By Rust Collector
As I threatened in my first post in the 'introduce yourself' thread, I will slowly be getting the fleet posted up on here for everyone to admire/ridicule. I will be the first to admit I have a hoarding problem, and at one point I had around 18 cars in addition to the stock that I was trading at the time... I eventually listened to those close to me who had been constantly nagging over the years, weaned myself back to one car for a year or so, realised that without projects to play with I was constantly bored and miserable and so decided that having one car was a crock of shit and I should buy more again. Always just one more, never more than that 😆 At the moment we have the following, some running and on the road, some not so much... Nothing irreparable though, and I will try my best to document the work I do as I pick away it on them all.
So, on to the cars that we've got currently:
2007 mk3 Renault Clio 1.2 - mentioned for completeness, and because I put a new engine in it recently and effectively got the car for £150 I'm still feeling sort of smug. I got given it for free with a snapped cam belt after helping someone out, I bought the cheapest engine I could find, put a new cam belt on it and hoped for the best. It's now my partner's daily, and she's happy enough with it. I'm wary of it, as it contains computers, but whilst it runs it means I can delay welding my partner's Subaru! After driving it for a bit myself, I actually don't mind it and I've come to think it's an alright car for what it is despite being incredibly dull 😯 2000 Mk1 Honda Insight - I bought this around 2015/2016 when I was importing cars from Japan and put it in storage. It was tipped to go up in value... It didn't really. Before the world fell apart we used to drive on the continent a lot (my partner is Slovakian, we try to drive to see family rather than fly) so I recently took it out of storage and put it on the road in anticipation of getting some road trips in once the borders open. This is currently my daily driver. 2001 Mitsubishi Shogun Sport 3.0 V6 - This is our thunderbird, useful for rescuing the other cars when they shit themselves. So thirsty on fuel that you barely notice the change in economy when driving it unladen or with 1.5t dragged behind it 😆 Typical Japanese reliability, the engine and box are always well behaved but I'm forever welding bits into the holes in the body. I keep thinking of selling it, but it saved our arse when another car died just before a road trip to Zurich so I like to keep it around. It's quite good fun to take to pay and play days too, when I'm not busy throwing money at other stuff. 1994 Skoda Favorit Silverline Estate - I swapped another car I wanted to get out of for this one. The main attraction is that it horrifies my partner, as she had one as her first car and hated it. I've replaced quite a lot on this to get it running right, as it had some issues when I picked it up, I've also spent a good few days welding the underneath up. It still needs some bodywork and a tidy but it was a perfectly good daily up until the head gasket let go. It's still taxed and tested, the cylinder head is sat in the boot of the Mitsubishi ready to take for a skim, so hopefully I'll have her up and running again soon. I don't know why, but I've grown pretty fond of it over the time I've had it, despite the fact that it is fairly crap to drive by modern standards! 2001 Subaru Legacy Outback 3.0 H6 - Bought cheap with a short MOT, it was all going so well until I started picking at the inner arches. This was my partner's daily up until the MOT ran out, and ever since it's been on the 'I'll get round to it' list. Other than some crustiness, it's a pretty decent car. The flat 6 engine sounds beautiful through the stainless exhaust. It's rapid for a wagon, and has all the creature comforts you could want. It's fairly straightforward to work on. I think this is about our 6th or 7th Legacy, I keep getting rid of them and then regretting it. I'm told we are selling this one once I fix it... I may just buy my partner out of it, save us buying another one in a few months time 😆 2001 Mercedes E430 V8 Estate - £250 facebook marketplace special. Ran great for 6 months, providing loads of V8 fun. Bloody quick in a straight line, and huge inside. Easily one of my favourite shit heaps I've ever owned. Then the gearbox took a dump before we left for Zurich in 2019 (yes, I am stupid enough to plan a 3,000 mile foreign trip in a £250 German car...). I've since bought a replacement gearbox, which conveniently came attached to a 5.4l AMG lump from a CLK55 AMG that a mate was breaking, plus all the other bits I wanted to grab off of it. It's currently sat up at my parent's farm, firmly on the 'I'll get round to it' list. 2001 Mercedes SLK 320 - Bought off the mate who sold me the AMG lump, I got this as something to work on with my younger brother. It had a snapped control arm, and subsequently a knackered engine and gearbox. My mate chucked in a spare engine and gearbox, and we are most of the way through the repair work. The hardest part of this project has been both mine and my brother's working hours changing, making it hard to find the time to work together. 1992 Honda Prelude 2.2 Si VTEC - Another Japanese import, I bought it when I was 21, ran it for years and then took it off the road and left it up the farm until I was ready to do the restoration work it needed (I couldn't weld back then... Some people might say I still can't 😅 ) as the rear quarters and sills were going to crap. I started her up the other day and noticed she wasn't charging, so I'll probably strip the alternator and repair it over the next few days. As for the welding, you guessed it, I'll get round to it! 1992 Citroen BX Break 1.7 TZD - Well, it was free to a good home, and I had just dropped a car off and had an empty car transporter... What would anyone else do?! She's done nearly 300k miles, and has lots of holes for me to weld up. Otherwise runs fine, no trouble starting, suspension goes up and down as needed, doesn't spray green fluid all over the shop. I've had all the interior out and cleaned it thoroughly, removed most of the spiders, fitted the missing trim - basically done anything I can to avoid the harder jobs. It's due to become our holiday bus though, so I've scheduled some time over the next few months to get stuck in to the welding. This is probably one of the cars I'm most excited about running, as I reckon it will be a pretty decent estate to run around in. 1988 Zastava 311 - A bit of a random one, but I've always wanted a Zastava just for the obscurity. This one came up in January, and had been sat in barns since 1996 apparently. It didn't run when I got it, but I've slowly replaced pretty much everything in the engine bay, along with all the brake components and lines, and she runs now. Just the welding left to do, and she's ready for MOT. I have been fairly productive with this project, up until several cars within my family broke at the same time and I ended up working on those in my spare time instead of my toys. Only one family car left to fix and I'll be back on my projects again hopefully. I will try to put an individual post to follow for each car, as and when I can be bothered to do a write up of what I've done with each of them to bring them up to date, and then after that I'll try and get posts and pics up as I do jobs on them. I suspect the first thing to get up will be the Skoda, as that's what I'm actively working on currently. And seeing as you made it this far through my rambling, here's a picture of the Favorit:
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...
So to recap. After a painfully long time (well a month) I finally bought a MGB GT.
I've always fancied one and after seeing one at a local garage (which turned out to be a bit shit) the urge sprang up again. Anyway after a lot of searching I ended up with this. Seems pretty straight and underneath don't appear to not been welded too much. Worst point that I've found in the leaf spring mount. I'm not going to cover all the different things and stuff just yet as its already in the thread, so I shouldn't make this too long!
I've not owned a car this old and never something with a carburettor. So I don't quite know what I'm doing with a lot of this, and will have plenty of questions! Part of the reason why I bought it was so I had something that I could fiddle with and learn on. As the other thread got a bit long, I thought it would be a better idea to split and start here.
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!
This week, for the first time ever, I felt old. I have sciatica which swaps from one side to the other, arthritis in one hand and what I think is the beginnings of IBS. On top of that it took me 2 weeks to remember a registration number that once would take me 2 seconds, and I forgot my parent's wedding anniversary.
I'm only 32.
Shit. No I'm not. I'm 33. I forgot that too. (Genuinely)
So, it's about time I committed some of my tales to paper. Well, a shonky server... but that's the best you can do in 2016.
First up, a list of the cars I've owned (as best as I can remember) in chronological order.
1985 VW Polo Formel E. C158 TRT. This was given to me even before I passed my test.
1991 Rover Metro S. J801 TAC. Bought about 3 months after I passed my test as I was convinced the Polo was about to shit its gearbox.
1987 Volvo 360 GLT. D899 CBJ ___ Managed three months in a Metro before the small car and smaller petrol tank became a bore.
Ford Mondeo and Honda Civic Coupe by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
1999 Ford Mondeo Zetec. V384 DBJ. Still the most I've ever spent on a car. It was 3 years old and cost, from memory, about Â£8,000. Just think of the Rover R8s you could buy with that now!
1987 Volkswagen Golf GTI 8v by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
1987 Volkswagen Golf GTI D79 CVV. I very nearly bought a MK1 Golf 1.1 but was persuaded, by my father amusingly, to buy this one from a different friend. From memory I gave about Â£500 for it, and sold it to some racers later that year for about Â£300. Amusingly, 16 year later I'd sell the Hartge wheels that came with the car for Â£530.
1999 Toyota Avensis CDX by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
1999 Toyota Avensis CDX. V781 GDP. By far the best car I've ever had. Bought in 2002 for Â£5300, it had previously been a company car at British Telecom. I ran it from 62,000 to 174,000 before it became surplus to requirements. A German chap bought it on ebay for about Â£500 and drove over to collect it. Hero.
2001 Ford Mondeo Zetec by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
2001 Ford Mondeo Zetec. Y821 EEB. I should have loved this car. I gave Â£500 for it in 2008 which was stupidly cheap by anybody's standards. It needed 4 tyres (which actually was nice to pick good ones for once) and a coil spring. Sadly, it was just bill after bill after bill. I sold it and promised to never own another Ford. I nearly succeeded.
1998 Nissan Almera by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
1998 Nissan Almera GX Auto. S58 NLO. My late Grandfather's car and, upon reflection, my first proper attempt at bangernomics. I bought it for Â£500 in 2008 from the estate and ran it for well over a year and 30,000 miles. It was also my first automatic which, whilst a bit dumb, did lock up into overdrive and give a good 36 mpg no matter how it was driven.
2004 Ford Fiesta 1.25 LX and 2006 Ford Focus 2.0 Ghia by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
2004 Ford Fiesta Zetec. AG53 BWL. My wife's car which I ran for a couple of years when I bought her a Focus as a wedding gift.
2003 Rover 75 by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
2003 Rover 75 Club SE. AX53 BFA. This is where my career as a serial car buyer really began. Ignoring all of the warning signs I decided to press a K Series into a daily 100 mile commute, which it did with aplomb. This wasn't actually the car I set out to buy, the one I'd agreed to buy OVERHEATED ON THE FORECOURT whilst I was doing the paperwork. Consequently I couldn't leave fast enough and bought a different car later that day.
2004 Toyota Avensis T30-X by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
2004 Toyota Avensis T3-X. KT53 DWZ. Sensible head back on, I decided to get back into something I trusted when my 3rd son was born. This was a lovely car, but not without its problems. The VVTi oil burning issues are well documented and do frequently occur. Ironically, this was less reliable than the Rover it replaced! Despite fearing the worst and 3 months off the road, the new owner has just MOTd it.
1999 Toyota Avensis SR by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
1999 Toyota Avensis SR. V263 GDP. Back into bangernomics territory again. The last MK1 Avensis I had was the best car I'd ever had, so I hoped to replicate it with another T22 Avensis. This one came up for sale in my favourite (and rare) colour with a numberplate sequential to my previous car - so it was meant to be. I still have this now, and tomorrow it will tick around to 185,000 miles having been bought by me at 100,500.
1974 Morris Mini 1000 by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
1974 Morris Mini 1000. GEL 517N. Well, I always wanted one - and was young, free, single and well off at the time (2003). A memorable trip to buy it when I called my new girlfriend by my ex girlfriend's name 20 miles into a 200 mile weekend away. She's never forgiven or forgotten but we're still friends. Oh - and married.
1977 Ford Capri II GL by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
1977 Ford Capri II 1600 GL. SMY 675R. I can't remember why I bought this, other than I thought it'd be amusing. It was bought from Norwich for Â£350 and was perfectly well behaved for the 8 months that I had it (other than a flasher unit expiring). I remember being shocked just how much the windscreen would ice up inside, and duly sold it in November to a guy who was going to drive it daily! It's still alive and now, apparently, black! (Update - it's now silver!!!)
1989 Volvo 340 DL by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
1989 Volvo 340 DL. G67 AVN. I bought this for Â£80. Unbelievable. It was utterly bloody perfect. I wanted to do a banger rally which is why the guy gave it to me so cheap. I'm still yet to do that rally, but no longer have the car. I sold it for about Â£300 to a family who were clearly down on their luck who, I hope, still have the car.
1996 Toyota Granvia by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
1996 Toyota Granvia. N775 JEV. My wife and I decided to increase our numbers further and, with our 4th son on the way, larger transport was required. We quickly realised you can either have 4 children and no apparel, or apparel and no children. After trying a very tired Mercedes Viano, the Granvia was found for 1/4 of the price and it's still here 2 years later. I can safely say that we'll never sell it - it really is another member of the family.
1993 Mercedes 190e by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
1993 Mercedes 190e. L795 COJ. I've admired these cars since I was a child. In fact, one of the very few toy cars I still have from my childhood is a Mercedes 190e. Regular readers of "Memoirs from the Hard Shoulder" will know what a PITA this car has been since day 1, but I get the feeling it's a keeper. We'll see!
1983 Ford Sierra Base 1.6 by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
1983 Ford Sierra Base. GVG 510Y. Not explicitly my car, but it should be documented here for reference. Oh - and the V5 is in my name. The story is online for all to read as to how five of us acquired what is believed to be the only remaining Ford Sierra Base. Make a brew and read it, it's a fantastic story.
1982 Ford Sierra L by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
1982 Ford Sierra L. LCR 503Y. I accidentally won this on ebay for Â£520. Upon reflection, I shouldn't have sold it - but short stop of saying I regret it. I could never get truly comfortable driving it and, in fairness, I could scratch my Sierra itch with the base if I wanted. Sold it at a stupid profit of Â£1250. It is believed to be the oldest remaining Ford Sierra in the UK.
1979 Volvo 343 DL by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
1979 Volvo 343 DL. DBY 466T As you'll see above, I'd had a 360GLT as a younger lad and fancied one of these earlier cars. The variomatic is, frankly, terrible but amusing. This car has just 8000 miles on the clock and inside was absolutely timewarp. Sadly, the huge bill for the Mercedes 190e cylinder head rebuild meant I had to sell this car shortly after acquiring it. Since then I've had a bit of money luck, and now realise I didn't need to sell it after all. Typical.
I think that's it. My arthritis is playing up even more now. I've left out a few cars that were actually my wife's, but if I find pictures will add them in at a later date. I'll run this as an ongoing thread on cars and what's happening.
Purple Avensis: Just about to click over 185,000. Minor drama this week when an HT lead split but otherwise utterly fantastic, fantastically boring and boringly reliable.
Granvia: Just done 1000 miles in a month around Norfolk, 6 up with suitcases. 31mpg achieved on the way up which is good for an old tub with a 3.0 Turbo Diesel on board. ODO displaying 175,000 which is a mix of miles and kilometers. Say 130,000 miles for argument's sake.
Mercedes: Being a PITA. It's had the top end completely rebuilt after the chain came off. Now needs welding to pass another MOT and the gearbox bearings are on strike. It's about to go into the garage for winter until I can stomach it again. 151,000 miles on the clock.
Sierra bASe: Still on sabbatical with AngryDicky who only took it bloody camping in cornwall! Legend.