Birmingham to Bournemouth - johnnyrev
We are off to Bournemouth on Sunday, after I have performed all of my official duties in the morning! My wife is keen to take her car (Yaris Hybrid) and I am debating whether to take the Logan or the MX5. The Logan would be an easier trip, but less fun when we got there.

So the first question, is it a risk to take a 13 year old car on a long trip? Is it worth it for having a convertible to use on hols?

And secondly, which route do I take down to the south coast? The obvious route is M40, A34 and M3, but I don't fancy that! I could do some of the M5 then cut across country? Any suggestions?
Birmingham to Bournemouth - gordonbennet

Can't help you with which car.

You could get off at Gloucester onto the A417, that will take you down to Cirencester, from there either continue via Swindon Marlborough Salisbury, or take the A429 then A350 via Chippenham Warminster and Blandford Forum.

Enjoy your hols, never know if you see someone around Dorset who looks like he's got a few bob, it might be our favourite Mod Avant, i'd scrounge a G&T with ice and a slice off him if i were you :-)

Edited by gordonbennet on 11/04/2017 at 18:16

Birmingham to Bournemouth - FP

"...our favourite Mod Avant..."

While seconding your affection towards Avant, I have a feeling he's the only mod these days - I think he said as much a while back.

"...looks like he's got a few bob... i'd scrounge a G&T with ice and a slice off him if i were you :-)"

Go easy - he's a pensioner, I believe, and like most of us pensioners probably hasn't got tuppence to rub together. :-))

Edited by FP on 11/04/2017 at 18:25

Birmingham to Bournemouth - catsdad
You can make surprisingly quick progress through the Cotswolds on the A429 then pick up the A419 bypassing Swindon. Most locals find that nearly as quick as the A34 or M5, caravans permitting. From Swindon you could nip along the M4 to the A34 as you suggested. This joins to the M3 which is race track towards Southampton. Quick but not pleasurable.

However its a more picturesque journey to continue due south from Swindon on the A346 and A338. Marlborough is a good place for a lunch or coffee stop. Salisbury is another possibility. If you are in sightseeing mode you can even take in Stonehenge.

When are you coming back? If its at a peak time for returning weekenders then M3 northbound tends to be congested and the Salisbury/ Swindon route might be quicker.

Sorry hadnt seen earlier similar response when I was drafting this!

Edited by catsdad on 11/04/2017 at 18:26

Birmingham to Bournemouth - daveyjp
I was down that way the other week and agree M5 to Swindon via A429 is a quick route.

Brought back memories as I used to live in Gloucester and cycling up past the Air Balloon pub to Birdlip was always a challenge. Coming back down was the reward!
Birmingham to Bournemouth - RT
I was down that way the other week and agree M5 to Swindon via A429 is a quick route. Brought back memories as I used to live in Gloucester and cycling up past the Air Balloon pub to Birdlip was always a challenge. Coming back down was the reward!

The original 1:6 Birdlip Hill is more of a challenge - coming from Cirencester I used to go straight down the old hill rather than turn towards the Air Balloon..

Birmingham to Bournemouth - SLO76
I took our (then 15yr old) Mk II MX5 all over Scotland but sticking rear brake callippers did spoil the fun one weekend, otherwise it was never any bother and a heap of fun to drive. But for peace of mind and a little more room to breath I suppose the Dacia would be the happy meadium. I'm not a huge fan of the Yaris to drive especially the hybrid, it's a bit dull in my opinion. It'll certainly get you there but it would be last on the list.
Birmingham to Bournemouth - JEREMYH

I cant believe your asking this question about your 13 year old car ! I feel sorry for your car it is disrespectful towards the poor machine .

As I become more active on here I feel I maybe the King Of Obsolete among the forum members

I run a 22 year old Saab 900 at weekends and often drive from Exeter up to the Welsh mountains with the roof down Its not unsual to cover 350 miles in one trip .Last weekend we fancied a shopping trip so we took it to Cardiff a 240 mile roundtrip

BUT THATS NOTHING !

I run a courier company and I myself use a 53 plate (14 years old) Citroen C15 van doing 1500 miles a week Twice a week I take it from Exeter to central London a 400 mile round trip I will take it anywhere and it is not unusual to driver it to Scotland and back a 1000 mile round trip I have a Y toyota people carirer with 290 k on the clock I do mega miles in that .

So dont ever be worried about driving it a long way The only reason we are trained to think that way is because we are educated to scrap cars when they have nothing wrong with them but I dont buy into it and have proved my point over the years time and time again

Your lovely MX5 is a car to be enjoyed and you take that one

Edited by JEREMYH on 11/04/2017 at 21:21

Birmingham to Bournemouth - SLO76
Couldn't agree more JEREMYH.

Take out a decent breakdown policy and enjoy that roof off feeling. I doubt you'll have any bother.

I ran old cheap motors for years and have never been left stranded.. touch wood.
Birmingham to Bournemouth - Smileyman

Take the convertible but stock up on suntan lotion too!

Birmingham to Bournemouth - SkodaIan

Given the choice, if the weather looks good I'd definitely take the MX-5, a long cross country trip on A-roads is what they are made for.

I used to live in Chippenham so have done both the north and south half of this cross-country route many times.

If you pick up the A429 south of Warwick, it's a surprisingly quick run from there through the Cotswolds down to Cirencester and either Swindon or Chippenham during the week, even at peak times. It's a different matter on a weekend though when the mix of small Grey hatchbacks driven by old people, rich London idiots in immaculate Range Rovers who can't drive and people towing caravans will pull your average speed to below 30mph on that route and raise your blood pressure significantly!

For the north section, at weekends, you're as well carring on down the M40 to Oxford and taking the A420 back towards Swindon - a route full of lorries during the week but I've found fairly ok at weekends.

South of the M4, either the Marlborough/Salisbury route is quick and fairly scenic or at weekends with fewer lorries, the A350 past Chippenham, and Warminster is reasonably quick too. On the A350 route, if you pick up the C13 at Shaftesbury, once through Melbury Abbas, you get a much faster empty road for the last 15 miles or so south to Blandford.

Birmingham to Bournemouth - Avant

I'd echo that, Skodalan - the A350 south of Shaftesbury is a disgrace and not fit to be an A-road. The C13 is much better apart from a narrow bit with traffic lights where there's been a landslip at a place called Dinah's Hollow (better if she'd been solid).

I am indeed the only moderator - reports of my wealth are greatly exaggerated! No doubt the result of posting reports on two new cars. I'm a pensioner but paid into a pension scheme all my working life, and still do some writing to boost income (and pay for the cars on PCPs). We like new cars and the peace of mind they bring, but i have nothing but respect for people like GB who buy older cars and have the expertise to look after them.

It would be great to come across Johnnyrev but I'm an organist (five services in four churches this week) and he will know tnat I'm beyond redemption!

Birmingham to Bournemouth - johnnyrev
Thanks everyone, I'm still pondering routes, but will definitely take the Mazda. I know the route past Swindon and the roads around and through Salisbury as my parents used to be in Salisbury. I will get the map book out today and decide for definite, plan the route, then make the journey without sat-nav!

I also need to adjust the handbrake as I got in the other day and it rolled down the drive a little. I could always leave it in gear though!
Birmingham to Bournemouth - SLO76
"I also need to adjust the handbrake as I got in the other day and it rolled down the drive a little. I could always leave it in gear though!"

Might just need adjusting but this could be a sign of that common MX5 failing, sticky calippers. I'd attend to it before setting off. If they need replaced they're a very common failure on these so every motor factor will have them on the shelf.
Birmingham to Bournemouth - Avant

Always, ALWAYS, leave a manual car in gear (first or reverse) and an automatic in Park. Manual handbrake mechanisms can slacken and need adjustment; electronic parking brakes can fail without warning. There have been horrific stories, on here and elsewhere, of damage and injuries caused by this.

It's easy to get into the habit of dipping the clutch (or having the selector in Park) when starting the engine: most new cars won't start if you don't.

Sorry - I'm not usually given to scaremongering but I do feel strongly about this particular danger.

Edited by Avant on 13/04/2017 at 10:35

Birmingham to Bournemouth - gordonbennet
Sorry - I'm not usually given to scaremongering but I do feel strongly about this particular danger.

And right you are, but it's not quite so easy with an automated manual or twin clutch (DSG style) box which most likely has no 'park' gear at all, so its a case of making sure the display says 1 or R and switching off still in 'drive', which takes more thinking about at the time than it sounds, come restart its just a case of taking it out of gear but i'm none too sure how kindly the electronics in the box will take to this practice long term.

I'm sure you'll be overjoyed that Volvo full sized lorries now have an electric parking brake, with a delightfully small switch placed in the dash somewhere, no thanks i want a proper handle visible soon as you open the door (or rather before you close it when leaving) that is blindingly obvious at a glance it's either on or off, MAN's normal parking brake lever is to the left of the driver's seat right by the seat backrest, completely invisible from the ground, brilliant placement chaps have a gold star for design.

Mercedes automated manual lorries are more brilliant still, if the vehicle is in gear and the air pressure drops you cannot get the thing out of gear anyway, hows about that for brilliance, it's either a job for a mechanic or to connect another lorry up via the air lines and put some pressure into the now immobile vehicle, and how many deskilled in the modern way wheel attendants could manage that...it gets better, if the air pressure drops on a tight maneuver, which can easily happen on steep slopes, the same thing can happen.

Edited by gordonbennet on 13/04/2017 at 10:59

Birmingham to Bournemouth - joegrundy

OP: "So the first question, is it a risk to take a 13 year old car on a long trip?"

Short answer - yes. It's a risk to take any car on a trip, and reading HJ forums (fora?) sometimes the newer the car the bigger the risk.

I run an 04 X type 2.0d (yes, I know it's not a 'proper' Jag). Now on 168,000 miles. Serviced by a trusted indy. Last three years it did annual trips to Andorra (2,500 miles return including mountains in high summer) without fault, averaging 50+ mpg while taking advantage of 130 kmh limits.

Recently I've been doing weekly trips to East Angular (600+ return) to assist re my daughter being in hospital. Again, 50+ mpg, hasn't missed a beat, but I will confess that after many miles easy cruising it produces a cloud of smoke when red-lined. I keep this in reserve for when I'm being tail=gated, and it's worthy of a Bond film.

(Interestingly or not my son just did the same trip in his 1.2 Dacia Sandero. Driving reasonably, he got 60+ mpg).

Actually, I trust my 13 year old (properly serviced) car more than I'd probably trust a newer more highly electronicsed (is that a word?) job where one broken connection (or failed bulb?) can b***** the whole shenanigans.

Birmingham to Bournemouth - JEREMYH

#retrocouriervan

Thats the vehicle I trust the most !

Birmingham to Bournemouth - Avant

"And right you are, but it's not quite so easy with an automated manual or twin clutch (DSG style) box which most likely has no 'park' gear at all".

Well, we all know the reply that both you and I would give to that.....

Actually one of my Skodas had DSG and it did have a Park position, so I assume all VW Group DSGs have it. This was the wet-clutch version which gives much less trouble.

 

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