had any use for her '65 car. Ray bought it, took it home and it became his daughter's first car. She used it every day, going all over the place and racking up the miles. Once a year, Ray undertook a program of preservation on the car - pouring oil into all the box sections and chassis legs, into the sills etc, greasing the trunions, cleaning the underside and generally making sure it was in fine, safe fettle. Like with his Vintage cars, he didn't much bother with the non-structural or cosmetic side, preferring to let things mature naturally and patching up when it was needed. Flash forward several years, and Ray's daughter is starting a family of her own. She can't put car seats in the Minor so, like her dad did, she gives in and buys a 'modern'. The Minor is put on blocks on Ray's drive and covered over with a tarp. Where it sat for five years until I noticed its familiar bulbous shape on my visit. Oh dear. I didn't want a Morris Minor. I didn't actually want any car, especially not one that would need a load of recomissioning work. I've actually been enjoying driving round in the 404, which is now functioning as 'a car' for the first time, and there is a big queue of projects waiting in the wings. Then again, I really missed having a scruffy old car for daily-driver duties in good weather. I really don't need a modern car for commuting duties, but I've gone a bit soft over the last couple of years because blasting up the A23 instead of travelling the back lanes means I can stay in bed an extra 15 minutes or whatever. Not really the sort of image I should be projecting. I couldn't, however, get the idea of this Minor out of my mind, so yesterday I popped over to have an actual look. I'd already decided to buy it, assuming I could afford it, but I thought I should poke about a bit first. This is the scene which greeted me - Ray's daily driver on the right Underneath, as one might expect, it is remarkably sound. Ray put in a new cross member a few years ago and the spring hangars have been welded up to a very good standard. I couldn't honestly find anything seriously wrong with it underneath. He fired it up - running off a slave can as the tank has been empty for a while - and it sounded sweet and lively. Ray reckons it'll need new rings soon as it eats a lot of oil, but it's not smoky in the slightest. Over a very civilised cup of tea and bit of shortbread in the garden (temp was in the high 20s yesterday) we shook on the deal. He's happy for it to go to a good home and he knows I won't bugger about with the way it looks too much, and let it go for a reasonable price - especially considering what totally rotten 'project' cars go for on ebay. I think we were both quite chuffed. Anyway, today we popped over with the trailer and loaded it up. The whole process took all flippin' day because we were just standing around nattering about nothing in particular. It's so much nicer to buy a car from a friend! We eventually got back to the Big Shed and unloaded it. The car was absolutely filthy and has no brakes, plus all the tyres are toast. I spent ages giving it a scrub and hoovering out the interior, which was full of mouse droppings and whatnot. Here it is post-wash. Edison is unsure what to make of it. So, what now? I haven't had an old British car for ages and tbh I am totally clueless about these things. I'll order a set of tyres tomorrow and then a mate is coming over on Thursday to help me investigate the brakes. Hopefully it'll be a couple of new cylinders at worst, but even a brand new master cylinder on these things is only like £100. Although it had a big service just before it was laid-up (including a new clutch) It's probably prudent to do oil/filter and air filter etc before going out in it. Lots of odds and sods don't want to work - one sidelight, one indicator, and the bonnet won't stay shut. I'm sure problems will become evident with a bit of use, but I am hoping for a 'lightest possible touch' deal here. The body it utterly disreputable - it's the nastiest looking Minor I've seen for a long time. The door bottoms - and several other bits - are sculpted out of pure wob. I feel like it would be a shame to change any of this too much. When we were looking at it yesterday I realised it looked just like the Minors I remember from childhood, back in the '80s when there was still one on every street being driven daily. That was when I was first discovering cars, even before I could talk, and I loved anything obviously 'old' - these would have been the most common old car around and, I suppose, quite formative in their own way. Ray said he felt just the same about the Vintage cars he would see in his childhood in the '40s and '50s, which is why he drives a scruffy old Riley Nine. The extent of the pog is evident in that mirror! I have carefully cleaned around the larger of the snails and will attempt to preserve it for as long as I can. I'm really looking forward to blezzing about in this old heap. Hopefully I'll be able to get it up and running before summer is over. I suspect my opinion might change after the fourth or fifth inevitable breakdown, but even a thicko like me can (hopefully) get his head around how a Morris Minor works. I just hope I can do its previous owners justice. As we were leaving, with the car strapped down on the trailer ready to start its new life, Ray looked a bit wistful. "If you ever decide to sell it," he said, "Please can I have first refusal? This is the first car I've sold since 1983..."
  24. As I have alluded to elsewhere, I have made a recent purchase, and I'm not referring to that horrid Corsa! I'll take you back to around 2 years ago, when the family Ruff and I were still living in the mid terrace two up two down I'd bought when I was young and too stupid to know what to do with my money. The proceeding years had produced a wife and two children and what was once a modest bachelor pad had become the family home. As the children grew, it became clear that we would soon outgrown the little house, and it would be nice to give the girls and the dog a bit more outside space. What does this have to do with buying tat I'm sure you are asking? Well, one of the things that let our house down was the first thing that was seen on arrival, itself the result of a group of drunken Everton fans, and a Liverpool supporter who once lived there. It's not immediately clear, but way back, a session in the pub lead to the house being painted blue with "EFC" just above the window, now I don't know what paint they used but I repainted two or three times whilst I lived there and never managed to get it to stay stuck, you can see the blue is evident upstairs. Anyhow, we wanted to sell and I enlisted the services of a local decorator who we had come to know through my parents, it took him quite a few days, but eventually we ended up with this, which still looks as good today... What took me more than the pain tjob however was the rather lived in decorator's van. I spoke at length with the decorator who told me he'd already bought it's replacement, and as and when it's mot was up, he'd be changing over to it. Well, two years down the line, the call finally came, and here is what comes to those who wait... It is a 2.4 5 cylinder diesel, last owner for 20 years and a shade under 200k. I will need to change the cambelt again next year but he has kept record of it's maintenance, most of which he carried out himself... Oh and just for @dollywobbler, a bit of hot dual wiper action! https://youtu.be/4xsbxzb3KKs I will of course, keep you all updated, first port of call is a new DAB radio and a de-stickering session!
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