View Full Version : Crappy Cars, but Damn!....They Look Good

31st Aug 2011, 21:37
Here's my pick.....1976 TR6.


31st Aug 2011, 21:52

31st Aug 2011, 21:55
Ferrari 365BB


31st Aug 2011, 21:58


31st Aug 2011, 22:00
Bond Bug! Great pick. You are so right, I REALLY wanted one of those when I was 12...... I had one of these at the same time: One of the first Matchbox Superfast models - Ten points.....


Airborne Aircrew
31st Aug 2011, 22:04
The Bug or the tart?

31st Aug 2011, 22:07
Both would have been nice

31st Aug 2011, 22:08
For my part, both.

Tried to pick up a Bug a couple of years ago as a 'project' to pass the time in the garage. Changing hands for silly money so I gave up. The skirt project looks more promising though. :ok:

31st Aug 2011, 22:16
One of the first Matchbox Superfast modelsShades of Iso Grifo or Maserati Ghibli.


31st Aug 2011, 22:32
Wife dripped on for years how lovely it would be to have a Stag. I hired one for a weekend a couple of years ago. Bloody awful car.

Loose rivets
31st Aug 2011, 22:37
Shades of Iso Grifo

Local garage owner dem'd one to me in the 70s. Nice hand-stitched leather, but splines with half a rev sloppiness. Like new at 3k, it was waaaaaaaaaay too expensive.

Wife dripped on for years how lovely it would be to have a Stag.

So did mine! Bloody years, and at last . . . Oh, Stag.

31st Aug 2011, 22:39
Always liked the look of the Jensen Interceptor........here's a whole line of them, all with their bonnets up (I wonder if that's significant)


31st Aug 2011, 22:47
My friend had one of these (as well as a Jensen)
and bonnets up (I wonder if that's significant)

Yes it is, helped him replace his Interceptor diff on the day of his honeymoon departure..:}

31st Aug 2011, 22:52
Even the model couldn't make this piece of crap look good.

Whereas this looked good even without a model (nah, don't like those after makret exhausts)

31st Aug 2011, 22:59
Here's my pick.....1976 TR6.

So what's so bad about the TR6?

Not quite as good looking as the TR5 but not bad cars if you know how to look after them.

31st Aug 2011, 23:12

31st Aug 2011, 23:14
If you're going for a Triumph, go for a better looking one.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSHhMDjSqRY3SExXBCHDoBaGKqRyfNpWE7fYZzVe7H LCFoF8SVz

Just as crappy, especially on corners. ;)

31st Aug 2011, 23:34
Early in my sportscar career I drove a drum-braked TR2.
I swear it accelerated once the speed had dropped down to 60mph when hard braking from maximum speed!

Loose rivets
31st Aug 2011, 23:49
I was offered an MGC once. Quite a lump. 800 quid I think. Didn't bite.

A pal with a Formula Ford manufacturing company, had a TR 4. He'd modified the suspension, and as a passenger, I'd never felt side-g like it.

I remember going to work in Colchester on the bus and seeing my first TR2. I wanted one soooooo much. Such a good job I had to wait for a sports car and go via a series of pre war cars. Being held below 60 was a great benefit when the accelerator pedal was always on the floor.

Lon More
1st Sep 2011, 00:04
Made out of plywood. Take your pick, four wheels or six and any powerplant between Mini and Jag. V12 - Bill Towns' Hustler


1st Sep 2011, 00:07


1st Sep 2011, 00:11
Another aspect of the TR2 was the introduction of the Michelin X 'Stop tread pattern' steel-braced radial-ply tyre.
It offered much higher cornering performance in the dry - which, unfortunately, had a sudden breakaway characteristic (which was even worse on a wet road), so many drivers found themselves suddenly out of control (at a much higher speed than would have occurred on cross-ply tyres). Many crashes happened due to this 'phenomenon'.

In addition, the Michelin X Stop tyre was almost unwearoutable so owners were loath to part with them and pay for inferior grip (and wear) replacements.

The horn player Dennis Brain died in a crash in his TR2 when it left the road and hit a tree.

1st Sep 2011, 00:16

looked awesome but horrifically uneconomical and usually broken, both issues due to the blower

1st Sep 2011, 00:20
Ah yes, Michelin 'X rated' tyres. My second car, a 1970 Triumph Spitfire Mk3 was fitted with them and I spun it twice in the first week I owned it. Swing axle rear suspension made them even worse. If you got it wrong on a sharp corner the wheel used to tuck under the car and then you were suddenly driving on the sidewall of the tyre.

I was used to my big old Singer with crossply tyres. That car weighed twice as much but it was much more predictable; the tyres used to squeal on corners then the back end used to come nicely out. It was then possible to steer it on the throttle. Far more fun.

1st Sep 2011, 01:01
dunno if they are the same "x" series, but mine and many many other landies were fitted with michelin xzl, xcl, xzy and xl tyres, and they are a damn site more stable, more predictable, and far safer than any ive sampled on the dreadful super-all-traction type crossplies (or bargrips for that matter)

1st Sep 2011, 01:37
Mate had this CV-8
Went like shite didnt look tooo bad

http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/801/jensencv8licenseplate19.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/195/jensencv8licenseplate19.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

1st Sep 2011, 02:18
There's no reason for an Austin Healey to be in any look good, crap cars list. They were and are great cars, evidenced by the replica parts support for what was a reasonably small volume car. I've had a few of them and would grab another if I had the room and the increasing purchase price to spare.

That's not to say the cars from the 1954 100/4 (BN1) to the 1967 3000 Mk III (BJ8) were not without faults, none of them ever fixed. These were notably a vintage pilot position and a hot cabin - heated by the massive engine block and the long exhaust pipe just under the LH footwell. Laughable ground clearance was another designed-in fault, due to the back axle being above the chassis.

More lethally, the steering box was right at the front of the car, almost behind the front bumper. This box was connected to the steering wheel by a single 8 foot long metal shaft, ending inches from the driver's solar plexis. Any substantial whack to the front of the car tended to result in the driver being speared through the heart. That exact accident happened to two rowers in Ballarat during the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. Many AH's on the road today have had a joint of some sort added to interrupt the trajectory of the steering shaft if the box is ever hit.

The cars were hot in their day and are still reasonably quick thanks to huge torque and low weight. The standard early fours and the last, heavier and more luxurious models manage 0-60mph in under ten seconds while top speeds range from over 100mph to 125mph. The four is huge - 2.6 litres and red-lined at 4,500rpm, but an overdrive offers effortless cruising at motorway speeds. The low centre of gravity gives the cars reasonable handling, although to be honest, the chassis and suspension are primitive and don't do much for the cars. The good handling is perhaps more of an impression created from sitting virtually on the road than a reality.

Hmm. Didn't mean to write so much, but the cars are worth defending.

A great looking, lousy vehicle (apparently) is the William Towns designed Aston Martin Lagonda.

blue up
1st Sep 2011, 09:00
My MGC had 2 noteworthy features. I could get the fuel mileage into single figures if I kept my right foot down and it also had the ability to set off car alarms in the carpark (Record was 3 during one engine start)
Straight-cut box and straight through exhaust made it sound like the anger of Thor but, by gawwwwwwd, it was crap at corners! Even after the suspension was given the full whack of tricky bits.

Anyway, I see your MGC and I raise you an early 2003 Merc SL500.:*

1st Sep 2011, 09:06
Shades of Iso Grifo or Maserati Ghibli.


I had them too! It was a Lamborghini Marzal....... But the Iso Grifo deserves to be here too, definitely.


1st Sep 2011, 09:14
1970 Triumph Spitfire Mk3
I was given one of these awful machines by a neighbour who obviously didn't like me very much. I soon found out why he wanted to get rid of it, when he asked me to take his ex-girlfriend out for a ride in it, probably in an attempt to wipe out both of is and the car in one fell swoop.

The word 'gift' in German means 'poison'. (As in Rolls Royce Silver Mist, which means Silver Shit!) Talk about a poisoned chalice. Every time it hit a bump it almost went into orbit, going round corners in the wet meant you ended up looking up the exhaust pipe, and if you went round a corner that had a bump or a pothole you'd probably not have survived to tell the tale. Fortunately with only 1475cc if I recall correctly there wasn't much potential for real trouble.

It had two good points : a tighter turning circle than a London taxi, and when you put the bonnet up it was easy to work on any part of the engine or suspension, and that was often required.

1st Sep 2011, 09:41
I was given one of these awful machines Wash your mouth out!! := The problem was only in the dreadful back axle.

I have owned this beauty:


for over four years now. Admittedly, she's had a swing-axle conversion, to correct the early Spitfire's "interesting" cornering tendencies! This summer she took me all over England and France, 70 all the way, never missing a beat, and can be driven with abandon.

A fab car. :)

1st Sep 2011, 09:56
Mine was a 'J' reg, I'm wondering if it was a Mk IV. Still crap though! (With apologies to previous poster).

1st Sep 2011, 10:02
Lon: I used to know someone who had a Hustler. Kind of a cross between one and a half Minis and a greenhouse. Always going wrong, and every time I accepted a lift somewhere in it we usually wound up broken down waiting for the RAC!

1st Sep 2011, 10:08
May I please nominate the Sunbeam Alpine in this category:


Heap of gutless [email protected]! Later owned the Tiger with a 4.7 litre engine which with mods was half decent.

flying lid
1st Sep 2011, 10:56

Leyland Princess. Very comfortable & roomy. Bought a new one in 1975 (well the company I worked for paid). 1800HL. Yes had a couple of problems, mainly rust, but had it seven years and never let me down.

Space age styling from 1975 !!

Wish I had a new one now (lots of room, 30mpg, no electronics). Sort out rust before it starts with a couple of gallons of waxoil.

Crap car to most people - BUT mostly they never owned one !!


1st Sep 2011, 11:10
I loved my Audi 100 LS.
Fast(ish), Comfortable and fairly Economical.
Sometimes wish I'd hung on to it.

1st Sep 2011, 11:48
Turin: Line wrapping in your post gave me the following:
up. The skirt project looks more promising though.

I couldn't agree more. :E

1st Sep 2011, 11:57
Sometimes wish I'd hung on to it.

Someone steal it Norm?:rolleyes:

1st Sep 2011, 12:27
my art teacher had one of these, I always wanted one.....

I give you, the Scimitar.


Alloa Akbar
1st Sep 2011, 12:29
Lars - Better delete the post about the Sunbeam before Whirlygig see's it.. wouldn't wanna be you.. :O

simon brown
1st Sep 2011, 13:58
Lovely Bentley Blower. I was once the proud owner of UR 6571...

Until the cat knocked it off the mantlepiece.

My favourite nice- but- cobbled- together- Leyland- seventies rubbish was my '72 triumph GT6 Mk 3...

Once restored in Signal Red, offset chrome wires and stroked 2.5 six cylinder engine with a 3.27:1 diff and overdrive it was lovely.

What a job to keep it in tip top condition though.

1st Sep 2011, 15:26
I was going to add this one but then realised it looks crap as well!


Hideous, ghastly and awful car. I should know I bought one.

1st Sep 2011, 15:51
You think that's bad? I had an Allegro.

1st Sep 2011, 16:11
1977 Mercury Capri. Not my picture. They left with the car and the departing girlfriend.


I miss the car.

1st Sep 2011, 16:30
I give you, the Scimitar.

I was working up to one of those via this.....


(nah, seriously...why would anybody?)

1st Sep 2011, 16:45
Mine was a 'J' reg, I'm wondering if it was a Mk IV. Still crap though! (With apologies to previous poster).

If it had a "1500" engine it can't have been a Mk3, they were only fitted with 1296 cc engines. Mine was one of the last and it was 1970 (H reg.).


I'm intrigued by your swing axle modification. All marks of Spitfires had swing axles to start with. Some folks limited the downward movement of the suspension by use of straps, but it was still swing axles. The diff was bolted to the chassis.


You are obviously not from a coal mining background or you would know the history of why Reliant 3 wheelers were once so popular. They still have a very loyal following and their prices are actually rising so it might be argued that they are now classics! The Scimitars were good cars in their day with a good performance - a large proportion of them had the same engine as the 3 litre Ford Capri. But unlike the Capris, being made of composite fibre, the bodywork didn't rot away.

1st Sep 2011, 17:00
You're right Mandyflyme, the Scimitar GTE, well the last version before it went bigger and softer - and your photo looks like it's the "right" one, was a great car for its time. The first models looked much the same as the good ones but had an agricultural gearbox from Ford UK which was dropped for a much better one from Ford in Germany.

It did have the odd fault though! I think worst were the majority of dealers (mine was Havelocks in Glasgow who went bust within less than a year of selling me mine) who were shocking.

Nothing really fitted that well so the water came in round the windscreen and they had even more trivial electrical faults than the CitroŽns of the day! I often had a good crop of mushrooms in the front footwells too, though living in Helensburgh didn't help!

I had bought mine in great secrecy - or so I thought. I turned up at work with it, reg. JDS 382N, on its first day to find my boss (elder brother, I believe of the then Reds No. 2) had parked his new one at the door of the office, reg. JDS 381N.... Two months later and my father had traded in his six months old V12 E-type and bought one as well. We all thought that the cars were as great as the dealer was crap! They went really well, handled superbly if you liked being able to get the tail out, and made a lovely noise.

Three months later my brother bought a TVR 3000M - quicker than the GTE, yes, but it never worked!

1st Sep 2011, 17:14
Started another thread, "Crappy-Looking Cars, but Damn!....They Ran Well" and mods deleted it.

So, will put it here.

This is my pick:

The 1990's boxy Chrysler Dynasty or "Poor Man's New Yorker." The kind of car your old auntie with a poodle would drive to the church bingo, but one of Lee Iacocca's best. Dependable, good leg/head room, smooth, quiet, and its 3.3 V6 engine had just enough power. The front-wheel drive was a plus in the snow.


What's yours?

1st Sep 2011, 18:59
I cannot find a picture of mine electronically so this will have to do.


This is only a 2 Litre S model but my 2.8 Special was something else, the last one ever made. Lousy handling and oversteer cured completely by a sack of dry sand against each rear suspension turret. The faster it went the better the fuel consumption. I could drive from Aberdeen to London with only fuel and coffee stops and then jump out of the Recaros as if it had never happened. I flogged it to a Capri Club enthusiast when I downsized my property; I wish I hadn't.

1st Sep 2011, 19:09
Crap car, looks good.

Any Alfa !

by the time the rustbucket reputation started to wear off they became an absolute b*tch to maintain.

Still great though!

I give you, the Scimitar.

hmmm, Princess Anne used to drive one of those!

1st Sep 2011, 19:12
What was wrong with the 365 Boxer? Aside from front-end lift at speed it's a lovely car. I've spent a lot of time in it's newer brother the 512BB.

1st Sep 2011, 19:15
......in the early 70s fell into the "looks crap but was a good car" category. Ideal for trailing two small kids and all the "stuff" from Cornwall to the north of Scotland and back. Moved house in it. Ran it into the ground but I was quite fond of it as it sat (slightly) above the legal limits all the way up and down the M%,M6, A74, A9 (old version). Was I going to take it to track days? Course I wasn't.

The Ancient Mariner

1st Sep 2011, 19:30
I ran one of the last Maxis built as a family car - it did what it said on the tin - sold it when I got a company Sierra.

flying lid
1st Sep 2011, 20:45
Ahh !! naughty but nice cars.

Learned to drive in Dad's 3.8 litre Daimler Majestic, but had to buy an "economical car, 4 door saloon, of british build, and sombre colour" to enable me to use the car at work (and thus get it paid for !!).

So, I bought a 1973 Morris Marina 1.8 Saloon, Mallard green. Shit car & shittier roadholding, but after a year traded it in, same £ as I paid for it, & got the abovementioned Princess.

To cut a long story short, had the following over the years. (till forced to have a company car). Some allready mentioned above

Capri Cabaret 1.6 - Loveley car, both in looks & driving.
Audi 100GL5E - 5 Cyl Flying machine, costly to run, allways under repair.
Montego 1.6L - Boring but reliable.
Audi 90 2 litre - 5 Cyl Flying machine, costly to run, allways under repair.
Peugeot 405 1.8 diesel - 54mpg "took your breath away" !!, kept its value well too.

Also bought an old VW beetle, 1600cc 1302S, great car for messing about with / in. Sold it to a mate, who sold it to a mate, who ------------.

As I am a sucker for 1970's BL cars, in 1982 I bought, for £800 I got from the Beetle sale, a 1973 Rover P5B V8. Still have her, restored over the years, a bit at a time, as required. Worth £3500 approx now - The Flying Armchair.

Dad's cars, well the list is a heartbreaker.

He started off, when he got married, with an SS Jaguar 1 sports saloon, bought for £50. (worth megabucks today) - but my mum didn't like it "too low, fast & noisy", so he swapped it for a Standard Vanguard. Later I remember an old Austin Sheerline (suped up ex police car), Riley Pathfinder, Jaguar Mk7 saloon (fantastic), and of course the old faithful Daimler.

Cars !! - pain in the arse they are.


1st Sep 2011, 21:30
I bought a late model Chysler Avenger 1600cc (earlier ones were Hillmans) for £250 as a "banger" when I needed a second car for commuting. It was an unwanted, MOT failure, traded in to a garage. The owner said it wasn't even worth his while taking it to auction so if I didn't want it, it was going to the scrapyard. It was nice inside, very well looked after.

All it needed to pass was a new exhaust gasket (about 75p), a rear lightbulb and a decoke (about a tenner for the gaskets). I did the work myself, apart from having the cylinder head skimmed to clean it up and to increase the compression ratio, which cost very little.

It went like stink and outhandled most more modern cars. Great fun to drive. I later paid another £10 for a new, old stock front wing to replace a rusty original one (they bolted on so an easy repair). It only let me down once when the alternator regulator failed at night - it blew the tops off the battery cells. A new alternator was £16 from a local motor factor.

I kept it about four years, spent next to nothing on it then sold it for £450.

Can't get any cheaper motoring than making a profit.

LSH made an Avenger into a rally car, IIRC.

1st Sep 2011, 21:31
Later I remember an old Austin Sheerline (suped up ex police car),...

Interesting my dad had an Austin Sheerline but the only thing 'suped up' was the petrol consumption! It was a 4 litre straight six and weighed around 2 tonnes. Real tank but looked quite impressive!

1st Sep 2011, 21:47
Daimler SP250

Stood head and shoulders below these others. Local MP brought one in for servicing. Noted the steering box just ahead of the front wheels and the straight shaft aiming straight for the driver's heart. Had to test drive it. Hideous to drive.

Volvo P1800. Not a performer and the strangest steering wheel ever but sooooooo pretty. Instant love only just a little let down on intimate aquaintance.

I had an old Jaguar XK140. Like driving a fast barge with no brakes and no anchor. Some of those early cars were hugely over rated.

Strangely I loved the Jaguar Mk 10. Looked hideously overblown but we lived in the country and pounding down the A1 dual carriageway in the dark, (wonderful lights) at well over 100mph it was the steadiest and smoothest car I have ever driven then or since. The change in driving position and coaming height from the Mk lX to the Mk 10 was dramatic too.

Loose rivets
1st Sep 2011, 22:46
Oooo...the MK IX. Three cigar lighters and two clocks. The best burr walnut ever put in a car. Yep, and that includes you Mr Rolls.

The X had independent rear suspension. It devoured tires/tyres and fuel. It mostly couldn't be jacked up cos of the rust. Such a shame, but it's probably why you see almost no Tens about. I had a 3.8 and a 4.2. It was the only Jaguar I know where the bigger engine was in the better car.

Oh, just remembered. It had exploding steering boxes as well. The studs were like glass and it blew the lid off. Trust me on that one, I left a puddle of red stuff on my pub's forecourt.

To this day I try to tell my lot not to screw the steering round while stationary.

Nervous SLF
1st Sep 2011, 23:34
I always wanted a Gordon Keeble as they were built near where I lived in those days. Never could afford one of course :)

My boss had a 2.8 Jag XJ 6 but he had lots of engine problems. It seems that they had a small sump and enthusiastic cornering could mean a lack of oil to important parts and big seize up.

1st Sep 2011, 23:37
I reckon a whole load of Jag Mk Xs went to New Zealand. They had an enormous tax on new cars. My mother sold hers to a couple of NZ kids who were taking it back to sell. She got hugely over its value and they still expected to make a vast profit. She moved from the country to Knightsbridge and had a car lift down to the car park with only about 1" clearance each side. By the time she sold it both sides looked as though they'd been keyed by demented dwarfs. I think it was low mileage though. So much trouble to get it out she hardly went anywhere.

You are right about keeping a car moving while turning the wheel. Big old cars it was the only way and saves strain on the steering parts too. Can't tell kids today though, they don't get it.

1st Sep 2011, 23:45
Noted the steering box just ahead of the front wheels and the straight shaft aiming straight for the driver's heart.

Probably how it got the name "Daimler Dart" ;)

Flap 5
2nd Sep 2011, 08:22
I cannot find a picture of mine electronically so this will have to do.


This is only a 2 Litre S model but my 2.8 Special was something else, the last one ever made. Lousy handling and oversteer cured completely by a sack of dry sand against each rear suspension turret. The faster it went the better the fuel consumption. I could drive from Aberdeen to London with only fuel and coffee stops and then jump out of the Recaros as if it had never happened. I flogged it to a Capri Club enthusiast when I downsized my property; I wish I hadn't.

I had a red 2.0S in Aberdeen in the 80's. Lovely car. The only difference with the one in the picture was a black plastic roof and the alloys (?). Nowadays that would be tacky. Back in the 80's it was a really good car. I could drive from Aberdeen to Buckinghamshire in 10 hours in relative comfort. My previous Mkll Cortina would take 12 hours and I would end up with a bad back or cricked neck. Not so the Capri. Great car.

2nd Sep 2011, 16:35
This must be the perfect answer:


A specially-designed bodykit makes it indistinguishable from a £1million Veyron and the interior has been re-styled and covered in leather.

But the engine is the Ford Cougar's standard 2.5 litre V6 model, meaning its power falls well short of the 1,000bhp developed by the Veyron's powerplant.

This means 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds and a top speed of 140mph - a way off the Veyron's 2.5 seconds and 253mph.

2nd Sep 2011, 16:49
I would not say it was crappy although I did spend a lot of time keeping it running but it still looks good. Wish I still had it, just for a hobby though, not for reliable transportation :}http://jetset.zenfolio.com/img/v32/p466903354-4.jpg

2nd Sep 2011, 17:35
When I was about 20 I had one of these (RS2000). I also had a very sexy blonde girlfriend. She gave me an ultimatum and I chose the car, was a bit gutted afterwards but soon got over it. About 15 years later I met her (that's the g/f) by chance and realised I'd made the right choice!


3rd Sep 2011, 23:09
Think I may have been made in a "frog eyed" sprite.:)

3rd Sep 2011, 23:59

Da plane! Da plane! Did it have the rich Corinthian leather interior? :D

4th Sep 2011, 00:10
Think I may have been made in a "frog eyed" sprite.
I have a colleague who 'procreated' in a Morgan Plus4.
Had to marry the girl - a nightclub singer (but the marriage didn't last).

Loose rivets
4th Sep 2011, 00:36
I'd been driving for years in Texas, but then took my American driver's test in one of those white things above. Well, mine was black, and brand new. And had never had the fuel tank filled. I filled it and found it had no mid line seal on the tank. Spent the next half hour trying to centrifuge the fuel out of the tank.

Parked at the Trooper's place and waited. Every time I moved forward I could see a HUGE black puddle in the tarmac. Smelled like . . . petrol. Petrol on a day that made tarmac 140 f.

Bloke comes over with big hat, gun and bullets. WTF is going to happen if I fail??:eek:

Person behind getting the blame for my puddle.

"Honk your horn."

Oh, f . . . Will it explode now or during the three point turn?

Passed the test and parked so far away from the depot the officer looked at me as though I must be really weird . . . English or something.

Anyway, got me plastic card.

4th Sep 2011, 01:28

Floride, yer could hear em rusting

4th Sep 2011, 03:33
pg, more like burgundy velour, just like grannie's easy chair.

4th Sep 2011, 03:54
more like burgundy velour..

Kinda like a Victorian house of ill repute. ;)

4th Sep 2011, 04:15
I had almost forgotten:

By some accident of serendipity when I was about twenty two I became the sales manager for a small motor car company called Unipower. The cars were space frame with a f/glass body and a mini engine in the fashionable mid engine position. Various versions of the engine were used but the demonstrator, the only demonstrator, was irridescent green and had a mini Cooper S. 1300 cc, about 115 horse power and only about 850lbs of car. Unfortunately the wheels were very small so the ride was horrible, the front was light so over about 85mph the steering was 'vague' and there was essentially nothing sealing the engine compartment from the occupants. A Cooper S engine about 12" from your head was noisy just sitting and deafening at full chat.

In fact the only advantage of the car, if it was an advantage, was the it was a rocket and at reasonable speeds on the road it behaved like a video game. Point it, squirt, and you went there, very, very quickly. I did a sales tour around Northern England and came home deaf and very relieved to be alive. In those days we had a slightly happier and less formal relationship with the road and a little road racing was not quite so frowned upon. Coming down a two lane road outside Daventry I got into a chase with a Lotus Elite. After a few miles we got into a mood where we would pass anything that appeared in front of us without hesitating until we pulled out to pass an HGV. The Lotus pulled back in and left me facing another Artic. head on. I thought for a moment of taking to the right hand verge but at 90 the only option was to clap on the brakes and tuck the Unipower under the trailer to my left.

I drove back to London at a very sedate fifty. I didn't tell the boss and I have never told my kids. As far as they are concerned I never drove over 70mph in my life.

Actually, it wasn't that pretty either.

4th Sep 2011, 04:18


Howard Hughes
4th Sep 2011, 06:05
Got a picture of one Chris VJ?

4th Sep 2011, 09:11
In reply to ShyTorque's Spitfire suspension question -

Most Spitfires and Heralds had the spring bolted directly to the differential casing.

The factory found that pivoting the spring on top of the diff and a beefier front anti-roll bar pretty much eliminated the rear wheel tuck-in that those cars were 'famous' for. This was fitted as standard to later Spitfires, Heralds and I think the last GT6 models.

Swing spring conversions are a popular modification even today.

GT6 and Vitesse cars were based on very similar chassis' to the Herald and Spit. Mid-production they got an F1 style reverse wishbone setup that did the same job as the swing spring but with greater expense and complexity.

Me Anorak? I've only the one Triumph these days, y'know!

4th Sep 2011, 10:15
Vitesse, thanks for the explanation. :ok:

4th Sep 2011, 11:46
Unipower - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unipower)

4th Sep 2011, 12:06
I was always told that one of the basic problems with the cars with forward opening bonnets (Herald, Vitesse, Spitfire, E-Type) was that in a front-end collision you stood a significant chance of the bonnet coming back through the windscreen and decapitating you.

4th Sep 2011, 12:24
Before that happened the steering column would have skewered your chest, so no worries about the bonnet!

4th Sep 2011, 14:41

I believe they sold these attachments to keep the bonnet down, although the drawers kept coming off them, due to loose morals apparently. Is that you, ChrisVJ?

4th Sep 2011, 14:55
The cars that I knew that had reputation of being Kebabers were the big Healeys, not the Triumphs.

Anyway had some nice machines when young (like a 1340 Mini Cooper 'S') but probably the best was a tatty old Mk 1 Cortina GT, bit battered, bit rusty, looked a bit uncared for really. But it was my drivers old car that I had fitted with a 180 BHP Lotus engine, Rocket box, Bilstein suspension, Atlas back axle. Won many a contest with the local young farmers with their (daddies bought) MG Midgets (course was left from the pub car park, first left, first left, left at T, left at T, left into car park. About 4 miles).

4th Sep 2011, 15:00
Is that you, ChrisVJ?
Looks like Stirling Moss.

4th Sep 2011, 17:17
Nobody's mentioned the Mustang yet... shite car but christ do I want one (being of the Bullitt generation) ...

4th Sep 2011, 20:44
Just saw a beautiful AC Ace parked in the village this afternoon - like this:-


C130 Techie
4th Sep 2011, 21:37
The epitome of rubbish British engineering.


Had the performance and handling characteristics of a skip.

5th Sep 2011, 10:12
Looks as if it kept the rain out.

C130 Techie
5th Sep 2011, 20:02
Looks as if it kept the rain out.

Not really the carpets in the front footwells were always soaking wet. Water used to pour in from the bottom of the windscreen.

5th Sep 2011, 21:03

Looks stunning...didn't go just so well...

5th Sep 2011, 21:23
No, that may well be Stirling Moss, the boss had a knack of cheating on the publicity. It's bringing back a lot of memories. The day I joined was at the Earl's Court Show and I went out for some time with a lady I met on the stand. (That's not her!)

My own car was a really nice MGB from Sprintzel at the time and eventually the works was a great place to fix some things on it. My son bought an MGB last month and it is HORRIBLE. Small, noisy, bumpy, terrible driving position, They must have changed a lot!

The owner of the company at the time had a GT40 as private vehicle and after his mate drove a Unipower under a Brighton bus at about 90mph he bought one too and we painted it lime green. Very pretty cars but actually rather a handful to drive.

5th Sep 2011, 21:26
Srprised no has mentioned the Marcos 1800. Those who think the DH Mosquito was cool would like it, the chassis was made of plywood. And then there was the mini Marcos, one of the all time uglies (JMHO of course.)

5th Sep 2011, 21:57
Talking of Marcos (love the TSO) reminds me of this: I really like it and hope it isn't crappy. A real antidote to progress. :ok:
Ginetta G40 video review feature - YouTube

5th Sep 2011, 22:07
Cheerio - now that is exactly the car I'd like if I had the money! :cool:

5th Sep 2011, 23:03
I did some work with Unipower :E:-

5th Sep 2011, 23:16
Not sure if it was the same designer, there was also the Quasar. Now that was really odd. When Piers bought the Unipower sports car the cube design did not come with it. Probably a good thing. It would have looked silly trying to get round Le Mans.

Loose rivets
5th Sep 2011, 23:30
My 3.8 E did just what people said it would: The front end would fly at 130 mph. On the very well used Marks Tey bypass near Colchester, we could go as fast as we liked - legally. Well, anywhere that was not limited, actually. Just think of that.

At 110 I got some steering. At 120 things were getting vague. At 130 mph. Nothing. I gingerly tweaked the steering this way and that. Nothing - I was flying, at the front end at least.

I insisted I knew the car, and spent a lot of time on farm roads practicing skid control etc. LSS, I shortened the car by the amount it takes to give it a swollen lower lip. Shortly after, we left a local nik, and the, to be, road traffic officer drove it at 155 miles an hour up Ramsey bypass, and I drove it back down the slight downhill gradient at 166 plus. It was off the clock and the steering was perfect with the hang-lip.

NB I had been a radio tekkie, and used moving coil meters all the time. The RPM gauge was such an instrument, and took its drive from one of the cam shafts. It strobed out perfectly at 4,000 rpm. I have no reason to believe it was not fairly accurate at 160 mph. I know the rpm and mph tallied well over the range.

When we got back to the nik, the bloke there said someone had called in to say the road was being used as a racetrack. They had quelled his angst by telling him an officer was under training. Sort of true, my mate went on to better, and even faster, things.

The 4.2 would barely scrape 140 on a perfect day.

Loose rivets
5th Sep 2011, 23:35
My extended family ran Bocking Mill near Braintree. They had a Bristol. All I remember was a dark aerodynamic blob, with a rubber button to open the doors.

Anyone remember that model, or indeed, the family at Bocking Mill?

6th Sep 2011, 05:43
Geoff, who sat at the desk behind mine at Westlands was a Bristol keener. Had two of them. The principal benefit, I thought, was the self jacking on one of his. Great gadget.

compressor stall
6th Sep 2011, 06:40
My Old man used to have a Bristol when I was in short pants. Vague memories of a big silver car.

And to ye who had the temerity to open this thread with a suggestion that a Royal Blue TR6 is crappy, up yours. :O Here's mine on a nice day. 1972 PI with o/d. Lovely machine, no rust, and I recently rebuilt the gearbox and she's a pleasure to work on and lovely to drive.

Mind you, your pic shows an American TR6. More were sent to the US than anywhere else, and these were carburettor models (UK ones were PI) with a significant reduction in HP and fugly rubber stops around the bumpers.


And the final words to James May as he describes this "Blokiest of blokes cars", the TR6 "would leave the toilet seat up." :D


Lon More
6th Sep 2011, 08:12
highly overrated

... the car, not the birds.

6th Sep 2011, 14:19
This was a lovely car in looks, sound and panache.
Unfortunately the ship had been spoiled for a ha'pworth of tar. The cost in 1969/70 was about £6,500 in money then. The dashboard changed with effect from the Earl's Court Motor Show model in 1970. The switching became rockers instead of toggles.


6th Sep 2011, 14:56
I've never seen so many bad cars in a single thread, wow. haha!!

Hands down to the Iso Grifo though.. That's something that I would love to have in my garage!

6th Sep 2011, 18:12
Oh, I had a '75 TR6 PI, your photos reminded me of the enjoyment I had with two months ownership.

I bought mine for GBP1100, loved driving it but at the time my, er, tender age was costing 30 a month in TPF&T insurance which was about 40% of my monthly take home salary so in the end it had to go.

Looking at the value now had I been able to stash it away, like my RS2000 MkII driving would have been fun again.