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Cars of Crackers


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  • 2 weeks later...

Just thought I'd copy in this quote from @Jack D's Range Rover thread, I only need to strikeout one word and the meaning carries through.


The long and short of it is this, it’s a completely irrelevant car.  Nobody needs an ancient V8 Range Rover but nobody needs an open fireplace, a meal to taste good, or a piece of art to look at but they’re joyful.  People smile at it.  It brings a shred of enjoyment to them and a ton of it to me.  


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That's the difference between want and need.

You need sustinance to stay alive.  You want meals to taste good.
You need heating in a home so you don't freeze to death.  You want a nice open fire as they look inviting and homely.
You need transportation of some sort to get from home to work/shops/etc.  You want a V8 as they sound glorious.
No-one needs art.  Many people want it.


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  • 2 months later...

Dad and I have been sifting through our respective photo albums for some photos of my dear Gran who passed away a couple of weeks ago. How is this relevant to Autoshite?

Well, naturally because Dad's dug out some photos of his favourite company car. Sure, find me a 1990s computer salesman who didn't drive a Mondeo (or Cav), but not all of them got a Ghia X!

Look at the colour of this - it's gorgeous. 


Black chrome alloys. Oof.


Presumably the picture above was taken not to show off the lovely colour but to prove that, yes, there was indeed a Mk2 Mondeo in the country that didn't have gaffer tape on the rear bumper.




Nice looking motor that. Didn't make its 8th birthday as it's got no MOT history online and doesn't even appear any more the DVLA site, so presumable an early death for this one!

Edited by Crackers
Wasn't just a common Ghia - it was a Ghia X
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10 minutes ago, High Jetter said:

Am I right in thinking you came along too late to have been a passenger in that fine beast?

There is a chance that my first journey was taken in that car, but I don't know how long he had it. I think he "upgraded" from his every-box-ticked Mondeo to a corporate-image-friendly but less plush E39 5 series around when I was born, so I'll have to ask.

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Ghia X eh? Someone was doing well!

I remember the insatiable arguments me and my mate James had at school. His old boy worked for Telecom and was doing quite well. He had an L plate Glx. Whereas my father’s company had a strict policy of modest cars so had an LX on an M. In the end we declared it a score draw, but on our cycle to school each day there was a Ghia X in green which looked the mutt’s nuts. The owner was clearly doing alright for himself as he proudly displayed his success by parking outside his detached 4bed house. 

These were simpler times. If your bike was an Apollo from Halfords then you were working class. If it was a Carerra from the local shop you were middle class and upwardly mobile. 

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29 minutes ago, BorniteIdentity said:

Ghia X eh? Someone was doing well!

I don't know where it all went wrong, frankly - despite still working for the same company, and various promotions/sideways moves, he's gone from a brand new top-of-the-range Mondy, to a filthy 17 year old Discovery in nearly bASest of the bASe spec. 

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I remember those chrome wheels. They would usually last the first salty/slushy winter and would be badly peeling by the second.

Most got binned off for a non-chrome alternative under warranty. 

Ghias/Ghia X’s also had that incredibly fake looking wood, which was so bad it reminded of those really naff ‘stick-on wood’ kits you used to get for Shoguns and the like.  Only Ford could make wood look so plastic! 

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On 01/02/2022 at 20:22, AnthonyG said:

which was so bad it reminded of those really naff ‘stick-on wood’ kits you used to get for Shoguns

Erm.... like this (which came along a few years after the Mondeo)?



Good old bus, that was. Think he had it for 10 years or so - it was freshly imported when he got it, and it was replaced by the Disco in 2013. 

It just went on and on and on, except for a ridiculous appetite for glow plugs. It would pass everything off-road, which was quite funny when he used to go sailing past brand new Range Rooneys floundering on ploughed fields in winter.

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I still have nothing to report from my own fleet (except for the MX-5 going in for MOT tomorrow - fingers crossed) but while the thread's active I thought I might as well dig out some photos of Father_Crackers' car history, as most of it is well into shite territory nowadays.

As shown above, this was the Pajero he bought around 2003 when he left the company car scheme due to needing a 4x4 for the weekends.
He bought this before the Shogun/Pajero developed its reputation as a bit of 🥧🔑 wagon. It wasn't as faultlessly reliable as Japanese cars are meant to be, with a yearly appetite for glow plugs, a head gasket that failed and took the cylinder head with it, a slightly*** scary incident involving the steering Pitman arm failing on a roundabout, and various other things. Ultimately it was superseded by the current Disco 3 in 2013 (9 years ago - jesus christ!) after it developed a serious oil drinking habit and the Discovery being offered for a too-good-to-refuse price.

I learned to drive (across fields and farm tracks) in it, and it's definitely the car that sticks in my head as "Dad's Car" as it faithfully transported us all around the country for years.

He sold it to a Mitsi specialist breaker who drove it home up north somewhere, but ultimately it randomly cut out on the motorway and that ended up being its final journey.

See those fog lights?


You can't tell from the picture, but they were mostly not there. The entire bodies of both lamps were made of antimatter, with only the lenses and lamp brackets somehow clinging on for dear life!


"Winter pack" dual batteries and stuff.

It developed a phantom draw at some point, which meant it would flatten both of those big fellas if left for more than a week. Which was funny and really irritating in equal measure.


Not many cars can pull off two-tone paint, but these somehow look wrong when they're in a single colour. Good times!

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  • Crackers changed the title to Cars of Crackers: Shite in the Family
2 hours ago, Crackers said:



Friend of mine had an identical one of those when i first met him, 

On first impressions he looked like he had not long been out of a long time in jail. He was white but had dark skin tone and any form of tan turned him a ronseal colour. Tattos and beard, grumpy. Kinda like a poundland danny trejeo.

Anyways one of our first conversations was in regards to how he could get a stuck CD out of the headunit before it went to WBAC. It was a celine dion album.



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21 minutes ago, High Jetter said:

That's a Eastbourne, or E. Sussex reg - there was a guy importing greys back then.

He bought it from JR of Ashford up the A30 near Heathrow. I wonder if they got it off this fella you mention.

I believe JR is now defunct, I've not been past it for a couple of years now but I'm sure it was shut down around the time I was going into Ealing weekly.

8 minutes ago, Andyrew said:

On first impressions he looked like he had not long been out of a long time in jail. He was white but had dark skin tone and any form of tan turned him a ronseal colour. Tattos and beard, grumpy.

I genuinely thought you might have been talking about my dad until you said Tattoos. Everything else is correct 🤣

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  • Crackers changed the title to Cars of Crackers: Oh god, another one (kind of)

Time for an update. This'll be a long one, there's a very significant reason for this post which will become clear in the post that follows this so feel free to skip.

Back in the 1980s, my dad owned a variety of cars that we now think are cool or interesting. Back in the day when you were either a Ford or Vauxhall man, he was firmly in the Ford camp. 

His first car, which was probably the most Shite of them all, was a Mk1 Escort 1300 L, which I don't have any photos of unfortunately.

He quickly progressed from that, to JAT 32N, a bright orange Mk1 Mexico which looked achingly cool and of which he has a healthy selection of photos. I must scan in the full set one day. Here's one of them; what a beauty.


He was then offered a friend's RS2000, SMK 520M, which was the natural progression from the Mex, so he bought that and enjoyed it thoroughly. I seem to recall a story of it being a show-winner at one point but I don't know how true that is - anyway, here's the car. He still maintains that selling it was one of his biggest mistakes, it'd be worth thousands today, but sadly met its fate when a subsequent owner accidentally set fire to it while welding the floor. It was a sweet old thing:


This is where it all went a bit weird.

You might have thought, in the mid-late 1980s, the natural progression from an RS2000 would be something like a 2.8 Capri, or a hot Mk2 Escort. Not for Dad. He sold the RS, regretting it immediately when he heard how good it sounded from outside (he'd never let anyone else drive it, so had never heard the exhaust note). What did he buy with the money from that sale?

Yep, that would be GMR 195D, a 1966 Land Rover Series IIA, in the correct shade of green and with the correct engine (2.25 Petrol). He absolutely adored that car, and has plenty of interesting stories of places he went with it and things he did. I'm assuming he sold it around the time he met my mum, as she probably wouldn't have stayed around if he'd been driving an old crock like this. He's always wanted another one, but been put off by having nowhere to store one, and the frankly stupid prices you have to pay these days for a good one.


It's a lovely looking bus, and this photo of it with the hard-top on is quite rare as it was usually running with the canvas tilt on the back.

Both him and I have been on the occasional lookout for a good deal on a Series for a few years now, and came close to buying one about 4 years ago. We didn't do it though, so that little box never got ticked. 

Until, that is...

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...MPH 941L came along, this week.

This one pretty much fell into his hands, with a very kind offer from a Land-Rover fanatic friend of his who needed rid of a few vehicles to free up some space and some cash.

This 1972 Series 3 was offered to him last year for a very fair price, and despite its external appearance it seems pretty good underneath, being solid in all the places that matter. As you can see, it's not got a straight body panel on it, the bonnet's paint has almost all gone, and it's definitely in need of a new canvas tilt and a good tune-up.
It took a few months to arrange this, due to some unfortunate family news, and some significant work on the garage after it got twatted by the bin lorry. However, at long last, it's finally his!


It's currently showing just shy of 14,000 miles, which could well be genuine. It was sold by Coombs of Guildford to a farm in the Reading area, where it spent most of its life, so it's not impossible that the mileage is genuine. Certainly it seems healthy, the engine started up eagerly with only one cylinder swinging over before it fired, and the gearbox seems to select well. I haven't driven it more than 20 yards yet as I needed to hit the road, so a full report and some more pictures (I don't like to share too many pictures of their house and driveway for their privacy) will come in a couple of weeks, when I get a chance to have a proper look and hopefully take it for a spin.


It feels nice to have another bit of Rover group shite in the family, and especially, finally, a SWB Landy of which dad and I are both massive fans.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As I'm back at my parents' today, I've taken the Series out for my first drive. 


It is, and I mean this in every possible sense, terrible. Trying to keep the thing in a straight line at 40mph is a challenge. At 50mph? Terrifying.

Brakes? Well, it has a pedal for them. Steering? Well, kind of. You have to turn the wheel a very long time before the obstacles you want to miss. I'm not sure if the thermostat needs replacing as it never seems to get hot, and when warm it doesn't really want to idle for more than 30 seconds before stalling. 

I don't really know how slow these are meant to be, but it is properly, properly slow. Like, slow enough that you feel like you need to apologise to everyone behind you. Might need to look at perking it up a bit, and it definitely wants an overdrive fitting. 


But I love it! 

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On 3/1/2022 at 12:56 PM, cobblers said:

That's 100% how a landy should look, absolutely brilliant. 

I agree. Mine is too much on the shiny side, but I couldn't turn it down for the price!

5 hours ago, Crackers said:

It is, and I mean this in every possible sense, terrible. Trying to keep the thing in a straight line at 40mph is a challenge. At 50mph? Terrifying.

You will (or at least I have) get used to it. It was still borderline terrifying on the motorway though, mixing with the trucks in heavy rain, with tiny wipers that are either OFF or SLOW. Still loved it though, but definitely Type 2 fun!

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26 minutes ago, mat_the_cat said:

You will (or at least I have) get used to it. It was still borderline terrifying on the motorway though

I've been thinking about bringing it up to the FoD this year but that's M3/M25/M40 so not exactly ideal roads for it. I do think the steering is slightly more wayward on-centre than it should be. I had a very quick shot of a restored 2A a couple of years ago which was still bad, but not as wandery. I'm sure he'll get it looked at, at some point. 

Have you got an overdrive in yours? 

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  • Crackers changed the title to Cars of Crackers

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