As avid readers are no doubt aware, Fu’Gutty towers has been lacking a derv based conveyance of any sort since the sad demise of the “Rank Taxi” Octavia (See here).
Due to the peripatetic nature of my work, I need something that is cheap to insure for business use, frugal and comfortable. Time for another diesel then.
As 2015 drew to a close, I started my search in earnest. Initial plans were to identify likely VAG brand cars that had the venerable and revered 1.9 tdi ALH as per the Octavia. I knew they were reliable(ish), cheap on the old insurance and light in their consumption of combustible liquids.
Rapidly though, that plan fell by the wayside as car after car that appeared during my searches turned out to be either:
- The wrong engine – No one has enough free time for a 67BHP sdi in a 1400kg Octavia! Or they had the later PD engine, not suitable for vegetarianism.
- Overpriced scrap with many miles and even more wear. I didn’t mind paying a little for the Rank Taxi, but I do grudge paying 2.5x as much for another in similar condition (Tighter than two coats of paint, me!).
I decided to broaden the search a touch. by a touch, I mean “Diesel, with MOT”.
Luckily for me, a frequent contributor to Autoshite was selling exactly what I needed. And so it came to pass that I took my dad on his first ever long distance collection mission!
Up early this morning, we set out intrepidly in the BMW e60 520i (seen above with a select sample of the neighbour’s cars).
We had a long journey (500ish miles) ahead, and I was glad of the big BMW’s comfort as I settled into the comfortable leather seats – much better than a Pendalino!
Despite being a 2004 car, the 520i had only 65,700 miles on the clock when we set off – it was a shrewd investment when bought at 33,000 miles 4 years ago.
As we loped along the less than picturesque M73, I began to wonder if I’d been a bit daft – collecting this car would mean costs approaching 1/2 the price of the car!
However, I was buoyed by the fact that the vendor had previously supplied prestigious Daimler based conveyances to no less than my brother..
We continued down the oft pretty M74, counting off the miles until the mid trip coffee
(How many of you spotted that the wipers on the e60 are set for LHD? I’d wager Ian from Hubnut did!) Anyways, I digress!
The miles whisked by, and we wafted from M6 to M56 to M53, and finally to Chester.
What waited for me, you ask?
This was almost the ideal Peugeot 306!
Right Engine (1.9 XUD Turbo FTW!)
and most importantly, the RIGHT PRICE!
There is one issue – the fuel pump is a Lucas one, rather than the eminently veg oil friendly Bosch.. However, as previously proven with the Polo 1.9D (Owned last year), I’m confident that the Lucas pump will tolerate at least some veg oil.
It was started with little fanfare, but much reek, and settled down to a decent idle. I took it out of a test drive, with a handily placed dual carriageway allowing for some higher speed testing.
The car was a revelation – having driven the Octavia so long, I’d forgotten about things like damping, steering feel and compliance! The 306 was a fun car back when launched, and I had many fond memories of blezzing about in them during my days working at the car auctions. I was 23 again! I think the best way to sum it up is:
1/2 Clio 172 power + 2/3 CX comfort + 3/4 E30 handling = 306
We sojourned to the nearest abode, and set about the practicalities of v5, tax and insurance, ably assisted by the the vendors dog.
The sound of a small insurance refund ringing loud in my ears, we concluded the sale and set off for home. Onto the M53, and the wee Pug was singing along lovely – turning about 2750rpm at 70mph. All the lights and wipers worked, but the radio was sadly absent. This was mainly due to it residing on the rear seat, awaiting installation.
Just onto the M56, it was time to fuel both cars. The 306 swallowed £58 or so of normal diesel, and the 520i got £42 of Superfancyhighoctaneposhpetrol – ostensibly because the normal unleaded pump was “out of order”. He’s a fly one is my Da.
Interestingly, the potential train option for collecting the car would have been £42 per person 1 way. That means the 520i cost 50% less than a train (2 of us down for £42), took less time and was door to door. Public transport needs to up its game!
I know it cost another £42 to get back home 🙂 Total cost was the same as 2x singles to Chester from Glasgow. The mileage covered was double though!
Next stop was Tebay services for some well earned chips and dead fly cake (with added cherries!). Suitably refreshed, we struck out for home..
The rest of the trip was completed without any issue, and even the Burd is mildly impressed by the car.
It needs a few bits doing, not least the thermostat (gauge never got above 70 degrees) but it seems a solid base!
Apologies for the picture quality, the Potatocam on my phone was wonky all day. Thanks also to Billy for the use of his pictures (as credited)
Next up will be a thorough look over and fettle.