Well it's reached a milestone....the tax expires Monday, which means The Estate has been on the road for 6 months.
So, that's 6.5 years in a damp barn, almost untouched with no-preventative maintenance whatsoever (other than shutting the windows), to hauling itself out again, to passing an MoT for £84.00 (total cost) and then providing six months of largely (99.5%) trouble-free service.
It's about to click over to 203,000 miles, which in BX terms is actually not all that amazing; I know of two for sale, one with 260k and another with 310k, so legend-status isn't quite there on the mileage front.
But in terms of toughness, it's right up there. Like last weekend, for example:
Each of those slabs weighs (I would guess) 40-50kg (there's ALOT of concrete on the bottom of them). It proved helpful during some 'improvements' I was subjecting my garden to! And when those slabs had gone, it was filled with (I'm guessing) around 200kg of top soil too. Suspension might have been a bit slow to lift 350odd kg of rockery, but it did
lift it, and it didn't
complain (aside from needing a few revs to raise the back end up!)
Part of me wishes I'd never cleaned it after it came out of the barn, but I'm a homeowner, and it's not in my interests to devalue my entire street by parking the estate in it complete with vine growing up the door and remnants of dead woodland creatures.
In the (admittedly) piffling mileage I have covered, it's averaged 45mpg overall. In fact, around town it seems to be better than on the motorway - the opposite of most cars. It's probably down to really short gearing (for a diesel) and a lack of power, meaning 80mph + on the motorway is a flat-out affair as soon as you start to climb hills.
Speaking of motorway runs, I did treat it to a roadtrip at the beginning of September - I took it to a Citroen meet in Stratford. The meet turned out to be rubbish, frankly, but on the social side it was quite good. You've never been to a Citroen meet ( well you you haven't, have you?) but as the models are so diverse the owners tend to be too. 2CV = hippies and extreme liberals. SM = slightly snobby. DS = old. CX = halfway bewteen SM and DS. XM & Xantia = techno-freaks. And the BX? Well there's a cross-dresser and some people who are DEFINITELY 40yr old + virgins, but most of all, there are ale-drinking, welder wielding, chain smoking types who stay up in the campsite til 3:00 talking loudly about hydraulics, trains and buses, and who say fuck. Alot.
Anyway, I took the estate there instead of my 16v, partly because I was being cheap, but mainly because I thought the old girl deserved it. On the run there (Fareham to Stratford), 48mpg and approx 2.5 hours.
The run back? Left at 8pm on the dot. Walked back in through my front door at 9:55pm, which included sitting behind a police car all along my stretch of M3 and M27 motorways. Straford to Winchester (excepting Botley/Oxford on the A34).....flat out (literally) all the way. To think one of my most memorable runs was in one of the slowest cars I've ever owned! But, as always, it just adds to the character....though I did only manage 33mpg!
So how's the car getting on now? Much the same as before, really. Clutch is still on the rivets (probably), and one of the NOS suspension bushes I fitted for the MoT seems to have fallen apart, because there is a knock so bad coming from the OSF suspension it's affecting the steering!
You might recognise the white one:
It's going to have a break in October; I have three cars (excluding the wife's) currently taxed and on the road, and to be fair I don't need that many. So for October, I'm sitting the estate out and running my red 16v BX instead:
I'll be getting that ready for the NEC in November as it's on a BX stand (they didn't want the estate....shocking!) and I'm also having too much fun driving my little TVR S1 around on the rare occasions I actually get the thing out of the garage. So for October the estate has a break (and the suspension bush replaced....again) and come November it'll go back on the road when the TVR comes off it for a strip down (I might do a blog on that in a mo). The red 16v (which also runs out of tax end of Oct) will only go on the road for November, and I'll cash the tax in as soon as the NEC is passed.
That means the estate is my sole transport for the cold winter months. I might give it a lick of underseal beforehand! But for now, it's passed the 6 month check with flying colours. It's still running as well as it ever has, and shows no signs of giving up. I just wish I could add more miles onto it....maybe I should lend it out to PHers around the UK who could take it to interesting places and do interesting things in it, taking pics along the way. Like a chain letter, only a car