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  1. I blame @cort16, a week ago he posted a link to a rather shiny red 480 on the Ebay Tat thread. It was a thing of beauty but was rather beyond my budget and was in Scotland. You know when a car's got under your skin and you keep re-visiting the ad then looking at the DVLA online checker to see if a new V5 has been issued? I was doing various man maths calculations but I don't have any children to sell (I've never had them , it's not that I've sold them already) and I need what's left of both of my kidneys. I trawled the classifieds but anything within my budget was beyond my skillset. I've been sleeping badly recently and in the early hours the other night I found a 480 an hour away from me closer to my theoretical budget. The ad sounded promising, the MOT history not too scary AND it was turquoise! It's an 'S' so the base model, 1.7 Renault engine, no fancy info screen but had been specced with optional half leather seats. I arranged to go and see it yesterday. I have a thing for two door estates and pop-up headlights but had a firm figure in mind well below the asking price and resolved to walk away if I couldn't get it for what I was willing to pay. The Wayback Machine helped me discover the car had been for sale for 17 weeks at gradually reducing asking prices and some handy buyers guides from Owners Clubs meant I knew what to look out for. Prices are all over the place on these and as we all know what a car is advertised for isn't always what is sells for - they're rare but still rather forgotten. The vendor said he'd bought it from a local garage before lockdown but then it had developed some faults and he'd not had the money to sort them out. When I contacted him on WhatsApp his profile picture was of a car transporter so it seemed likely he was a trader of some sort. He let me spend a good hour systematically going over the car while I compiled a list of issues in addition to the ones he'd mentioned. I hate negotiating so I was straight with him and said look I could pretend to be Mike Brewer and offer you and insultingly low figure and we can go back and forth but here's where I'm at. I showed him other ads (and how long they'd been up for) and my list of issues with a rough guesstimate of what it would cost to sort them and named what I was willing to pay. "Old art yer 'and," he said. "Hang on," I replied, "You've got a car transporter and as the car isn't currently driveable on the road (the indicators don't work) I want it delivered." He hummed and harred but eventually we shook on it. So far the to do list is looking like this: 4 new shocks - rears 'slightly corroded', fronts 'lightly misted' 2 new front tyres New Battery Sort exhaust blow and investigate rusty cat Rear of sills where it meets rear arch is a known weak spot on these, this doesn't look too bad but want to sort it before it gets any worse Replace damaged daytime running light Possibly replace faded and cracked rear lights - these are no longer available and rare as rocking horse poop - 'best' price I've found a pair for so far is £260 (HFM!) but they'll need replacing eventually and the longer I leave it the dearer they'll get so I might just hold my breath and take the hit now. Replace Central Electronics Module (CEM) which (hopefully) is the cause of the indicators not working and the headlights doing this (at least I know the motors work!). I've managed to track one of these down for £80. VID_20210618_150013_01_01[1].mp4 These are getting to be rare cars now and although they share a lot of parts with the other 400 series cars the bits that are unique to the 480 are getting harder to find and consequently more expensive. The irony is that over time I'll probably end up spending more than I would have on the shiny red one. I won't have had the satisfaction of doing myself though and isn't that a large part of what our hobby is about? Built not bought. Other than my BX which I bought off here this is the first time I've bought a vehicle without taking it for a test drive. The biggest gamble is that the electrical issues aren't sorted by a new battery and CEM. But hey, what's life without taking a few risks? I take delivery Monday, can't wait!
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