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Not posed in these forums in a while and thought i would share my story/ on going project. A few months ago i was thinking about parting with my crumbling Renault Clio, motivated by the fact that three years driving around farm tracks hasn't kept it in 'best' condition and my insurance steadily declining from my first insurance quote of 2.5k on a 52 plate 1.2 punto i bought for 500 pound, to a more manageable 400 pound quote on my Clio more recently.. you know after five years of driving without accident or injury. My first cars were bought to the strict requirement of not being outstripped by passing butterflies, and not requiring a mortgage to insure. In five years Ive ran two punto's and this renault clio While in my family we seem to be very good at buying cars ( that is not to say that the cars we buy are very good ) we don't seem to be very good at selling them, my dad decided to part with one of the punto's that was being kept as a spare, despite the fact that it ran well for 2 years and i drove it 60 miles round every day for college, it was deemed far to unsafe for my younger sister, who was bought a mini at about double the cost of my first three cars combined, excuse me while i cough princess under my breath. Perhaps that's unfair, i have never had the best track record with looking after my vehicles, a couple of days after passing my test i blew the head gasket on my first punto when two miles out in the back and beyond we found out that the fan wasn't working in the punto, that wasn't my fault, but the issue was the fact that we had been ticking over in first across country, lights off, lamp out one window my friend perched on the window sill with the rifle. Play stopped due to the thick fog that dropped in, though we quickly realized the fog was coming from my bonnet. Which had to be refilled from a sheep trough three fields away; after the first trip with a sandwich bag with a hole in it failed, we had to use a wellie. Anyway, back to last month, I was leaving work having just watched my boss reverse into a large rock "thats what bumpers are for" and leaving with a larger than usual smile on my face, to visit my girlfriend. Driving steadily along at a cool 15 MPH thinking over cars i might like to get and thinking unhappy thoughts of trying to sell my old clio thankfully he in his infinite wisdom decided to show his hand; resulting in the most BTEC car crash you can imagine. I'm looking ahead at the next junction where i might make a u turn so I'm facing the right way for work in the morning, the next junction to my right is about 100 yards away and i see a car pull up to the junction, where she sits for several seconds, careering past the junction... at 15 miles an hour, i begin to pass in front of her and see that she had already started to pull out; the road is narrow but there is room for two cars, she is looking right I'm coming from her left. She is still looking right as she looks over hard right and pulls out to the left. Time slows, "Any second, any second now she will see me, she will see me and slam on, and probably mouth the word wnkr give my the first two and curse my for driving well within the speed limit and obeying the highway code; its clearly what she will do" I'm watching her as i pass and watching as she plants her foot down on the accelerator, crossing over the middle of the road and into the side of my car; she's still looking right, her foot is still on the accelerator. What could have been a small bump turns into a very slow and groaning crumpling of the drivers side back end of my car. Fantastic. Being the cool cat i am i lept out of the vehicle remained level headed and called my dad, i tend not to make a habit of car accidents and i genuinely had no idea what i had to do, i took pictures she gave me her insurance details, and admitted liability while the driver of the other vehicle helpfully stood there crying causing the net curtains up and down the street to flicker with interest. Fast forward the next day i hear that the other driver true to her word took full liability for the crash the visible damage to my vehicle can only be described by imagining what it would look like of a car accelerated into the drivers side rear door. Also on the drivers side front the suspension or damper of whatever it was had collapsed. As you can tell I'm very much a car guy and i honestly couldn't have given a flying one; the car was still quite considerably faster than walking. Anyway i hope you enjoyed my rambling preamble setting the scene for whats to come; i needed a new car. Most of the time i work from home, i took the hire car offered but can honestly say it did very few miles with me; amazingly it still managed to drink plenty of fuel and despite being nearly brand new it was sluggish on the road, the accelerator was unresponsive in the first 3/4 of its travel and the rear window was more like a cat flap; this helped because although i have never considered a 17 plate renault clio, i now knew i didn't want one. With the car returned i was no closer to finding a replacement vehicle, i insured myself on a spare vehicle we have and use for towing, but it was frustrating to find on a weekend, it was already in use or someone had plans for it between, 11 and half 3. So i was a bit stuck. I quite fancied a discovery 3, though i knew i couldn't afford or run one, because everyone i knew told me "seriously, dont do it" i listened to this advice but a discovery 2 seemed like not such a bad idea, somewhat less electronics to go wrong and proven to go on into high mileage; which on my budget id be lucky to find something at 120k miles. Hours of window shopping and still no car; do i just buy an old junker and see how long it lasts, or do i try and buy something properly and right? Family advice was not all that helpful, mum; 'just get what you want all cars are a money pit anyway', Dad; ' You are an idiot ' while both were frankly close to the truth, none got me any closer to getting a vehicle. Weighing up my options a defender seemed most attractive, i grew up working with dad on series landrovers and we have owned sation wagons, safari thingys, light weight, series 1, 2 a and b and series 3 along side to every workshop becoming a home for various bits and pieces , and what is a defender but series with some inner wheel arches anyway. Surprisingly the defender had relatively cheap insurance, fitted the bill for being able to tow, suitable for throwing the dog in the back, affordable in the way that if anything goes wrong i can probably do it myself. That's decided then; a defender. I'm not interested and Im not bothered, i don't care how many lame horses pull your car or how many TDI's live under the bonnet, i really don't know what it all means and it doesn't interest me enough to learn. This is my 'ignorance is bliss' outlook. What i do know and what is quickly confirmed is that anything i can afford is a piece of junk, the inflated values of these vehicles make that so. That being the case i wanted an honest piece of junk, not a polished piece of junk, i saw a few locally and quickly got bored with tapping bulkheads which were made out of filler. Id sooner have one obviously rusted through than one filled and filled and filled again. Back to eBay, the watch list now spiraling out of control with a plethora of inappropriate vehicles alerts on my phone every five minutes that another had sold, or was ending soon. Another weekend largely stuck at home, i had found one, i had spent all of 8 minutes looking at it.. looks alright, i mean rubbish really but sort of alright. "Dad, I think i might buy a defender ",... "don't, your stupid if you buy one", helpful. So that night i did what any really stupid person would do i sent the guy a message saying ill pay and collect it tomorrow, I'm presuming its a piece of junk? I asked.. well it does have its issues he replied and gave me a short list of issues you would expect to find on a defender vehicle of its age. Fine. Super. See you tomorrow. Done. Ignorance is bliss, tomorrow I'll have a new car. Sorted. My one stubby french beer having worn off the next morning i work to realize that i had actually given my word, so i spent the morning trying to arrange a friend to give my my 60 mile lift, after being laughed at solidly for half an hour 'you haven't even seen it!" i managed to find some friends good enough to give up their Sunday to help an idiot, Skulking out of the house after lunch i went to collect my new car, its a bit like buying a new gun, except you cant hide your indulgence in a cabinet. After quite a long time sitting in traffic, we got there, and the seller shook my hand, which one is the idiot? it was me of course, and i was now face to face with what i had done, it was great fun and easily one of the best decisions i have made that week. Something quite fun about driving a car you haven't seen 60 miles home in the dark, when you really have no idea if its up to the journey. One friend who came with me was a mechanic and quickly noted that it had no coolant, could do with some oil, and that three wheel bearings needed attention; this is the tip of the iceberg, the drivers side footwell needs patching, the passenger side outrigger need replacing, the drivers side door pillar is rusting, the bulk head near the drivers side is starting to rust Most of the vent surround on the top of the bulk head has just gone on the passenger side, the door bottoms are gone and the door frames need repairs, the chasis needs a patch or two in places, treating with phosphoric and wax oiling. the front pads and discs needs doing, the rear door needs beating out after 'an argument with a trailer', Interior, is exactly what you expect; not brill. It got home fine. Needs sorting before the MOT in december so i'm up against it. I hope my post is not insulting to people who pride themselves on being real car guys - hope to share with you my progress and work on the vehicle and hopefully celebrate when i get it through an MOT, aim to share a few pictures with you along the way, be doing all the work myself.