a cunning plan? - apm
So, GF has sold her BMW, and really likes the MX5 or poss MR2 (will spend about £2500). No space in those, or in my MG.
Hit upon cunning plan. Will need third car (!) to have room for people & stuff. So, leave purchase of sports car until autumn, prices will be cheaper, and buy banger now.

Does this make sense?

She does, however, totally want air con in both cars.

So, question 1:

Shortlist for £1k bangers: volvo 850, v40, 940, toyota carina E, honda accord, nissan almera, primera, QX, mazda 626, MB old E class. Sound ok? Other suggestions? Chances of the AC working in cars this age?

Question 2: will sporty japs be much cheaper in oct/nov? Will there be any about?

Question 3: is there a downside at this price (£2500) to a Eunos v UK MX5- I think it will have to be a Eunos, as she wants AC. Cheaper too, but not alot!

Ta in advance,

Alex.
--
Dr Alex Mears
MG BGT 1971
If you are in a hole stop digging...unless
you are a miner.
a cunning plan? - adverse camber
The volvo 850/v70 has a problem with A/C, cant remember off hand what the failure point is but if you look on the volvo sites you will find it. They are a common failure and are very expensive to fix because you have to dismantle the dash (people talk of £800).

Any convertible comes with A/c of a sort ;)
a cunning plan? - martint123
(3) A lot of the cheap online insurers still treat imports as if they were made on mars and won't quote for them.
a cunning plan? - stevied
Don't know about pricing, but I did have a Eunos Presso, which is the Eunos equivalent of the MX-3 as opposed to your idea of an MX-5. Principle much the same though.

Car was a LOT cheaper than a UK car. However, it was a little more to insure, but not vastly more. Parts didn't seem to be a problem, Mazda are very unhelpful but there's plenty of specialists about!

BTW, the aircon on Japanese imports is amazing! No idea why it's better than ours....
a cunning plan? - Screwloose
Alex

Quite a disparate short-list of cars you have there. Briefly:-

Volvo's. No. [One fault and it's dead.]
Carina E. OK - [yawn.]
Accord. Get a good one with A/C for 1K? You'll be lucky.
Almera. No; No; No!
Primera/QX. Cheap; but avoid.
626. Good choice. [Check E/windows work.]
E-class. [See Volvo.]

Avoid "imported" cars like the plague. Can you read Japanese if a fuse blows? Or translate a wiring diagram? They're "nearly the same as genuine cars".... that's nearly as in "nearly a virgin."
a cunning plan? - RichardW
You can buy a 2000 petrol Xantia for about 20p. If it goes wrong, just chuck it in the hedge and buy another. Be careful though, you might just get to like wafting along on 'air'!! You might have trouble selling it at the end, but see first sentance about purchase price!


--
RichardW

Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
a cunning plan? - Roberson
You can buy a 2000 petrol Xantia for about 20p.


And its a bit more interesting that some of the original suggestions
a cunning plan? - apm
>Cheers screwloose- interesting comments.

Quite a disparate short-list of cars you have there. Briefly:-


I know- I was trying to come up with reliable cars that are cheap and quite nice.
Volvo's. No. [One fault and it's dead.]


Folklore would disagree- there are lots of old ones still going strong. Any specific things to avoid, or that are known faults?
Carina E. OK - [yawn.]


Not exciting- but I have my MG & the GF will have her MX5 for that.
Accord. Get a good one with A/C for 1K? >> You'll be lucky.


There are some about- will let y'all know if they're any good.
Almera. No; No; No!


Why, why, why? They're cheap, well equipped and reliable- the CBCB looks kindly, too.
Primera/QX. Cheap; but avoid.


Again, why? The CBCB again praises, especially the Primera.
626. Good choice. [Check E/windows work.]


Good- there's one of those locally
E-class. [See Volvo.]


Again, they have a good reputation/ write up in the CBCB. Anything you can specify to watch for?
Avoid "imported" cars like the plague. Can you read Japanese
if a fuse blows? Or translate a wiring diagram?


True- but I'm not sure it will put me off- the pluses seem to outweight the minuses.
They're "nearly the same as genuine cars".... that's nearly as in
"nearly a virgin."


I thought the eunos & uk mx5 were virtually identical, save that the jap spec are better equipped?


--
Dr Alex Mears
MG BGT 1971
If you are in a hole stop digging...unless
you are a miner.
a cunning plan? - stevied
Eunos and MX-5 are similar... I don't read Japanese either but then it never went wrong in 30,000 (hard) miles!! I knew a specialist anyway, who didn't read Japanese but could get most parts easily. Bumpers and the like are different which I admit CAN be difficult. But I saved a fortune!
a cunning plan? - Adam {P}
Mazda 626.

Possibly the most boring thing ever. It's actually dangerous because you'll be at the wheel one minute, and then find yourself drifting off because it's so boring. Speaking of wheels - that's another thing - it's got the most over assisted power steering known to man. It's like the steering wheel isn't connected to anything it's so light; it's merely a coincidence that the driving wheels turn too. You can do full lock with your little finger at about 5 mph.

The interior's boring with a clock that looks like it came out of a Montego, the dials are boring to look at, the radio's boring, the door handles are boring, the switchgear is boring and the engine noise is boring.

But my God - it's the most reliable piece of machinery ever built. Dad's is 8 years old - gets hammered every day - it's been driven flat out, up dirt tracks, it's had dogs in, it's been reversed into a concrete barrier fairly quickly (since repaired) and it still works perfectly. In fact, when clean, it looks like brand new. I'm trying to think of a single thing that's gone wrong with it and I can't. Not one. In fact, I almost wish stuff went wrong with it just to spice the experience up a little. The climate control (I know - climate control on a 1998 Mazda!) works perfectly and is as cold as a new system. It pulls, it's quiet, feels solid (probably because the bonnet is about 20 foot long) and I suspect it will probably outlast all of our next cars which will arrive pretty soon as Dad hates it's boringness.

But still, if you don't care, I'd strongly advise you to look. I couldn't, in good conscience, recommend one to someone who wanted a good car to drive, but I couldn't think of anything better to recommend to someone who wanted a car as a tool.


a cunning plan? - Screwloose
Alex

Ok; a little less briefly.

Running a banger means never having to say "it cost a lot to fix; but it's worth it." If it's going to cost a lot to fix - bin it. That rules out anything with stellar parts prices or keen dealers. Exeunt Volvo and Merc. Are you going to pay £500 to fix a faulty driver's window?

Your budget will just about get you into N16 Almeras - and right into one of the nastiest faults that occur on modern cars. The timing chains go - twice by then. Goodbye £800-1300 [or the car.] Other Nissans are bad news in many other ways - they just don't make good bangers like Fords [or Rovers used to.]

While I'm sure there will always be people who insist that they have had absolutely no problems; my experience fixing imports [I double my already extortionate diagnostics rate; but they still won't go away!] is that it's a running nightmare. You seem to spend hours doing even the simplest thing; like just sourcing a normal part.

Normally; ring dealer's trade parts-line: give reg no; describe reqd. part; ogle delivery girl's impossibly tight shorts. With imports; ring... who? Shaftum and Legget? Computerized parts referencing... dream on. Then pay [up front] and sit and hope that the parts turn up, [sometimes weeks - often never - usually wrong] while a half finished job takes root in an expensively rented workshop parking space and the customer constantly whinges at YOU!
 

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