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Before my current car I owned a H reg Vauxhall Astra, this was a great little motor, she had central locking, electric windows, sunroof….flaky paint, rust and 150k on the clock!! The MOT’s every year had just increased as more work needed to be done, it worked out that it just wasn’t worth it! The work that needed doing was more than the value of the car (in fact, I think 6 months tax was worth more than the car!) I'd had the little blighter for nearly 4 years, she had done me proud, never broken down or anything (that’s why she was a she, good old girl lol!)
So this year I’d had enough, I flatly refused to pay the money & refused to use the car again! I could get together a couple of hundred quid and get a much nicer car, it wouldn’t be newer – maybe by a year or so but it would look better, I by no means am a materialistic person but my car was virtually two tone! The blue on the top with very large patches of white under coat paint! It really was a state, it also had dents all over and rust that was getting worse on the back wheel arches.
So my boyfriend and I discussed our options, I was quite willing to do the above, my bf decided we could go along to a few auctions, my money would go further there, I decided I could afford a max of £1000, not much but hey, anything was better! I fancied a Vectra, maybe a newer Astra (I’d be lucky with that budget!). We never managed to find anything and I was ready to grab the next decent thing that came along! That was when my bf decided we could do with a ‘fun’ car, he drives a Peugeot 406, this is used for his work and is for carting around kit he needs. Purely a workhorse as far as he is concerned.
Bf then decided it might be nice to have a ‘fun’ car. Why not I thought, what should we get though?? We had a little think, without a doubt it had to be an MGF! What year? What model? What sort of budget do we have??
We started by buying a Parker's Price Guide, we spoke to some cheeky chappie in Carcraft at Empress (large car supermarket, in Wales) We asked why it was so expensive and showed him the price guide to which he had a bit of a snigger and said 'we throw them in the bin!' Well, what a cheek, guess what? WE DON'T! We are not going to pay more than A1 price and this is all we have to go on as the general public. They have access to the Glass price guide, which is about £100 for all people in the trade - very well kept secret I'm sure! We don’t have access to this therefore we go by what we have.
We saw an R reg basic 1.8i for 12,500. WHAT! The Parkers price guide suggested around £10,000 for A1 condition - this certainly was not! Dodgy paintwork & the seals around the window were coming of slightly (something you must check).
You have to know there are 3 different models. The 1.8i, the 1.8i steptronic and the 1.8i VVC.
What does the VVC have that the others don't? Well for a more expensive model you would expect some extras. With the VVC you get 5 spoke alloys instead of six. PAS as standard rather than an option, ABS as standard rather than an option. Leather seats, and of course the Valve system, this is similar to a V-Tech engine (if you know what one of those is!) I'm not too techie with cars and don't really know what that means apart from where the standard 1.8i starts tailing off with power the VVC keeps going.
So the Parkers price guide gives prices for A1, Good & Fair condition. They also give trade price. Plus a small write up & a star system. They gave the 1.8i a 4 star rating & also said the VVC is well deserving of 5 stars. So we had the car we wanted.
We toddled along to the garage in our local area & saw a P reg 1.8i VVC in British Racing Green, 75k on the clock, service history, £8,700. Bit out of our range though.
Now since the launch of the new MG convertible the prices have dropped a fair amount, we drove past that same MG a week later & 1k had come off the price. I started getting excited and kept asking when we would get one. As I didn’t have a car my bf would pick me up if possible, this particular day he did, a offered a friend a lift home and then got the surprise of my life when he picked me up in the MGF we had seen! Sorry mate can’t have a lift home after all! We paid £7,500 for the MG, it was in fantastic condition, interior was perfect & the body was great, about 2 stone chips & a small scratch on the back, 4 new tyres (decent make too) and well worth the money.
How does it drive? Very well, it's very responsive and holds the road well, I will use the car for to & from work in the week and it's our fun car in the weekend! Wouldn't recommend an MGF if you travel a lot, being a convertible it can get quite noisy, I can imagine long journeys would also be quite uncomfortable after a while. There isn't much space for luggage, the boot is deep but not very wide.
The one thing I must say that bothers me is people's attitude on the road, they go out of their way to be less courteous and are just down right rude!! If I had just paid £10k for a brand spanking out of the wrapper Ford Fiesta would they be the same??? NO!! Why is this?
This weekend was perfect for a convertible too! Very sunny & hot. I was concerned about driving this car as my other was such a banger I didn’t car, my bf paid more for his 406 so he’s ok! I am by no means a poser and find it quite embarrassing when I have the roof down, I'm sure I will overcome this problem though!!
There are a few little problems, if the roof hasn’t been put down correctly the window, which is clear plastic type stuff (told you I wasn’t a techie!) The window can go slightly milky in places where it has creased, this then makes visibility not so great. The roof can sometimes leak over the windows, this is a very easy problem to fix, it’s a very small part that stops the windows going up too much, this just costs a couple of pounds and takes a couple of minutes to fix.
Another good thing is the MG owners club, you can visit them online and if you have any sort of problem there is advice and information on how to fix it.All in all a wonderful car for fun - which is all we need, not for long distance journeys, possibly, but I don't think so!
We also plan to take it on hols, drive over to France and tour, petrol is cheap over there so should save us money compared to the normal holidays… we need to now!
So if any of you are thinking about it - now is the time! They have dropped in price and the weather is fantastic!
Great op! I also notice that drivers will treat you differently according to the car you drive. When I drove a Skoda people would tailgate, cut me off, and overtake me even when I was going just fast enough to keep the cops from ticketing me. With my Peugeut 405, people are much more polite - well, they were to begin with. But now its getting a bit old... <harumph!> I like your ops - great reading. I'm adding you to my COT. Thanks.
Disillusioned 06.07.2002 00:08
A great opinion. My mum has an MGF. :) Cheers, James.
MRANDREWSJK 02.07.2002 15:27
Wow Paula, I'm so jealous, I used to have an MG Midget and before that a Magnette !!