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sputnikcorporation
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PostSubject: Re: Eccentric   Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:28 pm

First topic message reminder :

In Australia for many years, age meant nothing in cars, but lately it has all gone towards the new. Sad thing is that it's the 'wants/don't have the folding' that are over-heating the market & stopping any real discounts. Basically, they can't afford what they're buying but have to be seen in a new car due to peer pressure etc. What a sad state of affairs... Debt = status. Hmmm...bankrupt must = sex god?

I sometimes wish to be that shallow so logic will cease to permeate my cranium. Meanwhile I will just have to be grateful for Mr. Rupperts assistance in showing me the light all those years ago in 'Car' magazine & for being such a statesman for this subject.
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James-Founder
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PostSubject: Yes   Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:03 pm

Yes I read that too, wasting our money seems so easy as you and me could have told them what happened for say a fiver.
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PostSubject: Re: Eccentric   Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:08 pm

Yup, in a nutshell. British Aerospace sold it to BMW, pissed Honda off and then it was all downhill from there. After that it was sold to 4 money-grabbing bastards for £10 who feathered their nests with all its assets and left 6000 workers with a paltry £2700 pay off.

I rest my case M'Lud.

Kev.
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PostSubject: Alledgedly   Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:12 pm

We have to be careful what we all say there, but yes the aroma in the air was not good.
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PostSubject: Re: Eccentric   Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:16 pm

Actually, this months CAR magazine digs up some dirt about the 'Phoenix 4'. But let's not go there.

Kev.
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PostSubject: Old vs New   Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:14 pm

Evening Lads here's an article that should end up in the Independent Newspaper, I've no idea how you upload pictures because I do have them, any idea Rovamota?

Old cars are rubbish. Theyíre slower, smellier, smaller and not nearly as safe as the new ones. Apart from all that theyíre lovely, full of character and period charm, but these days they do fall a little be short in several key areas. I know this because the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have produced a report called The Evolution of the Car and brought together old and new models and old and new motoring hacks to drive them.

The report reveals significant improvements over the decades; air quality emissions cut by more than 98 per cent; fuel economy up and CO2 emissions down, despite significant weight increases as a result of more safety kit; modern cars fitted with systems to stop accidents happening as standard, not just technologies that limit injuries in a collision. I couldnít argue with any of that, but what are the cars actually like to drive?

First of all the driving conditions were hardly ideal, a monsoon in central London combined with Hyde Park Corner and South Kensington High Street were not really conducive to on the limit handling. However, experiencing how old and new cope with everything a modern congestion zone can throw at it was certainly interesting.

The first thing that you notice about the two groups is just how small and fragile the older cars look and how complicated the new ones are to start. A Toyota Prius in particular doesnít have a key but a large blunt fob that is posted into a slot before you then press and prod at a series of secondary buttons and controls. For me though the day was all about reliving old automotive memories and seeing how they measured up.

Firstly I was drawn to a Mercedes 190E from 1991 finished in white, which is now a fashionable colour again. This particular vehicle was actually a testament to Mercedes build quality having recently been bought for just £700. All Mercedes did was replace the tyres, give it a service and a decent clean. After 150,000 miles it looked, well, new. Indeed, when new the only extras were outside temperature gauge and cruise control which all cost just over £20,000. By comparison a new Mercedes C-Class came in at £25,000 but had a standard specification that ran to a couple of pages of A4 of what looked like made up acronyms. In value for money terms the new car wins. It is also more comfy on the road, but if you wanted value, solidity and low running costs the old 190E still wins.

Next up was a BMW 635M from the Ď80s. I used to sell these brand new and not only that, take customers on test drives around Hyde Park Corner, so it all felt very familiar. In its day the 635M was a full on supercar and it still felt taut, lithe and was very compact. The new 635d was larger, not nearly as pretty and it had a diesel engine. Back in 1986 a diesel meant taxi, now the technology has come so far that the pulling power of the 635d is more than the old supercar. Also, whilst the M6 struggles to get more than 18mpg overall and today it is probably below 10mpg, the 635d manages over 40mpg. The old car is still prettier though.

Then it was the turn of a 1989 Jaguar XJ6, but this was no ordinary XJ6 it was the very last of the line with the legendary 4.2 litre engine (with a plaque on the dashboard to prove it) and it had covered just 1300 miles and usually lived in the Jaguar Heritage Museum. Unfortunately the heater was on tropical, the windows were foggy with condensation and there was the unmistakable aroma of petrol. Apparently there was a leak somewhere and by the time a tipper lorry wanted to park on the Jaguarís bonnet I was ready to vomit. Itís a shame because I thought I loved old Jaguars, especially as my dad owned the posher Daimler version in the Ď70s. The new Jaguar was further proof of the rise to preeminence of the modern diesel, so it would deliver 35mpg, rather than 18mpg and was just as refined. Reassuringly, both cars drove as smoothly and sporty as you would expect.

All that was left was to drive the supposed future. The Toyota Prius has the hybrid electric and petrol power that was perfectly suited to the dayís City centre route. Itís automatic, so you didnít have to really think at all, it was great. But so was the 1966 Toyota Corona. Like all the old cars I saw today it had an interesting history in that it belonged to a dealer who gave it to Toyota when he retired. Here was one car that started the Far Eastern invasion and actually compared to a contemporary Triumph or Austin it was far from laughable. All Toyota had to do was patch up some rust on the doors, otherwise it was pure 1960s and reassuringly free of chips and gadgets that will inevitably go expensively wrong.

Itís always a good day when you havenít dented someone elseís car, but this was a great day. Old cars may not be as technically advanced as the new ones but they are so much more loveable and cheaper.
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PostSubject: Re: Eccentric   Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:10 am

You can email them to me and I can host them on my site if you like [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I'll read the article later (I'm supposed to be working!)

Kev.
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PostSubject: Pics   Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:24 am

Thanks Kev, I've sent you some snaps, plus tried to upload....J
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PostSubject: Re: Eccentric   Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:16 am

OK, I'll sort it when I get home tonight.

Kev.
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PostSubject: Pic   Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:24 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Here's a link, but no pic...

THanks Kev


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PostSubject: Re: Eccentric   Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:09 pm

You're right; on value for money terms a new car wins hands down compared to its earlier incarnations new price. But as for character, that seems to have been engineered out of moderns cars and replaced with safety. Shame.

That 1995 Rover 420GSi I sold recently for £600 was a hefty £15k when new and it didn't even have a drivers airbag, let alone ABS. We have certainly have come a long way, but has it been the right direction?

Kev.
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PostSubject: Thanks   Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:40 pm

Kev, THanks a lot for uploading the pics. Obviously may inclination is to say that actually a 190E is better than a new C in so many ways especially if you are spending your own hard earned. Hopefully I got that over in a subtle way but getting anything on cars into the Independent is an achievement.

Yes value is certainly better, my BMW was over £30K new although it still has a driver bag...
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PostSubject: Re: Eccentric   Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:45 pm

Yeah, but it's good, though. I was involved in an article for the Sunday Telegraph and had to get my Princess up to Gaydon for a photoshoot. That was in February 2005 and the article was eventually published in December 2006!

Kev.
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PostSubject: Re: Eccentric   Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:47 pm

It's still online... [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Kev.
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PostSubject: Wait   Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:27 pm

Hello Kev, at least it was worth the wait...a nice piece I reckon. Of course if the wedgies had been Alfa Romeos we'd never hear the end of how stylish they were.

J
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PostSubject: Re: Eccentric   Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:46 pm

Absolutely. Odd how people forget how technically advanced BL were compared to Ford and Vauxhall, who played it safe year in, year out. But then again, that meant customers.

Kev.
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sputnikcorporation
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PostSubject: Re: Eccentric   Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:02 pm

I'll take it from you James...but I'd expect the transport to Australia thrown in. Tell you what, I'll throw in a free stay in Melbourne if you come across, so long as your tastes are more Bangernomics than BMW-esque!

Laughing
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PostSubject: Post   Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:35 pm

Stuart, I'll post it to you, surface mail...starting with the gera knob...J
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PostSubject: Re: Eccentric   Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:37 pm

There was a nice F-reg Merc 190E at the auction last night and it was in lovely condition, 141k, history and an EOST. It sold for £175, I know, I should have bought the blighter!

Kev..
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PostSubject: 190   Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:52 pm

You can't buy everything sadly...
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