11th Jul 2009, 13:59
I fully endorse the comments added to the original article. I bought my SE5 Scimitar with 90,000 miles on the clock and sold it 15 years later with just over 250,000 miles. The only time it let me down was when the little tang that contacts the carbon brush in the distributor broke one wet night on a motorway - I fixed it with a little "magic metal" and amazingly the holiday was completed before buying a replacement. My maintenance was methodical and rigorous. Whilst I owned the car I did 2 engine strips with piston ring and bearing replacement, and on the second occasion a crank regrind. It never needed a re-bore in 1/4 million miles. Without a doubt the most durable and useful car I have ever owned. It was finally sold as years of living outside had paid their toll on the plastic body and the cost of re gelling was more than I could justify.
The secret with any old car is to know, or learn, how it works and what maintenance is required. Also remember that the original design life of most components has been exceeded so items not in the owners handbook need checking as well. The only safe way to do this is to do it yourself, which requires a little research, some knowledge, and most importantly a liking for such tinkering. Reliance on paying "experts" is rarely a recipe for satisfaction, no can one derive the real pleasure from running an old car that way. If you have loads of money and no interest in getting your hands dirty, buy a new Merc or a BMW Z.
23rd Jul 2009, 08:23
I am looking for a GTC at the moment. I owned a GTE years back that was off the road when I got it - seized brakes etc. I rebuilt the brakes, replaced the rear shocks, and serviced the engine. It ran fine for 2 years with no problems at all, except the one rather fatal one of destroying its 3 litre engine! But then it had no oil pressure when I got it, so I was just waiting for it to go. Stuck a secondhand engine in then sold it on a couple of months later. The only real mod it needed was a faster rack with power steering. Bit slow for fuel usage by todays standards, but as said in above posts, all these things can be sorted easily.
13th Aug 2010, 20:53
These are amazing cars; sublimely engineered and would rival the best that was on offer in the 70's & 80's from Mercedes, Bristol or BMW at the time, and completely underrated.
I have had 1989 a GTE SE8b one now for over nine years without any problems whatsoever. Despite a few teething issues, I decided to upgrade the wiring loom 3 times, fit two engines - one in a long weekend - initial engine not up to scratch, so upgraded to Rover Vitesse V8 & 5 speed box after 4 months, despite one or two initial niggles- head gasket blew, new camshafts,2 oil pumps,ECU (remapped by specialist). Have now put in an ex Range Rover 450 V8 - thirsty, but very quick - & some prematurely burned out clutches, now sorted. Upgraded brakes all round including Jaguar servo, & new copper pipes to eliminate leaks. My local mechanic keeps on top of the complex stuff & the rest is straightforward DIY. This is a classic, not a Honda.
The interior is pure late 70's. - practical, durable and is clear that a Mk 1 Morris Marina base model was used as a reference point.
How many cars have this fine Leyland/ Woolworths theme?
After all these years, I still cannot understand why Scimitar went bust with such a car.
Above all, after years of diligent service to this much under rated classic, with its immensely safe, individually hand crafted GRP rustproof body is now 100% carbon neutral - as an automotive themed greenhouse in my garden.
The foxes love it!