Car: MG ZT-T 260
Owned since: November 2011
Previously owned: various Sheds (including one which ran on old chip fat), Vauxhall VX220, Peugeot 205 GTI 1.6, the world's fastest beige Morris Traveller. Two more Morris Travellers. Wow, very few cars. I guess that's what training to be an architect does - endless years spent walking to and from uni, so fewer cars needed.
"I needed a 'practical dad' car (as my 1.9 diesel Volvo V40 was clearly not a practical car) and it was the car that I was told to buy by the other members of type116.com. It's their fault. They prevented me from buying something I would have felt ambivalent about, though for this, I suppose begrudgingly, they should receive praise."
What I wish I'd known:
"That British Leyland never stopped expecting the owners of their products to be the Beta Testers."
Things I love:
"Where to start? The noise. The sleeper-ness. The fact that it's the last of the prototype cars; so that much more special. The fact that it is far faster than it ought to be. That it makes so many other people smile.
"I also really like the fact that MG Rover did so much with so little. Many people blame this version of this model for MG Rover going down in flames owing to the amount of money it consumed, even though this was buttons in the context of what most manufacturers spend on development. What they managed to create is a car which inspires feeling like no other, aside possibly for one whose badge has an image on it of a man being eaten by a snake. Pretty good work for a bunch of penniless Brits in a shed they can't afford to own."
Things I hate:
"The fact that a well-known supplier owns all the parts and that their customer service is appalling. That's it basically. It's broken down (all the TADTS things) in spectacular fashion in the past (French autoroute with my wife and 11-month-old son, in the rain, on a Friday afternoon anyone?) and I still can't but forgive it all its foibles."
"Why would you want to know that? If I'd wanted to know the answer to that question I wouldn't have bought it, so why would anyone else need to know that?
"The book mpg is 17-24. If you factor in that you're not likely to get into the 20s then you'll get the ownership. On the plus side, this makes driving any other car an exercise in missing spending time in petrol stations. As it's coming up for sale I ought to warn prospective owners that if you can think of anything that might break that doesn't come on a standard Rover 75 then the chances are that they only ever made 883 of them (the entire production run of the car) so it's brilliant news that the owners' club is now having bits made. Have a need for a set of rear brakes, front dampers, a new diff and anything else transmission-related and you might get quite upset if you don't go through the owners' club. Thankfully these have all been fixed under my ownership, so it's probably cheaper to run now than a new Micra. Perhaps."
Where I've been:
"Tut. Mainly to meetings for work. Europe. It's ferried me to various track days and gave everyone at a Javelin track day at Goodwood a chuckle. The old girl looked hilarious leaving the pits. If ever there was a motor that could do a turn as a fat girl in a big dress hitching it up to go for a sprint after an ice cream van then it's this car.
"To my embarrassment shortly after baby number one was born we had heavy snowfall and it took me to Sainsbury's to pick up some baby feed (honestly). I may have wuffled into an abandoned and heavily snow-covered area of the car park to pull some donuts that day. Possibly, but also perhaps not obviously."
"Urgh. Yes, the prospect of baby number three (and the presence prior to the children of a beagle who needs something as transport) means that I need something with seven seats; did you know you can order a Model S with two jump seats in the back? No? Impressed me as well. Also, with a range of between 200 and 300 miles between fill-ups I am sure I can cope with a car that manages the same between charges. Actually, with the possibility of home-charging I'm less likely to start every trip to a meeting with a trip to a petrol station. The other prospect is keeping the car, or buying something that doesn't need so many fill-ups, and driving my wife's diesel Verso which is not something I can entertain. Versos are hateful."
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