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Microwave's Cars


I’ve finally decided that it’s probably time I just made a single thread for all of my IRL car related shenanigans, due to the fact I’ve had so many shitheaps different cars in such a short space of time, and I’m likely to have even more as the year progresses.

So, my current fleet only consists of:

My 2002 Mini One (the daily)

And my 1990 Peugeot 205 XLD (the project)


I bought the Avensis at the start of May, after unfortunately losing my Rover 25 in a crash (that thread also exists somewhere). I drove it daily to and from college and work and everything was fine until about 2 weeks ago, when I started to get a bit bored of the overall driving experience it delivered (being an old turbodiesel saloon). Around this time, I saw a friend’s K11 Nissan Micra and got a bit envious and I decided that I really wanted a small, fun car again. I went to go and look at a 2002 Nissan Micra, but it was rotten as fuck (as they all seem to be these days). After that heartbreak, I went home and began looking for cars, with my search criteria being:

  • 3 doors
  • Very small
  • Reliable
  • Fun
  • Somewhat unique

Now, I’ve never been particularly attracted to BMW Minis, but once I started looking at the R50 Minis I really did start to like them a bit. Certain quirks like the frameless doors, the centre speedometer and the fact that Rover was behind basically the whole development process really helped to sell it to me. After finally finding one that didn’t cost £2000 with 150k miles, I went to go and look at one IRL.
Immediately after climbing into this car, I knew it was the car for me. There’s just something about the R50 Mini that really appealed to me, and I’m not quite sure what it is. Whether it’s the low budget premium feel, the size, the strange sense of sportiness or what, I don’t really know.
Anyway, fast forward a couple of weeks to the present day. I’ve done about 1,000 miles in it already, almost all of which has just been me having fun on country roads. Even with the crappy off-brand tyres on it, the car sticks to the road like no other budget hatch can, and it even feels weirdly powerful with just 90hp from its 1.6L engine (the One is a de-tuned version of the Cooper, which produces 115hp). The exhaust is quiet when you want it to be, but when you put your foot down in any gear it produces a very nice, decently loud growl which actually manages to turn heads and it somehow even manages to pop and crackle at high RPM. str8 racecar bruv.
Anyway, I intend to keep this car for a long time, and as such I have many (expensive) plans for it. It’s already had a service including fresh brake fluid & gearbox oil (old stuff was black, don’t know how either me or the car didn’t die tbh) and a K&N panel filter, so it shouldn’t blow up anytime soon. Fingers crossed :crossed_fingers:

Oh and for those interested (nobody), the Peugeot is still waiting for a coolant hose after the last time it wet itself on the garage floor. Should be fine to drive or sell after that.


Well, fair to say this is due an update.
Firstly, after a lot of my time being wasted by idiots I managed to sell the Avensis. I didn’t get as much as I wanted, but I was glad to see it finally gone.
I had been planning to get the 205 out on the road for some time, so I got a few of the more important final jobs sorted on it, such as the timing belt and water pump, and I used the money from the Avensis sale to insure it. The car was running perfectly for a bit, but it seems to be getting air in the fuel system which is causing it to lose power and cut out sometimes. Nonetheless, this did not stop it from driving all the way up to the proper north to visit @adamd.

The car did about 47MPG on the way there which impressed me greatly, and covered roughly 350 or so miles over the course of the whole day. The 205 is actually a very comfortable place to be on a long trip, minus the cherrybomb exhaust which gets a little loud at full chat (which is often, with 59 hp). It’s generally quite a quiet car, and I’d go as far as to say it is quieter at motorway speeds than my Rover 25 was. Even with the lack of power, it actually pulls perfectly fine at motorway speeds, and overtaking is something you can do with no bother… as long as you’re on level-ish ground and the person you’re overtaking isn’t speeding up. Nonetheless, the car climbed up to the highest point on the UK motorway system and back down with ease, never missing a beat.
On the first day of driving it, I’d picked up a radio on clearance at Halfords for the great price of £35. Upon plugging it in, however, I found that fuck all was happening. I went to my work, found another head unit, plugged it in and found that it too, was not working. One of the things I was scared of with this car was finding crap bodged electrics, partly because it’s had so many owners and partly because of a receipt I have for the fitting of a Sparkrite alarm/immobiliser back in 1990. There is obviously no alarm or immobiliser present in the car anymore, but there are a few remnants of what I assume to be the wiring for it here and there. Being that I, myself, know precisely fuck all about electrics, I decided I should enlist the help of the forum’s resident old electrical shite tinkerer. Upon pulling all the wiring for the radio out, my fears were confirmed. There was bodgery… and quite a bit of it! The wiring was an absolute mess, with cables that made 0 sense and the odd dead short here and there. After an hour or more of fettling, Adam managed to sort a lot of the bodgery and the wiring started to look a lot more neat & professional, with the radio now working. Whilst going through the wiring, we also found that somebody had wired in speakers in the rear in the factory position, although this had been done somewhat poorly, as expected. Nonetheless, these also worked with a bit of rewiring! So, after all that was said and done the 205 finally had a bangin stereo, for me choons. There was also an attempt at sorting out the lack of lights on the gauge cluster, however this was unfortunately left unresolved. Here, have some photos from the day:

In short though, I’m loving it, save for the poor running habits. The levels of grip it displays are really quite amazing, and it’s far, far comfier than it has any right to be. I honestly don’t reckon there’s many modern cars (save for mega expensive stuff) on sale that beat it in that regard. What it lacks in horsepower, it more than makes up for in superb handling and roadholding. An XLD is far from a GTi, but they don’t have a legendary reputation for nothing!
I’ve done about 800 miles in it in the past couple of weeks, and even though I’m loving it I’m not sure I want to keep paying money to insure it. I’ll have a proper think at the end of the month, when the insurance is due.

I’ve missed out a lot of stuff as I can’t be bothered to go back and look at everything I’ve documented through photos and whatnot, so I’ll just skip to the (semi) interesting bit. I’ve recently had the itch to buy a new car, and I’ve been looking at all sorts of different things from 2 seaters to sporty hatchbacks to massive saloons and beyond. Eventually, I saw something that really interested me and fit my criteria quite well, while still remaining a bit of an oddball. Earlier today I went to go and look at it, and I’ve ended up leaving a deposit on it with the intention of collecting it/having it delivered this week.
What have I bought, you might be wondering? Well, let’s see:

  • It’s got recaro seats
  • It’s got a 2 litre petrol engine, complete with intercooler and Garrett turbo
  • It’s got 17" alloy wheels
  • It’s got a phat wing
  • It’s got a Torsen LSD

That’s right, it’s precisely not what you were fucking expecting! It’s a Rover 820 Vitesse fastback!


Jesus I don’t remember you having permission to take a photo of my tool.

You forgot Torsen LSD on your spec list there as well, people seem to like that sort of thing.

Also this photo is being recreated, jumper and all.



Shit, highly important. Now corrected.

Bonus points for the 4x4 with L plates on in the back, oddly reminiscent of my current scenario.


Whewe’s my jaw… :open_mouth: You, sir, are my master when it comes to unusual car choices :ok_hand: