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11,835 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So... Just out of pure interested to see how we've managed to get where we are today. What's your motoring past, cars owned etc?

I loved Minis (classic), got really into the new MINI and fell in love with that too... My wife was a Beetle and VW lover/enthusiast (especially the Karman Ghia and split screen campers).

Through owning MINI2.com I managed to be treated to many amazing driving experiences in MINIs and BMW vehicles, as well as my own cars. I drove a MINI E, always wanted to go electric from then on, which is how I arrived (many years later) in a LEAF.

So, here's my motoring history (some of it's a bit hazy so orders may be wrong, getting hazy in my old age)... I've been driving 20 years now, man and boy. ;)

1972 Mini 1000, white. Inherited, loved it, drove it to the ground.
198* Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9 stupid car, drove it to the ground Red.
199* SPi Mini Cooper, for 5.5 hours :( Red
199* Mini Cooper (mpi) BRG
1976 1303 "super" Beetle (import) green
1973 Beetle with crazy body kit and convertible roof green
1989? VW Jetta red.
1976 Mini, heavily modified and rebuilt before purchase (and some after) Blue.
2002 Mini Cooper (blue)
2003 Mini Cooper S (red)
2003 Mini Cooper S (blue)
???? Smart Roadster Coupe (blue)
2005 Mini Cooper S (red)
2006 Mini Cooper S R56 Blue
2001 Toyota Corrolla, putrid grey
2008 Ford S-Max 2.0 tdi, shiny black (great on holidays!)
And finally...

2013 Nissan LEAF Acentra.

You can throw in an old Mini van that never got of the ground as restoration project, given to someone to try better with, no idea what happened.

The MINIs were in various states of modification and spec, from full on and over 200 hp to no options (not even aircon) and standard engine tune/spec...

Anyway, I've somehow I've owned 18 cars over 20 years of driving, and most of them not for too long... but I'm hoping I"m over that now, I'm more sensible... surely.

So go on, share yours... I may embellish some of this if folks join in and are interesting, eg why one Mini (a beauty bought from Mr Cooper and Co themselves) lasted 5.5 hours. :confused::(

1,338 Posts
Well...not as extensive as yours Paul, but here goes!

1972 Hillman Minx, bought from my Uncle when I passed my test. A tank! But so easy for DIY.
1974 Ford Granada GXL 3.0. My dream car at the time, closest I could get to an American barge!
Loved it. Self maintained, great fun, took the top end off a few times and enjoyed rebuilding
the Webber 38DGAS carb (God I can still remember the carburettor model, how sad is that!)
I modified this car extensively, adding fog lights, wing mirrors, electric windows, gauges,
upgraded stereo, wiper delay, electronic ignition, etc etc.
Parked it by Putney bridge at a spring tide and drowned it. In the garage for a month but was
never the same again!
1979 Fiat Strada. My first new car! Remember the adverts? ("Built by robots.."). Had it three years
during which time the screen pillars rusted through and it blew a head gasket. Useless car.
1983 Austin Princess (used). Could have been the best car BL ever made. But they mucked it up.
Superbly comfortable and roomy, but crippled by a poor engine and gearbox which were rough
and noisy. Needless to say, unreliable! I enjoyed driving it nevertheless.
1987 Ford Granada Ghia. My first new company car. Loved it. Automatic and smooth as silk. Full of gadgets :)
1990 Rover 214Gsi. (Company). My first car with aircon. I liked this car. Stolen off my drive after
six months! Recovered in Petersfield, had been used by thieves to drive around robbing houses.
Fortunately just needed a new lock barrel and drivers door window surround. Not too bad, it
was quite comfortable and nice to drive but the aircon slowed the car down when it cut in, and
it had reliability issues in year 3 and 4.
1994 Vauxhall Cavalier 2.0GL. (Company) Back to an automatic, no aircon as couldn't afford it on this
one! Pretty boring but comfortable and easy to drive and transport a young family. Average reliability.
1997 Vauxhall Vectra GXL(I think). The top model Vectra, (Company) Automatic, as would be the norm now.
My first car with climate control. Every gadget going. It set its clock automatically from the radio!!
Typical Vuxhall reliability and fairly boring to drive.
2001 Volvo S80 . (Company). What a fantastic car. Beautiful cream leather interior, automatic, incredibly
comfortable, all the gadgets, reliable, I absolutely loved this car. Didn't want to give it back when the
lease came up for renewal, but I did because...
2004 Jaguar 2.7D SE (Company). Even better than the volvo. Really beautiful car. I loved this big bruiser,
great performance, amazingly quiet for a diesel, fabulous. When I took early retirement in 2007, I
bought it from the lease company and ran it until 2012. Expensive to maintain of course, but overall
it was fairly reliable. And it was so worth it! Got 30mpg over its lifetime, and that wasn't with a light
right foot!
2012 Ampera. I'd been following the hybrid and BEV scene, but didn't fancy a pure electric - then the
Ampera was announced and it looked perfect for my needs..

45 Posts
I have nothing like as extensive a list-

1st access to driving (parents cars) Peugeot 405 SRi, Lada Riva, then Vauxhall Corsa, Toyota Yaris, Suzuki Liana

MG Metro Turbo - Rapid due to uprated turbo and adjustable boost pressure, but rarely running for long.
Peugeot 406 LXdt - Workhorse, lasted 10yrs. But was never the same after I muddled which service interval required a new cam belt, and needed a reconditioned engine.
Vauxhall Vectra estate SRi 1.9td - Favourite of the bunch. Space and pace. Slightly miffed when younger brother acquired a Seat Leon Cupra and promptly regained 'I'm fastest' bragging rights.
Vauxhall Astra SRi 1.8 - Meh.

*edit- Also of note E63 AMG, CLK63 AMG, SLK350, and SL65 AMG on a driving experience at Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands. Quite possibly the most fun I've had in a motorcar, and informative too. /edit

Into the future with a Leaf..

116 Posts
Citroen GSA (great, loved it, but too slow for a youngster!)
Citroen Visa GT (caught fire)
Toyota Corolla (good but bland)
Mazda MX-5 Mk 1 (really fab!)
Mazda MX-5 Mk 2 (fab but not quite as fab as the Mk 1)
Landrover 110 pickup (v.practical, bought 5 years old & had for 16 years)
Smart Roadster (wild!)
Landrover 130 (even more practical but turning circle vast)
VW T2 camper, new Brazilian-made (groovy)
Vauxhall Ampera

Now enjoying my new Kia SOUL EV
2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric (38.3 kWh) Premium SE in Iron Grey with Shale Grey Interior option
1,324 Posts
I really shouldn't fill this out as it will only serve to highlight how often I change my car. I am only 49 and started driving when I was 17 and 4 weeks.

Started in my parent's cars and then my older brothers so list goes as follows:

Fiat 128 (P Reg)
Fiat Strada (V Reg)
Fiat Uno (A Reg)
Ford Capri 1.6 (V Reg - my brother's first car)
Ford Escort 1.3 (A reg)
Ford Escort XR3i (A Reg) - Stolen
Triumph TR7 (W Reg)
Ford Escort 1.6 D (D Reg) (Company Car)
Ford Escort 1.6 D (F Reg) (Company Car)
Ford Escort 1.6 D (J Reg) (Company Car)
Audi 100 (Y Reg)
Citroen XM (?)
MG Metro (?)
Fiat Tipo (?)
Rover 416 (J Reg)
Fiat Punto (S reg)
Renault Clio (?) (Wife's Car)
Honda Civic Aerodeck (S Reg)
Ford Ka (Wife's Car)
Ford Mondeo 1.8 (?)
Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi Zetec (02 Reg)
Ford Escort 1.6 (S Reg) (Wife's Car)
Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi Zetec (53 Reg)
Renault Megane 1.4 Authentique (53 Reg) (Wife's Car)
Nissan Primera 2.2 DCi S (54 Reg)
Seat Altea 2.0 TDi Sport (54 Reg)
VAuxhall Vectra 1.8 Exclusiv (57 Reg)
Renault Scenic 1.6 Dynamique (56 Reg) (Wife's Car)
Rover 75 CDTi Connossieur SE (53 Reg)
Jaguar X Type Sport Premium (56 Reg)
Renault Megane 1.9 DCi CC Dynamique (57 Reg)
Lexus IS220d (56 Reg)
Nissan Qashqui 1.6 360 (63 Reg) (Wife's Car)

and awaiting a new Vauxhall Ampera Positiv

If I exclude my wife's 6 cars and my early use of my mother and brother's cars I have owned 23 Cars in the 32 years I have been driving. The Ampera will be number 24.

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1,338 Posts
Honestly, a couple of you guys seem to have kept the DVLA fully occupied all on your own!!
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2018 Leaf 40kwh Tekna
199 Posts
Nothing quite as exciting as some above but:
1987 Ford Orion 1.4 L - used to be my Dads, was like an member of the family bought new and was in the family until we scrapped it in 2006
1995 Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 LS - quite slow and under steered like you wouldn't believe!
2001 Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 Sxi - Ex rental car bought at 12k miles sold at 70k miles never missed a beat
2001 Audi A2 1.4 SE - Nice interior and like to quirky looks but worst car I've owned kept for 9 months
2002 Ford Focus 1.8 Ghia - Great to drive, expensive to fuel
2006 Skoda Fabia 1.4tdi Bohemia Estate - Great space, great economy and solid as a rock
2011 Skoda Roomster 1.6tdi SE - Again quirky looks, loved the panoramic sunroof, great for kids!
2013 Nissan Leaf Acenta - Sooo smooth, meets 98% of our needs and uses no petrol or diesel! Love it!

538 Posts
G reg Ford Escort 1.3 (Red)
Shared ownership with brothers - younger one wrapped it round a lampost 2 weeks after passing his test! :-(

Vauxhall Astra SXI 1.6 (Red)
First car that was all mine :)

'53 Vauxhall Astra GSI 2.0 Turbo (Blue)
Did some of the cheesy boy racer stuff, dump valve, boost gauge

'55 Vauxhall Astra VXR 2.0 Turbo (Blue)
Only had this for a year. A new job that was munching its way through a tank of juice every 4 days made me swap it for the Honda.

'06 Honda Civic 2.2 CTDI ES (Galaxy Grey)
Car was nice enough, and had that space age dash that made everyone go "ooohhh" the first time they saw it - but is was so boring compared to the other two turbos.

'12 VW Golf GTD 2.0 DSG (Red)
Loving this car. Drove a DSG just out of curiosity and was hooked - why does anyone still bother to change gear manually!? :)

Coming Soon... Tesla Model S P85+ (Black)
... I hope! :)

538 Posts

Even after 12 months, I still miss the occasional gear change!

The only down side, sometimes if you roll up to a roundabout and don't actually need to stop and give it some gas, it makes a pretty late decision to change down a gear. But you can pre-empt that with a flick of the paddle.

On country roads where theres a lot of speeding up and slowing down doe to hills and corners, I prefer to use sports mode - which holds the lower gears for a bit longer.

Ampera aka IGOR
3,604 Posts
A brief summary, most have a bit of a story to them but after 2 A4 sides thought I better edit:-

1978 - a 1969 Vanden Plas Princess 1300, started off life as an automatic it packed in so swapped it with a manual gearbox and attached engine.

1979 I bought my sister’s 1978 Sapphire Blue Chevette GLS hatchback. I had it for 13 months and 21,000 miles.

1980 was 1979 Bright Copper metallic Chevette GL saloon. I had this car for 16 months and 19,000 miles.

1981 and my first new car, an Astra L 1300S, 5 door hatch in Hazel Brown metallic. Through the following months I added such luxuries as a clock, a Pioneer radio cassette (sad to say I still have it in my shed), front fog lights and a Hella grille with built in driving lights (car came with all the wiring pre-fitted all I needed to add was the relays, fuses and a fog light switch). Had this car for 21 months and covered 22,000 miles

Pending arrival of my next car I bought a friend’s car, a 1973 Morris Marina, had it 5 months and 3,000 miles, a few punctures and a broken leaf spring.

1984 and a new Mk II Cavalier 1800 SRi saloon in carmine red, options were glass sunroof, rear seatbelts, headlamp wash wipe and a trip computer. I had this car for 5 years 7 months and covered 105,000 miles.

1st August 1989 and a Mk III Cavalier 2.0 Sri again in Carmine Red, no options this time. I put a set of alloys on it as it came with plastic wheel trims. 20 months and 16,000 miles, then I saw the Calibra.

1991 ex.demo Calibra 16v, nice car but still the Cavalier inside. 31 months and 27,000 miles.

Change of direction. 1993 a Frontera estate, 2.4 petrol, options were metallic black, alloys, limited slip differential and towbar. It lasted 3 months and 2,500 miles. I was lucky that at the time if Vauxhall had a promise that if you were in anyway unhappy with your car you could take it back and exchange it within 1 month or 1,000 miles (Rover had this as well so Vauxhall must have thought they must compete). 25mpg was the reason I was not happy, the extra time was that I could keep running the car until the replacement arrived.

Replacement was a limited edition Frontera Estate Diamond 2.3td in Spectral Blue. It came with a free mountain bike that I still have. Car was collected on Christmas Eve in 1993 and I had it until November 1996 and covered 32,000 miles, never even had to put tyres on it thank god.

1996 Vectra Supertouring 2.5 V6 limited edition in white with yellow BTCC flashes on the side. Had this car for 4 years and 40,000 miles. Seen it not that long ago parked in a drive in Forfar, yellow flashes no more though.

2001 VX220. I still have this car and, it has only covered 25,000 miles in 13 years.

In 2002 I bought a 1990 Cavalier 100LS ‘shed’ with 136,000 miles on the clock, had it 8 months and covered 13,000 miles before I sold it.

2002 a 1997 Corsa Sting 1.0 12v. Had this until July 2005 and covered 46,000 miles.

2005 new Corsa 1.2SXi Dualfuel. I opted for the LPG conversion after doing the calculations for overall running costs and decided it was cheaper to have the option of the conversion rather than diesel. 8 years, 2 months and 230,000 miles I sold it to a friend.

Now I have the Ampera, bought on 1st September 2013 and turned 13,000 miles today.

Almost forgot I also have a 1977 VX490 FI that I bought 5 years ago. It is one of the rarer 5 speeders with the dogleg gearbox.

Super Moderator
6,396 Posts
Citroen Ami 8… the ugliest car ever made, was my neighbours and I was given it to get back on the road

Mini Clubman….bright orange, black vynil roof, 6ft arial, de seamed and no bumpers, huge spot lights, 225 low profiles wheels, walnut dash, 8 inch button steering wheel and a sterio with more power than the engine. (I was only 17)

Escort mk1 1.3 GT……Datona Yellow, completely standard and a car I wish I still owned.

Fiat Strada…….First reliable newish car

Peogeot 205 GT……The first major thing my now wife and I brought together.

Citoen CX………We needed the money for our first flat so the 205 was sold and replaced with a much older car.

Ford Granada 2.8 Ghia………..spent most of its time with us with a fault starter motor and had to short the terminals on it to start the car.

Ford Escort van mk2

Ford Transit van mk3

Triumph Dolamite……..Poo brown

Ford Fiesta Mk2

Rover 213….found out it was a write off when the family mechanic noticed the back was from the later model year.

Peogeot 405 Estate

Peogeot 405 Saloon

Ford Escort Van mk3

Peogeot 205

Peogeot 306 XRD

Lotus Elan Plus 2

Volvo V70

Peogeot Boxer van

Peogeot Partner van

Mercedes Sprinter 310

Smart For2 Passion Cab………Fat red with brick red interior and the first car my wife fell for.

Vauxhall Vivaro Sportive

Smart For4 Brabus…………Stupidly fast car and cost me more in wheels and tyres than it did in petrol.

Renault Cloe 1.7d…………now my daughter car.

Nissan Nevara Aventura…..Best multi use vehicle we have ever owned, just a shame it was built out of glass and we had to deal with Nissans customer "care" (who are they trying to kid) Department

BMW 118d M Sport…..White car before everyone else had white cars.

Mercedes Sprinter 412

BMW X5 3.0d M Sport….fantastic car but ohh boy was it expencive to run.

Mercedes E250 Estate……….."60mpg" Ohh boy I fell for that one more like 40mpg


VW Transporter 140

Chevy Volt

I make that 33 in 30 years of driving

Ampera aka IGOR
3,604 Posts
I get the feeling that you might be a Vauxhall man:)
Just a wee bit, a friend had a HB Viva and the standard equipment difference between it and the Vanden Plas was quite a bit. I didn't really know better until I got my first Chevette, all of them have been great, just some of the dealerships have been less than so. The best two were small ones but they have since closed down.

Sad to say I have posted most of them here. Site was mentioned on Steve Wright in the afternoon a few years back.

541 Posts
Wow, there are some pretty epic collections here!

Prepare to be utterly amazed..(or mildly amused):
  • 2003 - 2006: Parent's Fiat Seicento in beautiful yellowy-gold :confused: (occasional use)
  • 2008 - 2014: Ford Fiesta Diesel 1.4 TDCi in darkest black (a trusty steed to this day)
  • Coming in May: Nissan Leaf Acenta
Living the dream :p

3,837 Posts
Being some older, I started driving legally in 1965 in my fathers A35 van. In those days the heater was an optional extra!
Once I left school and started earning some money my own cars include:-
1. Morris 1000 Traveller, (braking was by prior appointment, the first time my girlfriend drove it she nearly went staight over the R?B at Bullington cross. 35 mpg was good
2. Humber Hawk. Brought for £35 from my supervisor at work. 22mpg was very good .
3. After I perked the Hawk in a brick wall I brought an Austin A35 for £20, the engine in the boot in bits. We rebuilt it on my father in laws kitchen before I could drive the car home. It had a bent propshaft which limited top speed to 50 mph.
4. Standard Vanguard. Bench seats and lolloped along. Climbing out of Abbotsbury it boiled over.
5. Vauxhall VX 4/90 , Twin carbs and very fast. An insurance write off for £60. Went like a rocket and burnt fuel at 23mpg. One day the damaged rear spring broke, so the car died.
6. From the rear door of the Main Vauxhall dealers in Aldershot, a trade in Mk 2 Viva. for way under bottom book price. It needed a new petrol tank and tyres. I ran it for 12000 miles , and sold it for a small profit with no generator after about six months.
7. Morris 1000 soft top. for £30, brought in the rain, in the dark, from a Sailor in Pompey Dockyard. Great fun, driven with the roof down, broke down five times the first week, then I changed the coil and no more problems. Eventually sold it to a friend, on a day trip out on Exmoor, for £15. He told me that when he serviced it he found that only one wheel had brakes that worked!
8. I had always wanted a Rover 2000. so I brought an old one, and paid through the nose, in repairs , for spares, and petrol. A lesson in car buying I never forgot!
9. With a child on the way we needed a decent car, so we brought a Daf 44. You know the elastic band car. Variomatic drive is perhaps the most underrated drive system I have used. An 850cc twin cylinder air cooled engine that could propel the car to 80+ with four adults. It also towed well.
10 Next came an MG midget, turned out to be slow, and very thirsty.
11. A very cheap Mini. repaired in places with Baked bean tins. but did 60 to the gallon.
12 another Daf, this time the 46, an estate car. Not as good as the 44,
13, With my wife in a decently paid part time job , we went mad and brought a New Ford Fiesta. It lasted us some 7 years and was still going for 13 years locally. Motoring costs went down, reliability went up.
14 , A second car, after crashing my motorbike, from father in law, A Chrysler thing. with all the excitement of a mobile plank.
15 A new Volvo 340, reliable, and cheap to run. only sold as we went into caravanning.
16 As the Fiesta wore out it was replaced by a new Panda, the old style with twin sunshine roofs. The cheapest new car available on the day. Did 135k miles before sold to a friends daughter.
17 New Discovery, to tow caravans and boats. LAsted well, but eventually rusted out after only 19 years and 140k miles.
18. My son was gifted a Renault 19 by father in Law, so we sold the Panda.
19 The Renault went for a new Panda with Air con.
20 the Disco went and was replaced by a new diesel Panda.
21 . On a whim, whilst investigating a six seater combi I test drove a Demo Leaf, as they say the rest is History.

Over the years there has been around 15 motorcycles also.

22. will almost certainly be an NV200 Combi electric.

3,837 Posts
I was reviewing my entry this morning, I'm sure we all do it, when I realised that I had forgotten one important vehicle. Hannah the Camping car, (as the french put it). A Ducato based Chausson. It was brought to replace a seagoing motorsailer, and is used for weekends away and holidays.
Probably the only Chausson that has been rated for council tax, whilst it was our main dwelling for 375 days as we demolished and built the house at our address.
As anyone who has owned one will admit, the Ducato will bog down on wet grass, so a tow rope and hand winch are essentials. It also costs 10 times as much per mile than does the Leaf. But on a dry site in France it cannot be beaten for holiday accommodation.

11,835 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
So this has taken off nicely! Here's a bit of embellishment then...

  • 1972 Mini 1000, white. Inherited, loved it, drove it to the ground.
  • 198* Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9 stupid car, really enjoyed it drove it to the ground Red.
  • 199* Mini Cooper (mpi) BRG. This was a "modern" rover built Mini, wasn't good and the battery literally exploded in the boot while driving! Refunded.
  • 199* SPi Mini Cooper, for 5.5 hours :( Red. Bought this as a replacement to the above from Cooper's down south, met "the man himself" and had brilliant service... decided to take it to show my aunt who didn't get to see our green mini as a first stop... met a restored Range Rover head-on, banana'd the car (wrote off both vehicles!) and that was that. :( Not our fault I hasten to add!
  • 197* 1303 "super" Beetle (import) green. Like the look and the sound, didn't like anything else about this vehicle.
  • 197* Beetle with crazy body kit and convertible roof green. Fun, stupid, didn't really last that long!
  • 1989? VW Jetta red. A "sensible car". Took it on holiday one summer and despite the large boot for camping we rapidly fell out of love with it!
  • 1976 Mini, heavily modified and rebuilt before purchase (and some after) Blue. This car was awesome, even had a name. Fast, light, good fun.
  • 2002 Mini Cooper (blue). Was a really nice Mini but had issues so dealer bought back eventually.
  • 2003 Mini Cooper S (red). Lovely MINI but had steering issues that couldn't be cured, so swapped for...
  • 2003 Mini Cooper S (blue). All blue, loved this MINI, worked on it on and off, loved it, but eventually we wanted a change so swapped for...
  • ???? Smart Roadster Coupe (blue). Most dissappointing car we ever owned, you could read a book while it made its gear-changes, and despite a love of the idea, and when it worked well, it just had to go.
  • 2005 Mini Cooper S (red). This MINI had nothing on it, so light and fast, made a surprisingly brilliant difference, really, really fun. If I could go back in time and tell myself to "stop" at some point, it would have to be here!
  • 2006 Mini Cooper S R56 Blue. Nice car, not much to add!
  • 2002 Mini Cooper S, Blue. Inherited family car, (I've not included spouse cars etc in the list!). Loved it, would have kept it if not for a change in circumstances, which lead to another "sensible car" attempt.
  • 200* Toyota Corrolla, putrid grey. Horrid. Totally reliable, practical.... horrid, boring, urgh...
  • 2008? Ford S-Max 2.0 tdi, shiny black (great on holidays!). Good for holidays, lots of gadgets and surprisingly good to drive. However costs a fortune to run on short trips so made it easier to justify...
  • The Nissan LEAF. Love it so far, could be much better, but certainly by far the best of all our "sensible" cars.
That really is a ridiculous list!?
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