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All SL's cars of ever - celebrating 30 years behind the wheel (Pt 9)

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I think this one will be familiar to a few of you:

 

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1989 Nissan Skyline 3.0SGL (R31, SA) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Found in a Colchester scrapyard when I was filling time whilst Mrs SL-to-be was trying on wedding dresses.

 

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1989 Nissan Skyline 3.0SGL + Transit recovery truck by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

For some reason I collected this one myself, I think the banger racers were busy that weekend (Swaffham Icebreaker maybe?).

 

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1989 Nissan Skyline 3.0SGL (R31, SA) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

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1989 Nissan Skyline 3.0SGL (R31, SA) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Cost me £150, which seemed a bit much but the 3-litre RB engine would probably have sold for more as it could be used as the basis for a big-capacity GT-R upgrade. South African spec with lots of toys inside. I didn't get it on the road myself but it went to my friend in Holland after he'd replaced the water pump and done a bit of work on it here. I think he still has it, if so it's in the best possible hands.

 

There really was extraordinary variety in the Skyline range, wasn't there?  I'm reminded of this one I saw at the Mile of Triumphs years ago - also a Saffer import if memory serves, and I think it had a 2-litre engine.

 

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This is currently my favourite thread on AS. Seeing your Autobreak-sourced R31 reminds me the Walton-on-the-Naze played host to one for a few years, a white four-door (I can't remember if it was a saloon or hardtop). I was of an age that I didn't really know what I was looking at, but those dark twin-circle rear lights etched themselves into my consciousness.

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Just to echo previous thoughts, this is all very cathartic for me.  Lots of familiar yet forgotten cars in lots of familiar yet forgotten streets.  I guess what I'd like to ask is - if you were still buying shonkers at the rate you were 20 years ago, what would be tickling your current fancy?  The supply has all but dried up of slightly left field jap stuff - 20 years ago they were knocking them out of Burnaston rather than anywhere exotic.

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Excellent thread! Brings back memories from the mid 70's when I was an apprentice in a Datsun dealership. My favourites were the 240Z & the 240K GT (the early ones with the round rear lights) . Clutch replacement on the 100A Cherry was the easiest ever, didn't need to get under the car! It was all done from the top, except for a small access cover under the wheel arch!

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I guess what I'd like to ask is - if you were still buying shonkers at the rate you were 20 years ago, what would be tickling your current fancy?  The supply has all but dried up of slightly left field jap stuff - 20 years ago they were knocking them out of Burnaston rather than anywhere exotic.

 

As a politician would say when he/she doesn't immediately know the answer, that's a very good question. If we're talking overlooked/unusual/bigger-than average 15-20yr old stuff then I suppose Xedos 9, Camry (an early '00s V6 would be an almost invisible way of getting around quite quickly), Accord Coupe, Hyundai Sonata and the like? Not many of those around at £25-50 though, I suppose that's why there's an increasingly large gap between my modern daily driver and the next-oldest (currently the Camry at 25 yrs old and still proving to be a fine workhorse).

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There really was extraordinary variety in the Skyline range, wasn't there?  I'm reminded of this one I saw at the Mile of Triumphs years ago - also a Saffer import if memory serves, and I think it had a 2-litre engine.

 

I knew of that one, it may well make an appearance later in this thread but sadly I never got to own it myself.

 

Back in the late '70s there was a saloon (and maybe also estate?) version of my 240K that was available with 3-speed column shift 'box and a bench front seat.

 

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1978/79 Datsun Skyline 180K estate (C210) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

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1978/79 Datsun Skyline 180K estate (C210) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

When you add in South African and Australian manufactured models there have been all sorts of strange variants over the years.

 

 

Seeing your Autobreak-sourced R31 reminds me the Walton-on-the-Naze played host to one for a few years, a white four-door (I can't remember if it was a saloon or hardtop). I was of an age that I didn't really know what I was looking at, but those dark twin-circle rear lights etched themselves into my consciousness.

 

I wonder if it survived? It's not one I can recall. There is another JDM oddity which formerly lived in Essex still to come......

 

 

Excellent thread! Brings back memories from the mid 70's when I was an apprentice in a Datsun dealership. My favourites were the 240Z & the 240K GT (the early ones with the round rear lights) . Clutch replacement on the 100A Cherry was the easiest ever, didn't need to get under the car! It was all done from the top, except for a small access cover under the wheel arch!

 

Thanks. That would have been an interesting time, it's when Datsun UK were becoming the biggest importer here. Despite being a bit of a spare part in the range I think that original 240K saloon sold reasonably well. Do you remember the 200L coupe? That neatly brings me onto the next bit of this saga........

 

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1973 Datsun 200L coupe (C130) barnfind by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

The local exporter/banger racer told me about this one, they'd been in touch after seeing his wanted ad. They wanted more than he was offering but he gave their details to me. There is another one on the first page, but this is what it would look like:

 

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1973 Datsun Laurel 200L Coupe (C130) press photo by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

My second chance of buying one of these rarities, the strange thing being that they were within 10-15 miles of each other and were probably the only two survivors of the 300-odd that came to the UK. Again I felt like it was too big a job and all I could do was help find it a home. Eventually it ended up with Ratdat's mate and was up for sale only very recently - don't know what happened but I recall seeing it at more than £20k! Back in 2003 I could have bought it for around £500, and that seemed a lot then......

 

Just remembered this pair (some might say they are rather forgettable, but I'll just put it down to my advancing years):

 

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1981/82 Datsun Bluebird 1.8GL auto (910), 2002 by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Borrowed this off Ratdat for several months while he was doing some work on one of my 300C saloons. The combination of 1.8-litre 4-pot and 3-speed auto 'box wasn't entirely happy, but it still did a good job of keeping me mobile.

 

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1982/83 Datsun Bluebird 1.8GL estate by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Got this one as a swap for the white 100A estate a few posts back. It looked smart enough but was fairly high mileage (about 160k?) and it felt mechanically rather tired. Only kept it for a few weeks, I think the buyer was going to race it.

 

I think 2004 was fairly quiet, I'd been using the 323F GT as my daily driver and the 240K was still around. I decided that the Mazda was a bit too modern and complicated and went for this instead:

 

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1973 Datsun 180B estate (610) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

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1973 Datsun 180B estate (610) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Bought off eBay for about £450, from its original owner. Came from Yarmouth and he'd initially used it for his shop, then kept it. Early, pre-facelift model for added period charm, only done about 27k miles.

 

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Datsun 180B estate (610) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Managed to get it MoTed, had a new clutch fitted, stuck the alloys on that I'd kept from the previous 180B then took it to a Datsun OC do up at Cosford.

 

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Datsun line-up 2004 by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Managed the trip OK, although I was lucky the radiator didn't go pop on the M6 on the way home and I had to get it recored afterwards. For some reason all the previous 180B/Bluebird models hadn't filled me with any great enthusiasm (maybe too big to have the charm of the smaller cars, and no straight-six smoothness of the big ones?) but I really liked this one. I used it as my daily driver in all weathers, predictably at the next MoT the rot had only got worse. When it went to have new wings fitted it was found that the inner wings needed significant repairs and I couldn't justify/afford the expense. Luckily I sold it onto local friend Chris (ScrapingScrap/UtterPiffle) who welded it up and then ran it as his daily (somewhat lowered, of course). I think it then ended up with an English chap in France and it may have fairly recently come up for sale again?

 

Briefly moving onto 2005 before calling it a day for today, I bought this one after mum and stepdad saw an ad for it in a shop window:

 

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1983 Datsun Sunny 1.5GL estate (B11) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

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1983 Datsun Sunny 1.5GL estate (B11) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Local car from new, was up for £100 but I think I paid £25 (actually Mrs SL might have paid that as some sort of Father's Day present). Drove this one home, best not ask about tax and insurance. As a throwback to my days of running these in the past I would like to have got it on the road, especially as it was the more attractive fastback estate, but a pre-MoT check revealed too much work was needed.

 

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1983 Datsun Sunny 1.5GL estate (B11) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

I stripped it of anything useful and sold the running remains to local banger racers for £40.

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Let the motoring misery continue......

 

I'm struggling slightly with the order of when things came and went at this time, but I think 2005 /06 saw me with these at various points:

 

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1986 Nissan Laurel 2.4SGL (C32) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

This was fairly horrible, but with the 180B estate having moved-on it became my daily driver. Cost me £25 from an old boy up in Cromer, it stunk of fags, the driver's seat was broken and the auto 'box slipped. However, out of several cars I stuck in for pre-MoT lookovers it was the most worthwhile (i.e. it had least problems) so I got it sorted. Used it for a year then kept it for spares, even transporting it to my new place when we moved house.

 

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The day of reckoning beckons for the old Laurel... by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Bits from this ended up all over the country and abroad. Looks like it was 2011 when it finally got stripped and the shell was taken away. I still have the engine under a tarp in the corner of the driveway.

 

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1981 Toyota Starlet 1.2GL 5dr (KP61) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

In early 2006 I saw this for sale in Norfolk (it may also have been mentioned on RR). I ended up getting it from the former Toyota dealer for £300 with a fresh MoT.

 

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1981 Toyota Starlet 1.2GL 5dr by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

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1981 Toyota Starlet 1.2GL 5dr by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

It was a brilliant little thing to drive, the 1.2 engine was very willing and it handled and steered very well - I could see why they were the basis of so many oval racers. I bought the Compomotive wheels locally and quickly sprayed them gold, when I then took it to the RR show at Santa Pod. It proved surprisingly difficult to sell when I eventually needed to move it on, but luckily it ended up with a former racer in Ipswich and he's looked after it brilliantly ever since. I regularly see it at local events and he's bought a rare 3dr 'S' to accompany it. It's the first old car my daughter recalls, so it's fondly remembered.

 

Those of us of a certain age will remember random red cars painted-up like a certain TV car. I got one ready-done for £25........

 

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1977 Datsun 100A FII 2dr (F10) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

I think it had been done for a local fete and it actually won a prize. Sadly it had too many issues to bother getting it back on the road, so the usual happened:

 

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1977 Datsun 100A FII 2dr (F10) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

A fairly thorough job done there with help from another Datsun owner, again parts ended up all over the UK and Europe.

 

Looks like there was some overlap with other cars:

 

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My Datsuns circa 2006 by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

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Starlet 1.2GL + Datsun 100A FII by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

The Starlet was sold to make way for something which would become an important step in my motoring 'career'.

 

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1996 Toyota Camry 2.2 estate by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

I needed a biggish estate car and had been considering various things like Scorpio, Carlton, Mercedes TE and even Mazda 929 (including that owned by our own Mr Bo11ox). This turned-up on eBay, strange as it now seems it was a bit of an unknown quantity to me. It had about 180k miles on the clock but with good ownership and service history. Agreed a price to buy it unseen before the auction ended, from memory about £550, then jumped on a train with a banker's draft in my pocket to collect it from its Home Counties solicitor owner. I was an AS member, but we didn't really do collection threads back then and to be honest it was as uneventful as could be hoped.

 

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1995 Toyota Camry 2.2GL Estate by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Its ability to carry 6-7 people or lots of stuff was frequently utilised over the couple of years I had it on the road. However, by late 2008 various faults were needing attention and having got something else which could be used as a daily driver I took it out of everyday use. Wuvvum bought it off me and used it for a bit, then I ended up buying it back off him.

 

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Camry Estate off to the scrapyard by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

I kept it as a source of spares as long as possible, but eventually the time came for it to go. Bits of it will be seen again on here.......

 

Almost forgot about this one:

 

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1983 Mazda 323 1.3 Hatchback by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Paid £150 for this one-owner car from the Ipswich Hyundai dealer who'd taken it as a part-exchange from its 88-yr old owner who could no longer drive without PAS. Sadly I didn't keep it for long, it went well though and I was happy for it to be purchased by MatT of this parish. I'm pleased to see that it's still T&Ted, now listed with a 1587cc engine. I think I may have seen more recent photos of it at RRG?

 

Finishing-up for now with early 2007, this was bought unseen off eBay for £265:

 

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1984 Honda Accord 1.8EX 3dr by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

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1984 Honda Accord 1.8EX 3dr by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Wuvvum and I went down to Crawley in the Camry one cold January evening to collect this from a chap with the splendid name of Lennie Lettice. He was South African and had inherited it from his brother (who was the original owner). Was a lovely thing to drive, had a really well-engineered feel definitely a step up from a Nissan or Toyota of the same age.

 

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1983 Renault 11 3dr + 1984/85 Honda Accord 1.8 3dr by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Was used to good effect when AS member Baz and I went down to West London to collect this 11 for him.

 

Sold it a few months later to a Polish lad, I used to see it around but I think it then got taken out of use and ended its days sitting on a farm somewhere.

 

More later.

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Fabulous thread, SL....There was a Sparky and Crutch Cherry round our way too back in the day, although I have a feeling it was a 120A bread-van type - didn't take a lot of notice at the time I am afraid to say... 

 

 

However, I do feel I know that  Bluebird wagon NCR575Y - think it may have belonged to a distant relative of mine down here - do you know its background?   

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It's good to see the complete car history.

The 323 served me well for a good few years before It needed to sell it on. It went to some one on RR. Then it got sold on to a lad I used to work with. He still has it, I believe it now has a Citroen saxo vts? Engine and no interior. I think it still has the compmotive wheels you had on the brown starlet!

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However, I do feel I know that  Bluebird wagon NCR575Y - think it may have belonged to a distant relative of mine down here - do you know its background?   

 

Hmmm, not too sure. It came to me from Joncedric, something makes me think it was with someone before him who might have had a couple of them. Would be interesting if it was known to you.

 

 

It's good to see the complete car history.

The 323 served me well for a good few years before It needed to sell it on. It went to some one on RR. Then it got sold on to a lad I used to work with. He still has it, I believe it now has a Citroen saxo vts? Engine and no interior. I think it still has the compmotive wheels you had on the brown starlet!

 

Blimey Mat, great to hear from you! Saxo engine seems like an odd choice, but at least it (and the Starlet's wheels) are still around.

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Yes saxo engine wouldn't be my engine of choice, i'm sure a 1.8 16v from a later 323f would have been far more in keeping. Although I always found the original 1.3 had more than enough power. I still would like to try a 1.5 gt one day

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Hmmm, not too sure. It came to me from Joncedric, something makes me think it was with someone before him who might have had a couple of them. Would be interesting if it was known to you.

 

 

 

 

 

My distant cousin Frank Tillyer had a couple of these, seem to remember one with a local Southampton reg. and four auxiliary lamps.....He certainly had more than one.  

It just looks really familiar!

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Not that I am lamenting 'the old days' but at present this thread is a perfect embodiment of what AS was like right at the start, with interesting old Datsuns and Renault 11s being the type and age of car that featured regularly.

 

I'm amazed that as recently as 2003, 1970s Datsuns were available so cheaply and with MOT. You never know what's around the corner!

 

Definitely one of my favourite threads right now.

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Problem is that 2003 seems like just yesterday, not 15 years ago. I still have vivid memories of driving the little beige RWD Starlet 1.3 auto I bought in 2004 for £150 - I can even remember the smell of the interior. I struggle to get my head round the fact that it'd be worth 10x that now in similar condition.

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Cheers all.

 



Problem is that 2003 seems like just yesterday, not 15 years ago....................

 

We're getting old.

 

The 1980s stuff we were buying decent MoTed, running examples of back then was just bilge to most people, same as late '90s/early '00s stuff is now. Scrappage hadn't happened and it was the natural cycle of cars coming available from elderly owners who'd bought them new on/near to retirement and kept them for 20 years or so. I had a "random 3rd car" policy to take advantage of this, after my daily driver then the 240K (which was still just about with me in 2007, but more of that in a moment).

 

What came next then?

 

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1982 Colt Galant 1600GL (2007) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

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1982 Colt Galant 1600 by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

This beige beauty was owned by AS/RR/OJC/DOC good egg Reallyloud, a friend to a number of us on here. He'd had it on the road for a while, but I think by the time he put it up for sale it was out of T&T and it cost me £150. Wuvvum and I went up to collect it from the Midlands (from memory we also picked up an outboard electric boat motor en route).

 

I sold the 3dr Accord and was going to put the money into getting the Galant on the road. Trouble was, literally the day after the Accord had gone I drove home on a different road and found another one for sale.

 

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Honda Accord 1.8EX-R by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

It was up for £225 but I got it for £150. Rather an easy collection mission as it was only a mile or two from home so I cycled there on what I recall was a rather pleasant early summer evening.

 

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Honda Accord 1.8EXR and Colt Galant 1.6 by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Even if it meant the Galant never got sorted, they did look good on the drive together. Being an EX-R meant the Accord was very well-specced, with a delightful caramel interior, cruise control and ABS. It was a great thing to drive.

 

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Billing UJNW 2007 by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Crossing paths with my old 323 and other AS favourites from the time.

 

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1985/86 Honda Accord + Renault 9 by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Baz found himself another Renault to purchase, it seemed only appropriate for an Accord to do the honours again. It was an excellent day out, we called-in at the Bubblecar Museum on the way home (at its old location).

 

The Galant got sold onto Matt from Practical Classics, it was featured in some sort of "Nurburgring for £200" article before finding a home with Hirst:

 

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Colt duo - 1980 Sapporo and 1982 Galant by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

A forthcoming house move meant the Accord had to go in early 2008. It went to Mash who kept it for several years before he then sold it on (with a different plate). To our mutual satisfaction it seems to have ended up with someone in the USA.

 

I've jumped forward a bit here. By 2007 the 240K was getting rather tired and I sold it on to Stuart (who owned the silver Sapporo above).

 

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1979 Datsun Skyline 240K GT (C210) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

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1979 Datsun 240K GT spares car by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

This spares car was included with the package.

 

I considered a few different things to replace it. I went to view a Mazda 323 GT (same style as the green one I'd briefly owned) and was taken on an excessively fast test drive. It was a model I'd wanted when I was younger but somehow it didn't feel special enough.

 

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Luckily something came up for sale locally on RR that fitted the bill just right.......

 

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Nissan Laurel 2.0 Medalist Hardtop (C32) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

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Nissan Laurel 2.0 Medalist Hardtop (C32) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

A JDM curio that'd been in the UK for a number of years. I'd seen it down in Harwich one evening several years beforehand and had a chat with the oldish chap who had it at the time. However it was a subsequent owner who I bought it from. It had a rather low-powered 2-litre 'RB' straight-six and auto 'box, which meant it was smooth but not very quick, but the main point of attraction was it being a 4-door hardtop with a decadent burgundy interior.

 

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It was a lovely thing and I enjoyed my year or so with it. I sold it to my friend in Holland (the one who'd bought the South African Skyline off me) and he still has it - I regularly see photos of it at events over there and he's brought it back to the UK on several occasions. It's replacement will follow a bit later......

 

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Two unusual 1980s Nissan imports by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

I went to view that local South African spec Skyline hatchback. Tempting, but for some reason I never went for it.

 

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The fleet back in 2008 by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Shortly after moving to our new house I made use of the space on the driveway to give this tidy Bluebird a home.

 

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Nissan Bluebid 2.0SLX (T72) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

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1987 Nissan Bluebird 2.0SLX 4dr (T72) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

I think it cost me £275 as a BIN off eBay. I liked it a lot, not quite as sophisticated as the Accords but an honest, capable car with a very plush interior. It ended up becoming my daily driver when the first Camry estate got sold to Wuvvum.

 

That'll do for the moment.........

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Thanks for this thread it's great to see cars and versions I've never seen before as well as being reminded of so many once common place Cherrys and Sunnys etc that I'd almost forgotten about.

 

I've never been a Jap perv and apart from a couple of MX5s that my two eldest daughters had as second cars a few years ago , I've only owned two.

A 260C in red with slot mags and a Starsky and Hutch stripe, paid £40 for it because it had a bent front wing, my brother had it off me and got pulled for no MOT and tax after a few months, he got a 7 day producer, we went to the Police Staion and 'fessed up. The copper just said, I don't want to see it on the road again and let him off!

This was 1986, we sold it to a banger racer and it ended its days at Braefield.

The other was an immaculate dark green 200 Laurel that was the last car through at an auction that I'd sold a car at, £30 and it was the smoothest car I'd ever driven, not fast and certainly not a good handler. I lost 2 hubcaps on the way home, I retrieved them and pulled th other 2 off and kept them in the boot. Swapped it for a Mk1 Escort after a couple of weeks of squealing around learning all about under steer.

 

Can't remember the ages but these styles.

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I recall you saying about that 200L before. Both of them would be desirable cars nowadays.

 

You've reminded me about this 240C I viewed somewhere down in Dagenham/Barking:

 

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1972 Datsun 240C Cedric (230) c.1996 by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Came up for sale after sitting in a garage since 1980 - chap took it off the road when fuel prices got high and big cars weren't worth much. Got me thinking but I didn't go for it. It did find a home and eventually ended up resprayed metallic blue with different wheels (as seen on RR) and is now listed as being on SORN with its last MoT expiring in 2013.

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