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 Sunny Jim
I blame @cort16, a week ago he posted a link to a rather shiny red 480 on the Ebay Tat thread. It was a thing of beauty but was rather beyond my budget and was in Scotland. You know when a car's got under your skin and you keep re-visiting the ad then looking at the DVLA online checker to see if a new V5 has been issued? I was doing various man maths calculations but I don't have any children to sell (I've never had them , it's not that I've sold them already) and I need what's left of both of my kidneys. I trawled the classifieds but anything within my budget was beyond my skillset.
I've been sleeping badly recently and in the early hours the other night I found a 480 an hour away from me closer to my theoretical budget. The ad sounded promising, the MOT history not too scary AND it was turquoise!
It's an 'S' so the base model, 1.7 Renault engine, no fancy info screen but had been specced with optional half leather seats. I arranged to go and see it yesterday. I have a thing for two door estates and pop-up headlights but had a firm figure in mind well below the asking price and resolved to walk away if I couldn't get it for what I was willing to pay. The Wayback Machine helped me discover the car had been for sale for 17 weeks at gradually reducing asking prices and some handy buyers guides from Owners Clubs meant I knew what to look out for. Prices are all over the place on these and as we all know what a car is advertised for isn't always what is sells for - they're rare but still rather forgotten. The vendor said he'd bought it from a local garage before lockdown but then it had developed some faults and he'd not had the money to sort them out. When I contacted him on WhatsApp his profile picture was of a car transporter so it seemed likely he was a trader of some sort.
He let me spend a good hour systematically going over the car while I compiled a list of issues in addition to the ones he'd mentioned. I hate negotiating so I was straight with him and said look I could pretend to be Mike Brewer and offer you and insultingly low figure and we can go back and forth but here's where I'm at. I showed him other ads (and how long they'd been up for) and my list of issues with a rough guesstimate of what it would cost to sort them and named what I was willing to pay. "Old art yer 'and," he said. "Hang on," I replied, "You've got a car transporter and as the car isn't currently driveable on the road (the indicators don't work) I want it delivered." He hummed and harred but eventually we shook on it.
So far the to do list is looking like this:
4 new shocks - rears 'slightly corroded', fronts 'lightly misted'
2 new front tyres
Sort exhaust blow and investigate rusty cat
Rear of sills where it meets rear arch is a known weak spot on these, this doesn't look too bad but want to sort it before it gets any worse
Replace damaged daytime running light
Possibly replace faded and cracked rear lights - these are no longer available and rare as rocking horse poop - 'best' price I've found a pair for so far is £260 (HFM!) but they'll need replacing eventually and the longer I leave it the dearer they'll get so I might just hold my breath and take the hit now.
Replace Central Electronics Module (CEM) which (hopefully) is the cause of the indicators not working and the headlights doing this (at least I know the motors work!). I've managed to track one of these down for £80.
VID_20210618_150013_01_01.mp4 These are getting to be rare cars now and although they share a lot of parts with the other 400 series cars the bits that are unique to the 480 are getting harder to find and consequently more expensive. The irony is that over time I'll probably end up spending more than I would have on the shiny red one. I won't have had the satisfaction of doing myself though and isn't that a large part of what our hobby is about? Built not bought. Other than my BX which I bought off here this is the first time I've bought a vehicle without taking it for a test drive. The biggest gamble is that the electrical issues aren't sorted by a new battery and CEM. But hey, what's life without taking a few risks?
I take delivery Monday, can't wait!
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!
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.
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...