I've had various threads on the go for different collections this year, but thought I'd condense my threads into one manageable thread to document my ham-fisted tinkering.
At the turn of the year I was driving a nice, dependable, modern 2011 Peugeot 407 and no other vehicle. It was nice enough, but boring as feck. I'd bought it after a series of disastrous heaps in the awkward age bracket of being new and valuable enough to worry about but old enough to be fucked. The 407 was just too new, too bloated and dull. I had a hankering for old metal, my Mineral Oil withdrawal pangs were strong.
From January I started looking, there were eBay bids, missed reserves, wasted trips from Gumtree and other such nonsense. I happened on an automatic Rover 216 GSI with one giffer owner from a year old. The chap was giving up driving at 93 years old and his grandson was moving it on. I bid, and failed. It was in London though, about 420 miles away so I wasn't all that bothered. Of course when he offered it to me for my losing bid after the winning buyer was a no show I said yes. I was on the Megabus down to that London overnight for about £15. I hung about in Liverpool Street station like a mad shivering jakey until my train out to the suburb for my first sight of the new steed. It was battered outside but had been well looked after. A frankly insulting amount of cash changed hands and I was away up the road.
We had many adventures together, it was dependable and it whet my appetite for interesting old motors again and proved that the very bottom end of the market was navigable if I had the patience to wade through the sea of shit to find the odd pearl.
The 407 was still on the fleet at this point but I was covering a lot of miles in the Rover, with a long commute though the fuel economy wasn't ideal. When a friend's mother was looking for a new diesel saloon to replace the faithful old Xsara she had a scheme was concocted. I sold the 407 to her and was on the hunt for an interesting replacement.
When I was growing up my dad had a succession of hopeless shitters, indeed I was brought home from the hospital as a newborn in a brush painted Skoda Super Estelle. The best car he had was a red XUD Peugeot 405 with air conditioning and electric windows. So when I found a 1994 GTXD advertised by someone who could actually compose a car advert in the fashion you would expect of a human being educated to a Primary School level, I pounced.
Of course I couldn't buy a car just down the road so it was on the train to Birmingham. First class no less. I stayed in an absolute flea pit of a hotel and drove up the road the next day. This was a proper bit of nostalgia and a really practical borderline classic car. It had been fastidiously maintained by the previous owner. Apart from there being a hole where there was once a stereo and the lack of working air con it was a pleasant drive home.
Given their relative scarcity and how dependable this one has proven so far, it's a keeper, I'd struggle to part with it.
Two cars just wasn't enough to worry about, so this Citroen C1 was acquired. Pure Aleppo spec. A camel can go for weeks, or months without stopping at a watering hole, the C1 has a similar thirst for Motor Spirit. Man maths were employed and worked out that it would easily* pay for itself.
There have been further movements, I'll recap them shortly. I should probably do some work.
To mark the genesis of my fleet project thread I here present my new car: a 1997 Nissan Micra Shape-
It really looks that good. There is a reason for this: its previous owner was an old lady who loved the thing so much so she made every effort to keep it in good shape. It originally came from Fleet in the GU postcode which suggests to me it was bought by the present dealer at auction, hence arriving down here in Kent. Before seeing the car I checked its MOT history and its only fails were thanks to broken stoplights, which shows me that it was very well cared for. I suppose an example of this was that on the last MOT, an advisory was a corroded rear silencer. The silencer on the car when I saw it was new. Methinks the lady wanted to keep it as good as possible. It was kept in a garage and so all the bumpers and black trim are very black and the tyres are in very good condition. Spare never used! Also included a free Dettol first aid kit from 1997.
This car has 15000 genuine miles on the clock. We clocked over 15000 during the test drive! The lady owner really only trundled around her village in it and the MOT shows that it only did some meagre miles between tests. This, of course, came at a price. We saw a cherry red Micra from 2002 at the same dealer. Paint was shoddy and when they washed it the boot had massive sections of bare metal and it wasn't very happy. This car, however, is in fabulous condition and there was no contest between the two cars- it really is that good, inside and out. Immaculate interior, driver's airbag, cassette player... all there and all functioning (apart from cassette thanks to new battery and failed display). This meant that I bought it for £1600, £100 over what was my uppermost limit, but I knew I wouldn't see another like this that was in as good shape for a fair while. It was priced very ambitiously, at £1990, so I'm content in the fact I managed to slash a few hundred off the price. There wasn't that much paperwork though. All the dealership received was the logbook with 3 service stamps from 1998, 1999 and 2000, the radio key pass, a National Trust sticker, and the original paperwork holder. I suspect the old lady died and had her car auctioned, and the massive file of paperwork is now someone's egg carton, along will everything else she owned.
As always, this car isn't exactly in showroom condition. While the inside is great and the floor is solid, and the underseal is in great shape, the not undersealed parts need a small looking at. Mainly the rear of the driver's side sill. It's really the only bubbling on the car. I suspect a well aimed stonechip managed to fester over the wintery salted roads, making it rust even more. It's around the size of a 5p piece, and will give me the opportunity to spray the insides of the sill with some chain oil to prevent any further corrosion. Behind the fuel tank there are a few rusty joints- places where the spraygun cannot get paint onto- which some Vactan and Dynax should put to rights. Alternator belt looks original because of the cracking and Nissan badges and will need doing soon as well as the front plate. As much as I like the 90's font and original dealer surround, the dishevelled R and general water ingress is a persistant MOT advisory. It could be the MOT station being strict (and most likely is considering there's a Saxo down the road with far worse blackening), however for the sake of peace of mind and all that, I'll get a new one made. The rear has already been replaced indicating this has happened before.
All in all, I think this is a nice plucky motor. I'll have it by the end of the week; just got to sort out tax, insurance, and it's going to have an MOT. As part of the deal it's getting the MOT and an oil and filter change which will be something ticked off the list. It has some love scratches and chips here and there, but it drives well, is stiff and controllable, and should make out to be a nice summer project!
As tradition dictates, an thread.
It all kicked off here: http://autoshite.com/topic/34152-citroen-bx-17rd-for-sale-sale-on-hold-as-its-done-a-citroen-the-little-bastard/
Lorry is booked for collection tomorrow and a 340ish mile round trip awaits. It will be a long, but rewarding, day. No live collection updates because I live in the olden times and even if I didn't, I'm not sure I could be entirely arsed.
I am looking forward to meeting Dean-numbers, his collection of wobbly French cars and, of course, Bleriot the BX. It will probably be too dark to do anything when we get back on Friday so I suspect Saturday I'll be up bright and early to get stuck in and see just what I've let myself in for.
By L fallax
I’ve been considering making a topic for progress with my Felicia for a little while, I want to reflect on what’s been done in a more organised fashion compared to flicking through photos on my phone.
I’ve had a keen interest on older generation Skoda for quite some time (100series-Facelift Felicia), I bought this 1999 T reg Skoda Felicia mid April. Would of loved to buy the pre-facelift model but sadly most seem to have been scrapped, however mine does come with the 1.3 OHV engine -the same used in Rapid 136’s, albeit slightly modernised and with Siemens multi point fuel injection producing a whopping 68bhp.
First pic after a wash. Missing headlight trim, dinged rear OS door, NS fender is a bit bashed in as the original owner must of had a bit of a bash, the whole bumper sits a little lopsided. Hopefully can get the bodywork pulled at some point.
This is my first car that I’ve bought with my own money, so naturally wanted to put in the effort to get her running smoothly with some maintenance: new oil & filter, air filter, coolant flush, wipers, bulbs, spark plugs, valve cover gasket etc.
Engine bay needed multiple washes to clean up, looked a right bombsite when I bought it, some neglect was evident from past owner!
Three and a half months later and my Felly is now road legal (due to issues with DVLA and V62), what a jolly little car to drive though! The exhaust blows like a wet fart when you press the accelerator but it’s very comical. (Obviously will fix this when I’ve the money, haha.)
Driving around aimlessly I’ve covered around 160 miles in a couple of days. I decided to drain the gearbox and refreshed it with some 75W90 SS Gl4, after a few embarrasing car park CRUNCHES into reverse gear enough was enough, definitely was well overdue a change and now it’s silky smooth.
Blue Lagoon Metallic is the colour for anyone wondering.
(Removed the faded Skoda badge and sprayed the 3D Favorit badge and grill black - perhaps not to everyone’s taste but it’s my car ?)
Next to do is fit new brake discs & yellowstuff pads which have been sat in the boot for a couple months, need to file the edge of the pads down a tad and find a way to remove the locking pin screw from the disc- I can’t seem to get them to turn using an impact screwdriver but perhaps I just need to hit harder!
The goal is to fit a few unnecessary modifications, just some stiffer lowering springs and alloy wheels with good tyres. Nothing too crazy. The ride is pretty good, very little body roll, the strut brace seems to work well. A very throwable and responsive supermini, town and rural road driving is an awful lot of fun.
If anyone has some Favorit "Skoda" mudflaps let me know as I really would like to replace the ones that are fitted!
Updates to come.
All welcome to share thoughts and stories alike ?
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.
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
It’s a W124 200E!
5 speed manual transmission
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
All electrics work
The dealer kindly delivered the car to my house but I managed a pez station shot on route:
Remove front wings, cut away rust and apply plenty of wob.
In-situ similar repair for rear arch
Clean and polish
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.