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BorniteIdentity

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  • BorniteIdentity changed the title to Memoirs from the Hard Shoulder - Caravelle Vacation

With depleting stocks on the Bornite forecourt, and reduced mojo still a factor, attention has turned to our much loved T4 Caravelle. For newcomers, it’s a long nose, long wheel based van with starship mileage. I don’t think I’ve ever bought a vehicle that was so loved by its previous owner; not measured in bills and receipts (although he spent thousands on it) but measured in memories. They would travel to the south of France each year, and the bus was as much a member of the family as their daughters. 

In peace time, we’d head for a week to somewhere like Dorset for some holiday park action. It works well for us with four kids who, despite my best efforts, I’d really like to spend more time with. However, the Covid price structure means that we’d pay £1500 for what usually costs us about a third of that after staff and last minute discount. 

So, we’ve bought another tent (exactly the same as the one we already have for ease of erection) but I’m now realising how daft I’ve been. The Caravelle is huge inside. Remove the rear row of seats and then boot is 190cm long - comfortably enough for a full size bed. The floor space reduces around the wheels to 120 but at its widest is 160cm. Rather than buying an air bed that won’t be quite big enough (probably only a single) I’m going to nick and idea we used as kids. Every time I stayed at my Grandparents I’d sleep on the floor on the “biscuits” from our home settee. Laying them out in the van abstractly should allow max coverage; they can then be stacked during the day. This will get my wife and her broken spine out of a tent, and a child too. 

Then I realised I can likely get another shorter child across the bench in the back; probably my youngest. The width again is 160, only concern is the seats are quite narrow. I laid out two more cushions and it’s supremely comfy. 
 

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I need to think about how to stop him falling onto the floor. Those seats don’t recline, and I don’t want to be lugging stuff around just for minor trivialities like child safety. You can buy beds that have sides that strap to the headrests, but I don’t want to spunk £150 on something we may never use again. (If this is a disaster, it’s Tenerife next year!)

Any suggestions welcome here. We could remove those seats on site, but they’d need to then go somewhere and they’re cumbersome. It won’t work.

Aside from camping plans, i had to buy a new number plate for my trailer. Decided to fit the nice new one onto the van, and the old one onto the trailer. It seemed a shame to stick something new on a trailer that’s used four or five times a year, plus a chance to add a post-Brexit plate to the van. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Camping. Once cheap fun and an opportunity, if you were either Sid James or Bernard Bresslaw, to try and have your wicked way with a convent girl called ‘Babs’. 

These days, especially in the autumn of Covid, it’s actually quite an elite sport. Rather than modest tents of canvas and fibreglass construction, it’s all Air Tents and Motorhomes these days. Some pitches are commanding £60 per night, par with a Premier Inn if you can find one. 

Me being me (wanting to keep it real and keep the money in my pocket) we shopped hard and came up trumps. The first camp site we visited was hippy AF. Lots of women with either pink or blue hair, and not a bra between them. Majestic. It was proper off grid with hooks for solar showers and a marvellous wild flower meadow. We loved it so, so much.

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Each pitch was 10m x 10m with the pitches cut into the grass and 10m between pitches. Behind, your own clearing among the trees. The van accommodated four with the other two of us in the little tent. 

After this, we moved onto another place at Mundesley. This was very different; much more touristy and no chance of me catching a glimpse of my wife washing her magnificent bosom among the trees like a Timotei advert. That said, a shower was welcome and the wife was pleased not to have to lather in full view of Darren from Hull. It was 5 mins from the beach and lovely, albeit for different reasons. 
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My son got his GCSE results whilst we were on site (superb) and we’ll never forget it. 

Are we fully paid up campers now? Well, nearly. Wife struggled with her back a bit. A larger tent would have helped but I’m keen not to become someone who has to have all the latest gear and gadgets. Other than struggling to keep things dry it was great, and I’m ready to go again. 

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9 hours ago, BorniteIdentity said:

Camping. Once cheap fun and an opportunity, if you were either Sid James or Bernard Bresslaw, to try and have your wicked way with a convent girl called ‘Babs’. 

These days, especially in the autumn of Covid, it’s actually quite an elite sport. Rather than modest tents of canvas and fibreglass construction, it’s all Air Tents and Motorhomes these days. Some pitches are commanding £60 per night, par with a Premier Inn if you can find one. 

Me being me (wanting to keep it real and keep the money in my pocket) we shopped hard and came up trumps. The first camp site we visited was hippy AF. Lots of women with either pink or blue hair, and not a bra between them. Majestic. It was proper off grid with hooks for solar showers and a marvellous wild flower meadow. We loved it so, so much.

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Each pitch was 10m x 10m with the pitches cut into the grass and 10m between pitches. Behind, your own clearing among the trees. The van accommodated four with the other two of us in the little tent. 

After this, we moved onto another place at Mundesley. This was very different; much more touristy and no chance of me catching a glimpse of my wife washing her magnificent bosom among the trees like a Timotei advert. That said, a shower was welcome and the wife was pleased not to have to lather in full view of Darren from Hull. It was 5 mins from the beach and lovely, albeit for different reasons. 
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My son got his GCSE results whilst we were on site (superb) and we’ll never forget it. 

Are we fully paid up campers now? Well, nearly. Wife struggled with her back a bit. A larger tent would have helped but I’m keen not to become someone who has to have all the latest gear and gadgets. Other than struggling to keep things dry it was great, and I’m ready to go again. 

Have you considered a caravan? Those LWB T4s are great towing machines as long they're not on wet grass. Had one ourselves for a few years back in the day. Towed 1500kg,no problem. 

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1 hour ago, Dobloseven said:

Have you considered a caravan? Those LWB T4s are great towing machines as long they're not on wet grass. Had one ourselves for a few years back in the day. Towed 1500kg,no problem. 

Yes we have. The problem is twofold - one; they’re very expensive atm. Anything we’d want would be a good few grand, and they come with the inherent damp and maintenance burden. Whereas the van gets maintained regardless (it’s our only vehicle capable of moving us all at once) and is an appreciable asset. Tents are, certainly at £50, disposable if required. 

We do have space for a Caravan and it’s been considered, but ultimately I’d rather buy something like a vintage bus and be a bit different! 
 

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1 hour ago, BorniteIdentity said:

Yes we have. The problem is twofold - one; they’re very expensive atm. Anything we’d want would be a good few grand, and they come with the inherent damp and maintenance burden. Whereas the van gets maintained regardless (it’s our only vehicle capable of moving us all at once) and is an appreciable asset. Tents are, certainly at £50, disposable if required. 

We do have space for a Caravan and it’s been considered, but ultimately I’d rather buy something like a vintage bus and be a bit different! 
 

Get a yank motorhome. I know I did. Would recommend, although a big space is needed.

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On 8/13/2021 at 9:32 PM, BorniteIdentity said:

Each pitch was 10m x 10m with the pitches cut into the grass and 10m between pitches. Behind, your own clearing among the trees.

That sounds almost perfect to me. If I am ever able to run a campsite, this is the sort of thing I'd like to do - none of the frills, and all of the things which 'make' camping. Such as feeling like there's no-one else around and able to have a fire under the stars :-)

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I've had this old thing 8 years now.  That's the longest I've ever owned...err...anything, I think!  Longest we've been in a house is 6 years, mobile phones last about 3, and I could never claim to own my wife as she'd kick my arse into next week.

 

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In younger days on the original plates.

Regular readers will remember this car was subject to a great deal of expenditure earlier this year - to the tune of about four figures (Please don't keep count - it makes me feel self conscious!).  However, it's developed an insatiable appetite for screen washer pumps.  The original died this time last year - since then it's been replaced and replaced again, and yet still I'm met with deafening silence.  It can't be a fuse as the wipers themselves are on the same fuse, and they work fine.  Hopefully it's just rotten luck, as I use proper screen wash religiously (Having an abject fear or legionella).  Fortunately, this will be a warranty job but still frustrating.

Other fleet news?  Well - as detailed above - we did 300 miles last week in the Caravelle around Norfolk and it was, as always, pretty perfect.  The clutch will need replacing soon enough (it did judder a bit with us 6 up and now the DMF is starting to very quietly tick) so I'll need to start saving.

Sierra?  Still here.  As soon as it's off to a new home then I can really crack on with...

The Mini which is immobile at the moment as the clutch has seized.  We did have to free it with a hammer and drift when it first arrived, so I'm not really surprised.  As soon as it's mobile again, I'll be asking my friendly welder to price up with sills (inner and outer) and a rear subframe.

 

I sporadically have thoughts about buying something very old.  I do like an Austin 7 Ruby or a Vauxhall 10.  Really, I need to wait until the Mini's properly fixed and then see if I still fancy something older still.  Also, in the back of my mind is my neighbour's 1947 Bristol Bus which he's said will require a new home at some stage.  Whilst I was kee non @danthecapriman's Transit, if we're talking £10k plus for that I'd rather have an entire single decker bus and be done with it!  

 

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I had a Vauxhall 10.  Not a fast car but definitely more capable of not being a rolling road block than an Austin 7.  Also rather more pleasant to drive than most '30s cars I've experienced, with independent front suspension, hydraulic brakes and an OHV engine that looks and sounds a bit like an A-series.

That bus is lovely, but in the real world buses of that age are a proper twat to drive, especially on modern roads, and although you're technically allowed to drive them on a car licence getting insurance can be expensive if you're not a qualified bus driver.  If you do decide to go down the bus route I'd suggest something 1960s at the earliest - they usually have such refinements as power steering, synchromesh (or semi-auto) gearboxes and enough power that you won't have a queue of pissed off Massey Ferguson drivers behind you every time you go out.

Just my 2 cents - I'm sure that (as always) others on here will have differing views.

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50 minutes ago, wuvvum said:

That bus is lovely, but in the real world buses of that age are a proper twat to drive, especially on modern roads, and although you're technically allowed to drive them on a car licence getting insurance can be expensive if you're not a qualified bus driver.  If

Problem is, this will be a decent price as he'll be looking to find a decent home for something he's owned for 40 years.  So hopefully we could find agreement on price between what we're both happy with and the market value.  A bus also doubles up as great home office/den/storage space too.  I would actually go out and get some driver training too because the biggest (non artic) thing I've driven is a Luton Van!

10 minutes ago, danthecapriman said:

@BorniteIdentity

MOT day for the Transit on Monday 23rd… 

Once that’s dealt with it’ll most likely be going onto eBay. It’s not going to get £10k though! It’s nice but not that nice!

"TWENTY FIVE LARGE M9 ALL DAY LONG"

Says the crowd who spends more on a week's big shop than a car.

I love that Transit, genuinely.  And I do think you'll get more than the money I could justify for it.  But some people make me guffaw with laughter! GLWS

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  • BorniteIdentity changed the title to Bornite's Retirement home for Purple Toyotas.

The silence at Sandy Railway station was absolute.  Mainly because it was a Bank Holiday Monday at 0630 with a weekend of rail improvements on the menu and all sane inhabitants of Northern Bedfordshire having their motoring requirements already met.

As mentioned elsewhere, my eldest son turns 17 this week.  With the delays in processing driving licenses, a backlog in tests and - up until now - an ambivalence about learning, a car hadn't been a pressing requirement.  The original plan was for him to learn in my wife's Fiat 500c but, when that decided to do a Fiat, purchasing became a little project that I was nominated to spearhead.

The first car we considered was a Toyota Starlet.  Like me, he's embraced old Toyota life and all his mates consider the Avensis to be as part of me as my legs and bald head.  Sadly, the Starlet we really liked had no ABS - something, at first, I was quite set on.  Various algorithms dished up Lupos and Pandas, a Corsa in my village caught the wife's eye but it was a 1.4 and about £1500.  Then @wuvvumposted in my Wanted thread about a 'parts section' Yaris and that was that.  I said to my wife as I looked at it for the first 5 seconds "That's it... this is the one". 

Sometimes you just know.

Back to Sandy railway station then.

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Built in 1850, I wonder what the folk of yesteryear would have made of 12 carriage electric multiple units used today?  I thought rather highly of them, as they're brisk, spacious and provide charging for devices at every seat.  Beyond the white houses is the A1 at Beeston, a wonderfully charismatic part of the road which thunders right past the front windows of terraced housing.

We were off to Bath Spa.  Not a huge challenge by Robinson Crusoe's yardstick, but a bit of a faff with three changes and three and a half hours on myriad trains.  It's actually the first time I've travelled into St Pancras on the ECML - historically they always arrived the other side at Kings Cross.  It's was like disembarking at a high-end shopping destination rather than a railway station; Fortnum and Mason, Calvin Klein and Chanel all with outlets between me and the distinctly low key Eurostar entrance.  

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Until now, I confess, I'd been largely maskless.  There was nobody on that first train, and about 10 people at St Pancras mainline station at 0730 when I shuffled in.  Things changed (and would change markedly later) when I got to the tube.  A quick hop to Paddington on the Hammersmith and City line and another train.  Connections were great, with never more than 10 minutes of dead time.

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This was shaping up to the be perfect day.  One of my favourite books, cake, device charging, caffeine, who needs a fortnight in Ibiza?! Just get on a train and go some place.

The plan was going brilliantly.  There were just two young girls in my carriage, we mutually agreed to share each other's air so I could eat without stuffing shreds of croissant through the edge of my mask and they could hear each other talk.  

Then we go to Reading.

Fuck.

Now, I'm not overly nervous about COVID.  But what I saw before me at Reading station filled me with dread.  There were at least 300 stoned, hungover, unwashed teenagers who could barely manage a tent and a grunt - never mind a mask.  It was Reading Festival weekend.  The train went from being empty to standing room only in the space of the 5 minutes it took to get them all on.  Nervous, I took the longest piss I've ever had in the toilet and tried to hatch a plan.  The plan was there was no plan.  Honestly, if two of the 300 who got on were wearing a mask then I'd be surprised.  I wasn't judgemental, but this is why infection rates are still tootling up.  I tried to hide between carriages for the rest of the journey, taking my final change at Swindon.

The little train to Bath Spa from Swindon was absolutely crammed again.  This time I resigned myself to the fact that I might catch it, but there was now fuck all I could do about it.  Why die worrying?  

The sights as you trundle into Bath are a world away from the flatlands of Cambridgeshire.

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And before long, we were in the wonderful city of Bath.  

The owner, for reasons of his own keeping, wasn't up for collecting me from the railway station.  So a £25 taxi fare later (!) and I was in the car park of the gorgeous Northey Arms at Box.

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The vendor was lovely - a really nice west country dude with all the hair, personality and voice of Justin Lee Collins.  He explained he bought it eight years earlier for his daughter to learn in and then drive, and that he'd recently bought another.  The car's had two owners, has 75k on the clock, 4 months MOT, 1/3 tank of petrol and cost me the grand total of £185.10.  We hastily did the formalities, I rounded the amount up, and I hit the road 10 minutes later.

It's bloody good!  For some strange reason, when my sister had one as her first car 18 years ago I hated them.  But now, in the fullness of time, they've matured into quite a cool and chic little things.  We've got four decent tyres, matching trims, a cared for interior and most of the original paint.  The back is the worst, and I'm looking to get this smartened up pronto.

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140 miles home, taking in the beautiful scenery of the A4, and I think it's brilliant.  For a car with precisely half the horsepower of the Avensis, it doesn't feel like half the car and never once felt underpowered.  The gearbox is every boxy (I think they're on rods?) and the clutch has about an inch of travel from top to bottom, but it buzzes along very nicely.  The sunroof doesn't leak (I drove right through a burst watermain that was shooting water 30ft into the air!) and everything seems to be fine.  There's a tiny bit of graunch turning hard left under throttle, so perhaps a CV or driveshaft?

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And, Eight hours after I left home, here we are! Parked up, ready for his birthday on Friday.  Dealer plates are the icing on the cake.

 

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  • BorniteIdentity changed the title to NEW PURCHASE: Bornite's Retirement home for Purple Toyotas.
2 hours ago, Soundwave said:

And here I thought the days of the eBay bargain were long since over. Well bought, looks like a hell of a lot of car for the money. Must be less than scrap value, surely?

Certainly.  The guy listed it in the parts section.  People traditionally do that to save money, but it has - without doubt - cost him a couple of hundred quid.  I would say it's a £500 car as presented, and more after a bit of titivating.  Unsure what the catalytic values are on these little cars but, if OEM, I'd have thought somewhere around the same again.

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That looks great, well done! At that price you still have a bit in the kitty to deal with any immediate issues?

I drove a couple around when they were new-ish cars, I recall them just offering reliable transport, albeit with a smooth, free-revving engine. Now I've spent more time with the one we bought I've come to appreciate it more (something I've found with other Toyotas, the solid, well thought-out engineering takes a while to show itself).

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3 hours ago, Soundwave said:

And here I thought the days of the eBay bargain were long since over. Well bought, looks like a hell of a lot of car for the money. Must be less than scrap value, surely?

£160 for the cat I heard. They stole 2 of mine anyway.

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      Well I've been meaning to sign up here in forever, but kept forgetting. Thanks to someone over on another forum I frequent poking me about it recently the subject was forced back into my very brief attention span for long enough to get me to act on the instruction.

      I figure that my little varied fleet might bring you lot some amusement...

      So...we've got:

      1993 Lada Riva 1.5E Estate (now fuel injected, as I reckon the later cars should have been from the factory...).
      1989 Saab 900i Automatic.
      1987 Skoda 120LX 21st Anniversary Special Edition.
      1985 Sinclair C5.
      2009 Peugeot 107 Verve.

      Now getting the photos together has taken me far longer than I'd expected...so you're gonna get a couple of photos of each car for now, and I'll come back with some more information tomorrow when I've got a bit more time...

      Firstly...The Lada. Before anyone asks - in response to the single question I get asked about this car: No, it is not for sale. Took me 13 years and my father's inheritance to find the thing.


      Yes, it's got the usual rusty wings...Hoping that will be resolved in the next couple of months.

       






      Next, a proper old Saab. One of the very last 8 valve cars apparently, and all the better for it. I've driven two 16v autos and they were horrible - the auto box works sooooo much better with the torque curve of the 8 valve engine. Just wish it had an overdrive for motorway cruising...









      Next up a *real* Skoda...back when they put the engine where it belongs, right out the back. In the best possible colour of course...eye-searingly bright orange.







      Seat covers have been added since that photo was taken as it suffers from the usual rotting seat cloth problem that affects virtually all Estelles.

      Then we have possibly the world's scruffiest Sinclair C5...



      Realised when looking for this that I really need to get some more photos of the thing...I use it often enough after all! We have a dog who's half husky, so this is a really good way of getting him some exercise.

      Finally - again, I really need to take more photos of - we have the little Pug 107.



      Included for the sake of variety even if it's a bit mainstream! First (and probably to be the only) new car I've bought, and has been a cracking little motor and has asked for very little in return for putting up with nearly three years of Oxford-Milton Keynes commuter traffic, before finally escaping that fate when my housemate moved to a new job. Now it doesn't do many miles and is my default car for "when I've managed to break everything else."

      I'll fill in some more details tomorrow - I warn you though that I do tend to ramble...
    • By Tommyboy12
      What do you get after 16 hours and 800 miles of driving on a Sunday to collect two cars? Well @sharley17194 picks up a 1997 Citreon AX from the depths of the Lakes on the North West coast past Keswick. However, we actually started the day by driving to just near Cromer on the East coast to pick up this!
      An Austin Montego poverty spec estate with a 1.3L A-series engine! Yes you did read that bit right! Yes I know the DVLA lists the model as 1.6... Yes its correctly registered as 1.3L. No I dont know if its a factory 1.3L! 😂
      My favourite part of all this??? (Apart from the doom blue colour and the absolutely terrible interior!) 281,000 miles on the clock!
      Collection went really well and the below posts follows my initial assessment of what is quite frankly the best car I have ever purchased.



    • By Peter C
      Woke up this morning, had a little time before I had to leave the house for work, had a quick look at what’s new for sale on Retro Rides and saw an ad for a W124 200E manual, located 15 miles from home. I had no intention of buying a car today but I had to have it! I called the seller and arranged a viewing.
       
      Faults:
       
      2 x rusty front wings (TADTS)
      1 x rusty rear arch
      Needs a polish
      Tracking is out because new track rod end was fitted for MoT
      Engine has oil leak/s
       
      Good points:
       
      It’s a W124 200E!
      5 speed manual transmission
      New clutch
      Brand new MoT
      Superb MoT history
      4 x as new Continental tyres
      Last owner for 15 years, her husband before that for 4 years
      Very tidy MB-Tex interior
      Drives well
      All electrics work
       
      The dealer kindly delivered the car to my house but I managed a pez station shot on route:
       

       
      Plans:
       
      Remove front wings, cut away rust and apply plenty of wob.
      In-situ similar repair for rear arch
      Clean and polish
      Service engine
      Adjust tracking
      Leave patina and enjoy the car as it is
       
      I will update this thread once progress is made.
       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       
      Hopefully these two will become good friends.
       

    • By dome
      This evening I venture forth into hitherto unknown lands (Kirkintilloch) to collect my latest acquisition.

      Which, naturally, has issues.

      I have purchased my first line of defence.



      Which appears to have antigravity properties

      More will follow this evening...
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