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My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

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  • #16
    Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

    You have some nice cars, the condition too, thanks for sharing as I enjoyed the read-up

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    • #17
      Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

      F**K ME YES! You are now officially my hero. Well done, quite a find. If you bring it to Billing can I have a ride in it? Not really played with any 6 cyl Vaux stuff.
      Once again, a legend.

      Has/ is the Porka gone?

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      • #18
        Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

        Nice write up Paul, I love the car I thought that dash looked familiar. Its about time you and said Monza come and see me, I need to go cruising

        Chris
        1800 GTE turbo project
        http://www.astra-mk2.com/forum/showt...-time-for-cars!!

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        • #19
          Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

          Originally posted by Astra Dan View Post
          F**K ME YES! You are now officially my hero. Well done, quite a find. If you bring it to Billing can I have a ride in it? Not really played with any 6 cyl Vaux stuff.
          Once again, a legend.

          Has/ is the Porka gone?
          Nope, the Porsche is still here Dan, and will be staying for the forseeable future. As I say, 90% of the time it annoys, but for the 10% of the time when all is working well, it's great. It's the best-handling car I own (although on my limited experience thus far the Monza's not a million miles off) and although I had to learn its characteristics it's very good indeed. You really have to be a bit daft before you find the limits of it, certainly dafter than you should be on a public road. For that reason - and the pop-up headlights - it's staying! I AM quite glad I didn't buy the 928 S2 I was looking at last summer, I fear that would've ruined me...

          You're quite welcome to have a ride in it. My own 6cyl Vaux experience was limited to a few drives of an Omega MV6 and a motorway trip in a Calibra V6. A couple of mates have owned early 2000s BMW sixes...the turbine smooth ones which howl all the way through the rev range. The Monza's not like that. It sounds nice but is lazier...there's almost a muscle car sense to it, the engine's got quite a dirty growl to it and it pulls quite happily from idle. It's a very throaty engine even on light throttle. You do get more of a howl approaching 6000rpm in a "Perhaps Sir might like to select another gear if Sir so pleases" manner, but it's happy all the way to 6400.

          Tell you what does throw you...it's clearly a "GM product" from the styling and interior and driving position - and running costs, genuine oil filter just over 2 quid - but to drive, it's pure old-school Jag. And I like that a lot!

          Originally posted by BlackBox View Post
          You have some nice cars, the condition too, thanks for sharing as I enjoyed the read-up
          Thanks, I do like my 80s cars! As for condition, I've learnt the hard way that at this age they need garages and sod the expense. This is considerable in London but I've tried cutting back on garaging in the past and the condition deteriorates depressingly quickly. Pity...bloody garages are almost my single biggest expense

          Originally posted by 1800turbogte View Post
          Nice write up Paul, I love the car I thought that dash looked familiar. Its about time you and said Monza come and see me, I need to go cruising

          Chris
          Thought you'd like it Chris. Better than a UR Quattro? Probably not, but they're way out of reach these days sadly. Still on my list, as I said a few years back, along with an Alfetta GTV6.

          I might be doing the Harwich run late March/early April and this time it should be in the day, so I'll bring it by if so...

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          • #20
            Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

            Originally posted by Pigeonrat View Post
            Nope, the Porsche is still here Dan, and will be staying for the forseeable future. As I say, 90% of the time it annoys, but for the 10% of the time when all is working well, it's great.
            some definite parallels to astra ownership then

            genuinely love the monza! was driving round outskirts of tonbridge and saw a 12v carlton gsi for sale, real head turner

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            • #21
              Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

              Love the Monza Paul and looks very clean for the year. Will it be going to billing this year?

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              • #22
                Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

                Very nice

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                • #23
                  Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

                  Cheers for all the replies, partial to a Carlton GSi myself Darren. Remember reading the What Car where it got the nod over a Sapphire Cosworth

                  John - you know, I was almost expecting you to say "I recognise that!" Came from Morrison Street in Swindon, within walking distance of the station (or indeed running distance, as I found out when it started showering!)

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                  • #24
                    Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

                    also forgot to say, theres couple of vauxhall royale coupe on retrorides (and viceroy come to that) when you absolutely positively gotta have a monza, but cant face the opel badges

                    what you gonna do for billing? flip for it ?
                    Last edited by DarrenH; 24-02-2014, 04:00 PM.

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                    • #25
                      Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

                      Good question on Billing, what with three contenders now! Last time I took the SR and got a mate to drive the GTE (he "thoroughly enjoyed himself" apparently, wheelspin and all LOL), so I might have to find another to bring the Monza too.

                      Viceroys...now that was an odd one. For the gentleman that wanted a Vauxhall but didn't want a thirsty three litre Royale saloon, but didn't want a four pot Carlton either - so how about a Carlton with a Royale nose and almost-as-thirsty Commodore 2.5 six and call it a Viceroy? Or Sir could just have the 2.5 engine in a Senator, which is what Sir really wants, except for that pesky Opel badge! Why doesn't Sir just have a Royale with a 2.8 then? Well, Sir rather prefers the Carlton body...

                      The first time I saw a Viceroy I assumed it was a Carlton until I saw it from the front and realised it was a Royale, and then remembered the badge on the back was different. So it wasn't a Royale at all. I'm getting a headache thinking about it...

                      Weird parts-bin niche filling. As was the Signum, though at least that got a unique rear end.
                      Last edited by Pigeonrat; 24-02-2014, 06:43 PM.

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                      • #26
                        Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

                        Originally posted by Pigeonrat View Post
                        Cheers for all the replies, partial to a Carlton GSi myself Darren. Remember reading the What Car where it got the nod over a Sapphire Cosworth

                        John - you know, I was almost expecting you to say "I recognise that!" Came from Morrison Street in Swindon, within walking distance of the station (or indeed running distance, as I found out when it started showering!)
                        Looked familiar, but not seen it around to be honest

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                        • #27
                          Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

                          Love the Monza & also really like the Porsche interior

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                          • #28
                            Well, since this one hasn't been updated for five years (five years ago??! Really? Christ...), it's time for a good old What Car style Fleet Roundup Well, SR and GTE excepted, they have their own threads...


                            So, oldest first;

                            944

                            ...with the dreaded auto box - which may yet come good, as there seem to be a lot of people losing the habit of driving manuals these days! I can't recall mentioning it here but have elsewhere - I have long since managed to get on top of the various electrical gremlins. Hurrah. I stand by my assertion that the standard of wiring design and build is crap however, and it still likes to throw the occasional minor problem, generally just failing switchgear and ancient connectors however. No, the real issues lately have revolved around the transmission and cooling system. Pity - there is no doubt it is still a good-looking old beast in a power-suited 1980s way...



                            The transmission, which I initially feared was a failing diff, turned out to be a pair of completely shot gearbox mounts. These are on the list to do, along with the engine mounts, which despite having been replaced once in my ownership have failed once again. It seems only the genuine Porsche ones have any kind of lifespan. They will be done, but at over 700 quid just for the set of (genuine) mounts for both engine and box, they are on the back burner for now. Nope, the real headache has been the cooling system, with the car running far too hot and an apparent lack of flow. New radiator? Nope. New thermostat? Nope, hasn't helped either. New waterpump? Oh, OK then, a snip at 300 quid (!), plus this would entail upgrading the car to Turbo parts as the original lower-spec NA parts are now longer available. So that's a conversion kit needed for that. And the cambelts are due (there are two of them). And the tensioners. And the idlers. Total bill, 500 quid for parts. It was once a 50k car and sadly the running costs still reflect that. And being an alloy engine, it won't like running at this temperature for long.



                            Well, for that money, I'm doing it myself. Gulp...



                            The complication here is that, as said, there are two belts - a standard cambelt, and a double-sided belt which runs the balance shafts. Compounding the issue is the "rustic" design of the tensioners, which have no spring-loading, and simply use an eccentric hole with a bolt passing through. So you can move them up, down, left, right, or anywhere in between, no guidance whatsoever. And you'd best get it right - being a huge alloy engine, it expands so much as it warms up that the belts have to be virtually falling off on a cold engine to be guitar-string tight on a hot engine, with virtually no room for error. Hurrah! Did I mention that the balance shafts can run to 14,000RPM with corresponding belt speed? Imagine a failure...

                            So that was a nerve-wracking Saturday, but thank Christ it started and ran fine. I have done 3000 miles in it since and now the belts are due to be readjusted, a regular service item on these cars. One of the many frustrations of ownership, along with the lousy electrics, "just adequate" brakes, surprising amount of tyre/wind noise and that turd of a three-speed gearbox. But you have to weigh the pros with the cons, and it's a fine-handling machine with one of those engines that will just gather speed effortlessly from 10 to 100mph - and more, considerably more if you want (on a private road, naturally) - it's just not bothered. Plus, like I say, it still looks good - especially with a refurbished set of the correct cookie-cutter alloys it left the factory with. It's staying, though if a 928 happened to come my way again...well...






                            MONZA

                            I will hold my hands up and confess that the Monza has not been one of my better purchases. No wait, that's a bit unfair...it was an excellent price for a manual GSE in the launch colour, and i WILL make a good car out of it. But suffice it to say, the old adage of "filler and paint make a car what it ain't" certainly applies here. For those who have not really looked at them, Monzas rust every bit as badly as Mk2 Astras do in the usual areas, but they have a real extra sting - the front turrets. They have never had arch liners and rotten turrets are probably the biggest Monza (and Senator/Carlton A) killer. Mine had allegedly been done, but the more I looked at it, the less happy I was. The turrets were clean, painted and superficially in good condition, but just didn't look right. I never put it through an MOT for a second opinion as I found some floorpan rot to fix, so while it was off the road, I had a better look. Believe me, it took courage to take a grinder brush and chisels to some supposedly-repaired turrets, but I was very glad I did;



                            The passenger side was almost as bad. Repairs had indeed been affected, but had been done with very thin-gauge steel and behind the paint and underseal they were in a very bad way. I hope that the large quantities of filler had been added to smooth off the edges of the repair and not added at a later date in order to hide the state of them, but I will keep my thoughts to myself on that one! This is way beyond our welding capabilities, so was farmed out to a couple of guys I know who did good work on a pair of E-class front spring perches. It came back with a good amount of thick-gauge metal in place and all the rot cut out...





                            Whilst they were about it, they also turned their attention to the front headlight bowls, another notorious Monza trouble-spot;



                            Once back, we set about sorting the floorpans, turning them from this...



                            ...to this...



                            ...and ultimately this...



                            I also took the opportunity to replace the missing parts in the auxiliary fresh-air system, a ram-effect system completely independent from the rest of the heating and ventilation system. Why they were missing I do not know, but they have been reinstated. Apparently the concept is that you can rely on this to force cool air into the car at autobahn/motorway speeds without the noise of having the windows/roof open or the fan on. Clever...

                            The car is still not on the road as I want to do a proper cosmetic job under the bonnet and upgrade the cylinder head to one that can cope with unleaded fuel and not need an additive. It's also potentially in need of a new fuel tank, which I need to start hunting for. As said, I WILL make a nice car of it...patience


                            MR2

                            You what?

                            Yes! Another piece of Eighties tat has come to join my garage in September last year! And it's gold!

                            So why a Mk1 MR2? It's a fair question. I was in the mood to buy something extra this summer, and fancying something a little different, started looking at Lotus Elans (the Peter Stevens cars which ran from 1990 to '93-ish). I've always liked the Elan, but the more I thought about it, the more two things put me off. One, it's a convertible, and I'm more of a sunroof man - and two, they are all turbos, or at least the only ones worth having are. I will probably upset some people with this but I just don't like turbo engines as much as a good nat. asp one. I love throttle response and soaring revs, and turbos - although punchy - just don't do it for me. A drive in the lauded Sapphire Cosworth that a friend of mine owns convinced me that it just wasn't "me" somehow, so to those of you with turbos, I apologise and can only say that it would be a boring place if we all liked the same things

                            So, the MR2. I've always quite liked the early MR2s, and with the Elan struck off the list my thoughts turned to buying one. Guess what? They rust like a bastard, hurrah! I spent all summer searching for that holy grail, an MR2 that had never been welded and didn't need it, and in September I found one, all the way up in Snowdonia of all places.



                            So off I went with a friend in the faithful Shed (of which more later) and bought this fine machine!


                            This is one of the first-generation MR2s, not long before the 1987 facelift.That means the original "triangle" alloys, the early two-tone interior, and (it is rumoured) superior engine mapping which makes them more eager and responsive than the later cars, if not actually faster. This car is a 1986 model, resplendent in "Fine Beige Metallic", or gold to you and me. It had a genuine 74,000 miles and only two owners prior to myself, the guy I bought it from having owned it since 1994. It is completely original down to the radio, stickers, tool kit and book pack, and was presented as you see it - no fancy valeting, just a good honest car that had always been garaged. And rust-free? Almost, yes. It needs attention to one of the rear corners but that really is all. The sills, arches and floorpans are original, untouched, and need no work at all. Amazing for one of these.


















                            To drive, it is hilarious. I mean it, if you've never driven one, you've missed out - I was surprised. Having the engine in the middle means it can just launch itself with no wheelspin, yet it handles superbly as well. If you're an idiot with the throttle on a damp road I have no doubt it would bite you, but otherwise it is unstickable. The steering (unassisted, but high-geared thanks to the lack of nose weight) is superb, the gearchange excellent, the brakes more than up-to-the-job. As you would expect however, the engine is the highlight. It is merely a 1.6, but the car weighs just a tonne and the engine develops 122bhp thanks to twin cams, 16V and a clever variable-intake manifold called "T-VIS". It's surprisingly quick. The T-VIS consists of a set of electrically-operated butterfly valves in the intake manifold which the ECU opens at around 4500rpm under load, with the effect of more power and a much harder-edged exhaust note. If 4500rpm sounds high, bear in mind it can - and begs you to - rev all the way to 7600rpm. It has a real feel of "baby XE" to it, admittedly without the punch, but the huge rev range makes up for that. I would say 0-60mph is under eight seconds...

                            Plans? Well, that rear corner needs a tiny amount of welding, the front bumper needs painting along with the roof (and I may do the bonnet), and the wheels need a refurb and some decent tyres to replace the crappy Chinese ones and ancient Firestones mixed up across it. Oh, and I need to fix the cassette player. But that's it...

                            Sadly, after a couple of months thoroughly enjoying myself, winter came and it was time for all the cars to be put away. All bar one...




                            SHED


                            ...and here is the one that braves the cold. No roundup would be complete without the Shed, the car I do 90% of my driving in, and whose dependability and tiny running costs make all the other cars viable. It celebrated a magic moment at Easter;



                            Now with nearly 230k on the clock, it's still my daily driver, clocking up 10,000 miles a year, and just as likely to be found on the outside lane of the M25 or steaming down the A3 as it is in a suburban London traffic jam. This year I put some money round it, with a full suspension and steering refresh, new brakes and brake hoses all round (including drums), and a new battery. By Astra standards, it is a surprisingly nice drive now, given the mileage. I still cannot think of anything to match the mix of character, retro charm and (nowadays) comparative rarity with the 45mpg (non diesel, I can't stand the things), turn-key reliability and comical running costs (40 quid for a genuine GM cambelt kit which I can fit in 35 minutes!) to replace it with, so here it stays. And yes, I'm genuinely fond of it. Funny to look back 12 years and 100,000 miles to when I bought it for Home2Rome, rescuing it from a colleague's driveway with the scrapman's lorry only twenty minutes away!






                            That's all, and I hope you enjoy my continuing adventures through the realms of slightly crappy Eighties cars
                            Last edited by Pigeonrat; 06-01-2019, 01:21 AM.

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                            • #29
                              Blimey someone got up early to write all that. Fantastic detail as always. And that garage well just W O W
                              1800 GTE turbo project
                              http://www.astra-mk2.com/forum/showt...-time-for-cars!!

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Another great read

                                Nice

                                L.
                                My vehicles:
                                1985 Astra GTE 1.8 8v, 2002 Omega Est, 1978 MGB GT, 1973 Honda CB500 K2, 1993 Honda Sevenfifty, 2005 Suzuki Grand Vitata .......

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