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Hedgehog Motors - Saab Take 2


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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.

Rover.jpg

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.

Peugeot.jpg

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.

20180916-155513.jpg


There have been further movements, I'll recap them shortly. I should probably do some work.

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So the arrival of the C1 brings us up to September.

 

I hadn't bought a car for about two months and had itchy feet. Monsieur Shadow of this parish, man of mystery and purveyor of bargain basement autos posted an advert for a miserly 2003 Suzuki Alto. Now, for some unknown reason this was a vehicle I'd long fancied a shot of. They were bargain basement cheap when new (as the sales invoice from December 2003 for £5095 will attest) and were universally panned by the motoring journos. It probably speaks of wanting to cheer for the underdog. 

 

So, south to Tebay I went as Shadow set off from sunny Bolton for a rendezvous. The Rover headed south with him and I was the proud owner of this;

 

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I spent a bit of time tidying it up and rinsed it back and forth to work for a few weeks. It wasn't a particularly capable car, it wasn't fast, comfortable or refined but it was about as cheap as motoring could get really. It filled the same niche as the C1 though whilst being miles off it in every regard apart from initial purchase price. So it was moved on the day after the latest arrival joined the fleet. 

 

One glorious Wednesday in October there occurred a triple jeopardy roffle bonanza. I had various horses across three races for varyingly quick and sizable cars. All three would have been expensive luxury beasts when they sat on a forecourt in the early 2000's. Two Swedish steeds and a Bavarian coupe. As the balls dropped (fnar fnar) one by one, none of mine came out, my odds were strong as the bonus ball teetered. No dice. However, the seed had been planted and with my history to date comprising mainly PSA and Japanese cars of limited performance the want for something different had long lingered. A Nordic beast could be just the ticket. 

 

As luck would have it, SierraMikeHotel of this forum was looking to move his 9-5 on. It was in the best colour, heated seats, 275bhp, more torque than I would know what to do with and being sold by a trusted shiter. What's not to like?

 

Without wishing to reveal my particulars on a public forum I am older than 26 but younger than 28. I thought insurance would be astronomical, so I gazed longingly for a while thinking "maybe one day". Out of interest I phoned the insurer and the hike in premium was less than one months tax for the 405 which I was thinking of SORNing for winter anyway. This was obviously perfect justification and the man maths added up. A PM was sent and days later I was on a flight to Gatwick. 

 

As documented elsewhere the ole' switcheroo took place, I headed back to the frozen North in my new steed and SMH was on a train out of Gatwick. 

 

So the same day the Saab got home, the little Suzuki left the fleet and equilibrium was restored at a fleet of three with one in winter hibernation. That brings us up to the present day. 

 

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I like to think this will represent a settled fleet for quite some time, but I know what I'm like. The cars all fill their niche, sort of....

 

The C1 is the white good, a reliable and efficient workhorse that runs back and forth to work, while my commute is as long as it is, it will probably remain, if I move job and can get public transport or drive a short distance, I reckon it would be surplus.

 

The 405 as mentioned before, it's a good un and also pretty reasonable to run, it's tax band aside. I have complete faith that it will start and drive anywhere at any time. There's emotional attachment there as it was my favourite car of my youth.

 

Time will tell with the Saab. Is it infatuation for something new? Certainly at the moment I can see it being around for a long time. 

 

However, I used to say two cars would be one too many, then that three would be one too many. I say the same about four cars just now, but I have no doubt I'll have an itch to scratch again some day in the not too distant future. This is why I've started a type of blog thread for my various tinkerings as there will certainly be collection capers and the like to come and I'd rather not clutter up the main board each time!

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Like you, I was used to more modern cars up until 2016 when my Corsa became unreliable and I popped my cherry with the Megane. Although I kept if for a year and a half, I am now always looking for the 'next' car!

 

Looks like the 405 is a keeper though :)

I think we're very similar in that regard. There's always cars being shuffled in my head. 

 

I like driving and messing about on different things and get bored quite quickly but I do think the trio at the moment are about as settled as it's been, or likely to be. 

 

I have a wedding to go to in March, it's in some stately home with a gravel driveway. I'm not driving up there in a luminous green/yellow C1 with no wheel trims and the 405 will still be in hibernation so I'll just need to keep the Saab til then I guess? 

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Found a previous ad for the Saab, good to piece a wee bit more of it's history together.

 

http://www.uksaabs.co.uk/UKS/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=186711

 

 

 

Rear rose bushes - replaced with febi bilstein ones, all 4. 4 Wheel Alignment was carried out after.

Subframe bushes - replaced with poly. At the same time the subframe was coated in hammerite. (Wishbones are also Poly)
The 9-5 is fitted with Bilstein Dampers (B8) all round, on H&R springs. 
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Found a previous ad for the Saab, good to piece a wee bit more of it's history together.

 

http://www.uksaabs.co.uk/UKS/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=186711

Excellent, that's the ad I bought it from. Couldn't find it when I was writing mine and I couldn't remember the specs of the suspension! That fills in some of the gaps, good find.

 

He was right at the time in saying the SID was only missing a few pixels, it got worse very quickly and was basically dead except for the clock when I took it to bits.

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Been driving the Saab almost exclusively since I got it... I really am taken with it. It's crazy that you can buy such a comfortable and capable machine for so little money nowadays. 

 

I came out the house this morning, it was cold and dark and the C1 needed petrol. I of course got in the Saab and drove 40 miles to work. That is something that will have to stop given I'm probably looking at just under 30mpg from this tank. Not too bad given there have been a few childish instances of mashing the loud pedal to the carpet, it's ridiculous but the rush of power is quite addictive. 

 

I've been working on a detailed review of the Citroen C1, I've had a few of them and covered a lot of miles so probably well placed to give a write up on them, will hopefully put it up this evening. They've always had strong second hand values due to the "new driver tax", but they're now falling firmly within banger money. 

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I came out the house this morning, it was cold and dark and the C1 needed petrol. I of course got in the Saab and drove 40 miles to work. That is something that will have to stop given I'm probably looking at just under 30mpg from this tank. Not too bad given there have been a few childish instances of mashing the loud pedal to the carpet, it's ridiculous but the rush of power is quite addictive.

 

You've done well to get 30mpg but then I mostly drove it in traffic - hopefully your commute is a little faster than that.

 

I felt exactly the same about all that powaaaaah - like yourself I'm generally a very sensible driver but when the road opens up ahead of you it's a real rush when you bury the loud pedal.  Really, really fun.  Childish, yes, but fun.

 

I opened up the Merc for the first time yesterday and was a bit disappointed that I didn't have to concentrate on physically keeping my head upright.

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Some quality* interior repairs.

 

A bit of the wood trim was artfully held together with sellotape, thusly;

 

20181102-113716.jpg

 

 

I peeled the tape off and it broke into it's constituent parts, I glued them back down leaving this;

 

woodafter1.jpg

 

A colouring in the white glue with a brown pen will leave an invisible* repair.

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The verdict is in on the Saabs fuel economy, 30.8mpgs.

 

That's not too terrible, about half of those miles have been clear motorway, the rest of them mixed across traffic and country roads. I have also booted the arse off it on more than one occasion, including tonight joining the M73, my good lady and I had just been for dinner, she was complaining it made her feel like her belly was in the back seat and she called me a fanny. Fair.

 

A more disciplined tankfull beckons...

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Shite Review - 2007 Citroen C1 1.0 Vibe

Introduction

 

Howdy, I’ve recently acquired my second Citroen C1. I reckon these cars are absolute nailed on future shite, values are now dipping within the shiter’s reach. Against a landscape of vehicles becoming ever more bloated, complex and heavy this car stands out as reliable, clever and very cheap transport and is charming for it.

 

The review will focus on the Citroen C1, but almost everything can be considered identical for the Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 107.

 

I am blatantly biased and I’m a huge fan of these little cars, but will try to offer a balanced view. My review is based on the car as a 11 year old sub £1000 runaround, not a showroom fresh example.

Overview

 

The Citroen C1 was born out of a joint venture between French automotive monster PSA and Toyota. Christened the “B-Zero” project, the aim was to produce a low cost small city car. Three cars were born, aforementioned C1, the Peugeot 107 and Toyota badged Aygo. All three are identical cars, save for minor cosmetic differences on the exterior and differences in equipment and trim levels.

 

Citroen-C1-Peugeot-107-Toyota-Aygo.png

 

The mainstay powerplant of the trio was the Toyota 1KR-FE engine. It was developed by Toyota subsidiary firm, Daihatsu. This was to be it’s first deployment although it has since appeared in a number of other small vehicles, mainly badged Toyota or Daihatsu. It is a three cylinder petrol unit with four valves per cylinder. Peak power of 67bhp is achieved at 6000rpm with the maximum torque figure of 93N.m being available at 3600rpm.

 

In addition to this, all three models could be had with a 1.4 HDi Diesel engine supplied from the French half of the joint venture. An 8 valve, four cylinder naturally aspirated diesel engine, this was not a strong seller. Both “on paper” and real world performance was behind that of the petrol unit according to early reviews, this along with the petrol engine still offering very strong fuel economy figures and a lower list price meant the DERV option never really took off.

 

A compact car, available in both three and five door configuration. The additional doors do not add anything to the overall dimensions of the car. These similarities between models will become a theme of this review. The car was designed in such a way that the minimum number of unique components were required between RHD and LHD, 3 and 5 door and different trim levels. Driver and passenger seats are the same for instance and the interior was designed so that the minimal number of separate plastic castings were required between RHD and LHD vehicles.

 

Kerbweight of the petrol vehicles is quoted at around 800KG, one of the lightest cars on sale in the UK throughout the entire production run.

Timeline

The triplets went on sale in the UK through their respective dealers in 2005. My car featured in this review wears the first generation face.

 

In 2009, the C1 underwent it’s first facelift. This was minor and featured a restyled front bumper and grille along with changes to trim levels and introduction of a few special edition models.

 

A second, slightly more extensive facelift was made in 2012, this comprised amongst other updates, daytime running lights, new style steering wheel and another restyled front end. More significantly, the more spartan trim levels disappeared from the range perhaps in an effort to help the car appear more appealing when pitched alongside the rival VAG group UP!, Citigo and Mii range which had been introduced a year previously.

 

In 2014 the car was superseded by a new C1, again sharing it’s platform with it’s Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo siblings.

 

Exterior

The subject of the review is my car, registered in October 2007 it is a base spec petrol C1 “Vibe” in fetching yellow with three doors.

 

DSC-0035.jpg

 

 

The car is short with minimal overhangs and a high roofline. The three door’s doors are reasonably long for the size of car, allowing extremely easy access for front occupants, unless you’re parked tight against anything.

 

At the rear of the car there is no metal hatch, instead only the glass piece opens, meaning the loading aperture is somewhat small and the lip is high.

 

86-2.jpg

 

The front windscreen is large and raked back at a shallow angle. Unusually it has a single 26 inch pantograph wiper. Bulbous headlights are high up on the front of the car and the stubby bonnet allows easy access to the usual under bonnet check items.

 

Interior

 

When entering the interior, the first thing that’s noticeable is the depth of the dash. Unusually for a city car, the dashboard is quite deep, you sit a fair way back from the base of the windscreen which is fairly large and steeply raked back. The A-Pillars do impact on visibility in certain situations due to their shallow angle.

 

The seating position is very neutral, the driver seat does not adjust for height on any model. You do not feel perched up high like in some of it’s rivals. The pedals are nicely spaced out and are not offset. There is plenty of knee and elbow room thanks to the clever central dash stack and the door cards which are deeply cut into the door void. The steering column adjusts for reach and rake, the instrument binnacle is perched on top of this and moves with the steering wheel to maintain visibility. This space for the driver combined with the deep dashboard do give the impression of being seated in a larger car.

 

The dashboard materials are mainly hard plastics.The doors internals have large areas of exposed body coloured metal. The seats are simple affairs with a one piece back, they are trimmed with plain cloth and are quite flat. This Vibe model comes with manual windows and mirrors. This all adds up to a car that feels spartan and it’s quite noticeable when you first sit in it.

 

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With the above said, the areas that you touch are all nicely tactile and ergonomics are excellent. The steering wheel is trimmed in softer, textured material. The air vents are very straightforward spheres which rotate in all directions and can be closed off by rotating them through 180 degrees. The column stalks are chunky items with a very definite click without feeling brittle. Switches are have a reassuring click, the money has been spent on these items you touch and not on soft touch plastics on the dash top.

 

As mentioned, ergonomics are superb. The main controls are centred around the main centre console. The radio is at the top of this pod, it has an 3.5mm auxiliary input and also integrates the clock. It is clear and unfussy. Sound is acceptable, if tinny through the two dash mounted speakers, these can be easily upgraded to any other off the shelf 4 inch speaker. At the bottom of this central area of the dash are the heater controls, the two vertical sliders control heat on the right hand side and direction on the left with a central knob for fan speed. Again, these are simple, fall to hand easily and can be controlled easily taking your eyes from the road for the minimal time required. The pod is nicely lit with a soft orange at night.

 

The main criticism of the interior would be the seats, these are identical for passenger and driver and do not adjust for height. They are flat and have little support, this makes it an easy car to jump in and out of, but they lack support on longer journeys. They also do not have any memory function when letting passengers into the rear quarters which is frustrating.

 

Slim seats and clever packaging mean that rear occupants do have a reasonable amount of room, adults will fit without issue, again the seats are shapeless and spartan in the back, there is a lot of pillar and the windows do not open so they might not want to stay there too long. Even five door models only get 80’s style pop out glass.

 

The boot is accessed through the simple glass hatch. Owing to this the load lip is high. The boot capacity is 134 litres and in the form of a deep well. Split folding rear seats are only standard on higher spec models, the Vibe trim only has a single folding back. There is however a spare wheel and jack instead of the can of silly string included in many of it’s rivals.

 

citroen_c1_2005-(107).jpg

 

Driving

 

Behind the wheel the engine is the start of the show. A turn of the key and the three pot in the engine room thrums into life. Some three cylinder roughness can be detected at idle. When underway however, the engine loves to be revved, it pulls smoothly up to the higher reaches of it’s rev range and never gives you a sense that you are overworking it. The accessible rev range and low kerbweight means that the real world performance of this car is much better than the figures would suggest, you can certainly keep up with the flow of traffic on all types of road. The standard exhaust has a pleasing rasp to it when pressing on, like half a Porsche!

 

Gearing is well matched to the engine, the fifth gear is tall for the size of car and on A and B roads, you may find yourself in fourth for the bulk of the time with fifth being reserved for motorway work. This adds up to a car that doesn’t feel as stressed as city cars of yore on the motorway and it will happily cruise at the speed limit.

 

As much as the drivetrain is excellent, this is ultimately a small, lightweight and cheap car so it does have its limitations. Around town the steering is light and perfectly suited to urban driving and navigating tight car parks. At speed, it remains light and lacks feel. Crosswinds can also be keenly felt due to the flat sides and low weight. The small 155 section tyres can follow ruts in the road.

 

The ride is firm but is only really unsettled by larger potholes. The lightweight construction does mean there is a reasonable amount of noise at motorway speeds. Interior rattles are common and disrupt the calm, mainly from the passenger seat and trims around doors.

 

Even with the mentioned limitations, it still adds up to a characterful driving experience. The car feels taut and remains fun on a twisting section of road, it certainly can be pressed on and raise more of a smile than the sum of its parts should allow!

 

Equipment

 

In “Vibe” spec, the C1 is an extremely basic car. There is no central locking, windows are wind down, there is no rev counter and even the recirculating air option is deleted. On cars without central locking, the bootlid can only be released with the key.

 

Even the most basic model comes with a CD player with 3.5mm auxiliary input though, which is always a nice feature to have these days. Driver and passenger airbags are also standard.

 

As you step up through the trim levels equipment is a bit more generous, with electric windows, Air Conditioning, rear headrests, split folding rear bench, rev counter, alloy wheels and plusher seat fabrics. The Aygo was available with an inbuilt sat nav system, it is basically a portable unit though and feels like a bit of an afterthought.

 

It is worth noting that the car is very modular in design, items such as the rev counter can easily be added to a base model car with minimal fuss.

 

5099638895-d5d8ebf097-b.jpg

Costs

 

Almost everyone who buys one of these cars will be doing so with an eye on costs.

 

The cars have enjoyed strong residuals, probably due to the demand from new and young drivers. At the bottom end of the market early cars with short test still command around £700+ but there are plenty of tidy examples sub £1000.

 

After the purchase price, your ongoing costs will be about as low as you’ll find anywhere. The road tax from release was £20 P/A and then free of charge on later cars as they dipped below the 100g/km CO2 threshold. Regardless of trim the cars all sit in the very lowest of insurance groups.

 

In terms of fuel economy, petrol variants were quoted at 61mpg. You will do well to get below 50mpg regardless of conditions if driving half considerately. In ideal conditions it’s possible to exceed the manufacturers figures and I’ve seen as much as 68mpg over a tankful of regular unleaded.

 

Problem Areas

 

Clutches were modified in the 2010 model year after high levels of premature failure. Check for slippage. Noisy release bearings are commonplace but don’t seem to be a particular indicator of imminent problems with the clutch function. Replacement kits are available from the C1 Owners Club Shop for around £70 and fitting time is around two to three hours for a garage. The clutch is cable operated and sensitive to correct adjustment.

 

Water pumps can be weak, but are an easy DIY swap, many were done under warranty.

 

Water ingress into the boot can occur from vents beneath the plastic rear bumper and the lights.

 

There don’t seem to be any particular corrosion issues.

 

Very sensitive to tyre choice, probably due to small contact area, look for good rubber.

 

TL;DR - Nice wee motor, would buy again.

 

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Excellent, very detailed post. Great job. These are very good cars. Definitely worth getting one just below £1000 instead of a total dog of one for only slightly less. Had two of these, a 107 and a C1. Did the water pump on the 107 in like 30 mins in the dark, whilst raining on a driveway. Very, very easy to work on, which is what we like!

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Excellent, very detailed post. Great job. These are very good cars. Definitely worth getting one just below £1000 instead of a total dog of one for only slightly less. Had two of these, a 107 and a C1. Did the water pump on the 107 in like 30 mins in the dark, whilst raining on a driveway. Very, very easy to work on, which is what we like!

Cheers Sir. 

 

Yeah, they're dead easy to work on, can tell there was some thought went into the design. Some good videos on YouTube as well for most jobs.

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Have to confess I'm very partial to the "angry" front end of the newer Aygo.

 

Good review, very thorough, wd recommend 11/10

 

attachicon.giftoyota-aygo-359-235.jpg

Me too, they have been christened the X-Aygo.

 

I wonder if their seats fit in the first gen C1, the high spec Aygos come with some nifty looking heated leather articles. I've seen a few for breaking on eBay as well

 

The Aygo X-Clusive starts at an eye watering £13,880.

post-25772-0-74040300-1541698929_thumb.jpg

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Good write-up dhh, I'd agree with pretty much all of that. Mrs Spart has one and rags it to death, it's done about 160,000 miles and the management light is a permanent feature but it's ace, parts are cheap, it's easy to work on and there's not much to go wrong. I'm told that the high 5th gear means that 80mph is a more comfortable cruising speed than 70mph, but I wouldn't know myself.

14.6/10 would read again.

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Good writeup!

 

We had one of these at my old work for delivering and collecting bikes. It was a 107 XSi so sporty*

 

Here it is with a random starting problem getting rescued by my old XJ40. I forget what the issue was, possibly battery

 

post-7629-0-05173200-1541705806_thumb.jpg

 

Was a cool wee thing to drive and took the abuse of ham fisted delivery drivers very well. It was interesting driving it loaded with 4 bikes on a windy day though!

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      I tried to keep ahead of the rust a bit by rubbing down the arches and re-painting them, but apparently rattle can paint isn't great when you are spraying it at -5C, it also highlighted how although my car might have been Inca Yellow in 1976 it's now more of a "cat piss" sort of shade. So I ended up with the wrong shade of yellow which has rust coming back through after 5 weeks. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
       
      The other car is the first "classic" car I bought, so I can't bear to sell it. It's a '77 Dolomite 1300 and it cost £1400 (about £400 too much) and has been nothing but a pain in the arse:
       

       
      It looks much prettier (from 100 yards) but that's most due to the darker paintwork hiding the rust. It lives a mollycoddled life in my garage, where it somehow still manages to rust, and is utterly rubbish. 0-60 is measured on a calendar, top speed is 80ish but at that point it uses more oil than petrol, it rarely ventures over 50mph and if you encounter an incline of any sort you can kiss that sort of speed goodbye, along with about £20 of 20W50 as it vanishes out of the exhaust in the form of blue smoke.
       
      One of the PO's had clearly never heard of the term "oil change" so it developed into brown sludge that coated everything internally with the next owner(s) blissfully pouring fresh oil on top of it. This lasted until about 600 miles into my ownership when there was muffled "pop" from the engine bay and the car became a 3-cylinder. The cause was catastrophic wear to the top end causing a rocker arm to snap:
       

       
      As this was my first classic car I'd assumed it was supposed to sound like the engine was full of marbles, it wasn't.
       
      I put the engine back together with second hand bits declared it utterly fucked and promptly did another 5000 miles with it. After about 3500 of those miles the oil burning started, valve seals have gone so it's been relegated to my parent's garage as a backup car and something to take to local car shows as the 1850 is now embarrassingly ugly. I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines (deja vu, anybody?) Oh, I also recently reversed it into a parked Ford Fiesta and royally fucked up the rear bumper, rear panel and bootlid. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
       
      There have been two other cars in my life. My first car, a 2008 Toyota Yaris 1.0 an it's replacement a 2012 Corsa 1.4T. I didn't really want either of them, but it's a long story involving my parents and poor life choices. Ask if you want to hear it!
       
      So that's a brief summary of my current shite. If you want more pictures or details of anything do say as I've got photos of almost everything I'd done with the cars.
    • By sickboy
      Since my life has followed a nearly unrelenting course in project, “good-intentions”, “nice ideas” and general chod accumulation ever since I was about 14, I’ve decided I’d concoct all my projects into a haphazard fleet diary, for your amusement and viewing pleasure. My reports are likely to be sporadic, as and when I find time. 
      Coverage predominately will flit around my current stable, but I'll show some past vehicular activity too.
      I'll go into each in turn in the coming days and weeks, but briefly for now my current fleet comprises:
       
      1959 Ford 100e. Bought as a rolling shell in 2015. Built it up myself with all-Ford bits: 2.0 Pinto, type 9, GP4 MK1/2 Escort goodies up front, Bilstein 2.8 Capri struts on coilovers, 105e axle out back, RS turbo Recaros. Looks rough as fuck but it's solid and sorted underneath. Some don't like it because it's old, noisy and smelly. I love because it's old, noisy and smelly. Want to build a fast-road head for this soon really, but skint. Hardly needs to be quicker anyway.
      A lot of work to build, about 3 years, but immense fun to drive. 100% never selling!!!
       

       

      1991 Saab 900 16v Turbo. Bought last Summer, suspiciously cheap with a hot running issue and a heap of paperwork. I did the head gasket and rebuilt the head with new exhaust valves, stem seals, thermostat etc over lockdown. Also fitted new calipers, discs, pads and hoses all round, and replaced the NSF inner wing/driveshaft tunnel back in February.  Embarrassing MOT last month reveals more weldage is needed elsewhere, so that’s next for it and shall be reported in the coming pages


       
       
      1995 Citroen AX Jive. 1.0 4 spd. Hilarious to drive, immensely French, ripe but not rotten, wearing something akin to a peeved expression. Needs a few odds and ends but otherwise a goer. Back-up car in case my existing daily shits itself or something. Anyone spare a boot latch actuating rod and gear knob?

       

       

       
      2005 Clio 182. As close to a daily as I get (cycle to work). Not really Autoshite, or even very “me” frankly, but I’m convinced these are the last proper French hot hatch and soon to be daft-money, so I finally snubbed two years of looking-not-looking at them on eBay and bought this the other week. I'm 27 so many could argue it's a "quarter life crisis". Newest and quickest car I’ve ever owned, so probably not the wisest first choice to exercise modern car ownership.
       

       
      But my current main project, sapping funds and time and social life in equal measure, is my 1963 Ford Falcon 2dr sedan, so I'll post up the progress to date of that in the coming days.
      or now, here's a seller's shot of when I bought it.......
       

    • By Zelandeth
      Well I've been meaning to sign up here in forever, but kept forgetting. Thanks to someone over on another forum I frequent poking me about it recently the subject was forced back into my very brief attention span for long enough to get me to act on the instruction.

      I figure that my little varied fleet might bring you lot some amusement...

      So...we've got:

      1993 Lada Riva 1.5E Estate (now fuel injected, as I reckon the later cars should have been from the factory...).
      1989 Saab 900i Automatic.
      1987 Skoda 120LX 21st Anniversary Special Edition.
      1985 Sinclair C5.
      2009 Peugeot 107 Verve.

      Now getting the photos together has taken me far longer than I'd expected...so you're gonna get a couple of photos of each car for now, and I'll come back with some more information tomorrow when I've got a bit more time...

      Firstly...The Lada. Before anyone asks - in response to the single question I get asked about this car: No, it is not for sale. Took me 13 years and my father's inheritance to find the thing.


      Yes, it's got the usual rusty wings...Hoping that will be resolved in the next couple of months.

       






      Next, a proper old Saab. One of the very last 8 valve cars apparently, and all the better for it. I've driven two 16v autos and they were horrible - the auto box works sooooo much better with the torque curve of the 8 valve engine. Just wish it had an overdrive for motorway cruising...









      Next up a *real* Skoda...back when they put the engine where it belongs, right out the back. In the best possible colour of course...eye-searingly bright orange.







      Seat covers have been added since that photo was taken as it suffers from the usual rotting seat cloth problem that affects virtually all Estelles.

      Then we have possibly the world's scruffiest Sinclair C5...



      Realised when looking for this that I really need to get some more photos of the thing...I use it often enough after all! We have a dog who's half husky, so this is a really good way of getting him some exercise.

      Finally - again, I really need to take more photos of - we have the little Pug 107.



      Included for the sake of variety even if it's a bit mainstream! First (and probably to be the only) new car I've bought, and has been a cracking little motor and has asked for very little in return for putting up with nearly three years of Oxford-Milton Keynes commuter traffic, before finally escaping that fate when my housemate moved to a new job. Now it doesn't do many miles and is my default car for "when I've managed to break everything else."

      I'll fill in some more details tomorrow - I warn you though that I do tend to ramble...
    • By BorniteIdentity
      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.

      Main Cars
      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 £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 £500 for it, and sold it to some racers later that year for about £300. Amusingly, 16 year later I'd sell the Hartge wheels that came with the car for £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 £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 £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 £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 £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.

      Side Bitches

      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 £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 £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 £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 £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 £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.

      Current SitRep:

      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.
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