Cars that make you smile

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stuckinthemud

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Ok, so, what cars have you driven that made you smile every time you got behind the wheel. My Suzuki Whizzkid was outrageously tiny and sooo much fun despite being anaemic; my 1275 Mini Marcos always made me laugh out loud just stepping down into the bucket seats. Opposite but truly great fun was my Volvo 240GLT aka “the Duchess”- 2.3 litres of police spec engine never failed to bring a grin. Totally loved my mk1 triumph vitesse, really miss that one, that’s the one I shouldn’t have sold.

I have owned or driven many cars some practical, some pretty, some quick, some not quick, but very few actually made me smile, What’s on your list?
 
Before I got my car license I had a couple of Bond Bugs. One was a tuned 750 with a top speed over 100mph. More recently a Smart Brabus Roadster. What a fun drive that was. And of course my favourite of all time my Defender 110. Always have a smile on my face driving that. It’s gone for nine months having a complete chassis up rebuild.
 
Volvo 940. Great lump of a bus the ultimate woodworkers car!
Audi A4 2.8 V6 so smooth and sophisticated!
Pug 205 gtd great fun!
Volvo T5 what a beast.
Volvo XC90 what a mile eater.
Mini cooper / cooper s kids cars - fun to drive in happier times.
 
My Dad had an Austin Princess just after I passed my test which I loved driving but it didn’t fit through the garage door so he only kept it a few weeks. I was gutted to see it go.
 
At 17 I bought a 1970 MG Midget, blew the engine up so had it bored out to 1650 then had a stage 2 head on it, great fun but cornering in the wet was not a strong point.

Volvo 740GLT 2.3 turbo was more fun than something shaped like a brick should be.

Most of the others are just transport
 
Who needs a car?
78797-DSCN1186r.jpg
 
At 17 I bought a 1970 MG Midget, blew the engine up so had it bored out to 1650 then had a stage 2 head on it, great fun but cornering in the wet was not a strong point.

Volvo 740GLT 2.3 turbo was more fun than something shaped like a brick should be.

Most of the others are just transport
Haha - I had a MK4 Midget and the road handling was not its strong point, nor was it's performance until I put a tuned cam and Janspeed exhaust, 1-1/2 SU's etc on it.
As you mention the cornering especially in the wet was dire, not helped by the amount of flex in the body - did you ever try to open a door whilst it was jacked on one corner? - they used the cill outer and inner as a structural member and it flexed badly...
 
Most of the others are just transport
That just about sums up my attitude towards cars. If you're going to have 4 wheels, get the maximum carrying capacity out of them, so most of them have been estate cars with towing hooks. I've had a Herald, Hunter, 2 Allegos (nowhere near as bad as their reputation), Astra, Montego (ran it for 14 years), Volvo850, 2 X-Trails, all estates apart from the last 2, but you get the drift.
For many years we could justify 8 wheels, the extra 4 being allocated to small run-around town cars.
My mate, Bill, has a very different attitude to cars, he's a sporty saloon man. A few years ago his much loved and many miled Saab99 failed it's MOT. It was beyond sensible economic repair so he replaced it with a 2 year old, low slung, lengthy, diesel, blue BMW (don't ask me which model).
One day we were chatting about his new toy and he said "do you know, I got this for the same price as 2 year old Fiesta (note it was a diesel). Now, Brian, what would you rather have? This or a Fiesta?"
Pause for thought. With a smile "I....think.....I'd.....rather.......have......a.......Fiesta"
To close out the story of the Beema.
Soon after purchase it became very apparent that there was something seriously wrong with the steering which, after a lengthy argument, cost the dealer 2 grand to put right. This car was written off a few months ago when Bill drove into a very flooded River Severn. He replaced it with a 2 year old, low slung,.............BMW. Another blue one but petrol this time.
Brian
 
Ford Capri 2.8i. I only had a brief test drive in a mates, back in the day. My pockets weren't deep enough.

Fantastic acceleration and effortless doughnuts without slipping the clutch.

I still had lots of fun in my 1.6L
 
Triumph TR5, the best performing of the TR series before California emission controls strangled the engine in the TR6.
It was my mate’s car but I drove it a couple of times, so much fun. Sadly it was destroyed in a fire.
 
In a 40+ year career testing cars as a motoring journalist top of my fun list was a Peugeot 205GTI. I had a year of great driving with a long term test one … that ended when the photographer sent to snap it for the feature rolled it into a ditch.
And number two was a Ferrari F40.

PS since retiring we’ve had an Astra van, LR110, Citroen C3, Honda Jazz, several Saab 900T16s, Ford Focus. The Jazz was brilliant, the C3 cr*p.
Modern cars are (generally) all pretty good and go on and on. Hence all the personal plates to hide the ten year old ones.
 
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