Been a serial lurker and occasional poster of nonsense, but have never quite got round to posting some pictures and the ongoing tribulations of being a serial VW licker.
First a disclaimer - I like old VWs, partly as I grew up with them and partly because I understand how the work and I can fix* them. I do not like the 'scene' attached to them, it seems to attract too many of a certain type of person I am often allergic to - they bring me out in a shouty rage.
First car was a'69 beetle in red, driven flat out everywhere until the rust took it. This was followed by a succession of Mk2 golf , vauxhall omega (vauxhall being close to VW in the sales ads) a free Mk3 golf which was dire and tried to kill me multiple times. I have no photos of any of these as they were pre-camera phone and mostly awful.
Then came a T25 camper bought using generous donations from friends and family at our wedding . Bought, and a week later after hovering 15 years of dog hair out of it, we drove it all the way to northern Norway on honeymoon. Used it for a while.
Bought a vauxhall astra estate (again, it was almost a VW in the sales section). It sucked. It did a year of commuting then it was scrapped. Was gifted a skoda fabia estate by my dad as a sensible run around.
During this time my wife wanted a sensible runaround for her and the kids, so we bought a bright orange 1971 beetle (rusty of course) which was excellent fun. People were openly critical of apparent lack of regard for our offsprings safety. I pointed out it had seat belts.
Due to rusting the T25 was sold as a project, the Skoda was sold for being too dull and a T2 purchased.
Here is the peak of VW ownership, where the beetle, bay and T25 are all in one place just before sale:
So now we had two aircooled vehicles, the newest of which was made in 1973.
This lasted for exactly 9 months., during which I did lots of this:
to be repeatedly rewarded with this:
When the breakdown driver asks how the kids are getting on, you know you've seen him too much....
I also conducted some invisible repairs on the rusty bits of the beetle. I'll point them out if anyone can't see them:
A promotion and car allowance then allowed me to purchase a C3 Picasso (best not ask, I hate it). Its purple. I feel like a dick when I drive it.
Beetle then had to go due to third child and not enough seats, but it had the good engine, the van did not. A swap occurred. My neighbors love* me and find my antics endearing*. I clearly have no need for a drive or garage.
After 1 too many FTPs, I was told van or family. I chose family and the van left.
I then went a looked at another T25 minibus (three kids now) and was in much trouble for even considering another van.
Two weeks later, after some small* arguments* we were in total agreement* and the van was purchased.
Roughly 18 months ago - note lovely laqueer peel, mismatched rear wing and low level tide mark:
After some light fiddling I have made a very basic day van affair, and we dragged it with camping gear and the three kids all the way up to the arctic circle in Finland last summer (wife has family in that part of the world).
6 days before departure I noticed the rear suspension had a bit of paint hanging off. I pulled and it showed this below:
Trip to machine mart, a google of "mig wleding for numpties" and a youtube video later and I'd made this:
and away we went.
Here it is in a moody B&W photo in the land of the midnight sun, which really brings out the high quality paint. the rear suspension is still attached though, so winning.
That's an epic catch up post really, but will use this space now to document the exciting* repairs and work done on it to keep everything attached .and working....
This evening I venture forth into hitherto unknown lands (Kirkintilloch) to collect my latest acquisition.
Which, naturally, has issues.
I have purchased my first line of defence.
Which appears to have antigravity properties
More will follow this evening...
Well, here we go again. I bit the bullet and bought me this.
It's still up at the lot right now, there will be a miniature Collection Thread embedded in this thread when I go fetch it. Hopefully if the weather's good, that'll be this weekend.
So, what is it?
As the title suggests, it's a 1951 Pontiac Chieftain.
It's got a flat-head straight eight hiding in the engine bay, 4.4 litres of it. It's bolted to a 4-speed Hydra-Matic Drive gearbox. No torque converter on this one, just a fluid coupling. 116 horses at a screaming 3700 RPM, 240lb/ft at 2000. It idles at 375 RPM. Redline just shy of 4k.
Did I mention it's quite big? Sixteen foot eight from end to end and it seats six people in comfort. Every door has a quarter-light, too. Comfort is provided by properly sized tyres and (quite surprisingly for the age of it) double independent wishbone front suspension. Steering is via worm/wheel steering box so is moderately direct and the brakes are hydraulic drums all round. Modern and scientific!
It's an honest example; looks to have had a "restoration" about 15-20 years back and the rust is coming through the seams and filler. The bottoms of the door skins have gone, the bottom of the A-pillars have gone (the front doors, on a single hinge a piece still open and close with one finger!) And it's got a couple holes and blebs in all the places you would expect.
Not much electrical works. It needs to be completely rewired because someone has "converted" it to 12V. Thankfully it was originally negative ground so that's a good start. Gauges and such can be driven from a 6V bucking converter.
Engine has had some work done on it- starts and runs nicely with very little greb coming out of the exhaust. It's got a few gaskets that need replacing and the tappets need some major adjustment, the gearbox engages gears correctly, the steering is okay but has a lot of slack in the center and the brakes work well, dont sink or feel spongy but need adjustment.
More to come. I'll post up more pictures when I get it home.
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...
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...