Online

Car Flipping University

How To Sell Used Cars For Profit

Get Instant Access

Vautoexpress.co.u

Contacts

Mercedes UK:

www2.mercedes-ben/.co.uk

The Mercedes Forum:

www. mercedesforum. com

Benz World:

www.bemworld.org

Mercedes-Benz Owners:

www. mercedesclub. org. uk

The Mercedes-Benz Club:

www. mercedes-benz-club.co. uk

Think carefully about cars with big alloys. They're easily kerbed, and expensive to fix.

Contacts

Mercedes UK:

www2.mercedes-ben/.co.uk

The Mercedes Forum:

www. mercedesforum. com

Benz World:

www.bemworld.org

Mercedes-Benz Owners:

www. mercedesclub. org. uk

The Mercedes-Benz Club:

www. mercedes-benz-club.co. uk

BUYER BEWARE!

Think carefully about cars with big alloys. They're easily kerbed, and expensive to fix.

Used cars

Pictures: Alfa Romeo Automobilismo Storico. Centro Documentazione (Arese, Milano)

Pictures: Alfa Romeo Automobilismo Storico. Centro Documentazione (Arese, Milano)

Engine had a huge appetite for oil. Sporty touches marked out cabin

Alfasud 1

Engine had a huge appetite for oil. Sporty touches marked out cabin

LISTEN to any classic car enthusiast, and they'll give you the same buying advice -but as a callow youth, I ignored Golden Rule numberone. For the uninitiated, it goes something like this: Never buy the first car that you see.

The logic behind this instruction is simple, because if you've only ever seen one example of a particular car, you've no benchmark. Only when you've looked at a few can you tell whether you've got a concourse-winner-in-the-making or a death trap on wheels.

Teenagers aren't renowned for listening to their elders, though, and I was no different. Besides, I had a cheque from the Student Loans Company burning an Alfa Romeo shaped hole in my pocket. Instead of spending the money on my University accommodation, food, clothing or, indeed, anything remotely sensible, I played used car roulette by buying an Alfasud.

After dragging my dad and my best mate (who was supposed to know about these things) all the way from rural Suffolk to Bolton in Lancashire to view the first car I could find, I was soon heading back south as the proud owner of ETU 831X. The radio didn't work and it wore plain steel wheels, but the 1.5 Ti was my pride and joy. For a week. That's how long it took for my sky-high enthusiasm to be brought crashing to the ground.

When I took the car to have some fresh rubber fitted, the mechanic raised the car on a two-post lift -and the full magnitude of my error became clear. Lying on the ground with a torch is clearly no substitute for a proper inspection, and the bottom of the car had seen more welding action than the A-Team. When I later subjected the bodywork to trial byjetwash, the hose delivered a guilty verdict on some other nooks and crannies, too. I was gutted. The used car casino had taken me for all I had.

I shrugged off these problems and tried to make the best of a bad situation, as the car had a long MoT and I had no choice! Besides, even a ropey example allowed me to enjoy the Sud's famed front-wheel-drive handling and raspy performance. In the end, it was the engine, rather than the bodywork, which brought about its demise. One Christmas I drove more than 1,000 hard miles in a week between checks of the dipstick. In most cars this wouldn't pose a problem, but my car's tired boxer engine had a huge appetite for oil. The tell-tale death rattle of its big end bearings was enough to persuade me that action was needed...

It didn't take me long to conjure a solution. I even found someone willing to take it in part exchange, but the dealer did so on the proviso that I left my Ti with him before even collecting its replacement. Not that I cared. A week later, I was back on a train clutching another big cheque from the Students Loans Company to pick up -yep, you've guessed it - another Alfasud.

Resplendent in its freshly resprayed black paintjob, my new 1.5 Ti Cloverleafwas everything I hoped my original car would be. Its more desirable spec included tasty telephone-dial alloy wheels and racy water and oil temperature gauges on the dash. And it boasted another lObhp. I was smitten.

They say lightning never strikes twice, but the speedo cable snapped on the way home, providing a taste of things to come. From then on, it was all downhill - literally. When the battery gave up the ghost I resorted to parking the car on an incline, so I could bump start it to get going again!

...test driw the AlfasudTi and wtuwnt buy aGolf (Til or an Esoort XR3.

Not the most stylish Alfa by any means, but our man was sold on its Eighties charm

"The Ti was my pride and joy for a week. Then a full under-body inspection revealed the car had seen more welding action than the A-Team."

Ross Pinnock

Road test editor

...test driw the AlfasudTi and wtuwnt buy aGolf (Til or an Esoort XR3.

Not the most stylish Alfa by any means, but our man was sold on its Eighties charm

1972-1984 Details

They say love is blind,the only explanation -

' ' ' 1 _Power: 95bhp for our man's devotion to the erratic 'Sud _*»"■^,500

The Alfasud's bodywork was prone to rusting, as Ross was soon to find out miss Used cars

Previous Golf scores on quality and capacity

Supermini estate serves up surprising space

Year: 2007 Engine: 1.4-litre 3cyl diesel. 79bhp 0-60mph: 13.9 sees Economy: 61.4mpg

Supermini estate serves up surprising space

Year: 2007 Engine: 1.9-litre 4cyl diesel, 104bhp 0-60mph: 12.2 sees Economy: 54.3m|

Previous Golf scores on quality and capacity

Year: 2007 Engine: 2.2-litre 4cyl diesel, 153bhp 0-60mph: 8.9 sees Economy: 46.Ompg

Year: 2006 Engine: 2.4-litre 5cyl diesel, 163bhp 0-60mph: 9.6 sees Economy: 35.8m|

Bargain carriers

Was this article helpful?

0 0
How to Buy a Car With Little or No Credit

How to Buy a Car With Little or No Credit

How To Get That Car With Little Or No Credit. Think you can't get a car because you have no credit? You need to read this report today. Are you in need of a car? The cost of a new car nowadays equals about what my parents paid for their first home. It's not a purchase to be taken lightly. You want to do everything possible to ensure you get a great deal.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment