Tag Archives: cars

Vans

I was considering some new wheels recently and started to look at the space requirements. For example I need to carry quite a bulky mobility scooter occasionally along with some other stuff such as overnight bags or supplies. I also prefer 4 wheel drive cars. I view 4wd as a safety feature.

I looked at a few cars and got quite concerned about boot space even with vehicles such as the Peugeot Rifter and Ford Tourneo Connect. The Rifter is my favourite choice here and I do like the look of the GT premium model. Peugeot don’t do a 4wd but they do have grip control, which is close and has some rave reviews.

I decided to start looking at vans. Now I don’t need a full size Transit, Transporter or Vivaro. A much smaller van will do. This where I started tearing my hair out. Big thing I want the cab or cabin to be as comfortable as a good car. You know, heated seats, a must for my medical conditions and a few other treats.

This where it started to unravel. You see with all the options I needed the van started to turn out as very expensive and in some cases very difficult to configure using the manufacturer’s configuration tool on their website. Peugeot are a good example. I still cannot work out how to configure a normal length Peugeot Partner with the 130 bhp engine and grip control.

The next thing is that I cannot get close to getting all the treats I would either expect or want to add as options in the van.

Maybe I am in a limited market in wanting a small luxury van and I would not be at all surprised if this is the case. But, there must an easier way to specify vans as I found some configuration tools for vans more confusing than configuring a car!

The other thing I find strange is not being able to specify 4wd with these smaller vans. I cannot really go up to price levels of a Land Rover Defender or Discovery Van (Basic Β£36,000 ex VAT – which I will have to pay) and I think I would hit the same issue of not being able to specify some of the nicer Land Rover treats to enhance my driving experience. The only thing that would not be in Doubt with the Discovery or Defender are its 4wd credentials.

Then we get to the next option. Customisation. There are so many after market customisation options available that it seems that a whole industry has grown up around van customisation.

Again, very confusing.

So its back to the drawing board.

With best regards

Confused of Warwickshire.

The Modern Classics Debate

I am of course talking about my love affair with modern 1980’s, 1990’s cars and Jaguar motor cars of any age.

Catawiki’s modern classics auctions have regularly been a case of lose the credit card before visiting. They mainly have left hand drive stuff but there is some really great stuff in their auctions.

A quick look at eBay reveals from very nice cars that I could quite happily purchase. A beautiful Daimler is here. A Ford Sierra Cosworth is here. These are fanstastic cars. Definitely one that got away!

The things that these cars have in common is that these cars are rising in value so fast. Yes very good examples are so hard to find and this is reflected in pricing and values which is related to supply and demand.

My fear here is that these cars will end up being mothballed a bit too much. You see this is not just about the car being in mint condition and winning rosettes at a car show but about the occasion of the drive. You see with modern tastes and safety regulations. Cars that are as special as these will never be manufactured again with the same magic. This is what makes the drive such an occasion, not only is it an occasion but its fun too, as these cars drive differently and on a challenging road can also cause the driver some excitement.

This is the key point to me. Β cars like these should be fun and exciting and these days should be not only an occasion but an event. They should be driven and enjoyed!

I still hanker after a Jaguar XJS convertible, in mint condition, preferably painted in British Racing Green, however prices are slipping that too far away from the grasp of my wallet! I do make one promise though. If I do manage to get my paws and accelerator foot on a Jaguar XJS not only will it be meticulously well maintained but it will be enjoyed and well driven!

I

More bottle than United Dairies!

As a self confessed petrol head I do like hear of quality drives and missions involving cars, especially when they seem like doomed ideas and they come good. Those of my generation can certainly consider “The Liver Run” as a shining example (Google it if you haven’t heard about it. Its an amazing feat of driving. Another amazing feat of driving was passed to me this morning by the Aronline website. My thanks to Keith Adams as always for writing these excellent nuggets of content that I enjoy reading and sometime blogging about.
Anyway over 20 years ago, a journalist buys a Morris Marina for Β£190 in Loot (anyone remember Loot?)Β  and drives to Bosnia. What he did in Bosnia and how get got out of it is one amazing story against all the odds. I won’t spoil the story so please click on the link below to read it all.
LINK
I think you will agree once you have read the article that both man and machine had “more bottle than United Dairies”!

The ones that got away

Following a blog the other day on which I blogged about a dutch classic car auction site and some of the interesting metal they had. I received a number of messages and had a number of chats with friends and colleagues about classic cars. Unfortunately the DVLA have removed my licence for a while on medical grounds and these would be the vehicles that are top of my wish list to drive or to own. In no particular order.

  1. Jaguar XJS 6.0 Convertible. There is something about these cars. I absolutely love them. Classic values for good ones are going through the roof. S-Jaguar-XJS-Convertible
  2. Toyota MR-2 Mk1. Always had a soft spot for these. I remember being picked up at Manchester Airport by a colleague who drove one and was amazed at how quickly we made it across northern country roads to a very important meeting. My flight was delayed and we were up against the wall on time. The MR2 definitely saved the day!mr2
  3. Ford Sierra Sapphire Cossworth. I remember these machines very well. Sharp handling and if you were too quick with a 2WD version this car could easily end up in the ditch πŸ™ Find one that has been stolen is nearly impossible and finding a really nice one is very difficult. ford-sapphire-rs
  4. Mini Cooper. One of the last ones please πŸ™‚ I did actually manage a drive in one of these. At the time I could not remember having so much fun sriving. It was the biggest hoot and left such a smile on my faceI really wish I could have bought one.minicooper
  5. Lotus Carlton. I can only dream about driving one of these especially in RHD form. What I wouldn’t want to dream about is how long it would take me to get done for speeding. One friend reckons I would lose my licence within one hour. If they give me licence back that is! Great car fantastic bit of kit. Rated better than a BMW M5 by some πŸ™‚lotuscarlton
  6. Audi Quattro. What an icon after 30 years. I have heard so many special stories about these from people whi have been fortunate enough to own or drive one. A good drive across country in one of these would be a great few hours spent out of the house or office.

There are scores of other real world cars I could suggest such as the Nissan 200 sx, toyota celica BMW M3 E30, Mercedes 190E 2.3-16 but the ones above are my favourites of the era. I definitely missed the boat with these.  

So much classic metal in one place

Some readers of this blog will be only too well aware of my enduring love affair with classic 80’s and 90’s motor cars. I have been a member of some classic websites for some time, notably Pistonheads.On this site I am a massive fan of the Shed Of The Week feature, in which something off beam is found in the claasified for less than Β£1,000.
However I recently came across this auction site. Do have a look if you like this generation of motor car. Now I am not a great fan of auction sites, indeed I only use Ebay if I am desperate, however its been a while since I have seen so much classic metal in one place. Granted many of the vehicles are left hnd drive and there is a little dross and a few very over priced items as well. The only other downside is the trip to the mainland to pick the vehicle up and then having to drive it home.
My top picks from this particular page are the Jaguar XJS convertible, The Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth and the Lotus Elam M100. Proper 1980’s and early 1990’s classics πŸ™‚
There are some clangers in there. Read the american stuff (I have never been a fan of american cars)Β  and 2 surprises from France. A Peugeot 505 V6 and a Renault 4 GTL.