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KruJoe

R8 Loveliness

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As has been common knowledge for several years now, I've been nursing a persistent horn for a nice little R8 hatchback. On arrival back in the country I put the feelers out once again, and a certain B.Williams of Cavcraft Ltd put me on to this one, advertised on SWAPZ.co.uk - somewhere I never thought to look. Turns out they had a better selection on there than on Gumtree! (Have a look on there guys.) I was gonna share the ad and pics with you, but he's taken it down already.

 

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I was ready to pay cash outright, but the chap expressed interest in the BX as a fresh project, so we struck a deal, easy as pie. I told him about the crustiness-around-the-edgesness of the Shitroen, and its valve-stem-oil-seal-porousness, and felt guilty about the differing conditions of the two vehicles, so I said I'd put some cash his way too. I started the bidding at a cheeky £50, and he bit my hand off! To be fair, the BX had two-thirds of a tankful, and a year's tax in the window, but I'm well pleased.

 

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I'd been holding out for a nice 214 for taxband mingebaggery, but I just couldn't keep it in my pants any longer, and this one had a fresh six months on it anyway. The 1.4 K series have plenty of go when they've been looked after (101bhp?), but this one has the pre-vtec 1.6 fizzpot, and very nice it is too.

 

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First impressions:

It's pretty, even in white. 1993-94 cars came with the prettiest of pretty faces; long indicators and lacking the daft fauxchrome grille. The simple wedge shape is a triumph, floating roofs are for winners.

 

Everything feels 'right'. Lovely weight and positioning of the controls, clearly a Ronda. The Jap influence is obvious, without the crap interior. Slightly sad it's not beige inside, but the grey fits the monochrome theme.

 

The lump is 'sweet as a nut', as well as eager. Short gearing for the pelican crossing GP, I'm gonna love this on the lanes around here. Just as well I'm not on motorways much - 60mph = 3000 rpm. Above that it's a bit buzzy, but still has loads left.

 

It's not perfect, and I don't know that I'll ever make it so, but it has worn its 98k very well. There are still plenty about for around scrap money and less, good ones for a monkey. They're deeply unfashionable, and they're getting bridged, so grab one while you can, you won't regret it!

Unloved, cheap as chips, and a surprisingly good steer - what more could any Autoshiter want?

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Looks like a cracker. The 1600 is a sweet little lump isn't it? I used to cadge a lift to work with a chap who had a 416 Tourer, and I always thought the interior to be well apppointed, if a spot short in the rear legroom department.

 

What was the A team van based on? I can see the hightop and sidewindows so it obviously wasn't done acurately.

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Brilliant purchase Joe. I love these R8s and often get the horn on for an early 216. I'd love to own one at some point. Sadly though, with the prospect of owning 5 Rover 800s and no more possible storage solutions, owning a 200 is looking an impossible factor.

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Ace purchase!

 

Only thing I replaced on mine, apart from service items in 3 1/2 years were trailing arm bushes. Paid £275, insurance valued it at £500 when they wrote it off...

 

Got a Haynes BOL and genuine rear mats going begging if they're any use to you?

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Nice one, Joe! You can get some good deals on Swapz (once you ignore the morons etc) and as you've seen it can be quite painless to exchange motors. Have to 'fess I like those Rovers, if I had a choice I'd have a really early [G reg?] 1.4 hatchback in that sort of mid/china/whatever blue colour.

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Thanks guys!

Lol'd at BoLoX. :D Not sure about the van - I'm completely clueless about yank stuff. I think it had a stack-light front end if that helps ID it.

 

@ Rover414: I still have that good 1.4 engine available if you need it for yours.

Does this means you won't be doing another epic weldathon before Chumley ;)
Well, Will has relieved me of the Samara, so I have a spare classic policy... I don't plan to leave that hanging, so we'll see!

 

Got a Haynes BOL and genuine rear mats going begging if they're any use to you?

Thanks Gary, does the HBOL the Honda lump? I already have one for the 214, which covers everything else. I think I'm ok for mats, thank you.

 

Billy, I think that colour you're on about is called 'Henley Blue'. I'm no colour nerd or owt, that was the hue of my first car, a 1990 Mini City. And yes, an early R8 does look good in that paint, it is a proper 'primary colours' blue, and suits the simple styling well.

 

Right!

First jobs on this one. Where should I start looking for the source of wetness in the boot of this one? The boot hinge area is prone to rust on these, and it can run in there from the roof, but this one it as clean as a whistle there. But it's minging under the carpet, and the spare has its own paddling pool.

 

Also, where can I find the radio code for the Rover head unit? It has been out at some point, but I think it's the original one.

 

Thanks in advance, I'm off to mop out the boot. L8RZ.

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Does this means you won't be doing another epic weldathon before Chumley ;)
Well, Will has relieved me of the Samara, so I have a spare classic policy... I don't plan to leave that hanging, so we'll see!

 

That sounds promising ... can the folk of AS have a say on what rusty shitbox you buy for Chumley then? .... pretty please :lol:

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Jeez, he doesn't hang about does he? 24 hours ago 'André' the Preview (geddit?) looked a bit of a state - it probably still does if you can see past the white-in-bright-sunlight pictures. All he's done is given the undersized Saxo steels and 205 XT centre-caps combo a quick blow over. Without taking them off the car.

Will watch with interest.

 

Edit: Sorry to dissapoint, JP!

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I know my last two dailies have been this colour, but 'recession white' is a bit to fashionable for me at the moment. I can't keep a car clean for longer than half a day, and when they're grubby, my motors just look like the old shitters they are. However, one bonus I've noticed today, is that the locals on the lanes around here see an old white car, and they instantly know it's us! It usually takes a week or two for them to get used to my change of motor, but not this time!

 

Pm'd back, Gary. Thanks. (Edit, his name's Barry, not Gary. :oops: He's such a nice chap, he didn't even mention it :oops: )

 

'Ronda' has been pressed into service already this morning, so she's already mucked up, but have another pic of her pretty face:

 

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The grey will help to hide the muck, but I do have some genuine moulded mud flaps to go on, from the 214 breaker in the field.

 

I can see why you fancy a go, LordSter, it does look like a baby 800 from most angles. By the way, has anyone made a Mk1 800 with long indicators, or a Mk2 sans grille? I'd love to see a pic if you have one.

 

Nice R8! For the damp in the boot I'd check the rear lights for any cracks, and also the light seals.
Ooh, thanks for the pointer.

 

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I first thought this mark was paint transfer from white van man, but looking closely, it is condensation behind tape, which has been put over a crack in the red plastic. To be honest, I don't think much water will be getting in there. I'll pop the lights off though, and have a look at the seals, and while I'm at it, I'll have to see if the clusters on the 214 are any better than this.

I wasn't exaggerating about the dampness...

 

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Yes, the tyre IS actually mouldy!

 

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WTF?

 

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Mollusc!

I scooped out what I could, and really did mop it out. It's still rather grubby and warty in there, but most of the brown is from the manky steely. I'm hoping.

I've left everything open in there, with the dehumidifier sucking it dry overnight so we'll have another look tomorrow.

 

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Don't be expecting VolksAngular levels of sprucing here, I just want to iron out a few niggles and enjoy using it. So far so happy :)

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By the way, has anyone made a Mk1 800 with long indicators, or a Mk2 sans grille? I'd love to see a pic if you have one

 

I have a pic somewhere of a V-reg mk2 800 with a mk1 bonnet. Brad did this sometime back when he had the car, I'll need to dig out the picture. One of the other lads who had a mk1 800 did fit a mk2 long-indicatored wing to it of which I also have a pic of, the wing was a different colour which sort of spoils it.

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One of my first cars was an M-reg 414i Sprint which was quite a jolly thing - sadly M497 KVP was burnt out behind the Co-op in Lesmahagow.

 

My boss swears by R8s, currently running two, rebuilding one and scrapping three for bits - his daily P-reg 416 kettle powered example is currently on 230k-odd and the one he's rebuilding is from Rover/manual to Honda/auto for his wife.

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Shep's top R8 tip: Remove the small circular rubber bung in the spare wheel well on a permanent basis to allow water finding its way into it a means of escape. I did this to my 1994 214Si back in the early 2000s after I tried unsuccessfully several times to stop the tail lights from letting in water, which invariably found its way into the spare wheel well. How I loathed the car for that, and the fact that the lacquer on its roof started to peel off when it was only eight years old. Not long after I bought The Volvo, I scrapped it, due to lack of interest and incipient OMG HGF issues - good riddance.

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