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Car Of The Month :
December 2016

'V8 Vroom' by Stevestrat

My MGR history started a number of years ago with a 620i. I Really liked it but was tempted when the mechanic at my local garage put his 3 litre Omega Elite on the market. From there I went to a Volvo S80 again a nice car, but in 2010 I was facing a very hefty bill to get it through the MOT.

The garage had a 75 on the forecourt for a sensible price so I decided to cut my loses and traded the S80 in. Before taking the plunge I joined the club as I wanted to check on parts availability etc.

In 2012 I lost both parents in quick succession and we moved to their cottage. I was working in the front garden when a guy walking his dog started talking to me, turned out to be one of my father’s doggy walking pals.

He mentioned he had a ZT 1.8T but wasn’t using it and he was considering selling it. I mentioned I was in the club and said to bring it along, I’d take a few pics and see if anyone was interested. He did the following day and other than being covered with dog hair (he has a mainly white Spaniel) it was in good nick.

I took a few photos then he pulled out a wad of receipts totalling nearly four grand for work he’d had done! I posted about the car but didn’t even tempt any tyre kickers, ended up buying it myself for a price I’d have been stupid to refuse.

I was aware of the V8s having seen Aldo’s superb example a few years back but never really thought about owning one. As I mentioned, I’d lost my parents back in 2012 then sadly in late 2014 my wife’s father passed away too. I mulled it over for a bit then thought “you’ve got to be good to yourself once in your life!” so I began looking for a V8.

I was getting extremely frustrated at the number of “dead” adverts I was finding, respond to it only to find the car is long gone. I sent a one line message to one Autotrader ad “Is the car still available?” expecting the usual negative response. I was surprised to get a yes and apologised to the seller for my rather brief message. After a bit of email tennis I decided it was worth looking at and arranged to go down to West Yorkshire for a look see. I am in the lucky position of being an ex rail industry manager and retain free travel for life.

Rob met me at a local station; I think I was hooked as soon as he started it! This was late December so a slightly sedate test drive followed. During the test drive the ABS light popped up, Rob was muttering as he’d had work done on the ABS module by Chris at MG Lifestyle or whatever they are calling themselves these days. We called in there and Rob arranged for the car to go in again. I had a quiet word with Chris about the car; he assured me there were no problems with it. I left a deposit with Rob and he was going to get in touch when the ABS problem was sorted.

Early January Rob got in touch, he’d had to replace the ABS module costing him several hundred, I offered to put something towards it (if it had been “repaired” again I’d could be facing a problem in the future) but he wouldn’t hear of it. There was only one key so I’d arranged to see Russ who lived in the same town.

The drive from Rob’s to Russ’ was interesting, compacted snow on the side roads, twitchy to say the least! At Russ’ the V8 lived up to the usual “I don’t like T4s” reputation, got all upset, had a hissy fit, did the swap the window switched routine, Russ ended up phoning Brian who, once he’d stopped laughing, sorted the problem.

The only snag was due to the problems at Russ’ I headed north about two hours later than intended and hit Newcastle at peak traffic, 155 mph car I was doing well to get into 2nd gear. It was a fairly quiet drive north, strange car, rain sleet and even snow. I filled up before leaving then stopped at Berwick to top up and stretch my legs, everybody goes on about the fuel consumption of the V8s, I got 28mpg.

She’s a non SE but retrofitted with a leather interior with heated memory seats, a DD head unit with sat nav etc, parking sensors, virtually up to SE spec.

Yes it’s got “keep fit” rear windows but I don’t sit in the back.

My only gripe was the lack of a spare wheel, it was on my “to do” list but after having her a couple of weeks coming back from the Lake District I hit something just south of Abington, limped into the services and found a hole in the tyre the “shaving foam” puncture repair stuff couldn’t cope with. Had to wait two hours for a flatbed, a spare wheel was sourced later that day.

Some V8 owners wrap them up in cotton wool and only use it when the sun is high in the sky, I don’t, it’s a driver’s car that’s meant to be driven.

My original 75 is no longer with me but I still have the other ZT, the 1.8T, it’s off the road just now. As I mentioned I’ve had some medical problems and fully intend getting her sorted once I feel up to it.

Same problems meant I had to miss a lot of shows I had intended going to this year. Here's hoping I'll be at them all next year.

Article written by member Stevestrat

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