Cars you didn’t expect to like.

sdibbers

Well-Known Member
#1
Last weekend I was helping my friend as race mechanic on his 68 Mini Cooper up at Lime Rock Park in CT. While there another friend joined us with his new car. A 1951 Bentley Mk.VI Saloon. He offered me a drive after warning me about RHD and a right hand gearshift. Of course I jumped at the chance! I’ve never even considered driving one before, but after driving it sort of want one! Loads of torque, almost silent engine, drum brakes etc. it’s like driving a small manor house but you can’t help but laugh while doing it.
Had anybody else driven something they didn’t expect to like and fallen for it?
 

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harveyp6

Well-Known Member
#2
Peugeot 205GTi. I thought it was going to be like driving a rollerskate, harsh and uncomfortable, yet it was a really nippy and nice handling car that I could go on long journeys in and step out feeling like I'd just popped round the corner. I got it for free, and kept it for a couple of years, sold it, got it back and started all over again. It's hard to believe seeing the prices now, that no-one wanted to buy it and I ended up weighing it in for scrap.

Mk1 Granada (actually a Consul GT) Only did one journey of 250+ miles in one, all in one hit, and by the end I was hooked. I was so surprised how well it drove, even though it was a bit of a dog. As good a ride as an XJ6.

1950s Sunbeam Alpine. A mate bought 3 cars from an auction, and that was the one I got to drive back. The other cars were what I thought to be better to drive, and as I walked over to it I felt very hard done by. By the time I got back my opinion had totally changed. lovely car.
 

Phil Robson

Well-Known Member
#4
I'd never understood what what the fuss was about with MGBs, or the fact that rubber bumper cars were supposedly a poor relation. When my wife was after a classic several years ago however we bought a quite ropey rubber bumper MGB GT & it was great!

Rather cramped & not particularly quick, but a really fun car. I'd get another tomorrow (if I could bring myself to reduce the P6 fleet...:D)
 
#5
Fiat 128. Aerodynamics of a house brick. Looked like a shrunken Lada. Transverse leaf spring at the back. Yet it was a small Fiat so was ridiculous fun to drive, handling as if it was on rails.
 

sdibbers

Well-Known Member
#6
Fiat 128. Aerodynamics of a house brick. Looked like a shrunken Lada. Transverse leaf spring at the back. Yet it was a small Fiat so was ridiculous fun to drive, handling as if it was on rails.
For me it was a Lancia Fulvia Berlina. Very boxy, tiny V4 engine and loads of fun! Definitely earned a place in my future imaginary garage.
 

falkor

Active Member
#7
just finished 7 days with a hire car (pictured) , it cost £185 for 7 days hire and I needed a car for holiday in Worcstershire, where was my P6? still at hanger lane having brand new AIR CON installed!! :cool: never mind, the AIR CON finally got fitted on the last day of my holiday and I had the chance to try out a 1.0 Ford Fiesta. forget any thoughts of a Mini Metro or something like that which I thought I was getting, 1.0 nowadays = 2.0 in 70s speak quite easily, this thing cruised down the motorway at 70 showing 2000 rpm and saying "whats next?" from the photo it looks compact alright but inside comfort, feels spacious and a radio with , top right a compass!! ever fitted a compass in your car? I did in one of my early P6s back in the 1980s, well the Fiesta radio display has one as standard whiuch did make me smile
 

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#8
We have an '08 Mk6.5 Fiesta 1.4. lt's nippy, fun to drive, easily cruises at illegal speeds & carries lot's of stock for my wife's vintage & retro business. It's also purple which l like. I'm about to drill four holes in the roof as for some reason when Ford facelifted the Mk6, they deleted the fittings for roofbars & l don't want them hooking under the doortops.
I also put taller tyres on it as the ride on low profiles was dreadful on anything but the smoothest roads. The taller tyres made a huge difference, which l also found when l replaced the short tyres fitted to my Mk1a P5 when l bought her.
 

sdibbers

Well-Known Member
#9
We have two 2008 Saab 9-3's as our dailies (saloon for me and convertible for Kim). Those are fun cars, descrete to look at (well the saloon), but fast, smooth and comfy. Also one of the few manuals you can get on this side of the pond. They handle great, we've done 2,000 mile round trips to Nashville in the conv and was ready to do it again. Most modern cars leave me cold, but these I work hard to keep going.
 

ghce

Well-Known Member
#10
Fiat 128. Aerodynamics of a house brick. Looked like a shrunken Lada. Transverse leaf spring at the back. Yet it was a small Fiat so was ridiculous fun to drive, handling as if it was on rails.
Bought a Fiat 850 saloon back in the early 80's as it was cheap and I wanted a bit of fun with a project car.
I bought it off a surfer, those guys a re notoriously laid back and rough (lazy too) all rolled into one and the car was far from a runner, found all sorts of banned items behind door cards and under carpets including weapons for personal protection.

By the time I replaced all the engine mounts (typical crap Italian metal) rebuilt the gearbox and trans-axle and rebuilt the engine I found that the cars was amazing and seemed glued to the road taking on big and small roundabouts at 30 MPH and increasing to far higher when I got in tune with its fabulous road dynamics. Just such a fun car.

The experience of this fun ( but rubbish car) brought about the idea to buy an 850 sport coupe' and that was even more fun. Shame you dont see many of those cars about nowadays.
 
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