Zel's Motoring Adventures...Merc, Vauxhall, Renault, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 06/12 - Renault Minor Fettling Begins...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...
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...
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...
My goal was not to buy any more cars but with the Lanchester out of action while we work through it and make it safe to use, and the Princess out of action and needing the engine to be removed (a job I am procrastinating about, and when I'm motivated am thwarted by schedule and weather conflicts) it was getting more obvious that I needed some personal transport. Something basic and reliable that I know my way around, that's going to be cheap to buy and run. This is an ideal candidate, on paper.
Whether I really can just use it as An Car or will end up getting all finicky about making it nice remains to be seen. I just want some hasslefree pootling for a few months and normally Maestros are just that.
By Rust Collector
As I threatened in my first post in the 'introduce yourself' thread, I will slowly be getting the fleet posted up on here for everyone to admire/ridicule. I will be the first to admit I have a hoarding problem, and at one point I had around 18 cars in addition to the stock that I was trading at the time... I eventually listened to those close to me who had been constantly nagging over the years, weaned myself back to one car for a year or so, realised that without projects to play with I was constantly bored and miserable and so decided that having one car was a crock of shit and I should buy more again. Always just one more, never more than that 😆 At the moment we have the following, some running and on the road, some not so much... Nothing irreparable though, and I will try my best to document the work I do as I pick away it on them all.
So, on to the cars that we've got currently:
2007 mk3 Renault Clio 1.2 - mentioned for completeness, and because I put a new engine in it recently and effectively got the car for £150 I'm still feeling sort of smug. I got given it for free with a snapped cam belt after helping someone out, I bought the cheapest engine I could find, put a new cam belt on it and hoped for the best. It's now my partner's daily, and she's happy enough with it. I'm wary of it, as it contains computers, but whilst it runs it means I can delay welding my partner's Subaru! After driving it for a bit myself, I actually don't mind it and I've come to think it's an alright car for what it is despite being incredibly dull 😯 2000 Mk1 Honda Insight - I bought this around 2015/2016 when I was importing cars from Japan and put it in storage. It was tipped to go up in value... It didn't really. Before the world fell apart we used to drive on the continent a lot (my partner is Slovakian, we try to drive to see family rather than fly) so I recently took it out of storage and put it on the road in anticipation of getting some road trips in once the borders open. This is currently my daily driver. 2001 Mitsubishi Shogun Sport 3.0 V6 - This is our thunderbird, useful for rescuing the other cars when they shit themselves. So thirsty on fuel that you barely notice the change in economy when driving it unladen or with 1.5t dragged behind it 😆 Typical Japanese reliability, the engine and box are always well behaved but I'm forever welding bits into the holes in the body. I keep thinking of selling it, but it saved our arse when another car died just before a road trip to Zurich so I like to keep it around. It's quite good fun to take to pay and play days too, when I'm not busy throwing money at other stuff. 1994 Skoda Favorit Silverline Estate - I swapped another car I wanted to get out of for this one. The main attraction is that it horrifies my partner, as she had one as her first car and hated it. I've replaced quite a lot on this to get it running right, as it had some issues when I picked it up, I've also spent a good few days welding the underneath up. It still needs some bodywork and a tidy but it was a perfectly good daily up until the head gasket let go. It's still taxed and tested, the cylinder head is sat in the boot of the Mitsubishi ready to take for a skim, so hopefully I'll have her up and running again soon. I don't know why, but I've grown pretty fond of it over the time I've had it, despite the fact that it is fairly crap to drive by modern standards! 2001 Subaru Legacy Outback 3.0 H6 - Bought cheap with a short MOT, it was all going so well until I started picking at the inner arches. This was my partner's daily up until the MOT ran out, and ever since it's been on the 'I'll get round to it' list. Other than some crustiness, it's a pretty decent car. The flat 6 engine sounds beautiful through the stainless exhaust. It's rapid for a wagon, and has all the creature comforts you could want. It's fairly straightforward to work on. I think this is about our 6th or 7th Legacy, I keep getting rid of them and then regretting it. I'm told we are selling this one once I fix it... I may just buy my partner out of it, save us buying another one in a few months time 😆 2001 Mercedes E430 V8 Estate - £250 facebook marketplace special. Ran great for 6 months, providing loads of V8 fun. Bloody quick in a straight line, and huge inside. Easily one of my favourite shit heaps I've ever owned. Then the gearbox took a dump before we left for Zurich in 2019 (yes, I am stupid enough to plan a 3,000 mile foreign trip in a £250 German car...). I've since bought a replacement gearbox, which conveniently came attached to a 5.4l AMG lump from a CLK55 AMG that a mate was breaking, plus all the other bits I wanted to grab off of it. It's currently sat up at my parent's farm, firmly on the 'I'll get round to it' list. 2001 Mercedes SLK 320 - Bought off the mate who sold me the AMG lump, I got this as something to work on with my younger brother. It had a snapped control arm, and subsequently a knackered engine and gearbox. My mate chucked in a spare engine and gearbox, and we are most of the way through the repair work. The hardest part of this project has been both mine and my brother's working hours changing, making it hard to find the time to work together. 1992 Honda Prelude 2.2 Si VTEC - Another Japanese import, I bought it when I was 21, ran it for years and then took it off the road and left it up the farm until I was ready to do the restoration work it needed (I couldn't weld back then... Some people might say I still can't 😅 ) as the rear quarters and sills were going to crap. I started her up the other day and noticed she wasn't charging, so I'll probably strip the alternator and repair it over the next few days. As for the welding, you guessed it, I'll get round to it! 1992 Citroen BX Break 1.7 TZD - Well, it was free to a good home, and I had just dropped a car off and had an empty car transporter... What would anyone else do?! She's done nearly 300k miles, and has lots of holes for me to weld up. Otherwise runs fine, no trouble starting, suspension goes up and down as needed, doesn't spray green fluid all over the shop. I've had all the interior out and cleaned it thoroughly, removed most of the spiders, fitted the missing trim - basically done anything I can to avoid the harder jobs. It's due to become our holiday bus though, so I've scheduled some time over the next few months to get stuck in to the welding. This is probably one of the cars I'm most excited about running, as I reckon it will be a pretty decent estate to run around in. 1988 Zastava 311 - A bit of a random one, but I've always wanted a Zastava just for the obscurity. This one came up in January, and had been sat in barns since 1996 apparently. It didn't run when I got it, but I've slowly replaced pretty much everything in the engine bay, along with all the brake components and lines, and she runs now. Just the welding left to do, and she's ready for MOT. I have been fairly productive with this project, up until several cars within my family broke at the same time and I ended up working on those in my spare time instead of my toys. Only one family car left to fix and I'll be back on my projects again hopefully. I will try to put an individual post to follow for each car, as and when I can be bothered to do a write up of what I've done with each of them to bring them up to date, and then after that I'll try and get posts and pics up as I do jobs on them. I suspect the first thing to get up will be the Skoda, as that's what I'm actively working on currently. And seeing as you made it this far through my rambling, here's a picture of the Favorit:
I'm a masochist from Leeds who is running two rusty, worn out Triumph Dolomites as my only transport in rural Aberdeenshire. You might recognise me from various other forums and Facebook groups. Realistically I need to buy a modern car of some sort, but instead I find myself looking at Ã‚Â£300 Citroen BXs and Triumph Acclaims on Gumtree and thinking "yeah, that'd fit right in with the rest of the broken cars I can't afford".
On to the cars, the main attraction being my 1976 1850HL "50 Shades of Yellow" that I bought for Ã‚Â£850 and is currently my daily driver, here is a picture of it before I sanded off some surface rust and sprayed it badly in the wrong shade of yellow with rattle cans:
Within a month of purchase I managed to plant it in to a steel fence backwards after a botched gear change on a wet roundabout and ruined the N/S rear wing, although judging by the other dent that's packed with filler it looks like somebody had already done the same. I also managed to destroy a halfshaft and one of my Sprint alloys (good for an extra 15hp) in the incident, so now it's sitting on it's original steelies but painted black (good for an extra 5hp).
It's only broken down on me twice. once with some sort of fuel delivery related problem which may or may not have been an empty fuel tank and once when the thermostat jammed shut and it overheated and blew out some O-rings for the cooling system. It has recently developed a taste for coolant and oil which is rather annoying, although it's done 89,300 miles which is about 80,000 more miles than BL engineering is designed to last, I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines...
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 Ã‚Â£1400 (about Ã‚Â£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 Ã‚Â£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.