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Advice on a workhorse
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SteadyRollingMan



Joined: 02 Jan 2019
Posts: 6
Location: Greater Geordieland

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:05 am    Post subject: Advice on a workhorse Reply with quote

Hi everyone, am new here, but have owned a classic for a while, albeit a Spitfire MkIV that has been OTR and undergoing a glacially slow restoration ever since I got it eight or nine years ago...

But all that aside, am hoping for some suggestions on what to buy next... My daily driver is a BMW 320D estate and I've decided I'd like to sell it while it's still worth something and replace it with summat that will either hold or increase its value from now on. Only thing is, that 320D is a proper workhorse - the rear seats have been flat for almost all of the past two or three years, as I've used it to transport, among other things, 400 filthy reclaimed bricks (in two batches, obv, I'm not a complete moron), a couple of doors, several fallen trees that I've taken a chainsaw to, and the usual bags of garden rubbish for the tip.

So I'm looking for something that will handle a bit of abuse plus ideally be suitable for towing a trailer if I can find room for one of those. Obviously that suggests an early Landie or Range Rover as the logical choice, but I'd also like something that would be comfortable (and cheaper to run) on long drives. I also absolutely love those classic American pickups from the 40s etc, but again, comfort and economy...

So I'm guessing I might be looking at some other sort of estate, but nothing is really springing to mind... does anyone have any suggestions? Budget wise, I suppose I might be able to go to about 20k, but would rather stick around the 5-10k mark if possible.

One possible final caveat - I drove cars round the local auction when I was a kid and I've always remembered how one day I managed to lock the keys in an old Sierra or whatever. One of the other guys just took out his house keys and opened the door with the Yale... so as I'd also be abandoning the car for a few days at a time when I head up into the hills and stuff, would like something that's either relatively secure or not too attractive to scumbags...
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mikeC



Joined: 31 Jul 2009
Posts: 1418
Location: Market Warsop, Nottinghamshire

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Compared with a modern car, any classic is going to be high maintenance; and remember if you don't have a modern in the fleet you may find it hard to get the cheaper insurance that goes with classics.

Why not stick to the Triumph family, and go for a 2000/2500 estate? Alternatively, the Volvo Amazon estate is a tough old thing which will take the lifestyle you're proposing.Both make good tow-cars.

For something more modern, how about an early Renault Espace (if you can find one!), or something completely left-field like the Renault Avantime (I'm not particularly a Renault fan, but those two just sprang to mind!).
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SteadyRollingMan



Joined: 02 Jan 2019
Posts: 6
Location: Greater Geordieland

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your post left me with a very sour taste in my mouth... a Renault Espace/Avantime? I didn't come on here to be insulted... Razz

However, your other suggestion more than absolves you - I had completely forgotten about the Amazon, and man, do they scrub up well! That is a definite contender, but am still open to other ideas - am abroad for a couple of weeks ATM so can't rush into anything anyway, not that those are easy to find.

As for the Triumph 2000/2500, that's pretty much the only option I'd thought of before posting, but, I dunno ... not overwhelmed by them...

And re insurance, hadn't thought of that, but hopefully the lack of depreciation should more than compensate!
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Penman



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 3943
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
A lot depends on how old you want to go, after all the 200, and 700 series Volvos go back a fair way, even the last of the 900s is 20 yrs old.

Also the 850 if you wanted to go fwd is a mid '90s car.
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20180
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum.

As a former Amazon owner, I too thought of the estate version as being a possible contender, same for the big old Humbers. Saying that, I'm not sure that I'd want to park either in a public place for days at a time (same for a Land Rover as they appear to be regularly targeted by the light-fingered brigade).

Have you considered a big Yank estate from, say, the 1960s? Maybe on LPG to keep fuel costs down a little.

RJ
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 2769
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An alternative suggestion is the Peugeot 403 estate. If you find a good one it would make an excellent workhorse. My Dad had one for a while and loved it. Tough as old boots with a willing engine.

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mikeC



Joined: 31 Jul 2009
Posts: 1418
Location: Market Warsop, Nottinghamshire

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteadyRollingMan wrote:
Your post left me with a very sour taste in my mouth... a Renault Espace/Avantime? I didn't come on here to be insulted... Razz



Well, I could have really insulted you with the suggestion of a Ford Granada estate!

What are the chances of finding something like an early 5-series BMW estate? If you want something that is not too tempting to the light-fingered brigade you really want to look at something from the late 1980s /early 1990s which have mostly reached the bottom of their value curve (and probably have the most potential for gaining value). I don't like them myself, but a Ford Sierra estate should be straight-forward in parts and maintenance, and Fords have a good record for increasing in value. As has already been suggested, a 7-series Volvo estate will take a lot of abuse.

Or even go for something even newer, like a Rover 75 estate (which is already on the upward valuation curve) ...

Lots to choose from:

Volvo Amazon estate at 5,000
https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1061784
Volvo 240 estate running lpg at 2,000
https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1064308
Volvo 740 estate at 1,500
https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1061586
Volvo 960 estate at 5,500
https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1067098
BMW 540 estate at 2,000
https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1053754
Rover 420 estate at 1,300
https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1049810
Ford Granada estate at 15,000
https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1047330
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recently departed: 1967 Singer Chamois, 1914 Saxon, 1930 Morris Cowley, 1936 BSA Scout, 1958 Lancia Appia coupe, 1922 Star 11.9 ... the list goes on!
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Rick
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We bought a very cheap 760GLE Estate at the time of moving house, 15 years ago. It cost 125 quid plus a drop of auto transmission fluid to cure its slipping habit. It coped with the hammer we gave it during the move with ease, and was sold on for 100 to a lady needing a workhorse to transport bales of hay around in.

RJ
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 2769
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I owned a Vauxhall Carlton estate for a few years. It was capable of taking 8'x 4' sheets of plywood, plasterboard etc. It was a marvellous work horse and still looked good when I sold it - although underneath a Chanel section had needed welding. I haven't seen another one for years. I suppose they could be regarded as modern Classic cars these days - especially a 24 valve version like this.

https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1033756

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BigJohn



Joined: 01 Jan 2011
Posts: 865
Location: Nr. Lancaster

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How left field do you want to go? (and not far from Geordieland!)

https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C950815
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alastairq



Joined: 14 Oct 2016
Posts: 1086
Location: East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Until recently, my daily driver was/is an oldish Daihatsu Fourtrak, lwb version. The 'Indy' because it has independent front suspension [torsion bars, adjustable if one has over indulged at Christmas?]

Not overly large, but the 2.8 diseasel has rolls royce power [enough!!]...will return around 30-plus mgs, will run on any fuel known to man..as long as it's liquid.

Plus, is plated to tow a genuine 3.5 tonnes [5 3/4 tonne train weight]....
Engines are good for over 1/4 million miles....

Mine is very very rarely used in 4 wheel drive...it has 'automatic' freewheeling front hubs....so there is a procedure to follow every month, to keep stuff oiled. plus, it has grease nipples...even though it's a 1994.

Pleasant enough to drive [keep the revs down for economy], but easily 'tuned'....no electronics to worry about.....basically what a Land Rover Deafender should have been, but wasn't....Comfy for a 6 foot 3 inch driver....decent road manners [thanks to independent front axle]....easy to fix...
But, they do rust a lot....mostly the body itself [it has a separate chassis]....I currently feel I ought to address the front inner wings for its next MoT...[30 cm rule, and body mounts].....

Splendid heater....leccy windies, and a fold flat rear seat...rear seat passengers sit like the late Queen Mum!

Ignoring the 4x4 bit, it's an excellent runabout....especially if one likes to run on cooking oil.

I've modified mine a bit...steel plate, removable rear floor makes underneath access a doddle for an auld fahrt like me....replaced rusty steel fuel tank with a plastic boat tank.....parts are quite cheap, and easily available [Milner 4x4 being about the best place to go, online]....a very good Farcebook group, lots of knowledge & advice, lots of bits for sale....plus, no one bullies you out on the roads....
My old girl will certainly pick up her skirts when needed.....motorway trips being a pleasant 50-plus mph, until the other, very annoying, traffic demands one goes to the right hand lane, pushes the loud pedal and whizzes past everything in front...to regain the left lane , and doddle along at around 55 again!
These can be had, with rust issues sorted, from one or two specialist 'dealers'...for but a few grand.....
Plus, there is no compulsion to wash a fourtrak....not known as the 'farmer's friend' for nowt!!

Not suggesting one as an option...they are an acquired taste.....but will tow anything, legally...something other similar stuff actually cannot do!

They're ugly too...although not as ugly as a UMM Alter!

Edit..I should add, as a slowly ageing person of dubious flexibility.....they are easy to get in & out of...the seat base is just the right height for my backside....no hopping up into, or dropping down onto, seats....The deafender seats are just a tad bit too high, so one needs to 'hop' up backwards, before swinging legs in, or out.

Whilst on about deafenders.....might be worth considering taking a look at somewhere like Blanchards, of Market Weighton, for one of their checked-over, but otherwise unadulterated ex MoD Deafenders? Can be had, ready to roll [and break down?]...fr around 6 grand or so....I'll enclose a link, purely for interest.....but a word of warning...having one of those parked outside will certainly lower local property values!!

https://pablanchard.co.uk/vehicles-for-sale'
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SteadyRollingMan



Joined: 02 Jan 2019
Posts: 6
Location: Greater Geordieland

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, some very good food for thought on here, thanks everyone.

Will try replying to these in order...
firstly, the more modern Volvo estates. Yes, they had crossed my mind, but I'm not overly enamoured with them. Usually very reliable, obv, but they just kinda give off a 'bus' impression to me. Totally at odds with those beautiful Amazons (and P1800 estates I've just come across).

Big Yank estates... Can't go TOO big as I have about two inches max spare at either side when I'm putting the BM through the garage door. And I'm sure it's the height of bad manners to run a V8 on LPG...

Pug 403.., interesting, and a bit ambulancey, not sure I've seen those before though. Not ugly but not the prettiest - more research needed!

Early BMW 5's and Rovers... now we could be on to something... Some very high spec models for very little money about, esp the Rovers. Could easily turn a profit straight away by trading the modern in and getting one of these. Also less appealing to thieves and harder to nick!

Ford Granada? No offence taken, quite like them! Not sure it would fit in garage though.
Sierra - yeah, me neither, Cossies excepted.

Never been a Carlton fan - and man, that one's expensive...

The Mystery Mobile... what can I say... yeah, would never have thought of that, but not gonna discount this one just yet. Would be a great little camping-type motor, and 4x4 a nice touch too...

Fourtrak - you almost had me there! Made it sound very appealing indeed - but yes, they really are ugly! But do looks really matter for a workhorse?

Will do a bit of research into some of these over the next week or two - in the meantime, feel free to add more!
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mikeC



Joined: 31 Jul 2009
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Location: Market Warsop, Nottinghamshire

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteadyRollingMan wrote:

firstly, the more modern Volvo estates. Yes, they had crossed my mind, but I'm not overly enamoured with them. Usually very reliable, obv, but they just kinda give off a 'bus' impression to me...


If you fancy upsetting the pleb-jet-set, how about an 850R?

https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1058220
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in the garage: 1931 Austin 7, 1953 Lancia Appia
recently departed: 1967 Singer Chamois, 1914 Saxon, 1930 Morris Cowley, 1936 BSA Scout, 1958 Lancia Appia coupe, 1922 Star 11.9 ... the list goes on!
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badhuis



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 1033
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not a Subaru Legacy Estate? First gen (1989-1993) are nice cars, maybe hard to find now. Never cared much for the second gen or third gen. Fourth gen is a looker, 2003-2009. Last one more often available as the Outback. Good engines.

Since two years I drive a 15 year old, still as new Jaguar X-type Estate 3 litre V6 as the modern. I fitted a towing bracket and it is great for that. Cheap as chips at the moment, all luxury refinements (heated front window for example) and a joy to drive. Not very economical though if you need it for high mileages. Although depreciation is almost nil of course.


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Rick
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If semi-moderns are ok to mention, I have a lot of time for the W124 series Mercedes estates (having owned 4), better still the previous W123 which is still an itch I wouldn't mind scratching one day.

RJ
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