Car stories.

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#1
I know we’ve got numerous car threads, but a cursory glance doesn’t appear to show any that are dedicated to motoring dits.

So let’s have it.

A place to spin your car dits, dits about road trips, adventures you’ve had in cars, dits about cars etc.

Lancias.

I grew up around Lancias. I have a cousin who is about 9 or 10 years older than me, he’s basically a big brother. It all started with his old man, who used to drive Lancias in the 70s.

They lived on a farm in Cornwall and every time one went wrong (which they did a lot), they’d just dump it on the farm somewhere and use it as spares for the next one.

Over the years they gathered quite a collection.

My happiest childhood memories Are spending summer holidays on that farm surrounded by 20 or 30 Lancias in various states of disprepair.

As my cousin grew up, inevitably he started wheeling and dealing Lancias. Importing many from the continent and selling them on for a profit. This increased the amount of cars in his yard and the place transformed from a farm full of rusty wrecks into a place with some quite respectable motors kicking about. Thema 8.32s (the one with the Ferrari engine), a few Montecarlos, lots of Integrales and at one point a fire damaged 037.

Ragging a rally spec Delta Integrale round a field at the age of 14 seemed pretty normal to me. The first car I ever drove was a completely rotten Fulvia that had been imported from South Africa. I was about 9 or 10. Another time I had to drive a Thema Turbo to a lock up. I was 15 and this involved about 20 miles on public roads the plan was simple, we’d depart in a convoy at night and if we saw any plod, my cousin would boot it and purposely get pulled so that I wouldn’t.

It worked and became a fairly standard routine anytime a car had to be moved.

Of course it’ll come as no surprise that at the age of 17, my first car was a Lancia. While all my mates were cruising round in 1.2 Vauxhall Novas and paying extortionate insurance premiums, I had a 2 litre Lancia Montecarlo spider on a classic policy.

It was red and loud and if you squinted a bit it’s pininfarina lines made it look a little bit like a baby Ferrari.

I was certainly a playa as they say.

Of course being a Lancia there was a ton of shit wrong with it. None of the doors locked, the sunroof would pop open and fly off over 75mph, the brakes were shockingly bad (Montes are famous for it) and the lights might as well have been candles. For some reason it would sometimes only run on 3 cylinders. It did this once while I was overtaking a lorry and nearly killed me as I only just made it. One night when driving home from Pompey dockyard, the ball joint at the bottom of the gear stick broke and I lost 1st, 2nd and reverse gears.

Still made it home though.

Of course I got pulled over a lot. What business does a spotty young matelot have driving around Portsmouth in a baby Ferrari? Many traffic policemen were disappointed to find that I was fully insured and all my paperwork checked out.

When I deployed I put the thing into storage. On my return I found that it needed a fair bit of work from sitting for 9 months and decided to get something newer.

An Alfa 145 cloverleaf that I promptly wrapped around an oak tree while over the limit, but that’s a different story.

Other cars came and went, but I’d still occasionally accompany my cousin on his European road trips to collect cars. By this stage he’d moved up in the world. While still predominantly trading Lancias, by now he’d be doing the odd Porsche, Ferrari, M3 etc. to mix it up a bit.

The format would usually be the same, buy a shit car from an auction for 20 or 30 quid under a fake name to drive to the airport (it was cheaper than the train), then dump it in the long stay car park (because let’s face it, it was gonna be staying there for a long time).

EasyJet flight to Zurich or Geneva, go car car hunting, share the drive home.

Over the years we brought back everything from Swiss Fire Engines to VW buses, Trabants to Ferraris. If there was money to be made my cousin would buy it.

On one trip we drove a low loader from the U.K. he’d bought a one off concept car that some ex F1 engineer had knocked up for the Geneva Motor Show. It wasn’t road legal but was a serious piece of kit nonetheless. 4.6 Audi V8, Honda NSX suspension, bespoke chassis and flip up lambo doors.

Since there were two of us, we went shopping and also bought a Lancia Kappa Coupe.

Now these are very rare and strange cars. I reckon there were probably only ever 2 or 3 in the U.K. and my cousin imported all of them. It was Lancia’s flagship big coupe in the late 90s, ridiculously well specced with heated alcantara seats and sat nav which was pretty much unheard of outside Merc S classes back then.

This one had the stunning 3.0 Alfa V6 by Busso under the bonnet and went like stink. It was a niche car and would be hard to sell in the U.K. but I fancied it as my daily runner and it was cheap due to its very high mileage.

So this became my second Lancia. It was something weird and very different. From some angles it was truly stunning, from others it looked very very wrong. But it was gorgeous to drive and very fast. The interior was nicer and comfier than anything else of that era.

No one knew what it was, I was once asked if it was “one of those new Bristols” another bloke once ran across the street to tell me it was stunning.

A couple of mates said it looked like a Rover 75 from the front.

It certainly had people fooled, to some it was a 100 grand piece of serious exotica, yo others it was a weird misshapen thing with a Rover front end.

Of course all good things must come to an end. I’d just left the Navy and was using it to do my new job as an energy surveyor, racking up hundreds of miles a day driving round the south east.

Over the space of about a week it started to die. First the fuel pump went and you’d have to get in the boot and welly the **** out of the rear bulkhead to get it started.

Then the auto box started spazzing out, jumping randomly between gears before getting stuck in 3rd.

Finally the head gasket went somewhere in south London. I had to piss in the radiator to try and limp it home but eventually it seized and my dad came and towed me home.

It went back to my cousin and he disposed of it as he saw fit.

A few years back it popped up on eBay being sold as a project, but still looked in pretty good nick. I was almost tempted but given the fact it had about 180,000 miles on the clock when I drove it home from Switzerland, it would have close to a quarter of a million by now.

Good times on the farm.
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148C8E61-9E60-4E6D-BEB1-3FE7F570C4AB.jpeg


Kappa
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Montecarlo
FB4BAB9B-524A-4861-8C0B-0E5815CC4EAE.jpeg


Kappa interior
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#3
I had a Lancia Beta Montecarlo when I was 21 for much the same reasons regarding looks and insurance. I bought it from the owner of a well known race wheel manufacturer, it was his wife’s car, and was a classic Lancia light blue with a brown cloth interior.

As pointed out, the lights were crap, the brakes practically non existent until it rained when they would suddenly lock up causing a few brown trouser moments. It also leaked water in through the door seal that made the interior smell musty. I scrapped it after about 18 months when the rear subframe rotted right through and distorted the rear end so much to appear as if it was crabbing down the road. Definitely a car for the enthusiast. The car below is identical but not the one I owned.

9E4A1FC9-F1AF-4EA1-B650-F7B819C501AE.jpeg
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
My glow plugs took quite a while to warm up this morning:worship:
 
#5
Lodge in Scotland sleeps 10 and is either a walk in over the hills or pretty serious off road. We have walked in for about 5 years running when I decide to get a Discovery.

Drive up there, 9 hours, 7 in the Disco and a escort van with a couple of lads and the back full of gear.

Get to track and fill Disco with all the gear for a week on skye with 9 lads fishing and drinking.

Set off on track, sunny day, windows down, radio one tunes driving past hikers going up Blaven...

Get to the top, usually knackered but this is awesome, jump out in trainers and take photos, move on into the bay and get more iconic photos.

Mate says, look at your tyres, back left is flat as pancake, 2 others are a bit torn to the whitewall underneath the rubber.

Said to mate, couldn’t tell it was flat so rather than change it lest carry on.

Drove down the mountain on 3 wheelS without noticing!!

Got to the lodge and changed the flat tyre.

Shit it a week later driving out without a spare, on a Sunday with no garages.

Loaded up the cars with the disco having 4 wheels sidewalls all missing rubber and drove to fort William from skye.

Changed the spare at Fr William for a new tyre. Driving over glen coe at 70mph mate in the back said it was vibrating badly.

Looked out the window and left back wheel was wobbling.

Pulled over and 5 bolts had all come loose and were red hot and almost off.

Tightened up and drove home.

Disco ruled!!
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#7
I had a Lancia Beta Montecarlo when I was 21 for much the same reasons regarding looks and insurance. I bought it from the owner of a well known race wheel manufacturer, it was his wife’s car, and was a classic Lancia light blue with a brown cloth interior.

As pointed out, the lights were crap, the brakes practically non existent until it rained when they would suddenly lock up causing a few brown trouser moments. It also leaked water in through the door seal that made the interior smell musty. I scrapped it after about 18 months when the rear subframe rotted right through and distorted the rear end so much to appear as if it was crabbing down the road. Definitely a car for the enthusiast. The car below is identical but not the one I owned.

View attachment 369827
Stunning, I love the old lairy colours Italian cars came in during the 70s. Mine was the S2, different wheels and glass in the rear buttresses, a few interior changes and allegedly better brakes.

They go for silly money now, 15-20 grand and up.

I think I paid 1500 quid for mine.
 
#9
BFG bangers used to always run around in sheds worth a couple of hundred DM's had a pov spec 1.3 Mk3 escort can off annual Xmas leave at JHQ to see that car park was empty apart from 1 car in the corner and it was nice and snowy/icey. So his lordship appeared with a puff of smoke and advised that some handbrake turns were called for.

Doing a few minor ones was fun then only to catch black ice and hit the only other motor. Got away with it apart from rear lense cracked on mines and no damage to the other motor.

Best buy was my LHD Xr2 got it for 200DM's and cost about 1/2 that to get it through it's BFG got some good mileage out of it before it conked out.
 
#10
I know we’ve got numerous car threads, but a cursory glance doesn’t appear to show any that are dedicated to motoring dits.

So let’s have it.

A place to spin your car dits, dits about road trips, adventures you’ve had in cars, dits about cars etc.

Lancias.

I grew up around Lancias. I have a cousin who is about 9 or 10 years older than me, he’s basically a big brother. It all started with his old man, who used to drive Lancias in the 70s.

They lived on a farm in Cornwall and every time one went wrong (which they did a lot), they’d just dump it on the farm somewhere and use it as spares for the next one.

Over the years they gathered quite a collection.

My happiest childhood memories Are spending summer holidays on that farm surrounded by 20 or 30 Lancias in various states of disprepair.

As my cousin grew up, inevitably he started wheeling and dealing Lancias. Importing many from the continent and selling them on for a profit. This increased the amount of cars in his yard and the place transformed from a farm full of rusty wrecks into a place with some quite respectable motors kicking about. Thema 8.32s (the one with the Ferrari engine), a few Montecarlos, lots of Integrales and at one point a fire damaged 037.

Ragging a rally spec Delta Integrale round a field at the age of 14 seemed pretty normal to me. The first car I ever drove was a completely rotten Fulvia that had been imported from South Africa. I was about 9 or 10. Another time I had to drive a Thema Turbo to a lock up. I was 15 and this involved about 20 miles on public roads the plan was simple, we’d depart in a convoy at night and if we saw any plod, my cousin would boot it and purposely get pulled so that I wouldn’t.

It worked and became a fairly standard routine anytime a car had to be moved.

Of course it’ll come as no surprise that at the age of 17, my first car was a Lancia. While all my mates were cruising round in 1.2 Vauxhall Novas and paying extortionate insurance premiums, I had a 2 litre Lancia Montecarlo spider on a classic policy.

It was red and loud and if you squinted a bit it’s pininfarina lines made it look a little bit like a baby Ferrari.

I was certainly a playa as they say.

Of course being a Lancia there was a ton of shit wrong with it. None of the doors locked, the sunroof would pop open and fly off over 75mph, the brakes were shockingly bad (Montes are famous for it) and the lights might as well have been candles. For some reason it would sometimes only run on 3 cylinders. It did this once while I was overtaking a lorry and nearly killed me as I only just made it.

Of course I got pulled over a lot. What business does a spotty young matelot have driving around Portsmouth in a baby Ferrari? Many traffic policemen were disappointed to find that I was fully insured and all my paperwork checked out.

When I deployed I put the thing into storage. On my return I found that it needed a fair bit of work from sitting for 9 months and decided to get something newer.

An Alfa 145 cloverleaf that I promptly wrapped around an oak tree while over the limit, but that’s a different story.

Other cars came and went, but I’d still occasionally accompany my cousin on his European road trips to collect cars. By this stage he’d moved up in the world. While still predominantly trading Lancias, by now he’d be doing the odd Porsche, Ferrari, M3 etc. to mix it up a bit.

The format would usually be the same, buy a shit car from an auction for 20 or 30 quid under a fake name to drive to the airport (it was cheaper than the train), then dump it in the long stay car park (because let’s face it, it was gonna be staying there for a long time).

EasyJet flight to Zurich or Geneva, go car car hunting, share the drive home.

Over the years we brought back everything from Swiss Fire Engines to VW buses, Trabants to Ferraris. If there was money to be made my cousin would buy it.

On one trip we drove a low loader from the U.K. he’d bought a one off concept car that some ex F1 engineer had knocked up for the Geneva Motor Show. It wasn’t road legal but was a serious piece of kit nonetheless. 4.6 Audi V8, Honda NSX suspension, bespoke chassis and flip up lambo doors.

Since there were two of us, we went shopping and also bought a Lancia Kappa Coupe.

Now these are very rare and strange cars. I reckon there were probably only ever 2 or 3 in the U.K. and my cousin imported all of them. It was Lancia’s flagship big coupe in the late 90s, ridiculously well specced with heated alcantara seats and sat nav which was pretty much unheard of outside Merc S classes back then.

This one had the stunning 3.0 Alfa V6 by Busso under the bonnet and went like stink. It was a niche car and would be hard to sell in the U.K. but I fancied it as my daily runner and it was cheap due to its very high mileage.

So this became my second Lancia. It was something weird and very different. From some angles it was truly stunning, from others it looked very very wrong. But it was gorgeous to drive and very fast. The interior was nicer and comfier than anything else of that era.

No one knew what it was, I was once asked if it was “one of those new Bristols” another bloke once ran across the street to tell me it was stunning.

A couple of mates said it looked like a Rover 75 from the front.

It certainly had people fooled, to some it was a 100 grand piece of serious exotica, yo others it was a weird misshapen thing with a Rover front end.

Of course all good things must come to an end. I’d just left the Navy and was using it to do my new job as an energy surveyor, racking up hundreds of miles a day driving round the south east.

Over the space of about a week it started to die. First the fuel pump went and you’d have to get in the boot and welly the **** out of the rear bulkhead to get it started.

Then the auto box started spazzing out, jumping randomly between gears before getting stuck in 3rd.

Finally the head gasket went somewhere in south London. I had to piss in the radiator to try and limp it home but eventually it seized and my dad came and towed me home.

It went back to my cousin and he disposed of it as he saw fit.

A few years back it popped up on eBay being sold as a project, but still looked in pretty good nick. I was almost tempted but given the fact it had about 180,000 miles on the clock when I drove it home from Switzerland, it would have close to a quarter of a million by now.

Good times on the farm.
View attachment 369818 View attachment 369819

Kappa
View attachment 369820

Montecarlo
View attachment 369821

Kappa interior
View attachment 369822 View attachment 369823
I have met Lord Brocket:D
 

greyfergie

MIA
Book Reviewer
#11
Reached the age where I can’t remember the eventual disposal of many many cars.... must have had several hundred over the years. Favourite still Mk 1 Mexico in 80? Wonderful car and sold it for £800!
 
#12
I paid £50 for my Moggie, when it failed the MOT, I sold it to a local pikey for £29.50.

Just couldn't afford the work on the rotten chassis.......... wish I could have kept it.
 
#14
Did this 13yrs ago on my 1960 Lambretta sure I only got it Mot'd on the morning before I set off at lunch time by the time I got to the start point and broke down near US listining station at Harrogate I'd done around 1750 miles in a week with most of it with a bruised coxis due to being a smart arse and trying to chair surf. Highlight was doing 80MPH on the A38 and finding out afterwards one of the nuts holding the front wheel had popped off

 
#15
I had one of these Lancia Beta Spiders. (this is not mine), Spent quite a few bob replacing the back fold down canopy, rusted wings, rusty door, and a respray, the car was mint eventually and it was the only one in town. I got quite a few offers for it even to the point of knocking on my door and offering me cash on the spot, it was a bit of a chick magnet as well. I got a licence suspension at one point (different story) so my brother asked me if he could borrow it for a week. A day later he brought it back "Fcuk that" he said "I've been pulled twice by the Police already."
1546629003984.png
 
#18
I had a Fiat 132 back in the day, and people kept mistaking it for a BMW E12. If I could have afforded a BMW at the time, I'd have bought one.
The last time I checked, there were only a couple of 132s left on the UK roads, but that's hardly surprising, seeing as most of them dissolved. They originally had box iron jacking points but by the time I got rid of the car, they'd disappeared, so I had to use a scissor jack I found in the scrap yard. The exhaust fell off and it got through front brake pads like they were going out of fashion.
In about 1985, I went to look at an Alfa Romeo Alfetta, also twin cam, but it was quite old and had oil smoke coming from under the bonnet so I didn't bother buying it. I bet that would be worth a few quid if it was still in existence now.
 
#19
Not Italian but. When I was young I lusted after the Triumph GT6 and when I had just enough cash to go for a cheap one I went for it. Oh dear and I’m no particular order.

The overdrive solenoid was clucked. To replace it a portion of the floor needed to come out. I then discovered that the part needed ordering so went a few weeks without a floor. Oh and when I first got it I had a shock through the gear stick when changing due to bad wiring. First wife in first date it rained coming back from the pub. She wasn’t impressed.

The core plug at the rear of the engine went whilst on the A303. The hot water sprayed out over the back of the dash and down on my leg.

Seals went in the brake master cylinder spongy to no brakes on 0 seconds flat.

The dual carbs both fell off right in the middle of town how the F does that happen.

Turning left out of a junction near my house the right hand front wheel / brake gubbins and the wheel folded up into the wing like retractable undercarriage. The wife said hmm I thing something has fallen off. No shit. I used my mates brand new trilley jack under the suspension as a spare wheel to get home. Sorry Dave.

I was driving along looking at the speedo as the mileage went over 100k like you do. Half a mile later the rear right wheel bearing gave way.

The interior mirror fell off and refused to be glued back on.

Then the day before I sold it the clutch mater cylinder went as well. Que a quick bleed before the bloke showed up. Sorry bloke.

All in about a year. I’m cured now. I used to like mucking about with motors but not so much now eh.
 
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Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#20
I had one of these Lancia Beta Spiders. (this is not mine), Spent quite a few bob replacing the back fold down canopy, rusted wings, rusty door, and a respray, the car was mint eventually and it was the only one in town. I got quite a few offers for it even to the point of knocking on my door and offering me cash on the spot, it was a bit of a chick magnet as well. I got a licence suspension at one point (different story) so my brother asked me if he could borrow it for a week. A day later he brought it back "Fcuk that" he said "I've been pulled twice by the Police already."
View attachment 369838
I remember taking one of these to sell to some bloke. He’d driven down from Wales or somewhere to collect it and the plan was to meet halfway.

Anyway a few minutes before meeting at the prearranged service station, there was a massive bang while we were driving and it ground to halt.

On inspection it appeared that one of the spark plugs had blown itself out of the cylinder head, stripping the thread.

We used Araldyte to glue it back in place, limped the last mile or so to the service station and then watched as the bloke trailered it off, happy as **** with his new purchase.

Bodgeneering cars brings me nicely on to my next dit.

Luigi.

Luigi was the first car I ever bothered to name. It was a 1967 Fiat 500 and the name just felt right.

I was living in London at the time and the idea of something small and economical appealed. It also needed to be cool as ****, which Fiat 500s obviously are. This was the year before the imminent release of the current Fiat 500, driven by teenage girls who watch Love Island. I was counting on the value of the old ones going up when the new ones arrived and also fancied trying to hire it out to Fiat dealerships for the release.

It was definitely the right time to get one.

So my cousin found two old knackered ones and we had them restored. His in orange, mine in blue.

On his travels he’d got wind of this place just outside Turin that had bought up all the old Fiat 500 spares when Fiat stopped supporting the model. There was this giant warehouse down there full of brand new Fiat 500 parts.

So we did our usual trick, flew to Zurich with the intention of buying a van, driving down to this warehouse in Turin and loading up with enough bits to restore both cars and have a few leftovers to sell on.

Anyway we couldn’t find a decent van, so we ended up buying a P38 Range Rover off a llama farmer.

Despite its 200,000 miles on the clock the thing was absolutely mint, completely factory fresh as most Swiss cars tend to be.

So we cruised on down to Italy and found this warehouse. It didn’t disappoint. We loaded up the Rangey with anything that would fit. Brand new factory sealed chrome bumpers for about 20 quid, door seal sets for a fiver, it was an absolute goldmine.

All was good until the Range Rover showed an oil pressure warning light somewhere in Northern France, again we limped home, stopping every few miles to check the oil. I think it was just a dodgy sensor but at the time we had visions of breaking down on the French motorway at 3am.

Anyway we made it home, customs didn’t bat an eyelid and both Fiat 500s were restored to as new condition with upgraded 650cc engines from the 126.

I kept the Range Rover while the Fiat was being built, running it on Swiss number plates.

Despite being slow as ****, the 500 was an absolute blast and a total chick magnet. Frankly I was fending them off with a shitty stick. It’s a lesson that has stuck to this day, girls are not impressed by flash cars.

I’m 6,2” ish and could drive it with my head poking out of the sunroof. I have very fond memories of driving round London in that car on hot summer days. We had many adventures, including driving to a nightclub with 8 people in it and leading a pack of 50 Fiat 500s around Brooklands for the 50th anniversary of the Fiat 500.

Anyway back to what kickstarted this dit.....

Bodgeneering.

So one day I was driving up towards Marble Arch, it was absolutely pissing with rain.

The car started to shudder, cutting out and lurching a bit, then coming back to life, before coming to a stop on a red route.

Some quick thinking was needed to avoid a ticket and I’d long since raped the AA fair usage policy to within an inch of its life.

I checked under the bonnet (engine is in the back) and could see nothing obviously wrong. I checked the front end and could immediately see an ignition wire had come loose.

Now I don’t usually cruise around with a soldering iron in my car and this day was no exception.

I did have chewing gum though.

It worked, the gum held the wire in place and the heat from the electrical arcing caused it to harden completely. It worked so well I never actually bothered to fix it properly and eventually sold the car a few months later with the chewing gum repair still in place.


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