Two weeks ago (5-May-2012) I picked up my dream car from Kerridges in Needham, a chameleon green Tuscan2 4.0 57(2008)reg. I had been looking at it, whilst driving past, for a couple of months or so. Eventually, my wife said 'If you want it, why don't you buy it'? Well....... you don't hear that very often, so..... !
Of course, it is not new (that would be difficult), but with only one owner, FSH, and a verifiable 14,000 on the clock it is pretty darned close!
So, I pulled off the forecourt, having allowed the engine to rumble away for about ten minutes, ensuring oil temperature was above 50degC (after Oliver, Kerridge's salesman advised a good warm up) and headed back through Needham Market, sleepy Suffolk village. I only live about 4 miles away, so gently (very gently - OK :-) changed up into 2nd and headed west.
1st impressions 1.
Steering is quite heavy at sub-50mph speeds. Also the engine hunts and surges a bit and is not altogether happy below 2000rpm (but plus 2000rpm is something not to inflict upon the said sleepy Suffolk village, or it would be sleepy no more!).
Outside of Needham, the road is good quality and national limit (60mph), so slipped into 3rd gear and gently pressed the right pedal. 60mph was reached from 30mph in about 3 seconds, so I kept at that until the 50mph and then 40mph roundels appeared and then suitably slowed to keep legal. I was grinning by that time (ok, so I am easily pleased).
Arriving at home a few minutes later and reversed onto drive in front of garage - next door neighbour's head appeared over the garden gate (he later said to me 'I didn't want to appear nosey, but just had to see what was making that sound'! :-).
1st impressions 2.
Pretty good street cred (as if I should worry about that at my time of life).
Later that afternoon, having read through manual - again (first time was to make sure I did not seem completely TVR-green when I picked up the car. You know the kinda thing, 'where's the door handle, then'?; 'I pressed the start button and nothing happened'!; 'How do I stop the indicators from flashing in 'that' direction'? etc) I thought, ah it's time to put it in the garage (you know just how bad the weather has been!). Open door (got that one suss'd now), climb in, wiggle left knee underneath steering column by stretching left foot into the well to the left of the clutch pedal (gotta improve that manoevre!), start engine (Grin!). Having checked that I actually HAD opened the garage door, I very carefully put it in reverse (well, tried to, but it needed a quick slip into fourth and then into reverse) and slowly growled my way backwards.
Hurray, the car fitted into the garage just as I had carefully calculated, but unfortunately I have workshop shelving down the right side of the garage (looking out), so although the car fitted, I couldn't actually open the door (no, I don't mean that I hadn't got the hang of the twirly knob in the middle of the centre console, I mean that there was no room to open the door), so it was back out on the drive again.
The only solution was to order on a 24-hr delivery a garden shed, so that some of the shelving, the lawnmower, garden tools and barbecue now have a new home. Of course, that meant assembling the garden shed and to be honest, I am not as nimble as once I was. My next door neighbour - realising the importance of this particular operation - helped me to lift and put on the shed roof (all now done and felted, just needs a coat of fence treatment - tomorrow!).
So, now quite clearly I have the TVR bug. You know, the one that means everything takes second place to the needs of the car (A few days ago, another neighbour asked me - in front of my wife - how my mistress was? He got the 'Paddington Bear Stare' from my wife, which only improved slightly after he explained that he only meant the car!).
Next trip out was for about 250miles, mainly A-road and motorways. My wife seemed to be holding hard to the door and to the seat. I was only driving at legal max, but she said it was too fast and the reasoned explanation of 'this is lower than our family saloon, engine is noisier, added wind noise, firm suspension so it FEELS faster, did not go down well'. She just said 'the trees are going passed faster than in the other car. Clearly, it is hard to argue with that one.
1st impressions 3.
This is MUCH nicer to drive than reports on the Tuscan 1, but does need a very firm foot on the brake pedal at sub-70mph speeds. Roundabouts - due to the fairly long front end look a bit forbidding, but can be taken quite quickly in the dry and flicking through the gears is quite fun.
However, I did have cause to email the dealer with two complaints.
a/. It was raining for some of the time and I found the drops of water moving up the curves of the bonnet due to the wind quite distracting, and suggested that they could do something about those curves :-)
b/. I felt there was something wrong with the fuel gauge as the level went down when I put my right foot to the floor :-)
1/. I had a trickle charger installed (can't think why, it has not been in the garage for long enough for the battery to run down). However, I do understand why it might..... Try standing in a darkened garage behind a Tuscan2 at night, having locked the doors and set the immobiliser/alarm. The light display from inside (immobiliser red led, green start/stop button flashing and the surround of the door-open knob flashing red on alternate sides) is enough to cause a nuclear power station to run and hide in terror!
2/. I have been reading up on car cleaning (detailing??, I think it is now called) and will let you know later how much dirt a foam lance lifts off, before I do the 'two-bucket-wash' with my merino wool mitt and then apply a coat of Blackfire carnuaba wax. If it works well, photos will follow - and the family saloon will get a similar treatment. Look I know we have a hosepipe ban, but I am using filtered rainwater (soft, no scummy white spots & residue - picky huh!?) from our water butt in the pressure washer.
I haven't driven the car this week, been at work and busy, but I have ordered another extra.
3/. A 250watt-240v oil tank heater from 'International Diesel Group Inc - www.engineheaters.co.uk
This will allow me to shorten that warm up period and get out on the road quicker. I know there are other forums on this topic, but I will feed back later.
Just got back home and took off the cover.
1st impressions 4.
This car looks beautiful!! Grin!!!
The start of a long relationship between Tuscan2 and 'tvrnotrackdays'.