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Markeh's Adventures in Shiting - Proud Mary keep on burning


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I've never got round to writing a thread about the various shitboxes I've owned in the past, and with me and a friend semi-actively on the lookout for another project and having just written up the adventures of my modern Qashqai in the Modern forum I figured I'd write about the other 4 cars I've owned.

Let's start with my first car.

It's 2012, I'm 16, about to turn 17, and to cut a long story short, our family no longer qualified for a Motability car - so back goes the Citroen C3 Picasso my mum had through the scheme, and suddenly we need something for her to use as a runaround. Being the terrible eBay/Gumtree addict I am, we found a Corsa B being advertised in Nottingham for £450. Ironically, we bought it from somewhere that's now about a 10 minute walk from my house. It was dark, but here's a terrible picture (early Android phones not well known for their good cameras!)


So here is T649AFR (nicknamed Taffer by its previous owner, later the Silver Machine by me), a lowest of the low spec Corsa B 1.0 Envoy, resplendant in Star Silver. First owner according to the manual was Enterprise. This particular example sported some 'lovely' seat covers, a set of alloys off an Astra G SXI we believe, and an engine that was probably from a scrappy given the yellow markings on it. 86k on the odo, a little bit of grot on one of the sills, but ran well, had MOT, and would do my mother fine and be suitable for me to learn in/drive when I passed my test. We picked it up the next evening.


One of the first things we did was bin those seat covers, which were hiding a tear in the drivers seat - I did acquire a set of grey velour ones off Ebay. While my mother owned it in 2012, the car stayed largely standard, save for a Pioneer CD/aux head unit I managed to score for sub £20 on Ebay (note the recurring theme here!) to replace the standard Vauxhall CAR 300 cassette deck. While very basic as a car (no power steering, central locking, or even a petrol light), it did run very well, with few faults. A missing check strap in the drivers door proved annoying, as did a damaged aerial cable. I spent what was the hottest day of that summer in a scrapyard trying to pull one out and looking like I'd had a shower in the process only to find it had been cut at one end, but we did eventually sort that one out.

Because the wing mirrors on these are fixed, we did sometimes return to the car to find a wing mirror or two on the bonnet, but aside from regular maintenance it didn't really need any real work. From memory, it may have had a dodgy sensor at some time which resulted in it cutting out once or twice on us, and on one occasion my mother did run it out of petrol - when someone offered to tow us to the nearby station and said use your handbrake to slow it down, she responded by putting it on and leaving it there, which didn't do it much good...

Come June 2013, I passed my test 2nd time round and promptly went to get the keys. Went onto black box insurance which came to about a grand. Some stickers and mats later, and my dad carefully* tidying up the sill, here's how it looked (my dad's company Octavia estate sneaking into the shot here):





It stayed like this pretty much for the year I owned it. I did have to call the RAC when the brake stuck on on the rear once, but I put a few thousand miles on the car happily. I didn't take it away with me to university for the first year, so my folks drove it every now and then in my absence. Due to the black box using a rating system, I used to get called to ask what the score was on a particular day and therefore who was the better driver out of my parents! For the last 6 weeks of uni, with my grandad being in hospital, I was allowed to park on campus, so the car saw various road trips and crap hauling missions. At the end of first year, I started to look for a replacement, and bought my Megane. My dad took the Corsa so he could use it when he changed to a job without a company car, and ran it for about a year or so. Here's the car being driven off after we sold it for £200 with little to no MOT. It lasted a few months more at most according to Carbaba back when that was free. I still have the pre-2001 number plates (although the front is now cracked) off it. 


I'll write another instalment about the Megane when I've got time to find the photos out of the nearly 4 years I owned it. And then I'll go into the two project cars, the one I should've never bought and the one I should've kept, I'll let you work out which is which from my signature!

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For my next instalment, I'll cover the first 'flip' car me and a friend bought.

It's late 2017 - I've had 3 years of fun with the Megane at this point, and my friend, a forklift engineer, has come and done enough work on it that they may as well just call him a Renault master tech. I was (and still am) doing fairly well with flipping second hand electricals and computers, and after far too much to drink one evening, we had the brainwave of getting some sort of car cheap and doing the same.

Unfortunately, the next weekend, we still had the same idea, so off we go in his works Transporter van round the local dodgy car and van dealers in the hope of picking up some horrific part-ex to clear thing that we could clean up and make good. One lot had some interestingly ropey Berlingos and Partners, which allegedly ran, but no sign of that when they tried to jump them. We both fell in love with a really nice Vectra B SRI, 51 plate in that nice grey they come in, something like 80k, and it was £500, but that was stretching the budget a little, and we didn't think there was any profit in it. Wish I'd bought it and kept it, frankly! Idly checked Facebook groups while we were at that lot and a fairly newly listed Peugeot 206SW with no pictures but MOT caught our eye.


Enter KR04WTD, a 206 SW 1.4 in lowly S trim resplendant in what I think was Mercury Grey. It was in need of a good clean and a little bit of TLC, and had such features as a rotten front wing, but at 76k on the clock, with 6 months MOT and at £200, it seemed a no brainer. As luck would have it, my friend's grandad had garage space for it for a few days just a few hundred yards up the road from the buyer's house, and a mate with a truck who owed him a favour. We legally* drove it up the road, and came back the next day to give it a good clean, my mate being a whore for anything with Autoglym written on it. His grandad kindly offered to sort the wing for us provided we supplied the materials. I won't lie, it wasn't a good job (not sure if poor technique or poor paint match) but it looked better than rust. Here's the before:


Wheel trim fans will be pleased to know these were frisbee'd into the bin when the car arrived on my parents driveway a week later - our local scrapyard provided a set of proper Peugeot ones as well as some new bulbs and a couple of other little trim pieces. After this, it was ready to go!



You can see here the wonderful* job on the wing. Also pictured is my mother's now departed PT Cruiser. I never drove the 206 more than about 300 yards, but it seemed okay to drive and seemed to be a good example, although it did suffer from the dodgy indicator stalk that you so much as tap and the signals come on. Mechanically it was sound and the AC even worked. Given this was shortly after some mechanical issues with my Megane, I did debate whether I keep this instead, but the bigger engine and toys on the Renault made it a bit more of a keeper. From here we proceeded to attempt to sell the car. It took about a month to shift, with me having to drop the price repeatedly. The previous owner saw the new listing and started trying to slate me on sites saying I'd only paid £200 and I should tell people about the advisories on the MOT, which I felt was a bit rich coming from someone who couldn't be arsed to even post a damn picture on his listing, but given I initially listed it at £850, I get his point!

The car eventually sold 6 weeks later for £350 to the first person who bothered to turn up and actually test drive it, and I'm pleased to report that a quick MOT and tax check while writing this says that it's still going! It cost us about £75ish in bits, it eventually paid for a trip to our favourite Italian for me, my friend and his other half. Ultimately, we had fun doing it, didn't lose out too much, but with us both living with our parents at the time and both too young to reasonably afford to insure a second vehicle, we vowed no more projects. Until about 3 years later... more to come soon.

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  • Markeh changed the title to Markeh's Adventures in Shiting - Flipping a little Pug
  • 4 months later...

With a collection mission planned on Saturday, I figured I'd best get writing about the other two cars I've owned.

Flip car number 2, a 2007 Fiat Sedici 1.6 Dynamic in doom blue, pictured here about an hour after purchase (yes the fence has been fixed now):


My friend's parents bought this in 2013 with the idea of it being used as a runaround for mum and to learn to drive in/drive when not at uni for my friend and her brother. They specifically wanted something like this because of the 4WD, apparently their previous Mk2 Punto was dire in crap weather. Eventually this ended up being for the sole use of my friend, and after running it for 7 years in total, the final two of which were spent doing a fairly lengthy motorway commute, she decided she was after something a bit newer before the big bills started coming. Out went the Sedici, in came a 15 plate 2008 from the Peugeot dealer my dad worked at at the time. I'd gone with her to the garage as she's not the most confident driver and was worried about test driving alone (this was August 2020 so unaccompanied test drives were the done thing because covid), and suspecting it was destined for BCA, I asked how much they were paying for the trade in on the Fiat. £100... straight away turned to my friend and said bugger that, I'd give her £150 and pay for the tyre she'd just put on the front as well. In the end, her laptop packed up a couple of days later, so I ended up trading her a replacement laptop for the car!


Going through the car, there were some negatives to deal with - tear in the drivers seat, no working remote locking, only one speaker worked and given my friend looks after animals for a living, you can imagine the state of the poor thing (spot the broken gear gaiter in the above picture!). Add to that an intermittent EML indicating the cat was probably past its best as well. However, what they forgot to mention was that although in various states of disrepair, there were two keys (well, three - the original remote key with broken buttons, a new remote key with no chip or buttons, and the original spare non-remote key), it only had 90k on the clock, had about 9 months MOT left, and it had full service history! Dynamic spec shouldn't have had alloys so I'm not sure whether they were an option or whether they've been fitted aftermarket. Another mate helped me give it a thorough going over and clean up which got it looking more presentable:


With some trial and error with buying the right bits (protip: yes, this does share a lot with Suzukis given it's a rebadged SX4, but I could not get a new remote key module for the SX4 to pair to the Fiat - I ended up getting one from a scrapped Sedici instead), I managed to get the remote locking working. All the connections had rusted on the speakers, so me and my dad replaced the connectors and cleaned up the speakers, which got that as good as new. Also got the tracking done as it was way out. As for the EML, cleared that the day after I got the car and it never came back on. Did chuck a bottle of Cataclean down its neck just in case.


Ran it to and from work for a couple of weeks, and it was a lovely little car! Drove pretty nicely, did everything you needed it to, I really was tempted to keep it, but my head won, I didn't really need a second car and I wasn't ready to give up the comforts of my Qashqai quite yet. Listed on Gumtree, had a message that night, they came to view the car the next morning, and took it away the day after that. Managed to get £900 for it - safe to say dinner was on me the next few times I saw my friend! Sadly the old girl seems to have never made it to another MOT. Shame, I really did ought to have kept it!


Hopefully I'll write about the nearly 4 years I spent with a Megane II as my sole form of transport before colektshun fred time on Saturday!


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  • Markeh changed the title to Markeh's Adventures in Shiting - Fake Italian 4x4
15 hours ago, High Jetter said:

What are you collectioning?

It's nothing particularly exciting so I'm going to reveal on the mission. To sum up though, it's not moved in 9 months, it has 3 weeks MOT, it's in Berkshire, I've not seen any photos of it, and until she died a fortnight ago was owned by a good friend's mother. And I'm leaving the house at half sodding 4 in the morning on Saturday to go and get it because cheap train fares.

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15 hours ago, hairnet said:

@Sir Chocolate Teapot parlo italiano? :D

does these have suzuki part numbers on everything

ParlO italiano = I speak italian.

Parli italiano ? = Do you speak italian.

And don't mix up "tetto " and "tetta", look it up for a laugh. Especially important when looking at old houses 




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It's almost collection thread time! The journey starts tomorrow at 4 in the morning. That would be fine, had my cousin not managed to get last minute cheap tickets to see the Manic Street Preachers at Wembley tonight and probably due back at mine at 1am. so I'm probably doing this on a couple of hours sleep!

The car itself is nothing amazing or particularly interesting, but sod it I'll post the thread anyway, and you'll have minutes* of fun guessing what it is.

Hint: while this 10-plate model is a runout one, the earliest examples of these are now of drinking age.

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  • Markeh changed the title to Markeh's Adventures in Shiting - Sat AM Collection Mission

Step 1.


5 min walk to bus stop. Take slightly longer bus that comes first and arrives at the same time as the more direct one because 10 mins on the bus > 10 mins in the rain.


The finest* that Nottingham City Transport has to offer at 5am on a Saturday morning. It smells suspiciously of cleaner so I expect this was on the nightbus run earlier.

Next stop, city centre and a short walk to Nottingham Station.

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And here she is, a few miles down the road at Chieveley. 






She's a 2010 Vauxhall Meriva 1.6 Club. Been ran round the block to keep her alive over the last few months while the sadly deceased owner was too ill to drive. 66k on the clock. It's absolutely filthy, but she runs fine. Seems a little slow to get up to temp but will see how it gets on driving back up to Nottingham.

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Mission successful!


It managed the drive back better than I did, had to stop to eat to wake myself up. It's not perfect by any means and there appears to be at least one mechanical issue (engine wasn't getting up to temp properly, not sure if these run cold or the stat is stuck open), but to say its only been round the block since March, it handled the drive back quite well! Next steps are to chuck it in for an MOT and hope it passes.

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  • Markeh changed the title to Markeh's Adventures in Shiting - NEW: Ave Meriva

So a brief summary of my findings since picking the car up earlier:

Drives fine, although does not like crosswinds or sudden manouevers. Amazingly supportive seats for the larger gentleman, I found! Club spec basically grants me air con (possibly working, jury is still out) and a CD player player player player (bonus points for the Streets CD that was left in it), no aux as far as I'm aware. 66k from new, and 45k of that was done in the first 3 years - apparently this is ex-Enterprise, something it shares in common with my first Corsa! Was bought as a Network Q car after it's time as a rental - sadly I have no service history or paperwork after that point, although I do have the book pack, a record of its service history with Enterprise, and 2 keys. I've been told it recently had new plugs and coil pack. Past MOTs seem to indicate it has a slight oil leak. I can't say I've actually lifted the bonnet to check - I had not seen the car until the day before purchase and that was just on Street View, I said to my friend if it moves under it's own steam then I'll buy it.

It's absolutely filthy. My friend's nan (who is the registered keeper, which has made life a bit easier with the paperwork!) was mortified she hadn't had time to take it for a wash, bless her. It's been moved round the block to keep it alive since March when my friend's mum's illnesses got much worse. Moss, spiderwebs and dust in every nook and cranny. Another friend of mine is a bit of a two bucket wrongun (he worked his magic on the 206 and the Sedici) so I'm hoping some beer tokens his way will see this looking a load better, but I'll probably drag it down to a nearby jetwash to get some shite off it. There's a chip in the windscreen that may or may not have already been filled, as I couldn't feel it, inside swept area but not in driver's view and not too big, the driver's door has been keyed and there's a small scuff on the back bumper that might polish out. The bonnet, as you can probably tell from the photos, has fared the worst, there's a small £2 coin sized bit of lacquer peel and the paint seems fairly poor. They lived on a bus route and as such the passenger mirror's clearly taken a smack at some point, I think I've fixed the adjustment so there's just a little crack in the case on the inside bit now, I'll probably leave it.

Main thing I was concerned about was the lack of temp gauge movement. It seemed to never go above 80 and most of the time it was not far off the bottom of the gauge, although the heater was still plenty hot enough. Research so far is 50% it needs a new thermostat and buy a proper Vaux one oh and btw it's a bitch to change, 50% TADTS. Jury still out here, I see no reason it will fail the MOT for it so I'll wait and see what happens with that I reckon.

I am not a particularly religious person, but I definitely see it as a sign that when I set off from picking the car up, one of my friend's mum's favourite songs came on the radio.

Current plan is to give the basics a quick check tomorrow and try and get it in for an MOT this week. Might have to chuck a pair of wiper blades on it, but I've got fairly high hopes. I imagine I'll try and give it a bloody good clean either way. If she needs tyres at all I will look to grab a set of alloys off a Corsa of some description. If she passes, I'll probably keep it for a couple of months then look to sell or try something else - if the former and I end up making a few quid I'll make sure my friend and her family get looked after as well. With my new Qashqai coming in the next couple of weeks (allegedly) it's tempting to hang onto this as a car booting/tip run car for a little bit.

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Got it down to the jet wash today.



It needs a more thorough clean as the shuts, scuttle and wheels are pretty grim, and I did blow away a small section of paint at the top of the tailgate, but she's come up alright.

Realised earlier its only done about 150 miles between the last MOT (clean pass after an EML was cleared, no light there now) and me picking it up yesterday, I have fairly high hopes for it passing.

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Had a 54 reg earlier in the year as a project. Was quite impressed with the versatility of it. Much more than the "jacked up Corsa" folks would have you believe. Mine was a1. 6 8v Energy which seemed a bit of an oddity, with alloys, aircon, twin electric sunroofs etc. The temperature gauge didn't seem to do much. Changed the thermostat which was a bit of a job on an 8v engine,but didn't make much difference. Believe the 16v is much easier. Ended up with my son who quite likes it. Have fun with it. Oh, by the way, all Voxhalls are shite, M9! 

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In for MOT this morning...


That'll do! All I've done is put some screenwash in it. She now has a name as well - the previous owner started referring to the car as Proud Mary after it unexpectedly passed an MOT a few years back, so given most of my cars are referred to as music references or songs (Silver Machine, Black Betty, Jeff (as in Lynne > ELO > Mr Blue Sky)), that name can stay!

It is clear the stat is stuck open so that's hopefully on the list to sort in the new year alongside a service and a good clean/polish. For now I'm going to run it as she sits for popping to the shop/tip runs/car booting, my mate will help me tidy it up some time in January and will probably look to sell/swap for something more interesting than a greyish-blue blob.

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  • Markeh changed the title to Markeh's Adventures in Shiting - Proud Mary keep on burning
  • 1 month later...

New year, new badly scuffed wheel trim from twatting a kerb. I treated it to some mats off Ebay, £12 posted and they clip into the original clips and fit pretty well! It's been used as a tip run car to get rid of a load of rubbish from the back alley my garden backs onto and at least two Christmas trees. I've also been using it to do the mile round trip to the local post office/UPS point to drop off parcels, and taking it on small journeys because it had more petrol in it than the Nissan.

Just ordered the bits to give this a service and hopefully change the thermostat. My mate (same one who cleaned up the Sedici and bought the 206 with me) is hopefully going to help me do this at the weekend. Given the muddy state of my driveway and limited time, we're probably not going to get round to washing it. All the service bits except some new coolant (which my mate has plenty of) and the new stat have cost me just a smidge over £100, although it's Euro Car Parts so I'm not holding my breath. Once I've done a few miles in it after that (probably including standing some car boots if the weather dries up a bit!), I'll probably think about getting it cleaned and moving it on - it's a tight squeeze and very muddy to have two cars on the front at this time of year, and given next door takes up most of the on-street parking near me, that's not too much of a viable option either. By the time I need to do more tip runs and such I probably won't be as worried about making a mess of the Nissan. Although part of me would be tempted to swap for something more interesting (because it certainly can't be less interesting)...

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Is it a keeper? I bought my mother one a couple of years ago off a mate. I found it incredibly grim and soulless. That was a 1.6 too iirc.

Northern Monkey bought it off me cheap when she wanted shot of it.

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