Our Cars

We've always regarded our cars as more than just a method of getting from A to B and most of them have given us a good deal of driving pleasure. Inevitably we've made some mistakes, even bought some turkeys, but who hasn't? Unless otherwise stated, all quoted power output figures are net. Go to Eileen's Cars.

Brian's Cars

 

1955 Standard 10 (VTD 577): This popular small car had a 35bhp 948cc four cylinder OHV engine. It is the car that liberated me from the tyranny of the bus stop and carried me and my friends for more than 20,000 miles in nearly 3 years. Seen here in its original battleship grey.

1953 Rover 75 (VPU 377): This early P4 model had a 75bhp 2,103cc six cylinder engine with Rover's distinctive overhead inlet, side exhaust valve configuration. The paintwork was beige over black. An interim solution, I bought it from my father and sold it to a colleague a few months later.

1961 Austin Cambridge A55 Mk 2 (300 PKP): This car had a 53bhp 1,498cc four cylinder OHV engine. It carried me and vast amounts of computer input/output data over nearly 28,000 miles. The mileage payments from work must have more than paid for my total cost of ownership. A good car at the time but it suffered from body rot where the wing panels joined the passenger compartment. The paintwork was pale grey.

1959 Rover 80 (45 HKL): Another P4 but with the 77bhp 2,286cc four cylinder OHV engine more commonly found in Land Rovers of that time. Like many P4s it suffered badly from body rot at the bottom of the door pillars. The illustration is a stock shot of a Rover 90, mine was beige.

1970 Triumph Spitfire Mk 3 (NRO 345H): This small sports tourer's performance was more accurately described as lively rather than fast, derived from its 70bhp 1,296cc four cylinder OHV engine with twin SU carburettors, mounted in a lightweight body. The first car we ever took abroad, it toured the Black Forest region of Germany and got many admiring (or amused) glances. In all, it carried us for more than 32,500 miles.

1968 Fiat 124 Sport Coupé (EAR 200F): Fiat's good-looking sports saloon, powered by a 90bhp 1,438cc four cylinder DOHC engine. A full four-seater with lively performance, it covered over 25,000 miles in our service, including a tour of Switzerland and Austria. The illustration is a stock shot but my car's colour was the same.

1971 Fiat 124 Sport Coupé (XBH 222J): One of my all time favourites, it accelerated blisteringly quickly via its 5-speed gearbox, a novelty in those days. The power unit was a 110bhp 1,608cc version of Fiat's four cylinder DOHC engine with twin Weber 40 IDF carburettors. Another good touring car, it easily maintained high speeds for hours on end, to and from a holiday in Northern Spain. Oddly enough, I didn't keep it very long and didn't quite do 10,000 miles in it. Sold when it started suffering ignition problems, with hindsight a bad decision.

1973 Fiat 128 SL Coupé (UGW 797M): Nice body, shame about the engine! Underpowered by a 64bhp 1,116cc four cylinder OHC unit, I was told that the 1,300cc version was at least spirited. Again, just under 10,000 miles but the less said about this car the better. The illustration is a stock shot, my car was royal blue.

1971 Reliant Scimitar GTE (ALG 625K): Back to some muscle, this pioneering fibreglass-bodied sports estate was powered by Ford's 135bhp 2,994cc V6 OHV "Essex" engine. Unusual in having four bucket seats, it had tremendous load space but only a small rear access via the back window. Excellent for family holidays at home and abroad as it swallowed everything we ever wanted to carry. The illustration is a stock shot, my car was in British racing green.

1978 Fiat 132 2000 (SER 172S): Back to a three-box saloon car with a 112bhp 1,995cc version of the four cylinder DOHC unit that powered my two Fiat 124s. My first car with power-assisted steering, it was a pleasure to drive throughout my ownership, including four months of long-distance commuting and some foreign tours. It was the first car to carry me more than 40,000 miles.

1980 Fiat 131 Mirafiori Sport (RHJ 509W): In my opinion, this was Fiat's last serious sports saloon, with superb road-holding and "point and shoot" precision steering. It had the same engine as my Fiat 132 above but with improved carburation (developing 115bhp) and stiffer suspension. A long-distance runner at home and abroad, it did just under 42,000 miles for us.

1983 Volvo 360 GLT (A952 MPU): Well-built and quieter than the Fiat but this 1,986cc 115bhp four cylinder SOHC-engined car (my first with fuel injection) never quite hit the spot. Pictured on the left alongside Eileen's Volvo 360 GLS, it nevertheless carried us just short of 50,000 miles.

1984 Vauxhall Senator 3.0i CD (B600 XYH): This luxurious range-topper was built by Opel of Germany and badged as a Vauxhall for the UK market. Powered by a 177bhp 2,969cc six cylinder SOHC engine, it was my first automatic car. It had every bell and whistle available including LCD digital instrumentation - something of an acquired taste. This car was among those I kept the longest (nearly 5 years) and carried us the second highest mileage of any of my cars (over 53,000 miles).

1992 Vauxhall Senator 3.0i CD 24v (K231 SKK): Another re-badged Opel with the same engine as my previous Senator but with improved breathing from the 24-valve head, developing 204bhp. Capable of continuous high-speed touring for many hours on end, this car got very used to being driven on the right-hand-side of the road because it did a large proportion of its 44,600 miles in mainland Europe.

1998 Rover 825 Sterling (S875 XOL): With the demise of Vauxhall's Senator model I returned to Rover with this luxury saloon, once the official transport of UK Government Ministers. Less powerful than its predecessor but the 175bhp 2,497cc V6 QOHC engine was more than sufficient for my purposes.  After the demise of MG-Rover I felt obliged to "fly the flag" with it for as long as possible.  I owned it for over 9 years and covered nearly 53,500 miles, my highest to date.

2001 Land Rover Discovery Td5 GS (BU51 VRZ): My first diesel, my first 4WD and my first car for many years unable to reach 100mph. The 135bhp 2,495cc five cylinder SOHC engine was governed to a maximum of 98mph.  This was more than compensated for by its off-road and all-weather capabilities.  I would have kept it longer, but for a frightening experience.  The turbocharger seal failed, the engine took control of itself and ran at maximum revs.  I part-exchanged it soon after, having covered only 3,042 miles in it.

2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i SEn (EK10 HTX): Also 4WD but back to petrol and my first new car for many years. The 173bhp 2,457cc flat four cylinder SOHC engine was as smooth as silk, the cabin was comfortable and it had all the toys. 30,299 miles in total.

2007 Jaguar S-Type V6 SE (KM07 PKY): My first Jaguar, which covered 26,341 miles. The 240bhp 2,967cc V6 QOHC engine was everything you'd expect and gave a quoted 145mph top speed.  Luxury on wheels!

2016 Ford Mondeo 2.0 Titanium: My current car and my first Ford - in X Pack plus spec. The Ecoboost twin-scroll turbocharged 237bhp 1,999cc four cylinder DOHC engine is smooth, responsive and quiet.  Very well appointed, roomy and versatile.

 

Eileen's Cars

 

Ford Anglia 105E 1200 (???? EV): When launched in 1959, the Anglia took Britain by storm.  It featured a striking new body design with the distinctive reverse-slope rear window.  The 48bhp 1,198 four cylinder OHV engine was a completely new unit.  My car was pale blue, like this stock illustration.

Sunbeam Alpine Mk 2 (891 NWC): This pretty sports tourer from the Rootes Group was based on Hillman mechanicals, including the 80bhp 1,592cc four cylinder OHV engine. I didn't have it for long, the illustration shows it in its final condition.

1965 Ford Cortina Mk 1 1500 (GLF 794C): The Cortina set new standards for mid-size cars, trouncing its competitors from the British Motor Corporation and the Rootes Group. The 60bhp 1498cc four cylinder OHV engine gave this car a lively performance, though the tail end could be twitchy without a load. A half hundredweight sack of potatoes in the boot did the trick!

1969 Triumph Herald 13/60 Estate (FHK 654H): The 13/60 was the final guise for Triumph's popular Herald, launched in 1959. This version had a 61bhp 1,296cc four cylinder OHV engine. The forward hinged bonnet made it an excellent car to work on. The gearbox had to come out quite a few times, otherwise it was an excellent load carrier and served us well for over 26,000 miles.

1972 Fiat 127 (RVX 408K): The first of my three 127s, Fiat's super-mini of the '70s and early '80s. Powered by a 47bhp 903cc four cylinder OHV engine, it was a bit noisy but fun to drive and held the road like a leech for over 49,000 miles. My car was brick red.

1977 Fiat 127 1050CL (RVE 558S): My second 127 and my first hatchback. The power was up-rated with a 50bhp 1,049cc four cylinder SOHC engine. Fun and reliable for 44,000 miles, my car was dark blue (the illustration is from Fiat publicity).

1980 Fiat 127 Sport (RHJ 497W): My final and best 127. Powered by a 70bhp 1,049cc four cylinder SOHC engine, it was guaranteed to get the adrenalin pumping. The first of only two of my cars to be used for foreign touring, we did over 42,000 miles in it.

1983 Volvo 360 GLS (A951 MPU): Bigger, quieter and slower than the 127 Sport, this 92bhp 1,986cc four cylinder SOHC-engined car was a bit of a disappointment. Worthy and solid - yes, fun - no, for over 46,000 mundane miles. Pictured on the right alongside Brian's Volvo 360 GLT.

1987 Ford Orion 1.6i Ghia (D995 SHK): Powered by a 104bhp 1,597cc four cylinder SOHC engine, this was Ford's three-box version of the Escort in top-spec Ghia trim. It was lively and handled well but it suffered badly from body rot.  We covered 46,400 miles in it, my car was painted metallic gold but the illustration is a stock photo.

1991 Ford Orion 1.4LX (H611 FKK): My second Orion, this time with a 75bhp 1,392cc four cylinder SOHC engine. Not much to say about it, just a car that covered nearly 19,000 miles. Mine was white, the illustration is a stock image.

1992 Rover 820 SLi (K287 CTF): Roomy, comfortable and my first automatic, this car had a 138bhp 1,994cc four cylinder SOHC engine and was the second of only two of my cars to be used for foreign touring. In the almost 18,000 miles covered during my ownership, it needed two cylinder head skims and a replacement engine.  Enough said!

1998 Rover 416 SLi (S401 SBE): My most recent and final car. Automatic, comfortable and roomy, it had a 111bhp 1,590cc four cylinder SOHC engine. Frequently to be seen with Milli, our White German Shepherd Dog, peering out the back window.

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