My Top 10 Cars, Ish

Skoda Estelle

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My first car with four wheels…

Bought from a friend for next to nothing and the car I had to pass my test for. Cheap, fun and oddly endearing. Let down due to the odd design of the engine with an alloy block and steel cylinder head.

Great for off road driving.

 

Vauxhall Astra SXI Estate

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From the auction when we needed a cheap estate car. Being a Vauxhall it was simple but well thought out. The surprise with this car was the engine, it was like having an SRI engine in an estate. In the wet, the front wheels would spin in the first 3 gears, such fun.

 

Triumph Dolomite 1500

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I bought this car in 1999 from the local car auction for £60. It was 24 years old at the time and still in reasonable condition. At the auction, it was making a sharp whistling noise. It turned out that the brake servo was leaking and that was the cause of the noise. Great car and started my love affair with Triumphs.

 

Suzuki Vitara

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My most recent vehicle has made it onto the list which is a surprise.I do not need to go into details as that is covered in other blog posts.Needless to say that I really enjoy owning Tugg.

 

Peugeot 406 Estate 1.8

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This car proves that I do not hate all French cars. I took the 406 in exchange from a friend. It had no mot but looked fairly solid. It passed without too much trouble. The car had almost 200,000 miles but drove like it had half that. That summer my mother moved from Cornwall to the Northeast and the car did the journey several times. Often loaded to the max without complaint. On one return trip I even managed to drive 297 miles without changing gear.

A truly amazing car that strangely shares much with the Citroen Xantia.

 

BMW E28 5 Series Auto

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Another car from my local auction…

Having lusted after a ‘shark nose’ 5 series for a while this turned up, I had just sold the Rover 416 and needed something interesting to drive.  This is one the few cars I wish I still had. It was comfortable, well-made and fun to drive.  It also had real a presence on the road. I drove this car to Scotland  at 80 on the motorway,  it was an effortless journey.

The best part was the wonderful engine. Compared to my friends 4.2 Daimler Sovereign it was more spacious, faster and a lot more economical.

 

 

Ford Capri MK3 1.6/ 2.0

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This car was bought locally for £100 when my Citroen BX snapped the cambelt at Christmas. Both the then girlfriend and I were working away at the time and we needed transport quickly.  After packing my girlfriend off to her parents in a taxi I started to look for a cheap car, any car. The Auction was shut so I started to walk around Penryn. I found the Capri in a pub car park marked up for £130. I bought the car for £100. It was an MK 3 Capri in black and looked a little battered.  The engine burnt a valve out a few weeks later so with a friend we replaced it with a 2 liter Pinto lump out of a Ford Sierra. This transformed the car into something special. Friends said I needed windscreen wipers on the side windows as I spent so much time driving it sideways.

A truly great car and much more fun the 3 liter one I owned at the same time.

 

Yamaha Fz 600

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A motorcycle on my list of favourite cars… Well, it is my list and I can do what I want. I’ve had lots of motorcycles and this is my favourite.

The Fz600 is sublime. Not fast but such fun on tight twisting roads.

 

MK 3 VW Golf Convertible

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I bought this car when needing a replacement for the Picasso, having owned another MK3 Golf I knew how much fun they are to drive. Whilst it might not seem the most sensible car for a gardener. In an odd way, it was. It would tow my trailer with ease and always a joy to drive. Mostly roof down I might add. It was not the most reliable car during the 14 months I owned it. Every time I got behind the wheel I loved driving it. Once again other blog posts cover my experience in more detail.

A truly special car.

 

Triumph Spitfire 1500

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My favourite car…

After driving a friend’s MG MGB convertible I knew I wanted a British sports car.

I did look at a Jensen Healey. Look is all I did before common sense kicked in.

When picking a friend up from Newquay Airport I spotted the Spitfire parked at the side of the road. Right from the first moment, it was if they had designed a car around a 6ft scruffy yob. For almost 5 years I drove this car every day and loved it. There is something truly magical about small British sports cars and for me, my Spitfire 1500 was the most special. Over those years I took apart just about everything on the Spitfire. So many great drives with the roof down and her green dash lights glowing in the dark as we round our way through the tight Cornish lanes.

One day I will have another.

 

 

Honourable Mentions

 

Classic Mini

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Anyone who has ever driven Sir Alec’s masterpiece instantly fell in love with it. My partner then wife had a couple. I had the pleasure of driving them often.

Total joy and everything a small car should be. The best driver’s car on this list by far.

 

Austin Metro

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What a Metro gains a place the honourable mentions list?

Shock horror. Well, it does for several reasons and I have had 3, two MG’s and a left-hand drive 1 liter.

I passed my driving test in one. Had one when I moved house. For a small car, they have an amazing amount of space inside. The most surprising thing about Metros are is that they are 90% the fun of the original Mini.

 

VW T25

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Holly is covered in other blog posts.  Needless to say that I truly love looking after her.

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