Well, as you can see, I’ve already broken my New Year’s resolutions by adding new R8 shaped metal to my fleet. Having said that, there’s method in my madness – the Rover 827 Sterling and my old Saab 9000 Aero have made way and, as soon as we get into February (when people – well, those that aren’t among the 1.92 million unemployed – have money in their pockets), my freshly MoT’d Vauxhall Cavalier Sportshatch will, hopefully, be following them out of the door.
So, it would seem that I have placed all my eggs into the Tomcat basket, then? Well, yes. You’ll have to forgive my madness in doing so, but I have always liked these cars – this one has an impeccable ownership history and there’s the small matter of the 2-litre turbocharged 200bhp engine nestling quietly under the bonnet. As Q-cars go, there are few better.
Collecting it was fun – an early start, by my mucker Andrew Elphick and I, saw us head to Erskine, north of Glasgow, in my Subaru/Brian James trailer combo to do the collection. The 700-mile day was long but I like to think that the effort was worth it – even if it was just to catch up with old friends once there.
The car in question has 120,000 miles on the clock, has been owned by the same enthusiast for the past 12 years, and has been garaged all it’s life. There’s a reassuringly fat history folder (with £9000 worth of invoices in it) and, most encouragingly, apart from the Kenwood stereo and Thatcham approved immobiliser, it’s completely standard. I’m not actually sure how many unmolested 220 Turbo coupes are left but I’ll hazard a guess that it’s not many. And adding to that, it’s an early one, lacking the chrome grille, which somehow just doesn’t look right on the stubby coupe…
Another interesting facet to this car is that it’s white – and I can’t actually recall ever seeing a white coupe before. I am sure they’re out there and would love to hear from anyone who has one but, for now, I’ll enjoy the rarity of this car.
There are a few bits and bobs to sort – and I’ll be putting this up as an AROnline project car after I’ve taken some proper photos – not least the random blots of corrosion (from personal experience, it’s always a factor on cars that live near the coast), but it’s all easily sorted.
My other Tomcat is still around, though, and this new reinforces the point that my P-reg 216 is absolutely mint, doesn’t leak and has an air-con system. What’s needed for that one is a good 1.6-litre K-Series engine and someone to help with a transplant. Maybe that one’ll be done in time for 2010’s New Year celebrations. Life’s so simple sometimes…