Friday, 28 May 2010

The Bangernomics theory

I've been neglecting this place of late. Not deliberately, but I've had rather a lot to do, and I've had to give writing the back seat for a while. So much neglect indeed that the last entry is hideously out of date. I wrote about Oli South's 420SLDi, and how at 190,000 miles it still felt fairly good. For £350, it had done him proud, lasting a year and thirty odd thousand miles.

Since my drive in mid-April, though, the car has started to show it's age. It was taken off the road a month before, in March, for a service and some maintenance. Sadly, more needed doing than was really economical, so he started talking in terms of a replacement towards the end of last month.

Fast-forward to last week. Out of the blue, I got a phone call. "Sam [he said], quick question. Do 400 and 600 wheels have the same PCD?" They don't, and I told him so. However, before anything else was said, poor signal cut me off. I found out the next day he'd just bought a 620SLDi. 150odd thousand miles, still fairly good condition by the look of the pics on eBay. How much? £200.

Experience shows that even with such a high mileage, the L-Series Rover diesel engine is certainly up to higher mileages than that. So what he's done is again buy a car that'll probably last about a year - though he reckons it's a stopgap - for next to nothing. Two years' cars for £550. I know people who've lost several times that in depreciation alone.

Oli's experience got me thinking seriously about this whole Bangernomics business. So seriously, that I armed myself with a virtual £500 and went on a virtual hunt for a decent car. Well, come on. I'm a student. I'm not going to sally forth with a real £500 and look for a real car until I can finance it. To make it even more of a challenge, I'm going to be fussy. For my £500, I want a car I'd genuinely enjoy owning - that means fairly big, comfy, preferably auto - and must last me at least a year.

Big, comfy, and cheap. I could do a lot worse than a 600. And whilst the car I found on Pistonheads failed to tick the 'auto' box, it ticked the 'lairy' box quite well instead. It's a 600ti, basically a 600 with the 820 Vitesse 200bhp lump dropped in. 128000 miles, in White Gold (Plus point from me, but not to everyone's taste), and roadworthy until July. Best bit though, it doesn't look to need anything for the next test. Worth considering.

I've always liked the bigger 800s, and an 827 or Sterling auto would tick the boxes. eBay came up with the goods, a 1994 827SLi automatic with no bids at £350. Very little tax but six months' test left, the practical hatch body, and a low mileage at 91500. Yes.

Something with a premium badge next, I think - whilst I'm a Rover fan to the man on the street they're nothing special. Could I buy the Best of British with my monkey? Sadly not - double the money and I can take my pick of Jags and Daimlers, but the choice in my £500 price bracket was pitiful. No late 80s 5 series BMs worth talking about, and I didn't even dare looking at W124 Mercs. But hey, I found a couple of big Rovers within my budget that could realistically last me some time. Who cares what others think - this Bangernomics lark could be a bit of all right.

No comments:

Post a Comment