O.k - moving on to Phase 2
THE POMMY YEARS
Subtitled: Walking to work again
Ok - we left off with the HQ wagon which met it's untimely end compliments of a large roo - wasn't enough of the front left to call a car so the insurance money paid for -
11. A Mazda RX3 - it was a boring white colour with the 5 speed manual but absolutely nothing at the time went the way these things did. Sadly you could hear the bodywork falling apart around you and the thing had mor rattles than a millionaires baby. After disconnecting the rev limiter I finally blew the thing up somehwere off the end of the tacho. Sayonara rice burner.
12. Poor again I found a really cheap Rover 3500 SD1 in Dark blue - magnificent looking vehicle with a sweet (if underpowered) 3.5 litre V8 and Chryslers good old torqueflite auto. Made a sweet combo and the beast was well equipped with fruit however what it didn't have was reliability. Each morning was a new experience in what won't work today thanks entirely to Lucas - the Prince nof Darkness. Someone once said to a Rover owner "how do you know which switch does what" - to which he replied "it doesn't matter none of them work"! Know that experience all too well. Finally let me down once too often and was traded for ..
13. You'd have though I'd learnt but like any young man I was easily seduced by a good looking body and not too worried about the running gear so I found myself in a Burgundy Series 2 XJ12. The absolute last word in quietness, smoothness and good handling in a big car BUT also the last word in dodgy electrics, temperamental mechanicals and sheer bloody mindedness. They always said you needed two of them so that one was on the road and this one did it's very best to live up to the legend. If things weren't falling off - they just stopped working. As it was rapidly driving me to ruin in repair bills it got the flkick in favour of ...
14. A VB
V8 C*******e (sorry) with the four speed manual. Lousy body, even worse gearbox (chewed front bearings at an alarming rate) and the Sage green paintwork faded faster than a winter tan. All in all an absolute piece of crap and the final nail in the H***n coffin apart from a couple I've been forced to drive as rentals or fleet vehicles.
15. My excuse for this one is that it was a Wheels COTY winner - an Avocado green P76 V8 Exec. Not a bad thing in many ways - great engine (basically a stroked version of the Rover 3.5) and a nice autobox but it suffered from the pommy disease with things falling off and not working. Was a very short visitor.
16. Back to sanity (loud sigh of relief) and an XC 302 Cobra with the manual box. An absolute little ripper with dodgy seats but that didn't matter when the right wellie was planted. Went overseas for a while to work so sold it and drove a variety of fleet vehicles and renters for the next bit of time.
17. Came back to good old Aus (there ain't no place like home) and shouted myself an FC LTD with the 351 and C6 auto. Had been converted to dual fuel but was just a big lovable thing with the dead cow and enough grunt after a bit of engine work to help it breathe better. Had a nasty habit of backfiring through the carbie which eventually led to it catching fire under the bonnet and wreajkiong a fair bit of havoc. Got it repaired only to have a repeat 6 months later and ecided that it should make way for ..
18. A shutter headlight model LTD in dark bronze with the 351. Surprisingly everything worked on this beast and after some front end work it actually turned corners reasonably well. This one had been built with the 4V heads and went like a cut cat. Sadly other people frequently took a liking to the chariot style wheel covers until I couldn't get anymore in Australia so I got a set oi 12 slotters made with 15" centres to suit. Eventually someone offered me more money than I thought was smart for it so I sold it and bought ..
19. The first of 2 XF S-Packs this one being with the 4 speed manual and in Arctic White. Was reliable if rather bland and lacking in mumbo after it's predecessors.
20. The second of the two XF S-Packs in Red - this one had been turboed with a five speed manual box. Power was very much all or nothing bit it was fun to drive as long as you didn't mind chewing up rear tyres (and diff centres). Good fun but expensive it finally convinced me that production based perfromance was always the best bet and that there was no subsitute for cubic inches.