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A special 'what car' thread...


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I might be needing a new car for a special trip...

It absolutely must fulfill all the following criteria;

Be 1.2 litre or less.

Be built in 2004 or later.

Be simple and robust.

Not be a 4x4.

Be relatively economical.

Any of the following would be a bonus;


Cheap or easy for me to blag from a 'friendly' manufacturer.


Decent luggage/kit space.

The following is a no-no;


Anything I can't get fixed in a Mongolian desert.

So, TyreSmoke massive, what do you suggest ? :)

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Actually, I am in Norfolk on holiday at the mo, if you see a chap and his kids frantically bailing a leaky old Kayak on this webcam at about 10-11am tomorrow, that'll be me. :grin:

Patently, the Panda would be great, but Fiat UK PR people went from loving s2b2 (Stelvio) to blacklisting us (Chrysler fanny gag) pretty quickly, so I can't ask them.

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I assume you mean older than 2004, which rules out the Up! Etc, and I would be surprised if any manufacturer 'gave' you a car, given I think I'm correct in saying its a one way trip.

You might be better off blagging something off a used car dealer at the bottom end of the market, in return for lots of advertising in the local papers!

I've just had an idea, so in off to check if it meets the requirements, I.e engine size.

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Just checked the rules and it's 2004 or newer so my idea is out.

This makes it really quite difficult as there aren't many cars of this age that aren't complicated.

I'd avoid anything VW as repairing them at the side of the road without a laptop and VAG com isn't going to be easy.

Your going to need reliability above anything else, so look for a Honda, you might need to look at Cat C's though!

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I would highly recommend changing the head gasket before you go, it's the only way you can ensure that it'll have the latest design that sorts the failure issue out once and for all, the K series lump is hugely underrated as an engine, and the HGF is about it's only achilles heel, and that's easily sorted, the issue is the loose fitting plastic dowels that are between the head and the block, and the material the HG is made of.

The latest design HG is a multiplate one, and basically sorts the problem for good, although you do still have to ensure the cooling system is in top condition, and it's (apparently) a right bitch to bleed all the air out.

A mate of mine builds rally cross cars out of MGZR's, MGF's and TF's (used to race them but he wasn't very good behind the wheel), and also ships cars and engines out to Germany, Norway etc as the engines are sought after for rally cross vehicles out there.

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