Yet again I've changed my car, and hopefully this time I'll keep my new Audi TT 3.2 V6 for a while
First of all I decided I needed a newer car than either of those I had. The BMW E36 323i SE Touring is from 1998 and the Porsche 924S from 1986. Both are reliable but I needed something for the occasional long commute I do from time to time. Something newer.
Or that's what I told myself. To be honest I change my cars like young son changes his socks unless I remind him, yearly.
I decided I wanted a Porsche Boxster. But then I talked myself out of it, and then I wanted one again. Boxsters have so many inbuilt problems - suspension components need replacing, brakes need replacing, the hood lasts only so long, 'special' engine issues - and the parts are so expensive that I thought I didn't need the headache.
But I wanted one so damn it I'd have one!
So I put the 924S on eBay. Not long afterwards a very nice chap turned up in his pristine GT86. He wanted a fun runaround so he didn't have to put so many miles on his GT86. We shook hands on a deal and he paid a deposit. He's coming today (Tuesday) to pay the balance and pick it up. I will miss the 924S but I'm not sentimental about cars, I just want the best I can afford.
I then spent 24 hours online looking at cars but so many Boxsters had issues, or I didn't like them, or hadn't had a new clutch (a £2k job) or suspension (£2k) or brakes (£1k).
Then I found one. Perfect. Went to see it, liked it. I need to check it's history so arranged to pop in at the Porsche dealer on Monday (this was Saturday, 1pm) to get a print-out of work done. Later that day someone who had viewed the car before me, and rejected it, went back with the full asking price (a bit much if you ask me) and bought it. Bugger.
More hours on the internet later I found the perfect Boxster. All the work described above had been done. It was perfect. The seller worked long hours and wasn't free until Tuesday evening (this was Sunday). I was busy Tuesday but could come Wednesday. Sorted.
Sent the seller a text Wednesday lunchtime to remind him I'd be there at 6.30pm as agreed. I got a text back, "Sold it yesterday."
Shit, bugger, arse, knackers and more shit.
I could not find another Boxster I was happy with - too many dealers selling overpriced, tired examples and describing them as "Stuning" or "Outsanding".
I wanted a car. Impatient, I hit eBay, Autotrader and Pistonheads yet again. Did I want an MX5? No, not enough power. Z4, god no. I know, I want a 330Ci coupe or cabriolet. More hours online. Good lord all 330s have been blinged to death. Found one that looked good. Phoned dealer, Wall 2 Wall autos of Sarisbury Green, Southampton, and arranged to see it that evening.
Arrived 6pm. The advert described the car as, "superb" and "fantastic." It should have said, "pile of shit" and "don't waste your time". The wheels had been resprayed with silver paint, and so had the calipers and discs. A section of body had been resprayed too, with runs in the paint. The interior was worn and tired. It was a 2004 model and had had 7 owners. All paperwork had been lost so FSH meant it had stamps in the book and nothing else, not good enough. It had 1 key.
I asked if I could drive it. "No, my policy is we agree a price and then you can drive it."
Sod off mate. Dealers like that should be forced to wear a stetson and spurs.
Gutted. Back to square one. Then I had a brainwave. Buy a TT! My brother has a TT 3.2 V6, which you can read about here.
More time online. One of the best was only nine miles from home. I phoned the seller. Two owners, 3.2 V6, manual, full history, great condition, four good tyres, no issues ever, coil packs (known issue) changed, selling for a good reason.
I arranged to see it. I had the cash. Fingers crossed.
A friend took me to Reading to see the car (cheers Scottie). It was utterly perfect. 70k, Avus Grey, mint condition. A test drive confirmed it was a good 'un, and the steering a hell of a lot better than I'd been led to believe.
I negotiated and knocked a few hundred off the price. Bought it!
It's a fantastic car. With 250bhp it's fast. With 4WD it's planted. The steering and handling are much, much better than I'd read about. It has a big boot and with the rear seats folded flat is ideal for my border collie. I need to get the wheels refurbished and fit a DAB stereo. I think it's a keeper and don't plan on selling it within 12 months, my usual timescale.
So now, for the last weekend and until the 924S goes later today, I have three cars and a motorcycle.
I plan on the TT being my (very fast, good fun) sensible, practical car. Later in the year I'll sell my BMW and buy a cheapo Boxster for less than £4k.
A couple of days after I bought the TT I filmed a video review. Here it is:
By Matt Hubbard