I didn’t even bother to make a New Year’s resolution to cut down on buying cars. What’s the point? After all, me saying I won’t be buying any more cars would be like saying, ‘just one more bet,’ or ‘just one more drink’. I’m beyond help, I really am. But the good news is that my last few purchases have been all about saving perfectly good cars from a crusher-shaped fate – and, besides, this Nissan Primera has years of service ahead of it…
More than that, though, I have a real soft spot for these cars. You might have read my recent ramblings on the Nissan Primera, where I celebrated this British-built saloon for being something of a gamechanger. Imagine a well-built Peugeot 405 with Cavalier user-friendliness and Honda build quality and you’re there. In short, it was a class-leading, mid-sized saloon that the Nissan production line workers in Washington could be bloody proud of.
If you read our recent piece on Octav Botnar, you might have seen that the Primera’s sheen was soon lost on the back of a battle between Nissan and its UK importer – and, as a consequence, early sales were lost, just when it needed them most. Never mind – it was still a brilliant car, and one that Ford thought good enough to benchmark its new Mondeo against during the development of this vitally-important car.
And I guess that backstory is why I have one now. My mate, and partner in crime on my epic trip to Chernobyl back in 2006, Mike Duff dropped me a line to say his uncle was selling his two-owner from new Nissan Primera, and would I be interested. I guess Mike knew I’d be buying it, and in that he was correct. I love the Primera, and this one – a saloon – is the optimum version, powered by a revvy 2.0-litre engine to allow me to easily keep up with today’s aggressive SUV drivers.
He sent me some pictures of his uncle’s black-bumpered beauty and, after a few more days, we were on our way to pick up the handsome beast. Needless to say, after the deal was done and I’d handed over he readies, I turned it around to head home – and it covered the 100-or so miles without missing a beat. Come on, what did you expect, from this 53,000 miler?
I’m glad we made the effort because it really is a nice example of a near-extinct family car that was built to the highest standards right here in Britain. I’m not yet sure what I am going to do with it, but I do know that it’s needing a deep-clean, a service and some brand-new tyres before I get it a fresh MoT and press it into service. The interior (below) might look mucky, but that’s just dust and it’s all in great shape – even the Fischer C-Box cassette holders work just like they did when they left the factory…
So, am I mad for caring? I hope not…
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