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    Seems spring has arrived early

    CAR: 1989 BMW 320i Convertible
    OWNER: Glen Waddington
    PHOTOS: Robert Hefferon

    / #1989-BMW-320i-Convertible / #1989 / #BMW-320i-Convertible / #BMW-320i-Convertible-E30 / #BMW-320i-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-M20 / #M20B20 / #BMW-320i-E30 / #BMW-320i / #BMW-E30 / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet / #BMW-E30-M20 / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet-M20 / #BMW-3-Series-E30 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-320i-Cabriolet / #BMW-320i-Cabriolet-E30

    This Time last year we had snow. My 944 had just recently blown its rep by blowing out its own electrics, and the Beemer was tucked up safely in my garage. Where it spends too much time. But I don’t like taking it out on wintry roads, because it’s nearly 30 years old, factory-original and in damn fine fettle.

    As I write this on the last day in February, I’m looking out onto a sunlit garden, daffodils swaying gently in the breeze, birdsong drifting through an open window. Two record-breakingly warm days preceded this one. But tomorrow it’s back to normal. Whatever counts for normal in 2019.

    Anyway, I’ll stop wittering, because my point is that this is the first winter during my eight-year tenure of the BMW – today is its anniversary – during which it’s been driven with anything like regularity. I was even out giving it an early spring clean last weekend, ahead of driving it to Bicester Heritage for an editorial meeting with the #Drive-My team. And I drove home with the roof down. That has rarely happened this side of April. I’m generally an advocate of use rather than storage, although I admit that when the BMW crept past 50,000 miles last year, I fleetingly wondered if I should mothball it. Winter hibernation can cause the odd issue: I’ve lost count of the new batteries I’ve fitted (even if the last one was terminally discharged when I left the bootlid slightly ajar – can’t blame the car or the weather for that one), plus I’ve been through a master cylinder, a clutch slave cylinder, a heater blower motor and a seized brake caliper. All these failures occurred within the first post-hibernation drive.

    There have been no such problems this year, and I’ll count my sunburnt forehead as a freak of the highly unseasonable weather. We’ve had a lot of frosty nights, mind. Frosty enough to make the 944 a tardy starter one morning. Rather than drain the battery, I reached for the Energizer 400A jump-starter kit I got late last summer. It wasn’t cheap at around £100, but it’s about the size of a large smartphone and can be used to charge one of those so you can cycle its battery between boosts. Connection is easy – it’s great not having to lug something heavy around – and the 944 sprang instantly to life. Indispensible for any car that is parked up for just a touch too long.
    So I’m glad I’ve got it, ready for when we have snow in June…

    Above and below: BMW bowls along at Bicester; it was joined by editor Elliott’s Triumph not-2000 – and a McLaren 12C Spider.
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    Time for the autumn chill-out

    1989 BMW 320i Convertible Glen Waddington

    / #1989-BMW-320i-Convertible / #1989 / #BMW-320i-Convertible / #BMW-320i-Convertible-E30 / #BMW-320i-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-M20 / #M20B20 / #BMW-320i-E30 / #BMW-320i / #BMW-E30 / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet / #BMW-E30-M20 / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet-M20 / #BMW-3-Series-E30 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-320i-Cabriolet / #BMW-320i-Cabriolet-E30

    As I write this the sun is shining outside. It’s bloody cold, though. Autumn is setting in quickly and suddenly and it’s only just over a month since I spent a balmy late-summer evening with a whole bunch of BMW convertibles near Henley-on-Thames, as regular readers might remember. I had a fantastic time piloting such beauties as a BMW-328-Roadster , a #BMW-507 , a #BMW-Z1 and a #BMW-Z8 (see right), before sunset called a halt to proceedings.

    Thing is, I’d already had a fabulous drive down there in my own #BMW-Convertible . And no matter what the charms of those other cars were - only one of which I could even imagine owning, if you bear their market values in mind - mine more than held its own. In fact, it was rather enjoyable to have some of the other assembled journalists take a look over it; one or two of them even assumed it had been brought down as part of BMW’s own fleet!

    The journey was a hundred miles or so, much on trunk roads plus a spell on the M40. But the scenery turns bucolic in a major way on the stretch south from Stokenchurch, narrow lanes winding and plunging through dense woodland with the sun barely filtering through at times, thee leafy smell and the birdsong make a convertible a real treat to be in - quite a different effect from the more usual roof-down/howling exhaust scenario.

    A few hours later I had to think about my route home, those thread-like lanes could easily hide the occasional inebriated local, lurking in a 4x4 without thought to a delicate 1980s soft-top, so I headed out of Henley towards Nettlebed and Watlington and was treated to some fabulously sinuous B-roads, perfect for the innate balance and modest yet useful power of my 320i. Even the roundabouts on the A43 past Brackley did their bit to make this a properly life-affirming high-speed late-night trek. One I’ll remember during the winter evenings ahead.
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    Renewing the vows

    OWNER: Glen Waddington

    CAR: #1989-BMW-320i-Convertible / #1989 / #BMW-320i-Convertible / #BMW-320i-Convertible-E30 / #BMW-320i-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-M20 / #M20B20 / #BMW-320i-E30 / #BMW-320i / #BMW-E30 / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet / #BMW-E30-M20 / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet-M20 / #BMW-3-Series-E30 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-320i-Cabriolet / #BMW-320i-Cabriolet-E30

    Sometimes I find it difficult to believe that the Beemer is 28 years old. The body’s in such fine (and still original) fettle, it’s such a vivacious drive, and it’s still got less than 50k on the clock. I love it to bits, but I use it sparingly.

    A little too sparingly over the last year, though. Life got in the way, in exactly the manner described by John Simister in his How to reconnect with your classic piece in #Drive-My . The 320i had languished over winter yet flew through its MoT in April, though when I wanted to press it into service for a rare romantic weekend away with Mrs W, a shudder through the steering the night before we headed off put paid to that. And I’d already been putting up with a non-functioning heater blower for 14 months or so. So I booked it in for a once-over with my mate Stuart Templeton.

    The night before it headed off to Templeton’s Garage (www. templetonsgarage.co.uk) I washed and buffed the bodywork: step 1 of the reconnection. And it came back a few days later, following a short service and with the maladies rectified (step 2).

    The shaky wheel? A seized brake caliper was the culprit, as Stuart had diagnosed on the phone. With that replaced (on exchange), plus a new blower motor, the Beemer was back to singing along. Just in time for the early-June heatwave.

    And so step 3 of the reconnection was suddenly there for the taking: get back out and enjoy the car, reminding myself what it was I always loved about it in the first place.

    This is our seventh summer together. I always said it’d be a keeper. And that remains true, especially now it’s running that little bit sweeter – amazing what fresh oil can do, even if it’s all in the mind. And yes, I’d swear it’s that little bit faster too.

    As a family, the four of us headed down to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the Beemer, roof-down for the stretch across the Downs from Winchester. Reconnection complete.
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    Glen Waddington
    Glen Waddington joined the group BMW E30 Club
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    Glen Waddington
    Glen Waddington unlocked the badge Journalist
    Journalist
    Loves browsing photos
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    / #1990 / #Renault-25-Baccara / #Renault-25 / #Renault / #1990-Renault-25-Baccara

    / #Audi-100-CD / #1984-Audi-100-CD / #Audi-100-CD-C3 / #Audi-100-C3 / #Audi-100 / #Audi / #1984 / #Audi-100-Type-44


    After the two oil crises of the 70s, more efficient cars are being sought. In addition, there are concerns about the environment. Better aerodynamics is one of the ways to make cars consume less and emit less. The Audi 100 (C3-generation) and the Renault 25 are considered to be the most streamlined limousine in the world. At the same time they spoil the motorist with luxury. We contrast them.

    For the first time the streamline of cars in the 1930s was central, in the 1980s there was renewed interest among car manufacturers. Everyone is convinced after the two oil crises of 1973 and 1979 that cars really need to be more economical. In addition, one Bernhard Ulrich is warning about 1981 because entire needle forests in Central Europe, according to him, die off due to acid rain.

    To this end, the emissions of cars are held jointly responsible. In the press, a large-scale alarm is triggered, so that the car manufacturers are forced to take measures. (Incidentally, Ulrich withdraws his alarm again in 1995 due to lack of evidence, but that is not widely reported ...)

    Following the United States, the choice is made for the three-way catalyst in combination with fuel injection. This, however, entails costs, namely for the catalyst itself, in which the expensive platinum is processed, and for the conversion to unleaded petrol. A catalyst does not tolerate lead. Naturally, this switch does not go from one day to the next.
    A faster and cheaper solution is to better streamline cars to reduce consumption and thus reduce emissions. You can see that in new models of that time. Rain gutters disappear, door handles no longer protrude outside the bodywork, windows are fitted flat on the bodywork to make them completely slippery and spoilers are no longer reserved for sports cars, but they improve aerodynamics into the top segment.

    Two of those smooth guys are the Audi 100 of the third generation (internal designation Type #44 ) and the Renault 25. Both are the most streamlined series production limousine of that year, namely 1982 for the Audi and 1984 for the Renault. . Audi reaches a Cd / Cx value of 0.30, Renault even a value of 0.28. Both brands also do a throw to the top with these top models from their range. They want to compete with brands like Mercedes-Benz W124 and BMW E34/E28.

    We therefore contrast the thickest versions to see how they tried to achieve that. For the Audi this is the CD equipment, for the Renault de Baccara. Meanwhile, we know that the Audi finally succeeded in penetrating the premium segment and Renault did not. Can we see that coming here?
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    Glen Waddington
    Glen Waddington created a new group Renault 25

    Renault 25 Open

    Renault-25 1984-1992

    The Renault 25 appears in 1984 and is a design by Robert Opron in collaboration with Renault-head designer Gaston Juchet.

    The futuristic dashboard is designed by Marcello Gandini. The 25 follows the 20/30 series and has been developed for low air resistance and low consumption. The the most econom...ical version consumes 7 litres/ 100 km and the CD/CX is 0.28.

    The 25 is available with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder carburettor engine, a 2.2-liter four-cylinder injection engine or a 2.7-liter PRV-V6. The equipment levels are TS (2.0-liter, entry-level version), GTS (2.0-liter, power steering, central door locking, power window control and flank protection), GTX (2.2-liter, on-board computer, tinted windows, rear wiper, light - metal wheels, radio with steering wheel control, options: ABS and air conditioning). The V6 Injection has double headlamps, electrically operated exterior mirrors and side windows and is available with three-speed automatic transmission.

    For diesel drivers there is a 2.1-liter TD and a turbo diesel in two trim levels: the Turbo D and the Turbo DX. In March 1985 a V6 Turbo will be available with a 2.5-liter engine of 182 hp. Heuliez also has a Limousine version with extended rear and extremely luxurious, separate seats in the back. This version can be combined with the 2.7-liter V6, 2.5-liter V6 Turbo or 2.1-liter turbo diesel. It will be the means of transport of the socialist president Mitterand. After more than 830 copies this version expires in 1987. In the same year a TX version with a 2.0-liter engine of 120 hp and electronic injection appears. A catalytic converter is available on the TX and GTX. The V6 is also available with a catalyst and receives 2.8 liters of capacity to compensate for the power loss. The three-speed automatic transmission is now available on this 2.8 V6i and on the GTS and GTX, other versions have a manual five-speed gearbox. Halfway through 1988, a facelift follows, the Phase II.

    Nose, bumpers and rear lights are changed, but more important are the better build quality and rust prevention, because the Phase I proved to be rust-sensitive. The luxurious top version Baccara also appears, in combination with the V6. The standard version includes climate control, cruise control, a talking board computer, leather upholstery, wood inserts, ABS, electrically operated front seats with inflatable cushions and a clothing cover under the parcel shelf. If a catalyst in France is required in 1990 for engines of more than two liters, the 2.2-liter will be replaced by a 2.0-liter engine with twelve valves and 140 hp.

    Both the TXI and the TI have this engine. All versions can now be delivered with variable power steering. The V6 Turbo is also available in Baccara version from the 1990 model year.

    Production is ended in 1992; 780,976 copies were then manufactured. Succaro is the Safrane.
    Several limited versions of the Phase I have appeared, such as the Manager, Fairway, Auteuil, Méribel, Camargue, Beverly, Courchevel and Olympique. Of the Phase 2, the Manoir was only released especially for the USA / UK and Netherlands.
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    Glen Waddington
    Glen Waddington joined the group Audi 100 C3
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    Suitably attyred / #1983-Porsche-944 / #Porsche-944 / #Porsche / #1983

    Owned by Glen Waddington

    Two kids, two mortgages, two oldish potential money-pits in the garage… And it’s been an extremely busy year. So much so that the 944’s road tax became rather suddenly due, at which point I realised it needed an MoT, too. And it failed.

    Nothing major, thankfully, but, even without any other work, the need for four new tyres meant I’d have to save up for a while. Before you knew it, late summer had turned into deep winter.

    I booked the Porsche in with Templeton’s Garage (www. templetonsgarage.co.uk), my local performance car specialist, owned and run by my mate Stuart Templeton. He’s serviced and worked on my BMW a couple of times, and it’s come back feeling so much better as a result. And he knows 944s as well as he knows E30s…

    First I wanted to sort my tyres. Handily, Vintage Tyres of Beaulieu (www.vintagetyres. com) is run by another mate of mine, Ben Field – we used to work together years ago on another magazine. I’d bumped into him at Goodwood Revival, and our tyre conversation grew from there: which make to go for? And which size?

    The latter was something of a mystery. It’s well-known that some Porsches of that era ran bigger tyres at the back, and the Michelin handbook states that standard-fit OEM front tyres for an ’1983 944 should be 185/70s. Only mine was on 215/60s all-round. Hmm.

    The Porsche-approved fitment is a Pirelli but, well, I told you about my financial commitments earlier. So Ben did some digging and suggested Continental Premium Contacts in the 215/60 size. But then he discovered that Dunlop makes a matching set (185/70s plus 215/60s, V-rated for 15in wheels) in its new Sport Classic range. And they’re much better suited to my budget than the Pirellis or the Avon ZZs that are also available in that combo.

    But then I did some digging. I discovered my original dealer brochure, which states that 185s are standard and 215s optional – though, unlike with the 911s of that era, they’re not mixed. I have a Porsche certificate of authenticity too, which lists the options my car was fitted with at the factory. Bingo! It should be on the 215s after all.

    So, 911 owners, you now have an option other than Pirelli for your odd-sized tyres. And, while I’ll report more on their ultimate grip next time, I have a set of Dunlops that look suitably period, are quiet, ride well, and have proved suitably safe in recent cold, damp weather.

    As for the rest of the works, Stuart discovered that the 944 was running lean and turned up the wick a little. That, and fresh sparkplugs, seem to have liberated more power! It revs much more keenly, and sounds sharper and deeper as it digs in from around 2500rpm.

    All four brake calipers have been rebuilt, and now bite harder. Best of all, my 944’s strange tendency to tramline and to weight-up in corners is now banished. Perhaps the tyres (29psi front, 36psi rear) are due some credit. But I reckon that refitting the front anti-roll bar the right way round certainly has something to do with it…
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