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Is there any such thing as 'overly modern' or 'overly old' when it comes to daily use?


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4 minutes ago, Liggle said:

Do any of the older car advocates drive 20k+ miles a year in them?

Of course they don't as they would rapidly find their cars falling to bits around them, they need 4 different heaps to spread the miles across them so they hopefully have at least one working vehicle at any time :D

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Am genuinely interested, and I love older stuff and new so not trying to spark a new vs. old argument. 

I always thought at the back of my mind did I just chose the wrong cars. As something E class or 5 series size still appeals if I ever do that kinda mileage again.

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One of my mates did 25k/year for a while in a knackered 1.2 Corsa C. He survived. Just.

On the flip side, as of this year I'm only doing about 7k at the moment in my 2005 Focus, a big drop from the last 3 years, and I'm currently pining for something a few years older to make those few miles a bit more interesting. 

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Because I'm strange, I did 30k miles in a 2004 Panda Active in a year..... 

Nothing broke.

Ok, put on 4 tyres and a clutch very early on but it was super reliable and very economical.

Previously I drove Saab 900 and 9/3 (same shape) similarly daily and they too were super cars but thirsty.

Now, I use a 2017 Aygo - some modern toys but not the daft auto braking (although loan Prius when it was serviced had all that stuff and was fun for a day).

Positives - 63 - 65mpg every week. Aircon, Bluetooth radio plays my phone. On screen sat nav (actually not a plus as needs a £100 new card on it to show 2021 roads!). It has speed limiter which is useful.

Negatives - harsh ride, terrible blind spot, very annoying front wiper, completely useless rear wiper, cost a fortune to service, clutch is on/off, need to rev it too much to pull away and use too low a gear as it has NO power..., it's not a Panda!

Kind of stuck with it for a while but the modern way is not for me. 

I think peak car is yes 1995 - 2005 give or take. 

I could use Sunny daily as it's softer, smellier(!), more fun, unusual etc etc but the lack of power steering would literally get very wearing and I would double the 33 year mileage in about 18 months! (Don't worry Nigel, Sunny is NOT going to be ruined like that!)

Of course what I really need is to stop such long commuting and just bumble around local roads in interesting cars that don't NEED to be super economical and reliable.

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I’ll admit, I’ve had a huge jump in cars recently. I’ve gone from driving a rare 2.3td Carlton to a 2015 A6 Allroad. Reasons? Many. Family is first, with baby on the way I wanted something bigger, more reliable, cheaper to tax and run. The Carlton was a brilliant car for me, but using it as a hard working daily got difficult when things broke and needed replacing. Walking into any motor factors and asking for parts for a mk3 Carlton was like asking someone to shit on your chest. Then there was the discovery, which was there as a spare in case it couldn’t be fixed same day. Which was more tax, more fuel, more insurance etc etc. The Audi is a doing the job it needs to do, driving me round in comfort, with good performance and fuel economy. Modern perks like DAB radio are fantastic. Auto opening boot is a god-send. 
 

so yeah, I’ve kinda gone away from a shite as a daily, but I still have my old rusty discovery in the shed somewhere so don’t all rush to poke me with a pitchfork! 

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I love older cars (not true classics) and the fact I can fix them myself or park them and not worry about parking dents. There is something rather freeing about not really worrying too much about a parking dent or a scrape or a bit of rust on a £500 car. However they do tend to come with some reliability issues...

Ultimately though I have a daughter who I want to be safe in a car and I currently do about 20k miles a year and I absolutely have to do those miles and know im going to get there. So it may be a bit of a white good appliance but my Fiesta is spot on for getting in it and knowing its going to start and get me where I need to go. The cruise control and lane assist are a bonus too, especially when youre pounding the motorways multiple times a week.

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Dailying pre 80s stuff is a faff.

Moderns are too fast and stop too hard, you're always at risk of getting fucked over by somebody else's driving style. Plus parts availability becomes an issue, if it takes a week to find a crucial part that's a week of no car, you also need to find the time and place to fit it yourself as garages are increasingly uninterested on working on old stuff.

Once you get to the point where everything has decent brakes and performance life gets easier but you still have maintenance to consider.

I don't think you can go too modern, but for me cars in the 8 to 15 year old range are utterly undesirable and are always one step away from a £500 repair bill.

Depends on the circumstances of course, if you do 5,000 miles a year on quiet roads you could probably happily daily a Morris Minor. For me doing 10k of city/motorway miles the Acclaim was barely feasible, the Volvo is more suited to it but runs into the parts availability/time to fit them issue.

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2 hours ago, Liggle said:

Do any of the older car advocates drive 20k+ miles a year in them?

For these sort of miles I bought a 3 year old Mondeo from BCA and run it from 60,000 miles to 142,000 miles with little more than regular servicing and tyres. (even the brakes lasted over 70,000 miles!) I would have used a Cortina if my company had allowed. I was previously using a V6 Cortina for upto 16,000 miles per year although a 2.0 would have been better. That was around 15 years ago so parts supply was better then, I also keep a large number of spares and service items at home. I have found old cars much more reliable if used daily and maintained properly with quality parts. Lack of use is the main cause of unreliability. My pet hate is the idiots who run new cars and put them in the main dealer for servicing and repairs then complain their other older car is unreliable but either do not service it or if they do they use non OEM parts from the motor factors! ( because it is not worth as much! fu**wits!) If a car is maintained well there is no reason it cannot be used as intended. If my employers would allow I would have no hesitation in using my 19 year old E320 for 20 k plus miles per year.

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I was doing about 2-3k miles a month in a T reg Avensis back in 2016/2017. I bought it specifically so that I didn't have to do the miles in my V6 Granvia at the time, as that thing was thirsty and I didn't want to knacker the value of it by chucking a load of miles on it.

I paid £250 for the Avensis, and bar a stuck thermostat which I replaced early on, it was no trouble. If I found myself doing that sort of mileage again, you'd find my buying a £500 Honda Accord / Toyota Avensis or similar. I don't think I could bring myself to spend the money on a 3 year old car to then put that sort of mileage on it, you'd surely get a couple of Honda Accords out of your first year's depreciation at least.

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1 hour ago, captain_70s said:

Dailying pre 80s stuff is a faff.

Moderns are too fast and stop too hard, you're always at risk of getting fucked over by somebody else's driving style. Plus parts availability becomes an issue, if it takes a week to find a crucial part that's a week of no car, you also need to find the time and place to fit it yourself as garages are increasingly uninterested on working on old stuff.

Once you get to the point where everything has decent brakes and performance life gets easier but you still have maintenance to consider.

I don't think you can go too modern, but for me cars in the 8 to 15 year old range are utterly undesirable and are always one step away from a £500 repair bill.

Depends on the circumstances of course, if you do 5,000 miles a year on quiet roads you could probably happily daily a Morris Minor. For me doing 10k of city/motorway miles the Acclaim was barely feasible, the Volvo is more suited to it but runs into the parts availability/time to fit them issue.

Yeah, when I was doing 3000 miles a year around town it was a doddle to use 1950s cars everyday. Now I do 12000 on mostly fast roads. My Rover does the job easily, and I can fix it on the rare occasion something does go wrong.

I don’t want to go any newer, I just find modern cars (with a handful of exceptions) as dull as ditchwater.

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2 hours ago, Liggle said:

Do any of the older car advocates drive 20k+ miles a year in them?

I've tried various ways for such mileage and by far the best was the leased new car as I got a good deal. I replaced 4 tyres and serviced it twice in 53k miles. 

I did try an older MK3 Mondeo, Peugeot 307 and 325d for similar use and they were only fractionally cheaper to run due to the amount of repairs required and more crucially being self employed - the time off the road/time wasted going to and from the garage during working hours. 

I did about 15k in the 9000 in the first year as it was my only commuter and was doing about 50 miles a day. The DI cassette failed (easy replacement) and some silly buggers with the headlight relay (worked if you wiggled it) and that was it. I’m far fewer miles and spread the commuting across the fleet now, but I honestly think if I was back up to that mileage again I’d be looking for an auto 9000 with cruise control (as that’s the one thing mine lacks which I wish it had).

Currently in my short commute I think I could daily the 2CV happily. 

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20 minutes ago, Shite Ron said:

 Lack of use is the main cause of unreliability. 

I'm now absolutely certain that's what gave me all that stress with Huggy and the Volvo in the spring.  They hadn't been anywhere.  Simples.  I've noticed that the Astra doesn't like to sit more than a couple of days, the handbrake goes on strike and doesn't release until engine power is applied.  It needs more use than I can give it, even just round town would be an improvement if it was daily.  Huggy is now going out once or twice a week and behaving.  This weekend he will be out Saturday and Sunday, and since my tripod is in the trunk, Monday too.  But then there will be nothing until we're back from Parts Foreign (aka Cannock and Fareham).

If I had a serious commute, like 10 miles or more each way, I would have kept the Volvo.

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Just now, eddyramrod said:

the Astra doesn't like to sit more than a couple of days, the handbrake goes on strike and doesn't release until engine power is applied.

You should see how some of the new stuff with electronic parking brakes behave if you leave them stood for a bit. At the last dealership I worked at, all our used cars were lined up on a long concrete bay outside the front of the showroom (the building was originally a petrol station when built). The HRV's were particularly stubborn if left, and on a wet day you could drive them up and down the concrete area trying to release the handbrake and it would just drag its rear wheels along like a dog scooting on the rug. When the handbrake finally released, it sounded like a shotgun had just been fired 😅 You should see the face of a customer as they watch a salesman fighting a 3 year old car up and down the forecourt prior to their test drive...

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I've been wondering the same recently. I currently use my Xantia estate hdi for around 12-15k per year. In fact, I've been using Xantias since they were nearly new and a common sight! I've tried moving away, but keep coming back to them. 

I have been trying to justify a new or newer car in some on sort of lease, and got close. A Nissan leaf deal was posted, I think on @Kiltox thread and the sums added up to a negligible change of outgoings. Mainly due to the fact I would only ever be charging at home and the cost of diesel. With all things considered, I would be in roughly the same place financially with either a 20 year old diesel or a brand new electric car, but less worry of impending doom. I am tempted, but yet to make the leap 

I would be much worse of with any thing probably 3-15 years old, which uses petrol/ diesel, always more complicated and expensive to fix and if you spend a lot buying a car, you've got to fix it. 

The Xantias have only ever been a few hundred pounds, so although I would be sad to see it go, financially it wouldn't hurt. Luckily, beyond routine servicing and one clutch in 12 years I'm definitely up. I like driving them because they are comfy, 50+mpg and despite the age still very dependable. Even the saab 2.0T I had was cheap to buy and run, bit juicy maybe but it was fun. Sadly not big enough, so couldn't stay long term.

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My 545 is 17 years old. It is used most days and not bad on fuel. 96 k on the clock and in excellent condition - it gets a lot of comments. I still get " when are you changing your car ?" off work colleagues. My answer is when it becomes uneconomical to fix.

I could go and buy something like a focus but I like my driving to be an experience - a V8 car, even an oldie like mine, must be more satisfying to drive  than a new focus for a fraction of the cost. Yes, my car has chucked up a couple of big bills but that is to be expected on an old e60.

The problem is getting somebody to do the big jobs - replacing the valve stem oil seals required taking the car to Nuneaton from Warrington - the local specialists didn't wan't to know. And this can be the issue with any older car - once you start having issues beyond servicing and minor repairs finding somebody to do repairs can be a pain - our vectra demonstrated this - 8 broken rockers and a crank pulley had it running but you would think I had asked for the hubble space telescope to be fixed.

My parents were one of millions caught up in the high interest rates of 1990 (15%) - I remember the for sale sign going up in the front garden. Waiting for people to knock on the door puts you off ever having too much debt - it did with me.

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23 minutes ago, Andy F said:

I've been wondering the same recently. I currently use my Xantia estate hdi for around 12-15k per year. In fact, I've been using Xantias since they were nearly new and a common sight! I've tried moving away, but keep coming back to them. 

I have been trying to justify a new or newer car in some on sort of lease, and got close. A Nissan leaf deal was posted, I think on @Kiltox thread and the sums added up to a negligible change of outgoings. Mainly due to the fact I would only ever be charging at home and the cost of diesel. With all things considered, I would be in roughly the same place financially with either a 20 year old diesel or a brand new electric car, but less worry of impending doom. I am tempted, but yet to make the leap 

I would be much worse of with any thing probably 3-15 years old, which uses petrol/ diesel, always more complicated and expensive to fix and if you spend a lot buying a car, you've got to fix it. 

The Xantias have only ever been a few hundred pounds, so although I would be sad to see it go, financially it wouldn't hurt. Luckily, beyond routine servicing and one clutch in 12 years I'm definitely up. I like driving them because they are comfy, 50+mpg and despite the age still very dependable. Even the saab 2.0T I had was cheap to buy and run, bit juicy maybe but it was fun. Sadly not big enough, so couldn't stay long term.

I remember when the ex got a crack in the windscreen of the Meriva. I was logged onto the auto glass insurance portal and once I sorted hers I put in my reg number of the xantia I had at the time. Nothing found, please call... 

Doing 20k a year in a xantia sure is doable but when your suddenly going to have a really bad day for a cracked windscreen is a bit much for me. Wouldn't call it a deciding factor in getting rid of it but it was on my mind. 

 

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I used to do high mileage, but don't now. Most of the 1980s and 1990s were covered in a variety of older vehicles. As said it was helpful to have at least two to cover for when things went wrong and occasionally a lovely hire car (whatever happened to Low Cost Wheels?).

When I lived in Chppenham in 1984 my only car was a 1970 Morgan, I was doing about 30k miles a year. I still worked on my cars then and kept on top of it, very simple mechanics, the only thing that got farmed out was the kingpins and bushes (which despite the oiling system didn't last much more than 20k miles) and bodywork when someone ran into the back of it.

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5 hours ago, Liggle said:

Do any of the older car advocates drive 20k+ miles a year in them?

I've tried various ways for such mileage and by far the best was the leased new car as I got a good deal. I replaced 4 tyres and serviced it twice in 53k miles. 

I did try an older MK3 Mondeo, Peugeot 307 and 325d for similar use and they were only fractionally cheaper to run due to the amount of repairs required and more crucially being self employed - the time off the road/time wasted going to and from the garage during working hours. 

Currently doing 20k a year in an X300 xj6. Not sure if that classifies as "old" but it's a lovely place to do the commute and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy that I'm not in some dull motor like everyone else. That said, now it's coming up to winter again I'm almost certain to swap it for something newer as it's getting a bit baggy now. The hardest part is trying to find something that ticks the reliable, economical and interesting boxes...

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Never bought a new car, never leased one, and no intention ever to do so. Late '90's and bottom-of-depreciation-curve is the sweet spot for me, totally DIYable but modern enough to make long journeys painless and without headache-inducing digital screens. I drove a mainstream SUV/crossover the other day for the first time which was comfortable enough but not a patch on an old '90s barge for comfort. Enjoyed another 579 depreciation-free miles yesterday and  36 mpg from the 22 year old V6 that's just sailed through another MOT and the mechanics are simple enough to make it to moon mileage and beyond.    

2021-09-02 20.19.52.jpg

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Since we bought our '87 944 back in '94, we've used it mainly for the wife's commute. 54 mile round trip five days a week. We've put 250,000 miles on it doing this. I believe that if a car is properly serviced and maintained, it will last forever - like aircraft do.  She used to insist on driving it whatever the weather, thick falling snow, ice  - the bloody lot. It was only one morning when I couldn't even get it off the drive having dug it out that I insisted on buying a winter beater with snow tyres - enter the £400 '87 Scirocco that I bought from here. Happy as Larry she was. All went well until I won the '53 plate AS Vel Satis. Clearly a bigger, heavier & safer proposition, so more winter tyres were bought, the Porsche was taken off the road for some overdue repairs & 18,000 miles were covered in my £5 car. In turn, it too was replaced with something more to our liking, the '02 plate R75. This is low mileage, giffer owned and in it for the long term. Along with the Porsche which now only goes out on sunny summer days, the Scirocco which I use locally, but would drive to the end of the earth. And of course the bay which I've also owned for a quarter of a century, maintain religiously and again, would drive anywhere. 

Proper, regular maintenance is the key. The fact that the bill is likely to be more than WBAC say my car is 'worth' is neither here nor there if you plan on keeping the car.  I don't think that even after all that I've answered the original question, have I?

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On 9/2/2021 at 2:48 PM, eddyramrod said:

 

Of course you also have to think about outside incidents that may befall your car, such as car park dings.  Our Motability Suzuki has two such, both of which happened while it was parked in the Disabled space outside our own front door!  Both times I rang Motability and described what had happened, and they said it's fine, don't worry.  You'd most likely get the same sort of reaction on any lease.  Had the same incidents befallen Huggy parked in the same place, I would have had to cover the costs myself.

 

Motability have an inbuilt good condition bonus of £600. They refund you this amount if the car is returned in top condition.

If the damage in these incidents is considered to affect the resale value you will not receive any bonus payment.

Totally depends on the condition report on handback.

 

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I think the sweet spot really was the mid to late 90s.

They'd figured out how to make fuel injection and electronic ignition "just work" and the rest of the vehicle electronic systems generally seem to behave.  Even then they do act up, more often than not they can be sorted, rather than just needing some proprietary unobtainable black box replacing.  Plus they generally have nice things like power steering, ABS and some semblance of actual crash protection.

The thing which really takes them out of contention for daily use often seems to be increasingly dwindling spares availability, meaning that even getting simple things like an exhaust box turns into a headache.

I think *most* cars after about 2005 would be out for me - basically anything new enough to have fully multiplexed electronics and requiring dealer software and a laptop to diagnose anything more complex than a flat tyre.  There are exceptions - the Pug 107/Citroen C1/Toyota Aygo for example still had a conventional electrical system all the way up to 2012 I think to name one.

As far as too old...depends a lot I think on your use case, skill set, approach to preventative maintenance and having a backup plan in place in case something does go awry.

I'd quite happily daily a Mk I Metro, a Rover P6 or Series III Land Rover...but I'm not afraid of tweaking carbs, sorting points when they play up or things like that.

In the same breath though, I don't commute nor do all that many miles annually...if I was having to deal with rush hour traffic every day I'd probably be looking for something a bit newer. 

It's all a balancing act though and the answer is never going to be the same for two people.

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On 9/2/2021 at 2:15 PM, PrinceRupert said:

I don't do many miles in my 'daily' but the 2001 Rover 75 I have had for twelve months or so has never left me stranded, has all the mod cons (heated leather, climate control, cruise control, parking sensors, rear sun blind...) - and cost 600 quid (and another 800 quid across the year to get rear brakes rebuilt, fit a couple of drop links, fix cruise and parking sensors, service, couple of tyres, exhaust heat shield for MOT).  Not sure why I'd want something much more modern.  It certainly doesn't feel like an old shed (although the bodywork leaves much to be desired...).  

 

Saying that there are new cars which I am sure are great fun but for me doing a couple of thousand miles a year in it I don't see the point.  Plus interesting things seem to start at 30k+ and properly interesting things 50k+ (brand new) which is a lot of dough ... and if I set a budget of say 20k I would always be tempted to go for much more interesting bottom of depreciation curve 15 yo car at 20k than 5 yo middlingly interesting at 20k ...

For me, substitute a 2000 BMW E46 323Ci that I have had for 14 years, for your Rover, and I say exactly the same thing 😃 Its just old enough I can access the diagnostic and read everything.  Cant do that with some more newer cars.

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All these 1990’s cars were good. In the 1990’s. In the 90’s they did turn a bloody big corner quality wise but still as much as I love the old ones the ‘09 Mondeo I’ve got shits all over the 1999 one I had in every way.

I see so many threads where the old ‘need a reliable car but I’ve only got xyz to spend’ comes up. Almost without fail there will be a suggestion to buy something like a 405 diesel or a  1993 Corolla. Both bloody good cars in their day but reliable daily transport now? Doubt it, at least 200k, years of being run on a shoestring and plate over plate over plate for the test?

 

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If you need to do 15k plus mialge a year a modern would be the best thing. It would be  comparatively  dull  but uber reliable and economical. 

Certainly abs, esp  traction control  etc have made cars safer to drive let alone lane keep assist, automatic braking etc  certainly for long drives over 75 ish or so miles its huge bonus and safer. On thr otherhand the nannying can  disrupt your driving when the computer says "no" or "what?"   And I've been left flat footed at roundabouts and junctions when the autostart/stop  cuts the engine and I'm left waiting for it to start and spool up.

Previously  due to mileage a new car was the best option for me and it was one modern reliable car only. Life has changed for me and there is no point forking out for a car that probbaly wont do more than 5k a year and more likely 2-3. I dont have a commute so dont need it for that, if the 5-10-15 year old modern I buy FTP and I need to go out I'll just take one of the other from my menagerie of tat out. The modernish is only  a practical load/family logger to put miles on in the winter (good heater and heated seats plz)

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My 32 year old base 305 van is certainly not overly modern  that's for sure. Overly old ? Not sure really. I've been dailying  it for twenty years and because it's as simple as they come there's not much that can go wrong. I've driven from here to Portugal quite a few times and from there to Holland and back four or five times a year for about ten years. The only ftp's in the last seven  years have been the injector pump seizing, recondition in two days, and cables, accelerator and clutch. Clutch cable I don't  consider a Ftp as I can drive it without and the accelerator fixed at roadside in a few mins. Oh yea, and a shattered windscreen while I was working and staying at moogs gaff. Being self employed and working for a client where I do preventative maintenance I don't have to be there every day which makes life easy. So overly old ? Not to me it isn't.

Up the pub a few years ago the workies were talking about where they were going on Holiday and I said I was going to Portugal for a month and was asked if I was flying. When I said I was going to drive there in my van they could hardly believe I would take such an old thing. There and back no problems. I would get in it tomorrow and go anywhere with no worry that it wouldn't make it there and back.

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 If you can get parts easily enough then I my opinion nothing is too old.

I've been waiting weeks for a thermostat for my Cavalier - parts for the diesel are either hard to find or just not available  meaning the car has been out of action for over 6 weeks. But I had no problems at all getting parts for my petrol model.

I'm not clear on what is meant by 'overly modern' though, unless it's something from the future!

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22 minutes ago, Split_Pin said:

 If you can get parts easily enough then I my opinion nothing is too old.

I share that sentiment.

Having had older cars with good parts availability, it's been great. When parts are an issue, not so much.

I still remember bitterly the experience with the Volvo 940 turbo I had. I bought it with a leaking/bodged sunroof- Basically it was just the seal... Unfortunately NLA. I ended up having to find someone breaking one with a sunroof with the exact dimensions (Volvo only used that moonroof from 95-97) and persuade them to post it to me, glass included, which was fun. 

Shortly after this the heater control valve started leaking (TADTS)... You guessed it... NLA. I spent weeks drawing up a design that would allow me to use a MK1 Golf valve, but that involved making serious changes to the coolant pipework and also the cabling so as to allow the heater controls on the dash to work. 

A great car on the whole, but never again. That was it for me. I sold it and bought a FWD 2001 P2 V70 for literally a tenth of the price the 940 had sold for, and honestly aside from lacking the 'retro' element of the older Volvo, it's a superior car in just about every measurable way 

 

 

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