With the recent addition of the 420 to the fleet it's high time I started a project thread devoted to all four Rovers.
I've done some half-hearted attempts in the past, then done a few updates on the News 24 as and when I remembered.
Today will be an intro to the fleet only with a little potted history about things wot I've done, and then I'll aim to be more blog-like in my approach to my skillful* fettling.
So without further ado, welcome to the fleet.
2004 Streetwise S - purchased May 2017
It was a toss up between this and a top spec K11 Micra, but this won the day. This car marked my return behind the wheel after almost 18 years and thus was a monumental step forward for me.
I'd given up driving mainly because public transport is so good in Nottingham but when my parents relocated to Newmarket from St Albans, the train journey to Suffolk was ridiculously long-winded and incorporated 55 minute waits at Cambridge to catch the connecting train to Newmarket, so enough was enough.
Purchased from a shady man in East Leake ('which car ?' when I rang up) who was dealing from his front garden, this Streetwise stole my heart from day one. Annoyingly I missed out on getting it for £250 when this guy bought it and flipped it, and span a tale of a part exchange in Manchester where his old car lot had been. I wanted to call bullshit, but the price was right, £420 exchanged hands, and this came home with me.
There were some issues, notably no horn nor rear fog lights (fucked Pektron BCU) but that aside, this car has wanted nothing other than consumables (tyres, exhaust, brake pads) and has never FTP (apart from user error - leaving the boot open and the dashcam on drained the battery on two occasions). The willing puppy and commutawagon, until recently this has always been my goto car, which I can always rely upon.
It will continue to serve as commutawagon, not least due to its petiteness which ensures parking is easy, and its miserly fuel sipping.
SO, what was a rather reluctant kind of for sale thread has been modified to turn it into something new.
I got a tiny it of mojo back and decided it was silly to let this truck get to me like that.
For those that haven't seen the earlier thread, while I have owned it, I had the head skimmed and rebuilt with new valves and followers and a brand new old stock camshaft (head gasket was gone when I got it), drove it every day for work, then efore its mot was due, I went-a-poking and removed half the bloody thing, so I basically welded new metal into the floor, back of the cab, inner and outer sills, mammoth task in a council garage, took it for an MOT and it shat a belt on the way, had it fixed there, it passed and then exhibited head gasket symptoms on the return journey, so I had a strop, shut it in my neighbours council garage and left it there over winter.
This truck is definitely a project, the paintwork is terrible, the tailgate is the wrong colour there are holes in the bed and maybe elsewhere, but not in any places that would cause it to fail an MOT. It is also missing the rear silencer but it has been like this since I have had it and it technically isn't an MOT fail as it has a centre silencer, though a rear silencer is only £29 on ebay. It was previously owned by the "Isle of Man Fisheries Board" apparently and imported around 2007?
I'm going to try and add some photos, first one is when I got it and polished the terrible paint, it isn't that shiny now, it lasted about 3 days:
In a past life I used to build cool things like the Chevy pickup I'm parked by here
In the "ford museum" at my mates house that far transit was mine, the nearest and the XR2 were his
As you may have read in the 'Can we save this?' thread, the answer was 'Yes we can!'
Someone on this forum who wishes to remain nameless, fronted the cash to rescue this little Mazda from certain doom at the hands of a banger racer. I've taken custody of the car, but will make sure they get their money back as soon as is physically possible.
Perhaps once it's running right, I'll look at some sort of roffle to find it a new home and pay back what it owes me and them.
Although it had been sitting 5 years or so, it went through an MOT, so that's a good start.
- Alternator is kaput. Shouldn't be too hard to find a refurbished one. Presume battery knackered too.
- Wheel bearing grumbling.
- Running like crap. Will replace fuel and vacuum pipes and add fuel filter. Then perhaps a carb strip down and rebuild. Aisan 980 carb as far as i know, same as the Toyota was,
- Flat tyre.
It's currently sitting outside with a flat battery and no fuel, so that's not a good start!
As I have very little talent, time or money, and suggestions / help greatly appreciated.
These are the pictures I have so far - looks good but it's a lot more dull in real life...
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.