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.
First some background:
I was brought up with no car interest, a car was transport and nothing more which resulted in a selection of poor cheap cars being the cars of my youth.
Fast forward many years (just over 9 years ago) and I have a wonderful* Vauxhall Vectra estate to carry us about. Unfortunately it is crap and throws fault codes at us with nothing being there when it is checked (even at Vauxhall)
As Mrs T is the main pilot of this chariot with the two little miss T's on board, it has to go.
The hunt is on for the new steed to safely and comfortably carry the family around. I have a company car at the time so big journeys are not an issue.
ebay is my weapon of choice to find the new family car. It has to be good value cheap for no other reason than I am tight.
Weeks of research with lots of cars that are too expensive and too far away for easy collection end up in my watch list.
Finally a possible is spotted in Fife. I go and have a look and find a poor looking but solid car. One previous owner and lots of history.
The auction was to end on the Saturday at midday, we were going to be out! I decided on how much I was willing to gamble on it and on the Saturday morning I put in my max bid but straight away it went to my max bid, I was winning but it had three hours to go with no room for me to go up! We went out anyway.
I spent the next three hours kicking myself for not bidding more while we were out as it was the first car I had seen that fitted my criteria. Fate was in charge.
On returning home I go straight on ebay to find 'Congratulations.............'
For the grand total of £500 I had just won this fine vehicle!
It has 5 months MOT and after fitting seat belts in the rear for the girls car seats it is pushed into daily service.
My gamble and subsequent use results in a perfectly reliable car that actually does what it is supposed to do.
Even more importantly Mrs T loves it so a win all round.
All my cars have names (most are earned over a bit of time) and this one is called 'Gwendolen' ( G reg car and from Wales originally. I hate the name but I am not going to argue)
That sums up part one, more will be along later (probably much later)
After many a long year of occasional contribution on here I've probably got enough old shite on fleet now to do something I should have done yonks ago and start a project thread.
The story so far.........
I had an 02 CRV for 6 years and it performed faultlessly as an car taking everything in it's stride. The only issue with it was the 25mpg it returned but as I worked close to home that wasn't an issue. Cue December last year and a new job saw my commute go up from 4 miles a day to 32 miles a day.
By March I was drowning in green shield stamps so bought the mighty diesel disAstra from Davehedgehog of this here parish. Shown here on the only off-road parking and only second car parking space I have. The garage contains a few motorbikes so I've always stubbornly stuck to a single car rule so I don't have to move motors to get bikes in and out. More on this detail in a bit.....
A combination of broken motorcycles needing worked on, a bike trip around the Baltic and work meant that I soon realised that I had no time to prep the disAstra for its MOT at the start of this month. It wasn't worth enough to pay to have the work done so I decided that the poor old thing would be scrapped in favour of a replacement motor.........
The mighty Volvo (V70 D5) was purchased from Ma & Pa forddeliveryboy of this parish and migrated north of the border back to it's natural home.
Three days after being pressed into commuting service the mighty volvo suffered a (badly) sticking caliper and much burning brake smells that had to be stripped and rebuilt before work the next day. Sticking piston at that so the whole thing was off and the brakes had to be bled afterwards. Two and a half hours in the pissing rain was a bit character building especially as the still MOT'd (by 3 days) and taxed (but not insured) astra was sitting on the drive. Decision made, insurance checked and a soon to be taken out Admiral multi-car policy will see me with two cars on the fleet again. I could have used one of the bikes but motorway commuting in the pissing rain on two wheels is no fun. The volvo needs an MOT in december so having the astra back on the road will take the pressure off getting that done if it needs work and the weather is bad.
And so as the volvo continues to provide daily service, project astra revival starts. Known MOT work needed is frilly arches, broken number plate and front discs and pads so nothing major. Thus far the arches have been sorted without resort to duct tape.
After a bit of prodding.......
And after the angle grinder was let loose surprisingly it was only the return lip that was rotten so the welder was broken out to lash on some roughly cut fresh metal.
Linished off filled, sanded and primed. Note the use of a farmfoods brochure pulled out the bin being used as masking paper for extra shite points.
Followed by a near perfect colour matched (*) top coat....
Well I had black on the shelf and it's good enough to stop the primer soaking up the water so that'll do for now.
Hoping to get brakes and MOT sorted in the coming week so more to follow soon (hopefully).