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Dollywobbler's Consolidated Tat Thread


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22 hours ago, dollywobbler said:

I've barely played Euro Truck Simulator lately. A mix of being ridiculously busy, and discovering Beam NG Drive... 

But also because I've been on the road a lot. After meeting the Brownnovas yesterday, I headed to the Midlands today, left the Matiz for fettling and drove home in this.

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Fair to say it has divided opinion on the old social medias! It's a project car from Car Mechanics magazine, that I'm borrowing for a bit, for both magazine and video reasons. Initial impressions are that it has a horrible gearchange (I think it's broken) but is otherwise mostly inoffensive to drive. Not sure why they have such a crap reputation thus far. 

Also, there may be further fleet changes next week...

Did not your friend Drive with a Tea Shelf  (or something like that) recently make a video with one of these? I recall he felt the driving dynamics are not great.

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58 minutes ago, dollywobbler said:

He did, though I haven't seen it.  I tend to avoid reviews of cars I'm going to test as I don't want to cloud my judgement. I'll have a video with my own thoughts out tomorrow.

I'm sure car reviewing is like wine tasting; once someone with good credentials says something it becomes true, whether or not it is in fact true. 

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On 4/6/2021 at 9:01 PM, dollywobbler said:

mostly inoffensive to drive.

The same not being able to be said about it's looks.

I'm sure the reputation comes more from it's appearance rather than any aspect of it being crap to drive/unreliable etc.  If the same drivetrain were in something less  "interestingly" styled, it would probably have been completely forgotten by now.

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1 hour ago, Talbot said:

The same not being able to be said about it's looks.

I'm sure the reputation comes more from it's appearance rather than any aspect of it being crap to drive/unreliable etc.  If the same drivetrain were in something less  "interestingly" styled, it would probably have been completely forgotten by now.

Rational brain: styling doesn't really affect the car practically (apart from perhaps a few tenths of a % Cd) and you can't see the outside when you're driving anyway. Therefore it shouldn't matter one tiny bit.

Rest of brain: There's no way I'm going to get seen in that!!! I don't like the outward styling and besides, what will other people (anonymous road users) think???

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1 hour ago, Talbot said:

The same not being able to be said about it's looks.

I'm sure the reputation comes more from it's appearance rather than any aspect of it being crap to drive/unreliable etc.  If the same drivetrain were in something less  "interestingly" styled, it would probably have been completely forgotten by now.

What, such as a Chrysler Neon? ;-) 

I love the looks myself. I applaud companies that do things differently. 

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On 4/4/2021 at 6:27 PM, dollywobbler said:

Not sure they're as reliable as folk believe. Also, tedious in the extreme! That's always the rub for me. I want boring reliability, but not a boring car to drive.

In defence of the Passat (B5.5 PD130), I never ever wanted one (neither did I want a Mondeo but that grew on me through competency) but I can tell you it's comfy, entertaining to drive despite what the idiot professional reviewers say, with decent past servicing it's in fine condition at 180,000 miles, feels like a low mileage car. 

Good decent torquey engine; I don't like that term so much but it does describe that feeling of all the power at usable driving revs.

I can throw it around Welsh roads giggling all day long or cruise for hours.

Is VW overrated? Yes definitely. Is the Passat a boring concept? Yes but the reality of ownership tells a different story; it goes ok, inoffensive styling, great PD efficiency, practical beyond requirements so far and good fun can be had. 

Sports car? No, but it's reliable if it's been looked after and fun while practical. 

I would never have bought one if it weren't for a certain Shitter demanding I swap cars but I'm glad I did. 

Ok as you were. 

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2 hours ago, Talbot said:

An instantly forgettable car.  One I'd forgotten about anyway...

Sil and a neighbour had a Chrysler something, possibly Lancetti, possibly Neon.

Basically Astra in different clothes. 

SiL had timing belt failure on a motorway and got away with repairs in the low £100s, certainly less than buying another car. Maybe fluke, but it seemed to go ok. Neighbour's ran ok as well, nothing special but ok. Which is what you want if you just need An Car.

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Just now, Tim_E said:

SiL had timing belt failure on a motorway and got away with repairs in the low £100s,

If it used the old Vaux 8v engine (or possibly a derivative thereof) that's a non-interference engine, so timing belt failure is an irritation rather than an expensive mess.  Might be why it was so cheap.

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12 minutes ago, Talbot said:

If it used the old Vaux 8v engine (or possibly a derivative thereof) that's a non-interference engine, so timing belt failure is an irritation rather than an expensive mess.  Might be why it was so cheap.

There's a lot to like about old 8v engines!

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1 hour ago, Tim_E said:

Sil and a neighbour had a Chrysler something, possibly Lancetti, possibly Neon.

Basically Astra in different clothes. 

SiL had timing belt failure on a motorway and got away with repairs in the low £100s, certainly less than buying another car. Maybe fluke, but it seemed to go ok. Neighbour's ran ok as well, nothing special but ok. Which is what you want if you just need An Car.

Astra in different clothes, wouldn't that be a Chevrolet?

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I admit I had a PT Cruiser. I always wanted one, and I loved all of it. Well almost all of it, mine was a 2.0 auto. My god was it thirsty, 20-22mpg in town. High 20s and occasionally 30mpg on a run. I miss it apart from that. 

It also defined 'cramped engine bay' rather well. Changing spark plugs is not a 30 min job. Battery hidden under airbox. If you have a diesel there was no room in the engine bay for the battery, it was put under the passenger seat, on its side! So needed to be an expensive gel type. 

Would I have another? Yes in a shot, but a 2.4 manual. Allegedly quite a bit better on fuel. Also prices seem to be creeping up. 

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I'm keen to know whether the gearchange should be as shit as it is. It's very stiff, worse when warm. 

Otherwise, I can't see why scorn is poured upon these cars. I get that the looks are Marmite but it does the job of being a car very well. It doesn't really excel at anything but not is it that crap at anything. Bar gearchange and the feel of the indicator stalk. I guess, given that those two items get used a lot, they could away opinion.

 

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I suppose if it's merely an "OK" car with no particular USP in anything other than looks, and the looks are as marmite* as they are, they didn't really stand that much of a chance against more competent mainstream offerings.

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6 hours ago, OM646 said:

Astra in different clothes, wouldn't that be a Chevrolet?

Yes. Chevrolet lancetti. I always get them mixed up. 

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1 hour ago, dollywobbler said:

Aye. Chevrolet and Chrysler very different.

Videos are live on HubNut and HubNotes about this latest motor for those interested.

Different, but both begin with Ch and are traditional US brands therefore my poor brain gets them mixed up 🤦‍♂️

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1 hour ago, dollywobbler said:

I'm keen to know whether the gearchange should be as shit as it is. It's very stiff, worse when warm. 

Otherwise, I can't see why scorn is poured upon these cars. I get that the looks are Marmite but it does the job of being a car very well. It doesn't really excel at anything but not is it that crap at anything. Bar gearchange and the feel of the indicator stalk. I guess, given that those two items get used a lot, they could away opinion.

 

These will no doubt have the same gearbox setup of 90's/early 2000's Merc manuals, that used crap cables. When they wore in any way, they'd make an already fairly poor gearshift utterly shite and hard to locate most of them.

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10 hours ago, Mrcento said:

These will no doubt have the same gearbox setup of 90's/early 2000's Merc manuals, that used crap cables. When they wore in any way, they'd make an already fairly poor gearshift utterly shite and hard to locate most of them.

Did they not learn after the Maxi problems? Or is it a case of history repeating itself?

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I don't mind the exterior of a PT Cruiser, and like you I think I prefer it to an R75. But the interior is awful, like all GM cars of the period imho.

The Rover style interior in the PT Cruiser would be nice.

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Weren't the problems of Chrysler due to their, "couldn't care less" Dealer network?  I'm pretty sure early Neons spat out their head gaskets prematurely, the dealer blamed the driver then wanted £200 for a new head gasket (bare).  I want a Preston Tucker/Personal Transportation depending on which story you believe, but I think it would be a short romance.

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