Blog : Time to find a new AROnlinemobile…

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Keith Adams

Land Rover Discovery

For pretty much the entire time I’ve been away from AROnline I’ve been buying and selling (at a loss pretty much consistently) old cars, fuelling my ongoing CHPD (Compulsive Heap Purchasing Disorder). Interestingly, during that year or so, other than the ex-Jason Kennedy of this parish Land Rover Discovery (above), there have been no British cars passing through my hands.

As to that, I am not entirely sure why. Perhaps after a decade of overdosing on various British Racing Green Rovers, subconsciously I was taking a break from the coal face. It’s not as if my car purchasing have been drama-free, but life would be dull if there were none to write about.

Cars to pass through my hands have included a Renault Avantime that I fell in love with, and which I took to Paris on an emotional weekend after the Charlie Hebdo shootings in January. There have been three Citroen Xantias – two Activas and a V6 – all three of which are still in the family, and I even welcomed back my Saab 9000 Aero, which did star in these pages when I first owned it between 2006 and 2010.

Other vehicles included an Alfa Romeo GTV V6, a Vauxhall Cavalier 1.8i LS MkIII, Citroen XM, MG ZS180, and a BMW 528i Touring (that proved to me that infallible Bavarian quality is a myth). And amazingly, I even managed to sell my Alfa Romeo Alfasud, which had been on the road around 12 months of the decade that I owned it. Indeed…

That’s why, for me, my car fleet is currently looking a bit thin. My current car, a Citroen C6 Exclusive is proving magnificent at driving me to work in Peterborough and back every day. For me, it’s as new as they get, having just celebrated its 10th birthday. To buy it, I did have a bit of a cull, which means that the only vehicles with my name on their V5 are the C6, my Delta and the Saab 9000. A MkI Twingo should be heading my way soon – it has a blown headgasket, and needs bringing back from Henley-on-Thames. Yeah, nothing’s changed.

Why, then, am I looking for an AROnlinemobile, with such a fine roster of vehicles on the fleet? Well, I’m feeling pangs to have something British again and miss the ease of which you can get parts. Trust me, compared with French cars, getting bits for old Rovers is a complete doddle.

So – I’m looking. Not sure what I actually want at the moment. Part of me is thinking another Vauxhall Cavalier MkIII. But clearly Rovers and Jaguars are at the top of the list. The 75 is still a criminally cheap car, as is the 600, and both have a certain appeal for very different reasons. I’ve done R8s to death, and it’s the same with 800s so I am open to suggestions and looking forward to seeing links to old heaps posted by you – and, who knows, perhaps I will soon be taking the mileage strain off my lovely C6…

Lancia Integrale

Lancia Delta HF Integrale is lovely, but not used enough – so it’s for sale

Citroen Xantia

Citroen Xantia Activa is currently off the road with a leaking ram – it will return

Cav-600x4211

 Vauxhall Cavalier MkIII proved unfeasibly excellent. Could another be in order?

Citroen C6

Citroen C6 is Keith’s current smoker, and he loves it to bits…

 

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

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.
Keith Adams

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31 Comments

  1. No BLARG products (apart from the Disco) for a year – that does surprise me, Keith. I thought there would always be at least one, say a Rover 600.

    Most of me says keep my ZR (COTM, Feb 2015) but the thought of selling to only the safest of hands has crossed my mind. Would you like a ZR Keith? Even to sell back to me at a later date? I suspect you want something bigger.

    I’m still in two minds, but an interest from you would be something else to add to the decision making process.

  2. I need to get rid of my 75v6 Connie se to make way for something smaller to teach my son to drive in. Yours for nought if you want it.

      • As a Citroen fan I’d love to hear about the Xantiae and how you get on with the C6.

        I was a passenger in an Activa once, being driven enthusiastically to demonstrate the uncanny lack of body roll. All I got was travel sick (similar happened when I was a passenger in an A3 quattro, I need a bit of roll!)

  3. You need an excuse to dig out those old Duran Duran cassettes from the early 1980s, Keith, and sing along as you drive. How about a 1993 or 1994 Rover Metro Rio or Rio Grande special edition?

  4. X Types are starting to enter banger valley, the diesels are becoming minicabs, the petrols are unloved and starting to find their way into “modifications”.

    Yes they shared some parts with a Mondeo, it made sense to in the same way as VW seems to base everything on the Golf.

    And yes, it was retro styled, but at that point in history everything seemed to be.

    It’ll end up as a footnote in XE history, yet they really aren’t that bad a car. A few niggles, but they’re still comfortable and a bridge between the old mk2s and the new model in the compact exec segment.

    • A V6 X-type estate would be nice, but unless you really want AWD, I can’t help thinking a Rover 75 would do a similar job for less money. I guess it just comes down to what heaps are available out there in Keith’s area.

      Don’t get another Cavalier! I know the sales reps loved them back in the day, but I really can’t see the appeal. How about a Saab if you want to go down the GM route? I think the mid-90s NG900 (the Cavalier based one) looks good, particularly as a high spec 3 door hatch.

  5. Do you have any more info on the Delta for sale? So that I can work out the man maths that would convince the wife…..

  6. How about a Citroen XM, the predecessor to the C6, a really comfortable and individual mile eater from the nineties and with the old style diesel engine should be trouble free if serviced correctly and still return 50 mpg?

    • Nah, XM V6 on LPG – even better. Nearly 20k miles in the last 18 months, mostly trouble free…. Cheap fuel in Belgium helps, how about 500 miles for less than £25? But Keith needs some British Racing Beige beauty again after all those French cars. 🙂

  7. Have to say the MGF sounds like a good idea. Thye should be quite useable for everyday use and there are loads of loved and unloved examples kicking about.

    Harder to get but still available, a Tomcat? Or go the whole retro hog and get one of those nice mark 3 allegros that are kicking about.

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