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70s-90s B road blaster


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I currently have a Triumph Herald and although its a novelty to drive its not exactly something I can take for a thrash, mostly it trundles along to classic shows and the pub...which I like, id just also like a car that likes a B-road blast occasionally.

As older hatches are on the price increase something that fits the bill is hard to come by, I have been looking at Toyota Glanza's but they seem quite expensive for what they are and standard ones carry a premium price, a metro with a VVC conversion would be nice but one for sale are few and far between and I cant be arsed doing the conversion myself. Yesterday I had a look at fb/ebay and it looked like you could get a slightly ropey Golf GTi mk2 for under £2k.

Are there any cars out there that you think fit the bill?

Restrictions are my garage can only take a car that is 4200mm long maximum, and I want something older so no Clio 182's etc.

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Metro VVC are ridiculously quick but very rust prone.

I've got an MG ZR 160 which although from the 2000s feels like it is from the early 90s. Lots of fun on B-roads, surprisingly good handling and brakes. I wouldn't previously have considered myself a total degenerate but looking from the perspective of my neighbours I must be getting close.

EDIT: It's also really fast, much faster than a 115bhp Golf. This is in the damp:

 

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A MK2 golf GTi under 2k will most likely be a shed at that price unless your very lucky. Anything that is a decent b road blaster from the 70-90s is gonna be quite pricey or quite ropey. It's a shame you have dismissed the Clio 172/182, as it probably does what you require.

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28 minutes ago, yes oui si said:

The mk3 golf GTI I had was wonderful. Decent suspension on it, chuckable, sure-footed and they're still only £1,500 for a good one. They don't deserve the bad reputation they have, which I feel was borne out of it simply not being a mk2. 

Absolutely agree. The only reason the boggo 8v GTi got slated was because the motoring press (obsessed with power to weight ratios and quoted 0-60 times) weren't happy that the car was much heavier but had exactly the same quoted power. Having driven the pretty much all Golf GTi's* I didn't find the Mk3 any slower or worse to drive than either of it's of its predecessors, it would even lift a rear wheel on B road blasts. Early ones rusted like buggery and had electrical issues, later ones were much better.

For proper cheap get a Pug 206 GTi. They don't rust either.

*I would like to point out that I am in no way a VW fanboy and am still of a mindset never to buy another VAG car again after the FGD (fucking Golf diesel) debacle 2012-2018.

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I had several encounters with the local FiestaSTOnFinance yoof brigade in the mk3, and regularly showed them a clean pair of heels... But a lot of that may have been down to knowing the roads, knowing (and importantly trusting) the car, and having a million miles of driving experience over them. 

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What yes oui si said.

I'm going to assume that he's talking about the one he bought off me, which, although not without its issues, was a great car to drive. It handled well, not so fast that you were in danger of losing your licence every time you went out and would cruise in comfort at 80, I'm told, returning reasonable economy. Parts were cheap and it was mostly easy to fix.

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6 minutes ago, warch said:

For proper cheap get a Pug 206 GTi. They don't rust either.

Yes they do.

 

Mine isn't (as far as I've found so far) very rusty.  But the breaker I bought last year had totally shagged chassis rails at 85k (yes, I know that mileage has no correlation to rust)

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20 minutes ago, yes oui si said:

The mk3 golf GTI I had was wonderful. Decent suspension on it, chuckable, sure-footed and they're still only £1,500 for a good one. They don't deserve the bad reputation they have, which I feel was borne out of it simply not being a mk2. 

Really shocked at this as the one I had took a podium finish for me in the worst cars I've ever owned, and I've owned some horrors. 

The only improvement I could see was the power steering. 

The 2.0 8v was asthmatic and dreadful on fuel, it felt heavy, slow, thirsty and not that well put together. Had some issues with keys on it too which caused it to not always start. Shame as to look at in 3dr form and dog dick red (after a major cut and polish) it looked fantastic. 

I swapped an audi coupe 2.3 for it initially and regretted it almost immediately. Luckily swapped it back a few months later as the mate I swapped it with felt the same so I suppose it could be me in the wrong after all!!! 

I have a great little B road car which may fit  the bill as a suggestion (not currently for sale but will be when I'm mobile again), Seat ibiza cupra, y reg which maybe a tad new for you. 

It reminds me of my old Fiat Uno Turbo but without the memories of it breaking down every 5 minutes. 

Is still effectively the same car as the MK2 ibiza (ironically similar platform to the mk3 golf i so disliked) but with the lovely 1.8 20vT engine. 

They handle pretty well and I found with the extra power point to point it made such a difference not to be up and down the box constantly. Brakes are all round discs which are good and becausevag upgrades are cheap and simple. 

They also seem pretty rust resistant which some of the late 90's /Y2K era cars are starting to suffer from. 

5spd box is pretty tough too and mine averaged 30 mpg in varied but slightly heavy footed driving. 

A nice Mk4 golf is also a good choice if a touch flabbier however nice ones are getting rarer now and starting to command a premium. 

Handlingwise my Y2K fiesta Zetec s was immense but I think most are gone to rust now and I'm sure the Zetec se engine got smoky if not looked after but apparently a 1.7 puma engine was a common transplant and gave a nice 125bhp. 

So much choice really but people are starting to cotton onto this as a good generation of cars and prices seem to be responding as such. 

As a curveball I loved the first gen corsa gsi but im guessing anything with an mot will be £5k upwards now, probably the same as the Astra gsi of that era with the redtop engine (ectotec was shite). I had a red gsi and it was a fab car, even when the wiper motor failed on the A5 in pissing down rain and i then stopped in a red light district in Nottingham to ask for directions with family in tow. But i cant blame the car for the last bit, that was purely me being a silly naive Country boy. 

 

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2 minutes ago, loserone said:

Yes they do.

 

Mine isn't (as far as I've found so far) very rusty.  But the breaker I bought last year had totally shagged chassis rails at 85k (yes, I know that mileage has no correlation to rust)

Wasn't there an issue with the 307 cabriolets of that era as well? A mot tester I knew said it's a really bad problem and that a lot slip through the test as they have covers on the floor. 

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MG F and TF, Mazda MX-5, Toyota MR2 mk2 (mk1s are generally either pricey, or rotten these days), Citroen ZX Volcane would all be good options and prices aren't crazy on them yet.  Citroen Xantias are still cheap and surprisingly good fun on a B-road thrash, but might be a little large for the space you've got available.

Your other option is to just get a slow car and drive it fast.  There's a lot of fun to be had in a basic 90s hatchback with no modifications entirely within the speed limit.  One of the most entertaining drives I've ever had was in a Peugeot 106 Graduate, all within the speed limits, and with some entertaining lift-off oversteer when trying to keep up with the much newer car I was following.  Easily the most fun collection mission ever, and all with 1100cc.  Best of all, non-sporting 106s are dirt cheap still and offer plenty of smiles per mile.

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9 minutes ago, dave j said:

How about an engine swap in the Herald? 

Would love to do an MX5 swap into the Herald, although because of the fabrication needed for the engine mounts and suspension/drive train components that would need to be swapped over I think its a project thats beyond my skills.

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31 minutes ago, loserone said:

Yes they do.

 

Mine isn't (as far as I've found so far) very rusty.  But the breaker I bought last year had totally shagged chassis rails at 85k (yes, I know that mileage has no correlation to rust)

Sorry I forgot to emphasise the facetiousness in that comment, which was largely aimed at VW fanbois for whom nothing is as reliable as a Volkswagen.

 

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1 hour ago, dc2100k said:

Metro VVC are ridiculously quick but very rust prone.

I've got an MG ZR 160 which although from the 2000s feels like it is from the early 90s. Lots of fun on B-roads, surprisingly good handling and brakes. I wouldn't previously have considered myself a total degenerate but looking from the perspective of my neighbours I must be getting close.

EDIT: It's also really fast, much faster than a 115bhp Golf. This is in the damp:

 

A Metro GTi isn't exactly slow,there's still the rust thing though & prices started to rise as soon as I sold mine ?.

+1 for the ZR 160,the 105 is ok but the 160 is a proper hooligan car.There's always the Rover 25 GTi if you can find one.A bit down on power on the 160 but should still be good fun & a bit more of a Q-car.

Has nobody mentioned the Ford Puma 1.7 yet?.Still cheap ones about,but rust is the killer once again.

 

 

 

 

 

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206's have really good rubbery stone chip paint on the sills, so good in fact that on inspection the sill look fine, until you start jabbing them with a screwdriver. Then you screw driver suddenly gets 2 inch shorter. Great car though but heavily slated.

If we discusing newer stuff c2 vts is a riot, or Ignis sport or possibly a 306 GTi 6 if they still available for sensible money.

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40 minutes ago, vulgalour said:

MG F and TF, Mazda MX-5, Toyota MR2 mk2 (mk1s are generally either pricey, or rotten these days), Citroen ZX Volcane would all be good options and prices aren't crazy on them yet.  Citroen Xantias are still cheap and surprisingly good fun on a B-road thrash, but might be a little large for the space you've got available.

Your other option is to just get a slow car and drive it fast.  There's a lot of fun to be had in a basic 90s hatchback with no modifications entirely within the speed limit.  One of the most entertaining drives I've ever had was in a Peugeot 106 Graduate, all within the speed limits, and with some entertaining lift-off oversteer when trying to keep up with the much newer car I was following.  Easily the most fun collection mission ever, and all with 1100cc.  Best of all, non-sporting 106s are dirt cheap still and offer plenty of smiles per mile.

I agree with the ‘basic 90s hatch’ idea but I guess the trick might be finding an as-yet unshagged example. I had a Pug 309 1.4 from new to 90k miles. Only 70ish bhp but grin-inducing handling and poise. 

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1 hour ago, vaughant said:

Really shocked at this as the one I had took a podium finish for me in the worst cars I've ever owned, and I've owned some horrors. 

The only improvement I could see was the power steering. 

The 2.0 8v was asthmatic and dreadful on fuel, it felt heavy, slow, thirsty and not that well put together. Had some issues with keys on it too which caused it to not always start. Shame as to look at in 3dr form and dog dick red (after a major cut and polish) it looked fantastic. 

This one had a decent cam, stainless exhaust, superchip etc. Matched springs and dampers helped as well. 

Averaged 32mpg despite me driving like... Well... Me. Would get another 10mpg on a run. 

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27 minutes ago, 155V6 said:

There's always the Rover 25 GTi if you can find one.A bit down on power on the 160 but should still be good fun & a bit more of a Q-car.

Yes the 25Gti is a good shout, I think the only difference is the ECU map so you should be able to get a good few more horses out of it with a map from a ZR 170 race car,

 

The 25Gti & ZR are much maligned but are a genuine 90's type hot hatch. 1100kg 150+BHP mechanically quite tough and very easy/cheap to fix/modify. I know K-series HGF etc but it's a great engine, really advanced design, high power/weight and actually quite easy to fix if they do go wrong. Also REALLY CHEAP/ my ZR160 cost just £550 and it's only 90% shite.

 

BTW. MG Express, now that's a niche chariot. Pics please.

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I might be biased but I would look at an E36 318ti hatch as it’s basically a rear wheel drive hot (warm) hatch 

These are a real hoot to drive and quite nippy being 140bhp and it has torsion bar rear suspension unlike the the normal Z axle E36 So has a more 80s feel to it.

You should get a nice one for under 2grand and the prices are on the up so you can’t lose.

You can’t have mine though as it took me ages to find a real nice rust free one and could never part with it.

1A150A9D-A086-469F-81E3-09B3354722B6.jpeg

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Pug 306 GTI/Rallye is a good shout, they've never gone daft in price and are quick. I had one when I was 19 and thought I was a driving god, right up until I exited a roundabout backwards when demonstrating my prowess at lift off oversteer. I then did it again 3 months later and twatted a kerb and bent the rear beam. Don't get me wrong, I was utterly shit but they're probably one of the last fwd cars made where they are snappy to the point that you can get into trouble. Clio 182s etc seemed more forgiving.

8 minutes ago, yes oui si said:

This one had a decent cam, stainless exhaust, superchip etc. Matched springs and dampers helped as well. 

Averaged 32mpg despite me driving like... Well... Me. Would get another 10mpg on a run. 

Ah right yes, so this excellent out of the packet car only needed a hot cam, different suspension and , remap and exhaust...that's why they were slated. They were fine driven in isolation, but drive a competitor and they were crap, just a vaguely sporty trim level. I imagine the 16v was a lot better but I only ever drove an 8v and that's all there was at launch.

My favourite ever car of this description was the AE82 Corolla Twincam, I had 3 of them. They were quick in their day, although not really now, but you could extract every inch of performance out of them without being really daft, they were so revvy. I can still hear the exhaust note now. But your chances of finding one at all now are virtually nil and if you do it'll be a spammed up shitbox in Bradford with a 6 grand price tag that it is not worth. This was my last one.

403632439.jpg

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