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DLR's Cars - Swedish Stablemates

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  • 1 month later...
Thank you for your kind words everyone! Does make it seem worthwhile now.
Although over a month on from the MOT I have not been able to make use of the 45 and this leaves me with a dilemma. Would it be worth selling it? I am having trouble trying to find a reasonable insurance quote for it as my no claims are currently on my 75's policy. The cheapest I can come up with is £97 a month and I just cannot justify spending that sort of cash when I need to be focusing on other things at present. I did toy with the idea of selling the 75 and driving this again, but when I advertised it I was messed around by a potential buyer. The previous owner then made contact and tried to haggle using "faults" with the car as leverage for a better deal, although the "faults" he described were/are non-existent as far as I can tell, so I told him where to go! So for now I would like to keep the 75, at least for a while longer.
That said, Would there be any interest on here for my 45? It has done a genuine 34,554 miles and despite the obvious cosmetic flaws the engine, gearbox and clutch are fantastic. It is well spec'd too, being fitted with heated seats, electric sunroof, headlamp washers and rear parking sensors. Never failed an MOT!

I honestly have no clue how much it would be worth. It has 11 months MOT and has had all the major jobs done. The head gasket, cambelt, water pump and thermostat have been replaced, it had a complete exhaust system and 4 tyres fitted last year and have done minimal miles since, plus the clutch was done the year before I bought it. It drives spot on and there was no structural damage when it was written off, it was all cosmetic.  There are a couple of pictures of it on page 1 of this thread, I have tried to take some better ones but the camera on my cheapy smart phone has corrupted the photos or something. I get that 45s aren't worth a great deal and this one has lost the uniqueness of its pre-accident giffer condition, but it is still a sound car to drive and has had all major jobs done. 
Would it be reasonable to ask around £350? 
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  • 2 years later...

Holy thread resurrection, Batman!


I don't post here often. In fact, barely. I do follow this forum regularly though, but don't often feel like I have much to contribute...


...until now!


This update will be coming to you in two parts. One to bring you up to speed, the next to talk about future plans.



So to recap, when I last posted (nearly three years ago) I had two cars - my write-off Rover 45 and my Rover 75 Tourer:






At the time (March 2016), I was working in an office and decided I only needed one car. I put both cars up for sale with the plan of seeing which car went first and keeping the car that remained. As it happens, the 45 sold within 24 hours of advertising it on Gumtree. Bought by a couple of Polish lads from Salisbury new to the area and wanted something reliable to use for work. They saw the stack of invoices I had for previous work done to the car (headgasket, cambelt, tyres, brakes, the list goes on) and took it, despite the 45 looking a tad battered. Decision made, I kept the 75. In hindsight, I wish the 75 had sold and I kept the 45...


I kept the 75 as my daily and to begin with it proved to be lovely. Sadly the Rover charm took hold and it slowly just...fell apart. Doorcards fell off, many interior trim bits snapped, three of the four doors stopped locking, the boot had a swimming pool where the spare wheel was, the exhaust fell off, it was so damp inside it refused to demist (I think there was a problem with the climate control). To the seasoned shiter, this list is not exactly daunting. However after so many years driving cars full of foibles, I decided that enough was enough. 


In the interim I changed jobs and became a Coach Driver, working in Cirencester. Around November 2016 I had a moment of clarity and decided I didn't care if it was a Rover or not - I wanted something that would just be "an car" and would get me to work in Ciren with a working heater and didn't matter if it got dings and dents (perks of parking on an industrial estate meant the 75 was slowly becoming battered). So late one evening in November, I bought this:




A 2004 Ford Mondeo. 1.8 petrol manual, perfect for being "an car". I bought it for £700 from a man near Cricklade, late at night in the pouring rain. I put around 5,000 miles on it in just over two months and apart from needing a top-up of oil it was actually a pretty decent car. Sold it for £450 in Mid-January to recently retired taxi driver who wanted a runabout after handing his taxi back. I probably could've got more for it but I do like an easy life.


Early January 2017 and I wanted to buy myself a proper car. Something that could possibly be a forever car, something that could withstand the commute and would last me a good while with minimal time off the road, something none of my Rovers could ever manage. Driving the coaches meant I was earning a reasonable wage and now was the time to make the investment. A trip to Johnsons Cars in Knowle in January 2017 and I bought this:




A 2008 Saab 9-5. Apparently this was the "Centenary Edition" which means it's a rather good spec - cream leather, electric drivers seat, parking sensors, top of the range speaker system (9 speakers?!) and heated seats front AND rear. I mean, what?! a heated seat in the BACK of the car? Can think of some appropriate uses for that...


Demo + one owner from new, only 31,000 miles on the clock at time of purchase. 1.9 GM diesel manual. Dame Edna spec, so a facelifted version of a car originally designed and released in the '90s. Dated design from a defunct manufacturer with the least desirable engine - so nothing like my Rovers! 


Thoughts? Very comfortable car, not as economical as I'd have expected but I don't think that the 5 speed helps with that - I gather that the 9-3 got a 6 speed manual. Eats up the miles and has not spent a day off the road since I bought it. There's 70,000 miles on the clock now and apart from needing an alternator and a few bits for the MOT, it just works. I know I'd never get the money back if I sold it, but I have no intentions to get rid. Since buying the Saab I have started studying in Bristol and I regularly commute back to Swindon to see family and to Cirencester for work, so it spends most of its time looking like this:




Although it does scrub up well - I deep cleaned it on Christmas Eve in-between jobs:




During the summer last year I decided I wanted a van. I really want a Transporter - we have two at work which are used as shuttles for drivers and mechanics and, despite the opinion of VWs being all about appearances, ours seem to withstand the daily abuse from different drivers and have done a combined mileage of 500,000. Sadly even the most worn-out transporters are horrendously expensive for what they are, plus I don't need all that space. In August 2018 I bought this:




2004 VW Caddy. I forget what engine this had, but it was either 1.9 or 2 litre diesel. Non-turbo, epically slow but reliable. I used it as budget accommodation for overnights in Devon. Dubbed it "Hotel Caddy-fornia". Grim really, carpet and an airbed in the back. Not dodgy in the slightest! Saved a fortune in hotels though. Used it to move my worldly goods to Bristol and then it just sat around not being used.




Some of my worldly goods. You'll note that there's a drinks cabinet in there. Yes, when I found out I was going to uni again I decided to invest in a drinks cabinet to store the alcohol in and add a touch of class to my humble little bedsit. Only the essentials for the next three years of study...


Kept until November 2018, juggling work and uni meant I wasn't really using it. Plus I had nowhere to keep it in Bristol, so I sold it.


For the diecast lovers amongst you, I procured these models of my fleet as-was. Not often I can get scale models of my vehicles in the correct colours!




That brings me to the present day. I spend my time between three towns and cities, I commute several hundred miles a week in a Saab. I have no storage space for anything else and I have no practical vehicles to move my stuff in the summer. The next car on my list needs to be an estate of some description, so any other purchases need to fulfil this criteria and be a sensible choice.


But wait, what's this?




To be continued...

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The reason for my update. Story time, this is going to be rather pic-heavy.


Around two years ago, I still had intentions of getting another Rover 800. In Swindon there was an older chap who drove a 1999 Rover 820 and he became somewhat of a celebrity in our house. Nicknamed "Rover Man", our family would tell each other if we saw Rover Man driving around. We all admired his car from a distance, remembering fondly those days of old when I had my 800s and my father and grandfather had theirs. 


I had one set of criteria - if I were to buy another 800, it would have to be a two litre T-series with a manual gearbox. I found this was the best combination for me - not too thirsty and enough poke to keep up with modern traffic. I would also want an R17 saloon, preferably pre-95 but I'd take a newer model.


I also said that should I ever see Rover Man's 800 come up for sale then I'd have it. I'm sure you can see where this is going...


As it happens, around two years ago I ran into Rover Man in person. We both use the same GP surgery and one afternoon I saw him in the car park. I tentatively approached him with the usual annoying drivel of "love your car, had a few of these" etc. Rover Man humoured me and filled me in on the history of the car. He'd owned it from new, bought from the local Rover dealer (Swindon Automobiles) and had no intentions to sell. He filled me in on the spec and let me have a nosey round it - two litre, manual, saloon...I'm sure you can see where this is going...


I gave Rover Man my number (all I had to hand were my Driver cards from work which had my mobile number and my company's details on them). We parted ways and that was that.


Fast forward to three weeks ago. I've just finished a lecture in which I spent three hours pretending to be a Sloth (drama students, wierd) and I get a call from my boss "am I your bloody secretary, some randomer has called asking for you to talk about a Rover 800". Yep, Rover Man's Rover has failed its MOT and he wants to sell up.


I arranged to go and have a look. The only free time I had was in the evening after a shift at work. So I turned up in the dark, it looked alright if a little "lived-in". Took it for a drive and it drove just as I remembered my 800s of old. A price was agreed and a week later I arrived home with this:




Looks smart in the dark, no? Amazing what streetlights and Instagram filters can do...


So I parked my latest purchase on my parent's drive and headed back to Bristol to finish my lectures for the week. I had some free time Friday afternoon, so I came back to have a look at my purchase in the daylight for the first time.






Doesn't look too bad! Let's take a closer look at the exterior...






All corners look much like this...


Other points to note:








Scuffs and scratches all over, plus the wing mirror has been subject to a knock/bad repair. The adjuster doesn't work...



All the alloys look like this. Corroded, paintwork peeling and emblems delaminating...
All the chrome looks like this - cracked and milky. 
Being a 20 year old Rover, there are some frilly bits that will need attention...
Scuttle panel is holed...
Arches need attention...
This is just one of the sills. The other isn't much better. One of the reasons that it failed its MOT. Looks like it has been patched a few times...
Shall we have a look at the interior?
First impressions it doesn't look too bad, if a little filthy. Few things to note:
Window switch doesn't match...
Dash has done the usual and lifted. Not the worst I've seen, but would need sorting...
Look at my scabby knob!
Shall we take a look at the engine?
Phwoar, look at that T-series! Doesn't look too bad for 123,000 miles. Looks to have been serviced recently. But wait, what's that?
The expansion tank has been replaced with a different one! I'm guessing that this is a Volvo one which has been retrofitted? The bracket makes it look like a professional job!
And for you number plate pervs, check out these original plates and their pre-2001 font:
Complete with original supplying dealer info. I'd love to get a replica set of these made, but I think plates are a low priority.
So in summary, what does it need? Well, I have a small list as follows:
 - Heater blower doesn't work, possibly new motor required
 - Car has two remotes, but one doesn't work at all (one of the buttons has fallen off) and the other has had replacement buttons soldered on and is temperamental. As the car needs the remote to disarm the immobiliser, this would need sorting as a priority
 - There are no radio codes to unlock the radio or EKA codes to disarm the immobiliser
 - Wiring needs investigating in the drivers door - whenever the window switch is used the dash lights flicker on and off as if the current is being interrupted. This means that I can't sync the windows so they are doing the "beep" thing
 - Both rear doors don't work on the central locking
 - Clutch pedal is low, but still engages gear fine. I think this is a slave cylinder issue as my previous 820 had a similar issue
 - WELDING - sills as priority
 - Exhaust sounds throaty, suspect it is blowing from the back box - further investigation required 
There's probably more, I'll update as I remember. 
Why did I buy it? Sentimental reasons, I suppose. I'd made a promise to take it on but I think that right now with uni and work I don't have time or funds to be tackling this level of a project. Had I looked at it in daylight I'd probably have turned it down, but the history file is full to bursting and is one of the reasons I bought it. Plan is to leave it until the summer and re-evaluate things then. In the meantime, I need to find a garage by the end of March otherwise it's staying on the folk's driveway (I'm sure they'd be well chuffed at that). Also I am going to need something estate-shaped during the summer to lug my crap round from flats to houses and whatnot, so I'm thinking Volvo 850/V70...
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Amazing. Good to hear from you again Dan. I am a bit worried though as I also have a beard and glasses. Is this so we don't get recognised driving 800s?


I'm well out of the 800 game. Still jave my most of my 800s still, Mk1 820e/825 Sterling, KV6 Sterling, 827 Sterlings etc... but life has taken over and theu are now just sitting around getting worse for wear. Like you with your Saaaaaab I also now have a Vectra estate 2.2 SRi DTi because fuel consumption. My BMW was costing me £50 a week on petrol.


I am determined to get back tonmessing and driving my 800s but it'll be a small while before I do.

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Wow that's essentially the twin of my recently acquired 820, but mine hasn't suffered with seemingly any rust issues....yet, but no one has replaced the cracked expansion tank.


Love the cream interior. Mine is humdrum grey.


Thanks, I have always preferred a cream interior over grey or black in my cars. Oddly enough, this is the first 800 I've had with a cream interior - the photos flatter it, the seats and trim are in need of a bloody good scrub!


Amazing. Good to hear from you again Dan. I am a bit worried though as I also have a beard and glasses. Is this so we don't get recognised driving 800s?


I'm well out of the 800 game. Still jave my most of my 800s still, Mk1 820e/825 Sterling, KV6 Sterling, 827 Sterlings etc... but life has taken over and theu are now just sitting around getting worse for wear. Like you with your Saaaaaab I also now have a Vectra estate 2.2 SRi DTi because fuel consumption. My BMW was costing me £50 a week on petrol.


I am determined to get back tonmessing and driving my 800s but it'll be a small while before I do.


Howdy Mo! Yes indeed, beards are a requirement for driving anything old and British it seems! Although I have to say mine is a side-effect of not having time to shave, Uni is taking much of my time up at the moment (two performances, a portfolio of written work and an essay due in the next month) plus spending anywhere from 30 hours plus at work a week (with two hours of commuting a day) means time is a luxury these days. Wouldn't have it any other way though!


Glad to hear you've still got your 800s, I know I've said it before but if you ever did decide to get rid of any then I'd have the 820e back (for a third time)! Not that you will sell up, you'll get to a point when you can sort them out I'm sure. I have faith in you! Life will find a way.


Glad to see you back here - a nice, eventful few years of chod there!


That Mondeo looks sensible, so no wonder you ended up with a mismatched paneled Caddy and (most of) a Rover 800.


Top punnery on Hotel Caddy-fornia too:)


Thank you, apparently it was my pun used in the advert that caught the interest of the bloke who eventually bought it! Miss having a van though, even if my time with it was brief...


Tremendous update! Love the 800!


Thank you! Despite the cosmetic challenges it does drive rather nicely. I need to make friends with a welder!



I have to say it has been a refreshing time not tinkering with cars and having something that just works. This Saab has taken me to many places at little notice, mainly France several times, Belgium twice and a trip over to Amsterdam with a friend over New Year. I've also been able to focus on earning some cash and exploring my creative endeavours without having my head under the bonnet every weekend, which has been nice. I have no plans to get rid of the Saab any time soon - it's earned a permanent place in my "fleet" and I hope to get a couple more years out of it before spending big on it again (hopefully AFTER I've finished my degree). It's not exactly Autoshite, though. Maybe it would be at home in the Modern section? As I say, a 90s design that has been facelifted more than ten years from its initial release and fitted with a GM engine that doesn't really suit it...it may be new(ish) but it's still a bit of a mongrel!




EDIT: In fact I did have to replace a heater bypass valve, or something on it last summer. Quite common, apparently. Only problem is it's right at the back of the engine between the bulkhead and the engine block. Perfect for the lanky DIY mechanic, not so ideal for a five-foot-nothing short arse such as myself. The only way I could reach it was by lying on top of the engine bay with my feet dangling off the front of the car... My colleague took a photo, I'll see if I can find it - not only is it hilarious, it also demonstrates one of the reasons I dislike working on cars. Access may be good if you're Mr Tickle, not so much if you're the runt of the litter!

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  • 1 year later...

I seem to check in every year or two to update this. I need to post on this forum more, I visit regularly but never post!!

So, according to my last post in 2019 I had my Saab 9-5 and a Rover 800. Let's see what's changed...

I had the 800 for a while, but sadly made no progress on it. A friend of a friend agreed to take it on, paid me for it and sent a truck to pick it up. Not heard anything of it since. I'd imagine it went to a breakers as it's not been taxed or MOTd since. Ah well.

So, fast forward to March 2020. Start of the pandemic and the world going to shit. I'm down to the one car - my Saab 9-5. Uni is going well, I'm picking up good shifts at work, recently had a two night sell-out show at a theatre in Clifton with one of my plays. All is good in the world of Dan. Then I had to isolate because my housemate was unwell, meaning I can't go into Uni or work. 7 days into my isolation and Uni has closed the doors, Boris has announced a national lockdown and then I get a phone call from my boss. The company was going under and I no longer had a job. Bugger.

As well as studying at Uni I am a Coach Driver. I have been since 2016 and it's been the best job I ever had. I enjoyed it so much that I stayed on with the same company as a Part Time/Casual driver while at Uni. Bear in mind I was studying/living in Bristol and the company was in Cirencester, I must've enjoyed it to do that commute!

The reason for the background is that this meant the firm was selling up the fleet of vehicles. As well as the myriad of Coaches, there were two VW transporters - one used for "VIP" work and the other, a 9 seater minibus used as a hack for drivers to use as a runabout. From day one I always said I'd be interested in buying "FOT" to turn into a camper (I know, so original) and despite the cosmetic challenges I knew it was in fine fettle mechanically, with it getting anything it needed whenever it needed it. At the beginning of May the vehicles were auctioned on a specialist site. I ended up bidding on both. I won "FOT".  


I'm afraid I don't have many photos of it, this one is from the auction. Cosmetically not brilliant, mechanically spot on. 1.9 Diesel engine as found in most VAG products. I had big plans for this - I loved driving it more than any car I've ever owned, plus it had a huge sentimental value in being my final link to my old employer that treated me like family. Come September 2020 I had moved closer to the centre of Bristol and parking is a premium. I had also not found new regular employment, save a few odds and sods for a friend of mine and another local company. I deliberated selling a kidney, but then made the heartbreaking decision to let FOT go. In the short time I had it I moved several friends around the country in it - North Wales, Wiltshire, Gloucester, to name but a few - and started doing small things to improve it. New wheel trims, new key programmed (I hate not having a spare) new rear high level brake lights (that since fell off again) plus LOTS of cleaning. Sold to a man near Newport as a replacement for his T4. 

For a van that had done over 240,000 miles it was actually decent to drive and to date it is the only vehicle I made a profit on. I know profit is a dirty word, but when I lost my job in March I got no redundancy, no furlough or sick pay. A week after selling this I ended up catching COVID...



Fast forward to December 2020. Life is falling apart. Uni has gone tits up, Still no work or income and I'm still suffering the after effects of COVID. Not to worry, I have Christmas to look forward to! So the day before Christmas Eve I load up my trusty Saab and begin my journey home to Swindon. I made it as far as Bath before the Saab had a massive FTP in the fast lane of the M4. I nursed it off the motorway and it kept dying every time I started it. When I eventually got it going it was stuck in Limp Mode and wouldn't go over 40. So I turned around, nursed it back to Bristol and then started to panic. Couldn't get it into a garage because Christmas, my fault code reader wouldn't talk to it (I don't have Tech 2) and a visual inspection of anything I could think of proved fruitless. Cue an evening on Gumtree and I found a shortlist of cars local to me. I believe the list consisted of a newish Vectra, a '98 Passat and an '02 Mondeo. Messages were sent along the lines of "look, no messing, this is what I can offer you, can I please come and collect asap". Vectra was sold, Passat couldn't be picked up until after New Year and Mondeo man said "Yes, if you can come this afternoon". So I drained my bank account, got a taxi to somewhere on the Portway and was greeted with this:



One owner from new, was his company car from new then bought off the company. Serviced in November 2020, only ever seen a Ford Dealer - no backstreet garages for this one! Two Litre LX spec, meaning it had air con, all round electric windows and a CD player. Had serious taxi vibes but was a belter of a car. The chap only sold it because he was picking this up from the dealer and saw a car on the forecourt he liked the look of and bought that. Deal done, I used it for a month while the Saab was off the road and being a big hatchback proved useful when I had to leave my Student house rather suddenly - gents, living with three women sounds like the dream but I can assure you it was anything but! 

Fast forward to two weeks ago. Having moved back to my parent's gaff in Swindon with the Mondeo I realised that, whilst it was a good car, a load lugger it was not. Good at taking big stuff compared to the Saab, but I still had to make a few trips back and forth. Now my life plan is a bit skewed at the moment. I've a degree to finish, but I've money to earn. I love Bristol, but I feel like a fresh start. So in the absence of a full time job offer from the company I've been doing "casual" work for (read - no shifts since November) I've been applying for jobs all over the country and I want to try and move in one hit if I can. I no longer have my useful VW van, so what's the next best thing? An estate, of course!

I had a look around Gumtree for any decently sized estate I could find. Then I found one - nice shade of Green, good spec with heated leather seats and air con, I thought it was worth asking if the chap would be interested in my Mondeo. Turns out he was! So a deal was done (locally and COVID guidelines adhered to) and I came away with this: 


2001 Volvo V70. 2.4 petrol automatic - it's rather brisk when it wants to be!185,000 on the clock and on the exterior it shows it. Who am I kidding, the inside is tired too. And was filthy. Having been used as a dog wagon and mobile takeaway delivery car by the previous owner and a farm runabout before him, it was a bit cruddy inside. 9 hours later, it looked somewhat more presentable. I'm sorry, I don't have interior pics at present but I will upload some in due course. Imagine a pigsty in which Cruella DeVille has rolled around in a fur coat and dropped a load of McDonalds fries in. I wish I could say it stunk, but since I had COVID I seem to have permanently lost my sense of smell, so I have no idea if it stinks or not. I've been told it smells better after 9 hours of cleaning, but I have to trust that.


Apparently it has 170bhp. Or it did when it was new. I'd say it still has plenty of horses in the stable as it is rather bloody rapid when cruising, although the EML is currently on. Code reader says it's a Camshaft sensor, so I've a new one on the way. There's a clunk on the front suspension but it has recently passed an MOT, the bonnet release cable has broken (repair kit on the way, can still open it with pliers) and cracked wing mirror. Oh, and the cup holder is broken. Priorities!!

One thing that I mentioned with the VW is that not having a spare key bugs me. Timpsons said they could do a key, but they couldn't get the code from the car or something. So I ended up with a key blank cut for the car but not programmed to the immobiliser (he let me keep it for free as it was effectively useless). After some research I'm told that only Volvo can program new keys?! Screw that. £11 and another key later, some bodging with the immobiliser chip and some cable ties and suddenly I have three keys that all start the car. 

This may well be available in a month once I've moved and settled again. I love it, but once it's been used to lug my crap to a new place (either Bristol or Cornwall at this rate) I need to economise and go back down to one car. As I have had the Saab for such a long time I want to stick with it a while longer, so watch this space. In the meantime, however, I want to continue doing the little jobs to it. 


TL;DR - Rover out, lost job, VW T5 in, VW T5 out, caught COVID, Mondeo in, Mondeo out, Volvo in, Saab never left.



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  • DLR changed the title to DLR's Cars - Swedish Stablemates

Welcome back Dan! Sorry to hear everything has tits up. Life is like that. I occasionaly get a kick in the crown jewels by life but I just think "fuck it" and move on.

At least you have some Swedes in your life. I havea fucking French Peugeot 407 currently with some minor electrical issues. But it does what I want. It isn't a load lugger my lovely Vectra but hey, at least I've got 4 wheels.


Its a 2.0 TD and moves very briskly. It could've been worse and been that horrid 1.6 Diesel. 

I've just sold my G-reg Mk1 Sterling. Still have all the others though, including the D-reg 820e you sold me years ago.

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