The impending fate of a second old car

Never buy a cheap old car. At least, not unless you either know its provenance; fancy messing around with it, shelling out loads of money for new bits on a not-infrequent basis; or have a penchant for classic vehicles, in which case make sure you buy a really old one (which certainly won’t be cheap).

When we moved to Devon last year, we decided to buy an old Ford Escort the garage in our village as a run-around for me. It was great – only 2 previous owners, not many miles: ideal. Until I crashed it on Dartmoor, unable to stop on a sheet of ice on a back-road. We hadn’t anticipated my getting a job with an 80-mile round trip each day.

Fortuitously, my brother was selling a similar car (another Ford Escort, in fact) so it seemed ideal to buy another one. I’ve since discovered a truth which I’m sure is readily apparent to you: all old cars are not created equal.

In the last 4 months, I’ve needed to replace:

  • the catalytic converter
  • the battery
  • the spark plugs
  • the spark coil
  • the HT leads

The garage were looking at another problem yesterday. The mechanic called me, and—with a nonchalance I’ll remember for a while—said, “it’s probably not worth fitting a new engine to a car of this age”.

New engine? Hardly.

Your comments on this article

Share your thoughts using the form below. I'd love to hear from you. Comments are hosted using Disqus.

(Alternatively, get in touch with me here)


Possibly Related

(Based on the tag(s) and life)