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35th time lucky: Pal comes home


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Right. Got the green break a new alternator and pressed it back into service. I also treated it to a new windscreen the other day, and stumbled upon a Halfords selling the near-mythical £3 bottles of LHM. Lovely.


I also said goodbye to this. It's gone to a good home and will be back on the road before too long I imagine



I got angrydicky busy with the flapwheel and hammerite on this lump of Panhard, which is the first new paint on the car ever. Lovely.



I also now have five restored and painted wheels with fresh Michelin Xs ready to go on, and have had the brake shoes relined. If everything falls into place the rear suspension should be going back together at the end of February, but money is very tight at the moment because THE 404 IS FINISHED! Just need to go and pick it up (and pay for it), which should happen in the next few weeks. I still have mystery car #18 to collect and pay for which will also hopefully happen soon.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, we went to collect the 404 on Sunday and managed to get about three km up the road before the brand new clutch shat itself. Engine out job to change it, so we piled back into the modern and got on a ferry home. Incredibly frustrating. In all other respects it seemed really nice, and I at last got to experience what it actually feels like without a horrendous death rattle on the bottom end etc. Car #18 still waiting to be collected, Mk1 Break still unregistered and broken, and I have no money whatsoever. Anyone wanna crowd fund my adventures in shit cars? Or know of any wealthy widows looking for a toy boy?

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It was frustrating, obviously, but at least it happened where it did and not half way back to the ferry or on this side of the channel.


Seth. Please, no.


Anyway, here's a nice bit of shiny Panhard. It has been helpfully pointed out that the lifespan of the tyres provides a handy deadline to get the rest of it sorted out



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  • 1 month later...

It's REALLY nice. Much too nice for me, really (let's see if the mot tester agrees). I drove it home tonight after Panhard Gary sorted the poor running issue ot arrived with, and it's flippin' great. Feels all tight and unmessed with, drives lovely and runs smooth as anything. It's a 16TRS which was top spec so it's got leccy front windows and those little opera windows in the rear pillars. There is an 80s car phone installed and the radio was already tuned to R4!


I haem done any proper pics yet but here's what I've got








Partial fleet shot


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I almost forgot in all the BXcitement but the 404 is finally back! A friend picked it up in France and dropped it at Portsmouth, it's now MoT'd and ready to go but seems to have a charging issue so the dynamo wants looking at before any big trips are undertaken. Here is is earlier providing support on a photo shoot - somebody took a pic of me hooning about on the gravel, watch this space


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  • 2 months later...

Are people still posting about rubbish old cars? I've lost track.


Anyway, a partial boring fleet update.


The 1172 engine for the Heron is still being dismantled and awaiting a health report. The chap seems to be on a go-slow at the moment, but I guess there's no real rush.


Big news with the Model A. The 'new' engine has been wheeled from a dark corner in the shed to a different corner. This, I think, is progress. In a couple of weeks the head will come off for a quick check of what's inside and then, hopefully, it might actually go in the car. Brake shoes are going to come off next week for relining and then I think I have enough parts to rebuild the brake system.


The green BX break is currently stranded at work with no exhaust. Hopefully this will be sorted on Monday. I think it is just about to run out of MoT, or already has, and I've no idea how it will fare in that department. The ABS light is on most of the time and it is quite rusty, but my MoT man is fairly generous about that sort of thing. Fingers crossed.


The gold Mk1 has been dailying, which I don't really want to do but it's my only working vehicle, and has been going pretty well. Obvs it's totally illegal so don't wanna push my luck and must get a ticket on that asap, but time, as ever, us against me. I suspect it needs brakes fairly soon and am concerned the front suspension/steering isn't as good as it should be. I've nevery driven a non-PAS BX before so maybe I'm just not used to it, but I'll be checking ball joints and that sort of shit sooner rather than later. Oh, I did have the end of the sill welded up a while ago. I must have done a thousand or so miles in it and it really is a lovely thing.


No progress anywhere else, but I may have found a willing custodian for the green TZD hatch, which is destined to become a parts car.


Major bad news is the 404 is broken already. Was trying to get to Wales a couple of weeks ago in very hot weather and it started missing after being sat in traffic. It's been running rich and assumed it had fouled the plugs, but even after cleaning them up it still wasn't having it. Pulled the plug lead off number one and it made no difference! Plenty of fuel and spark to all cylinders, but one and two are refusing to fire. A compression test looms next week. Possible HGF or stuck valves, but neither seems likely given the circumstances. Whatever it is, it's frustrating and depressing and I'm expecting it to be sorted for free by the guy who rebuilt the engine. Not looking forward to that conversation, because French


I don't have any money, but I've found a Xantia I really like the look of, which could take over daily duties if the green car fails it's test. Glutton for punishment, or sensible option?


Will attempt a more pictorial update next time...

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BEST, obviously, avec blower, and it's a wagon in a nice colour but RONG interior. I have a very specific set of Xantia criteria and it meets more than most, but I'm worried I'll be dissappinted again if I have one that isn't perfect

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The Mk1 estate still isn't registered here, after it blew up I sort of got pissed off with it and, as I think is pretty obvious, I have too many other stupid old cars to worry about and am quite easily distracted. My vague plan is to sort the paperwork out and then put it up for sale as a project when I get a UK registration for it. If nobody wants it I will attempt to find another engine to go in. It's annoying because it drove absolutely brilliantly before I killed it. Ce la vie.

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Well, er, I don't wanna say too much. I don't have any documents for it. I need a certificate of conformity from PSA, according to the DVLA they will be happy with that. Trouble is it costs €90 plus whatever fee my bank charges for an international transfer etc amd I have had better stuff to spend my money on recently tbh. Just gotta pull my finger out and get it done before the MoT runs out!

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Send me a PM and I'll see if I can help, I'm still over here and can speak to former colleagues in the registration office. Is it this one from my Channel Island Chod thread a decade ago?



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  • 3 months later...

Did I mention number 19 yet? I've now disencumbered myself of all Mk2 BXs amd just have the pair of Mk1s, which means I'm down to a shocking seven cars only! That probably means I'm in the market for something old, weird and cheap.

Anyway, I'm quite into this thing, I'm not used to having a car that's just a tool with no real emotional attachment, but so far it's done a good job of belting up and down the A23 every day and not blowing up. The stereo works and it's comfortable so I'm pretty happy for £175 or whatever it cost!



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  • barrett changed the title to 35th time lucky: Pal comes home

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