You gotta start somewhere...

This was the first car I drove after pasing my test - it lasted about 3 months. It flew, swam and span. Like many 17 year olds - I had a lot of anger and much to prove!
It came to an end shortly after my first river incident. There were a couple of cars I had before it, but they both exploded before they made it to the road.

The first to see the road was a black Maxi 1500 (yuck!) bought for £150. No pic of that (shame)! There was a blue 1750 before it - just like this one below - I blew it up while thrashing it down alleyways before it made the road - grim.

Then there was the gold 2.0 GT MKII Capri below... This started something as several Capris followed over the next few years.

R TR1M (the gold one) was torched at a bodyshop before new paint got to be done. A mechanic was repairing a faulty petrol pump with a lit fag his mouth?! Shortly after that the red 3.0 manual MKI was bought for £300.
If you want maximum fun for your £, this was the best value imagineable - awesome car - held together by rot and filler and the door clasps (when closed).

More Capris followed not necessarily in order...

"The Bogey" - Green 2.0S MKIII. Never did get to like that colour. Extremely abused!
Driven like it was hated and it was really!

A very smart and rare 3.0 Ghia manual.
New engine fitted - blew the original up while trying to stay with an early RS500 (Cosworths are much better at sustained 130mph+ travel than Capris)

Another 2.0S MKIII. Very tidy one this!


Then A MKIII 2.8iS (5spd) That moved well and
dropped off the end of the speedo a few times in this.

Yeh - the Cavalier Commader hiding behind the 2.8 was ours too. I must have done something really bad in a previous life.
An SRi 130 Cavalier follwed later on that was drowned in my second river incident. I siezed the engine while it was submerged then took it home, freed it upby reversing the crank and whisked it swiftly off to the Auction house - it was bought outside before I got it into the sale.

Also a brief experience owning a 1410cc Mini with no brakes. Face it - ALL Minis are rubbish. Always have been - always will be. If you don't believe me - drive one for a few miles in the rain. I'm no fan of old Austin Minis whatever capacity or state of tune. And the BMW minis ain't all that either - see below.


More fords... and the odd Rover

In between Capris - a nice 2.8iS '77 Granada in mint condition.
This car was polished so often I practically went through the paint!

An Orion 1.6i Ghia was bought and abused briefly. Rotten as a pear and very dissapointing. One of Fords 'build it to last 5yrs and no longer' models - very crap car!

Then a very brief but notably horrible experience with a 2.8i EX Granada - thirsty beast full of electrics that all failed!
Swapped for a cheque and a Nissan Stanza - "Taxi moiyate!"

A Sierra 2.8i 4x4 on the E. Was eventually nicked and the dumb twats broke the lock rather than just trying the door which was always unlocked first! How stupid do you need to be to bust a lock to get into an unlocked car?
Another set of thieves left after nicking two of the wheels once too - why nick two wheels? They look really shit on a bike!


Well here's a new experience -
I actually made money on this car. Bought for £800 to tide me over while I replaced the engine in the Gold 3.0 Ghia Capri above.

A '73 P6 Rover 3500S - very nice. Full of character and moved pretty well for a tank.

The wife's Mini Mayfair from 1989 when we first got together.



Some Toyotas

Supra - 3.0 non-turbo '86 model in mint cond with just 26k on the clock. Great fun and ridiculously reliable. Lacked the punch of the Turbo, but your wallet stays intact with this one. Very reasonable to service and run. A joy to own but no soul.


A UK Officially Imported 4Runner 93L. The Supra was part ex'd against it - bad idea that - should have waited, saved up and tried to keep both. I took a big hit on the Supra to own this. It was again full of Toyota reliability though.



Went to buy a Type R Imprezza but came away with this monster. 3.0 twin turbo (auto) with 340 bhp. Very fast, fragile and not the fun to own that it's looks promise. It went on to become 1,000 bhp chipped death trap - totally undriveable on our roads - pointless.


Some Volkswagens...

V5 2.3 VW Bora.

V5 2.3 Beetle - the smallest luggage capacity of any car on the planet?


A few BMs

535i Manual - nice - big fun, expensive to repair though! First service cost £720 in the mid 90s - ouch!

325i Cabriolet manual - ditto 535i comment.
First service cost over £800.

325iSE manual - a half share in this to go to Nürbugring August '05 - it RAINED - the most dangerous car on the planet. I lost 2 stone a lap - great fun - the windscreen should be moved to a side of the car to give clearer visibility of where you're going!


Another BM

1994 E36 M3 - In superb condition. Hard to own if you want to keep a clean licence.



182 Renault Clio Sport - Someone turned up to see me once in one of these and it's the first time I've looked at someone else's car with real envy and thought - I want one of those. It was £4k off the dealer cost from an internet dealer with full warranty and packed with goodies like air, suede seats, tweakable cruise.....
I have to say I was wrong about French cars - always thought they were all cack built and never wanted to own one until this. It was like a little GoKart though - brilliant fun. Took it for a weekend to the Nurburgring too - in the pouring rain and it stuck to wet tarmac?! I owned it at the same time I owned the Mini Cooper S and it was head and shoulders a better car.

BMW Mini Cooper S. This was supposed to be the great German answer to all little hot hatches etc.
The build was rubbish - acres of squeaking, brittle plastics and the windows rattled when the doors shut!? A bit dissapointing this car to say the least. Went OK and the supercharger sounds good until the novelty quickly wears off. The big shock though - it's a 1.6 litre Mini right, so its frugal right - wrong. I got better mileage out of my 302 Auto Mustang - seriously! This S version drinks fuel like no other car I ever owned. And the run flat tyres must have an iron liner in them - they're solid and smash the road through your spine - the ride is horrible. Dentists must love them. I drove the Renault (left) withough stopping for anything other than fuel for 8hrs in one hit and walked tall from the car. This Mini would have put me in traction after 2 hrs driving it.


Some Subarus...

Glorious Prodrive packed RB5 - the quickest, noisiest old Scooby you could imagine! Stiff shell version. Quite mental - I often raced bikes because no-one in a car would take me on. Clutch melted after 8k miles - expensive!

Huge smiles though!

2.5 Lux Pack Legacy
Vehicle dynamics and all the toys. The first car I ever crashed - took me 17 years to bend one and SVDC (which I never had in a car before) is supposed to stop you bending them?!

A PPP WRX. Nice but never quite matched the RB5 for all out brutality. All bit girly soft this one, but still went like a scolded cat - as they do.

Now we're talking Scoobies - PPP Sti.
Many happy faces in this. Noise similar to the RB5 too. This one used to go off the end of the speedo!

2.0 XT Forester. While I played with my first few Yanks I needed something for the family and wet weather. This is a funny car - it shouldn't do what it does - no really it shouldn't do that. Must get a faster one...

So I did - 2.5 XT Forester PPP. 5spd Manual Old Geezer, farm utility mobile. This suprised a few people and made me laugh out loud sometimes as I drove it.
I found myself with an uncontrolable urge to go after the fastest thing I couldn find and torment it with my big van with windows. Surprisingly entertaining car to have.


From a land where they know how to make an automobile ...boy!

Big Block '70 Mustang. 460ci 550bhp.
Now that's a mad one! Manual steering. It was fragile with its stack of power mods - bit of a let down sadly. Oh and 5mpg max on a steady run (if that matters).


'73 Model 302ci with a wonderful history file. A very well looked after unrestored, close to original car. Gets right under the skin and sounds like an angry Doberman with its Cherry Bombs. This one takes the record for the longest I ever owned a car to date!
Just a superb motor car to own - much more to it than it says on paper or meets the eye. Not the most popular shape though.


1977 model Pontiac FIrebird, Trans Am.
Proper 6.6 litre, 400ci Pontiac lump on a 4spd manual box.
Bought off Ebay in June 06. BY the time I'd finished spending it was pretty much as good as you'll ever see one here in the UK.



Now what?

His 'n' hers! First edition of the Smart - left hand drive - one Passion and one Pulse. MIne was Pulse.
The second car I crashed. Head on into an Astra and off into a tree during the slide! We both lived on... If you're in a smash this is suprisingly good to be in - though I'd occassionaly wear a seat belt now with the glass roof and all.

900SE High pressure Turbo. Bit of hairdresser-mobile but you can't see its outside when you're in it. Pretty and quick enough to trouble some much bigger cars too. The Low Pressure Turbos aren't a patch on this.

L200 Warrior. Slow, cumbersome, awkward to use - loved it!


Déjà vu!

Hang on a minute - we've been here before haven't we?
Another pair of Smarts. 06 models this time with the paddle gear change - much better. When they make these with a 2.0 Turbo I'll be first on the order list! Think they need to work on stability some more then though. Mine was re-mapped to 100bhp



Bought for £2.5k to clear an overgrown garden with the intent to sell it straight afterwards. 255km on the clock and still going like new then. Just a fantastic vehicle to own and enjoy. Went to a different person's rescue every week! In the snow it's just unstoppable - that crap they make in Solihull was always getting in the way of it!



2 Wheels too...

Mid life crisis brought a CBR 600 for 2 months after passing a Direct Access bike test!

One of the first R1s to hit our shores. Very fast bike in its day. Got me my only driving ban - 130 in a 70 (shock!). Took it to the I.O.M. in TT fortnight twice and fell in love with it.

Oops - Honda 750 VTC Shadow - nicer than a Harley coz you know you'll get there without having to fix anything on the way. Painfully slow for a bike though - not much entertainment here - still if you like eating flies then this is the bike for you. They're still alive when they go through your teeth though - it's so slow - youck!

Another R1! The first update - quite an improvement on the first one. This one was stolen.

And finally...

GSXR600 coz I couldn't afford to insure a bigger one after a bastard stole my R1. Small but very fruity.