Shed will never get a job in IT. Not because he has something against it, but because he hasn't the foggiest idea what any of it means. It doesn't help that he refuses to upgrade his Amstrad PCW8256 with its mighty 256k of RAM and single disk drive. All Shed's data is on that Amstrad, and he is scared of losing it, so he keeps it bumbling along with nothing more than a spudger, a soldering iron and a small hammer.
Amazingly it still works, albeit slowly. On Tuesday he shot at a baddy on a video game that, more by luck than judgement, he'd managed to load up. At the time of writing, two days later, he's still waiting to find out whether the guy is dead or not. It would probably be quicker to play by post.
Whenever Shed mentions difficulties mounting his floppy drive Mrs Shed curls her top lip in a strange way, but in fairness computer problems are not always Shed's fault. Today he has been scunnered by the hopefully temporary failure of the Government's MOT checking website so he's going to have to wing it a bit with this week's shed, a gen-seven Toyota Celica.
Not just any old Celica, mind. Assuming the red badge on the boot is genuine and not a 99p visual tune-up this is the 2ZZ-GE-powered T Sport which, via two-step variable valve timing, pumped out a zingy 190hp that you needed real commitment to extract. Max power didn't arrive until 7,800rpm and you couldn't rely on the torque to dig you out of an inappropriate gear, either, because it only had 133lb ft of that, and again you needed to wind it up some (to 6,800rpm) to access it.
Compare that to the equivalent peak power and torque figures for the 140 Celica (140hp@6,400rpm and 125lb ft@4,200rpm) and you can see just how high-strung the 190 was. Get the five gearchanges right, though, and you could look forward to a 0-62mph time of 7.2sec (1.5sec better than the 140), a 140mph top end and surprising fuel efficiency.
Not to mention decent handling. The Celica hasn't been rear-wheel drive since the gen-three of the early 1980s, but these sharply styled gen-seven front-drivers weighed not much more than 1,100kg and acquitted themselves pretty well on a track. This might still be a good environment for our Shed if the chassis is in OK nick.
Rust to the suspension might prevent that from being the case, however. As noted, Shed can't give you any detail from the MOT history, but he can confirm that it does have a valid ticket to next May. You might be lucky with this particular example, but even with Shed's rosiest specs on it doesn't come across as being especially well loved. The bonnet looks like it's hosted a few cat parties but the alloys look original, or the centre caps do at least. Check the tailgate struts still work as that is a heavy piece and the struts eventually give up. You'll find the space under there to be oddly large and useable.
Stop press: the MOT site came back onto Shed's Amstrad just as he was about to lick the flap of the envelope containing his copy. Turns out that this May's test was passed with one minor defect (one numberplate bulb), but there were advisories for corrosion to both rear suspension mounting areas and one rear coil spring, and for worn/perishing rear tyres, and for distortion to all four wheels, which is not something Shed sees that often on MOT reports. So the chances are you'll be facing a bill or two next May, but with fewer than 600 of these 190s still registered on British roads and the numbers dropping at a rate of 60-70 a year maybe you'll consider whatever you spend on it then, plus the £1,295 you'll need for it now, to be money well spent.
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