Previous Cars

 

Here is a selection of photographs of my previous cars (Apart from the one I was too embarrassed to take a photo of!)

 

 

Ford Escort

My First car in 1986 was a Ford Escort Mk1 1100L (1968).  I loved this car, but rust kept eating it.  It had floors sponsored by Hotpoint and Zanussi (panels from old washing machine proved useful !!)  The strut tops rusted badly as did the chassis and the chap who always welded my car for me told me the best thing I could do with it is use it as a chicken shed and keep his chickens dry.  I did laugh at the word dry!!  The engine and rostyle wheels were sold and the body was given to the scrap man :o( 

EscortMk1.jpg (548102 bytes)  EscortMk1_a.jpg (515213 bytes)  EscortMk1_b.jpg (537004 bytes)

 

 

Ford Fiesta

Ok, I got a loan to go out and get a sensible car.  The problem was that I don't know what sensible is!  When I saw this car advertised I thought it looked like a lot of fun!  It started life as a bog standard Ford Fiesta Festival 1.1, but had been quite modified with a bigger tuned engine, a roll cage, RS Alloys, Spots lights and a bizarre paint job by its current owner.  In my eyes it was a sensible car..... for country lanes etc. 

Fiesta_a.jpg (559027 bytes)   Fiesta_b.jpg (586242 bytes)  Fiesta_c.jpg (459574 bytes)

 

 

Fiat Strada

I bought it for 50 with 3 months tax.  It was cheaper to buy a car than hire one at the time.  We were planning on going camping in Weston Supermare for a week and the Fiesta was in bits, so I needed a car quick.  My brother knew someone down the local pub who was selling a car for 50.  I didn't really look at the car, I just handed over the money.  The car had some unique features.  The interior had been redesigned...... by the previous owners dog.  The seats were slashed (designer style), most if the gear knob had been chewed, the carpet had more hair on it than the dog itself!  The car was air conditioned.... well lets just say it had a few holes where the tin worm had got hungry.  Saying that we drove the car to Weston Supermare without any problems and it drove quite well.  The performance on it was quite good, but I put that down to the fact that the car had been lighted (bits just dropped off)

Sadly there are no pictures of the Green Strada.  I sold the car on the a scrap dealer for 55!  Bonus!!

 

 

Vauxhall Chevette

The Vauxhall Chevette was my next great purchase.  I decided that I needed a good reliable car and was prepared to spend a little more money this time.  So a whopping 75 later I had a great little estate car.  The problem was that it had been involved in a rear end smash, so a friend of mine kindly bashed out the rear valance and we fitted a second hand tail gate.  The Chevette was a superb motor, I did many trouble free miles in it driving all around England.  

On the first day of camping in Cornwall, there were major floods and one of the rivers overflowed and block the entrance through to the camp site in Bude,  so I ignored everyone's warning and drove through the flooded road.   There was water entering the car and flapping over the top of the bonnet.  Remarkably we made it to the other side before the alternator and other electrics packed up and the car stalled.  After a week of jump starting/push starting the Chevette every morning, I finally drove home and replaced the alternator and the car lasted until I traded it in.

Chevette1.jpg (560745 bytes)   Chevette2.jpg (988876 bytes)   Chevette3.jpg (534920 bytes)

 

 

Ford Orion

Well, I traded in the Vauxhall Chevette for the Ford Orion 1.6.  I payed at total of 500 for the Orion.  It looked quite nice and I had never had a four door before.  The engine was good, but soon the wheel arches and front and rear valances and cross members started to rust along with the sills.  I think it was the first car that I could actually hear what the passengers were saying while I was driving.

 FordOrion.jpg (571560 bytes)   FordOrion2.jpg (563067 bytes)

 

 

Fiat X/19

I am a sucker for punishment, a friend told me about a new project car that was for sale locally.  I decided to go and have a look.  I really liked the 1979 Fiat X/19 when I first saw it and the owner only wanted 200.  My brain told me that the Fiat was totally impractical for me and it needed a lot of welding and I should walk away.... but what does my brain know anyway?  I bought the car there and then!  

A good friend of mine said welding wouldn't be a problem as he had a Mig welder.   We set about the body work, and realised that as we dug deeper, we would find lots more of the famous Fiat tin worm.  There was certainly more welding involved than either of us expected!  At the end of it we decided to repaint the car as it looked too much like a patch work quilt.  My friend Rich had got some paint left over, so he resprayed the car for me.  The engine was only a 1.3 litre but it motored very well and road holding was superb.  I recarpeted the floors and bought some cheap seat covers to hide the late seventies orange and brown stripy seats.  I was pleased with the overall effect.  

Within about six months of owning the car went pair shaped, I had intermittent wipers, the sort that worked when they felt like it, pop up head lights that didn't pop up, the engine started over heating and lots of other little gremlins crept in, so I decided it was time for the Fiat to go, which was a shame because I really did enjoy driving it.

FiatX19a.jpg (576203 bytes)   FiatX19c.jpg (482854 bytes)   FiatX19b.jpg (577381 bytes)

 

 

Ford Escort Van

With the Fiat on the blink, I was offered the ex-company van.  It was as basic as it comes, there were no plush carpets, just plastic matting, but it was reliable and I could just chuck all my camping gear in the back.  I can't really say anything bad about the Escort van other than it was totally boring to drive.  I needed a new challenge, something that would put a smile on my face while driving.  Before long a Scimitar GTE was on my "To Get" list.

FordEscortVan.jpg (505404 bytes)

 

 

Reliant Kitten

Well as you know, I did buy a 1969 Reliant Scimitar GTE and had been running it daily for a couple of years.  I thought that buying a smaller car to do the general running around in would be a great idea to save on petrol costs.  

While I was having some work done on my Scimitar there was a Reliant Kitten parked outside.  The owner said its for sale!  There was no way I could drive two cars home,  so the next day I hired a trailer and towed the Kitten back home.  

Although the Kitten was great fun to drive and being only 850cc it was much cheaper on fuel, it was actually dearer to keep as it wasn't tax exempt and insurance costs were much higher than my 3 litre Scimitar.  Certain spares were getting difficult to obtain too, so sadly it had to go.  If the 25 years rolling tax exemption rule comes back in then I would definitely be tempted to get another one just for fun!   

Kitten1.jpg (600330 bytes)  Kitten2.jpg (460628 bytes)

 

 

Fiat Seicento

Well I always said I would never buy a new car, but in August 2003 I bought the perfect little run around that money could buy.  I bought the Fiat Seicento 1.1 brand new from a local Fiat dealer and bought it on a 3 year plan, which worked out cheaper than what I was paying for fuel in the Scimitar on a monthly basis!

I  must say that its great getting into a car without having to demist all the inside windows, get fantastic heat from the heater, have headlights that let you see the road in the dark. 

Am I going to get rid of the Scimitar I here you ask?

No, the Scimitar still brings a bloody great smile to my face when I'm driving it, I can cope with clearing the mist off the screen, I wear a wooly jumper to keep warm in winter and I eat more carrots to see in the dark...  that's half the fun of classic cars!!! 

I still own the Fiat today and it's only covered 19,000 miles in just over 3 years as I much prefer to use the Scimitar for long journeys!

FiatSiecento.JPG (584423 bytes)