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N19's fleet - Mirror, mirror, (not) on the wall (windscreen)


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I figured that I have been filling News 24 with posts about my fleet of tat and should probably start my own thread to keep it all in one place. I'm N19 (Tom), a cynical shiter from north London (though originally of farther northern extraction).

 

So, fleet is as follows...

 

1979 Capri 1.6L

 

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I've owned this for about 5 years now. It was always my ambition to own a Capri one day... and I haven't looked back! For a while, I lived in inner London (see username!) and used the tube or bus to get around most of the time - so it was my only car for the duration! It's had a fair few trips in my time (from London, to Aberdeen, Bristol, Norfolk, Brighton, and lots of places in-between), although the last year has been much quieter due to lockdown. Always garaged, but never a queen - it'll still go out in the wet, just looked after and dried.

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It's a pretty original car; the first owner had it for 20 years, it then passed through a number of keepers until I bought it. Therefore it managed to avoid the abuse of boy racers in the 90s! It seems that the first owner was a giffer who, from the mid-80s, only did 2k miles a year. (Yes the paintwork is original - it's an unusual colour, only used on Capris for one year as far as I can tell).

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In my ownership I've essentially been trying to keep it reasonably neat. Manual everything - steering, radio knobs, choke, windows... comes with the extra options of a heated rear window and a parcel shelf. Perish the thought! There are a few bits of rot which need addressing, I hope to do this next winter. Other odds and sods here and there which are just artefacts of regular use. 

 

1980 Nissan Bluebird 1.8GS

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I bought this as a result of a chance discussion with a guy from the motorfactors who was selling it. At the time I was feeling bad about using the Capri for mundane things, so when this was up for sale I gave into temptation and a low price, and picked it up.

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Again, quite an original car. Would I call it dull... not quite, it's very good at being an car, it's not the most exciting thing you'll ever drive, but is pretty practical. It's also usually bombproof and reliable - although I prodded the wasp's nest to iron out a few final issues I'd been living with recently, so naturally it then threw up different issues! Reasonably easy to work on.

Very comfortable and easy for the driver; you can understand why so many of these were minicabbed in the 90s! This currently does some share of daily duties.

 

2000 Ford Mondeo 2.0i Ghia X Estate

Purchased from this very forum, when I realised that I now relied on a car for commuting and putting the eggs in the basket of one car was tempting fate. Plus it came at a good time when I was post house-move and needing to sort out a heck of a lot of stuff, so the estate comes in very handy.

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It had a few challenging times, especially with the cooling system. It took a few months to finally get to a stage where it wasn't an incontinent old thing, and I didn't need to carry a gallon of mixed antifreeze in the back. One memorable occasion saw it towed home by the Bluebird (which resulted in the battle scar covered over by gaffer tape on the bumper).

A high end executive car of its time, and it carries the 165,000 miles well. Most things still work - the central locking is a bit temperamental sometimes, but the other toys are all there - heated seats, heated windscreen, air con, cruise control, electric seats, etc. Very good over winter cos of the heated bits, and in the height of summer cos of the air con. I guess it should be taking a backseat for a couple of months and letting the Bluebird do a bit more work! There are a couple of bodywork issues that need addressing to keep on top of - the bumper I replaced and promptly cracked two months later... and I've still got foglights to refit. Fuel economy isn't exactly great, but probably not helped by being used on a 30mph pootle to/from work - it's much more at home belting up the A1. Hoping to also fit a towbar thanks to @Tim_E's kindness donating a spare one. I mean, I don't have anything to tow nor any particular [i]need[/i] to tow, but why not?

 

The Capri lives in a lockup garage where I do minor tinkering and spannering. I'll do most jobs on the Capri myself, except anything welding related or needing a ramp. I have a good local garage who are sympathetic to old stuff and don't charge much, especially as I'm never too pushy on timescales.

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and, because I'm sad- err I mean pedantic, I keep notes in a book for each car...

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... oh, and all three cars have cassette players - who says I'm stuck in the past?! I did for a while organise the collection into the era of each car, but that got too messy.

 

So, that's me, that's the fleet, now for updates...

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The drivers window on the Bluebird gave up a little while ago. A new regulator was ordered up but supply of parts for these cars is really not easy - took a couple of weeks to come from a breaker. Anyhow, on fitting, the reason for the original one giving up became clear... the bottom of the guide was no longer attached to the bracket.

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I'm pondering whether epoxy or similar will work. But that's a job for the weekend. In the meantime, I'm trying to not use the drivers window lest I cause it to fall apart again!

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2 hours ago, N19 said:

oh, and all three cars have cassette players - who says I'm stuck in the past

Any particular genre of toons that you are looking for... I'm sure I could find some for a contribution to the Sigma repair fund. 

Let me know and I'll see what I've got 👍

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14 hours ago, mitsisigma01 said:

Any particular genre of toons that you are looking for... I'm sure I could find some for a contribution to the Sigma repair fund. 

Let me know and I'll see what I've got 👍

Most things from the 80s are of interest to be honest. Anything you no longer need can of course be exchanged for beer tokens (parts tokens?).

 

13 hours ago, danthecapriman said:

What a fleet! All great cars, though the Capri is obviously my favourite.

Great to see another low spec Capri. My mk2 base doesn’t have the parcel shelf, although the first owner of mine did specify metallic paint!

Exactly, the spec is probably the reason it's still in good nick - it wasn't sexy!

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Can't be true base model if its got a cassette player, I found an old car radio mw/lw only, that was in my dad's old mk3 Cortina, 1600xl, stardust silver metallic, my memory is fkd but I've got a feeling it was LPX502R, ex demonstrator model, anyway I found the radio, put it somewhere safe in the garage... Guess where the roof decided to leak, straight into the box where the radio was ☹️

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2 minutes ago, mitsisigma01 said:

Can't be true base model if its got a cassette player, I found an old car radio mw/lw only, that was in my dad's old mk3 Cortina, 1600xl, stardust silver metallic, my memory is fkd but I've got a feeling it was LPX502R, ex demonstrator model, anyway I found the radio, put it somewhere safe in the garage... Guess where the roof decided to leak, straight into the box where the radio was ☹️

Back then, infotainment systems (radio and cassette player if you were lucky) were usually put in by the dealer instead of the factory.

Cracking selection of cars!

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56 minutes ago, garethj said:

Back then, infotainment systems (radio and cassette player if you were lucky) were usually put in by the dealer instead of the factory.

Cracking selection of cars!

It was fitted with an original cassette and MW/LW radio- I have a gap there now, keep meaning to put the old dead one back in - there's now one at the bottom.

18 minutes ago, Tadhg Tiogar said:

What you need now is a Stanza.....

My chequebook disagrees with any suggestion of fleet expansion!

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Capri A pillar had a small bubble of rust coming up. Realistically, there's a bit of welding that'll need doing on it in the near future (sills, A pillars both sides, probably strut tops). I'm hoping that my tame garage will be able to tackle it during the autumn this year. Until then, at least try to stop it getting any worse. 

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I truly am no good at the dark art of paint and filler, so this will purely be a stopgap. 

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An excellent fleet!

Your Capri heated rear window was standard equipment, but the original buyer must have paid the £35.25 extra for a "rear package tray".  Cassette player was also an optional extra.

The scans below are from the January 1980 brochure, the month that your car was registered.  The car shown is Corsican Blue, the same as yours, I think?

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Full brochure

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On 3/8/2021 at 8:22 PM, N19 said:

all three cars have cassette players - who says I'm stuck in the past?! I did for a while organise the collection into the era of each car, but that got too messy.

That's always been my ambition. The only thing is mitch of the music I like from the 80s doesn't seem to be available on tape, only on vinyl and it's rare, I'd have to buy a tape recorder and make copies, it's just easier not to bother. 

My 924 didn't have a radio, so instead of installing one and sorting out tapes I put a cubby in and that was far more useful. It was a noisy car anyway. 

My Volvo has an aftermarket head unit that looks shit, but seems to work, and is without tape player. Shame the rest of the speakers either don't work and the one that does is shit. 

And the modern has an aftermarket thing with lots of ways of pouring music in again without tapes... so to hell with it, digital media it is. 

I think in the Volvo I'm going to have a cross-period collection of Scandinavian folk fusion, because it's fitting. When I make the thing work. 

Anyway I'd love to see you make a period tape collection, you'd get a like from me. 

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52 minutes ago, Tim_E said:

That's always been my ambition. The only thing is mitch of the music I like from the 80s doesn't seem to be available on tape, only on vinyl and it's rare, I'd have to buy a tape recorder and make copies, it's just easier not to bother. 

My 924 didn't have a radio, so instead of installing one and sorting out tapes I put a cubby in and that was far more useful. It was a noisy car anyway. 

My Volvo has an aftermarket head unit that looks shit, but seems to work, and is without tape player. Shame the rest of the speakers either don't work and the one that does is shit. 

And the modern has an aftermarket thing with lots of ways of pouring music in again without tapes... so to hell with it, digital media it is. 

I think in the Volvo I'm going to have a cross-period collection of Scandinavian folk fusion, because it's fitting. When I make the thing work. 

Anyway I'd love to see you make a period tape collection, you'd get a like from me. 

I may* have a significant tape collection... Rotated between home and the fleet. 

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I scored a set of chrome C-90 cassettes as well as a nice bunch of good quality ferrics from my old school a few years back. As both my cars have radio/cassette headunits, I really, really should start recording some choonz so I don't need to keep switching between Radio 4 and Classic FM.

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21 minutes ago, Fumbler said:

I scored a set of chrome C-90 cassettes as well as a nice bunch of good quality ferrics from my old school a few years back. As both my cars have radio/cassette headunits, I really, really should start recording some choonz so I don't need to keep switching between Radio 4 and Classic FM.

Sounds like you need some Radio 3 in the mix too!

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1 hour ago, Fumbler said:

I scored a set of chrome C-90 cassettes as well as a nice bunch of good quality ferrics from my old school a few years back. As both my cars have radio/cassette headunits, I really, really should start recording some choonz so I don't need to keep switching between Radio 4 and Classic FM.

Radio 4, classic fm, what sort of shite do they play? 

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14 minutes ago, mitsisigma01 said:

Radio 4, classic fm, what sort of shite do they play? 

Radio 4 only really comes into its own during the comedy slot - generally 6.30pm to 7pm weekdays, 12.30pm to 1pm Saturday, and 12 noon to 12.30pm Sunday. R4 is the only UK station I listen to nowadays, mostly because it doesn't have much muzak. I used to listen to Classic FM, but that's dropped off now.

If it were possible to pick up some of the Irish stations on the CX's Blaupunkt I would be mostly tuned into Clare FM.

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43 minutes ago, mitsisigma01 said:

Home recorded compilations or pre recorded proper jobs? 

I've got more than a few boxes of tapes... 

 

All home compilations recorded on a good quality machine. Dolby C for extra decadence!

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  • N19 changed the title to N19's fleet - Mirror, mirror, (not) on the wall (windscreen)

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