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Chris2cv's Fleet. It's probably about time that I wrote about the rest of my cars! - Moped update 8/4 - IT LIVES!


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I thought that it was about time that I wrote about my fleet!  The Stepway has it’s own occasionally updated thread on the Modern board, but the others just get occasional mentions dotted around the place.

 The 2cv - A 1985 Citroen 2cv6 Special - Greased Lightning

 The 2cv was my first car. Bought way back in 1994, before I could even legally drive! My Dad and I tidied it up a bit, restoring the bumpers etc, it had some welding done and it was soon ready for the road. Quite a bit sooner than I was! It was my only car for 8 years, and I had many adventures in it (including 3 of my top ten worst journeys of all time!) I joined the local 2cv club (CARS) and went on a variety of rallies and club nights with them. I'm more of an "associate member now, as I haven't been to a meeting for a long time, but am still in the mailing list and sometimes see them at rallies. I still do a couple of rallies every year. It’s not immaculate, but it’s an “honest” well loved example.

 It is mostly standard, apart from the wheel trims and striped roof, which should only be on a Dolly. The “dalmatian skin” door cards came with the car and were not really to my taste. I briefly removed them, but it looked far too dull, so they went back in. There is now more padding in the (probably) four layers of seat covers than in the actual seats, another layer being added each time that the previous ones got tatty. Like many cars, there is an element of “Trigger’s broom” about it when debating how original it is, but it has not been restored, more preserved.

 Once I started working in the motor trade (which was probably a lot better for the car than when I was using it to deliver phone books!) I was getting quite a lot of earache about parking it outside the showroom. At the time, it was 17 years old, and I was considering changing to a newer car anyway. I finally had a regular, if not large, income and I had been looking at the various trade ins as they came in . Eventually I started to realise that if I bought a cheap one I would not necessarily be any better off than I was, but the decent newer ones were often not much cheaper than buying brand new.

 While I was thinking about the options one day, a worrying creak developed in the 2cv. While it was still driveable, something was clearly very wrong. My then mechanic declared the chassis “buggered”. On looking at it, there were A LOT of patches on it, and there just wasn’t really enough left to repair it. This made everything rather more urgent. (Funnily enough, the previous year, the MOT tester said "this weldings awful, it's a definite fail, who did it?" When I replied "You!" it turned out that it was ok!)  The 2cv was now basically worthless (it was 2002) but I couldn’t bring myself to just scrap it, when the rest of it was still pretty good.  I knew that trade in was pointless, and I’d get very little selling it as it was, but for £350 (new chassis and labour), I’d get a car worth probably £1,500 back. (Note, my ideas of valuations do not necessarily bear any relation to reality, but enabled me to justify my decisions!)

 So I ordered the Clio! The 2cv was eventually repaired, but was promoted to holidays and adventuring, while the Clio was now my main car. So now I accidentally had 2 cars! I couldn’t justify selling the 2cv after spending all that money and to be fair, I didn’t really want to.

 The Clio - 2002 Renault Clio 1.5 Dci80

The Clio was (and is) an excellent car. It’s comfortable, it’s fast (1.5 dci80) very economical (65 mpg) and is superior to the 2cv in every way. But, it’s not the 2cv. Going out was no longer an adventure. You couldn’t see the car across a car park (although nowadays, cars are so enormous that the 2cv is dwarfed by virtually everything). I remember when the Clio was around a year old, I’d taken both cars out over the weekend. The entire exhaust had fallen off of the 2cv and the air box had come loose, but the plip battery had failed on the Clio and I was FAR angrier about that!  I suppose that it was unfair, and over time I got very attached to it. I had all manner of holidays and adventures in the Clio and it served me very well.

 Of course there has been the odd thing go wrong, I think that I’ve changed all of the injectors over the years, at least two rear wheel bearings and the usual wear and tear, but really nothing that significant for 18 years and 97,000 miles of use.

 Which brings us to 2017. The Clio was fast approaching 15 years old and as we are regularly told that French cars don’t last very long (!) I was thinking about what to do. The Clio was worth maybe £500 despite being a great little car, but any significant bills would probably mean the end. The car tax laws were changing, meaning that what was then £0 would soon be going up to £120 or more per year. When you keep a car as long as I do, that’s a lot more important than if you are only thinking of a few years. 

 So, I once again weighed up my options. I’d used a Sandero for a training course and found it to be quite a good car. Then I used a Stepway, and it was like a completely different car, it just felt so much better equipped and generally better, even though it was essentially the same car! I would have happily had another Clio, and to be fair that probably IS a better car, but I could have bought a Sandero AND the Stepway for the same price. I simply couldn’t justify that.

 So, I looked into trading in the Clio. It was worth very little, and they would give me even less than that. My Dad had just retired and wanted a runabout rather than running his Scenic everywhere. So, it made sense to keep it until something expensive broke. So now I accidentally had 3 cars!

 Dad did indeed use the Clio for a while – regularly telling me when he had put diesel in it, despite the fact that he had used all the fuel that was in it, so not really as generous as he made out! Then my brother’s moped was stolen (within 3 hours of him buying it!) so he borrowed the Clio for a while, and it became a “pool” car, where I paid all the bills except for fuel, but rarely saw the car. I couldn’t really help feeling that this wasn’t ideal!

 Eventually it came back (broken!) and is now mainly used when I am going somewhere that I don’t want to take the Stepway, like occasional commuting. The merit of this was proved recently when someone snapped the rear wiper arm off while it was parked. I got a very good deal on the new arm because it was obsolete stock!

 The Stepway - 2017 Dacia Sandero Stepway Laureate 1.5 Dci

The Stepway is a very good car and has everything that I need. It’s a high spec one with Sat Nav, parking sensors and camera etc. That’s a bit extravagant, but I intend keeping it for a long time, so wanted it to be “right”. No, I won’t get the difference back when I sell it, but in all probability, in around about 2032 I’ll accidentally end up with 4 cars anyway!

 It is really just an updated version of my Clio, with essentially the same engine and a lot of the same equipment, but I knew that and I liked that! If something has served you well for (then) 15 years, why not get another? It’s bigger and higher, so not quite as economical, but I have no complaints.

 It may seem very extravagant to have a growing fleet, but between them they probably cost me less per year than many spend on beer and fags. They do all still get used, the 2cv not as much as it should, but it will be back in use soon (when I get the oil leak sorted). One major bonus of the virus, is that we don’t open Saturdays at the moment, so I have a bit more time to try to give them a run when the rules allow.

 Which brings me to the mopeds!

 Unfortunately, my cars were repeatedly vandalised outside my work place – keying, broken window, repeated punctures, culminating in one of the 2cv headlamps being removed, smashed and the glass spread under all 4 tyres. I always made sure that it was parked in a general use space, never outside anyone’s house, not in the same place every day and it was virtually without fail the oldest car in the road by a BIG margin, but yet nearly new cars from the showroom might sit on the road in the same space for weeks on end untouched. This meant that I could no longer risk the damage, and even though the suspected culprit seems to have long gone, I only use the car for commuting in an emergency now. So, I bought a series of mopeds that I can keep in the yard – in that they have never specifically said that I can’t, so therefore I can!

 The Sky - 1999 Honda Sky 50cc

Firstly, there was a 1999 Honda Sky. Due to a mistake at the DVLA, it was registered to my brother (who bought it for me, via a contact). It actually took them longer to sort this (changing the name from Andy2cv to Chris2cv) than it lasted! It was vandalised at work, and according to the mechanic needed all the seals replacing on the engine, which just wasn’t worth doing. The following day, the V5 arrived (after 6 months and I think 8 letters)

 I’d had enough, so gave the remains of the bike (it had thrown me off when I tried to ride it after the vandalism, so was quite broken and the seat is still in my garage 13 years later!) to my brother on the understanding that anything he got for it was his. I know that someone bought the remains because the DVLA later wrote to me and told me someone was trying to register it! They had somehow missed the re registering to my brother and then to whoever bought it! I have no idea what the new owner registered.

 I was telling this story at work, when a colleague said that she had an old moped in her garage that I could have. A deal was struck and I swapped a bottle of Jack Daniels for it – bizarrely, the cashier at Tesco wouldn’t sell me a 1L bottle as he thought that I was under age (I was in my 20’s) but a 750ml bottle was fine! A bit of work, a new exhaust and it was back on the road. It was a 2002 MBK Ovetto and became know as Pedward (because like Jedward, it was a bit shit!)

 The MBK - 2001 MBK Ovetto - Pedward

It was never a great bike, the speedo didn’t work, so I got a new cable for it which lasted for maybe a fortnight. I kept trying to get a new speedo, but they were normally well over £100, or came with a scrap bike, which I didn't want! Having spoken to an MOT tester, the speedo and mileometer don’t HAVE to work, so I just left it – it was hardly going to affect the value! I was much later told that it had been adapted, apparently into a 70cc! I didn’t know about this, it must have been done before I had it. It was surprisingly fast! I obviously didn’t know how much faster, but it kept up with my brother on his much larger bikes!

 I remember one day, (maybe 2008?) we were doing the Mayday rally to Hastings in convoy. Rather foolishly we went on the M25, as it would have meant a long diversion to miss about 2 miles of motorway. Of course the police were there, and pulled me over. It then occurred to me that two policemen were controlling maybe 20 scooter boys on the hard shoulder. I was at the back, so I gunned it and got the hell out of there! There were literally thousands of bikes out, so once I was off the M25, I was safe. I should add that all of my vehicles are totally legit now and I haven’t done anything like this since!

 Pedward broke a few times and was getting less and less reliable. It didn’t owe me anything, and then a (different) mechanic told me that the fuel tank had cracked and would cost way more than it was worth to replace. So I sold it to some 16 year old, who gave me £150 for it!   He crashed it the next day. Three years I kept it going, he didn’t even manage a day!

The Peugeot - 2010 Peugeot V-clic - Junior 

The day that I found out about the tank splitting, I investigated new mopeds. After a good look around I saw a brand new (2010) Peugeot Vclic for £995. At the time I had been advised to avoid anything Chinese, as they were “shit”. I thought Peugeot should be ok. I (much) later found out that it is in fact Chinese! As with the cars, I’d looked at second hand, and the best(!) that I saw was marginally younger than Pedward, had clearly been in a crash, needed both tyres and the exhaust replacing (at least), and was £600! The new one suddenly seemed far more sensible. Especially when the salesman accidentally gave me a £100 helmet when I collected it! (He asked “did we say that we would give you a free helmet in the deal?” I was hardly going to say no, was I? )

 The V-clic has been fairly reliable. Not so much in recent years averaging 3 FTPs a year, but it lives a life of 2.6 miles each way 5 or 6 days a week in all weathers and is routinely caned the whole time. I have thought that I have killed it on at least three occasions, recovered it to my mechanic who has patched it up and charged something like £30! We have decided that the next big bill will be the end, but it just keeps on  surviving!

 I have thought about a new one. That model is no longer made but I looked at the new equivalent at my local dealer and was fairly impressed. Not so much when talking to the dealer who said “you’ve got a Vclic? That must be the only one still going!” 

 I was getting close to going in and ordering one in early 2020, when a colleague said “do you know that your bike is on it’s side?”  Obviously I didn’t, so I went to look and it was indeed. About 6 feet from where I’d left it, now with a big scrape along one side. On looking at the CCTV, a customer had hit it when driving her car out of the yard and dragged it along, before driving off. To be honest, if she had said sorry, maybe bought me a drink, that would have been that. Instead, Big Boss billed her for the damage and had our bodyshop repair it!

 This kind of put me off having something that wasn’t a bit crap, and while I was thinking about what to do, covid happened, so everything went on hold. At the time of writing (February 21) it is currently broken, but I will try a new battery on Monday.

 

So, current situation:

2cv – Fun car - working, not used enough, currently leaking oil.

Clio – 2nd car. Working. Recent new battery.

Stepway – Main car. All good, recent MOT and service.

Vclic – Commuter- Recent FTP, awaiting battery/further attention next week.

 

Updates to follow occasionally.

 

 

 

 

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As I've detailed the current fleet, as well as the two previous mopeds, I might as well cover the previous two cars.

The Yellow Metro - 1986 Austin Metro

When I was learning to drive, my instructor suggested that the 2cv was a bit too unconventional (how could he think such a thing!) to learn in, so he suggested that I got something more "normal". My Dad was thinking of getting a second car as his commute was now 40 miles a day rather than 10, so he didn't want to use the family car all of the time. So I could use it in the evenings and at weekends. At the time we had two second hand car dealers just down the road (now a bookies and a tile shop) and we found a 1985 Austin Metro in Primrose yellow with a dark brown interior, in one of them. Lovely!

Dad was convinced that this was much better than the 2cv. It was certainly a more modern design, but it was only about 6 month younger than the 2cv (so about 9 years old at the time) and we later discovered previously owned by BSM! Not long after, the very first Euro NCAP (?) crash test reports came out and I found that I had the least safe car of all (2cv) and the least safe modern car (Metro)!

It was a good little car, but it always leaked. I'd just put a tray underneath, but Dad endlessly chased leaks, spending far more than it was worth, despite it losing maybe about 100ml a month. I just kept an eye on the level. 

It was very fast, being a 1.3 (remember I WAS used to a 2cv!) and I got into a few adventures with it. There is a road near home, known as the Mad Mile, that is nearly straight, 1.5 miles long, with no junctions, just a roundabout at both ends. At the time it had a 60 mph limit, and I used to go "quite quickly" up and down there (hey, I was 18 and stupid!), everyone did - even the bus that I used to get to college used to really cane it down there! My brother and I used to time the bus between the last lamp posts at each end and it was quite a challenge to beat their record in the 2cv, but now I had the Metro! So, we got it nice and warm fairly late one summers evening, nobody around, let's do it! At the last lamp post I pressed the brakes. By the far side of the roundabout, it was starting to slow down! I've no idea how fast we went, as my brother was too terrified to check his watch, and I couldn't look at the speedo. To be fair, I wasn't necessarily doing as much as 60 mph, but I was certainly going faster than the brakes allowed! That was the last of the speed trials!   I did once drive it across a golf course though!

After a couple of years, Dad saw a much newer version at a local Rover dealer (perhaps ironically now a BMW dealer!) and decided to trade it in.

The Red "Metro" - 1996 Rover 100

This was a much better car. It was allegedly the MD's wife's car, was about 6 months old with a few thousand miles on the clock and a big discount. It was in Nightfire red, and looked beautiful. I was living in Bournemouth at the time, but was sent a photo (an actual photo, in a letter! How times change!) Apparently Dad and my brother were so determined to get the most for the old Metro, that he took the aerial off (as it was probably the best bit on the car!) and pushed it the last few hundred yards to trade it in, rather than putting any more fuel in!

A month or two later, I moved back home, so Dad collected me in the 100, and I drove us home - 130 miles in a car that I had never even seen before, having not driven for 6 months!  This one was more Dad's car than mine, as I was now mainly using the 2cv although I had been unable to take it to Bournemouth with me, but we still had a few adventures in it. It was mostly just running relatives about, as they moaned about the 2cv, I still did quite a few thousand miles in it over the next couple of years though. And crashed it.

I still like the look of the Metro/100 and wouldn't mind another, but I suppose that each generation does the same, as they think nostalgically back to their first (or second) cars and forgets about their limitations and leaks. They are getting dearer now, so I may have missed the boat on them. I have also quite emphatically been told that I have enough cars! 

Eventually it passed on to my Sister, who learned in it, then used it for college before moving up north with her now husband. It served her for some time until a "friend" ripped her off by changing the head gasket, but apparently mostly using mastic! He charged more than our local garage would have to have done it properly. Incidentally, I know that it's hard to believe that a Metro needed a head gasket! It still drove ok, but obviously needed to be fixed properly.

I tried to convince my colleague who was a trainee mechanic, that he could buy it, fix it for next to nothing and then have a great little car, but he bought a really crappy 205, then a Fiesta, an Escort, Clio and many more, changing very regularly instead, usually at big losses. Strangely enough, he's not a mechanic anymore!

It sat outside our house for some time as it wasn't worth spending money on, as by then it had a high mileage and a bodged engine. Eventually, a customer of my brother's "Big Vince" bought it to use "when I'm not in prison!"  - EDIT  I should clarify that my brother worked in a locar car accessory shop at the time, so usually knew who was buying and selling cars  (and mopeds) at the time.  The way that I had phrased things, seems to have accidentally suggested that he was some sort of gangster!

 

Hopefully the next installment will see the V-clic repaired.

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Slight update.

The moped has been broken for several weeks. I've not been that bothered because I'm being made to drive the van all day at work, so I'm commuting in that (driver's perk). I got a new battery for the moped last week, which SHOULD be a 5 minute job. Had it all ready within a few minutes, then dropped the screw into the hole next to the battery. Could I find the magnet to get it back out? Of course not. Was it dark? Oh yes!

Eventually ready to go, 

Offered it up

It's the wrong poxy battery! Doesn't fit in the hole.

Put it back together, because everything will have mysteriously vanished otherwise. (still lost a screw somehow!) Put it away. 

About an hour later, found the magnet sitting on top of my coat. That I had been wearing.

 

So, today, I tried again, now with the right battery. Dropped the screw again. Didn't matter, battery came with 2 new ones - maybe this isn't an unusual phenomena!  Fitted it. Nice bright stop light, fuel guage swung around. Does it start?

Does it bollocks!

Starter is turning, but doesn't sound like engine is. To be fair, battery wasn't great anyway, so no real loss, other than time.

No chance of getting it to my mechanic for over a week, but he said that he'll look at it when I can get it there.

 

Tune in next time, to see if the moped starts! Or maybe something happens with one of the cars.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So, "slightly" over a week (by 3 weeks!) later, the moped has finally reached the mechanic. It was just bad timing that held things up really, it broke just after it came back from the MOT, then I was off for a week, then the mechanic was away, then I was off again! I only have access to the van when I'm  at work, so it all gets complicated. 

Anyway, it's there now. He's going to have a look tomorrow. To be honest, I think that we're at a cross roads. Looking at it in the van, the seat is splitting (not expensive, but another cost), the exhaust was surprisingly rusty (having sat for a month, I'd have seen and sorted it before it got that bad if I'd been using it, but may well need replacing) plus of course the fact that it doesn't currently go!

He was telling me that a customer has an 18 month old Lifan electric scooter that she wants to sell as she isn't using it. Probably £1200.  I could do that, I've barely been out in the last year, but have been working as normal almost the entire year. Of course everything logical says buy that and get rid of the crappy old one. As does my Dad. Many times.

But, this is Autoshite. Where we keep vehicles that are long beyond the end of their sensible life and we have spent many times their value. In a way, scrapping Junior (yes, he's called Junior) means giving up on him. Is that ridiculous, yes. Does it mean that I'm going to keep him?  Honestly, I don't know.

Chris (yes, my mechanic is called Chris, which never* causes confusion)  is going to ring me tomorrow. We shall see.

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  • Chris2cv changed the title to Chris2cv's Fleet. It's probably about time that I wrote about the rest of my cars! - Moped update 7/4

Shock news from my mechanic today - Junior lives!  Apparently the starter bendix was worn out, which makes sense really, It had sounded like something wasn't engaging properly. I believe that 19,000 is quite high mileage for a moped, and the kick start broke years ago.  £30 fitted. 

This is the trouble really. I know that it's old and shit and it keeps breaking, but it keeps being bought back to life for small amounts of money. If he'd said £100, I'd have really had to think about it. £200? No, that would have been the end.  

I know that I have to move on. He's asked the owner of the Lifan to bring it to him, and then I can have a look at it next week. Has anyone got experience of these? It all sounds very good, the reviews are positive and apparently the battery is guaranteed for 9 years. So, what's the catch? Presuming that this one hasn't been repeatedly crashed. 

Incidentally, I mentioned that I could have the money for the "new" one fairly easily, as I've not been out for a year, I'm not spending that much on socialising! Its just that without any events, concerts, travel, barely using the cars etc plus Junior has been at death's door on quite a few occasions, so I have got a bit put aside for his replacement. Of course, much like the cars, I'd quite like to just accidentally have two bikes, but that's not really an option. This is probably the end of the road, it's just not quite as desperate as it might have been. I'll use him for now, but have to get either the Lifan or something else in the next few weeks.

 

In other fleet news,:

I haven't got around to sorting the 2cv oil leak yet. Soon. Probably. 

The Clio? All good except that it needs a wiper blade, which I keep forgetting, until it is raining.

The Stepway? All good, just needs a wash.

 

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  • Chris2cv changed the title to Chris2cv's Fleet. It's probably about time that I wrote about the rest of my cars! - Moped update 8/4 - IT LIVES!
  • 2 weeks later...

I was clearing out some old emails, and found a bit that I had written about some of the adventures that I've had in my 2cv. I thought that I might as well add it on here:

 

I’ve been meaning to write about my 2cv for a long time, last September 25th (2020) marked 25 years that I’ve owned it! It was initially purchased for me, as a first car, for £270, having initially been advertised for £750, but I didn’t see it until some months later, when it had a large “£500” sign across the windows. The owner had acquired a Renault 4, and no longer needed the 2cv.  A friend test drove for me (as I was too young, and would be learning to drive in the car) and said that all was good, so it came to live with me.

 We didn’t get off to the best start, as it needed some welding, costing nearly as much as the car had, but then it was finally MOTed. The plan was that I’d do some restoration, learn to drive and then get something newer. Only some of that plan actually happened! Dad and I restored the bumpers as they were pretty awful. I’ve now done this job 4 times I think! Last time, I (if I do say so myself!) made a really good job of it and they actually looked good. Then the paint reacted and they looked terrible. So they are currently Hammerited!

 There have been many, many adventures over the years. It was my only car for 8 years, and become well known locally, as they were fairly rare even then. Unfortunately, somebody hit it and drove off, and while it looked ok, the chassis was beyond repair. I then faced a choice of scrapping what was basically a good car, or spending more than half of it’s value (possibly more) to change the chassis. a friend of mine did the job, and did it as cheaply as he could.

 Unfortunately this meant that it was off the road for some time, which when you work for a car dealership is not ideal. I got persuaded into a brand new Clio, which became my main car, with the 2cv still in regular use for outings and “fun” trips. To give the Clio it’s due, it has been an excellent car, serving me very well, but has now been joined by a Dacia Sandero, so the 2cv was then promoted to 3rd car! I never intended collecting cars, but with the 2cv needing a chassis, I would have got nothing for it, and by the time I had changed it, I wanted to keep it until I got my value out of it.  Similarly, with the Clio, a 15 year old Clio was not a valuable vehicle, but it had been very reliable, Dad wanted an occasional runabout, so it became a sort of family pool car whenever someone needed one.

 Sadly, the 2cv doesn’t get nearly as much use as I would like. Due to living in South London, space is at rather a premium and scumbags like a 2cv – I had a window broken, lots of nails under tyres and in the final straw, a headlamp removed, smashed and the glass spread under all 4 tyres! After that it went to live in it’s own garage at my parents house 70 miles away. I still try and use it at least monthly. It’s not ideal, but due to that, and further vandalism to the Clio, I have to use a moped for commuting (as I can keep it on work premises) so it’s the best that I can do at the moment.

 So, I mentioned adventures, a few that spring to mind:

Driving home from Croydon College some years ago, I noticed that a dip bulb was out. A quick check of the connections got that sorted and I headed home. It was only once I got home that I discovered that I now had no rear lights! It was about 9 PM in midwinter!

 I really don’t like using it on motorways any more, (not so much because of the car, but because of everyone else) although it never used to bother me. I had to bring it home a few years ago (I think for the Bromley Pageant of Motoring), so talked my parents into following me back to make sure that all was ok. It ran very well, and was off the clock for quite some time (70mph+) but I was a bit concerned that they were tailgating me for most of the journey. Dad knew that it bugs me when people do that, and I was going as fast as I could, so I didn’t understand. It was only when I finally got home that he said  “We’ve rung you 17 times, didn’t you hear it?”  I was driving a 2cv at 70 mph, a bomb could have gone off and I wouldn’t have heard it!  “You haven’t got any rear lights!”  I’d just done 70 miles. In the dark. The majority on the M2 and M25! They were making sure that I was visible to everyone. It had passed an MOT a few days before, so I didn’t really think it necessary to check them.  Nearly 6 months later, an electrician managed to fix it, being the 3rd person who’d tried, 2 of whom had done all sorts of jobs that I hadn’t asked them to do, but not the one that was needed.

 Many years ago, my brother and I drove it to Bournemouth. 130 miles. It turned out that the map (pre sat nav) covered the whole of England on 4 A5 pages, so wasn’t really that helpful! It performed well, but it rained VERY heavily all of the way there and all of the way back, although it was sunny the whole time that we were there. Unfortunately, in the only time it has ever happened, the wipers caught against the aerial mast (on the A pillar) every single time, so we “enjoyed” 260 miles with the window open, and my finger pushing the wiper to stop it catching, every single time!

 Probably the worst journey of all time. For reasons that I no longer remember, I was driving the car home from the coast. I had my Mum, Nan and dog (Tom) in my car. My brother and his now wife were following in their car. We got about 5 miles into the journey and there was a horrific burning smell and a fair bit of smoke. Obviously I stopped as soon as I could, to find that the mechanic who had just “serviced” the car had got more oil on the engine than in it! It was just burning off.  Reassured, but now worried about what else he had bodged, we pulled off the motorway and followed the back roads, which is a similar distance, but seems to have a set of (red, obviously) traffic lights at least every mile. Gradually, we made our way back, until we reached Rochester. Where Nan decided that she needed the toilet. At around 9:30pm on a Sunday night. We found a pub car park, and they went in to the pub. For at least half an hour. I didn’t like to turn the engine off as it was now hot, and I thought that they would be back soon. I decided to exercise Tom. “where’s his lead?”  Nan replied “he wasn’t wearing it, he got in by himself!”  So I had to use my belt, and hold my trousers up with my other hand, while keeping an eye on the car.

Eventually they returned, and seemingly about 6 hours later we got home, after 70 miles. Every new noise (it’s a 2cv, there are lots of noises) bought ever more panic from Nan. Tom was snoring very loudly and it turns out that I only know the way TO the coast via the back roads. There were a lot of one way systems that we discovered that night! We originally planned dropping Nan home in the 2cv, but as I was nearly passing my house anyway, we decided to swap to the Clio first. It may not seem like a horrific journey, but with an elderly woman panicking for most of the journey, the incredibly long time that it took, and the concern over the smoke, it's not a journey that I want to do again!

 

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I'm sure I remember someone on here buying a Lifan electric ped. 

Maybe @Cavcraft? Or @Jerzy Woking?

Anyway my 2p on the moped situation is to keep the one you have, the electric one may be newer with less moving parts but if the battery or motor shit themselves it will be more than you paid for the bike, with Junior I can't imagine you would ever get a bill that big, even a full engine rebuild on a 50cc can't be more than about £300 even if you are paying someone to do it.

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7 hours ago, Dave_Q said:

I'm sure I remember someone on here buying a Lifan electric ped. 

Maybe @Cavcraft? Or @Jerzy Woking?

Anyway my 2p on the moped situation is to keep the one you have, the electric one may be newer with less moving parts but if the battery or motor shit themselves it will be more than you paid for the bike, with Junior I can't imagine you would ever get a bill that big, even a full engine rebuild on a 50cc can't be more than about £300 even if you are paying someone to do it.

Thanks for your thoughts. To be honest, I'd rather keep Junior, but I know that it's only a matter of time until he breaks again. While I do my best to keep the cars in good condition, regularly serviced etc, Junior is used 5 days a week for a 5.2 mile commute, mostly flat out and is really treated quite badly, only sees any tools when it breaks etc. I'm not proud of this, it's my fault that he's knackered. To be fair, he cost me £1000 (including a £100 helmet) in 2010, and really doesn't owe me anything.

I am concerned about going electric, it's quite a step into the unknown, but Chris (my mechanic) tells me that a battery is about £300, and he's never changed one yet- guaranteed for 9 years apparently! There does seem to be very little online, a few reviews of new ones, but very little from owners, groups etc. I would like to see something about how they last. I'm not really worried about range as my commute is short, and I have 3 cars for longer journeys. It's more the power and the longevity that bothers me, as you say parts are likely to be dearer.

If I had the skill to do my own maintenance, I'd probably just keep Junior. Chris is very reasonable in his work, but it's getting Junior to him and being off the road for weeks at a time until I can. I haven't heard any more about the Lifan, so it may be academic anyway, but I know that I have to do something soon. Sadly Junior has a few problems, mostly minor like the seat splitting and a snapped stud on the manifold, which means it backfires periodically,  but it's all a bit "tired". I did tidy up the exhaust though. About an hour rubbing down, painting and then polishing the "chrome" and it looks a lot better, Not good, but from a distance it's ok! 

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