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Thread: The frustration of buying a classic car

  1. #1
    Master dickbrowne's Avatar
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    The frustration of buying a classic car

    A while back I sold,well, pretty much everything I own, or so iteemed at the timeÖ motorbike, a bike lift, stationary engine, bicycles, spares, a vintage lawnmower and much more besides.

    The garage was looking empty, so I popped some floor mats down - the interlocking foam type.

    The plan was to replace the motorbike with a old car, ready for tinkering over the winter.

    But can I find one? Well, actually, yes I can. I can find loads. Maybe the question should be more along the lines of can I find one in decent condition for a decent price?

    Iím looking at MGB GT and Roadster, Spitfire, Vitebsk, Morris Traveller, Alpine, that sort of thing. Iíd like to say that the quality is variable, but itís been shocking, regardless of the price.

    Iím looking at a cost of between 9 and 12.5k, and for this, I seem to be looking mostly at cars of the same quality as cars which are for sale at 5k.

    Iíve been to look at half a dozen or so, mostly they get weeded out on a telephone call, but the ones Iíve looked at have been really poor. For instance, a couple of weeks ago, I spoke to a lovely chap in the West Midlands. He assured me that the bodywork on his GT was perfect other than a small amount of bubbling on one rear wheel arch. Iím avoiding bodywork if I can, because Iím canít do it. Iím ok with a spanner, but paint scares me.

    After an Early morning Sunday start, we arrived at the guys house and even before I got out of th4 car, it was obvious that the MG was terrible. Every wheel arch was short, all four wings needed replacing as did the tailgate. The engine, gearbox and diff were leaking like the Exxon Valdez and the engine, when I started it, sounded like a can of gravel being shaken by a small child.

    The worst part, though, was the doors. I opened each one and couldnít close them - both sills, castle rails and diaphragms were rotten. The car was scrap. All of this for just £9500. Did I want to take it for a test drive? Nope, I value my life more than that.

    A spitfire in parts for £9k, a GT which was almost £14k, but in terrible condition, with a rotten roof - price was firm, because it was only a one owner car. I did mention that it wouldnít be a one owner car if I bought it, but the price was firm.

    Iím off later today to view a 1967 GT which looks nice in the pics, and the guy described as almost mint. Iím not hopeful, but wish me luckÖ

  2. #2
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    "Almost mint" probably means "salvageable". You'll be fine.

  3. #3
    Master dickbrowne's Avatar
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    It hasnít up to now ;)

  4. #4
    I've learnt over the years that owners of 'classic' vehicles wear the most rose-tinted spectacles of any group I've ever dealt with.

    'Bit of light surface rust underneath, nothing too bad'.





    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  5. #5
    Good luck, take a bright torch and a magnet

  6. #6
    Master unclealec's Avatar
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    I feel for you, but must report different experience.
    I have recently sold the nicest Riley RMB that I have had for ages (for £10k); bought a really nice Jowett Javelin (for £5k) and been given a perfectly useable but plenty to tidy up Herald convertible by the disgruntled wife of the former owner.
    All these came about through invvolvement in the classic car club scene.
    Being the editor of a Club magazine, I see most of the advertised cars therein selling without any mention in the open-to-all advertising media. The cars are known and honestly described, and in the rare instance that they are not accurately described (due to rose-tinted spectacles, not dishonest intent) the audience knows, or has recourse to those who do.
    If you could settle on a make and/or model I would advise joining the relevant club.

  7. #7
    Master
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    I ran a Jaguar MK11 and later a XJC for 22 years in total. I enjoyed it but it was a very expensive hobby.

    The problem with buying a classic car is that the current owner is usually an enthusiastic amateur and in reality are not that good at maintaining an old car. They are reluctant to spend money on professional repairs and over time the car is being slowly bodged up on the cheap and you as the new owner inherits the mess.

    It's just like the watch world, we have dozens of instances of people buying a good quality watch such as an Omega or Rolex and then scurry around looking some cheap repairer to fix it up at a knock down price. The greatest enemy of watches and classic cars are tight fisted owners trying to maintain their stuff without spending money.

    Your best bet is to join an owners club and buy from someone who is selling in the club SC. At least the club owners are usually a bit more switched on.

    The honest reality is that I sold the Jag XJC when I retired and replaced it with a modern Honda which just goes on and on and all it needs is a service at the dealer at a specified interval.

    Life with a modern car is a lot more easy.

  8. #8
    Grand Master
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    Finding a really nice classic is hard work, even if youíre prepared to spend strong money. Owners over- describe and over- price cars, sometimes they genuinely believe the car is better than it is. Photos help, but they can be v. deceiving. Itís depressing when you travel a distance to see a car then decide within 15 seconds of seeing it that itís no good. In the distant past I travelled from West Yorks to Southend to see an MGB that was a mess, albeit an Ďoriginalí mess.

    A 1967 MGB GT will be a mk1 and will command a stronger price purely on that basis because the mk1 was only produced for 2 years and theyíre quite scarce. An early mk2 is a better buy in my opinion, with the later 4 synchro gearbox, alternator and negative earth electrics theyíre a better car to drive. I think itís fair to say that any buying decision on an MGB should be based on the condition of the body, donít be fooled by a big pile of receipts and history, if the carís not in good condition that counts for nothing. Photos showing evidence of rebuilding work certainly help , but donít be lulled into a false sense of security, itís difficult to assess the quality of the work. Apart from the usual MGB problem areas MGB GTs rot around the A posts and along the edges of the roof where thereís a box section, this is covered by a chrome trim and isnít easy to spot.

    Safest way to buy an MGB is to go for a roadster rebuilt using a replacement Heritage shell, or a rust- free ex USA body thatís never needed major surgery.

    Good luck......youíll need it!

  9. #9
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphy View Post
    I've learnt over the years that owners of 'classic' vehicles wear the most rose-tinted spectacles of any group I've ever dealt with.
    R

    Right that !!


    B

  10. #10
    Iíve had several Alfas, and a Lotus, and now only buy from a handful of people I know.

    Iíve seen an Alfa 1750GTV with a ďmatching numbersĒ twin spark engine. Iíve seen mint cars with close to no remaining inner sills. Iíve seen a ďconcoursĒ GTV6 with a rotten bulkhead and dodgy compression. Iíve seen a GTS Elan (26R copy) with FIA papers that produced a pathetic 145bhp at the flywheel and weighed nearly 100kg more than it should.

    So I now never look for a bargain, instead I willingly pay more, sometimes the most I can afford, through people who know what theyíre doing. I have a hunch I nearly always end up saving money.

  11. #11
    Master unclealec's Avatar
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    I have noticed recently a spike in the number of chancers who have heard that people addled by the financial effects of covid are spending wildly on classic cars and so have offered classic cars at ridiculous prices to catch the bubble.
    I think I detect an easing-off on this, so bide your time, seek expert advice if your knowledge base isn't up to discerning a good car from an iffy one (you may well be up to this, but unfortunately many potential buyers aren't).
    And be prepared to travel. Rarely are good cars in the next village.

  12. #12
    Master brigant's Avatar
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    Have a look at Alfa 916 Spiders. They are starting to enter the classic car arena. Mine had a few bits that needed tidying (not bodywork) and was a great drive. Before anyone says anything it was completely reliable and never let me down.

  13. #13
    Master
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    A lot of times, owners Ďprice iní their blood, sweat and tears. They think all those hours on the driveway under axle stands makes the vehicle worthy of a higher price. In reality, very few fettlers are up to a professional standard.
    This is made worse by the MoT exemption (which is nonsensical). So now not only does Alan - a retired local authority accountant who has a Haynes manual and a Halfords 320 piece tool chest - get to do all his own maintenance, not a single set of experienced and qualified eyes ever have to lay eyes on it. Terrifying.

  14. #14
    Master
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    You could also try a Ďmodern classicí? Something that is younger, probably built better and maybe easier to fix and maintain.

  15. #15
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    What might work is a voluntary MOT type test for such vehicles. The cost could be higher to reflect the specialist expertise needed. Perhaps it could be called a Classic MOT for say £200.

    The buyers would be keen and the sellers could decide if they wanted to do it or not.

    I don't know much about classics so it might be a ridiculous idea. Slight downside is it would divide the market into two groups and identify the vehicles that need to be scrapped - it might quickly reduce the number of classics in circulation.

  16. #16
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Sullivan View Post
    A lot of times, owners Ďprice iní their blood, sweat and tears. They think all those hours on the driveway under axle stands makes the vehicle worthy of a higher price. In reality, very few fettlers are up to a professional standard.
    This is made worse by the MoT exemption (which is nonsensical). So now not only does Alan - a retired local authority accountant who has a Haynes manual and a Halfords 320 piece tool chest - get to do all his own maintenance, not a single set of experienced and qualified eyes ever have to lay eyes on it. Terrifying.
    Yep agree with this
    I get the Willys serviced and put through a MOT style check every year, I am happy to do most things but if crucial to safety I get a professional to do it or to check my work. (I am lucky I have a fellow geek that works for my local garage and is happy to give me a hand when needed.)

  17. #17
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    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/185114929...sAAOSwav1hbaGP

    If you donít like rot or canít weld, consider a later Scimitar SS1 or Sabre. Midas are a lot of fun and a full composite monocoque, Marcos are a little more fiddly. A GTM with an A+ is never going to be that fast, but they are light and precise so far more fun. But if you want something remarkable on a budget then have a chat with Alaister here:

    www.midascars.co.uk

    https://www.midascars.co.uk/page3.html

  18. #18
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    What might work is a voluntary MOT type test for such vehicles. The cost could be higher to reflect the specialist expertise needed. Perhaps it could be called a Classic MOT for say £200.

    The buyers would be keen and the sellers could decide if they wanted to do it or not.

    I don't know much about classics so it might be a ridiculous idea. Slight downside is it would divide the market into two groups and identify the vehicles that need to be scrapped - it might quickly reduce the number of classics in circulation.
    You are still allowed to put an MOT exempt vehicle through an MOT.

    A lot of classic enthusiasts will do this as a matter of course anyway as itís in their interest to keep it safe on the roads.

    Of course there are also many who donít!

  19. #19
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    I ran a Jaguar MK11 and later a XJC for 22 years in total. I enjoyed it but it was a very expensive hobby.

    The problem with buying a classic car is that the current owner is usually an enthusiastic amateur and in reality are not that good at maintaining an old car. They are reluctant to spend money on professional repairs and over time the car is being slowly bodged up on the cheap and you as the new owner inherits the mess.

    It's just like the watch world, we have dozens of instances of people buying a good quality watch such as an Omega or Rolex and then scurry around looking some cheap repairer to fix it up at a knock down price. The greatest enemy of watches and classic cars are tight fisted owners trying to maintain their stuff without spending money.

    Your best bet is to join an owners club and buy from someone who is selling in the club SC. At least the club owners are usually a bit more switched on.

    The honest reality is that I sold the Jag XJC when I retired and replaced it with a modern Honda which just goes on and on and all it needs is a service at the dealer at a specified interval.

    Life with a modern car is a lot more easy.
    I commend your taste Sir. I always wanted an XJC. Prettiest car Jaguar has made in the last 50 years.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    You are still allowed to put an MOT exempt vehicle through an MOT.

    A lot of classic enthusiasts will do this as a matter of course anyway as itís in their interest to keep it safe on the roads.

    Of course there are also many who donít!

    Indeed. I did this. I see the MOT on a car like this as an indication that I want to live rather than ticking an administrative box.

  21. #21
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    You are still allowed to put an MOT exempt vehicle through an MOT.

    A lot of classic enthusiasts will do this as a matter of course anyway as it’s in their interest to keep it safe on the roads.

    Of course there are also many who don’t!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jdh1 View Post
    Indeed. I did this. I see the MOT on a car like this as an indication that I want to live rather than ticking an administrative box.
    Ah, OK. I didn't know that.

    So presumably if ever I decide to buy a classic, as part of the sale process I could pay for the buyer to put it through an MOT? I suppose not every station would do a classic.

  22. #22
    Classic Car / Vintage Car / Anything made by Ford + UK weather = Rust bucket of great trouble

  23. #23
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    Ah, OK. I didn't know that.

    So presumably if ever I decide to buy a classic, as part of the sale process I could pay for the buyer to put it through an MOT? I suppose not every station would do a classic.
    I donít think there would be anywhere that wouldnít; they would MOT it to slightly different criteria which would be flagged up when they put the details into the computer. For example, the emissions and braking will have different (or possibly no) pass levels.

  24. #24
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    Ok Dick, there is a TVR S3 on Autotrader at the moment for just over 8k.

    One of these should tick all your boxes - and the engine is a Ford Cologne 2.9l unit - so it has some power but is very easy to maintain and virtually bullet proof.

    I had a few of the S-series TVRís twenty years plus ago - great fun and a perfect blend of traditional and slightly more modern. Body is fiberglass, just check the chassis. Drivetrain is also Ford. They are pretty rare, very cool to look at, and sound fantastic.

    At the top of your budget you might get a Chimera - Iíve had these also and they are also huge fun but more complex than the S-series - which you could easily work on yourself.

    Do have a look - lovely things.
    So clever my foot fell off.

  25. #25
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    I donít think there would be anywhere that wouldnít; they would MOT it to slightly different criteria which would be flagged up when they put the details into the computer. For example, the emissions and braking will have different (or possibly no) pass levels.

  26. #26
    Grand Master GraniteQuarry's Avatar
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    [kidjensenvoiceON]Coming straight in this week at Number One is Classic Car Owners with "I Paid Two Grand But They're Now Worth Fifteen"[kidjensenvoiceOFF]

    Just keep on slogging, one will turn up. Once upon a time I started looking for a Lotus Carlton, went through half a dozen skips before lucking out on a good one-owner 35k mile car.

  27. #27
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Smile

    ...it's the Kid At The Controls and down two places from six to eight is last week's record of the week 'I only want what it owes me' by Benny And The Dreamers...

  28. #28
    Craftsman
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    The frustration of buying a classic car

    Why not have a look here

    https://themarket.co.uk/en

    And car and classic car auction site here

    https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/auctions


    Sent from my iPad using TZ-UK mobile app

  29. #29
    As I learned with my old Lotus Elan, a car worth £10k still requires £20k+ to properly restore, and people who have spent that kind of money aren't usually that willing to sell at a huge loss, so you end up with mostly tatty cars in that price bracket being sold by unrealistic owners or chancers. Decent cars do come up, but generally seem to end up with dealers as they have the time and resources to sort through the rubbish and sit on stock (not to say that there isn't a lot of polished turds being sold by dealers as well).

    The price difference between a mediocre car and a concourse one doesn't proportionately reflect the quality. The car I bought last year was the best I could find, but it was roughly only 10% more than a car at least 30% less good with twice the miles and 20% more than a car with 5 times the miles and spotty history. My advice is either to buy the best or one which needs full restoration, anything in between will eventually end up costing more.

  30. #30
    Master
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    i'm into this hobby as well. There is a price spike at the moment, same as property etc. so we might expect to see that calm down. I think all you can do is keep searching. There are lots of every type on Car and Classic and a lot of no reserve auctions where you can see the sold prices, if you join owner's club FB groups there are always private sales popping up and this time of year is the time to buy a soft top for the best price. I would have thought with that budget you could find a B or a Spitfire in ok nick. I just had a look to see and there are a lot there, this rubber bumper GT might go for a low price https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/auct...-mgb-gt-nRNwen

    I MOT my cars even though they don't need it. It is a double check on the state of the car and it locks in the mileage and provenance for the future value. I think most classic owners do it and if they don't then that could be a way to filter out some cars.

    I was going to suggest a grp bodied car to avoid the body corrosion issue but there aren't so many nice ones at that price point. A lotus elan or europa will be a very scruffy example at the price, as stated you might find a TVR S (I used to have one of those which was a great car) but I also noticed some S1 Elises just above that price point. It's a much more modern car but very nice, top comes off and plastic body panels.

    If you stay alert the right thing will pop up good luck!

  31. #31
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    Disagree with the comments regarding MOTs on a classic, it wouldn't affect my decision to purchase. If the car has body or structural issues I'll pick that up myself, I wouldn't take a recent MOT as any reflection that the car's OK structurally unless something glaringly obvious is at fault. As for the other stuff (brakes, suspension, steering) I think you have to assume these will need attention in the short-medium term, provided you do the work yourself they're not expensive to sort out and you get the peace of mind that its been sorted properly.

    Have to smile at the TVR recommendations, unless an ageing TVR had evidence of a body off chassis restoration, with new chassis or chassis repairs with the body off, I wouldn't touch one. Likewise with a Triumph TR6.

    The single most frustrating aspect of classic ownership is the variable quality of replacement parts, particularly rubber parts. Replacements might be made to the original pattern but generally the quality is crap.

    I`ll share my MGB spring saga as an example: I bought the car freshly rebuilt by a supposedly professional organisation in 2015, to cut a long story short I ended up re-doing almost all the mechanical work myself. The car was sitting low at the front despite having new springs, when I stripped it down one was longer than the other. I bought a new pair supposedly to the correct spec but still had to use spacers to get the front to match the back. After a few months the front ride height had dropped, so I did some more digging and learned the springs being sold at £30/pair were highly variable in quality and renowned for sagging (inconsistently) after a short time. I was advised to buy silicon-steel items at over £80/pair that were reputedly made in England; after tracing the manufacturer (in Sheffield) to verify this I bought a pair and the car has been fine since.

    That's just one example, suppliers such as Moss take no responsibility for quality, they claim that parts have to be sourced at a price owners will pay but I think that's a cop-out. The truth is that they can`t guarantee one batch of parts will be as good (or bad) as the last. Even simple items such as headlight bowls don't fit properly! MG Owners Club are no better, that's just a commercial organisation that aims to make money, they supply parts but the commitment to quality is limited to say the least.

  32. #32
    Grand Master jwg663's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraniteQuarry View Post
    [kidjensenvoiceON]Coming straight in this week at Number One is Classic Car Owners with "I Paid Two Grand But They're Now Worth Fifteen"[kidjensenvoiceOFF]

    Just keep on slogging, one will turn up. Once upon a time I started looking for a Lotus Carlton, went through half a dozen skips before lucking out on a good one-owner 35k mile car.
    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    ...it's the Kid At The Controls and down two places from six to eight is last week's record of the week 'I only want what it owes me' by Benny And The Dreamers...
    [David 'The Kid' Jensen]...bubbling under, it's 'Rust Never Sleeps' by Neil Young...followed by the Waxoyl remix of 'Underneath The Arches' by Flanagan & Allen...[/David 'The Kid' Jensen]
    Last edited by jwg663; 25th October 2021 at 16:09.
    ______

    ​Jim.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by dickbrowne View Post
    The plan was to replace the motorbike with a old car, ready for tinkering over the winter.
    What motorised velocipede was is that you sold, a modern or classic?

    If modern/ish why don`t you consider a classic motorcycle to tinker with - a lot less potential for hidden `surprises` (you can see exactly what you`re getting) without all those horrific, corrosion-hiding body panels to deal with.....
    And a `classic motorcycle` could be something interesting from the 70`s 80`s now.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Disagree with the comments regarding MOTs on a classic, it wouldn't affect my decision to purchase. If the car has body or structural issues I'll pick that up myself, I wouldn't take a recent MOT as any reflection that the car's OK structurally unless something glaringly obvious is at fault. As for the other stuff (brakes, suspension, steering) I think you have to assume these will need attention in the short-medium term, provided you do the work yourself they're not expensive to sort out and you get the peace of mind that its been sorted properly.
    Whilst I agree 100% that you shouldn't use the MOT to detect issues, having recently bought a 1999 Defender I did find when looking the MOT history useful, e.g. some were a constant cycle of fail followed by pause followed by pass, which suggested to me a lack of any preventative maintenance followed by likely a bodged repair to get it through the MOT.

    The one I bought had a solid history of passes with just the odd minor advisory, which whilst no substitute for a proper assessment is another piece in the jigsaw.

    If I were buying a classic with no recent MOT history I would wonder that

    - if the owner doesn't care enough about his own safety to have the car checked what else does he neglect?
    - if he is interested in saving a few quid on the MOT where else have costs been cut?
    - is he just trying to hide something?

    All the above may be unfair on the seller and indeed the vehicle in question, but it's all part of the picture.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingBanana View Post
    Ok Dick, there is a TVR S3 on Autotrader at the moment for just over 8k.

    One of these should tick all your boxes - and the engine is a Ford Cologne 2.9l unit - so it has some power but is very easy to maintain and virtually bullet proof.

    I had a few of the S-series TVRís twenty years plus ago - great fun and a perfect blend of traditional and slightly more modern. Body is fiberglass, just check the chassis. Drivetrain is also Ford. They are pretty rare, very cool to look at, and sound fantastic.

    At the top of your budget you might get a Chimera - Iíve had these also and they are also huge fun but more complex than the S-series - which you could easily work on yourself.

    Do have a look - lovely things.
    I'm looking for an S3 and that particular car has been sold

  36. #36
    If I were buying an mot exempt classic and got close to a deal, it would be taken to an mot station and tested at my expense
    Mot is surely the best value you’ll ever get from the motor trade?
    If the seller declines? Walk away.
    Last edited by GOAT; 25th October 2021 at 17:38.

  37. #37
    OP, reading this thread I remembered that my local garage has a Spitfire which theyíve been working on between jobs that they are now ready to move on.

    It looked really nice - Iím happy to get some details and take some pics if youíre interested.

  38. #38
    Master dickbrowne's Avatar
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    Thank you to everybody for all of the comments - I can't reply to them all, but I've selected a few... Then there's a confession...

    Quote Originally Posted by unclealec View Post
    I have noticed recently a spike in the number of chancers who have heard that people addled by the financial effects of covid are spending wildly on classic cars and so have offered classic cars at ridiculous prices to catch the bubble.
    Agree with this (and your comment about needing to travel) - one thing I've noticed is that there are a lot of cars which, much like puppies, have been bought by people during lockdown, because they wanted to give it a go/thought they'd enjoy driving it/didn't really understand the difference between owning a classic and a modern car. Sadly, much like lockdown puppies, many of these cars have grown up to be right dogs...

    Quote Originally Posted by bambam View Post
    You could also try a Ďmodern classicí? Something that is younger, probably built better and maybe easier to fix and maintain.
    I've had an MX5 (my daughter and I owned one jointly) and loved it, but it's specifically a classic I'm looking for

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnlover View Post
    Yep agree with this
    I get the Willys serviced and put through a MOT style check every year, I am happy to do most things but if crucial to safety I get a professional to do it or to check my work. (I am lucky I have a fellow geek that works for my local garage and is happy to give me a hand when needed.)
    I am firmly of the opinion that, given hourly rates at most garages, an MOT test (which can be had for around £25 without looking too hard) is the best value you'll ever get from the trade. There is an argument that a cheaper MOT will be more critical, but that's what I'd want. Show me everything that may be wrong and let me choose what I'll have you fix and what I'll fix myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/185114929...sAAOSwav1hbaGP

    If you donít like rot or canít weld, consider a later Scimitar SS1 or Sabre. Midas are a lot of fun and a full composite monocoque, Marcos are a little more fiddly. A GTM with an A+ is never going to be that fast, but they are light and precise so far more fun.
    Welding isn't a problem, I can do it quite well but a classic, for me at least, is all about fun, and laying on my back cutting out rot and welding patches and panels in for 12-18 months isn't my idea of fun. I know it's cheaper to buy something with some rot, and there is an argument that pretty much any car which is 50+ years old will contain a less attractive ratio of rot -v- metal than a new car, but my plan has always been to avoid corrosion as much as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingBanana View Post
    Ok Dick, there is a TVR S3 on Autotrader at the moment for just over 8k.
    I love a TVR, and I have a neighbour who is constantly pushing me that way (the fact that he's something or other in the TVR owners club could be a significant factor here of course), but my garage is "well used" and I'm limited by length before I need to start re-organising my lathe, my sanding bench, my sharpening station and so on. The choices I've made are partly governed by the heart and partly by the head.

    Quote Originally Posted by E_2_Right-Force View Post
    What motorised velocipede was is that you sold, a modern or classic?
    I've sold a few - BSA Bantam, A10, a W650, a Z900 and last but by no means least, a Triumph Rocket 3. It's funny that you mention a classic bike because one of my plans moving forward, if I couldn't get a car sorted, was a Z650. Then (heart-v-head again!) I have to cool my heels. This whole journey was kicked off by a diagnosis of TIA, a condition which affects my balance when it strikes, and means that I'm off bikes for a good few years at least


    Quote Originally Posted by 5avvy View Post
    OP, reading this thread I remembered that my local garage has a Spitfire which theyíve been working on between jobs that they are now ready to move on.

    It looked really nice - Iím happy to get some details and take some pics if youíre interested.
    Well... Confession time...

    Untitled by d1ck_browne, on Flickr

    I may have just returned home having negotiated a deal... Say hello to my new acquisition - a 1967 MGB. It's not perfect, but it's in really good condition. The bodywork is solid with just a few small bubbles on the scuttle. It needs a little mechanical work, a noisy gearbox, leaky engine and diff, some adjustment needed to drivers door and bonnet, the petrol pump is noisy and the carburettors may need a bit of a tweak.

    That said, I've just driven it home, just over 60 miles though London and on motorways, and it never missed a beat. In fact, it got better as the journey went on. I'm looking forward to a few weekends and evenings of fettling!

  39. #39
    Master dickbrowne's Avatar
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    I know, it isn't natural for a car to live in a garage, but, hey...

    Untitled by d1ck_browne, on Flickr

  40. #40
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonH View Post

    If I were buying a classic with no recent MOT history I would wonder that

    - if the owner doesn't care enough about his own safety to have the car checked what else does he neglect?
    - if he is interested in saving a few quid on the MOT where else have costs been cut?
    - is he just trying to hide something?

    All the above may be unfair on the seller and indeed the vehicle in question, but it's all part of the picture.
    Very unfair IMO!

    I disagree with the decision to make older vehicles MOT exempt, some owners will neglect safety critical areas of the car or may simply miss things through lack if rigour when maintaining the car. However, the decision was made and as a competent consciencious owner I donít see much point in spending the money on an MOT I donít need. Iíve rebuilt the majority of my MGB myself and I know the car inside out, I canít see what having an MOT every 12 months will add.

    Very unfair to tar folks like me with the Ďpenny pinchingí brush, if I was selling my MG the buyer would be getting an excellent rust free properly sorted example and a prospective buyer would walk away from a great car if they took such a rigid attitude. I can think of lots of reasons not to buy an old car but presence or absence of an MOT isnít one of them.

    I agree theyíve provided useful info over the past few years since the modern system was introduced and I do think a form of MOT should be retained to prevent unroadworthy wrecks continuing to be driven when unsafe, but I certainly wouldnít be put off a car if the owner has done as I do.

  41. #41
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    Just seen the pics of the OPs MG, mineral blue is my favourite colour and a sunroof is a definite plus.

    If the previous owner had the car painted its worth getting the paint code from him if possible. As far as I know there was only one version of this colour but the correct paint code is always worth having.

    An MGB GT with sunroof is a more useful vehicle than a roadster, I sometimes wish Iíd bought another GT!

  42. #42
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pretzel View Post
    I'm looking for an S3 and that particular car has been sold
    Annoying when the seller doesnít take the advert down isnít it?

    An S2 or S3 is a great classic in my opinion, and a relatively inexpensive way into rare British sports car ownership and the very active TVR enthusiast circles.

    They are a great mid-point compromise between older and newer classics.

    I owned two before going on to Chimeras and then a Cerbera.

    If you have any questions just pm me and if I can offer any advice and what to look for I will.

    Best of luck with your hunt!
    So clever my foot fell off.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickbrowne View Post
    I may have just returned home having negotiated a deal... Say hello to my new acquisition - a 1967 MGB. It's not perfect, but it's in really good condition. The bodywork is solid with just a few small bubbles on the scuttle. It needs a little mechanical work, a noisy gearbox, leaky engine and diff, some adjustment needed to drivers door and bonnet, the petrol pump is noisy and the carburettors may need a bit of a tweak.

    That said, I've just driven it home, just over 60 miles though London and on motorways, and it never missed a beat. In fact, it got better as the journey went on. I'm looking forward to a few weekends and evenings of fettling!
    Can I ask how/where you found the BGT (car & classic, ebay etc)?

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingBanana View Post
    Annoying when the seller doesnít take the advert down isnít it?

    An S2 or S3 is a great classic in my opinion, and a relatively inexpensive way into rare British sports car ownership and the very active TVR enthusiast circles.

    They are a great mid-point compromise between older and newer classics.

    I owned two before going on to Chimeras and then a Cerbera.

    If you have any questions just pm me and if I can offer any advice and what to look for I will.

    Best of luck with your hunt!
    As you live just down the road from us (Clophill) if I ever find one I'll be asking you to actually take a look at it.

  45. #45
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pretzel View Post
    As you live just down the road from us (Clophill) if I ever find one I'll be asking you to actually take a look at it.
    Absolutely- didnít realise you were so close!

    Keep hunting - they are cracking little sports cars with real charm.
    So clever my foot fell off.

  46. #46
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    Hereís a really left field suggestion Dick - if you can find one - a Panther Kallista.


    https://www.panthercarclub.com/PCC_s...hp?language=uk


    Simple mechanicals, Ford engines, and small!

  47. #47
    Master dickbrowne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Very unfair IMO!

    I disagree with the decision to make older vehicles MOT exempt, some owners will neglect safety critical areas of the car or may simply miss things through lack if rigour when maintaining the car.
    I agree with you Paul, and the standard of your work, as a watchmaker, should be exemplary. However, and it's a big however, not everybody shares your values. I've seen at least one car during my search which was, and there's no other word for this, a death trap. The outer sills looked fine, especially if you didn't look too closely, but when I opened the drivers door, it wouldn't close, both doors open, Rev. Mrs. DickBrowne and I in the car, there was no way that we could get them closed. If we'd test-driven that car, and hit something fairly solid at a reasonable speed, the car would have simply folded in two. The owner bought the car four or five years ago, and it's lived under a carport ever since. The owner claimed to not be mechanically-minded, and that's the sort of owner which would be helped immensely by an MOT.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pretzel View Post
    Can I ask how/where you found the BGT (car & classic, ebay etc)?
    It was on Car and Classic, but I've been looking mainly on eBay, Gumtree and Autotrader in addition to Car and Classic. I've also been monitoring the websites of half a dozen dealers reasonably local to me (Northampton to Oxford and Thame as points on a triangle.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingBanana View Post
    Hereís a really left field suggestion Dick - if you can find one - a Panther Kallista.
    Mate, you know me, I'm way to understated for that!!!

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Very unfair IMO!

    I disagree with the decision to make older vehicles MOT exempt, some owners will neglect safety critical areas of the car or may simply miss things through lack if rigour when maintaining the car. However, the decision was made and as a competent consciencious owner I don’t see much point in spending the money on an MOT I don’t need. I’ve rebuilt the majority of my MGB myself and I know the car inside out, I can’t see what having an MOT every 12 months will add.

    Very unfair to tar folks like me with the ‘penny pinching’ brush, if I was selling my MG the buyer would be getting an excellent rust free properly sorted example and a prospective buyer would walk away from a great car if they took such a rigid attitude. I can think of lots of reasons not to buy an old car but presence or absence of an MOT isn’t one of them.

    I agree they’ve provided useful info over the past few years since the modern system was introduced and I do think a form of MOT should be retained to prevent unroadworthy wrecks continuing to be driven when unsafe, but I certainly wouldn’t be put off a car if the owner has done as I do.
    I disagree. Strongly. An MoT is £54.85. If you’re running a 40 year old car, this is likely not an amount to bankrupt you. Whilst I’m sure you are a competent person, do you have any qualifying criteria? An MoT test is an accredited examination by a certified person. Surely that holds some weight?
    Last edited by Dave O'Sullivan; 25th October 2021 at 23:25.

  49. #49
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    nice work on the MGB it's a good choice, they made so many of them you can get everything you need. Best of luck with it

  50. #50
    Master W124's Avatar
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    If you like Harry's Garage - I can recommend the series on a full resto on a wonderful Jaguar XJC.

    I can't imagine what the final invoice will be, but it's a fascinating series of videos !

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw5PMKa88Ng

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