Review: The 1997 Rover 825Si- Rusty’s 500th Post Special Edition


This post marks my 500th published contribution to this hallowed web address, and as a very indulgent celebratory gift to myself I thought I’d run a full review of my own car. If any of you ever harbour unclean thoughts about owning a 1997 Rover 825 as a daily driver, the below will either encourage or discourage you. Read on and find out which applies in your case.

Of course, we all know the 800 is a spent force these days, appealing now to a very select minority and really only for reasons of morbid curiosity. By the end of its production run the 800 was bought new mostly by xenophobic businessmen and pensioners with British Leyland fixations, and the sphere of attraction has not broadened since then. But I still drive one, and I’ve not been sectioned for the good of humanity just yet, so there must be some appeal, surely?

Well I certainly think so. Let’s consider my argument for its defence.

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Diecast Delights: A Jaguar XJS in 1:18 Scale


What I have for you today is a piece of hard-hitting investigative journalism. It was while browsing one of the diecast model forums a chap mentioned that there was a sale event going on with a German model car supplier, namely www.ck-modelcars.de. I thought that perhaps this was something worthy of investigation. To see whether the international diecast trade is worth having anything to do with.

Well, I’m not supposed to be spending money at the moment… but the pound is strong against the Euro…. and they did seem to have some remarkable deals on… and I did always fancy a model XJS….So I clicked the mouse a few times and OH LOOK I’VE BOUGHT IT. Oh well, no going back now.

A few days later it arrived via tracked DHL courier. And here it is.

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The Carchive (In Video!): The 1979 JDM Nissan Stanza


Once a week we send a note home to warn loved ones of the imminent danger we face, before donning our biohazard gear and venturing into the foetid, toxic quagmire that is The Carchive. While in there we’ll peer into the gloom in the hope that something, anything worth our while will emerge from the murk, whereupon we’ll hose it down and bring it back to the surface to share with the rest of mankind.

Hooniverse has been bombarded by literally zero emails demanding MOAR Carchive Video, so here we go with a second live action helping. All wave your lighters in the air for the jingle after the jump.

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Crapcan Showcase: Austin Allegro- The One That Got Away


I had a specific story in mind when I had a chance to drive a Vauxhall Nova and Ford Fiesta back to back, but sitting nearby was something else, something which recalled a perverse itch that I had wanted to scratch for year and years (a secret which I kept buried deep inside, protected as if it were worse than than a leaning towards necrophilia or still owning a Fatman Scoop CD).

I always wanted to drive an Austin Allegro.

And then, suddenly, my shameful dream was made a reality. A spindly, slightly rusty non-OEM ignition key was in my fist. An Austin Allegro, the same age as me and with the second smallest engine they ever came with, was all mine. Read on for all the gory details.

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Diecast Delights: A Mk1 Ford Capri in 1:18th Scale


A strange phenomenon that seems to permeate through my entire model collections is that I seem prone to collecting the wrong versions of things. Looking on eBay to see just how luxuriously wealthy I would become if I was to begin flogging my models off, I am frequently disappointed to find that X model would be worth hundreds of quid, if only it was a different colour.

And so it goes with this Ford Capri I picked up for £19.99 in Norwich about a decade ago. If I’d bought an RS2600 or RS3100, or a 3000GT I would have been able to upgrade to a Gulfstream VI by now, but alas I plumped for 1969 1700GT instead.

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The Carchive: The Honda N-Series


Time for us to immunise ourselves with protective jabs and machete our way through the poisonous jungle of motoring history, in the hope of maybe finding treasure in a clearing somewhere. Welcome once more to The Carchive.

Sometimes we chance upon a brochure which represents a category of car which sits at an extreme edge of the automotive spectrum. This diminutive brochure for the late ’60s N360, one of the original Kei cars,  is as fascinating as it is flimsy.

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Crapcan Showdown: Elderly Vauxhall Nova Vs Ancient Ford Fiesta


Speaking as a high-roller, as one of life’s winners, the youngest of my TWO cars is a mere seventeen years old. The problem with living on the cutting edge like this is that you can get a bit blasé about the plight of the average motorist.

In order to bring myself down to Earth a bit I decided to arrange for a side-by side road test to answer the question on the lips of your average Billy Blacktop, namely “Which is best, the 1987 Ford Fiesta 1.1 Popular Plus or the 1990 Vauxhall Nova Merit?“.

I’ve put myself through this, dear reader, so that you don’t have to.

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Hooniverse Asks (Bonus): Which firm has the best OEM parts packaging?


When you’re laying awkwardly on your workshop floor, doused in various fluids which should be contained within your car rather than fountaining out of it, typically in great pain having rolled onto that 13mm socket you were using just a few minutes ago and now can’t reach, shouting THE RUDEST THINGS YOU’VE EVER SHOUTED about the bastards that put this car together, and the way that this one sodding bolt seems to have had the entire car built around it, and GERMAN ENGINEERING MY ARSE, you don’t really care about the box that the parts came in.

Once you’ve emerged from under the car, mopped up the blood, apologised to your neighbours and the police and extinguished the worst of the flames, you might take a minute or two to pause and consider the thought that was put into the packaging that you just hungrily tore into. OK, the part inside was the wrong one, but the box was pretty nice, wasn’t it?

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Diecast Delights: A Range Rover P38A in 1:18 Scale


The Range Rover has probably never had a higher profile than it  enjoys today. Far from being just a very accomplished SUV the current generation is seen as among the very upper echelon of super-prestige cars. Its the best of the best, the flashiest of the flash. For confirmation just turn to MTV Base and see how long it takes before you see one packed full of homies sipping on Henessey and rocking mad ice. Or something.

So far has it progressed that it can be easy to forget where the RR came from. The first of the breed, current from ’70 to ’94 was a true legend. The MKIII, heavy on BMW input, redefined the Range Rover and set it on the course it’s on now. And between 1994 and 2002 the P38 happened…. which is perhaps not quite so deserving of our adulation. However, for whatever reason it’s this generation which lives on in 1:18th scale in my collection. So here it is.

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The Carchive (In Video!): The 1986 R31 Nissan Skyline


Welcome once more to that time of the week where we blow the dust off yesterdays memories only to hurriedly find some way of forgetting them again as quickly as possible. Today we’re trying something a little different.

The Carchive contains a great many worthless priceless documents which, sadly, don’t translate too well into the format we have developed over the years, either because of sheer length (too many pages to photograph and then yammer on about in type, TL;DR) or because of language. The latter point is the case with the wealth of JDM brochures lurking in The Carchive.

So, I figured, if we can’t decipher the words, maybe we can look enjoy the pictures together? Carchive Video is very definitely still in Beta, but lets see if live action brings the pages to life a bit. Welcome to The Carchive, version 2.0.

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