In praise of old clunkers - THe Growler
My main vehicle was totalled in an accident a month ago. A young guy wanted it for the V-8 engine and its hot rod potential as well as other bits. He didn't have all the cash I wanted so I took his 1993 Honda Civic 3 door in p/x. This has (according the odometer) 193,000 km on it, is a gruesome shade of faded black (Growlette calls it The Cockroach), has been keyed on both sides and has that ingrained smell of time beyond measure use of stale air fresheners which liken the ambiance of the cabin to the waiting room of a Beirut cathouse.

However the engine is sound, the tires have about 0.13mm tread on them (that's OK this is the Philippines) and they all match, and most importantly the aircon is strong for our hot and humid climate. It seems to need a pint of coolant every two days and I have no compunction about awarding it a dose of plain old well water for this purpose.

I am beginning to love the thing. I can park it anywhere without having to pay someone to watch it while I'm enjoying the rugby and a few tinnies at the local watering hole. No one with any respect for their self-image is going to nick it. I can do battle with Manila taxis on an equal footing whereas if you are in a nice newish vehicle they'll take it to the limit knowing you'll back down, I can cut up gleaming new bought-on-credit BMW's knowing they won't risk their paint jobs by retaliating. I took it to be serviced and experienced new levels of freedom and personal liberation by telling the mechanic to put in any old oil as long as it was the cheapest, and thus now sleep well instead of obsessing whether it should have been the 0w/40 or the 10w/30.

The brakes are red-hot despite the discs looking like the surface of the moon and the thing gives every impression of going on for ever. Most importantly the horn is very loud and works.

It is a bit sluggish on the uptake (I've been too used to low revving torquey V-8's for too long) but wind it up and it goes like the proverbial off a shovel. There are some interesting clunks and clonks from below but it travels in a straight line unless directed otherwise. It also costs only a few shillings to fill up as opposed to most of the contents of my wallet. The radio is not the original and the Alpine replacement did fall out going over a speed bump and dangle by its wires but then one can't expect everything.

My buyer wants to buy the Honda back when he has the cash. I think I'll tell him no.
In praise of old clunkers - Dwight Van Driver
Isn't that life G? Maybe your too young to know:

There's many a good tune in an old fiddle.


PS. Saw a travelogue last night on TV from your neck of the woods.What a load of European wasters are attracted to your domain. Keep them there.
In praise of old clunkers - THe Growler
Most of the 230,000 Brits, 'Kanos and other white monkeys here are either gainfully employed or comfortably retired DVD. Maybe you were looking at Cambodia or Thailand.
In praise of old clunkers - Hugo {P}
Hi G,

The car you describe would have probably hit the scrap yards long ago in the UK because either no one would want it after it had been traded in, or it may have to have hundreds spent on it for the MOT (although it looks OK one never knows about brake pipes etc).

It's now a fact of life, that anything over 10 years old in this country can be beyond economical repair very easily, because of the plummeting value of these cars and the increased cost of the parts/labour.

I was astonished the other day when I went to the Eden Project in Cornwall. I parked my 1993 L reg Xantia in the car park and found it was almost the oldest car within sight.

It still got me there and back though.

It's a shame to think that if it needed much more than a few hundred quid spending on it, I would be better off scrapping it. At 73K it drives like new!

In praise of old clunkers - nick
When I saw the title of this topic I thought you'd met my wife....
In praise of old clunkers - bartycrouch
It's one of the great things about cars that, despite all the hype and advertising, the majority of the important benefits of owning a car are the same whether the car is cheap or expensive.


Value my car