Thought I should probably start a thread, given that a few people have suggested it. For my sins, my first car was a 1985 Hyundai Stellar. Bought back in 1997, when the sun still shone, I had more hair, and the world was generally a better place.
This may be the earliest photo I have, I think from 1998:
Anyway, I drove everywhere in it, and clocked up over 100k miles before I was given an Alfa Romeo 75. So I took the Stellar off the road for some much needed TLC. Made some progress on it - Rebuilt all the suspension, fitted a rebuilt Cortina* rear axle, Princess 4 pot front calipers and Capri vented discs etc - before a couple of house moves and renovations put it on the back burner.
* before anyone says they are identical underneath, there are some differences. I fitted a replacement axle fairly early on in my ownership, only to fit that not only was the propshaft flange the wrong size, the UJ was totally different so I couldn't even fit a new yoke. Finding a company on the day before New Year's Eve who could cut off the end, weld a new UJ on and balance it wasn't too easy, especially one that was accessible by push bike!
Anyway, late last year I found some renewed motivation, and have been working on it when time and money permit. Here is what it looked like in October:
OMG barn find?
Front suspension OK at first glance...
...but it has turned out the calipers had seized (so are away being rebuilt) and all the (brand new) ball joint boots had perished:
Quite a bit of welding is needed too, but I had a setback just before Christmas when we were burgled and my welder stolen
Crusty roof rail
I've cleared some of the crap away from it now (it's not stored at mine - I'd love to own somewhere that big!) so might be able to get more photos. Currently working on the rear brakes, and disappointed to find that the shotblasted rear axle is now starting to rust after two coats of POR15 and 7 years storage under cover...
My goal was not to buy any more cars but with the Lanchester out of action while we work through it and make it safe to use, and the Princess out of action and needing the engine to be removed (a job I am procrastinating about, and when I'm motivated am thwarted by schedule and weather conflicts) it was getting more obvious that I needed some personal transport. Something basic and reliable that I know my way around, that's going to be cheap to buy and run. This is an ideal candidate, on paper.
Whether I really can just use it as An Car or will end up getting all finicky about making it nice remains to be seen. I just want some hasslefree pootling for a few months and normally Maestros are just that.
By popular* demand* here is a thread about the least popular VW van around.
The photo is as bought, back in 2006. Purchased with a year's MOT, 6 months tax, and a caravan all for Ã‚Â£600. To his credit, the seller had received many enquiries from people wanting to buy either the caravan or van, but not both although refused to end the auction early when there were bids already on it. So it failed to go anywhere near what I thought it would sell for.
The combination suited us well, as we could live in the caravan wile we carried out major house work, and use the van for carrying building materials. This we did, enduring a sometimes cosy but often cold winter in the caravan while I used the LT as my only road legal vehicle. It was already carpeted inside, with a simple electrical system as it had been previously used as a motorbike race van. It saw a little bit of use as a 'tent on wheels', seen here in Scotland in 2007:
I'd always wanted to build a campervan, although I kept this quiet when seeking domestic funding for buying it in the first place! So when the bulk of the work was done, I suggested using some fittings from the caravan to convert it. This was met with approval (to my surprise), and we planned to take it to a festival one August.
I waited for a forecast of dry weather, but none came and I was running out of time so ended up booking time off work a week before the festival. The reason for dry weather is that I wanted to tackle some welding...
As it turned out, I had one dry day to work on it! After much searching I'd bought some genuine VW panels (despite forum experts saying there were none remaining), which fitted very nicely
Managed to get that far on Monday, then it was time to tackle the floorpan but I'll leave that tale for another day...
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:
Placeholder hopefully for a collection tomorrow.
Mega excited because I've wanted one for ages and I think this may be a good one!
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