Holy moly!

Discussion in 'MB Defectors to Other Marques Forum' started by MOCAŠ, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. MOCAŠ

    MOCAŠ MB Club Veteran

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    Remember this from last year's Frosty Cars thread?

    Well, I took advantage of the dry weather last weekend to swap the X1/9's shapeless grey cover for a smart new fitted one.

    As the old cover came off, I found that the bodywork was in somewhat worse condition than I remembered. Holes, cracks and splits everywhere in the front wings and doors, although it seems pretty sound from the B-pillar backwards.

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    Before putting the new cover on I thought it best to give the car a bit of a wash - something it did not get before the old cover went on. :eek: Given the large accumulation of leaves that had collected next to engine cover, I started off with the dustpan-and-brush method, before moving on to an improvised version of the two-bucket method.

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    So, the question is: can the car be brought back from the brink, or is it destined to spend the rest of its life slowly rotting away (albeit under a smart new cover).
     
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  2. Sp!ke

    Sp!ke Administrator Staff Member

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    Anything can be brought back to life if it really means enough to you.

    But looking at the cavities in that, I suspect that unless thare is significant sentimental value here then you'd be best off selling it for spares on an X19 forum whilst there are still useable parts on it.
     
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  3. Charles Morgan

    Charles Morgan MB Club Veteran

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    It's the rust you can't see that's the really big problem, and until you have that checked it is too early to say whether it can be brought back to life.

    However, one thing only can bring this back from the brink, is you getting on with it. Leaving it under a car cover is a guarantee that it will only ever get worse.

    Edit - having just looked at X1/9 prices, I very much doubt it will ever be economic to restore it to full glory.

    Edit 2 - shouldn't this thread be better named the Price of Inertia?!
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  4. Satch

    Satch Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    What he said. Is it a galvanised body or one of therot boxes?

    Either way unless you strip it right back to a bare shell, have it dipped, make good the metal Swiss cheese that is left behind, treat, repaint, rebuild and look after it properly, likely that it will rot out again and all the cost and effort will be wasted.

    Really you need to take a realistic look at it, form a view and then act.

    Selling it for spares via the owners club is going to be the least painful option long term. (However when it comes to old cars, just like old dogs, it is never a logical decision)
     
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  5. OP
    OP
    MOCAŠ

    MOCAŠ MB Club Veteran

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    That's a given - I've had a couple of cars restored in the past, and it's always cost significantly more than the car would ever be worth. I never view these things in economic terms. Having said that, I'm certainly not talking in terms of a "money no object" nut-and-bolt restoration.

    While I'd like to get the X1/9 (and another three cars) back on the road at some point, one option I'm toying with is a cosmetic restoration, so that I can keep it (indoors) to look at. It's been with me for over 20 years now, and there is a certain attachment there. Of course, I should never have let it get into its current state, but I can't turn back the clock...
     
  6. OP
    OP
    MOCAŠ

    MOCAŠ MB Club Veteran

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    Moreover, I'm not given to making logical decisions in general, so I think the odds are stacked against me!
     
  7. OP
    OP
    MOCAŠ

    MOCAŠ MB Club Veteran

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    Thing is, it's only been under cover for the past six months or so. For the last year before I took it off the road in 2008, it was on loan to a friend of mine who was running it as a "staff car" (no, not like that!) for the classic car mag he was working on at the time.

    When he handed the car back to me, he made a gift of a car cover, but me being me, I never got round to fitting it - I decided instead that while it was still "accessible" there was chance I'd still drive it, but as the battery and tyres started to go flat, that prospect dwindled. Having the SLK didn't really help matters...

    When I caught up with my mate about year later, he was rather disappointed that I hadn't covered the car, and I suspect that the majority of the damage was done during those 4-5 years when it was open to the elements (and sitting under a tree).

    The new cover I've bought is made of a breathable material and designed for long-term outdoor use. Whether it will speed or delay the decaying process I can't say for sure, but it at least makes the car look presentable.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    MOCAŠ

    MOCAŠ MB Club Veteran

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    This very nearly got added to that thread for that very reason, but I felt it had already strayed a long way from its original topic. Point taken, though.
     
  9. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    Seeing these pictures put me in mind of the Alfasud- Alfa Romeos brief affair the small hatchback size of car. They were incredible to drive = FWD but with a low centre of gravity due to their flat 4 engines but they rusted away as you looked at them. :doh:
    Tim's Alfa Romeo Page - Alfasud

    They also evidently assembled them in South Africa- something I hadn't heard of before .

    Tim's Alfa Romeo Page - Alfasud International
     
  10. OP
    OP
    MOCAŠ

    MOCAŠ MB Club Veteran

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    Have to say that until it was taken off the road, the X1/9 was holding up very well indeed. It's a 1985 model, and I've owned it since 1991 (bought to replace a previous X1/9). In 1993 I had it fully stripped down and resprayed (it was originally two-tone blue), and they must have done a good job as it got through the next 15 years or so relatively unscathed, save for a small scab near the top of the front offside wing that appeared around 2004 (and is now a fully-fledged hole, as shown in one of the above photos).

    I've no doubt that if the car had been kept in regular use it would still look presentable now, but sitting on the drive for five years in all weathers has clearly done it no favours.
     
  11. clk208

    clk208 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I guess it all depends how much water has worked it's way to the floorpan and structural bits as to how easy/costly it will be.

    If it makes you happy though I'm sure as others have said it can be brought back to life. Probably for a fraction of the price of a new Skoda too!

    Once resurrected I guess it is just a case of having the time/incination to drive it now and again and have it maintained, as well as preferably finding somewhere dry for it to live.
     
  12. Satch

    Satch Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    OK I will declare an interest: my Brother in Law (being Welsh and Ginger) once purchased one of these as an "Investment".

    It did not go well. "Investmnent -> Pile of FeO2 in 2 years?

    I think not
     
  13. DrFeelgood

    DrFeelgood MB Club Veteran

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    Neil Kinnock?????
     
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