King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Wednesday, April 5

Car Crime

Scaryduck has been talking recently about his car crimes, so I thought I'd do the same, by highlighting my entire car history which isn't as bad as it sounds.

Passing my car driving test in 1998, some 10 years after first getting my licence but getting banned for failing a medical, I took a trip to an area renowned for being the place to go to buy a cheap reliable car. At the time I was working in Bristol, and I was looking to buy something reliable enough to make the commute from home to Bristol everyday. I plumped for a Rover 820si 2 litre

The car was great, for all of 10 weeks. Resigning from my job in Bristol 8 weeks into it's life, I was returning home on my last day when the automatic gearbox decided to throw me into 3rd gear (it had 4) and at 4,500 revs I drove home. I drove the car for another 2 weeks before it gave up the ghost. The finance acquired on it was abandoned when the financiers realised the lovely £2,000 they'd paid for was now worth £80. The list of malfunctions were really quite extensive: Broken gearbox, blown head gasket, damaged ECU, bent drivers door, and a fire damaged exhaust (where the ecu timing was pumping neat fuel into the exhaust system). It was scrapped.

I spent a little while without a car (can you blame me???) before getting another Rover.

I know now!!!

The rover 827 Sterling was the Rover that had a decent engine. A whopping 2.7 litre V6, it would wheel spin changing gear from second to third. In fact the engine's power was it's downfall. I was returning from London after getting stuck in Wembley traffic for 2 hours. I had 90 minutes to get to a gig near Swansea, and I'd just got to Hammersmith Broadway, so I opened her up.

An hour later I was by Cardiff West services when I noticed the temperature gauge climbing.
Closer examination revealed the car had got an aversion to water, blowing most out into the engine bay through a newly created port in the main radiator hose. The head gasket had blown, taking the radiator, water pump and every hose it could. You can't blame it. It had been at 150 mph for an hour!

At the time I didn't have much more need for a car, and it was only when a friend needed some money did I buy his car from him. He sold me a 1986 VW Passat for an extortionate £75 (!). It had a minor leak coming from one of the oil seals at the bottom of the engine. But what I paid for it meant I knew it wouldn't last. It didn't. Some 3 months later (and never had an MOT) the oil seal gave way on the Neath bypass. I drove for another mile before a loud drrrrr drrrr drrr noise signified the engine was going to cease. I rolled the car to the side of the road, then got a friend to tow me to the nearest scrappy who was rubbing his hands with glee at the sight of a free car.

More to come...