Ello. Firstly, I'm 19 and I live in Australia. Half pom half Singaporean (I know right?) and do plan on going to the UK end of 2012 for a year or two simply to holiday/work/visit family and bring back a car with me at the end of it.
Secondly, cars are a rip off in Aus compared to the UK
This being the main reason for the trip... plus I feel old and want to do something with my life after uni :P . Am currently in my second year, second semester of a 3 year course studying marketing and advertising.
ANYWAY, back to cars
. I've had a fair few of them... 18 to be precise.. I will list each and every one though it may take me some time...
You obtain your learners permit at 16 here in Aus, meaning I pushed my parents into getting me a first car by the age of 12... only for them to actually do it 2 months before I turned 16..
I was scouting eBay and the likes for a first car, budget was under A$2k.
One day, I spied this absolutely beautiful, floral-seat-covered, fading maroon 1988 Audi 80 automatic on eBay. It had a mere 172k kms on it. Bidding was started at A$800 and a buy it now of $2000. I had to have a look.... Showed mum and dad, they were super reluctant but after some heavy pleading, begging, never-shutting-up-about-it, they agreed to take me to look at it.
Great! Where was it? Far south, about a 1.5hr drive. Dad wasn't too pleased...
Initial eBay advert pic:
We got there on a typical bright, sunny, warm Perth day. There it was, I was sold on first sight! It was owned by an old couple and was a retired spare car. Brilliant.
After organising a quick test drive, we were off! It drove great, changed smoothly, handled fine (according to my dad of course). It needed a few little things sorting but none of which was mechanical or major. No rust!
Dad pulled over, popped the bonnet to have a look at the heart. Not 20 seconds later, a bloke in a 4wd passes us and stops, reverses and jumps out. He proceeded to ask us if we required any help! Funny at the time, but this is why Perth is great
Back to the seller's house, discussion ensued. I remember jumping back in our car, eagerly waiting the results...
Finally after what seemed like FOREVER, dad returned saying a deal couldn't be struck due to price... I was gutted!
Then he told me we pick it up tomorrow.
-insert childish screams of joy here-
Pics of it the first day home:
I was opening the car, sitting in it, locking it, going back into the house and repeating this all day for a while... Meanwhile, dad had sourced a wrecked one for $500 to replace parts. As such, the AC was now ice cold, zero leaks, basically everything worked.
Finally I was 16, I got to drive it! (With dad alongside).
HOWEVER, for some reason, I fell out of love with it. It just didn't do anything for me anymore. I know it was a gift from my folks and I did feel bad, but they agreed to help sell it.
Two weeks later, it was sold for $2500.
At this point, I began saving big time whilst at high school, aiming for something more modern, something cooler than a pinky audi 80...
Finally, I began to start the hunt for car number 2. (Still on learner plates!)
This time, I found a 1994 Nissan Skyline R33 GTS auto. (Non turbo, might've made 130-140BHP).
Obviously, dad intervened and said NO to any form of sports car (fair enough).
....so I put on the pleading voice.. "Its non-turbo, insurance is cheap! Its slow, automatic. It'll be my project car!"
Agreeing to have a LOOK-ONLY, we called up, arranged a viewing and went!
Upon arrival, it appeared to be in a pretty sorry state, but the mechanicals seemed good. It looked like someone had attempted to go through a gap too small and well, the result was a big dent between the door and fender, cracked headlight, broken grill and a definitely-not-straight front bumper... Paint was also faded on the rear right quarter, roof and boot. Bonnet alignment was perfect-ly out. Tyres knackered. Again though, no rust. This time, 200k kms and unsure if timing belt had been changed.
The vendor said the reason for sale was to advance his painting apprenticeship. It was up at A$4900, outside of my budget. (At this point I had $4500 total.)
Dad took another quick test drive and was amazed at how slow it was but was equally amazed at the handling and brakes compared to the audi previously.
After a quick discussion, dad agreed to help fund me but up to $1000 only including transfer fees and insurance (third party).
Got it home for $4300 - pics below
To my great benefit, my dad had a mate who owned a panel shop. So for a mere $500, the roof, rear quarter, driver's door and wing were all repaired and resprayed!
I also managed to score a driver's headlight for $60 and a set of "used" (they looked spankers) Goodyear ventura tyres for $200. They were a trade in on standard wheels for an upgrade so they went cheap!
For my 16th birthday present, I was given a custom plate of choice!
TEN FOUR stemmed from watching an episode of Murphy's Law where there was a red Ferrari 360 Modena on display.. I thought it was cool as it meant "roger that" or "affirmative" in radio chatter, so that stuck!
^If you look close in the last pic, you can see the rear quarter and the door have a crease. It was barely noticeable in person and I wasn't really ever bothered by it that much so it didn't get fixed.
Now, after a while, the bent front bumper really started getting to me. I joined up on the local forum and found someone selling a cracked fibreglass front bumper. Grabbed this for $80. It was cracked in 3 places but was no match for dad's panel beater mate! I also managed to grab another grill someone was THROWING OUT in perfect condition.
At this point, I got into music... bad.. Managed to get a top of the range Alpine sub in its own ported box coupled with a V12 amplifier for $400 (essentially new) and installed them along with dads pioneer deck he removed from his 300E Merc due to sale.
Funnily enough, I have a recorded video of me and dad driving to this place, not really worth uploading though..
I do look back now and ponder, what was I thinking!? That front bumper doesn't really belong there...
One day I was sitting at the lights next to a toyota hilux. It was a dual entry onto a highway (100kmh speed limit). Dad in passenger seat, I asked if I could floor it, he said fine but only to the speed limit. Not only did I do that, but the hilux beat me there...
Thats the end of that, chucked it up for sale at a super optimistic 9k, within 2 weeks I got a call. The car was to be a present from mum to son for making university. I got lucky here cause it had to be auto so mum could drive, but non turbo as it was also a first car.. Sold it for $8500
Typing that was longer than expected but reading seems so short.. Still, if you made it through, well done, for I only just passed English in my final year exams :P
If there is still interest, I'll write up the following cars in days to come.