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26th time lucky: New BORING MODERN CAR

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I don't know, it really depends on what it is they're doing. Remember how much trouble Stuart Hall got into.

Had a new guy start last week, called Stuart Hall. Thankful that he isn’t an elderly pervert.

 

Also amazes me how well those old renners have aged.

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The 16 has to be the best car Renault have ever come up with. Innovative, good looking, practical and, as far as I know well made. But even so, at the time they were still over shadowed for perceived robustness by Peugeots and for everything else by Citroen - except the well made bit obviously.

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Innovative, good looking, practical. Yes.

Well made. Not too sure about that.

However, mine is a '77 and I think Pascal and Claude were a bit bored of nailing them together by then. Definitely built mine with a shrug.

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Today I took my first photograph of the 406, as I have divested myself of it due to mounting and various issues which I cba to have fixed. 22,000 miles in a little over a year, mainly trouble free, comfortable and easy to drive but a bit modern for my tastes. So long, it was good to know ya

post-3924-0-66453100-1552325155_thumb.jpg

 

Here's its replacement:

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That's more like it!

 

I have now notched up 25 cars, which is a little less than Bramz had in 2018

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never took any proper photos yet. Anyway, six weeks and 3000 miles and it's sprung its first leak, which is actually a record for my Xantia ownership. I reckon it's the fuggin' doseur thingy which is a fairly labour-intensive job iirc. We'll see.

 

Here it is blending in to suitably run-down surroundings. I've been helping my girlfriend move house recently and it's been bloody brilliant actually, blatting up and down to London a few times a week absolutely loaded with shite and not complaining at all, so I'll allow it a little incontinence

post-3924-0-96349700-1556045247_thumb.jpg

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That's much better than I expected ! Are the brakes up to stopping from such high* speeds, when a distracted/rude/drunk (delete as appropriate) Frenchman cuts you up ?

Also, we need more pictures of the oily bits, please !

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Well. On Wednesday I really didn't think it was going to make it. We fired up the engine for the first time in 60 years and all seemed well, but there was still a lot to do before it could be driven. By Thursday afternoon it was much more together - the lamps were wired up, a starter switch plumbed in, rear number plate fitted, twmporary perspex windscreen made, the last bits of floor cut and fitted, dashboard fitted and a million other little things to get it driveable. At 7:30 I was able to take it for its first drive in a very long time and it all seemed good. There was a last minute panic as the fuel tap started to leak so something was bodged up with the tap fully open and some mole grips on a bit of flexible pipe as the tap... we loaded up our luggage and tools and drove it ten miles up the road. Nothing fell off, so we headed straight for Newhaven and boarded the overnight ferry.

The next day we set off from Dieppe at 6am along a back roads route, in convoy with a friend in a van towing his car behind. Our putative breakfast stop was something of a let down as we'd managed to arrive before any shops were open! This heap goes along so much better than expected that were ahead of schedule all day, arriving at our destination in time for lunch - 140 miles covered with no drama whatsoever.

It attracted lots of attention all weekend and everyone was stunned that we'd driven it down so soon after its first run. I managed a couple of sessions going round the Montlhéry track, comfortably the slowest car in our grid but conscious not to thrash it too much as we had to get home.

Monday was less successful. First of all we lost a tyre after about an hour of driving - if you've never heard a beaded edge tyre let go, count yourself lucky: it's like a gun going off, followed by a total lack of control. Fortunately I was on a straight stretch of road and I managed to direct it in to a lay by. The resulting mess too four hours to sort out which meant we were never going to make our 6pm ferry, but we cracked on with the car running perhaps 80% as well as before and the gear change getting worse and worse. Eventually we lost all gears at a busy junction and lost another hour taking the floors out, taking off the top of the gearbox and figuring out what was wrong - the shaft with third and fourth had worked loose and popped out the back of the box (!) but I managed to get it all back together and somewhat functioning. After remembering to put some oil in the box it all sort of picked up again and the last 50 miles towards Dieppe were fast and fun as they had been on the way down. 45mph in a 1923 car on beaded edge really does feel exciting. We made the midnight ferry, with time for dinner and lots of beer in Dieppe, and I got home at about 6am. The car is currently parked outside my house and I'll take it back to the workshop later and collect my Xantia. 

All in all, an excellent stupid adventure with just enough drama and excitement to make it memorable. Would recomission Vintage car and drive directly to France again.

IMG_20190509_201204_123.thumb.jpg.45fe4b6c4ce554f38f36fabc67058fde.jpg

 

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These are a few of my favourite things etc...

IMG_20190515_220959_337.thumb.jpg.7d8c81fe5dcd2090c44b0d1e6babab5a.jpg

 

In other news, the R16 has had a load of work dobe by the very helpful independent Renault specialist in Worthing, Paul Cunningham (highly recommended) and I drove it home for the first time in ages tonight. Ita running better than ever so I think I'm gonna take it for a short trip to the Cotswolds this weekend. Humber Sceptre brakes next I reckon and then I might have multiple working old cars for the first time in ages!

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Well, the Cotswolds was a no-go as apparently the R16 'stinks of petrol' according to the current Ms. Barrett. Another 500 miles in the Xantia then, which I think had pushed me up to 4k already. Assuming it lasts long enough I reckon I'm on track for breaking the 406 yearly mileage record pretty easily. 

It has been going very nicely though. I took it to Sevenoaks the other day and used it as a daily most of last week. I'll get it put again tomorrow if it's nice, just because driving an old car is better than driving a modern even if you're just going to work in it etc

IMG_20190516_165745-1.thumb.jpg.9dc59e2dac6550b062baf58272e35463.jpg

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The R16 is predictably broken. Something has become deranged in the driveshaft/gearbox department so it's sulking until my Renault man can have a look at it. I did rack up another 500 miles in the Palladium at the weekend driving g to mid Wales and back, which was nice. A couple of things fell off (including one wing) but there really are few things better than a Vintage tourer on little-travelled minor roads on a sunny day.

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It does! Actually a big thing was made of that in advertising - 'enjoy lower insurance rates with front wheel brakes' - and it was heavily emphasised as one of the very few light cars with four wheel brakes, four seats and a four-speed gearbox. All quite advanced for 1923 and one of the reasons it was so expensive and, consequently, difficult to sell...

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