Jump to content
SiC

1974 Dolomite Sprint

Recommended Posts

I found out you had finally managed to get a Sprint at the FoTU and was impressed, but for less than £3k, that is a superb purchase.

Already looking forward to seeing this progress over the next few months. It looks like it has the potential to be a very interesting project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spent the first half hour tonight doing a walk around video. Currently uploading, so hopefully that'll be up by this morning.

Afterwards I decided to do a bit of fiddling. First up was fixing the drivers window winder.
9ae839d60b7cb8db58991f3fe3017020.jpg

Thankfully the round handle bit was in the glove box, so I had something to work with.

First off was getting the handle off. Turns out there is a beveled pin that fits in to hold it on. It has to be tapped out the right way and once it goes, it seems to be the type of part that gets lost on the floor in a blink of an eye.
4b0dda2ac1f580d315a427fa1bf91b83.jpg

I didn't have any circlips or such to fix the back on, so I got creative/bodged it with a flat washer and a spring washer. Worked surprisingly well! Only thing is that there is a bit of play and no doubt it'll rattle in use. I wish I put a flat rubber washer or similar the other side to take up the slack. Oh well it'll do for now and I'll keep a hunt out for a replacement at autojumbles next.
fc87fa43ad44403cad44b49478bc6731.jpg

Getting the handle on was a fiddly job with pilers and trying to push the pin down. Got there in the end.
4bf25611380cb8b394b6d012d0bae599.jpg

Next up was trying to remove this insert on the wheel.
15c34f5ce8376eea1933e9b0de63976b.jpg
160f5a9f8a2b413a7cb7f0314e5e710a.jpg
79c92d12bb150d67888768e531787322.jpg

If I understand correctly, early Sprints had a narrower stud and later were larger. I guess for whatever reason, on one wheel a narrow one was used and not changed. Thus an insert put in the alloy. No idea which had it, but as the wheels seem happily attached, it must be ok. I'll no doubt find which one it is some point soon.

However it has to go as I want this wheel back on the front and remove that ancient remoulded tyre.

Tried bashing it through with a socket but didn't have much success.
8373c5fe1fdf589cc45e8a29703919b1.jpg

Ended up going vicious with a centre punch to knock out the side walls enough to cause it to loose it's bite into the metal.
a86d6ece9c6fe6a50d6cc149ae1fcb39.jpg

Tomorrow I'll put this week back on and should give me a chance to put stands on to get a good look underneath.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Si, the bit on the boot lid is quite normal, TADT.  The C pillar seems like a surface bubble, if you are careful you should be able to peel off the moulded vinyl trim and then you can access the bleb.

In relation to the front of the sill, if you venture into the front wheel arch, there is a shit shield with 3 bolts securing it to the rear of t he wheel arch, plusgas the bastards and take the shield off. You should be able to have a look at the sill closing section, they can go as well. Nothing unusual really. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sounds ok really but as you said, the engine was cold. I would do the following:

Change the oil and filter, lob in some STP, change the gearbox mount and the engine mounts.  Then review. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Took the wheel off ready to swap on the alloy that I removed the insert on. While I was there I thought I'd go for a rusty tour and have a proper poke around underneath.

 

First off the shock. Someone has spent some money on this at some point! Spax shocks. The bushes seem to be a mix of polybush and rubber. Actually mostly seem in good nick. Only ones that may need attention is the antiroll bar bushes.

a4289fdad2abce7ea88d9e8f1c0a9b23.jpg

 

Brake discs are all pitted.

aa0d4f7a6eb397848363fd88fbf13a9b.jpg

 

Brake fluid is also quite dark. I think I'm going to need new discs, pads, caliper rebuild and a master cylinder as a start. Maybe some stuff on the back too, depending how it looks. Flexis look reasonably recent though.

 

Front light area will need some attention at some point. I think this has degraded simply from dirt.

bc48cf3807bb842140cb3f8ad2949bfe.jpg

 

Drivers floor we know about already

69a85e6cc9c0cf37a2a595f87c505022.jpg

 

Jacking point is crusty

0a0f6a98a664185d219188f2b96e5527.jpg

 

So I stuck my finger in it.

e9fcdf41bac7f8a4a4c7ccc314ecd8a8.jpg

 

And was left with a hole

84d27508058f1457fd144d34ff0fec3f.jpg

 

Looks easy enough to weld up. Might actually do it sooner rather than later.

 

Gearbox mount looked alright actually.

917e5273c11ce291f2247162bbd1e661.jpg

 

Engine mounts you can tell have been replaced but the rubber is splitting already.

895ca73f4866954bf161ace5691beebb.jpg

4ef21b6fcd79a364741eeef5b5c45a5c.jpg

 

Further towards the back of the body looks in decent nick. Undersealed but not like it has been chipped off.

515548cf5fbb8b1eb96fa0f19c02b89a.jpg

 

Clutch slave looks a bit suspect around that seal. Wondering if it's leaking or weeping slightly and causing the pedal and selection issues.

1caf7a207f84e123a3466ca8b1d9042d.jpg

 

Friggin oil everywhere though. Made it quite unpleasant to be at the engine end.

b94bf593a7e1dcf9c9577f700f6065e6.jpg

 

Exhaust .... oh wait, what's that?

40cf4d5125a40b2d2a4902cef13872d4.jpg

 

Could that bit of metal on top be causing all the noise issues? Maybe...?

 

Tried ripping it off but it's attached to a backing piece. I was going to continue pulling but then I had a fear that backing piece may be full of asbestos. I'll probably pull the tunnel out and try removing it that way.

b1c51768dbafbd39f35bb6cd73f586ba.jpg

 

What should I replace it with? I guess I ought to, otherwise it's going to get really rather hot on the other side of the floor.

 

Went to do an oil change but was stumped by the sump plug. I don't have any tool to remove this and mole grips/adjustable wrench/etc was just rounding it off. Anyone have any idea of a tool model number or similar to get this out?

89830ddfa1d9ce8df24575a708edc599.jpg

 

Worse case I can always use my Pela to suck out the oil. However I'd prefer to drop the oil out the bottom. Not least the Pela struggles with 20w-50.

 

 

Had a nose around the engine bay for anything suspect.

 

Wiring for the ignition was a bit messy. I insulated taped up the exposed spades and some of the crimps weren't holding the wire properly. Recrimped a few of the connectors. Especially useful thing to do, as a wire coming out on the ignition parts can give you a very bad day.

ad80db86bb5a19baa64e8b6ad7d3eaeb.jpg

494df7e9f6dc04c4d28088b9c468493f.jpg

e8748d5f0ceb1422f025f8245d6b85fb.jpg

 

Noticed this accident waiting to happen.

64fe968e830b3f6ddf3a5b6f14d5f193.jpg

 

Replaced those cracked petrol joining hoses with some genuine Gates petrol hose that is Ethanol compliant. I need to get some more but I'll replace all the other petrol hoses with it too. Other petrol hoses were a lot more modern but it's not clear if they are ethanol compliant. No point risking on this sort of stuff. Get it wrong and you'll have petrol leak all in the engine bay. A lot of fake Gates hose around too. It costs a bit more, but I get mine from Moss Motors as you get some certainty it's genuine and legit.

 

While I was on the carbs, I inspected the float bowls and float valves. Looks like someone has been in the float bowl before.

d3cec859e9bac1da9349a0d6f5660869.jpg

 

Underneath the car I could see that someone has taken the waxstat jets out and replaced them with standard ones. Again, I think someone has spent a lot of money on this car in the not so distant past.

 

One final thing I noticed when putting the wheels on, is that the front wheel bearings have quite a bit of play in them. Either that, or they need tightening up a tad. This possibly is what was giving the wayward steering when I drove it back? There are some Daewoo branded bearings in the boot full of spares, in a Jiffy bag labeled front wheel bearings. I'll have a look tomorrow and see if they were old ones which had been replaced or if they were bought for the intention of getting them on but never did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinks engine is knocking , fixes window winder that’s autoshite.

That bit on top of the exhaust looks like the remnants of a heat shield . If it was missing and your exhaust is hammering off the floor that would certainly be a likely candidate .

My advice (for what it’s worth) with the welding is if you can do it without crippling the car then do it. Don’t do what I did and take it all to bits then find yourself with a car you can’t drive . I’d need to fix that hole in the floor though .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jacking points are common rust places, I fabricated new ones for a past TC, easy enough for you to do. There should be a teeny tiny small amount of play in the wheel bearings, MOT testers insist on zero play but that is not correct for these Triumphs. Most people do them up tight for the MOT then back them off for real world. Gearbox mount, only real way of telling is to have the car running and check for movement whilst underneath really I guess.  Front light bit is quite common again but thankfully yours doesn't look too bad. 

Overall it looks pretty bloody good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great car and great buy in this condition  SiC

Personally I'd take the car to a commercial centre to pressure wash the underside.  I did that when I first bought the  Scimitar and it brought everything underneath into sharp focus,  brighter and easy to see what was what, and then much easier to work on.   Knocking under the car is very often exhaust run or suspension joints. Start with wobbling-by-hand the tail end of the exhaust and work forward, then address anti-roll bar mounts and link arms using a big screwdriver as a lever to check for excessive play.  

Oil pressure gauge has surely to be a priority with the Sprint engine.!?  Check the workshop manual to see the sump plug square socket. I'm guessing the plug is the tapered-thread type and commonly an open ended imperial sized spanner will undo it.  They used to make a double ended ring spanner with square holes sized for brake adjustment (one end) and for the sump plug (t'other end) ..  just looked this up and I see Rimmer Brothers have it !   Triumph RX1643 < here >.  Very likely Moss will have them too. Of course check the size you need before buying.   I seem to recall some cars plug were 1/2" square, so a socket-set bar extension would fit (back to front), but that made getting a big-arse adjustable onto it so much easier. 

Wheel bearings used to be tighten up and then back off 1/4 a turn to allow for expansion when hot (that was on my Jag), so the exact figure most likely depended on model and make.  Tracking ("wayward steering") even in reverse may be down to incorrect tracking,  perhaps changed with a combination of rubber and poly bushes, and not checked after the previous owner or his garage disturbed / replaced some but not all of these. 

Perhaps this would be a good time for you to join the TSSC as there's a whole lot of expertise through their forum.?  My local group are a really laid back bunch and often swap parts and tools to help each other out.  And the Triumph inter-club weekend (Stratford ) is in just a few weekends time. Good timing for you to prepare a shopping list for their autojumble.!    

Good luck with getting it sorted - as I say..  excellent car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Useless Input [... well, do you expect else?]

My savvy had a square socket in the drain plug... Very French!

Wizzo angrygrinder put 4 flatts on a super tough socket bolt = I did my oil drains with a big hex key/into the bolt/into plug ;)

Cost = NIL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wouldn't a brake adjusting spanner work on the sump plug?

otherwise well bought young sir.

it looks in pretty good nick, and the oily engine bay, well like on a mini all that old oil is doing a sterling job of protecting the steelwork.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gr11 purchase

https://www.moss-europe.co.uk/triumph-wrench-386-190.html for sump plug, gearbox and diff too

Rimmers ... fnarr .. have stock https://rimmerbros.com/Item--i-RX1643

I tend to use a pipe wrench on the stag sump plug

My pela happily sucks up 20/50 but it helps if it is warm first

Knocking noise, run it while hanging around under the car, that you cannot hear it when looking down on the engine suggests something under the car. like that zorst, slight misfire might mean that it is tapping the underside 

Viscous fans on the front of the engine should have zero play back and forth, also when you spin them they should go no further than 1/2 a revolution, else they are worn out. Any play what so ever in the centre bearing of the viscous fan = horrible vibration / knocking noise. The bearing eventually seized and the fan then operates at crank speed, if it does seize keep engine revs below 2500rpm until you can get it replaced quickly. is a rad out job to do. Replacement viscous fans for Stag which I think is the same part are made from chinese cheese, I have found a Land rover series part which looks the same and is new old stock, I will let you know.

Crank pulley has a vibration damper inside it, if that has failed or been bodged to unite the sleeve that goes onto the nose of the crank with the pulley and weight part then it will sound like a crank speed knock like I can hear in your video.

If engine is fucked, which I doubt from your video :D oil pressure will dip slightly as you rev the engine and then catch up on overrun, indicating that oil is pushing past the bearings and straight back to the sump under load but then pressurising when it is more relaxed. Grumbly bearings do not tend to knock on gentle reving of engine either, knock on over run you cannot miss! it is called death rattle for good reason, strokes teh fear into the heart of the most technically unwary of motorist.

Noisy diff, did these have LSD? does your still have one? Pretty straightforwards to check for play and backlash, most likely cause for a whine from the diff, tbh unless it is growling I would leave it as is until you can get the replacement thoroughly checked over. 

looking forward to this thread, alf a stag engine dochano.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given the ropeyness of sprint water pumps and the fragility of the cylinder heads and gaskets is it common to replace the former with an electric coolant pump? They're pretty cheap these days. Excellent buyage and remarkably little crispyness for a BLmobile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gr11 purchase

https://www.moss-europe.co.uk/triumph-wrench-386-190.html for sump plug, gearbox and diff too

Rimmers ... fnarr .. have stock https://rimmerbros.com/Item--i-RX1643

I tend to use a pipe wrench on the stag sump plug

My pela happily sucks up 20/50 but it helps if it is warm first

Knocking noise, run it while hanging around under the car, that you cannot hear it when looking down on the engine suggests something under the car. like that zorst, slight misfire might mean that it is tapping the underside 

Viscous fans on the front of the engine should have zero play back and forth, also when you spin them they should go no further than 1/2 a revolution, else they are worn out. Any play what so ever in the centre bearing of the viscous fan = horrible vibration / knocking noise. The bearing eventually seized and the fan then operates at crank speed, if it does seize keep engine revs below 2500rpm until you can get it replaced quickly. is a rad out job to do. Replacement viscous fans for Stag which I think is the same part are made from chinese cheese, I have found a Land rover series part which looks the same and is new old stock, I will let you know.

Crank pulley has a vibration damper inside it, if that has failed or been bodged to unite the sleeve that goes onto the nose of the crank with the pulley and weight part then it will sound like a crank speed knock like I can hear in your video.

If engine is fucked, which I doubt from your video  oil pressure will dip slightly as you rev the engine and then catch up on overrun, indicating that oil is pushing past the bearings and straight back to the sump under load but then pressurising when it is more relaxed. Grumbly bearings do not tend to knock on gentle reving of engine either, knock on over run you cannot miss! it is called death rattle for good reason, strokes teh fear into the heart of the most technically unwary of motorist.

Noisy diff, did these have LSD? does your still have one? Pretty straightforwards to check for play and backlash, most likely cause for a whine from the diff, tbh unless it is growling I would leave it as is until you can get the replacement thoroughly checked over. 

looking forward to this thread, alf a stag engine dochano.

 

Bugger. If I known Moss did that spanner I would have picked one up on Thursday. Often the Bristol branch has stock in when it says out of stock on their website. The website stock only is for head office. Just FYI if you are going to Moss in Bristol, it's moved this weekend to Feeder Road way.

 

With a bit of luck they'll have a opening discount!

 

I'll have a poke around on the fan again later. PhilA did suggest on the other forum that a small amount of play forward would be alright and normal, as it would be pulling forward when in use anyway. I know on the Sprint that when they let go, they take the radiator out. Of course with that water pump, it soon stops pumping and head gasket is gone pretty quickly.

 

I believe most change the viscose fan to an electric when the unit fails. Especially useful thing being able to override in a heat related emergency too. You do loose some of the noise character of an engine I feel with an electric fan though.

 

LSD was an option on these but not usually specced. However this has been through 11 owners with not a lot of past history recorded. So could have had one put on it at some point. Not least that I know now someone has put Spax dampers and polybushed some parts of it.

 

Given the guy before has done like 10k or something with it whining, I'm not overly worried about it just now. If anything the whine sounds a bit like straight cut gears and gives a bit of character! Diff leaks so may have been run dry at some point and caused it potentially?

 

I'll jack the read up at some point very soon and have a look.

 

Given the ropeyness of sprint water pumps and the fragility of the cylinder heads and gaskets is it common to replace the former with an electric coolant pump? They're pretty cheap these days. Excellent buyage and remarkably little crispyness for a BLmobile.

Yeah electric water pump is a very common mod. This pump seems to be doing the job well right now - given the temperature at the moment. So I'm probably going to leave it well alone at the moment.

 

 

wouldn't a brake adjusting spanner work on the sump plug?

otherwise well bought young sir.

it looks in pretty good nick, and the oily engine bay, well like on a mini all that old oil is doing a sterling job of protecting the steelwork.....

 

I did think that, but my brake adjuster spanner is way too small.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The TR engined Toledo has an electric fan fitted, operated by switch located under the dash. It also has swish ali rad and coolant tank.

No idea why, just because I think.

Useful mod is to drill 5 or 6 holes in the front valance, usually just above where the number plate sits. There is a little recess there anyway and you can hardly tell, however, it is helpful. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/26/2019 at 7:51 PM, SiC said:

Brake fluid is also quite dark. I think I'm going to need new discs, pads, caliper rebuild and a master cylinder as a start. Maybe some stuff on the back too, depending how it looks. Flexis look reasonably recent though.

Given the stated brake problems, new/rebuilt calipers sound like a solid plan. With that said, I'd have a hard time pulling the calipers and NOT also changing the flex hoses given that you(presumably) don't know the history of them, they're an inexpensive part, and you already have the brake system open and one end of them disconnected to replace the calipers. I doubt it will add £20 to the cost of the job, and given that they are a perishable I'd just go ahead and swap them.

As far as the master cylinder-regardless of the car, it's usually a pain to replace. I'd not condemn it based on the color of the fluid. In my experience, they usually give ample warning when going bad(a "sinking" pedal when stopped) and if you don't have that now it's more than likely fine. I can understand the appeal of starting the brake system with a clean slate, but at the same time that's not a part I would automatically jump to replacing. If it were me, I'd use a turkey baster to get the bulk of the old fluid out, then refill with some cheap DOT 3 or other and pump that through it while the system was open to flush everything out well. Once you're buttoned up with the new calipers, refill again with good DOT 4 and bleed until clean. Of course, you can skip the DOT 3 step if you only want to buy one type of fluid since it's superior in pretty much every way, not that much more expensive, and you shouldn't "waste" more than a pint cleaning everything out. DOT 3 and DOT 4 are fully compatible with each other-the key difference is that DOT 4 has a higher new boiling point.

BTW, since you've looked at the cars-what type of float to they have in them? I have a bit of an aversion to the hollow plastic floats for a couple of reasons. I much prefer the black, solid Nitrophyl floats, which are both adjustable without shimming the needle valve and also should be a "forever" part. I have checked but would ASSUMED Burlen sells them-I know I always get them from Joe Curto here in the US. I consider them a good investment, although in my mind it's less of an issue on an HS type carb since you can get at the float/needle valve without having to remove the carb from the car. Also, you mentioned the dashpots being nearly empty-I listen to John Twist's "heavier is better" philosophy but I also know folks running very light or even running them dry. I don't agree with it, and find that low or too light oil can give poor acceleration and a bad idle, but these carbs are often more tolerant of things like this than many give them credit for.

One last thing since this is an HS-type carb. A few years ago, I had an inconsistent idle on my car that was driving me crazy and couldn't figure it out. Twist look one look at it running and said "Change your float chamber grommets." Sure enough, the ones on my rear carb rock-hard, and the front not better. What he picked up on was that the float chamber was vibrating pretty badly with the engine running, which was causing an inconsistent fuel level in it. That fixed it. I'm not saying that's a problem, but since that was pointed out to me I always look fir it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not risking my life on any brake master that is in any way questionable. Especially as a properly rebuilt one through the club is only 80 quid. Possibly gather all the bits and get my local friendly garage to sort. A job they'll enjoy doing (as old car) and won't be too expensive. Plus know everything is puka. Remember these are single line systems.

 

Replacing flexis is a given. However these look like they're not that old either.

 

DOT 4 is easier and cheaper to get hold of here than DOT 3. No brainer.

 

Carb floats are clear plastic. Look original SU. Carbs are on the Todo list to be pulled, inspected and potentially serviced. Throttle spindle bushing will be investigated too. No wax stat jets and modern float needles suggest carbs have been worked on before. Likely when the car was last restored roughly 8 years ago.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, SiC said:

I'm not risking my life on any brake master that is in any way questionable. Especially as a properly rebuilt one through the club is only 80 quid. Possibly gather all the bits and get my local friendly garage to sort. A job they'll enjoy doing (as old car) and won't be too expensive. Plus know everything is puka. Remember these are single line systems. 

 

I can certainly understand the appeal of having a "fresh" braking system all around, as it is quite literally the most important system on the car. I also forget that many 70s British cars were still single circuit, which does make the stakes on having everything in tip top shape a bit higher(although I'd still hate to have to stop on only the rear brakes, although it's better than none).

I will add the caveat that it's useful to research the EXACT M/C that you're installing, and with many new production parts for BL cars, the quality can be hit or miss. If at all possible, I'd encourage you to rebuild/have rebuilt the old one, although I also know some designs lend themselves well to a rebuild and some it's just usually a few hours work to take things apart only to realize it's beyond saving.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • 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 dome
      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...
    • By davehedgehog31
      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.
×
×
  • Create New...