What do you get after 16 hours and 800 miles of driving on a Sunday to collect two cars? Well @sharley17194 picks up a 1997 Citreon AX from the depths of the Lakes on the North West coast past Keswick. However, we actually started the day by driving to just near Cromer on the East coast to pick up this!
An Austin Montego poverty spec estate with a 1.3L A-series engine! Yes you did read that bit right! Yes I know the DVLA lists the model as 1.6... Yes its correctly registered as 1.3L. No I dont know if its a factory 1.3L! 😂
My favourite part of all this??? (Apart from the doom blue colour and the absolutely terrible interior!) 281,000 miles on the clock!
Collection went really well and the below posts follows my initial assessment of what is quite frankly the best car I have ever purchased.
My goal was not to buy any more cars but with the Lanchester out of action while we work through it and make it safe to use, and the Princess out of action and needing the engine to be removed (a job I am procrastinating about, and when I'm motivated am thwarted by schedule and weather conflicts) it was getting more obvious that I needed some personal transport. Something basic and reliable that I know my way around, that's going to be cheap to buy and run. This is an ideal candidate, on paper.
Whether I really can just use it as An Car or will end up getting all finicky about making it nice remains to be seen. I just want some hasslefree pootling for a few months and normally Maestros are just that.
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
I've had various threads on the go for different collections this year, but thought I'd condense my threads into one manageable thread to document my ham-fisted tinkering.
At the turn of the year I was driving a nice, dependable, modern 2011 Peugeot 407 and no other vehicle. It was nice enough, but boring as feck. I'd bought it after a series of disastrous heaps in the awkward age bracket of being new and valuable enough to worry about but old enough to be fucked. The 407 was just too new, too bloated and dull. I had a hankering for old metal, my Mineral Oil withdrawal pangs were strong.
From January I started looking, there were eBay bids, missed reserves, wasted trips from Gumtree and other such nonsense. I happened on an automatic Rover 216 GSI with one giffer owner from a year old. The chap was giving up driving at 93 years old and his grandson was moving it on. I bid, and failed. It was in London though, about 420 miles away so I wasn't all that bothered. Of course when he offered it to me for my losing bid after the winning buyer was a no show I said yes. I was on the Megabus down to that London overnight for about £15. I hung about in Liverpool Street station like a mad shivering jakey until my train out to the suburb for my first sight of the new steed. It was battered outside but had been well looked after. A frankly insulting amount of cash changed hands and I was away up the road.
We had many adventures together, it was dependable and it whet my appetite for interesting old motors again and proved that the very bottom end of the market was navigable if I had the patience to wade through the sea of shit to find the odd pearl.
The 407 was still on the fleet at this point but I was covering a lot of miles in the Rover, with a long commute though the fuel economy wasn't ideal. When a friend's mother was looking for a new diesel saloon to replace the faithful old Xsara she had a scheme was concocted. I sold the 407 to her and was on the hunt for an interesting replacement.
When I was growing up my dad had a succession of hopeless shitters, indeed I was brought home from the hospital as a newborn in a brush painted Skoda Super Estelle. The best car he had was a red XUD Peugeot 405 with air conditioning and electric windows. So when I found a 1994 GTXD advertised by someone who could actually compose a car advert in the fashion you would expect of a human being educated to a Primary School level, I pounced.
Of course I couldn't buy a car just down the road so it was on the train to Birmingham. First class no less. I stayed in an absolute flea pit of a hotel and drove up the road the next day. This was a proper bit of nostalgia and a really practical borderline classic car. It had been fastidiously maintained by the previous owner. Apart from there being a hole where there was once a stereo and the lack of working air con it was a pleasant drive home.
Given their relative scarcity and how dependable this one has proven so far, it's a keeper, I'd struggle to part with it.
Two cars just wasn't enough to worry about, so this Citroen C1 was acquired. Pure Aleppo spec. A camel can go for weeks, or months without stopping at a watering hole, the C1 has a similar thirst for Motor Spirit. Man maths were employed and worked out that it would easily* pay for itself.
There have been further movements, I'll recap them shortly. I should probably do some work.
First some background:
I was brought up with no car interest, a car was transport and nothing more which resulted in a selection of poor cheap cars being the cars of my youth.
Fast forward many years (just over 9 years ago) and I have a wonderful* Vauxhall Vectra estate to carry us about. Unfortunately it is crap and throws fault codes at us with nothing being there when it is checked (even at Vauxhall)
As Mrs T is the main pilot of this chariot with the two little miss T's on board, it has to go.
The hunt is on for the new steed to safely and comfortably carry the family around. I have a company car at the time so big journeys are not an issue.
ebay is my weapon of choice to find the new family car. It has to be good value cheap for no other reason than I am tight.
Weeks of research with lots of cars that are too expensive and too far away for easy collection end up in my watch list.
Finally a possible is spotted in Fife. I go and have a look and find a poor looking but solid car. One previous owner and lots of history.
The auction was to end on the Saturday at midday, we were going to be out! I decided on how much I was willing to gamble on it and on the Saturday morning I put in my max bid but straight away it went to my max bid, I was winning but it had three hours to go with no room for me to go up! We went out anyway.
I spent the next three hours kicking myself for not bidding more while we were out as it was the first car I had seen that fitted my criteria. Fate was in charge.
On returning home I go straight on ebay to find 'Congratulations.............'
For the grand total of £500 I had just won this fine vehicle!
It has 5 months MOT and after fitting seat belts in the rear for the girls car seats it is pushed into daily service.
My gamble and subsequent use results in a perfectly reliable car that actually does what it is supposed to do.
Even more importantly Mrs T loves it so a win all round.
All my cars have names (most are earned over a bit of time) and this one is called 'Gwendolen' ( G reg car and from Wales originally. I hate the name but I am not going to argue)
That sums up part one, more will be along later (probably much later)