I'm a masochist from Leeds who is running two rusty, worn out Triumph Dolomites as my only transport in rural Aberdeenshire. You might recognise me from various other forums and Facebook groups. Realistically I need to buy a modern car of some sort, but instead I find myself looking at Ã‚Â£300 Citroen BXs and Triumph Acclaims on Gumtree and thinking "yeah, that'd fit right in with the rest of the broken cars I can't afford".
On to the cars, the main attraction being my 1976 1850HL "50 Shades of Yellow" that I bought for Ã‚Â£850 and is currently my daily driver, here is a picture of it before I sanded off some surface rust and sprayed it badly in the wrong shade of yellow with rattle cans:
Within a month of purchase I managed to plant it in to a steel fence backwards after a botched gear change on a wet roundabout and ruined the N/S rear wing, although judging by the other dent that's packed with filler it looks like somebody had already done the same. I also managed to destroy a halfshaft and one of my Sprint alloys (good for an extra 15hp) in the incident, so now it's sitting on it's original steelies but painted black (good for an extra 5hp).
It's only broken down on me twice. once with some sort of fuel delivery related problem which may or may not have been an empty fuel tank and once when the thermostat jammed shut and it overheated and blew out some O-rings for the cooling system. It has recently developed a taste for coolant and oil which is rather annoying, although it's done 89,300 miles which is about 80,000 more miles than BL engineering is designed to last, I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines...
I tried to keep ahead of the rust a bit by rubbing down the arches and re-painting them, but apparently rattle can paint isn't great when you are spraying it at -5C, it also highlighted how although my car might have been Inca Yellow in 1976 it's now more of a "cat piss" sort of shade. So I ended up with the wrong shade of yellow which has rust coming back through after 5 weeks. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
The other car is the first "classic" car I bought, so I can't bear to sell it. It's a '77 Dolomite 1300 and it cost Ã‚Â£1400 (about Ã‚Â£400 too much) and has been nothing but a pain in the arse:
It looks much prettier (from 100 yards) but that's most due to the darker paintwork hiding the rust. It lives a mollycoddled life in my garage, where it somehow still manages to rust, and is utterly rubbish. 0-60 is measured on a calendar, top speed is 80ish but at that point it uses more oil than petrol, it rarely ventures over 50mph and if you encounter an incline of any sort you can kiss that sort of speed goodbye, along with about Ã‚Â£20 of 20W50 as it vanishes out of the exhaust in the form of blue smoke.
One of the PO's had clearly never heard of the term "oil change" so it developed into brown sludge that coated everything internally with the next owner(s) blissfully pouring fresh oil on top of it. This lasted until about 600 miles into my ownership when there was muffled "pop" from the engine bay and the car became a 3-cylinder. The cause was catastrophic wear to the top end causing a rocker arm to snap:
As this was my first classic car I'd assumed it was supposed to sound like the engine was full of marbles, it wasn't.
I put the engine back together with second hand bits declared it utterly fucked and promptly did another 5000 miles with it. After about 3500 of those miles the oil burning started, valve seals have gone so it's been relegated to my parent's garage as a backup car and something to take to local car shows as the 1850 is now embarrassingly ugly. I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines (deja vu, anybody?) Oh, I also recently reversed it into a parked Ford Fiesta and royally fucked up the rear bumper, rear panel and bootlid. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
There have been two other cars in my life. My first car, a 2008 Toyota Yaris 1.0 an it's replacement a 2012 Corsa 1.4T. I didn't really want either of them, but it's a long story involving my parents and poor life choices. Ask if you want to hear it!
So that's a brief summary of my current shite. If you want more pictures or details of anything do say as I've got photos of almost everything I'd done with the cars.
Thought I should probably start a thread, given that a few people have suggested it. For my sins, my first car was a 1985 Hyundai Stellar. Bought back in 1997, when the sun still shone, I had more hair, and the world was generally a better place.
This may be the earliest photo I have, I think from 1998:
Anyway, I drove everywhere in it, and clocked up over 100k miles before I was given an Alfa Romeo 75. So I took the Stellar off the road for some much needed TLC. Made some progress on it - Rebuilt all the suspension, fitted a rebuilt Cortina* rear axle, Princess 4 pot front calipers and Capri vented discs etc - before a couple of house moves and renovations put it on the back burner.
* before anyone says they are identical underneath, there are some differences. I fitted a replacement axle fairly early on in my ownership, only to fit that not only was the propshaft flange the wrong size, the UJ was totally different so I couldn't even fit a new yoke. Finding a company on the day before New Year's Eve who could cut off the end, weld a new UJ on and balance it wasn't too easy, especially one that was accessible by push bike!
Anyway, late last year I found some renewed motivation, and have been working on it when time and money permit. Here is what it looked like in October:
OMG barn find?
Front suspension OK at first glance...
...but it has turned out the calipers had seized (so are away being rebuilt) and all the (brand new) ball joint boots had perished:
Quite a bit of welding is needed too, but I had a setback just before Christmas when we were burgled and my welder stolen
Crusty roof rail
I've cleared some of the crap away from it now (it's not stored at mine - I'd love to own somewhere that big!) so might be able to get more photos. Currently working on the rear brakes, and disappointed to find that the shotblasted rear axle is now starting to rust after two coats of POR15 and 7 years storage under cover...
By popular* demand* here is a thread about the least popular VW van around.
The photo is as bought, back in 2006. Purchased with a year's MOT, 6 months tax, and a caravan all for Ã‚Â£600. To his credit, the seller had received many enquiries from people wanting to buy either the caravan or van, but not both although refused to end the auction early when there were bids already on it. So it failed to go anywhere near what I thought it would sell for.
The combination suited us well, as we could live in the caravan wile we carried out major house work, and use the van for carrying building materials. This we did, enduring a sometimes cosy but often cold winter in the caravan while I used the LT as my only road legal vehicle. It was already carpeted inside, with a simple electrical system as it had been previously used as a motorbike race van. It saw a little bit of use as a 'tent on wheels', seen here in Scotland in 2007:
I'd always wanted to build a campervan, although I kept this quiet when seeking domestic funding for buying it in the first place! So when the bulk of the work was done, I suggested using some fittings from the caravan to convert it. This was met with approval (to my surprise), and we planned to take it to a festival one August.
I waited for a forecast of dry weather, but none came and I was running out of time so ended up booking time off work a week before the festival. The reason for dry weather is that I wanted to tackle some welding...
As it turned out, I had one dry day to work on it! After much searching I'd bought some genuine VW panels (despite forum experts saying there were none remaining), which fitted very nicely
Managed to get that far on Monday, then it was time to tackle the floorpan but I'll leave that tale for another day...
Old car - check
Full of rust - check
Siezed engine - check
Cheapest on the internet - check
Bought sight unseen - check
No space for it - check
Poo count - 1.5
A mate of mine at work has just restored this, and now it's (just about) finished, is selling it. He wants what seems like a fair price for it, and it might be my only chance to indulge a boyhood dream before values climb too high. And hopefully I shouldn't lose out!
Is there anyone around who knows the values they actually sell for? Obviously I've looked at adverts and completed eBay listings, but don't know if they reflect reality!
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