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It's all a load of bollocks, quite frankly

Austin Metro 1.0 City x 5 Door 1985 B reg | eBay

Now, I like a bit of Italian exotica, as you know. What I’d do for a 246 Dino or a Delta Integrale is anybody’s business. However, I’m more intrigued by and interested in boggo standard, basic shite cars from the 1970s and 1980s. Cars from the eighties moreso as that’s the decade of my childhood as I were born in 1982.

The Austin Metro was a reasonable car when launched and was the best British Leyland could do with their limited budget at the time. However it was quickly outclassed by newer rivals.

None of that really matters thirty years on. What does matter, despite the Metro’s propensity for rusting before your eyes, cars like the one in this this eBay listing survive. Much like my own 205 Junior, the Metro City X will never be regarded as a fully fledged classic and that’s a good thing. They’re pretty low down the pecking order compared with 205 GTis, even MG Metros and certainly anything with a VW logo on it. However, it means what you have is a useable and enjoyable car that if maintained well enough will provide fun motoring. The best thing about cars like this is you can pick them up for next to nothing, they’re easy to fix and still modern enough that if looked after could be used as a daily driver.

The Metro in this eBay listing is rather splendid. I love how BL or Austin Rover as they were called made everyone know you were driving the basic model. The recessed headlamps, the iron gurder bumpers and CITY X in great big letters down the side. Excellent stuff. You could probably get a Metro cheaper than the one in this eBay listing, but this one is a little beaut. I like it a lot.

Austin Metro 1.0 City x 5 Door 1985 B reg | eBay.

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January 30, 2013 Posted by | Motoring | Leave a comment

Six months on with Edgar

Six months. That’s how long I’ve owned the white Peugeot 205 with blue denim seats. A car that my wife has named Edgar. A car that was supposed to be a stop-gap until I found something better, but truth be told I don’t want to find something better. It’s like the family pet, now. It’s the first car my wife has given a name (as far as I can remember) and my 20 month old son is obsessed with the “Puurrrrrrrr-jooooooooooeeee!” Especially not now, anyway, as the car now has a new, crisp MOT certificate. Not without needing some remedial work, mind you.

I was expecting a fail. It’s a twenty-five year old car. More than that, it’s a twenty-five year old French car. A twenty-five year old French Peugeot made from steel so thin you could read through it. I was expecting it to need lots of work. Chiefly because up until MOT time, the bonnet has been open for nothing much more than checking levels and when it had a quick engine service. Only once has it needed to be opened because it wouldn’t start at all. One fouled spark plug cleaned up and a liberal spraying of WD40 on the leads ensured it started first time afterwards. The only other work I’ve done to it is reseal the boot lid because, typically Peugeot, it lets in water. That and I drove it through flood water. Seriously, since I bought the car other than fuel and insurance (which is on a classic car policy as, because I don’t think I ever mentioned it was twenty-five years old), I’ve spent the sum of £30 on service items and a pair of wiper blades.

So, expecting it to fail on lots it was with a heavy heart I handed over the keys to my “old banger”, returned to work and waited for the phone call. And waited. Did some more waiting. And waited a bit more. I kept thinking that yes, the car has been fantastically looked after by previous owners but I own it now, it’s cost me next to nothing over the last half a year so something’s got to give. And let’s not forget it’s quarter of a century old (did I mention that before? Don’t think I did.)
Then, the phone call. “Paul, hi. It’s Gary Baldy-Biscuit from the testing station. Bad news I’m afraid, your Peugeot has failed its MoT test.” My first thought was bollocks! I enquired as to what repairs were needed.
“It needs two brake pipes and both rear wheel bearings replacing.”
I responded with “…and what else?”
“That’s it, just an advisory on the windscreen and an offside CV boot perishing.”

So, not too bad. Yes, they were the front to rear brake pipes that go up over the fuel tank and two wheel bearings so there was a fair amount of labour. But as I had neither the time or the inclination to repair it myself, the garage continued with the repairs. Literally some time and a couple of hundred sovs later I was presented with a crisp MoT certificate, along with a few other minor niggles that were unrelated to the MOT but rectified free of charge all the same. An advisory of O/S/F CV boot perished and windscreen delaminating in places were the only advisories.

I knew it was a pretty sound car anyway, and I viewed it twice before buying. But to be told by the MOT tester that it’s the cleanest Peugeot he’s worked on in a long while and is solid as a rock is relieving and feels good to know. The fact that it’s the cleanest Peugeot he’s worked on in a while isn’t really a huge recommendation, but then think of it this way – the 205 for a flimsy French buzz box is a pretty tough old boot. They’re pretty resilient to the old tin worm, the engines are strong if maintained well and mine being a Junior means there’s nothing electrical to fail. Have you noticed just how many 205s there still are on the roads? The paintwork in places is showing its age (I never mentioned it before, but it’s twenty-five years old) from the first owner who liked to use the gate posts as parking sensors. The interior is in great condition, and will be better once I receive the rarer-than-rockinghorse-shit glovebox (currently missing from mine) I ordered off Fleabay t’other night. The engine, currently, runs sweet as and even in the coldest of weather we’ve had has taken a maximum of two attempts to start. Let’s hope the next six months have been like that last.

January 27, 2013 Posted by | Motoring | Leave a comment

   

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