Are you the kind of person to be forever joining car groups but getting nowhere, do you want to join a car group with no hate, and do you want to make new friends in the process? Well, have I got the group for you! Let me introduce you to the wonderful place that is Motorheads International.
So what exactly is Motorheads International or MHI for short? Well MHI is a car page & group over on Facebook, with accounts both on Instagram & Twitter if that is your thing. It was created way back in 2011 and has been going ever since and has grown into a group 18k members strong as of right now. As the name might suggest it’s an international group with members coming from everywhere around the world – whether you are from Sweden, Australia, America or even Italy everyone is welcome.
The best part about MHI is both the variety of cars as well as the owners who own the beauties. You’ll find people on their who are vintage race cars drivers, mechanics, tow truck drivers or even pilots who own anything from a Honda Beat to a Ferrari or Lamborghini. Everyone is really friendly and also helpful which is something you don’t hardly see in car groups these days – especially ones this large!!
If there is any hint of trouble, the admin team who run the group get onto the case straight away and get the group back to the way a group should be which is chilled, civil and above all hate free.
The group is now so large and so out there that if you search hard enough on YouTube you might even find an advert for it on some videos, the exact same can be said for Facebook as well. The group is not far from hitting 20K members so if you ever want to join then I’ll leave a link to the group so you can always get involved.
Josefin, who is a member of the admin team from Scandinavia is always out at different events both photographing & representing the group wherever she goes so that the group gets bigger and bigger and she is not the only one, a plethora of different members are doing the exact same. If you are one for going to events, you’ll find a good few getting set up by fellow members that you can always join and chill at.
On top of all that, the group has its own website which sells merchandise, whether it be clothing or even stickers for your car, you’ll find something for you. With good prices as well as a plethora of different good quality merchandise for sale, you won’t be breaking the bank neither.
I got involved in the group with thanks to an admin member called Colton who sent me an invite over on Messenger to join, now at first I was apprehensive as it’s not the normal way I’d personally get invited or even join a group but there was no need to worry whatsoever. I was welcomed in with open arms and I’ve been in the group with ever since!
I’m in a lot of groups over on Facebook, but MHI alongside RPM365 are my two go to groups to get involved with, in fact, I’d say that they both have very similar traits. They both have numerous active members with posts going up at at any time of the day, hardly any hate and generally a brilliant group to be a part of.
As promised, I’ll post the links to the group page if anyone wants to join, lets help get this group get to 20k members. If you like the sound of the group, I’d personally join it as you’ll probably not come across a group as chilled out as them.
While there, join the group chat for car based conversations & a chilled out chat with fellow members and within no time you’ll end up making some new car friends in the process.
FB Group page link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/299872620053201/
These days when it comes down to an age of a vehicle, a car can be one of three things. It can be a ‘Modern’ which as the name suggests is a car built fairly recently or within a certain amount of years, a ‘Retro’ which is generally over 20 years old but isn’t exactly old enough to be a full on classic and then of course you have a full on ‘Classic’. These are classed as being well over 25 years old and are pretty much sought after for petrol-heads. Thing is though, what if I was to tell you that there is an age bracket which separates ‘Moderns’ from ‘Retros’. These are known as Modern Classics and generally sit between 15-25 years old.
Now these might not be nothing new, even though no one hardly talks about them, modern classics are accepted in communities. With this article however, I want to ask a general question and that is this: What exactly makes a Modern Classic and what does it take for a car become one. It’s no lie that I love both Classic & Retro cars, in fact I wrote this article on it a few weeks ago explaining as to why but with some lovely new machinery coming out recently from a plethora of manufacturers, Its safe to say that I like modern cars as well.
Now Modern Classics for me personally are cars which were new when I was young, these can be anything from the original Ford Focus RS all the way up to the Pagani Zonda C12 for example. The reason why I’d consider these modern classics is because they are both at that age where they are kind of forgotten about compared to both newer stuff and also older stuff. Add in the popularity these cars once had, and it’s no surprise that these are becoming modern classics.
The thing is though, not every car can be a modern classic as I’ll prove. Take for example my C70 MK1 and my stepdads Seat Leon 1M, both of these cars were made around about the same time, both of them were relatively well loved which shown both in sales & reviews and they both were replaced by their newer incarnations at around the same time however, for me personally, the Leon doesn’t come across as a modern classic. For a start it’s only a 1.4 so it’s nothing really special. Would I feel different if it was a Cupra or a Cupra R? More than likely but as it’s an everyday model it doesn’t come across as anything special, never mind a modern classic. This moves me onto my C70, while it’s not a T5 which is the one which will more than likely become a modern classic before the rest of them do, MK1 C70’s as a whole are quite rare cars and have a very strange but special upbringing. For a start, all C70’s were engineered by TWR which made them drive rather well for a big Volvo, add in the rivals and the fact that it was at the time Volvo’s 4th ever coupe.
For those reasons you can kind of understand why I have it in my mind why the C70 will be a modern classic and why the Seat unfortunately can’t be. Trying to judge what makes a modern classic isn’t easy, in fact these days a lot of cars you’d never think of being modern classics are starting to become collectible by both collectors & buyers everywhere. Take the humble 5th generation Toyota Celica for example, not everyone is a fan of them and that is understandable but it seems that the years have been kind as they’re starting to raise in value to people in the know.
The thing is, modern classics are different to everyone, take for example a Fiesta RS Turbo from the early nineties. For anyone who was born around that time they might consider that a modern classic whereas I’d classify it as retro instead which can make things confusing and awkward.
You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned anything about the RX’s situation in this debate, well for me, even though the Lexus has what it takes to be a truly special car in years to come. For me personally, it’s not quite old enough yet to be classified as a modern classic. With hybrids still in 2019 being quite a taboo subject, I feel like it’s going to be quite a bit of time before we see our Lexus as a modern day classic.
Some of you may have read my Calibra article a few weeks ago and gasped at the fact that it is turning 30 years old this year, I certainly know I did. The thing is, when I was young and living in London, I used to see these nearly everywhere to the point they were fairly common so to find out that they were going to be celebrating such a milestone it certainly shocked me. They’d been under the radar for so long that even I forgot they were as old as they were and that right there is the typical story of a modern classic.
So what exactly makes a modern classic? Age is of course a major factor, now I’d personally say anything from 15 to 20 years old is a modern classic but other people may have more stringent rules on the matter. For me, the car has to be something rather special, whether it’s a small city car or a high end super car, if it is something which is well loved then that’s another sure fire way of spotting a modern classic. Last but not least, for me, they need to be relatively rare. There is no point in trying to consider a relatively modern Fiesta as a modern classic because they are nearly every where these days which kind of defeats the point. Now of course, rarity isn’t everything when it comes to a modern classic however it does help.
So going by that what would you guys consider a modern classic? For me there’s lots of cars which fit that bill, from Ford Mondeo ST220’s all the way to Vauxhall Monaro VXR’s even down to the humble Rover 75 V6, these cars all share something good about them which all make them perfect candidates for being modern classics. Is there anything else which can go on that list? Let me know in the comments and I’ll share my thoughts.
As most of you guys know, I have a thing for Volvo and the brand they have become. These days they’re making some fantastic vehicles and as far as I can tell, they are well worth the money. So when I was given the invitation to the launch of their new S60, I jumped at the chance.
This wasn’t the first time I went to a launch event, in fact it’s the third time after going to their XC40 & V60 launch early last year. This year however, things were slightly different. Instead of an evening launch of just the one car like they had done previous, this time they decided to do an ‘Evolved Launch’ as it was aptly named. This basically entailed Volvo showing off every model they currently produce as well as introducing the new S60 into the mix. As I’d done before, I went to my nearest Volvo dealer which is in the seaside town of Ayr for the launch. This is where I’d been to the launches prior and there was good reasoning for this. Volvo Parks in Ayr is one of the best dealers I’ve ever walked into, whether it’s the sales team or the service department, the staff are just so friendly and so helpful which makes stuff like these launch events so much easier to go to. Most dealers on launch events tend to just let you be and get on with whatever you’re doing but with the staff at Parks Ayr they just go beyond expectations to make sure you are settled and enjoying your time. Even before we where shown the new car, the staff were so welcoming to us and that’s before I even sat down to get stuff ready.
After getting my camera up & running, I was asked if I knew anything about the car prior to the launch to which I replied yes. Like a lot of Volvo people, when a new one is released I tend to read nearly every article, watch every possible video and find pics after pics to get a slither of information from them so I know what I’m getting into when the car eventually launches over here in the UK. To the guys surprise, he realised I knew quite a bit about the new car in question so then started to show me a tablet with an app which unlocked the mystery behind the ‘Evolved Launch’ naming. The app worked in conjunction with a small stand the tablet stood on and depending on where you pointed the tablet, it’d play different videos on the particular subject printed into the stand by using the tablets camera.
The app was talking about the manufacturers vision for the near future and talked about hybrid & fully electric powertrains in the next few years instead of diesel or a fully fledged petrol car. Now while I’m not a big fan of hybrids or electric cars, the app itself was really rather cool to use and for anybody who is into new tech, you’d easily be able to spend quite a while on the app just playing around with it.
While the app was a brilliant way of wasting time, and the food & drink put out was fantastic, I wasn’t there to relax so I got to work on taking pictures of the new car and getting a general feel for it and my own opinion on it. It’s ok to read other articles and get an idea of it but its never the same as seeing the car for real, first of all the boot or trunk is absolutely massive. Volvo are known for making huge boots with tons of room but this S60 was something else entirely. Not just was it square in size with hardly any intrusion from the wheel arches but it was as long as it was wide.
Exterior wise it is a really good looking car with chiselled good looks and a sense of family connections, this was a car where you could tell it’s from the same design structure as the V60, the XC60 and the larger S90 & V90. In fact, from some angles it looks like a smaller, more compact S90 saloon which is no bad thing really as they look stunning. The dimensions are good as well, it isn’t as big as the current 3 series or C-Class but it’s not tiny neither. This is also a first for Volvo as well, see, normally they’ll build a car in an already existing Swedish plant and then proceed to send it over to different countries to launch it. This time however, Volvo opened up a factory in the USA and this is where the new car is built. Surprising really as the dimensions are perfect for UK & EU roads.
Interior wise it’s rather smart but also easy to access everything and use. Build quality is incredible as are the seats. They have the ability of being really comfortable but also hold you in rather well. On the cars Parks Ayr had, they all had a mixture of leather & cloth in the seats and the quality of them were great. Rear space was also very good with a decent amount of leg & headroom and with a fold down arm rest with a cubby hole, a shallow tray & integrated cup holders it’s a nice place to be for rear passengers, however there is an issue with it which I’ll mention a bit later on towards the end.
At the moment, the only powertrain is available is the 250bhp T5 automatic, unfortunately there is no diesels available for this model however there will be both hybrid versions and performance versions as well. I have confirmation from the dealer that the ‘Polestar Engineered’ version will be coming to the UK which means 400bhp from its 2.0 4 pot which is crazy considering a CLA45 AMG has in region of 300bhp.
Prices for the new car start from £36,000 and rise to about £43,000 once specced up which isn’t terrible compared to the equivalent 3 Series or C-Class, unfortunately there is no prices available for the Polestar Engineered version but I’d suspect it to be near the £50,000 mark. The only trim you can get it in at the moment is the R-Design but expect more to arrive as time goes by.
Unfortunately there are issues with the car, they are small but they do need addressing. For a start some of the interior trim, especially those found under the dash seems a bit low rent compared to the rest of the interior. Secondly, the rear is a bit too dark which isn’t helped by the dark coloured interior, upon further investigation there is no there colour option so if you were to buy one, I’d personally spec the sunroof to bring more light in. Another problem (and this certainly has a mixed reaction) is the rear end of the new car, now personally I think it looks good but other people don’t seem to have that much enthusiasm for it. Now I’ll admit, compared to the bigger S90 or even the V60 which it shares its platform with, the saloon may not look as good but that doesn’t mean it’s ugly. The last problem is the engines available, as I have already mentioned, there is no diesels available for the new car as Volvo dropped diesels not too long back for hybrid & electric powertrains. While that may work for the planet, it doesn’t work for potential buyers who need diesel for long journeys or for the extra economy, add in the upcoming prices for hybrids which are normally higher than a conventional car, not everyone who wants an economical S60 will be find it difficult to stretch to one to begin with.
In summary, the new S60 is a fantastic car launched in a fantastic way with wonderful people hosting the event, it looks really rather smart and for what you get it’s a really good price, however with a lack at the moment of different trim levels, better specifications, different engines available and no diesels involved, the S60 will more than likely take a bit of time to start to appeal to people.
Getting older is not easy, especially for cars. So when it comes time to celebrate a specific cars birthday you’ll always find it’s a big thing. So with that in mind, I’d like you to raise a glass and celebrate the 30th birthday of the Vauxhall Calibra.
So, what is the Vauxhall Calibra and why is it so special to us european petrol heads? Well, the calibra was Vauxhall/Opel’s replacement for the outgoing manta B2. It was based on the then new MK3 Cavalier/Vectra A, however, unlike the cavalier, the calibra was a whole lot more aerodynamic. For the time, it was the sleekest car available which was huge back in 1989. The looks stayed relatively the same with a few minor changes midway through the production run up until 1997 when production ceased. Externally these included an updated front grille, slightly different headlamps as well as slightly altered front & rear bumpers while internally there was a newer steering wheel & slightly altered dash with airbags fitted.
Engines were plentiful in the calibra range. Sizes ranged from a plethora of 2.0 litres all the way up to the 168bhp 2.5 V6, the 2.0’s could be had in either 8 valve or 16 valve configurations with the early 16v ‘Red Top’ lumps being engineered by Cosworth however these never really had the dynamics to match the calibra’s beautiful sleek bodywork. That was until 1992 when a truly spectacular variant of the calibra was unveiled.
I’m of course talking about the 4×4 Turbo. These are known by owners and Vauxhall people alike as the holy grail of the calibra range and for good reasons. Engine wise, it had the C20LET which was a turbocharged version of the already existing C20XE, however, the changes didn’t stop there. The 4×4 turbo also had a six speed Getrag gearbox fitted to help get the most of the turbo 4 pot, these two helped the calibra tons but vauxhall weren’t finished just yet. Normally, the calibra was a three door FWD coupé which was fine until you started converting it to run a AWD layout. With most of the lineup consisting of mainly FWD cars, vauxhall took the independent rear suspension setup from the already existing omega and fabricated it to fit the Calibra chassis, this made the car perform leaps and bounds compared to the FWD variants. Power output for the 4×4’s stood at 204bhp and with a top speed of over 150mph, these were quick for a mid-nineties vauxhall.
The 2.5 V6 C25XE engine arrived for the calibra in 1993 and while it was down on power compared to the 4×4 Turbo at only 168bhp, It was credited for being the better one to both own & drive due to its linear power delivery. This engine was used as the base for the 4×4 DTM race car which had success in the German Touring Car Championship.
While on the subject of the DTM championship, after the success, Vauxhall came up with the DTM limited edition to celebrate. These were only available in white to mimic the race car. Limited to only 22 cars, trying to find one now is not easy as these are becoming future classics & owners aren’t wanting to get rid any time soon.
The calibra was able to fend off competition from a lot of coupé’s for quite a good amount of years and with race success under its belt, it sold relatively well for a european GM product. It could never out sell the likes of a Mercedes-Benz or BMW as these were the darlings of the coupé market in the nineties but it wasn’t a complete flop. With its sister car the cavalier taking numerous BTCC championships with thanks to the legend that is John Cleland, both the cavalier & calibra were loved, especially in the UK.
With everyone in the nineties wanting to be seen, the calibra was a very good credible car to buy. It had racing success under its belt as did the cavalier it shared a lot of components with. It looked fantastic as well with its gorgeous bodywork and with the C20LET model in the 4×4 turbo, it made for a decent performance car and if you couldn’t quite stretch to the turbo, the normal variants were just as good.
Unfortunately, in 1995 GM decided to pull the plug on the cavalier for the upcoming Vectra B and due to poor sales in its later life, the calibra ceased production two years later. It lasted for 8 years and with that came many a good variant and a car for everyone. In the UK it crafted the way for many a performance Vauxhall throughout the 90’s and put them on the map for making really good performance cars which weren’t too expensive to buy or run and that statement still stands true 30 years after the calibra’s launch. Even today, vauxhall have never made a replacement as of yet which is a shame.
To celebrate the 30th birthday of the car, there is due to be a static display ran by CalibraClub.net, Performance Vauxhall Show & Performance Vauxhall at this years PVS at Bruntingthorpe Airfield, there is tons of calibra owners wanting to join but slots are only for ten cars. Expect to see anything from early models to the limited edition cars and anything in between. The PVS or ‘Performance Vauxhall Show’ as it’s fully known is a huge UK-based vauxhall show so this’ll be the best place to celebrate the cars birthday in style.
So, raise your glasses to the Calibra, a brilliant car often overlooked by people. If you ever find a 4×4 Turbo or a limited edition Calibra for sale, go out and buy one as soon as possible, you won’t regret it.
The world of motoring is always evolving, new cars are launched with a plethora of ground-breaking gadgets & gizmo’s, more reliable engines and better safety equipment. So it only makes sense to go buy a brand new car right? Well, this is unfortunately where the majority of people are wrong. Because what you really need to do is buy an old car and here are the reasons why.
Their Better Built.
Now yes, on first glance, this may seem crazy to say, modern cars have better build quality and on the whole are quieter, however this doesn’t always mean they are built better. A lot of manufacturer’s older cars were constructed better than their more modern counterparts and were built with better components and stronger metals, this means that they are surprisingly solid. Now sure, not all old cars will be as reliable as newer ones but with better materials used, it’s not the first time a classic has been known to outlive a car considerably newer.
They Look Far Better.
How many times have you driven into a car park and noticed cars looking identical with the styling? With old cars you don’t get this for good reasons. First of all, designers back then really where on top of their game producing some really iconic shapes with some even going to styling houses. This made for an interesting time in car ownership and easier as you could distinguish cars from each other, it also meant that truly gorgeous cars like the shark nose BMW’s of the 80’s or the classy grace of an old Mercedes-Benz instantly became a hit and even now are still in demand.
They’re Easier To Work On.
With new cars coming out every other day, manufacturers make it really difficult to stop everyday people working on their cars. While this works for people who don’t really have a clue about how cars work, for people like myself and others who are about the place, we find it annoying to say the least. You have to strip down a lot of plastic to get to the engine and then you have to strip down even more of the car to change a starter motor for example. With older cars you’ll be surprised at how much space you have to work with, take both my mothers Lexus RX400h & my Volvo C70 for example, now these cars are premium cars from high end manufacturers but you’ll discover the slightly older Volvo easier to work on. The Lexus has acres of plastic covering everything. Even removed, there’s no space to put a hand let alone a spanner or ratchet which makes typical maintenance a pain, made even worse by the Lexus’s Hybrid system which dominates most of the car’s engine bay.
You Actually Have To Look After Them.
This statement links in with the one above but it’s a tad different, with a modern car, you can be 100% certain that it’ll do everything you’ll ask of it and more and won’t put up a fight, it’ll do the job of ferrying you and others around. However with older cars, especially classics, the same can’t be said. You have to listen out for noises & smells, you have to watch air/fuel ratio as well as make sure the temperature of both the water & oil are where they should be. If a classic car has a choke you have to be careful that it’s not running too rich or too lean as this’ll wear down the engine. Now to the average person this is too much to worry about, however to people who love old classics and retro’s, we won’t have it any other way, we love fixing our cars as nothing comes close to the satisfaction of fixing something broken.
The Community & Clubs are Brilliant.
If there was ever a reason to buy a classic it’d be this, the classic car community & the vast amount of classic car clubs around the world are really good, unlike a lot of groups, there’s no hate towards specific cars or makes, anything goes as long as it’s within the certain age limits the different groups make up. For example, i’m in two groups with my car, one of which is ‘Retro + Post Millennia 365 Motor Club “aka” RPM 365’ and the other is ‘Young Retro Motor Club’ and there are very good reasons to why. First off, the people in both groups are fantastic and the admins who make the group what it is have done a fantastic job, the other cars in the respective groups are also lovely and have stories behind them. Whether they are family cars handed down or barn finds which have taken on a lot of work to make them into a show winner, there’s a story to be found with each one. Thirdly the group is so welcoming to people. Now even though my car is over 18 years old now, it’s certainly not the oldest car around — in fact some consider mine new compared to what they have which is fine. I’m still allowed in with open arms in both groups and there’s not a lot of hate with anybody, everyone is chilled and in certain circumstances help is given out either physically or over the internet. Even though i’ve only had 4 years of car ownership, the best kind of community for me personally is the classic car community as they are a cut above the rest.
There’s No Badge Snobbery.
These days badge means everything so it’s such a refreshing feeling to see an old Austin Metro get the same amount of love as a similarly aged Rolls Royce or Bentley, regardless of budget, favourite manufacturer or dream car there is no sniggering or bad comments about cars people own. In fact, there’s often a mini group of people within an already existing group that like the car you seem to have and this is brilliant for meeting friends. You can own a car with a lesser known badge or from companies which built cars to a low cost & you’ll be able to find someone who can easily look over the badge and will love it regardless.
There’s A Vast Array Of Different Vehicles.
This is no surprise however it makes for a fantastic variation of cars, there’ll be times for example you’ll be at a car show and see a car you’ve never seen before and one conversation later with the owner and you’ll have information on a car you never knew existed or on a vehicle you’ve never looked up before. Even a simple search of the classifieds and you’ll see something which is like nothing else on the road. Add club posts into the mix and you’ll have something nobody would’ve known existed which is also a very refreshing thing to see. Being able to share information about it to people who might won’t know much about the car in question is an amazing feeling.
You Keep Specialists In Jobs.
This is weird to say however bear with me, with old cars comes rare parts and tools. Dealerships get rid after cars have turned an age limit as they fix the new stuff which is nothing new. These parts & tools wind up being acquired by specialists who then take over the work if you don’t fix cars. Now these are mainly small garages with maybe a few people employed who work on one specific kind of manufacture — there’s always that one “guy” if you will. Now these guys are the unsung heroes when it comes to the classic car scene as they know everything there is to know about the cars they fix, whether it be a Ford specialist or a Mopar guy, there’s information to be had from these people and with more people buying modern stuff, these guys go under the radar even more than what they already are which is a crying shame.
The Modifications Are Fantastic.
When it comes to car ownership, the first thing that us car owners love to do without a doubt is to make it our own, whether it be a simple thing of changing wheels or fully modifying a car, it’s in our blood, it’s something we can’t get rid of. Now in the classic & retro car scene this is where its at its best, the modifications both done & seen to classics are just amazing.
Take this Vauxhall Viva for example, this is my mate Darryl’s Viva, now, I met Darryl through the Facebook group “RPM 365” & just like me, this is his first car & also like me he works on his car outside his house using the limited tools that he has. However, unlike my build process where I’m going down the OEM+ route while fixing all it’s bad bits, Darryl here went with a completely different route. He started off with a 1972 Viva 1.3 5 door which in itself is a pretty solid choice for a classic car.
However, as you can see this isn’t any normal Viva, because it’s currently running a tuned 1256cc Chevette engine with a stage 1 clutch which is pretty good however Darryl wants to change this to small block Chevy V8 for that gorgeous old school V8 rumble.
Exterior wise, its matte black with subtle satin black ghost flames on the front end of the car which looks really rather swell if I do say so myself.
Like most people Darryl has two sets of wheels for the car which include the good old Cobra drag slots & also a lovely set of Cragar 4 spokes as well to fit in with the muscle car vibe this beautiful car has in spades.
It sits on upgraded front suspension which means unfortunately the Slots won’t fit just yet. To fit in with the muscle car vibe, it has chopped front springs and custom rears for that really lovely 80’s rake it fits so well.
The front end is all fibreglass and these include both the front end & wings which makes this car light at just over 700 kg, it also has a Magnum front end which makes the car look a bit more aggressive with its 4 round headlamps and magnum grille. The headlamps have also been changed for custom halo units. To go with the muscle car vibe, it has the obligatory front spoiler with again custom projector spotlights fitted as well as custom halo indicators, add these into the rest of the package and it’s a one of a kind car.
What makes this special however is what’s been done to the doors. Remember I mentioned that it’s a 5 door? Well, Darryl has smoothed off the rear door handles so it looks like a 3 door and to the unsuspecting eye it can be believed to be a 3 door car until you get up close to it and find out otherwise.
Now lets talk under the bonnet shall we? I’ve already mentioned that it’s currently running a tuned 1256 Chevette lump with a stage 1 clutch but what I haven’t mentioned is that upon further inspection there seems to be no battery under their and no washer bottle. Why is this exactly? Yet again, Darryl and his remarkable mechanical & engineering skills came into play as he was able to relocate both of them to the boot to save weight & gain better access for his potential V8 swap.
It’s finished off with some other small but really nice details like american style plates and colour changing bulbs as the originals weren’t up to the trick of lighting up the road anymore.
Want to know the best bit of all though? All of that work was Darryl’s own, instead of buying a modern car and going through the process of mapping it & putting wheels on it and then calling it a build, he took a car that no one really knew a lot about, saw potential in it and made it his own. So much so that last year, it was featured in a Street Machine magazine article which is no easy feat.
And this is what is seen a lot of in the classic car scene. Taking cars which aren’t around anymore, having a vision and then carrying it out and making it look spectacular.
If you want to get into car ownership where there is a loving community with fantastic cars and tons of owners with stories to tell, it makes sense to buy an older car over a newer one. Sure reliability won’t like a new car and you will have to keep an eye on what the car is doing but that is the charm of owning a classic car, add in the different kind of driving experience & looks that classics have and it’d be a no brainer to go out & buy one.
Do you think I’m correct in what I’m saying and if so, what would you add? Also, do you like old cars as well and if so are you considering on buying one? Let me down below and I’ll be sure to comment on my thoughts.
As everyone who knows me and this blog by now, I currently own a ’00’ Volvo C70 Coupé 2.0T which I’ve owned since just before turning 18 years old, It’s also my first car as well, now this may not sound like much however in the UK where we tend to buy small city cars like the Vauxhall/Opel Corsa or the Ford Fiesta to name a few, the Volvo is quite a leap in car choice compared to what a majority of first time drivers over here buy, so with that mentioned and with ownership crossing over onto it’s 4th year, why exactly did I buy my C70 and what is it actually like to own 4 years on now I’m nearly 22 years of age?
Well, we’ll start off with the first part of the question and that is this, why the C70 in particular and why not a similarly priced small car?, well, I’ll freely admit that the Volvo was never my first choice in cars and before buying the C70 I wasn’t really considered a Volvo enthusiast of sorts, I’d never grown up around Volvo’s and I never had any friends or family members with one neither so I was completely blind to the brand due to those reasons, however, when my parents were looking to change their MK1 Honda CR-V for a wagon, we first tried to get a Subaru Outback MK4, however, as luck would have it these were way out of league for us as at the time, now, this is where I come in, I decided to help by looking at cars similar to the Outback but was more affordable and this is where it really all started unbeknownst to me at the time, because what I found was tons & tons of MK2 V70 Wagons for sale, thinking nothing of it, I soon shown these to my parents to look at & to my belief they started to look them up, however for some reason they decided to look into a MK1 Volvo S80 2.4 (170), now while this was a completely different step compared to the V70 originally planned, it still shared the same platform & most of the equipment so it still kinda made sense, this is where I started to fall for the brand.
See, as soon as we got word we were to buy a 2001 Volvo S80, I went down to check it out and as soon as we got down to Hemel Hempstead which is the outskirts of London and we saw the car for the first time, I instantly fell for it, compared to the CR-V which we had before, it had way better kit, was ten times more comfier and was just a complete cut above the rest in every single way and I soon found myself enjoying every second of that car, so much so intact, that when we got home a few days afterwards I instantly went onto my iPad to look up the classifieds to find a Volvo for myself, this is when everything was to change.
See, up until that point, I was looking at cars for sale which were a bit different than the rest, however, most of these were small & not very powerful, some of these included an R53 Mini One, a MK6 Ford Escort, a MK1 Ford Focus, a MK4 Vauxhall Astra Coupé Bertone as well as many others, a Volvo never made the list as I’d never really appreciated them before, however with the new arrival of the S80 I decided to look up Volvo’s for a possible second or 3rd car as I had in my mind that insurance would be too much to have as a first car.
However, I started to look regardless and at first glance I found nothing I really liked nor something which shouted out to me as either a car I’d love to own or a car which grabbed my attention, see, while Volvo make fantastic cars, they’re never marketed for young owners specifically apart from a small few so this made it difficult as the ones which looked like a possibility were way too expensive and the ones which didn’t were unbelievably cheap, however, I kept looking and after starting to endlessly lose hope, I eventually came across the C70, now I remembered these mainly as being convertibles so when I saw that there was a coupé for sale, I was rather intrigued, first of all I never knew at the time that Volvo made a C70 coupé and secondly I was kinda already looking at possible coupés as potential cars, especially the likes of the EM1 Civic coupé, the MK4 Astra Bertone coupé and the CL203 Mercedes-Benz C-Class SportCoupé so to find yet another potential coupé to the list wasn’t exactly a bad thing at all.
The main difference between those three cars above and the C70 was quite large to be quite honest, see with the cars above, to find a really good one you had to search with a fine tooth comb to get a good one which wasn’t ragged to within an inch of it’s life whereas the with the C70, even though their fewer to come across, on a whole they’re looked after a whole lot better, now at the time, there was only the one C70 coupé for sale and it was down in Taunton for £1000, it was in Nautical Blue with BBS Propus Alloys which were a factory option and it had the 2.0T B5204T4 engine fitted with the M56 manual Gearbox fitted, this particular car grabbed my attention like no other, even though it was the only one for sale at the time, compared to the cars I’d looked at before, this C70 just had something the others could never have, whether that was outright pace, levels of equipment or even the price, the C70 had it all, however, I still knew that with a car like that it’d possibly cost a lot to insure so it came to my absolute surprise that when I done a quote on that blue C70 that it wound up being the same price to insure as a mid spec EM1 Civic manual which in comparison had hardly nothing in it nor had the pace of the big swede.
With that information, I decided to see if the insurance results were frequent or if they kept changing price, the reason for this was solely down to previous quotes I’d been given on the cars I’d been looking at prior to quoting the C70, however, to my surprise, as long I sticked to the 2.0T engine, the C70 would stay true to it’s word and kept delivering fantastic quotes, to the point it could actually be reachable as a first car instead of the 2nd or 3rd car it was originally intended to be, however, before I could actually go ahead to get one I had to chat with my parents to see if it was ok with them, at first they weren’t so sure but after having a discussion, it was given the green light – I was getting a C70 as my first car and nothing was gonna stop me from getting one!!
After getting the green light, I researched everything on the MK1 C70 Coupé, everything from potential upgrades to numerous videos on the car itself, I’d read articles on the car and everything associated with it to find out more about it and what I was eventually getting myself into once I had enough money saved up.
While on the subject of money, at the time when all this was happening, I was just about to start my second year in my first college and due to my age at the time, I had a budget of £2500 to spend but this also had to buy the car, tax & insurance so not really a lot considering.
Once I started the College, I saved as much as I could to buy what would eventually be a C70 of sorts, this meant not getting new clothes or even haircuts when I needed them, this way I was able to save as much as I possibly could to get the C70 I’d always been after, it wasn’t easy but it had to be done to get a good example, after doing that for about 7 months out of an academic year, I finally had enough money to buy what would now be my C70.
I remember it like it was yesterday, it was a Friday and I had college that day and I was in the garage workshop that day all day, I’d found the car the night before on Gumtree and arranged to meet what is now the previous owner the Friday night at 6:30PM that night as like everyone else he was at work that day, I remember trying my hardest to keep it a secret from all my mates & fellow colleagues however it was such an exciting time that a few suspected that something was up as I just couldn’t keep my excitement at bay, in fact due to that, the day flew in so when I finished that day, I instantly went to the bank to get all my money, we had to kill a few hours so we went into the town to kill time.
Eventually the time came to head to the previous owners house to see the car, emotionally I was all over the place as the day had finally came, for a good half an hour I was just all over the place however when the car turned up I was just star struck, it was everything I’d everything I’d ever hoped for, it had the engine I was looking for, it had the BBS’s I loved and it was in a colour I rather liked, I instantly fell in love with it and couldn’t help but not buy it, that night 4 years ago today I came home with my C70 and I’ve had it ever since!!
Now onto my second point and that is this – What is it like to actually own?, well, it’s certainly been an experience and I’ll admit there has been ups & downs to the ownership however I won’t change it for the world, before it became a project car it drove really really well and was really easy to control and was such a relaxing drive, however due to age and old parts, it needed new stuff fitted quite quickly so after a year of driving it, I took it off the road here & there to fix it and that was how it became ProjectC70.
At this point, I’d changed colleges due to issues with the first one and with my newly known skills, I decided to put them to use on the C70 and fix it myself with some help from fellow friends, colleagues & family members, soon after I started, the car came from an ordinary C70 into my vision of what a C70 should look like & drive like, first off was to replace the power steering suction hose and after doing that things just escalated into what it is now, now sure the car has been testing as of late and I have looked at potential replacements, however, for some reason or another I’ve stuck to the C70 and kept at it through thick & thin.
It’s actually very well built and also very easy to fix, however due to negligence & old parts it has been a pain in a lot of circumstances, however slowly but surely I’ve ironed out it’s issues and got them fixed once & for all, the build is still in progress however as of late I’ve been doing some relatively big jobs to it to fix it’s issues, these include chrome rings around the dials in the instrument cluster as well as a front bumper as well, currently I’m in the process of ripping out the carpets to change the door seals as they’re perished and are letting water in which isn’t good however it is fixable.
As already mentioned, it’s not been an easy road to both ownership and to the stage it’s currently in now, I’ve lost contact in friends, meetings & numerous events however, I know that when the car is eventually done, it’ll be perfect & possibly one of the best C70 MK1’s in the country, if not the best then most likely the cleanest example going and for that it’ll all be worth it.
For those of you who fancy owning a C70 or have even considered one, I’d say to go get one, they are such underrated cars with fantastic engines and really good looks, the community overall are fantastic and for the money that they currently go for, it has to be the best bargain coupé out there!!
Here’s hoping that the next 4 years are just as fantastic as the first 4 have been, it’s been a long road but overall i’m pleased with the purchase and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
In the world of filmography, there has been many truly fantastic car scenes in some equally as amazing movies, whether it’s the Mustang vs Charger scene in Bullitt or even the numerous Bond Film car scenes they all wind up being fantastic, however, in the world of Short Films, not just do you hardly hear about them but due to a limited budget or an array of other things, they never seem to stand out like the rest do, however, there’s one which stands out from the rest and that goes by the name of ‘C’était Un Rendez-Vous’.
Other wise known by the name of Rendezvous, it is a short film which was filmed way back in 1976 by Claude LeLouch and it features Claude himself driving what sounds like a Ferrari 275 GT/B blasting through the french city of Paris at about 5:30am on a Sunday morning in August while every Parisian is on their annual vacation, it’s a 9 minute film which certainly isn’t long but unlike other short films which can be quite hard to follow or difficult to get into, ‘Rendezvous’ is just simple & very easy to get into, there’s no music to distract you nor any voiceover work to follow neither – just pure V12 Ferrari symphony!!
So what is the plot?, well, Rendezvous doesn’t really have a plot at face value however, it only clicks at the end what the plot actually is – see, Rendezvous is actually a nine minute long street race which starts from Port Dauphine and finishes 10.597 meters later at the finishing point the Sacré-Cœur Basilica which is out of shot by the end of the film where he meets his girlfriend coming up a flight of stairs, it includes sights such as the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Élysées, the Opéra Garnier, the Place de la Concorde as well as many others.
The best bit of Rendezvous is definitely the realism of it all, remember, it was 1976, GoPro’s weren’t around back then and camera’s weren’t as small as they are now and CGI was way out of reach for short film makers and this was exactly the case of Rendezvous, it was all for real and only included one camera which was mounted onto the front of the car, add in the fact Claude only had two people who knew what he was doing, one of which, a guy with a walkie talkie to guide him through a tight archway onto a busy street and the second his girlfriend at the time, there was no shut roads or police blockades to guide him, this was all real and not staged one bit whatsoever.
Claude had to dodge real traffic and real conditions, these included dodging buses, multiple cars, pavement hopping as well as running numerous red lights and of course a mass amount of Parisians & tourists on vacation, this made it not just exhilarating to watch but also scary to create, see Claude done this film all in one shoot so he had no idea what he was going to get himself into, this made it even more exciting to watch as one wrong move and he was done for.
What’s really fascinating about it all though is how much Paris has changed since way back then, now of course city’s change over many many years – look at London for example but in Rendezvous, Paris is on the whole like a ghost town, there’s hardly any traffic, hardly any shut roads and due to the light traffic, theres none of the infamous Paris traffic jams, add in the new roads which have come along over the years it’s weird to see an older Paris compared to the one we have now.
Rendezvous actually has a lot of things that bigger, more expensive films have, take Bullitt for example, the car chase scene between Steve McQueen & the baddies in the Charger, there is no music & no speech involved and it’s went down as one of the best scenes in a movie ever and this is exactly the same in Rendezvous, add in the tense watching & the fantastic driving in it and it has to be the best short film I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching.
The actual filming was done by Claude in a Mercedes 450SEL 6.9 instead of an actual Ferrari and that was for a very good reason, the Mercedes had the pace of the Ferrari but ultimately due to it’s self-levelling hydropneumatic suspension which came in handy with Paris’ different road surfaces, this made the footage a whole lot more smoother and easier to watch than the Ferrari could ever do, however this brings me onto the only real issue with Rendezvous and that is the sound.
Now at the time of filming, Claude Lelouch was quite the film maker and had quite a bit of money and was able to buy himself both an actual 275GTB and the SEL, so when he was filming Rendezvous, it was easily possible to take the Ferrari, however, due to the different road surfaces, he took the SEL instead but instead of using the Mercedes’ glorious V8 soundtrack, he decided to dub the 275 GTB’s V12 engine note over the footage taken from the Mercedes which makes it the only issue for the film as in some places it doesn’t quite match up which is a shame as otherwise it’s a fantastic film.
It’s such a fantastic film in fact that many a people and many a company have tried to recreate it in one way or another, these include Nissan’s 350Z promotional DVD called ‘The Run’, ‘The Fast And The Famous’ which included Jay Leno in an SLS AMG as well as many others, hell, even Turn 10 & Playground games, the creators of the Forza Horizon series has a side mission which involves taking an Alpine A110 around a route based in Edinburgh to pay homage to the film.
If you haven’t seen it, I’d urge you to look it up as it’s truly fantastic and well worth a watch, with the way traffic laws are getting these days, it’d be impossible to do something like that these days in a major city which makes it such a pleasure to watch, add in the phenomenal driving and amazing views of Paris and it’s truly something to behold, here is a link to the video on Youtube if you fancy watching it.
So for those of you who have stuck around from the beginning, you’ll know that I currently own a MY ’00’ Volvo C70 Coupé 2.0 Turbo Manual which is my first car and of which I’m currently restoring/upgrading, well over these last few days I’ve been doing just that as I can finally reveal that she now has chrome rings around her dials in the instrument cluster!
So how did these come about & why did I go for them for the C70?, well as you guys may know after the Aston Martin blog a few weeks ago, I’m a massive fan of Aston Martin’s and GT cars in general and if given the possibility, I’d happily own multiple GT cars throughout my life if given the chance, now one thing i’ve noticed with multiple modernish GT cars whether they’re Mercedes CL’s or Jag XK’s or even Maserati 3200GT’s, they all seem to have chrome around the dials in the instrument cluster to make them feel classy & up market, however, because Volvo aren’t as upmarket as those other brands, when the C70 was launched way back in 1996, chrome around dials were never added as standard nor as an option, weird really for a car which has massive GT car credentials.
This is where DidoTuning come into play, DidoTuning are a polish company which manufacture & create chrome rings for an array of different cars and they sell there products both on their website & on their Ebay page so when I came across them after finding an extensively modified C70 over on Facebook & seeing fellow group members & friends apply these to their own cars, I just had to buy them for ProjectC70, overall they cost about £30 including shipping which to be honest wasn’t too bad.
After a hefty 2 week wait of mainly customs related issues they finally arrived, and I finally got to have a look at what I got for my £30, so essentially they are 3 chrome aluminium rings which are cut to shape of the cluster so in theory they should clip in tightly & then have the ability to fold over so they don’t fall out, however, as with all aftermarket stuff, fitment just wasn’t quite right, especially on the two outer rings but I’ll get to that later – first of all, I had to remove the dash pad off my car and remove the actual cluster first!
Now for those who have been here from the beginning, it’s not been the first time that I’ve actually removed the dash pad from my car, the last time I done it was a good few years back when I replaced the interior centre console trim & dash trim which really wasn’t easy, however as I’d had no choice but to remove the dash pad before, I kind’ve knew what I was doing.
After looking a bit online, there was no turning back, it just had to be done, the job entailed removing all the plastic trim like the air vents & speaker vents, a plethora of T25 screws, a few 10mm bolts & the removal of the glovebox itself as well as disconnecting the passenger airbag, as the battery was already removed I was safe enough to undo it.
To make things easier, I used a 18V drill with an extended T25 Screwbit, a 10mm Spanner to remove the 3 bolts under the dash & a small flathead screwdriver to both undo the electrical connections & remove the trim, with all those tools combined, it made getting the dash pad an absolute breeze to remove and even easier to remove the cluster itself, now sure I could’ve bought a trim removal tool or a bone tool from IPD but with the time it’d take to turn up, I wouldn’t be writing this article as of right now as it’d possibly take a few weeks to turn up from America.
I started by removing all the trim with the flathead screwdriver, it’s real easy to do, just pop the screwdriver under the trim & pull and hey presto it’s out, I did this all around the dash removing the front dash vents, the higher speaker grilles & two plastic inserts which fit into the side of the dash, that was step 1 done, now onto step 2.
Step 2 involved removing the T25 screws which hide behind the plastic trim, as mentioned above, this was made a breeze with the drill & screw bit, one zap on the drill and the screws were slowly but surely coming out one by one which brings me onto the step 3 – The glovebox removal.
Step 3 was the removal of the glovebox innings, this again was really easy on my car, a few T25 screws on the outside & then a few more T25 screws once it was removed and once again, the glovebox came out and now I was in sight of the fabled passenger airbag, as I was working, it was vital that the battery was either disconnected from the car or a cable was removed, due to the C70’s battery being removed to stop drainage this wasn’t an issue whatsoever.
Disconnecting the airbag was really easy with the battery removed, it was just a matter of disconnecting the connector & removing the 3 10mm bolts nearby and that was all it took for the removal of the dash pad, however I wasn’t finished there.
With the dash pad removed I had to remove the cluster itself, this included removing yet another two T25 screws prior to removing the pad itself, once they were undone, I just had to unclip the 4 connectors both on top and behind & the two metal clips on the top of the cluster and with a slight yank it was freed from it’s slumber.
With both the cluster & pad inside, it was time for the disassembly of the cluster itself, however before that, I wanted to check the bulbs while I was at it as they can easily blow so with it out it only made sense to check all the bulbs and I’m glad to report back no blown bulbs whatsoever, with that out the way it was to business.
Stripping down the cluster took a bit of figuring out as it’s held in with tiny little screws as well as a multitude of black clips holding it altogether, I was also worried of not breaking it as I’d never removed or worked on a cluster prior to this point before in my life, after gingerly removing the screws and slowly but surely separating the clips, it slowly came apart into two separate pieces, now the main part I was interested in was the front bit as it held the slots for the chrome rings, however as I’m about to reveal, it wasn’t exactly a walk in the park.
So what was the problem exactly? Well, with my car like many, it has 3 sets of dials, it has a dial for the fuel level & coolant level which sits on the left of the cluster, it has the speedo in the middle & lastly the rev counter on the right side with the middle dial being bigger than the two outer ones, now while the rings were size specific with the middle one being bigger than the other two, it made it easy to figure out where it went, however, the two outer rings weren’t wanting to play ball whatsoever and kept popping out of place & with a lack of knowledge & overall patience it wound up that after a while we started to notice deep scratch marks which would block my vision when fitted back into place.
This meant that I had to order a second used cluster off Ebay to work with with the intention of just swapping the screen part while already using the existing dials & original to the car cluster electrics, this meant that I could keep the original mileage which was the most important bit in the whole change up, after ringing up both Volvo Parks Ayr and Volvo specialists M.J. Motors over in a village not far from me called Auchinleck, they said that if I kept the electrics the same it will keep the original mileage so I ordered the second cluster with everything crossed that it’d work.
With my trust in both the specialist & dealer, when the new cluster came in earlier today, we instantly got to work stripping it down, fitting the new chrome rings and then refitting, I decided to let my stepdad fit the dials as he is stronger than myself and also has more patience than me as well, it wasn’t easy as the two outer rings kept popping out which was the issue I had a few days prior, however, he persevered and finally got them to fit, after putting the cluster back together, it was time to put the car back together.
The cluster was just a matter of screws & clips so nothing really difficult, I had to be careful however as with the ill fitting outer rings, it was very easy for it to go belly up and I wasn’t wanting that to happen as we’d be back to square one, however this time everything went back together smoothly and it was ready for refitting time.
Refitting was the reversal of removal, so first of all the cluster went back in, then it got connected up, after that, the dash pad got put back in place, the airbag got reconnected, the 3x 10mm bolts were next to go in and then once they were in, the glovebox was lined up and refitted, once that was back in the rest of the T25 screws got put back in and then last but not least, the trim & vents went back in and hey presto – ProjectC70 was now fitted with chrome rings around the dials & what a difference!!!
Now, I’ll be honest, cheap aftermarket parts don’t really interest me as a whole as they tend to look tacky or be made from really crappy material and it can really show and can ruin an otherwise nice car, however, to give DidoTuning their due, these rings look absolutely amazing and because they are actually aluminium instead of chromed plastic, they really suit the car a lot, intact I’d say that they look factory which isn’t something you can say about a lot of the stuff you see for sale online.
So would I recommend them? well it all depends really, they look fantastic and really suit the car, however, with some of the parts ill fitting & really tight spaces to work with, it isn’t the easiest job to do, however, if you take it easy, it will be doable and the results will be fantastic.
So, picture this, you’re a young petrolhead and you are looking for your first ever set of wheels, now because it’s a first car, it needs to be cheap to buy, cheap to insure, cheap to tax and overall cheap to run but yet has to be decently fun to drive as well as being reliable & not much to fix, with all this in mind and with a vast array of cars out there, here’s some top ten steps to take when buying your first ever car!
1.)Set Yourself a Fixed Budget.
Now when you are looking for a first car, the main thing you have to work out is your current budget, there’s no point looking at Ferrari’s if you only have £1,000 to play with, also there is no point in looking at a £6,000 car if you only have a £5,000 budget, stick to a budget which can easily get you a car & cover costs of insurance & tax prices, that way you have a better idea of what’s exactly out there for buying.
2.) Shop Around For Insurance.
Now, while Budget is top dog when it comes to buying a first car, there is no point in buying a car if it cost way too much to insure, try & find something which is cheap to buy & also cheap to insure & don’t be afraid to shop around different quotes to find the best for you, the more you shop around and the more companies you get in contact with, you’ll more than likely find a company who’ll put you onto a ‘Young Drivers Scheme’ which lowers the insurance quite significantly compared to your typical quotes.
3.) Buy Something That Young Driver’s Won’t Normally Drive.
This may sound weird at first glance but bear with me on this, If you go for something that no other young driver has, the lower the insurance will more than likely cost, now remember to do this within reason, If for example you are looking at a Ford Focus MK1, look instead at the likes of a Mazda 3 or Alfa Romeo 147, because no young driver is hardly seen insuring these kinds of cars compared to their rivals, the insurance companies don’t give out really stupid quotes as they’re hardly ever crashed by unexperienced drivers, also, if you disregard insurance for a second, buying something that nobody else has means that you can potentially get yourself a car which drives as good as if not better than the typical choices & is also a rare sight on the roads.
4.) Make Sure It Has a Good Community.
There is no point in buying a car if it has no following or love for it as this’ll make it impossible to get any help with it regarding parts or even fixing it, also there is no point in buying a car if the following is huge but unhelpful to your specific car in question, try if you can to find a car which has a very good owners community which will literally go to the ends of the world to help you out, not just will this help you with parts & fixing the car in question but you’ll also meet some very good friends through it as well and will make you stick around for many years to come.
5.) Don’t be Afraid to Try Out a Classic or Retro car.
With new cars becoming ever so complicating & some small classics becoming really cheap & easy to pick up, it makes sense to buy a classic or retro car, It’s so easy to join one of the many array of classic car clubs around the place and fit in with the rest of the members, the best part about these kind of car people is that most of them are of a mature age so will easily be able to help you without hurling abuse or making fun of what you drive, plus with so many different shapes, sizes, & styling it certainly makes for some fun motoring as you’ll know that you’ll be driving something that isn’t common on the roads anymore, add in the easy mechanical access & more raw driving experience a classic car gives you, it certainly makes for a wonderful ownership experience.
6.) Go on Your own Insurance Policy.
Now while a lot of people may tell you to go on to the likes of your parents insurance or even another family members insurance for a few years to lower costs, this isn’t actually the best way to go in the long run, see, insurance companies don’t give out ‘No Claim Discounts’ to named drivers on insurance policies, only those who are actually main drivers, so what does this mean exactly? Well while for the first few years the insurance will be low, as soon as you sign up in your own name, it will be more expensive, by going on your own policy from the get go, you can build up a significant no claims discount before moving onto your next car or even changing company, even if you have to add people onto your policy then do so – just make sure it’s in your name!
7.) You Can’t Be Picky.
Remember what I said about trying out cars which no one else has? Well if you choose to do that which is very much advised by myself, you can’t be picky when choosing a car, sometimes the underrated cars are some of the best cars you could ever own regardless of badge or stereotypes, when I bought my C70, I was never considering a Volvo as I always thought they were old mans cars which drove terribly, however while some of that may be true, it isn’t actually as bad as everyone makes out and this is the case for most cars which are never considered.
8.) Do Your Research.
whether it’s a brand new car you are looking at or a secondhand car you have your eyes on, whether it’s a typical everyday VW Golf or an expensive entry level Audi/BMW/Mercedes, always always do your research, this will make it so much easier to filter out the good cars from the bad, too many people make the mistake of just buying what they like or what they want without even reading about it’s common faults or ownership issues which means that unfortunately they are stuck in a position where they are severely left unhappy & ultimately cold with their purchase all due to lack of research.
9.) Get in Contact With People in The Know.
So, you’ve whittled it down to maybe two or three cars, they’re all within budget, have similar performance & running costs and all have good badges or a good reputation from both owners & forums/groups, how do you go about whittling it down to the right car?, well you could always go round the dealerships and find out more about the cars you’re looking at but 9 times out of ten they’ll be biased as it’s one of their products and this is something which ultimately won’t help, however there is nothing to stop you from getting contact with specialists in the know of the cars you’re currently looking at, these guys will be able to give fair honest answers without being biased and will make it so much easier for you to come to a decision & ultimately coming away with more knowledge than the internet or forums could ever give.
10.) Go Out & Actually Experience Potential Cars.
So, you’ve narrowed it down to a couple of cars, they both have fantastic reviews, both within budget & both are good buys from those in the know, how do you make the decision to actually go ahead and buy one?, well you either drive them or get a passenger ride in them of course!, This separates the good from the bad and is the ultimate turning point in potential car ownership as you will actually be able to see first hand what the cars in question are like & what they’re like to actually drive & sit in, this way you can actually get to see what kit comes with them and what everything feels like and get an overall feel for the cars in question, while reviewers & journalists can tell you how fast a car can get around a track, no one can tell you what it’s like to drive & live with on a day to day business.
I hope this list helps and guides you into first car ownership easier than going alone without anyone helping, now, even though this list does help out & makes things easier, there really is no right or wrong way to buying any car let alone your first car, this is only meant as a guide and not as the be all & end all of all of the multiple first car lists out there on the internet, I know that when I bought my C70 way back in 2015, I had different wants & needs to friends of mine who just wanted a cheap set of wheels to get them on the road, not everyone is the same and everyone has different needs especially when it comes down to cars.
In the world of rallying these days it’s a fierce game, in a sport where you have top tier drivers in top tier cars piloting them through the toughest & most mentally challenging stages it’s no wonder that after the stages are done the drivers go & relax, now if you have ever had the chance to get up close to a drivers living quarters you’ll quickly realise they’re massive and outlandishly lavish with everything & more anybody would ever seriously need, however, what if you’re not a rally driver but still fancy lavish living quarters? well, I’ve found just the thing!
With thanks to Racetrailer one of you lucky people out there can now go & buy Petter Solbergs actual 2017 VW Racing Trailer Living Quarters, as like all living quarters this one is absolutely huge and is more like a small office building than actual living quarters, for a start, it has Hydraulic folding stairs, Full A\C, Smart TV’s, Double refrigerators, a fold away awning, various storage cupboards, a welcome desk, a plethora of beds ranging from single beds, double beds & multiple bunks as well as much much more!
Now to carry all this weight & mass, it needs to sit on a good chassis which can cope with its bulk and this one sure does, it’s a 3 axle trailer which in itself spreads the weight evenly and makes it easier to move & it even has a stepdeck frame which is perfect for heavy loads like this.
However, while the chassis is good for the weight, you’ll still need a powerful truck to haul it around, whether thats a Scania R Series or even a Volvo FH16 or any other of the trucks out there, it’s not a light trailer at all, to be quite frank though, if you can afford the trailer than you are more than likely able to afford a brand new truck to haul it with which brings me onto it’s major set back & that’s the price.
See, this has to be the most expensive VW branded product bar a Bugatti, see this trailer is up for sale for €450,000 + VAT (£396,261.54) which isn’t exactly cheap, in fact, that’s the same price as a well specced nearly new Ferrari 812 SF which begs the question, which is the better buy?, the unbelievably quick yet comfortable 2 seat V12 Ferrari GT Car or the lavishly equipped home from home for ultimate rally fans.
There is no doubt the Motorhome is equipped really well and is the ultimate rally fans trophy piece and with everything in it & more it’s certainly worth a buy and will no doubt be bought by someone who has the money to buy it, however with limited usability the Ferrari seems to be a slightly better buy.
One thing I can say however, which ever one is bought, you’ll both get a fantastic reaction from it and will both be phenomenal to own and both are so ultimately cool that they will never go unnoticed wherever they’re parked.