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Frank Bullitt

1 hour and 7 minutes

Some friends of ours have been looking at getting a new car.  They have a family battle-bus which is an '07 plate Octavia 2.0TDI DSG Estate and a VW Type 2 - the VW was bought (being a late aircooled 2006 model) as a second vehicle and weekend break vehicle replacing a grotty 206GTi last year; however, the Mrs doesn't like using the Type 2 for biffing about in (and it's not terribly practical for that anyway) so he has been using it for work which is a) a pain and b) putting the miles on it.  They have decided to get a 3rd car for him to commute in so she can keep the battle bus until it dies in about 15 years time.  The budget was £5K and he's secretly a VAG man but open to options; I've been linking A2's (of course), Polo's and Ibiza's but all 5+ years old.

Yesterday I got a text from him - would I go and see a Panda with him in the afternoon; I asked him about details, dealer advert link etc. expecting some £3K leggy car but instead we were off to Motorpoint in Peterborough (Peat-Bog-Urgh) to look at a '62 plate 13K Lounge up at £6,500 - I did suggest he check it was at Peterborough as they link all their cars to your local site so it comes up on Autotrader Distance searches which he assured me it was.

We get there and the car is in Burnley; however, they have 3-4 on site all 10K at £6,700 - clearly ex-hire cars we were impressed in the Panda although the two of us in it (he's 6') made it feel a smigde on the small side and he found the driving position a bit odd.  Looking around the site at alternatives we came across a 10K Punto (I think they have dropped the Grande now) at £7,300 - this was FG'd to death being a 1.2 'Easy' (boggo) but with the 'Brio' option pack which added full climate, cruise, alloys and the Blue and Me (I think) - a quick look around found 3 more all with just over 10K on the clock for £7,000; all registered in December 2012; he liked the space and comfort, driving position etc.  

He took it for a drive and I did suggest he needs to be mindful that it's dog-shit slow; despite this he decided it was just the car; a quick Autotrader search had them down at over £1K less than most other places within 60 miles.  The black one had just been sold as we arrived, the white one was being discussed in another deal so it was red or grey; the grey had a kerb-rashed wheel but they agreed to swap it with a wheel on the red car.  So, he paid more than budget and chose a car that in a million years I wouldn't squander £7K on but it did strike me that if warranty and a bit of FG matter then they are difficult to fault, the plan is to keep it 5 years and sell it and the Type 2 for a T5 'van...

What I would say is I've been a bit apprehensive about Motorpoint but was very much impressed with the quality and condition the cars are presented in and their general approach; they clearly are enthusiastic about money rather than cars but the sale is zero-pressure and I get the impression the sales team are on a shared bonus scheme rather than individual basis (or a stronger mix of the former) and the sales manager was able to keep his eye on the floor and at the same time help people out.  Obviously they look dumb-struck when you're not after finance, GAP or the additional warranties but I was mightily impressed and 'low price and if people want a car they'll buy it' clearly works; they must have sold about 6 cars in the time we were there and my wife's cousin, who is no fool when it comes to cars, bought an Altea SE from there a few weeks ago and was also impressed.

So 1 hour and 7 minutes after we went in looking at a Panda Lounge he'd bought a Punto Easy 'Brio'.
PG

Re: 1 hour and 7 minutes

Frank Bullitt wrote:
.. however, the Mrs doesn't like using the Type 2 for biffing about in (and it's not terribly practical for that anyway) so he has been using it for work which is a) a pain and b) putting the miles on it.........

He took it for a drive and I did suggest he needs to be mindful that it's dog-shit slow; despite this he decided it was just the car...


I may be wrong, but based on my experience of seeing Type 2 VW's on the road, a pedal car would seem zippy.
Frank Bullitt

Yes, I'm fairly sure that's the perspective he is using too which, having driven the T2, I'm fairly sure the Fiat will feel like a Ferrari in comparrison!  I think he's hoping his wife will use the Punto more so he can use the Octavia which is really a very good car indeed.
Alf McQueef

Re: 1 hour and 7 minutes

PG wrote:


I may be wrong, but based on my experience of seeing Type 2 VW's on the road, a pedal car would seem zippy.


I wanted James Bond style missiles to clear these from the roads in Cornwall this year. And that was when driving the Plus, 3-up and loaded with 3 bikes and loads of crap!

Quite a few were causing their owners some anguish - breaking down, failing to climb very steep hills, and so on - I get the impression more than a few are owned by people who think they are the sort of people that ought to have one, rather than for the joy of using them for actual holidays...
Racing Teatray

Punto 1.2..........argh! As BB and I can attest from our summer experiences, I hope he doesn't need to regularly tackle steep inclines in his new steed.

Good-looking car with a miserable, miserable little engine. There's an analogy going begging there but I think I'll steer clear of it!
Tim

The Mk2 Punto 60 was possibly the sweet spot of the old range.
I had several as courtesy cars and they were surprisingly nimble and extremely thrashable.
The 500 and previous shape Panda both continued that.
Roadsterstu

Re: 1 hour and 7 minutes

ALF wrote:

I get the impression more than a few are owned by people who think they are the sort of people that ought to have one, rather than for the joy of using them for actual holidays...



+ another.
Bob Sacamano

Re: 1 hour and 7 minutes

ALF wrote:
PG wrote:


I may be wrong, but based on my experience of seeing Type 2 VW's on the road, a pedal car would seem zippy.


I wanted James Bond style missiles to clear these from the roads in Cornwall this year. And that was when driving the Plus, 3-up and loaded with 3 bikes and loads of crap!

Quite a few were causing their owners some anguish - breaking down, failing to climb very steep hills, and so on - I get the impression more than a few are owned by people who think they are the sort of people that ought to have one, rather than for the joy of using them for actual holidays...


One of our Directors has just returned from a 3 week tour of England in his 1967 split screen VW camper and, apart from a new wheel bearing, new clutch (transit van hired for 4 days) and the steering wheel disconnecting itself from the front wheels, it was faultleessly reliable. He freely admits to requiring stiff drinks and a few hours staring silently into space at the end of long days travelling at 30mph with little in the way of brakes.
He's decided that before he goes out in it again it's getting a full overhaul of the running gear and engine - possibly a new engine.
PG

Re: 1 hour and 7 minutes

Bob Sacamano wrote:
One of our Directors has just returned from a 3 week tour of England in his 1967 split screen VW camper and, apart from a new wheel bearing, new clutch (transit van hired for 4 days) and the steering wheel disconnecting itself from the front wheels, it was faultleessly reliable. He freely admits to requiring stiff drinks and a few hours staring silently into space at the end of long days travelling at 30mph with little in the way of brakes.
He's decided that before he goes out in it again it's getting a full overhaul of the running gear and engine - possibly a new engine.


 

Perhaps it needs the ultimate overhaul? Replacement.
Bob Sacamano

Re: 1 hour and 7 minutes

PG wrote:
Bob Sacamano wrote:
One of our Directors has just returned from a 3 week tour of England in his 1967 split screen VW camper and, apart from a new wheel bearing, new clutch (transit van hired for 4 days) and the steering wheel disconnecting itself from the front wheels, it was faultleessly reliable. He freely admits to requiring stiff drinks and a few hours staring silently into space at the end of long days travelling at 30mph with little in the way of brakes.
He's decided that before he goes out in it again it's getting a full overhaul of the running gear and engine - possibly a new engine.


 

Perhaps it needs the ultimate overhaul? Replacement.


Actually, he was quite pleased as it's the first time it hasn't had to be delivered home on the back of a flat bed. It must run in the company as our MD had one and he recounts one hair-raising night-time journey back from Cornwall where, every time he applied the brakes all the lights went out.
Frank Bullitt

My former Brother-in-Law hired a proper splitty for my sister's 30th - a suspension spring broke and coming into a village in the Lakes he overshot a junction by 30 feet on account of the general lack of brakes; the bloke who hired them reckoned you need to spend £5kpa on maintaining one for hire and he never expected them back without something that meant breaking out the spanners and overalls!

I have to be careful about what I say but the wow factor of other people seems to be a key driver and having a Type 2...
Bob Sacamano

Frank Bullitt wrote:
My former Brother-in-Law hired a proper splitty for my sister's 30th - a suspension spring broke and coming into a village in the Lakes he overshot a junction by 30 feet on account of the general lack of brakes; the bloke who hired them reckoned you need to spend £5kpa on maintaining one for hire and he never expected them back without something that meant breaking out the spanners and overalls!

I have to be careful about what I say but the wow factor of other people seems to be a key driver and having a Type 2...


There is a tremendous wow factor about them and they look lovely stationary. Our guy gets people making cash offers for his all the time when parked up.

That's until they drive the bastard. They then realise why he always drives it wearing brown trousers.
PR

I can identify with the description of the driving experience as I'm still scarred from a journey of about 15 miles at the wheel of a Bedford ice cream van. I hope I never have to relive the unusual sensation of being in 'control' (in the vaguest sense, literally) of a vehicle that feels terrifying at 40mph. It had only the tiniest hint of working brakes, steering that would be considered accurate for an oil tanker and the damping precision of a beach ball.
Bob Sacamano

PR wrote:
I can identify with the description of the driving experience as I'm still scarred from a journey of about 15 miles at the wheel of a Bedford ice cream van. I hope I never have to relive the unusual sensation of being in 'control' (in the vaguest sense, literally) of a vehicle that feels terrifying at 40mph. It had only the tiniest hint of working brakes, steering that would be considered accurate for an oil tanker and the damping precision of a beach ball.


We're changing your username to "Mr. Whippy".
PhilD

I'll have a 99 with a flake please PR.
PG

We see how cars have changed over the past, and we forget that vans have too.

In 1991 I hired an old transit van to collect furniture when I moved to the midlands from London (it was cheap...). It sounds just like the ice cream van! Top whack was 50 if you were lucky and the noise in the cab was deafening at any speed.
Alf McQueef

My most underpowered driving experience ever was driving a Renault van full of squaddies from Leeds to Aviemore and back for a winter mountaineering course in about 1994 - ISTR it was a 1.6 litre non-turbo diesel.

Quick, it was not.

I got to know it well as the group unanimously decided the only other person in the group (a bunch of TA people) qualified to drive it was not going to, after he shot straight on up someone's drive on a sharp bend he completely failed to spot... So I drove it all week!
gonnabuildabuggy

Frank Bullitt wrote:
My former Brother-in-Law hired a proper splitty for my sister's 30th - a suspension spring broke and coming into a village in the Lakes he overshot a junction by 30 feet on account of the general lack of brakes; the bloke who hired them reckoned you need to spend £5kpa on maintaining one for hire and he never expected them back without something that meant breaking out the spanners and overalls!

I have to be careful about what I say but the wow factor of other people seems to be a key driver and having a Type 2...


Not a camper but my house mate in Uni had a 1963 Beetle, most notable characteristics being a lack of brakes, power and lights.

I remember travelling down 5 ways in Birmingham, 4 up with 4 peoples worth of grocery shopping piled up in the back.

Going downhill at around 25mph when the lights turn red 30 yds in front of us, driver tries to brake in time but fails, we go through with lights firmly on red.

We did have plans to take it on Holiday to Torquay that year, the car made it from London to Wales but could go no further so we ended up taking my Cortina.
Twelfth Monkey

PR wrote:
I can identify with the description of the driving experience as I'm still scarred from a journey of about 15 miles at the wheel of a Bedford ice cream van. I hope I never have to relive the unusual sensation of being in 'control' (in the vaguest sense, literally) of a vehicle that feels terrifying at 40mph. It had only the tiniest hint of working brakes, steering that would be considered accurate for an oil tanker and the damping precision of a beach ball.


Pah!  I'll reiterate that I have driven a milk float (on a 'charidy' driving day), which makes the above sound like an F1 car.  Driving a float is exactly as you imagine it to be...
PhilD

Twelfth Monkey wrote:
PR wrote:
I can identify with the description of the driving experience as I'm still scarred from a journey of about 15 miles at the wheel of a Bedford ice cream van. I hope I never have to relive the unusual sensation of being in 'control' (in the vaguest sense, literally) of a vehicle that feels terrifying at 40mph. It had only the tiniest hint of working brakes, steering that would be considered accurate for an oil tanker and the damping precision of a beach ball.


Pah!  I'll reiterate that I have driven a milk float (on a 'charidy' driving day), which makes the above sound like an F1 car.  Driving a float is exactly as you imagine it to be...


So if PR is now Mr Whippy, what’s your new name 12th?  Gold top? Dad?
Twelfth Monkey

Ernie?

(I've only just got the 'dad' joke - d'oh - it feels very early still.  A childhood friend who's been living in Oz for the last 10-12 years turned up on our doorstep about nine-ish and we had a lovely evening, albeit one that was rather longer and a good deal boozier than it might otherwise have been!)
Michael

A milk float sounds like Lexus LS compared to the John Deere Titan:

Not only does this beauty steer from the back, which is utterly weird, it also lacks suspension. On the 36 degree C day I was last using it the air con also packed up.
kraftwerk

I see your Titan and raise you with the John Deere Timberjack walking machine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9toTiPAp94
Michael

Have you driven piloted one of those? Impressive though.
kraftwerk

Jeez, I wish. I don't think it ever made it in to production.

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