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Cars I (you) have owned, and thoughts thereon:-


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My brother used to keep a for-anyone-to-use Mini 850 at my parents' home. This was taken a bit too far for my panicky Mum when she saw the Mini going round the garden and "field" (not much more than an overgrown lawn at the top of the garden) filled with her grandchildren. Mum couldn't work out who was driving and nearly had apoplexy when she realised it was my 11-year-old daughter who was taking the little ones for a drive!

I was right proud of her.

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...."The bloke should be used as advertising material for Citroën. A car was not a car if it was not a Citroën !.......

As a long-term Citroën fan - I can completely empathise. I've had GS's, BX's (fourteen in all - still have one in the fleet), ZX's, Synergie, XM's and a Xantia... and if you want economical, comfortable reliable driving in France, in a car that costs peanuts, get a cared-for BX... they are remarkable cars but now, as the youngest will be 17 years old, they are gradually getting thin on the ground. (OK I'm slightly biased). :)

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I guess we were just unlucky. I've had one or two duff cars among the considerable number I have owned over the years but the Citroen GS definitely ranked amongst the worst. In fact, I think it was THE worst. Put me off Citroens for life.

My opinion wasn't changed when my sister-in-law bought a later Citroen (ZX? or something like) and, as it spent more time back at the garage than with her, she suggested they kept it permanently and she exchanged it for another make.
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We bought my son a deux chevaux for his seventeenth (cheapest insurance), a kind of bitter sweet pill for him, loved the freedom but thought the car was beneath contempt, and he (again) tested it to destruction in just about every way, collecting a speeding ticket on the way, of which he was quite proud; with a little fettling it continued to perform despite his treatment, each time it needed fixing, a visit to the local specialist and we were entreated with, ''I've got that bit, you can do that easily'' and so we did, now years later he is still earning pints at the bar with improbable tales of their exploits.[:)] Result.
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The first car that I can remember my father owning was a Hudson Terraplane, no idea of year or model. This died just over the brow of a hump backed bridge near the Four Ashes at Takely.

Next was a ?1953 Humber Hawk. The most interesting feature being the brakes declining to work during and just after heavy rain. Following an excursion through a hedgerow and field it had to go.

Then a brand new car, a 1957 Ford Zephyr. The seats were covered in shiny, see-through plastic with a most unpleasant odour on a hot day. I blame this for my bouts of car sickness. Not the most reliable of cars it was a *** to start in damp weather. Finally cured by hanging a low-wattage light bulb switched on in the engine bay whenever the car was not in use. One of the front windows would stick in the closed postion - turing the handle without effect until suddenly the window crashed down but it didn't break.

In 1962 my father began his love affair with Mercedes-Benz that lasted till his death in 1980.

1956 220A

???? 220S

???? 220 SE

1966 230SL with (in my opinion) a pointless auto gearbox

When I passed my driving test and bought my first car with my father's words loud in my ears "from now on you will always have your hand in your pocket". My own cars were a motley bunch beginning with a

1953 Ford Popular E93A, sit up and beg, 1172cc side valve engine, 3 speed gearbox and top speed of about 50 mph even if pushed over Beachy Head. The 450/17 cross ply tyres made for interesting driving on greasy roads. Combine this with rod operated brakes and I quickly learned to think ahead (most of the time).

The best undoubtedly was a 1971(?) BMW 2002 bought in 1978. The limiting factor in cornering being the nut holding the wheel. Much to my father's disgust it would beat his 230SL easily from a standing start, out corner it  though my car started to run out of puff at 70mph or so. Sadly in 1980 it developed an irritating intermittent electrical fault that proved impossible to track down so it had to go.

The best value buy was a 1989 Peugeot 305 that I bought from a firm of liquidators in 1993 for just £400. Though pretty rough it was fixed for another £400 and I drove for over 50,000 miles over the next 4 years, finally selling it for £800.


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