It’s been a while since I had an update on here about my cars. There’s been a bit of a change-around, with the main change in circumstance being moving on my old MINI First, and replacing it with a surprisingly good front-wheel drive Land Rover Freelander.
In other news, my Citroen C6, which I bought in May to replace a lovely Renault Avantime, has been fault free – and, although it’s not technically a Bangernomicsmobile, given it cost me a touch more than £4000, it is 10 years old, which I guess will put it in that category for most ‘normal’ drivers in the UK.
Before I get onto my actual Bangernomicsmobile, it’s worth noting that the Citroen C6 really is a wonderful thing, and I adore it a little more with each passing mile. It’s not perfect – the cruise control doesn’t work, the tyres need changing and the active rear aerodynamic spoiler has a mind of its own – but it manages to make me feel special no matter what journey I’ve been on in it. It’s also loaded with kit, much of which is pretty cutting edge even for a new car, looks like nothing else and has loads of road presence. I’ll be sad when it finally expires.
My Audi 90 (sorry it’s not a BMC>MGRmobile) is really fulfilling the role of Bangernomicsmobile for me at the moment. It was bought from eBay on a whim back in October, and went for a mere £381 – I think on account on the light description and lack of an MoT. Actually, the description was pretty vague about that and, had I bothered to ask about the MoT status, I might well have not bought it at all.
Anyway, buy it I did, and after collecting it from Stoke-on-Trent the next day along with Richard Kilpatrick, pronounced it reasonably fit. Yes, there was but a day of MoT left on it, the tyres were rubbish, the coolant warning was bleating at me and, for the first 15 miles thanks to a sticking hydraulic lifter or two, it sounded like a dirty diesel.
However, by the time, I’d got it home, the engine was purring smoothly, the coolant warning decided to shut up and all was good with the world. I loved its quiet motorway cruising, tuneful five-cylinder warble on full throttle, solid build quality, lovely door shuts, excellent seats and visibility and the sheer petiteness of it – park this Audi 90 alongside a modern car, it looks tiny, and you’ll know what I mean.
The next day, it passed its MoT, and all was even better with the world. The day after that, though, the exhaust system fell off through terminal rot, and I needed to have a new one fitted – as this happened on a Saturday, and Audi 90 exhaust systems aren’t exactly easy to find, it was the following Wednesday before I could use it again.
Since then, I’ve been playing catch-up with the old Audi. Given it’s 25-years old, with not exactly the fullest of service histories, I should have made servicing it a priority- except that work’s been a bit on the hectic side, meaning time’s been at a premium. So, instead, I’ve just been driving it, week after week, without getting near to servicing it.
And, of course, that meant it started playing up. It became almost impossible to start (a new battery alleviated that), and felt like it’d lost power. So, a new distributor cap, leads, plugs and filters have helped – but I won’t be happy until the incredibly rusty fuel filter is ditched at the earliest possible moment. The poor starting, I’m putting down to a dirty cold start valve, or possibly a dodgy engine sensor – but I’ll deal with it from the cheapest end first (by cleaning the CSV).
So, at the moment, it’s a little bit niggling, my return to Bangernomics motoring, but I think it should be fine – and I really do like the thing. The Audi is incredibly anonymous for a 25-year old car, with most people failing to think of it as a classic, but more of a reasonably presentable old smoker. I’m not unhappy with that, because it fulfils my ambition to run a ‘classic’ through the winter – and I suspect I’d feel a whole lot more guilty if it were something genuinely old and noteworthy. I’ll keep you posted – but it would be good to hear your own ‘winter hack’ tales.
Easy to work on, but access to some items is surprisingly convoluted
The miles keep rolling, and it’s slowly getting better. Slowly…
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.