15th Jan 2008, 02:21

HI..Some general blurb... No car of this capacity especially with auto... is made for towing... the fact they can have a tow bar fitted is irrelevant to that. The result will always be a reduced life on the auto transmission and suspension.

All small motors should, in general terms, use manual transmissions in my view though lightly used they can do OK on auto...BUT..there has been considerable experience with modern autos having a mind of their own. Lagunas of this decade are just one example of a fine car ruined by its auto trans.. SAAB is another for 20 years..so are some smaller Renaults...Nah!...buy a manual unless often in stop start and never loaded up.

By the way with BMW's and no doubt others, the spacers in the auto gear box can be partly replaced with friction plates to improve them, but nothing makes a car like the "Fuego" a towing car.

I add that few European cars, as was said, match up to the Japanese cars today... yet I drive a 1991 SAAB Carlsson 2.3 turbo. I love the European GOOD cars, but will only buy rear wheel drives now.. real cars..so that means BMW, Nissan, Early Alfa's..esp T75 Twin Spark.. gears over diff...Porsche..same thing, some Lexus'..and the last is the best of all.

Personally I reckon a rust free V6 4wd Ford Sierra hatch is a really worthwhile car to look after and own.. attractive style, especially in red and in green, can be made to look really nice with simple mods.

In France I own a Ford x4 non catalytic 1991 Cosworth (up on blocks since 2003...will sell when I go back) and a Sierra 4 wd hatch (and a renault van...) all under cover. I have owned now some 170 cars since I was 16 so I have experienced a few.

There's no doubt some cars seem to get all the problems and usually we sell them when we fix them all and have "had it". These Renaults seem to me to be after the Lancia style, swift and well handling, but the trade-off is abuse by some owner before you or by you.

Most cars need attention and periodic head tightening.. even replacement every 10 years... and really caring attention, oil changes all through, fish oil, mats out often enough to dry and garaging to stay good... the elements of earth are designed to reduce everything to plant food.. keep it in mind.

I also have a very soft spot for carburettored cars so long as that means twin Delortos! I should add as increasingly widespread advice...I will never buy a car in which someone has smoked.. it buggars the insides...

I see a well kept Fuego on Aussie eBay here right now, and am tempted, but.. well they are getting old and need TLC. I have no more space and the SAAB has now just had all suspension perfected, new engine mounts and the entire rear main seal to gearbox mount replaced (clutch kit etc)..why not make use of it.

By the way when you criticise a car it's a good idea to recognise it's YOUR car and may not be like all the others for some reason, the reason you bought it may have been price and even so an engineering inspection is a good investment..before, not after.

My best advice is the old adage... when in any doubt at all "DON"T"

Cheers Tony goldmort@onthenet.com.au.