What are you driving and why would we be interested?

It’s sadly ironic that, as cars have improved, and nostalgia and "personality " aside, they have, the road conditions have deteriorated so, so badly.

My first car was a Vauxhall Ventora II: it was crap, but in 1978, I was not having to swerve round cratered roads that appeared to have been hit by artillery, as I do now.

My 330i. All things considered the best car I’ve had so far. Plenty quick, stunning drive line and handles so well. I also takes me and 3 friends on regular golf trips including 4 golfbags with relative ease. Spec’ed with sports gearbox, 19" wheels, carbon(looking) trim, cognac colored interior and electronic foldable hook. While not a Bentley with Naim, the Harman Kardon system makes for a very good listen when driving. The dog likes it too!


Nice looking car and it’s great your dog likes it.

Tbf, there was probably far fewer vehicles pounding the tarmac at the time…!

You are so correct, I have to remind myself how little traffic there was, relatively speaking.

Even in the lateish 1980s, you could drive and park up near the Tower of London on a Sunday quite easily, or as I once did, albeit in the 1970s,
drive up from work at Paddington Green, see a Speedway meet at Leicester, then drive back home to the 'Stow (in my crap Ventora :slightly_smiling_face:).

Fact remains, the roads were better maintained/less hammered, and the Motorway etc junction on and off slips were not the bloody dangerous nature reserves that they are today.

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OK, hope you’re sitting comfortably.

My previous car was a Mondeo estate, top of the range Titanium X, all the bells and whistles. Loved it. Hugely spacious, excellent to drive, thoroughbred motorway miles muncher. Unfortunately, when it munched its (DSG) gearbox for the third time I moved it on to that great parking lot in the sky (well a scrapper up near Glenoe). Since this was during lockdown and I wasn’t doing much driving I couldn’t justify replacing it. I got by as a named driver on Mrs Willy’s X1 and my son’s 107. They fulfilled my motoring needs, if not my wants…

In this neck of the woods motoring is something of a contact sport. The nearside of a car is always clean as the hedges scrape the dirt off when passing oncoming vehicles, especially farm traffic. On account of this we do drive older cars. the 107 is 16 and the X1 is 13 years old. Both well maintained but inevitably they do occasionally need some extra tlc. A few months back when the X1 was in with a broken spring the exhaust dropped off the 107. We came perilously close to having no car. I started planning (or is that plotting?).

Justification for the realisation of my car “wants” came in this form.

The X1 dash lit up like a Christmas tree.

It reset after an off/on and a few yards drive. I guessed that it might be an abs sensor. Sent the photo to the workshop manager. He guessed that it might be an abs sensor. Took the car in, plugged in the diagnostics and the computer said “abs sensor my arse, that’s your transfer box”. So the X1 was parked up at home for the three weeks to the first available slot to attend to it.

Plotting stepped up a notch. Difficulty is that there is no single vehicle that would fulfil all my wants. Internal space of the Mondeo, dog friendly, fuel economy of the 107, V8, convertible, Japanese reliability. A compromise was called for. Considered multiple options, Audi S8 V10 estate, Lexus IS250C, TVR Chimera, and too many others to recall.

Picking up Mrs Willy from the airport one Wednesday evening as she returned from a concert (had been with her sisters) I mentioned that our son was driving me back there the next morning. “Why”. “I’ve bought a car and I’m going to pick it up”.

Those of you who have previously deployed “Forgiveness rather than permission” will understand the atmosphere of the remainder of the drive home.

Next day I flew into Manchester, collected the car, drove to Cairnryan and got the ferry home. What no-one expected me to arrive in (including myself just a few days earlier) is…

Obviously doesn’t tick all of the boxes but is quite possibly the optimal compromise (for now;-). It’s a good fit on our wee roads. Very economical. Fun to drive. The lid be folded and unfolded from the driving seat in about 3 seconds. Has also been adapted to it’s primary purpose of taking Zukov and myself to walking locations.

It’s the 1.5 litre engine (which revs to 7500) and is, even in this exploratory phase of ownership averaging 48mpg (on run from Manchester to Cairnryan it was in the high 50s). The suspension is softer than the 2l models, a blessing on some of the roads around here, but still fun to drive once you get the hang of it. The 1-2 throw in the gearbox is a tad long but after that it’s click, click, click, click.

Oh and the heater controls (two of three visible in the above photo) are fully manual.



I thought of doing a calendar one year of all the potholes on the B4009 and giving it to the Chief Executive of our local council

My guess is that as roads get busier, vehicles get heavier and the rains get heavier we will see more potholes

Nice. I tried one of those a while back. Now, I’m not a ‘big’ bloke but found it very cosy…

I had two Mondeos, both ST220’s, covering 14 years. Great cars.


How long before we should attach a GoPro to our front bumper to evidence these things?!

Knowing the B4009, perhaps a perpetual desk calendar might be more appropriate :joy::joy::joy::joy::joy:


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Yes, we have a 1.5 version. The engine spins forever and you can use revs and gears in a way that you cannot with the 2.0lt. (unless you are on a track). It’s good fun.

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As I’m 6’3" I did a fair bit of research on the Internet and based on others comments reckoned there was a 75% probably I 'd fit.
Found one in a local dealer and popped in to check the size. Wouldn’t want it to be any smaller.
Think that 66k miles of someone else’s bottom delivered an extra half inch of head room.

My Mondeo was the 163hp turbo diesel but an excellent car. So much better than the CLK it replaced.


If it were 1978, this what I was driving


Blimey, you must be snug in there.

When I said I wouldn’t want it to be any smaller I really did mean that!


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And low profile tyres were not a thing on big wheels.,

True, ‘low profile’ meant your tyre had a nail in it.


With that Wankel rotary engine, unfortunately you would not have been driving it for long!!


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Ours had a Ford v6 engine… :red_car:

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I didn’t know there was such an option - I just recall reading that what had been a much admired car lead to the demise of NSU due to the massive failure of the rotary engine. Was the Ford engine an option or was it a replacement engine that some clever mechanic managed to make fit?