an automotive photographic archive

Citroën BX 17RD (1987- E reg)

The car came with the wife...! By the time we'd finished with this car it was totally knackered. The driver's door was hanging on only by the lower hinge, the diesel engine used 1 litre of oil each week and the brakes had partially seized up. A Toyota garage in Ferndown, Dorset offered a part exchange that was too good to refuse,800. The only part of this car that sticks in my mind is that it had a plastic bonnet/hood and it's 666 number plate.

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VW Beetle 1302S (1970 - J reg)

In a current state of restoration/modification, has been since 1996. Work done has included; new floors & heater channels, lower 'A' posts, rear lower quarters, accident repairs to spare wheel-well, off side strut mount and new a front valance. It was advertised as having good body work, and being none the wiser bought it! No work carried out on it since Nov 1998. - - Very minor work had resumed on this little car from April 2008. Pedals finally re-installed April 2009 and the engine was removed (single handedly) June 2009.

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Toyota Carina E (1995 - M reg)

The main commuter car for work it covered over 400 miles a week for the first six years of ownership. Only major problem was at 100K miles the power steering pump failed which led to the rack failure and a bill of £1,600. This model has a lean burn engine that needs to maintain its momemtum to get up hills without changing down a gear. Very economical on long runs and over a 6 year period the car averaged 48 miles to the gallon. The brake system needed an over haul as the discs had warped quite badly at 167K miles. - - By July 2008 the mileage had reached 189,000 miles and got it's first new exhaust system, but not including the 'Cat' which was done around 130,000 miles. Apart from a few minor knocks, dents and rust on the lower edges of the front doors and an air fresher spillage over the radio console the Carina was still going strong. The car was sold in the summer of 2008 with 190,000 miles on the clock for 400.

By the way, you could get four 7x13J with 205/60 tyres in the boot without folding down the rear seats or removing the parcel shelf.

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Suzuki SJ413 hardtop (1986 - E reg)

This was the sought after 'Hard Top' version. We looked everywhere where average prices started at £750 upwards and then came across this through the office Intranet. It was bought from a young soldier girl in the 'Little Chef' car park, Bicester. It popped out of third gear, stereo was knackered, front fogs didn't work (someone else's DIY job) and eventually went green from lack of cleaning. Sometimes power died off for no apparent reason. The front callipers tended to sieze after a year and needed stripping down for cleaning, otherwise the car had cost very little in running. Sold to a game keeper, 300.

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MG ZR 160 (2004 - 04 reg)

This car replaced the Toyota (summer 2008) and was an insurance write off (class D), 33K on the clock, rear axle bent (nearside), front nearside wing/bumper damaged and plenty of scratches on that side too. Once repaired and on the road it looked good, sounded sporty (noisey) and handled well when pushed. Acceleration was deceptive as it didn't feel quick but would keep up with most others of its kind. - - Disappointingly, it was a re-badged Rover 25 with half leather colour coded seats and steering wheel coupled with ill thought-out factory standard cheap plastic trim.

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Citroën Xsara Picasso Desire HDi (2004 - 04 reg)

With the MG becoming problematic and expensive to keep on the road, some more cost effective, economical and practical motoring was required. The Citroën fitted the bill perfectly. OK, it's a bit of an ugly duckling and comes in 'beige' but could have been worse, they come in electric blue and a bright metalic green too!