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Mystery Machine

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About Mystery Machine

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  • Name
    Bruce
  • Car
    1978 Elite & 1979 Elite Turbo
  • Location
    Bristol (UK)

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  1. After removing one the other day I have decided to replace it with one that's slightly narrower. I haven't had chance to offer it up yet, but I have a new rad from an MX5 which I am going to try out to see if it fits better. I don't think it's the radiator width that's the real issue but the upper brackets which can't be removed yet are so wide there is only one way to lift the rad out which involves removing the pipes to the oil cooler and various other bits first. Good luck getting it back in - I'll be posting back once I've found an easier to fit solution for mine (although that may be some time!)
  2. Thanks for the comments guys and Alan, many thanks for the offer of your Excel. It would seem I've gone and bought myself an Excel now - I went to view it on Sunday and after pulling a few bits off to see how different it is to the Elite, and having a good nosey around it, the seller and I agreed the price, shook hands and I look forward to getting it sometime in the next month or so. I need to strip the turbo Elite first and dispose of the shell & chassis (what's left of it) before I'll have the space to take on the Excel. The main reason for initially considering buying it was it had the Toyota 5 speed which I reckon will handle the turbo engine a lot better than the current Maxi derived 'box that's in the car at the moment. The basic plan has always been to put the engine from the turbo car into my black Elite which has a good chassis and when I realised the Toyota gearbox was a sturdier proposition than the Maxi one it seemed logical to look for one of those. The more I thought about it, the more the merits of the Excel chassis itself seemed to make sense....it's galvanised for a start. I also get the benefit of the Excel brake set-up (vented discs all round compared to solid discs and drums on the Elite). On top of that is the more conventional wishbone arrangement on the rear suspension with CV based driveshafts rather than the load bearing UJ driveshafts and radius arms of the Elite. The Excel chassis also has ball joints rather than the trunion set-up on the Elite. All this starts adding up to be a no-brainer really. Buying a complete car means I have the whole conversion package for the gearbox (pedal box, servo and hydraulic system) rather than sourcing a Toyota gearbox then having to cobble together all the parts to make it work on the Elite's cable operated set-up. I can also cut out the associated floorpan area around the diff and graft it into my car so that the chassis should fit. Other benefits - robbing the electric headlight system so I don't have the hassle of the vac system and the unavoidable frog-eyed greeting every time I open the garage door. It was actually refreshing to see one of these cars in the flesh where the lights weren't up! As well as the lights I also get to utilise some of the parts that are well beyond their sell-by date on both of my Elites....namely, but not exclusive to the bonnet hinge and door beams. Basically I'll have the bodyshell of my black Elite with a turbo engine (if all goes to plan), Toyota 5 speed box and the more modern underpinnings of the Excel. Happy days! Between the three cars I'll have quite a lot of stuff to sell on once I've got all the bits I need, so expect to see some for sale posts appearing although this probably won't be for a while yet. I am aware that the gearbox an diff in the Excel are Toyota Celica Supra derived, does anyone know if the rear hubs/brakes are from the MA61 Celica's too? That would really make my day if they are....I have a cunning plan! Thanks again for your input guys....
  3. Hey guys, As some of you may know I have an Elite with a rather terminally rotten chassis (not just your usual bit of rot along the rear crossmember) I have the chance to buy an Excel which should have the galvanised chassis (bonus) but wondered if any of you knowledgable guys know if there were any differences between the Elite and the Excel chassis'? Mainly, without major surgery, can it be made to fit the Elite? I'm not afraid of doing a bit of GRP work, in fact I'm pretty game for anything as long as it's not going to be a world of pain. Also, am I correct in thinking the Excel has different brakes and suspension to the Elite? Many thanks for your time, pending your answers, I may well find myself the owner of another Lotus sometime tomorrow! In the meantime, enjoy your weekend. I know I am!
  4. Thanks for all the input guys. One thing I want to stress is that I will absolutely NOT be going the supercharger route. I am pretty sure this is a far more viable route to creating an effective power hike, but I have my reasons for wanting to stick with a turbo. Firstly is the 'period correctness' of it all. Turbos in production cars were in their infancy when the Elite was around, only a few production vehicles around this time ran with turbos. Superchargers were more commonplace later on. I am aware that superchargers have been around a LONG time, but in car production terms, their use has generally followed later than the method of turbocharging. Fitting a supercharger to an Elite, although a much simpler excercise, is not 'right' to me. It's also because I want to keep some of the 'legacy' of the car where someone in the past has gone to a hell of a lot of time, trouble and expense to turbocharge the car. I almost feel a personal responsibility to continue this for him and finish the car with a turbo fitted. The biggest downside to that is the existing location of the turbo. Granted it's right on the end of the manifold and is in an optimum position in that respect, but it's also located in a way that the oil feed needs a seperate scavenge pump to get the oil back into the sump. The turbo is sat so low that a conventional gravity return for the oil is not possible. The other downside of having the turbo in that existing location is how much lower is sits than the rest of the underside of the car. Maybe 20 years ago this wasn't too much of an issue, but nowadays with speedbumps and every worsening road conditions in this country I really don't want the turbo to be the first thing to get smashed if I hit something while driving the car. Plus I'll be lowering the car from its standard height so this will only become an even bigger issue regarding the turbo hanging so low out of the bottom of the car. I have worked out a way to locate the turbo in the engine bay in front of the engine whilst still keeping the pipe run from the exhaust ports to a minimal lenght. I am well aware of the intricacies of moving the turbo further away from the engine but have plan that should mean keeping the engine turbocharged, having the turbo in a far more suitable location, keeping the pipe run only marginally longer than it currently is (negligable extra distance) and also gaining a number of other benefits along the way too (details of which will come as I get things moving) Suffice to say I am confident the ideas I have will work and also work well. Anyone who knows me well enough will know that I thrive on a challenge and will do anything to make one of my ideas come to light. This is no exception and I will work long and hard to make this conversion as good as it can be. I am not looking for crazy power, big boost, big lag etc....I am simply looking to make the car as the previous owner intended, but with some improvements to make it more practical and, dare I say is, useable. Waiting for a turbo to spool up before being hit with a big wall of boost is not my idea of usable. Having a properly designed turbo set-up that gives a nice smooth power delivery and and flexible power range is what I am hoping to achieve. I will more than likely not be using the IHI turbo that came with the car but instead will be getting a turbo made to my own exact specification using the basic housing from something like a Garrett GT28 or Mitsubishi TD-04 (or something else along those lines). Luckily I have a friend who does this for a living and knows more than he has any right to about turbo set-ups. Another friend who works for a Formula 1 team and cut his teeth on turbo systems....and quite a few other friends in the motor industry. I don't profess, myself, to know an awful lot beyond the basic principles and practices, but I certainly have some good friends who are dying to get stuck into helping with this project. I hope not to rely on them too much but equally will listen to eveything they have to say along the way. Thanks again for your input guys, it's much appreciated.
  5. They are certainly a contender for being fitted, but I also have other plans for wheels which, somehow, seem to change on a regular basis depending on what mood I am in, what wheels I have kicking around at the unit, what tempting circular alloy wonders crop up on eBay and even what direction the wind is heading....nothing it set in stone and even last night I stumbled across some amazing wheels which have really got me wondering about trying to find some cash I haven't got and getting something stupidly rare, stupidly unusal and, no doubt, something that will involve a LOT of work to make them fit. I do like a challenge! Many thanks for the comments. I do like the look of the ratty bodyshell and it was certainly a consideration to keep it looking like that, but as said above, I want to build this as a car I can be really proud of as I get older. Having a ratty car might be cool now, but it'd be a shortlived affair. I think I'll be best to press ahead with plans to make it nice from the outset. I'm not at all bothered by originality (there are plenty out there like that), I want to build it for me and how I picture the ultimate Elite. It's going to take time, but it'll happen eventually. I have to keep reminding myself that Rome wasn't built in a day!
  6. Tempting, very tempting. The idea of a mechanically mint car, fully refurbished/restored underneat but rocking the tatty body over a set of stunning wheels has quite an appeal.... I had thought of doing this, but I really want a nice tidy 'finished' car for the future. With that in mind, the body will also receive some major TLC before it sees the road again. I forgot/neglected to mention earlier that while the car was still outside and the wheel was off to reconnect the driveshafts I had to do the staple Area 52 method of sticking another wheel on there for shits&giggles. Well, it just happened to be quite near the car anyway...and in the right PCD pattern. Tyre fitment is WAY too small (the tyres were fitted based on these wheels going onto my Bedford Rascal) and the camber is still ridiculous, but ignoring those two points, how cool do these look on the car??? They aren't the actual wheel I have in mind for the car but would certainly work as a 'back-up' option (with the right tyres) if my plan fails. It's not like they are going anywhere in a hurry, I don't think I could bring myself to sell them so they may well end up on the car at some point. After all, you can never have too many sets of wheels. The wheels I am planning on fitting (they are already bought and hidden away) are going to be a bit of a gamble. In my head, they should look beyond stunning fitted to the car, but when I'm stood next to the car I am not 100% convinced. Only time will tell - only when I dig them out and try them on. That won't be for quite a while though, but at least I know my Turbovecs have a good home if 'plan A' doesn't work.
  7. After finally getting the car into the unit, we took a tea break to regain some energy. Here is Sam finishing his well earned cuppa and looking over the car: Some serious pushing & shoving and we manage to get it to this position but despite being on the smooth, flat workshop floor, the car is sapping every ounce of our remaining energy just to move it a bit. We've only pushed it back & forth to turn it into the unit more..and we're worn out again. Someome mentioned dollys and suddenly I found myself crawling around under the Fairlane to pull a pair out. An excellent idea....sticking them under the back wheels will enable us to move it SO much more easily! You can just make out one of the dollys behind the back wheel in this pic It's a steep learning curve when you get your first plastic car with a backbone chassis. Not having any outriggers, finding anywhere to jack it up is a challenge. I now have one very (VERY) bent suspension support beam! (the crossbar that links across behind the diff) It survived being used to drag the car into the unit, but it was all too much for it when I tried to lift the car on it using the trolly jack. Not at all worried though, I am sure there are going to be far greater things to deal with on this build. Many, many of them too... The bent piece is actually a pretty easy thing to remake and it did get me wondering how many other parts of the car I am going to get to make from scratch? Note the subtle use of wording there; "going to get to make" not "going to have to make". Yep, I am really excited about getting my teeth into this car. Anyway, enough of the waffle, have a couple more shots I took before we wheeled the car into its temporary place. You just couldn't make it up! Not that I ever could/would, but if I ever did get bored of looking at that body shape, opening the bonnet gives a whole new level of boost. No explanation needed here: It's dark, Gaz, Sam, Mark and Jim have headed off (guys, once again I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am!) and I think this is a nice time to grab a shot before I depart myself. I will certainly make an effort to revisit and improve on this shot in future but it was VERY cold and I was worn out...so home beckoned. Despite feeling ready to collapse, I still contained large amounts of excitement within. Like vast quantities....along with the requisite grin.
  8. After very, very little sleep, lots of excitement and chewed fingers I get up really early and head to the unit. I know the car won't be arriving for a good few hours, but I might as well get down there in readiness for its arrival. After I clear up the unit, sweep the floor, chew my fingers some more, endless pacing about, sweeping the floor for the third time...I finally get a call from Pete (the delivery driver) to say he's just around the corner. I run out to greet him and show him where the unit is. A minute later, this is in the yard: I literally explode with excitement - seeing the car on the back of the trailer and realising it was mine...I cannot ever remember feeling this excited about getting a car. Maybe nearly with the BMW Z1 and maybe with my first Delica, but this Lotus is certainly up there as the biggest grin inducing moment of car ownership. Even though nothing on it works and it's going to be a massive amount of work! Do I care? Hell no. Pete informs me that when he collected it, the owner had disconnected the driveshafts to try and get it rolling better. He obviously didn't realise that the driveshafts held the hub/wheel in place (as you will all know). Spectacular camber has since occured along with a difficulty in getting the thing to roll. Car wheeled off the trailer, Pete has to head off on another job. Unfortunately I am left with a rather difficult to push Lotus which is now blocking the main doors! Oh well, I'll take a few shots while I think what to do: Time to make some calls. Within an hour my mates Sam, Mark and Gaz have arrived to lend a hand getting the car inside with Jim arriving an hour later to lend some more muscle to the job. I must at this point say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to these guys for turning up at the drop of a hat on a Sunday afternoon to help me out and get me out of a bit of a hole. Above & beyond guys...many thanks again. Now the fun begins....getting the car moved. Seems a simple enough idea except that EVERYTHING is siezed on. The delivery trailer tipped right up so gravity was lending a hand there, but when it came to pushing the car around the yard to get it indoors....that was a mission and a half. We ended up jacking the car up, popping the rear wheels off, reconnecting the driveshafts, wheel back on (stupido camber now massively improved) then burning out all our energy just moving the car ready to push it into the unit. Lots & lots of pushing, cursing, shoving, swearing and energy later we realise we simply won't be able to push this thing up the slope into the unit. It would seem the rear brakes are completely siezed on....and possibly a fair bit of friction from the front too! Time to take some drastic action. A ratchet strap is tied under the Lotus then to the front of my 205 CTi. This is used to tow the Lotus up the slope and into the unit. It works, but my God, we'd never have got it in just by pushing, even if we'd have gained some more hands!! Time for a break. A well deserved break! More to come....
  9. Haha...Hi Rich. Yeah, I'm just pulling up a chair and getting myself aquainted with the place. I figured you'd be over here but haven't really ventured much outside the Elite/Eclat/Excel side of the forum yet (and I wouldn't have recognised you anyway without the RR username) You aready know how this thread will pan out, I'm just gradually transposing it across from RR but changing bits so that it makes more sense to those over here who don't know me. I never thought copy & paste could be so time consuming! Hopefully I'll be caught up with where the car is currently up to before too long? Once I get back in this afternoon I'm going to have a better explore of the site....hopefully find your build thread too (although I've read most of it over on RR) Cheers for now, Bruce.
  10. The Land Rover is bonkers! No other way to describe it really. Here is a little video of it at the beach. No matter how loud your speakers are, you really can't get any idea of how loud this thing actually is (within 24hrs of getting it I chopped out all the silencers and replaced them with straight through pipes!) - turn those speakers up: Some interior shots from when I went to view the car: Light cream leather tombstone seats. Get in! Shame about the split in the passenger seat....other than that, a good clean and feed would have the interior looking spanking! I'd happily amputate my legs if it meant I could sit back there and be driven around. My fave bit....the dashboard And the steering wheel straight from the mind of Syd Mead Back to the dash....brown elephant skin stitched vinyl, classic white on black dials...and then.... ....the best centre console on the planet. Pure 70's porn! Even if I have to sit at the side of the road with a broken car making broombroom noises, you couldn't kill my enthusiasm for this car! I mean, c'mon, why would some owners want to bin the engine just because a lot of rumours that they are unreliable? Just look at those cam covers And twin Dellortos with velocity stacks (covered in plastic for protection which can only be a good thing) - I can't believe some people rip these engines out for the sake of another, heavier engine? It was due to be delivered on the Sunday before Christmas. Sunday just couldn't come soon enough!!!!1!!!!1!!
  11. 200 miles of motorway, A roads and country lanes later I finally arrived at the sellers house. I'd had snow, hail, torrential rain and awesome side winds to deal with...but luckily none of the above when I got to the owners house. It was pretty muddy and flippin cold though! Exterior shots...just 'snapshots' on the point & shoot. Bodywork wasn't too bad. It'll deffo need a major dose of DA'ing and a respray along with some TLC in a few areas, but overall it's looked pretty good for a 70's wedge of British plastic. Chassis looked very saveable (minimal rust) and the body/chassis will be split for a proper refurb of all mechanical parts. It was a shame the original wheels were gone (I love the look of them on the car...as intended) but I do have a serious set of awesome awaiting fitment at some point. Plus I'll probably pick up a set of originals along the way just for nostalgia and 'original win' if I fancy a change from time to time. I'm pretty sure the car was gold at some point...and also maybe red too. This leaves me 100% happy with maybe choosing something non-original colour wise and very, very 70's (I've got the exact colour in my mind) Maybe even pearl white with a gold pinstripe and polished ally trim? I want it to look 100% 70's, I love the 'future disco' styling of the car so the black bumpers will stay along with any trim and detailing. I have the image in my mind....and you'll all find out that when I get an idea in my mind, I'll bust everything to make it happen. Advertised for £650, I got it for £450. It's probably an uneconimcal resto compared to buying a running, MOT'd one -but where is the fun in that? This is not how I do things....I want a project and the end result will be MY car. Something I'll have built pretty much from scratch by the time I'm finished and I'll know every nut & bolt, every imperfection and every quirk. This was going to be my project, my future car and my source of so much joy....and I havdn't even got the car yet. 400 miles to view it and agree a deal...and all I came home with was this as a little reminder until the car arrived. Christmas and Birthday had come early for MM. Santa (a flatbed driver called Andy) was due to deliver my new toy a few days before Christmas. I. Could. Not. Wait.
  12. Thanks for the comments guys, I really appreciate it. After missing out on the Volvo, I kept scanning all the usual places to see if I could find another one that fitted my citeria, and more importantly, my budget. I spotted this on eBay: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Volvo-P1800ES-1972-/130610594637?pt=Automobiles_UK&hash=item1e68ff834d OOOOHHHH (very quickly followed by OOOFF!) An ES - so stylish. Yes, I could just see myself wafting around in that year on year. In touch with the seller, we have a chat and I decide it's a car certainly worth considering but it's in Leeds which is a fair old trek from Bristol (which I don't mind doing). However, to save me a day on the road and a tank of fuel I get some contact details from the seller and my good friend Matt (who lives in Leeds) very kindly agrees to pop around and view it for me. THANKS DUDE The verdict from Matt, "Rot, rot, rot, rot and more rot, but 'doable' and would be epic once finished". I agreed a price with the seller pending the viewing someone else had already arranged for Saturday morning. He wanted me to have it but felt he should honour the viewing already arranged. I knew exactly how this would end! It was a busy weekend at the unit that weekend with friends coming from far and wide to play with cars, drink beers, sleep rough at the unit and generally have a jolly good time as we always tend to do on these monthly 'weekenders'. I must have bored EVERYONE with tales of my possible purchase idea. All Friday night, whenever someone arrived I would tell them about my plans. Saturday morning I get a text from the seller to say the guy viewing the car paid nearly double what we had agreed on. Understandably he accepted it (cash in hand there & then) and I fully understood where he was coming from. I was upset, but I guess I knew this would be the outcome anyway. It then dawned on me that one of my fave 'want' cars from the list would actually fit the bill very well. Everyones fave donor car on Retro Rides, but I suddenly had the desire to buy one and make it perfect. Awesome and perfect. Yep...I suddenly figured a Scimitar would perfectly fill the Volvo P1800 shaped hole in my head. Much easier to buy, much cheaper to buy, lots of info, spares, options. Spot on! A Scimitar it is! The hunt was on.... No sooner was the 'weekender' over and my poor friends Kev and Mark got inundated with questions about Scimitars due to their in depth knowledge of all things Reliant shaped with a V6 up front. Many, many thanks for all your time guys, I really do appreciate your efforts in helping me with info and advice. I signed up to the Scimitar forum and got on the hunt for a suitable car. Many, many hours looking at all the possible places (Scimweb, eBay, Pistonheads, Autotrader, Car&Classic, ClassicCars, local free ads etc...) then lots of phonecalls to various sellers (most cars sold ) While browsing Car&Classic I stumbled across this car for sale: http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C268081 Suddenly the penny dropped. This was it, this was the car I always wanted but never knew it. I've always loved the Eclat, and even more so, the Elite with its awesome spaceage lines and styling but they somehow kept their heads completely below my radar despite me having 12 Eclat/Elite series 1 wheels at the unit at one point! All my friends who knows me well enough will know 100% that this is very much a 'Bruce car'. 100%...and then some. A PM to my friend Ben and Matt (who looked at the Volvo for me) to get some 2nd opinions (like that would affect my decisions HAHA) and then I was immediately on the phone to the seller. Guess what? Yep...someone was literally on their way to view it and was due to arrive any minute. An hour later the seller called me with news that the car (and the 'other Elite' he had advertised to go with it) were sold immediately and being collected the next day. DAMN!! That led me to this car..... http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C264669 (as spotted & linked by my friend Richard) ...which led to a few lengthy phonecalls with the seller and I immediately arranged to go on a little roadtrip to Cornwall the following day with some cash in my pocket. Having missed out on so many cars, it seemed it best to strike while the iron was somewhere at a greater temperature than warm. The next day arrived and I was up early and on the road with Jed (my dog), pointing the car towards Cornwall and high hopes. Next installment....the viewing!
  13. Now that you've had a bit of my background and a crash-course into my taste in cars, here is the story that led me to purchasing an Elite. The story starts a good few months ago (August 2011) when I began thinking of, and looking to buy something from my massive want list. Everyone has a list of 'want' cars and luckily mine tend to be more acheivable than most peoples. Ferraris and Lamborghinis don't do anything for me. My list is dangerous because it means I tend to buy cars from it due to their relative affordability. Some of the cars on my want list (that I haven't yet owned) to give you an idea what I mean: Series 1 Honda Accord Aerodeck, Toyota Celica RA65 Notchback (inverted hedlight model), Mk3 Escort 2dr estate, Mk2 Cavalier CDi, Volvo 480ES, Peugeot 505 GTi estate etc....etc.... I started by looking at this - a 2hr drive, a test drive, high levels of want, a stunning car....but I (for once!) put my sensible head on and didn't part with any cash. I'd LOVE one, I've always wanted one because they are so much more brutish but at the same time understated compared to their modern counterparts. But something just didn't click. I can't put my finger on it....the car was near perfect in every respect but I guess my planets weren't in alignment that day (first time ever!) This got me thinking of what am I really after? Lots of soul searching and viewing other cars and nothing really struck me. Lots of want for various cars.....but I suddenly realised they were all 'itch I need to scratch' cars. Something I've kinda really wanted, something to buy just to have 'done it' and got it out of my system. I've done this a lot in the past, bought cars on my want list and then moved them on after 6 months to a year because I've had them. "Been there, done that" and ticked it off my list. Quite a few cars stay a lot longer (My BMW Z1 stayed with me for 10 years, so did my first Delica and most of the cars I've shown above I've had for four or more years!) It suddenly dawned on me that I'm about to hit middle age and can't keep buying cars because I fancy them. I need to get sensible! At that moment I texted my friend Chris and asked if he wanted to buy my Fugitive. An immediate, but very shocked, text back and the deal was done. He collected it the day before I picked up the Elite. A number of my other cars followed suit; my very, VERY rare Hustler Sport (one of only four made and the only one left in existence), my Peugeot 205 CTi etc..... Yep - I was really serious about this hitting middle age thing. It was time for something new. Something that I really, REALLY wanted and something I can grow old with. A long term car....a big project and a car for life all in one. Decision made, I cleared my eBay watchlist of all the random cars on my 'itch to scratch' list and started to think long & hard about what car I can really see myself in for more than a fun year or so which seems to have been the case with a lot of the cars I've had of late. A couple of weeks later I spotted this in the for sale section of Retro Rides: http://retrorides.pr...y&thread=117921 Massive levels of boat floating, I get in touch with the seller knowing that this is exactly the sort of car I could love, nurture and enjoy for a good number of years. Very 'me'. Unfortunately, someone had already arranged to view it, but I had second dibs. I knew what the outcome would be, but it got me dead set on trying to find one of these. Suffice to say I got the message from the seller to say the car was sold immediately to the guy who contacted him first. Gutted, but I decided to look further into these Volvos. More to come...
  14. I guess I'd better give a bit of an intro about me and cars in general before I fire into the Lotus itself. I live in Bristol and have a passion for cars, mainly retro cars and sometimes slightly obscure cars too. I currently have somewhere around 13 cars but it's hard to keep track because some come, some go and some appear without even trying! None of my cars are valuable other than sentimental (of which I have a LOT for most of them). I can't afford anything posh and I'd rather have an eclectic & varied mix of different cars than one more expensive car. Anything too posh and valuable and I would be afraid to do anything with it, but give me something unloved, cheap and a bit beaten up and I can't wait to get the tools out and get stuck in. Having a project (or three, or more) on the go is what makes me tick. I also rent a small unit in Bristol where I have the space to tinker with my cars away from the GF. It's like a modern day automotive potting shed where I can retreat and get elbow deep in oil, spanners and welders. My GF, as a byproduct, gets some peace and quiet and no longer has to come home to find a car in pieces on axle stands on the drive only then to be greeted by a disassembled engine all over the living room with cam covers soaking in hot soapy water in the kitchen sink. It's a win win situation. Some of my current cars, just to give you an idea of my diverse tastes: My little Bedford Rascal that I paid £50 for and have gradually restored as well as designing all new suspension for it so that it sits a lot better (lower), actually handles and can still carry a reasonable load. Still a work in progress: ^Not my photo^ My Eunos/MX5 which I turned from a £400 car into a magazine feature & show winning car for £977 (including the purchase price). Brand new coilovers, hard top, full respray in satin NATO green, two tone tan & black leather interior, Schmidt alloys and LOTS more on a very strict budget. I still kept to my sub-£1,000 spend though and had a LOT of fun along the way. My Commer Autosleeper campervan which is mid-build at the moment. This will probably end up my most extreme build by quite a way. LOTS of unique stuff going on under the surface yet the external appearance will be that of a standard Commer. The interior the same. Authentic looks but utterly modern underpinnings hidden within Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon. A beast of a motor with a lot (and I do mean a LOT) of rust! It's going to be a long term project this one....probably a good few years. Not a full concours resto but make it solid, useable and dependable. A beach cruiser and a bit of a beater...saved from the banger racers I hope to give it a life beyond its fate of being smashed to bits on the oval. One of my daily rides, my Mitsubishi Delica L300. Bought for £300 and built for around £400 more - probably the most famous of these vehicles outside of Japan. It's had numerous magazine features (in the UK and in Europe) and has also been used in a film. All work done by myself including all the riot shields for the film company. I still drive it like that now! Probably the most versatile, rugged, reliable, practical and enjoyable daily I've ever had. Currently painted NATO green to match the MX5 but I might change the colour again sometime this year....I like to keep evolving it although everyone seems to love its current guise. My 1948 Series 1 Land Rover 'HotRod'. Genuinely one of the most bonkers motors I've ever had! Being only the 4th Land Rover off the production line it's pretty historic and the pursists/concours clipboard nazis weep into their owners club monthly whenever they see it. It's upset a lot of hot rodders too who brought in the pre-1949 ruling to prevent anything but classic hotrods being eligible for entry into their official events. Just the existence of this car has turned the whole meaning of hot-rod on its head. I didn't build it, a friend of a very good friend did and he achieved his goal (the car was about to be scrapped anyway until he saved it). It never gets sold, only handed on between friends when the previous 'custodian' decides it's time for a new home. Currently in my unit undergoing a lot of work, it's going to be even more special pretty soon. It runs a 3.9 Rover V8 running solely on 100% LPG, an LDV V8 ambulance gearbox drives a heavily narrowed Discovery axle via a shortend propshaft. The most fun I've ever had behind the wheel of a car and the smiles it gets on the road is like nothing else I've ever onwed! That's a handful of my current line-up which hopefully gives a bit of a taster as to my choice of automobiles. Lastly, a couple of cars I have recently sold. My UVA Fugitive. I had some mad plans for this but alas I moved it on to make room for the Land Rover. The Fugitive is such a fantastic car and completely mental to use regularly on the road (which I did most of the time I owned it) but something needed to go to give the Land Rover some space and this seemed like the logical choice seeing as it would only compete for use with the new arrival and I don't like having to leave something like this in the corner on a hot sunny day, but hand on heart I'd probably always choose the LR over it. Sad but true.... Another one of my memorable motors is my 'other' Delica. Again, known worldwide like my other one, this was built on my drive (before I got the unit) from a totally standard vehicle. Probably the most work I've ever put into any vehicle by a long way, it was utterly huge! Photos genuinely will never do justice to how tall this thing is! It's also very luxurious inside and had so many modifications that when I came to sell it the advert became more like a build thread extending to four pages of details about the build of the car. The most expensive Delica ever sold in the UK by quite a long way, I guess it reflects the totally mint condition it was in as well as the amount of work put into it. I still used it looking like that as a daily for three years, a work van for one year and a rescue vehicle in the meantime whilst all the time being a luxury 'getaway' vehicle for the camping trips my GF & I often go on. A truly unique vehicle that I do miss. Sorry for the very long intro, but hopefully it'll make sense when I get started on the next bit of this story - the path that led me to buying my first Lotus Elite. (As you will tell, nothing is straightforward in my world!)
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