My heart sank as I shut the garage door on my Mazda knowing it will be some time before I get to drive it again.
To add insult to injury I then bought a “compact MPV”. This is a car I never thought I would have to buy but at some point, all boy racers have to grow up. Usually, when I’ve been car shopping I get all excited and buzzed about the test drive. But buying a family wagon was just deflating, the shame of picking a car with obscene wheel gap coupled with my limited budget sucked all the joy out of it.
Buying a cheap run around requires you to drop your standards, a lot. You are looking for reliability and keeping maintenance to a minimum. You have to look past the shopping trolley scratches and dents, going to back basics:
How much rust is hiding in the arches?
How black is the oil?
Are the tires all cheap brands?
Does the engine sound right?
Brakes, clutch and gearbox in working order?
It might not be the best-looking bird in the bar but it will do for a bit. But unlike people, you can work on cars.
The family wagon that will be driving around is a Ford Focus C-max. It could be worse, it could be Zafira. Nothing against Zafira owners I just cannot stand the car, firstly it is a people carrier and secondly a Vauxhall. The only thing worse is crocs and socks.
On to my dirty but not so secret shame, The C-max was a decent price sub £1k but is carrying a few battle scars from its previous owner. The wheels a seriously kerbed.
Not to mention this gorgeous dent.
I am not sure either of the previous owners understood what detailing was. This was used and abused, family style. It is going to take some TLC and patience, tackling the paint is going to have wait till warmer weather arrives. If I do now I risk cracking the paint when I pull the dent.
The wheels are going to need a lot of love and the interior will need some carefully chosen mods to keep the cost down but also bring a little bit more fun to the motor.
I am not going into this totally blind there is a couple of modified C-max’s kicking about here are the ones I am looking at:
The car has some potential and I am weirdly looking forward to having a bit of fun with this car.
Have you got any ideas for mods? Let me know in the comments.