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Monday 11th June 2012

PH Carpool: Vauxhall VX220

It's a childhood lust realised for PHer Ed Offer



Name: Ed Offer
Car: Vauxhall VX220
Owned since: March 2012
Previously owned: Land Rover Defender 110, Range Rover, Nissan Skyline, Vauxhall Vectra


Why I bought it:
I have wanted one since before I could drive, I remember being about 10 and seeing one in a petrol station and my jaw dropping along with feeling a pang of jealously which I had not had over a car before. This was closely followed for a strong dislike for the driver, who saw me looking and smirked. I didn't actually find out it was a VX until a few years later. When I finally took the plunge it took me a while to find a car I liked, but after a few weeks of searching found a very nice silver one, just like the VX in the petrol station I had seen 10 years prior.

It was in Manchester, which is a few hours away from me, so I promptly rang up and placed a deposit informing the salesman that I would be coming in two weeks to pick her up. To cut a long story short, two days before I was supposed to pick up the car the nice salesman rings me up and tells me that on his day off his colleague sold the car... I wasn't best pleased! After only another day of looking a rather nice red one came up for sale. I wasn't too keen on red, but went to view it anyway and absolutely fell in love with the stunning colour. After a quick drive I paid a deposit there and then and picked it up two days later.


What I wish I'd known:
After wanting one for such a long time I was fairly well aware of what I was letting myself in for. The rawness, the rattles and bangs I was very aware of before I even drove one. It turns out it's all those things that make the car what it is: awesome! (To me, at least.) One of the very best tools I used in my research is the owners club (www.vx220.org.uk), between them they know pretty much everything about the VX220; not only did they help me during my search for one but are now helping during ownership.

Things I love:
I'm not ashamed to admit I like attention and especially a car that can draw it. I love how everyone stares, and people take pictures when they think you're not looking - that never gets old. I also love the fact there's no power steering and next to nothing in the way of luxuries. You can tell it was made with the attitude "don't need that, just more speed". It truly is an awesome little car and if you haven't driven one I strongly suggest you do, because you will fall in love...


Things I hate:
There are a few, ummmm, compromises with the VX. Yeah, you look good as you pull up outside somewhere, but try and get out and still look cool and it all goes wrong - the wide sills see to that. Also the standard heating is worse than appalling (although there's someone from the owners club who does upgrades). The road noise is another thing that could be considered a negative, but for me all these things either make the car better to drive and more exciting or are just tiny inconveniences in an otherwise amazing car!

Costs:
As far as day to day running it's not that bad, in fact quite good. This could be because I previously owned a Defender, Range Rover and Skyline, which all drank like fish. But even with that taken into consideration I think it's not too bad. As far as insurance goes, it's not bad either considering I am still only 20, have zero no-claims and have written off a car. It's £1,600 to be precise. The MoT is coming up next month, though, so perhaps I shall have to reserve overall judgement on running costs until after then...


Where I've been:
So far I've driven it down the M4 on a very, very wet bank holiday (yay) and to work and back. Not the most exciting of journeys but made a million times more enjoyable by the car!

What next?
Definitely keeping it. First exhaust, then a few aesthetic bits and bobs. Ultimately I would like to get it supercharged and that will probably be it as far as mods go (although I suppose you can't go much further). Ideally I would like to say that even if it just becomes a weekend toy it will still have a place in my garage for the next few decades, though whether something else will take my fancy more in a few years it's hard to tell. But it would have to be something very special indeed...

 

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Author Discussion

Carlique

Original Poster:

447 posts

50 months

[news] 
Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
Veryyy Nice sir, hope you're enjoying it ! I'm already looking in the classifieds at them now hah

lazygraduand

1,629 posts

47 months

[news] 
Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
Looks really smart- congratulations on your car history at the age of 20, clearly a man of good taste!

ED209

3,585 posts

130 months

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Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
I sold mine in March, part of me wishes i kept it. Fantastic thing on a sunny day!

I missed it so much i went out and bought an old mx5 yesterday as a cheap alternative. Not on par with the vx but a lot cheaper and will probably get used a lot more.

I had mine about 18 months as a weekend toy however I simply didnt use it enough. It was too nice to use in bad weather or park anywhere slightly dodgy. Running costs were very reasonable though I didnt really do a lot of miles in it.

The vse exhaust on mine sounded superb too!


Bob_Defly

1,649 posts

117 months

[news] 
Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
Too nice to use in bad weather?!? What do you mean?

I used my Exige daily for 2 years, rain, snow, whatever the weather.

ED209

3,585 posts

130 months

[news] 
Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
Bob_Defly said:
Too nice to use in bad weather?!? What do you mean?

I used my Exige daily for 2 years, rain, snow, whatever the weather.
I am not as hard as you sir.
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Cyrus1971

819 posts

125 months

[news] 
Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
Good luck with the car Ed. FYI this is also an excellent VX220 site with lots of detail on the steps taken to upgrade.

https://sites.google.com/site/z20letpower/

If you follow the progress in steps it provides good insight into the experience of modding and some details / calculations on the strengths / weaknesses of the engine / drivetrain too.

Cyrus

Welshbeef

18,258 posts

84 months

[news] 
Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
Is it the turbo model or the 134bhp model?

Lordbenny

5,970 posts

105 months

[news] 
Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
Welshbeef said:
Is it the turbo model or the 134bhp model?
It's an N/A....The better version. You can tell by it not having side 'scoops' behind the door and, normally, by not having the lip spoilers although this one has turbo spoilers retro fitted by the look of it.

AntB

14 posts

121 months

[news] 
Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
Welshbeef said:
Is it the turbo model or the 134bhp model?
definitely NOT the 134 horses model as they never made one of those. lowest output was 145 wink

boobles

13,878 posts

101 months

[news] 
Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
Very nice indeed. Enjoy them for what they are & you won't go far wrong!

LY99

129 posts

74 months

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Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
Very nice

(from a fellow VX220 owner!)

Chicane-UK

3,552 posts

71 months

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Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
20 years old and you've already owned a Skyline and a Range Rover... what the hell? How much insurance were you paying considering that to insure a complete piece of st at those ages would set you back thousands of pounds!

MCBrowncoat

102 posts

32 months

[news] 
Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
Chicane-UK said:
20 years old and you've already owned a Skyline and a Range Rover... what the hell? How much insurance were you paying considering that to insure a complete piece of st at those ages would set you back thousands of pounds!
A skyline a rangey and a VX by 20...How awfully nice...

I'm not going to be a cynic and say there might be a well off parent involved...I'm just not going to do it...

2blackhats

432 posts

87 months

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Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
Had one of these back in the day and loved it. Mine was a 2.2. I'd buy another tomorrow, but for a requirement for 4 seats these days...Hey ho, the joys of being dad.

VonSenger

1,289 posts

75 months

[news] 
Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
Great choice, brilliant cars! I brought my turbo last year for track use. get some decent suspension, exhaust and a map and they're blistering!!

I took mine to the ring last month, im no schumacher and neither is the gt3rs driver, so id say it was even Stevens, but this video i took demonstrates why they are a proper weapon!!

4minutes onwards wink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvxzvXmKKOU&fea...

JFReturns

3,008 posts

57 months

[news] 
Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
Looking good. I agree with your points, the rattles are slowly driving me mad though mad

VonSenger

1,289 posts

75 months

[news] 
Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
JFReturns said:
Looking good. I agree with your points, the rattles are slowly driving me mad though mad
Indeed, as an everyday car id go mad

SSCooperS

965 posts

50 months

[news] 
Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
That's an impressive collection of cars you've owned so far. When I was 20, I was driving around in a knackered 1991 Ford Escort 1.3L, and that cost nearly as much to insure as your VX.

jatinder

1,585 posts

99 months

[news] 
Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
Looks great op.

At 20 as well! I had to wait until I was 29!

Edited by jatinder on Monday 11th June 09:07

lazygraduand

1,629 posts

47 months

[news] 
Monday 11th June 2012 quote quote all
VonSenger said:
Great choice, brilliant cars! I brought my turbo last year for track use. get some decent suspension, exhaust and a map and they're blistering!!

I took mine to the ring last month, im no schumacher and neither is the gt3rs driver, so id say it was even Stevens, but this video i took demonstrates why they are a proper weapon!!

4minutes onwards wink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvxzvXmKKOU&fea...
Nice vid and driving! Great garage too, love the desmo
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