Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 21/06 - The Case of the Hidden Thermostat...By Zelandeth
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...
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 Grey the Floydian Sergal
A little back story, a couple of weeks after I sent my Talbot Alpine (Annie) away for engine rebuild in November 2019, I was working the delivery vans for my job at Euro Car Parts when I was sent to do a drop at a unit in St Georges, Telford. When I walked in, I saw a car shape under a load of blankets in the corner of the workshop, I saw the tailpipes & asked "Is that an old Jag?". He confirmed my suspicions & pulled off the blankets, telling me "Indeed it is, it's an XJ40 4.0 Sovereign. I bought it after converting it to LPG & it's been the run-a-round for my wife & I until 2016. It's yours for £600 if you want it".
To say I was tempted is an understatement. The XJ40 is my favourite Jaguar & when I first saw the Morocco red paintwork & heard that the car had LPG, I pretty much bit his hand off. So a deal was made & I gradually paid off the £600 over several months while he made sure that the car was in fine fettle, servicing the whole LPG system for me at no extra cost. All I needed was a new alternator (for £92) & I bought a battery from work with my delicious staff discount.
In May, I found that some local garages were still doing MOTs during lockdown so I got her booked & bought a set of part-worn dunlops (£80 in all).
Imagine my delight when she passed with only one advisory, a number plate bulb which fixed itself in a week!
So now Judith's a little more polished up & I'm super happy with her. She's the cheapest car I've ever had to insure & she's so capable, very comfortable & surprisingly agile in the bends though the low-speed ride is nowhere as good as the Alpine. With the LPG too, she's super cheap to run & £20 of petrol (she still has her petrol tank as you need it to warm the car up & keep her going when the gas runs out) can last her about three weeks.
The previous owner also rebuilt the top of the engine with new timing chains & sprockets when she was at 120,000 miles (now on 173400), as the LPG was installed at 80,000, he was pleasantly surprised to find that it didn't need much decoking, one benefit of LPG
A good car all round but there are a few issues. A tailpipe fell off while enroute for the MOT, there's a small blow on the O/S exhaust, the headlining is just starting to sag, the auto-dipping rear view mirror doesn't work, the paint has reacted on the roof, bonnet & boot & the aircon pump is seized. Otherwise a great car with a tidy interior with an even tidier underbelly.
So, that's Judith, my £600 Jaguar Sovereign 4.0, what do you guys reckon or is the shite not strong with this one?
I hopped on a train this afternoon for no particular reason to look at a Jag. I departed having chipped £300 off the price and said I'll have to think about it. Anyway I've since said I'll have it and will collect on Saturday. Sneak peak photo below. So its a G-reg Jag XJ40 (it's as old as me!). Just like the old X300 I had it's the 4.0 litre. Ideally it would be a X300 4.0 Sport, but the right one was illusive and this XJ40 was close by. At one point I nearly went for an X350, but it sold before I got to it. This is a SWB Sovereign. Very rakish. Compared to the X300 it's definitely a step more old fashioned, definitely feels like crossing into classic car territory.
The reason I walked away from it initially is twofold. I'm now mature enough not to jump into things. Second, there was a slightly worrying amount of white gunk under the oil filler cap and all down the oil filler neck and a very brief timing chain clatter on startup. Doing my homework says the mayo is not the headgasket, but a lack of use. The timing chain tensioner is something I'm going to risk living with, many just seem to live with it without further trouble. That said it does seem to run very nicely on the test drive and all the needles point in the right direction on the dash.
The main reason I bought it was the lack of rust. Cosmetically it is rough inside and out, but that is mainly dirt. Unfortunately the former owner had strange taste and put hideous stickers and badges all over the shop. It looks like a UKIP councillor's car at the moment with a bonus England sticker on top of the engine for extra giggles, but it can be recued. Now back to the rust situation. The sills are perfect and there is no rust that I can see on the wheelarches and front wings, or anywhere on the body for that matter. Considering its 28 years old I think we might be winning here. Also it's passed the last 10 or so MOTs first time and rust has not entered the equation.
I have a couple of days to sort out insurance. I'm already insuring a Dagenham wheeliebin, so I'm thinking classic insurance. Never done it before, but the policies seem very flexible with commuting and travel abroad allowed. Any recommendations/experience? Does a classic car policy mess with your no claims on concurrent policies?