Jump to content

1980 Austin Princess


Recommended Posts

Good to see you over here Angyl, that's a proper AS car and no mistake :) I'd be a happy man if the 'tinas footwell looks as good as that when I pluck the courage to lift the carpet.

 

How about one of them wooden rimmed mountney wheels, could fit quite well if an early princess jobbie is hard to find.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't get my art mojo on at all tonight, I just keep staring at blank paper with pencil in hand, so I'm putting that aside for tomorrow. Trying to figure out what to do I could feel the dirty vinyl from the Princess taunting me, so I had to clean it. That's something productive with my time, right?

The centre consoles didn't look as bad as everything else at a quick glance, but the water after I'd done said otherwise. First job was to dismantle and remove the cigarette lighter from the rear console.
20120222-18.jpg.c730e6fabd7e519843a2a5fb38a82b1f.jpg

That shows up a fair amount of greb at least.
20120222-17.jpg.c3ff7ca8c199d432ad52d26a63a15360.jpg

As does this, just general scaffs and crumbs and stuff. I'm wondering how best to reinstate the chrome trim on this that's rubbed off in places, must've been done the same way as Matchbox car wheels originally.
20120222-19.jpg.887f43ff4d28eafe3031d0b17278c243.jpg

This is the front console and is a fair bit cleaner, possibly because when I picked up the car it was stuff full of tissues that I promptly binned.
20120222-20.jpg.f4a0639fc63a3b7a4b76874c5c7804c8.jpg

After much scrubbing in very soapy water, a thorough dry and then a final going over with the old Autoglym, they've come up better than I expected. They don't smell funny either, so that's another step towards a fresh cabin.
20120222-21.jpg.1bc8e39b2da06fee611e87ab48e6aead.jpg

Cleaned the cubby in the front console inside and out. I don't know what it was for originally, it's too big to be an ashtray, but it is a useful place to put stuff. When I got the car it was full of all sorts of screws and bolts and bits of wire.
20120222-22.thumb.jpg.f231245f2fa2bfb0d19bcae374db545c.jpg

20120222-23.thumb.jpg.2138091aa7eefeae00c3d33b38a8b088.jpg

Pleased with that. The carpet got a vacuum as well, but it made no discernible difference to the colour, only seemed to pull lots of sand and dust out and fluff up the pile a bit. Once I get some shampoo for the shampoo-vacuum thing I'll clean the carpet more properly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: The silvery bits on the centre console panel, it might be better to source a new one if poss. I think attempting it with a paintbrush would look shit. Or if you are handy with a rattle can you could carefully mask and spray it, but it might rub off quickly again. Tough one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Liking the 'Prinny' a lot!

 

I find cleaning and polishing a car very therapeutic and can spend hours getting rid of the tiniest specs of muck from nooks and crannies. Therefore I find your before and after pics of the centre console quite exciting and arousing.

 

This car is prime candidate for a certain calendar , too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I remembered that I'd spotted a thread about refurbing chromed plastic badges by using aluminium tape that looked like it gave a good finish, so I've ordered some of that to give it a try on the basis that if it doesn't work I can just peel it off. Sourcing trim parts for Princesses isn't the easiest thing, because unlike my other car people don't go around modifying them and throwing bits away, so I'm trying to keep everything I can that's already on the car.

 

Very pleased that you're all enjoying her, makes me smile, safe in the knowledge that at least someone out there understands. Oh, and the Leeds paraphenalia has been removed, I may put it on eBay, people will buy any old dross on there.

Link to post
Share on other sites

An update every day? I'll slow down with them eventually I'm sure, sort of have to in fact since my wrist was complaining at me today and stopped me doing anything properly productive. That back carpet is going to have to wait another day or two.

Had a better look and a poke at the floorpans in the daylight. The passenger side isn't entirely perfect, it does have a couple of spots of rust. These might turn out to be little more than surface corrosion but I am expecting to need a couple of tiny patches to amend this.
20120223-01.jpg.b067f518f3dfc6cb2ce7bc9342666851.jpg

The driver's side wheel arch patch still seems nice and solid, no rust really showing up and the thick black gunk looks to have protected it well. I did notice it was retaining a bit of moisture around here, possibly from wet shoes and that window I still haven't fixed (I'll get round to it, promise).
20120223-02.jpg.a736ebcf1fd4406de6551fd795f9cc0e.jpg

Lifted out a bit more sponge-type sound proofing to inspect the driver's side floor patch better. Bit of a stomp proves it's quite solid, but there is some surface rust.
20120223-03.jpg.d65085f714c17f487ae425e20a8c74dd.jpg

It was where the two patches meet that I was concerned. A loose bit of the black gunk was lifted off to reveal a little pink nubbin, and some rust edges.
20120223-04.jpg.9184f50841dfe743e7d12fdfab729972.jpg

Looks like someone patched it properly and then, when it needed a small repair later, it got fibreglassed and massively undersealed. From beneath the car it looks pristine, and it is solid, but it's clearly holding moisture and needs remedial work now rather than later. I've got the number of a mobile welder so I'll give him a call when I have some pennies so he can come out and zap this properly for me.
20120223-05.jpg.c058dcffefd4a40f535432b7f1ae3ac3.jpg

Still, that little hole is not bad for a car of this age and reputation, I'm not scared by it, I'm surprised it wasn't worse in all honesty. I'm still expecting horrors hiding in the sills, so I'm not prodding those any more than I need to for now.

Investigated the wiring for the PYE. Bit of a mess, really, I'm going to have to pull this out and redo it properly.
20120223-06.jpg.a9afe07f22dc254897472c67ce6a2ff1.jpg


This makes me chuckle. Top class security with that etched glass, that'll stop them nicking my motor.
20120223-07.jpg.9bcd944437ac0f696ecb60558ae895e0.jpg

Finish off with some arty farty shots.
20120223-08.jpg.8b46df83faefa3e719de8afdd03cee7d.jpg

20120223-09.thumb.jpg.d00e4a30d8b1394bc7bca0a6d2e591d6.jpg

Oh, and I think the source of the funny smell is the carpets. I put the front carpet in the spare room and that now smells of the inside of the Princess, but the Princess smells less like the inside of the Princess... if that makes sense.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had two of these back in the early '90s, when they were given away free. around the time they all seemed to disappear overnight. Apart from advanced body rot on the first one (which is why it was free) I never had any problems with them.

supremely cofortable, good motorway car, good in snow thanks to FWD and wide track, decent handling and more economical than the cortina I owned afterwards. I'd have another any time, if only for the reason they have some of the best seats ever fitted to a car. A 1980 vehicle- with folding arm rests on the front seats.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I remembered that I'd spotted a thread about refurbing chromed plastic badges by using aluminium tape that looked like it gave a good finish, so I've ordered some of that to give it a try on the basis that if it doesn't work I can just peel it off. Sourcing trim parts for Princesses isn't the easiest thing, because unlike my other car people don't go around modifying them and throwing bits away, so I'm trying to keep everything I can that's already on the car.

 

Very pleased that you're all enjoying her, makes me smile, safe in the knowledge that at least someone out there understands. Oh, and the Leeds paraphenalia has been removed, I may put it on eBay, people will buy any old dross on there.

 

let me know how it goes - the Vitesse I just got needs its plastic chrome running strips sorted

Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks a great car and im glad your pleased with it. With regard to refurbishing the chrome bits on the centre console, am I right in thinking its just silver paint on plastic? if so I have a great way you can fix it, with something fairly cheap that will last and its easy to use but the problem may be finding one, what you need is a silver permanent marker (they do exist), do you have any art shops round by you as thats the most likely place you can buy one either there or maybe an office stationary shop. They are a sort of liquid paint they have a ballbearing inside and you shake before using. I used one I bought years ago on the front grille of a MKII Escort where the silver painted plastic parts had been painted over in orange I chipped off the orange paint and used the marker to go over it, that was in about 1995 and I stilll have the car and grille and it looks fine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to see you over here :wink: And a fantastic score with the car, as well - I've been in denial about these for a long time, not wanting to admit to myself just how much I liked them! I shall be following the thread with interest, I'd like to know just how practical a daily they make.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: the silver trim.

 

I've got a gold marker pen like the silver one described, bought it as a tyre lettering pen. It works well enough, but it does rub off as it's non-permanent. However, if the tape idea doesn't work it gives me a backup since I do have access to a number of art and craft places, what with me being an artist by profession.

 

Using the model kit rub-on chrome stuff is not something I've ever had much luck with, I can never get it to stick properly, I'm guessing I must be doing something wrong.

 

 

Not done anything on her today, been having a needed rest day (stupid wrist), but I'm going to put the driver's seat back in tomorrow so I can trundle up and down the lane outside the house a little bit, just so she's not sat idle on the drive.

 

So far, the only problems have been rust scab on the rear pillar which is as resolved as it can be until the rear screen comes out, a small hole that isn't a hole thanks to a previous bodge in the driver's footwell, a blowing exhaust and the engine running a bit rich. Oh, and the dirt. I'm trying to find what the catch is, I don't feel like I've really bought a £450 car.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This cubby...
20120222-22.thumb.jpg.0cfc30e9457dc2bdeb3f5dcef762e648.jpg

Is actually ONE of the front ashtrays. Apparently I'm missing the one that was located in the tape deck's current spot. I suppose it's so big so you can put two pipes in it for the two gents in the front while the ladies in the back get the smaller, more petite trays down at ankle height in the rear door cards. Ah... the 70s.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@DarrenH: thanks, that's quite handy. I'll be popping the doorcard off tomorrow if the weather's not too bad and if I've got this manflu out of my system.

So, yesterday I had a bit of a poke of the car. Not very much done, to be honest, I couldn't find my copper grease and wasn't feeling 100% so removing those seatbelt bolts didn't happen. However, I did get the driver's seat front bolts in enough just to be able to run the car up the lane near the house... then when I was turning around in a drive entrance (it's a very narrow lane) the Princess decided she didn't like reverse and wanted fourth, and that fourth was perfectly good and being parked across the lane and halfway up someone's driveway was perfect.

Hit the hazard's switch, got scowled at by at least one dog walker, and trotted off down to the house to get the trolley jack. Jack up the car, front wheel rotates, small clunk, gearbox back to normal again. Bloody thing. I've got some diagnosis on the problem so the next step is to have a proper look underneath and see if anything can be tightened up. If not, I'll probably be getting a set of new rubber bushes for the selector box so it sits more securely and gradually working through to get rid of the problem. In the meantime I just have to make sure there's always a jack in the car.

I'm getting ahead of myself though. When I got the car, the driver's seat would rock a bit, we suspected it had collapsed but of course you need to remove it to check. So, when I was going to refit the seat I found that every time I tried to move it, the runners wouldn't go straight. Turn it over and have a look and found:
20120226-01.jpg.54c4f0c9cd306d90189308dd72c0487b.jpg


I remembered finding an odd bolt in the centre console when I cleared the car out. Sensibly, all the nuts and bolts and washers and things were put in a tub 'just in case' and it turns out this one was for the driver's seat. As far as I could see, there was nothing wrong with the bolt, it serves as a locating pin and screws into a captive nut, why it was removed, I have no idea.
20120226-02.thumb.jpg.0818d882b9e628df4467f948756b6e19.jpg


Reattached, seat feels great and doesn't rock, no sign of collapse. Brilliant. This is the other rail before I'd put the seat in, they now both look like this and the seat slides on the rails properly.
20120226-03.jpg.d678afa708957d54ff074977b2484da8.jpg

Time for a suitable snack (because I own a Princess and a Polo). If you ever see these, they're just like Blue Riband but covered in dark chocolate, they're very tasty and only 25p! They also do a white chocolate (ew) version called Princessa.
20120226-04.jpg.73df9ab4050ebd3761e5ff19963cb34e.jpg

Didn't really get anything else done until today, man flu was making me fall asleep everywhere, but my dice from marc0polo had arrived so they had to go on the car pronto.

None of my valve caps matched, three were plastic and one was metal.
20120227-01.jpg.0fe1b916d93ff77ef6d0131a73ab7795.jpg

So they came off and my new dust caps went on. Went for some disco-tastic red with gold sparkles ones.
20120227-02.jpg.af20bdaa56cf6537efef4d966499df5c.jpg

20120227-03.jpg.eba80f21ce82336031e0a0536abf718f.jpg

Remembered I'd also bought some terribly tacky tiger print fuzzy dice (with no numbers) for the Polo, but the colour was much better for the Princess. I think they were 75p or something, good bit of kitsch tat.
20120227-04.thumb.jpg.acd1aadec4f295c7ed2c6ddacdf0113d.jpg

Admittedly, not much of an update. If we've got good weather and I'm feeling better tomorrow (I feel much perkier now than I did) then I hope to do some more deep cleaning on the car. The boot has dried out nicely so I'll eventually be putting some drain holes in and my handbrake seems to have improved all by itself.

So, jobs to do that I know of:
Bodywork
> Get a quote for and repair the small hole in the driver's floor pan before the end of the year/MoT in September
> Cut and polish the existing paint, if possible
> Finish painting the C pillars.
> remove the rear screen and treat any rust
> Fit new wiper blades - check if the Polo ones fit, they're almost new
> Give the car a more thorough wash

Interior
> fix driver's door window mechanism
> shampoo the carpets
> shampoo the seats
> scrub the interior vinyl some more
> refit sun strip

Engine
> fix blowing seam on exaust
> get the engine running leaner, too rich at the moment
> sort out the small amount of hunting on the engine, timing is likely off a little bit.
> new air filter (if needed, not inspected yet, probably wouldn't hurt)
> oil change and new oil filter (no idea when this was last done)
> possibly fit new thrust bearing/clutch kit. Need to investigate this more fully.
> general health check before committing to any long journeys/regular use

Other
> swap the wheels front to back so the taller tyres stop scrubbing the front arch liners on full lock
> adjust windscreen washer jets so they actually do something other than make pedestrians wet

Link to post
Share on other sites

Werther's Original dash-mounted dispenser? DO WANT.

 

Today I washed and polished the car, the idea being it would give me a real chance to have a close up look at everything and see just how well she comes up. Looks like the passenger wing has had some serious boggo put into it, I'm expecting bad things there. The rear arches are starting to go, but some remedial work looks to have been done in the past, whether this is more boggo and paint I don't know and I'm not digging until I have the money spare for repairs. No point picking at stuff if it's okay for now is there?

 

Still haven't fixed the driver's door and still haven't cleaned more of the interior. Took all the spare time I had this afternoon just to clean the outside and polish it. Good thing is that she scrubs up pretty good, all things considered, and I now know where the worst bits of paint are for light remedial work. Plan is to get some Champagne beige in rattlecan form and go around the car a panel at a time rectifying poor paint and rust blebs and then give it a good cut and polish to bring it up something like.

 

I know as well why the driver's floor pan has rotted where it has. When I was rinsing the car off the water got in the air vent in the scuttle, which I didn't know about until I moved the car and, as the incline changed, water literally came pouring out of the air vent and into the footwell, sitting precisely where the rot was. Not sure what to do about this beyond trying not to get water into those vents.

 

Also noticed an oil leak, looks to be where the distributor joins the block - same place as the Polo, funnily enough - that has been leaving the odd tiny spot on the driveway.

 

Still overall very healthy, but there's going to be some remedial welding ahead of me in a year or two I think. Not too worried about it, I just have to be a bit patient.

 

Oh, and when I put the blowers on I got hit in the face by the remains of a dead moth. Thanks for that, car.

 

Sorry for the lack of pictures, not really anything to photograph for this update.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Found myself at a loose end again, so rather than play games or something, I thought I'd be productive and get on with rechroming that centre console trim.

I forget where I saw this done first, but someone had redone the badges on their VW and mentioned they'd used flashing tape. I think they were Spanish or Portugese or somewhere like that... anyway, that's not important, what is important is that I gave it a go myself and decided to share the results.

You will need a bit of trim that has worn silver/chrome on it, ideally something flat rather than something with compound curves.
20120222-19.jpg.bc13f8a04aff10c5ba76abb099616a1e.jpg


You'll also need some of this tape. I searched on eBay for 'metal tape' and it came up with lots of results for people selling strips of it. No need to get a whole roll, the bit I bought that cost about £2 was far more than I needed. You'll get something like this in the post.
20120228-01.thumb.jpg.ab11afe72a591a3fe41eaec54ff06dbc.jpg

It has a paper backing and is very sticky. Be warned, if you work the tape too much it will tear, it's about the same thickness as kitchen foil, for all I know it could be kitchen foil with glue on the back.

The best technique I'm aware of for applying it is to peel some of the backing off and apply to the edge of what you're rechroming, rather like applying a plaster. Smooth the area you're working on a little at a time, don't get too hasty with it, and gradually peel the backing off.
20120228-02.jpg.24c048ae101b25ffced7909f8ab8cd1d.jpg

Eventually, you'll have no backing on the tape and it will be smoothed to the high points (in this case) as wanted.
20120228-03.jpg.fecc416ad2be2ee34a8bb98d45210aac.jpg

Then get a trusty craft knife, the sharper the better really and a pointed one for precision. You don't need to apply pressure, the sharpness of the knife will do the work for you. Carefully cut around the edges you want to.
20120228-04.jpg.15a2c5a94eb5cae1c1f8744eae695ffb.jpg

Once you've done that, lift the excess tape from one corner and remove. It's quite sticky stuff, but if you've not pressed the excess down while you've been cutting it won't pose any difficulty. You should be left with nice crisp edges.
20120228-05.jpg.6e7edc9a9eaa5050a93f16eacf9be303.jpg

Looks and feels better than the original worn out paint.
20120228-06.jpg.c2c93273c0afdd7aca3facecb2d17058.jpg

I could do that square with one piece as the tape was wide enough - it comes in different widths - but the outer strip needed to be done in two halves. This requires a little more attention to detail as you've got to match the two pieces up. To start, apply the tape to one half as you did before.
20120228-08.jpg.f6159ab2865699a27355e5b5f49ada8d.jpg

If you can roll the tape around the edge, do, it's more secure and gives a tidier edge. The same applies if you're doing a much larger piece like a dash insert.
20120228-07.jpg.bc53d4a70848cfc0794926cc5059fb3b.jpg

Once you've got one half secure and trimmed it all, you then need to line up your second strip precisely with the first. It can be fiddly, but if you peel enough backing off to secure one end and then the other, it is straightforward enough. Eventually, after you've smoothed it all out and got it where you want it, trimmed the excess off and smoothed all the edges you should have something like this.

20120228-09.jpg.c624d518f5e85dc3dca2478dc356de73.jpg

Good as new!


It is worth noting that the plastic trim I used isn't the smoothest in the world so there are some minor dimples. The more work you put into making the surface smooth, the easier it'll be to get a perfect finish. Time will tell how hard wearing this solution is.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice touch. If you get some brasso or autosol action on that tape, it comes up even more shiny.

 

When I was about 9 the gas man left a roll of it in our kitchen. I decided I wanted a silver TV like what they gave away on the Big Breakfast, so I covered the front bezel of telly in my bedroom in the stuff, however it built up a static charge and after about 5 minutes of use it would shock the shit out of anything within a few inches.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know as well why the driver's floor pan has rotted where it has. When I was rinsing the car off the water got in the air vent in the scuttle, which I didn't know about until I moved the car and, as the incline changed, water literally came pouring out of the air vent and into the footwell, sitting precisely where the rot was. Not sure what to do about this beyond trying not to get water into those vents.

 

This will most likely be the plenum chamber drain blocked........the plenum chamber is the space under those grilles and it is where the heater air intake is. This intake has a ridge around it to stop water going into the car but if the drain is blocked water gets gets deeper than the ridge with inevitable results. Drain is in the bulkhead and visible from under the car.......I think on these it looks like a round pipe with a flat end. Insert fingers here and remove shit.......be prepared for wet arm as it holds quite a bit.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By PhilA
      Well, here we go again. I bit the bullet and bought me this.
       
       

       

       
       
      It's still up at the lot right now, there will be a miniature Collection Thread embedded in this thread when I go fetch it. Hopefully if the weather's good, that'll be this weekend.
       
      So, what is it?
       
      As the title suggests, it's a 1951 Pontiac Chieftain.
      It's got a flat-head straight eight hiding in the engine bay, 4.4 litres of it. It's bolted to a 4-speed Hydra-Matic Drive gearbox. No torque converter on this one, just a fluid coupling. 116 horses at a screaming 3700 RPM, 240lb/ft at 2000. It idles at 375 RPM. Redline just shy of 4k.
      Did I mention it's quite big? Sixteen foot eight from end to end and it seats six people in comfort. Every door has a quarter-light, too. Comfort is provided by properly sized tyres and (quite surprisingly for the age of it) double independent wishbone front suspension. Steering is via worm/wheel steering box so is moderately direct and the brakes are hydraulic drums all round. Modern and scientific!
       
      It's an honest example; looks to have had a "restoration" about 15-20 years back and the rust is coming through the seams and filler. The bottoms of the door skins have gone, the bottom of the A-pillars have gone (the front doors, on a single hinge a piece still open and close with one finger!) And it's got a couple holes and blebs in all the places you would expect.
      Not much electrical works. It needs to be completely rewired because someone has "converted" it to 12V. Thankfully it was originally negative ground so that's a good start. Gauges and such can be driven from a 6V bucking converter.
      Engine has had some work done on it- starts and runs nicely with very little greb coming out of the exhaust. It's got a few gaskets that need replacing and the tappets need some major adjustment, the gearbox engages gears correctly, the steering is okay but has a lot of slack in the center and the brakes work well, dont sink or feel spongy but need adjustment.
       
      More to come. I'll post up more pictures when I get it home.
       
       
      --Phil
    • By BorniteIdentity
      This week, for the first time ever, I felt old. I have sciatica which swaps from one side to the other, arthritis in one hand and what I think is the beginnings of IBS. On top of that it took me 2 weeks to remember a registration number that once would take me 2 seconds, and I forgot my parent's wedding anniversary.

      I'm only 32.

      Shit. No I'm not. I'm 33. I forgot that too. (Genuinely)

      So, it's about time I committed some of my tales to paper. Well, a shonky server... but that's the best you can do in 2016.

      First up, a list of the cars I've owned (as best as I can remember) in chronological order.

      Main Cars
      1985 VW Polo Formel E. C158 TRT. This was given to me even before I passed my test.

      1991 Rover Metro S. J801 TAC. Bought about 3 months after I passed my test as I was convinced the Polo was about to shit its gearbox.

      1987 Volvo 360 GLT. D899 CBJ ___ Managed three months in a Metro before the small car and smaller petrol tank became a bore.



      Ford Mondeo and Honda Civic Coupe by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1999 Ford Mondeo Zetec. V384 DBJ. Still the most I've ever spent on a car. It was 3 years old and cost, from memory, about £8,000. Just think of the Rover R8s you could buy with that now!

      1987 Volkswagen Golf GTI 8v by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1987 Volkswagen Golf GTI D79 CVV. I very nearly bought a MK1 Golf 1.1 but was persuaded, by my father amusingly, to buy this one from a different friend. From memory I gave about £500 for it, and sold it to some racers later that year for about £300. Amusingly, 16 year later I'd sell the Hartge wheels that came with the car for £530.

      1999 Toyota Avensis CDX by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1999 Toyota Avensis CDX. V781 GDP. By far the best car I've ever had. Bought in 2002 for £5300, it had previously been a company car at British Telecom. I ran it from 62,000 to 174,000 before it became surplus to requirements. A German chap bought it on ebay for about £500 and drove over to collect it. Hero.

      2001 Ford Mondeo Zetec by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      2001 Ford Mondeo Zetec. Y821 EEB. I should have loved this car. I gave £500 for it in 2008 which was stupidly cheap by anybody's standards. It needed 4 tyres (which actually was nice to pick good ones for once) and a coil spring. Sadly, it was just bill after bill after bill. I sold it and promised to never own another Ford. I nearly succeeded.

      1998 Nissan Almera by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1998 Nissan Almera GX Auto. S58 NLO. My late Grandfather's car and, upon reflection, my first proper attempt at bangernomics. I bought it for £500 in 2008 from the estate and ran it for well over a year and 30,000 miles. It was also my first automatic which, whilst a bit dumb, did lock up into overdrive and give a good 36 mpg no matter how it was driven.

      2004 Ford Fiesta 1.25 LX and 2006 Ford Focus 2.0 Ghia by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      2004 Ford Fiesta Zetec. AG53 BWL. My wife's car which I ran for a couple of years when I bought her a Focus as a wedding gift.

      2003 Rover 75 by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      2003 Rover 75 Club SE. AX53 BFA. This is where my career as a serial car buyer really began. Ignoring all of the warning signs I decided to press a K Series into a daily 100 mile commute, which it did with aplomb. This wasn't actually the car I set out to buy, the one I'd agreed to buy OVERHEATED ON THE FORECOURT whilst I was doing the paperwork. Consequently I couldn't leave fast enough and bought a different car later that day.

      2004 Toyota Avensis T30-X by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      2004 Toyota Avensis T3-X. KT53 DWZ. Sensible head back on, I decided to get back into something I trusted when my 3rd son was born. This was a lovely car, but not without its problems. The VVTi oil burning issues are well documented and do frequently occur. Ironically, this was less reliable than the Rover it replaced! Despite fearing the worst and 3 months off the road, the new owner has just MOTd it.

      1999 Toyota Avensis SR by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1999 Toyota Avensis SR. V263 GDP. Back into bangernomics territory again. The last MK1 Avensis I had was the best car I'd ever had, so I hoped to replicate it with another T22 Avensis. This one came up for sale in my favourite (and rare) colour with a numberplate sequential to my previous car - so it was meant to be. I still have this now, and tomorrow it will tick around to 185,000 miles having been bought by me at 100,500.

      Side Bitches

      1974 Morris Mini 1000 by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1974 Morris Mini 1000. GEL 517N. Well, I always wanted one - and was young, free, single and well off at the time (2003). A memorable trip to buy it when I called my new girlfriend by my ex girlfriend's name 20 miles into a 200 mile weekend away. She's never forgiven or forgotten but we're still friends. Oh - and married.

      1977 Ford Capri II GL by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1977 Ford Capri II 1600 GL. SMY 675R. I can't remember why I bought this, other than I thought it'd be amusing. It was bought from Norwich for £350 and was perfectly well behaved for the 8 months that I had it (other than a flasher unit expiring). I remember being shocked just how much the windscreen would ice up inside, and duly sold it in November to a guy who was going to drive it daily! It's still alive and now, apparently, black! (Update - it's now silver!!!)

      1989 Volvo 340 DL by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1989 Volvo 340 DL. G67 AVN. I bought this for £80. Unbelievable. It was utterly bloody perfect. I wanted to do a banger rally which is why the guy gave it to me so cheap. I'm still yet to do that rally, but no longer have the car. I sold it for about £300 to a family who were clearly down on their luck who, I hope, still have the car.

      1996 Toyota Granvia by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1996 Toyota Granvia. N775 JEV. My wife and I decided to increase our numbers further and, with our 4th son on the way, larger transport was required. We quickly realised you can either have 4 children and no apparel, or apparel and no children. After trying a very tired Mercedes Viano, the Granvia was found for 1/4 of the price and it's still here 2 years later. I can safely say that we'll never sell it - it really is another member of the family.

      1993 Mercedes 190e by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1993 Mercedes 190e. L795 COJ. I've admired these cars since I was a child. In fact, one of the very few toy cars I still have from my childhood is a Mercedes 190e. Regular readers of "Memoirs from the Hard Shoulder" will know what a PITA this car has been since day 1, but I get the feeling it's a keeper. We'll see!

      1983 Ford Sierra Base 1.6 by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1983 Ford Sierra Base. GVG 510Y. Not explicitly my car, but it should be documented here for reference. Oh - and the V5 is in my name. The story is online for all to read as to how five of us acquired what is believed to be the only remaining Ford Sierra Base. Make a brew and read it, it's a fantastic story.

      1982 Ford Sierra L by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1982 Ford Sierra L. LCR 503Y. I accidentally won this on ebay for £520. Upon reflection, I shouldn't have sold it - but short stop of saying I regret it. I could never get truly comfortable driving it and, in fairness, I could scratch my Sierra itch with the base if I wanted. Sold it at a stupid profit of £1250. It is believed to be the oldest remaining Ford Sierra in the UK.

      1979 Volvo 343 DL by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1979 Volvo 343 DL. DBY 466T As you'll see above, I'd had a 360GLT as a younger lad and fancied one of these earlier cars. The variomatic is, frankly, terrible but amusing. This car has just 8000 miles on the clock and inside was absolutely timewarp. Sadly, the huge bill for the Mercedes 190e cylinder head rebuild meant I had to sell this car shortly after acquiring it. Since then I've had a bit of money luck, and now realise I didn't need to sell it after all. Typical.

      I think that's it. My arthritis is playing up even more now. I've left out a few cars that were actually my wife's, but if I find pictures will add them in at a later date. I'll run this as an ongoing thread on cars and what's happening.

      Current SitRep:

      Purple Avensis: Just about to click over 185,000. Minor drama this week when an HT lead split but otherwise utterly fantastic, fantastically boring and boringly reliable.

      Granvia: Just done 1000 miles in a month around Norfolk, 6 up with suitcases. 31mpg achieved on the way up which is good for an old tub with a 3.0 Turbo Diesel on board. ODO displaying 175,000 which is a mix of miles and kilometers. Say 130,000 miles for argument's sake.

      Mercedes: Being a PITA. It's had the top end completely rebuilt after the chain came off. Now needs welding to pass another MOT and the gearbox bearings are on strike. It's about to go into the garage for winter until I can stomach it again. 151,000 miles on the clock.

      Sierra bASe: Still on sabbatical with AngryDicky who only took it bloody camping in cornwall! Legend.
    • By captain_70s
      Hullo,
       
      I'm a masochist from Leeds who is running two rusty, worn out Triumph Dolomites as my only transport in rural Aberdeenshire. You might recognise me from various other forums and Facebook groups. Realistically I need to buy a modern car of some sort, but instead I find myself looking at £300 Citroen BXs and Triumph Acclaims on Gumtree and thinking "yeah, that'd fit right in with the rest of the broken cars I can't afford".
       
      On to the cars, the main attraction being my 1976 1850HL "50 Shades of Yellow" that I bought for £850 and is currently my daily driver, here is a picture of it before I sanded off some surface rust and sprayed it badly in the wrong shade of yellow with rattle cans:
       

       
      Within a month of purchase I managed to plant it in to a steel fence backwards after a botched gear change on a wet roundabout and ruined the N/S rear wing, although judging by the other dent that's packed with filler it looks like somebody had already done the same. I also managed to destroy a halfshaft and one of my Sprint alloys (good for an extra 15hp) in the incident, so now it's sitting on it's original steelies but painted black (good for an extra 5hp).
       
      It's only broken down on me twice. once with some sort of fuel delivery related problem which may or may not have been an empty fuel tank and once when the thermostat jammed shut and it overheated and blew out some O-rings for the cooling system. It has recently developed a taste for coolant and oil which is rather annoying, although it's done 89,300 miles which is about 80,000 more miles than BL engineering is designed to last, I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines... 
      I tried to keep ahead of the rust a bit by rubbing down the arches and re-painting them, but apparently rattle can paint isn't great when you are spraying it at -5C, it also highlighted how although my car might have been Inca Yellow in 1976 it's now more of a "cat piss" sort of shade. So I ended up with the wrong shade of yellow which has rust coming back through after 5 weeks. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
       
      The other car is the first "classic" car I bought, so I can't bear to sell it. It's a '77 Dolomite 1300 and it cost £1400 (about £400 too much) and has been nothing but a pain in the arse:
       

       
      It looks much prettier (from 100 yards) but that's most due to the darker paintwork hiding the rust. It lives a mollycoddled life in my garage, where it somehow still manages to rust, and is utterly rubbish. 0-60 is measured on a calendar, top speed is 80ish but at that point it uses more oil than petrol, it rarely ventures over 50mph and if you encounter an incline of any sort you can kiss that sort of speed goodbye, along with about £20 of 20W50 as it vanishes out of the exhaust in the form of blue smoke.
       
      One of the PO's had clearly never heard of the term "oil change" so it developed into brown sludge that coated everything internally with the next owner(s) blissfully pouring fresh oil on top of it. This lasted until about 600 miles into my ownership when there was muffled "pop" from the engine bay and the car became a 3-cylinder. The cause was catastrophic wear to the top end causing a rocker arm to snap:
       

       
      As this was my first classic car I'd assumed it was supposed to sound like the engine was full of marbles, it wasn't.
       
      I put the engine back together with second hand bits declared it utterly fucked and promptly did another 5000 miles with it. After about 3500 of those miles the oil burning started, valve seals have gone so it's been relegated to my parent's garage as a backup car and something to take to local car shows as the 1850 is now embarrassingly ugly. I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines (deja vu, anybody?) Oh, I also recently reversed it into a parked Ford Fiesta and royally fucked up the rear bumper, rear panel and bootlid. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
       
      There have been two other cars in my life. My first car, a 2008 Toyota Yaris 1.0 an it's replacement a 2012 Corsa 1.4T. I didn't really want either of them, but it's a long story involving my parents and poor life choices. Ask if you want to hear it!
       
      So that's a brief summary of my current shite. If you want more pictures or details of anything do say as I've got photos of almost everything I'd done with the cars.
    • By danthecapriman
      As many of you might have read on the grin thread and my thread about yank headlights on Volvo 740's, I should have acquired myself this one. I've just got a few pics of said Volvo pre rescue as it sits.
       
      For those who don't know, it's an 88 740 estate in 2.3 auto GLE spec (my favourite!) which was owned by my sisters boyfriends grandad. He passed away this year and the cars just been sat unused since mid 2015.
      The family are clearing the property and I was told the Volvo and others were going to most likely go for scrap. I said I'd take the Volvo and asked for a price only to be told I could have it!
       
      The Wolseley 1300 apparently is already spoken for so hopefully that will be saved or at least donate some parts. The Volvo should become mine at some point but the caravan and Omega will probably get weighed in.
       
      So here are the few pics I have to go on.
       
      IMG_0331 by Dan Clark, on Flickr
       
      IMG_0332 by Dan Clark, on Flickr
       
      IMG_0329 by Dan Clark, on Flickr
       
      IMG_0333 by Dan Clark, on Flickr
       
      The Volvo looks ok from the little I can see and having run an MOT history check it seems a good one. It's a low miler at 90k and seems to of only done a couple of thousand miles between tests. Most of the fails seem to be for stupid stuff.
       
      So the plan at the moment will be to try to get it running and moving then try to get it back home. At the moment it's a 100 miles or so away.
       
      To be continued...
    • By Shirley Knott
      Greetings all.
       
      After lurking here for a short while, frankly liking what I see and enjoying the various shite, the site has well and truly struck a chord with me. I'm a serial buyer of ropey sub £1k vehicles, don't have to but genuinely enjoy it.
       
      I feel like I might (Just might) have found my 'spiritual' home here
       
      I've been posting across the web on owner specific forums (Usually using either my JoeyEunos or RandomPrecion handles) for a while now, but from here-on-in I will pull my threads together and merge them here into one ghastly topic.
       
      My current steeds...
       
      Lupo 1.7 SDI
       
      SAM_5560 by
       
      and the work/story so far...http://forums.clublupo.co.uk/index.php?/topic/102863-joeyeunoss-sdi-beater/
       
      Golf Mk4 SDI
       
       
      SAM_5531 by
       
      and the thread.... http://uk-mkivs.net/topic/597074-project-slow/
       
      Early (1989) Mk1 Eunos (This one was recently sold)
       
      SAM_4656 by
       
      the thread...http://www.mx5nutz.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=213274
       
      Other shite I've owned and moved on in the last year include this ropey Passat...
       
      SAM_6011 by
       
      and this legendary £300 Fiesta Finesse...
       
      Festa by
       
      Cars I'd like to own/actively looking for in the forthcoming weeks/months/years...
       
      Rover 75 (Dizzler)
      Peugeot 405 (XUD)
      Mk1 Octavia (Estate/dizzler, pre pd or SDI)
      Honda CRV (Gen1)
      Volvo 240/850
×
×
  • Create New...