I was looking for a cheap diesel to travel to work, as I can run up to over 120 miles a day on some trips, and at least 65 a day. Mainly to keep the miles down on my D4D Avensis Estate, which I need for the caravan and trips.
In the free-ads, I spotted it, 3 owners from new and garaged, a 1987 305 GLD Estate with tax and MOT. I was on it like a shot, as I had heard from other people about the rugged ability of the old Pug diesel engines that like last a lifetime; just keep the oil and water right, and she'll never let you down.
Arrived at the house, and saw the Pug parked up in the garage. It looked clean, the old bloke drove it out, he said I've had this for years, and he kept polishing it. He told me the history, and when I asked about the cambelt, he said just changed it 3 months ago at 119,000 miles. It had 119,600 showing on the speedo. He said it was not due for another change at 150,000 miles. Reg, if it had a T Plate, you would not dis-believe it.
I dog it up and down to work, and average 44 mpg. I've changed the oil and filter, and fitted a new exhaust. Uses about 1 litre of oil every 1500 miles; I've asked Castrol what they recommend to reduce consumption, will let you know. Top speed around 90/95. It's fitted with a 1765 engine with a massive 43 kilowatts of power (around 60 horses), but the low down torque is fantastic; it pulls like a train. I cruise at 70/75, and sometimes faster! It's as sweet as a nut, lovely engines. These Pugs must have been the best diesel of the 80s by far. I blow past these modern cars; they look and wonder how the old Pug just blasts pass. Wish it had turbo; there again, if it had, it would be in its grave.
The tyres are like rocking horse poo; 155x80x14 and skittish. Make was Kanghang or something. One was an old Motorway, but I've just replaced these with 165x70x14, which are off the shelf and cheaper. Got the tracking done, and the steering is much lighter now, even with the wider tyre. And a lot easier to drive. Change in gearing was around two and half percent for the better revs up to top whack; much quicker.
Just fab the way she starts. Turn on, wait till the orange heater light goes out, then count to 4 (the old guy said this is the way), then start, whoom, first time every time, sweet as a nut, no fumes. You would think the engine has covered a couple of thousand, not 122,456 as is showing now.
Rust is non existence due to the thick Waxoyl all over the place; must have been done when it was new. Rear wiper has packed up; trying to sort this out.
Brakes are smooth and powerful. You need plenty of pedal pressure to squeal the tyres, but with no ABS, this is good.
The old guy looked sad when I drove it away; it must have been his pride and joy for the last 12 years. A definite tear in his eye as I revved it hard and blasted away.
Loads of room in the back; with the seats dropped, it's like a van! Unique rear suspension, like a lorry, creating a nice big flat rear load area; why don't modern estates use this idea? Typical Pug good chassis.
Running a lot better now that it's had the cobwebs blown out of it. These are made for thrashing, and that's what it gets, plenty of caning, the engine is unburstable on the rev up. Bullet proof.
Now on 126,700, and running excellent on semi-synthetic, using half a litre every 1700 miles; excellent.