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Am I sick or just plain stupid?


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I've just bought the most expensive* and modern car I've ever had, and mostly feel a sense of relief, and don't hate is as much as expected.  So I'm in the don't do it camp.

You have some fantastic vehicles already!

Although, thing is, if you buy a period house one day (which I imagine you would, I can't imagine you buying a new build off plan) be mindful that they also endlessly cost money. Our house was built when your Palladium was 9 years old, and there's always something just like a similarly aged car.

Would getting the Heron on the road make you happy? How much would that be worth?

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Egg is 100% right there BTW, once you buy an old house with Mrs Barrett that will be the end of fannying about with old motors. Houses just seem to endlessly soak up every friggin penny you earn and suddenly any vehicular expense greater than 20p becomes morally unjustifiable when compared to a thing worth around 60 old Flavias that is keeping you and Mrs_B housed.

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You've had a fairly even spread of answers, to be expected I think. Mrs Spart and I, due to a 'complicated' situation, have two houses between us, one of which has seven acres and about forty different animals. I'm time poor, hence moving on the Nissan. If I were in your shoes I'd be thinning the fleet down a little more before taking something like that on. I don't have much idea of Lancia values but that looks like a 'challenging' car, both to look at and fix, there are going to be many more hopeless wrecks to buy in the future, give it a miss.

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A fair spread of opinion there but probably the majority advise being "sensible", and save the money towards a property, which is of course the "right" thing to do without a doubt. But I think we all know the feeling of obsessing about a car we've seen and either not being happy till we own it or else cursing yourself when someone else buys it. I'd say if it grabs you that much, go for it, but with your eyes fully open that it's going to cost more than you think to sort. Don't expect it to turn a profit. I'd be quite rich if I hadn't spent my life snapping up old shite that has grabbed me but that I could've lived perfectly well without. But that's not the point. You only live once.

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Realistically what is that Lancia worth once it’s running and vaguely roadworthy? 

Probably not much more than the £3.5k the current owner wants for it.

It’s not something likely to appreciate like a Ford Cortina or even hold steady like an Austin Cambridge, it’s a very esoteric car with a limited appeal - effectively just to Lancia nuts. To be worth strong money it will need a lot of time, effort, and more, more and more money to get it to a stage where the whole exercise is worthwhile. 

And once in A1 condition you’d probably spend a year trying to sell it. 

Leave it where it is. You have several vehicles that deserve your attention as it is. 

It’s probably a good time to have a little savings in reserve, I can’t see COVID/Brexit No-deal/zombie apocalypse affecting the sales of ‘The Automobile’ much - I imagine the key customer base is ‘old money giffers’ 😀 - but you never know.

When you invest in the vintage stuff at least you know it has a value and know people who will take it off your hands. With that in mind I’d pay down the Riley loan if you don’t want to stick any spare cash in the bank.

P.S. If you do get it, at least persuade the powers-that-be at the Automobile to move their cut-off date a few years forward so you can write about it!! 

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11 hours ago, Mr_Bo11ox said:

Egg is 100% right there BTW, once you buy an old house with Mrs Barrett that will be the end of fannying about with old motors. Houses just seem to endlessly soak up every friggin penny you earn and suddenly any vehicular expense greater than 20p becomes morally unjustifiable when compared to a thing worth around 60 old Flavias that is keeping you and Mrs_B housed.

Great, well, that's something to look forward to. I already get quite a lot of NOT ANOTHER STUPID BROKEN CAR as it is.

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I shouldn't moan cos I am lucky to own a house but at the same time I feel that I gave up any pretence of actually 'living' about the time I bought it. Nowadays I just  work lots of hours earning decent money and hand it all straight to the fucking house.

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If you have children it's like houses multiplied by the amount of children you have. I've only clung onto a few extra cars as I only have one house and one child.

I've previously used cars as a means of not spending any money I did have on magic beans or pet rocks bought of the internet.  If the money is in the car you can't spend it so it's not always a terrible thing to do but you can't get carried away on a money pit pumping endless cash into it. You have to do it with the understanding that at some point you need to get the majority of your money back out of it.  As you know cars can always do you a favour after spending £££ cash on body work or something by blowing their engine up.

I always relate it to my mate whos a farmer. He spent ages on Bulltrader looking for a bull for his farm so he didn't have to go through endless expense and hassle of getting his cows inseminated each year. He saved up his money, went to see a few, probably touched a few of them inappropriately then dropped many thousands on this bull of choice. It was delivered and a few days later they had a really stormy night so he thought he'd go and check on it first thing in the morning and the boor bastard had been struck by lightning and was stone dead. All his money down the toilet.

So my advice is don't buy a bull and store it in an lightning prone field, which I believe was your original question?

 

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9 hours ago, Mr_Bo11ox said:

I feel that I gave up any pretence of actually 'living' about the time I bought it

To be fair, I gave that up aged about 22 when I had to get a 'proper job' and my idea of working in an antiques shop or a record shop in Notting Hill died.

I guess houses are less likely to suffer HGF or terminal rust at a moments notice.

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19 minutes ago, egg said:

I guess houses are less likely to suffer HGF or terminal rust at a moments notice.

But it does happen.

The (nearly new) house I owned before this one had to be dumped on the market as a "Cat C" because of foundation failure. (Caused by incompetent build and blind-eye building inspection).  The cracks started appearing in the house around the time I bought a Lancia Gamma. I only lost £300 on the Lancia, at least £25,000 on the house.

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The only advice I’m going to offer in respect of this old Lancia is, don’t let the fact that it’s spent time on Jersey colour your judgement in either direction. If it’s been laid up for years, that’s basically irrelevant. 

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Old Lancias? They were rusty before they even left the factory weren't they? Jersey? Pottering around at low speed, never really getting warmed up, Smoking! You need a house first. You already have plenty of cars to be getting on with. Get what you have sorted then, once you have done that, with any luck you can get your house. Once that is done then you can look for old Italian money pits.

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On 9/30/2020 at 8:53 AM, cort16 said:

I always relate it to my mate whos a farmer. He spent ages on Bulltrader looking for a bull for his farm

Did anybody except me think that Bulltrader was an actual site where you could buy a real bull and maybe get it delivered?  It's not.  Very disappointing.

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All house related sensibleness out of the way (and I agree about that part incidentally, but never mind, YOLO and all that..).

Three grand would offer a lot of very enjoyable shiting, including collecting, insuring, taxing, fuelling, hooning and fixing said shite. Personally I'd rather make my way through a lot of cars that are on my list before sinking it into one all consuming potential liability.

Although, I must admit if certain cars became available for that three grand, and I had the cash, I would happilly spaff it all and hoist a middle finger to the critics. Does this car give you those tingles?

I tend to make my decisions based on the knowledge that just 'having' something is nearly always a let down after a short time so I always ask myself 'then what'..

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10 minutes ago, juular said:

I tend to make my decisions based on the knowledge that just 'having' something is nearly always a let down after a short time so I always ask myself 'then what'..

I think that's absolutely right.  The thing with the car though is that it will very likely need another three grand spending to get it anywhere near roadworthy.  Exhaust system, tyres and a major brake overhaul at least, and that assumes that the engine, drivetrain structure are OK.   A coupe would perhaps be a different matter, as they are always worth a bit more. 

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Luckily I get free tyres so that's a good grand off any potential project....

Anyway, lot's of surprisingly sensible advice here. I would love a Flavia berlina, but I can definitely live without one. I think I am just in a rare situation of having money to spend and seeing a shiny thing I want - there's no reason to it, just an impulse.

If it was a £3k coupé it would be a different matter, as they are virtually at the top of my list of all-time favourite designs. All the technical marvel of the saloon but wrapped in a genuinely beautiful body. Given that these are still pretty easily attainable in terms of price, and survive in much higher numbers than saloons, I know there'll be plenty of opportunity to get one in the future (although now I'm curious about the one @vulgalour mentioned, although I seem to remember it had a nasty two-tone paint job - feel free to post some info here, please).

I think I have possibly cured myself by doing a deal on a £200 snotter (delivered in a couple of weeks) and I'm going to look at another budget-level motor tonight. If I can do a deal on that one too I think I'll be more than satisfied for a while and I can safely put away the rest of the money no problems. I've also spunked a load on records in the last few days so I suddenly don't feel as flush anymore, anyway.

Thanks all!

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8 minutes ago, Six-cylinder said:

On the face of it this one looks a better starting point.

+1 for that.  Absolutely cracking cars.  Same engine as the coupe and slightly lower geared, so they go really well, and usually have been looked after and not ragged around.  

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As bought.  It runs, all the brightwork (apart from the beauty rings which always seem to be missing) is there, as is all the glass.

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As it was left the last time I did any work on it, as far as I'm aware it hasn't progressed since.

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As a project car it's not a bad prospect, it's certainly not falling apart (or wasn't last time I was working on it), but it does need some welding in the boot and the front wings redoing better than they were.  There's enough there to make a really nice car that nobody wants and that's probably the main reason it's sat around doing nothing for so long.  It's a passion project rather than a sensible business proposition.

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4 minutes ago, vulgalour said:

As bought.  It runs, all the brightwork (apart from the beauty rings which always seem to be missing) is there, as is all the glass.

1004569080_1964LanciaFlaviarear.jpg.3cefe21499827d04f5c24dc3577a887c.jpg

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As it was left the last time I did any work on it, as far as I'm aware it hasn't progressed since.

DSCF3246.thumb.JPG.b70c16c8dcf230a7f416c84ce90a0fd3.JPG

As a project car it's not a bad prospect, it's certainly not falling apart (or wasn't last time I was working on it), but it does need some welding in the boot and the front wings redoing better than they were.  There's enough there to make a really nice car that nobody wants and that's probably the main reason it's sat around doing nothing for so long.  It's a passion project rather than a sensible business proposition.

Now that looks beautiful.

It would look great with a Gamma and a Trevi.

I am guessing this one is not Autoshite money. 

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Back in 2002 a mate's neighbour bought a "garage find" Flavia coupe for £350.  Looked remarkably solid although the paint had had it, but getting it running proved to be beyond his capabilities.  Not sure what happened to it in the end.

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On 9/29/2020 at 5:12 AM, Mr Pastry said:

I know my way around these, as I worked on them (when I couldn't avoid it) back in the day, indeed I met the great Harry Manning and various other Lancia celebrities.

Nobody wants the saloons although they are just as capable as the coupes - practically the same under the skin.  They are interesting cars, super things to drive when working properly, with lots of character, but if you buy one you will be stuck with it for ever.

The body doesn't look too bad,  but the underside photo may be misleading.  The floors do not  usually rot badly, you need to look at the rear chassis rails, boot floor, front subframe and mountings.

I can't see an exhaust system in the picture.  Has it even got one?  They are low-slung and vulnerable.   The engine is fairly simple though inaccessible, and not totally bomb-proof.  I would want to hear it running - think big ends and timing chain.  Don't even consider one with Kugelfischer injection.  Gearboxes are generally OK,  though a clutch change is  quite a major job. 

Suspension, wheel bearings, steering and driveshafts are all massively built but unobtanium, and fairly unpleasant to cope with.  No idea of the current spares position, but I doubt if it is good or cheap.  As Vulgalour says, the brakes are the biggy.  They will absolutely not work if it has been standing, the servo is a horrible design and technically difficult/expensive to update, though it can be done.

It will need a bit more than light recommissioning, and they did not have a great reputation for reliability when new.   In case you are wondering, no amount of beer tokens would tempt me to go anywhere near it, but any other questions, please ask.

Just run away IMO.

Listen to the man who knows.  There is no money to be made on a Flavia sedan.  If it were free you'd still make no money.  If its about the car then fair enough, most of us here get that. But as something to run, fettle and not lose on.  It just won't happen.  Spares difficult. Costs huge. For a car that even the tiny amount of lancia folks in the uk don't want.  It may have an element of fun and would be a challenge but it will also be financial misery. I've had 2 Flavia coupes so have some idea.... 

 

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3 hours ago, vulgalour said:

You'll have to ask @MikeKnight to find out, I'm not sure what he wants for it.  It'll be more than a couple of hundred quid, but I doubt it'll be stupid coin.

Yeah they're incredibly rare but worth very little in comparison to other classics.

My dad paid £2000 give or take years ago for a rolling shell with a working engine which he's done nothing with except strip.

If anyone wanted it they could have it for the same price. I'd be happy to have it out of the yard it's slowly rotting away in.

My dad would be mad but it's one car I would have no qualms about selling behind his back because I know with 100% accuracy he will NEVER DO ANYTHING WITH IT.

I love my old man but he's a fuckin' hoarder and it drives me insane. He almost stopped me selling the Wolseley for the same reason.

-----------------------

The engine and gearbox in this vehicle WORK. They smoke, likely due to ancient fuel or bad valve seals, but they work.

It's been reduced to a shell with all the parts for it stored inside. Money wasted on a partial retrim of the interior in very expensive red leather. It breaks my heart to see how little has been done with it and I cannot find the time to even look at it as my dad keeps piling work on me. It was originally bought by a twat who used to work with me, using my dads money, but this aforementioned TWAT talked the talk when in actuality knew absolutely nothing about cars. It was bought behind my back then I was forced to work on it. That's one of the big reasons I dragged my heels on it to begin with, I didn't want it or need it.

If I don't sell it I can see its fate being tied to the fate of the poor slowly-rusting Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II it's stood next to in the yard, my dad will do absolutely nothing with them and when he dies I'll sweep what remains of them into a bag. 😪

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That's all I have from the pictures taken years ago when I reluctantly started work on it.

We no longer have the "carpets" (they're just plastic in this model) after the person we trusted to retrim it refused to finish the work and we had to take him to court. He retaliated pettily by throwing the carpets out along with the templates.

It's been sitting outside for at least 4 years now as a shell so the condition will have deteriorated a little though it's been mostly covered up so shouldn't be too bad.

Vulgalour did begin taking the filler in the arches off to prep them for repair but was pulled off of it by my dad for apparently no reason. I'm starting to suspect my dad gets off on watching cars rot in a corner.

 

 

 

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