Xantiaman583's car history

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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XantiaMan
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Xantiaman583's car history

Post by XantiaMan » 04 Jun 2008, 20:49

I had always been into cars since an early age. My parents always had Austin-Rover/BL cars so thats what i grew up with. My earliest memory is of an Austin Ambassador back in 1984-5, an MG Metro from 1986-87 and then onto the coolest car in the world, an MG Maestro EFi! Cool to me at the time, as it was faster than an XR3i, the essex man's favourite. It also had the digital tash and talking computer and when your 7 years old, it doesnt get much better than that!

My dad moved onto company cars from the late 80's but we kept the Maestro as my mum's car. We still have it to this day.

The company supplied Vauxhall company cars replacing them every year, it was always exciting when dad turned up in a brand new car!

One year we got a Rover 218SD as they were moving onto diesel cars. As many know this car was fitted with the 1905cc XUD9 atmo lump. I remember it being noisy, slow, but dependable! This one will always be removed for sucking up water in a deep ford leaving a few bent con-rods and being pulled out by a friendly Ford Capri. It limped home once it started but was never right with its new bottom end.

From there we moved onto Vauxhalls again, and a nice Cavalier 1.7 TD was with us for a couple of years. This was a great car although getting a bit old in 1994, it was replaced by the new Vectra! I actually though it was a nice car, very refined compared to the Cav, nice engine but a bit gutless.

We bought another MG Maestro in 1997 which we also still have, awaiting resto now, this was used as an everyday car when my dad changed jobs, but he went back to company cars a year later, first an Audi A4 and then something relevant to this forum, a Mk2 Xantia LX.

I wasnt keen at first but was very impressed with its smooth ride.

Not long after it was my turn, i past my test in 1998, and my first car was a 1983 Mini Mayfair which had alot of time and money put into, 1293cc engine, full resto and respray etc.

A few months after my test i spotted a very clean A reg 1.3 Maestro in a salvage yard for £95. It only needed a bumper and wing to make right. It was to become my everyday car taking over from the Mini which proved to be unreliable and too bloody small. The Maestro was a proper car in comparison and i never looked back.

I sold the Mini in 2000 and bought my dream car, a rare limited edition MG Maestro Turbo. There is a heck of a lot of history to it as i still have it 8 years later. I will detail more if people are interested!

In 2003 i needed something that was more economical and practical as i was doing car valeting at the time.

I bought a k plate Montego Countryman Estate TD with the fantastic Perkins lump. It was a bit slow at first but in the 3 years i had it, became my favourite car. I had it from 109k to 203k, never driven that many miles in one car before and i have immense respect for it, despite the rust and image, underneath it was a cracking car.

I sold the car for scrap in 2006 and replaced it with a late M plate Monty Estate, same spec. It took a while to grow on me as every car is different even when its the same! It did turn out to be a good car in the end and was very clean too, but it sadly got written off last year by someone smashing into the side. I didnt have the time to repair it but got a good pay out from the insurance company, giving me a budget of £800 to get a replacement.

Now dont ask why, but for a week i owned a Ford Mondeo Si on an S plate. It was cheap at only £500 but it turned out to be a clocked taxi that reeked of fag smoke, a clutch on its last legs and poor MPG, i gave it the valet and service of its life, even got a set of 16 inch alloys which i refurbished so it looked very smart in the end, i only made £60 quid profit but was glad to get rid. A week later the clutch went.... an expensive job on a Mondeo!

Which leads me onto my Xantia. Purchased for £600 notes and promptly taxed for 6 months, it looked tatty at first but underneath was a very well looked after car with motorway miles. With 141k on the clock, it was more than i wanted, but going on the repuatation of the XUD and its history, i took a risk, and it was worth it!

Now with 166k on the clock its done some miles in its 10 months with me, but its been very enjoyable. Sure, its a heavy car, one that needs a few bits doing here and there but when clean it looks extremely smart. The boot could do with being a bit deeper but the cabin space cannot be faulted. It doesnt rattle or squeek, doesnt rust, returns good mpg, runs on SVO/WVO and it looks after me, doing up to 150 miles a day for business and then turning into a family car in the evenings and weekends.

I will shortly be posting up some pictures of as many cars i can find, with the specs to follow.

Gareth
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2003 Ford Mondeo ST220
2002 Ford Fiesta Zetec S
2001 Ford Puma 1.7 VCT
2008 Ford Transit Mk7
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XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 04 Jun 2008, 21:02

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2003 Ford Mondeo ST220
2002 Ford Fiesta Zetec S
2001 Ford Puma 1.7 VCT
2008 Ford Transit Mk7
http://www.facebook.com/kidmans

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 04 Jun 2008, 21:04

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2003 Ford Mondeo ST220
2002 Ford Fiesta Zetec S
2001 Ford Puma 1.7 VCT
2008 Ford Transit Mk7
http://www.facebook.com/kidmans

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 04 Jun 2008, 21:18

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2003 Ford Mondeo ST220
2002 Ford Fiesta Zetec S
2001 Ford Puma 1.7 VCT
2008 Ford Transit Mk7
http://www.facebook.com/kidmans

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 04 Jun 2008, 22:28

That's a gallery of some very tasty cars Gareth, and a great history too :D

Funny that, I was a confirmed BL man before going French. Well correction, I had BL and French interspersed throughout my driving career but since 2000, it's been strictly French.

I had a couple of MG Metros back in the 80s in Cyprus and brought a brand new one home from there. I then traded it in for a Turbo Metro. A cracker of a car but no match for the then new kid on the block, the Pug 205GTi. I traded it in for a Vaden Plas Metro. Very luxurious. My BL days ended with a "new" K engined Metro. Now that was one very underrated car but so shoddily built. What could have been. It went in favour of a Pug 405GRD and the rest, as they say, is history...

I always liked the Maestro Turbo and the Montego Countryman. Horribly underrated and horribly built. Could they ever rust :roll:

Now, as an ex-BL man and now a Citroen man, do you see the same as me? BL were the British Citroen. Both have a similar flavour to them.

The similarity may not be accidential. Alec Issigonis was reputed to be a Citroen man and had a Traction Avant. It is said he very carefully looked at what Citroen were up to when he was both designing the Minor and the Mini. Alex Moulton, the designer of the Mini suspension, both the dry rubber cone and Hydrolastic, clearly looked very closely at Citroen's Hydropneumatic.
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XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 05 Jun 2008, 07:28

I would agree with you about the 'British Citroen' bit. Both knew how to make decent engines, although the engineering behind the british cars was a bit more simplistic.

Had they managed to build them out of decent steel and without built in rot traps, we would have something to be more proud of in this country about our own cars. As it stands now, there is no parts back up for my cars anymore, with sills and wheelarches no longer available, its going to be harder and harder to keep on the road, but i'm lucky i can fabricate things myself if needed.

The thing i like about my Citroen is the same thing i like about my BL/AR cars, seen as quirky and a sometimes odd choice, they have character that a Ford or Vauxhall doesnt seem to have, and a lot better and more reliable than their reputation would have you believe.

I'll never sell my Maestro, having had it for so long and had many good times in it, there is still alot more fun to be had. It needs some bits and pieces doing to it this year like a brake overhaul and some minor bodywork but mechanically its good, the rebuilt engine has only done 15k and has 20psi potential so its something i must get round to before petrol gets to £2 a litre!
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2003 Ford Mondeo ST220
2002 Ford Fiesta Zetec S
2001 Ford Puma 1.7 VCT
2008 Ford Transit Mk7
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XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 02 Jul 2008, 08:10

Well the promise of new brakes and some bodywork did happen in the end, i replaced all the flexi hoses, the rear brake pipes and a section of pipe from front to back because of a sheared fitting, new discs and race pads, and rear wheel cylinders, took 5 goes to get it to bleed properly and there was alot of dark crap coming out, my fault as i've not changed the fluid in about 7 years :shock: Suffice to say the brakes are now performing very well once the pads have warmed up.

The bodywork was a bit more involved than i had hoped, originally it was just a b pillar to cut out and weld but it ended up being the back of the sill and arch aswell, in the process i managed to badly slice my thumb with the angle grinder so it did slow progress down a bit, but i got there in the end.

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I also managed to repaint my wheels as i was not happy with the previous colour, although the finish was excellent, i dont think it suited the car as much as i had hoped.

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After a couple of weeks work on an off running from Suffolk to Norwich and also back to Kent, i took last Monday off to get the car finished off, which was mainly trim and a clean up, plus some anti-roll bar bushes, and some new hoses in the engine bay.

I left the car with the local MOT place expecting the worst but it passed, with no advisories! My usual worry of emissions failing didnt cause a problem, i should be an expert at tuning these cars by ear now!

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Gareth
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2003 Ford Mondeo ST220
2002 Ford Fiesta Zetec S
2001 Ford Puma 1.7 VCT
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Post by Sturdybloke » 18 Jul 2008, 16:19

Top writeup :D

I must admit that I have always had a soft spot for old BL stuff and if I had more space I would buy an early MG or Vanden Plas Maestro :oops: :lol:
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XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 18 Jul 2008, 17:49

Bloody hell a reply! :lol:
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Post by jgra1 » 09 Oct 2008, 17:08

good stuff Gareth :D

I persueaded mom to get a 2300 Sd1 which I really liked, seemed big and somehow advanced.. loved all the green dials too!

I had two or 3 p6's, brother had a 'wedge'

think dad had a landcrab and a maxi.. hmmm

dad and brother had Marnina x 2 and an Ital (remember them?) bit before your time all this I think :)

minis, mini pickups, MG metros were in abundance for me to, the metro was actually a nice fun car as a 17 year old, and was free :) I used to be a valeter, well more a car wsher and polisher during my teens..

John
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Deanxm
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Post by Deanxm » 17 Dec 2009, 21:37

Hi Gareth

Very interesting stuff, only BL car i owned was a rover 827, nice car and nice to drive but bits fell off a lot and brown was evident in important places when it was sold unfortunatly
Where i live now there is a guy with a red maestro turbo, its looks very good like yours but he also has a Montego MG turbo too, both in red 8)

D
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XM Prestige 92, surgery has begun, RIP faithfull 2.0i
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Xantia Activa 95, sold (missed)

Service Citroen is awesome, it shows me pictures of all the parts i used to be able to buy............

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55 C5 1.6 HDi VTR
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Post by citroenxm » 17 Dec 2009, 22:44

Blimey! Two Montegos together, and both Estates too!!

I remember the days when I was a Visa XUD Driver, and wanted something BETTER on Fuel! I Fancied a Montego Perkins DI powered cars, and went to see an SLXD Turbo Saloon, in graphite grey, I even went for a test drive and almost shelled £400 quid for it, but te miles were a little high, I had not learnt my repair skills just yet, but knew my engines, cars, makes, models etc, and knew the DI Monty could acheive around 65mpg.

This was all about 14 years ago... I then plumpt for a Pug 309 XUD N/a, due to the unfortunate rust the montego had..

It was the 309 that I learent about the XUd, and then changed that for a BX TZD Turbo...

Paul
0x
1991 XM 3.0 24v Manual (x2)
1994 XM 2.1 d auto (undecided what to do now)

1994 Xantia TD SX Project
s**t thats scarey... two XMs left...

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Post by lexi » 18 Dec 2009, 19:29

That `perkins Prima is a great engine almost the first mainstream DI. BL and Citroen.....I see the similarities

Quaint and challenging to own......Though Cits more special.

Quirkiest BL car of mine was an Austin 1800. Loved it , very comfy and roomy. Challenging floor and sill repairs :shock:
Cars that nobody liked can become classics :lol:
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Post by citroenxm » 18 Dec 2009, 19:35

Austin 1800, as in "Landcrab"?

Yea they are quite rare now...

Paul
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1991 XM 3.0 24v Manual (x2)
1994 XM 2.1 d auto (undecided what to do now)

1994 Xantia TD SX Project
s**t thats scarey... two XMs left...

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 18 Dec 2009, 20:56

Deanxm wrote:Hi Gareth

Very interesting stuff, only BL car i owned was a rover 827, nice car and nice to drive but bits fell off a lot and brown was evident in important places when it was sold unfortunatly
Where i live now there is a guy with a red maestro turbo, its looks very good like yours but he also has a Montego MG turbo too, both in red 8)

D


Yes i know the guy you mean (name escapes me, had lots of kids though IIRC)

At some point i must update this thread. The TD Xantia has been sold twice, and i've gained an Activa!

I still miss the old Montego, the last i heard the engine from the green one was up to 300k until the owner holed the sump and it lost its oil. A sad end to a great engine.
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2003 Ford Mondeo ST220
2002 Ford Fiesta Zetec S
2001 Ford Puma 1.7 VCT
2008 Ford Transit Mk7
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