Keep it away from me!
Engine, gear selector... read on..
I had an 130LSE (yup, it had 5 gears, rev counter, alloys, vinyl and sunroof!). It was a D reg '87 with 42000 miles which we called 'Big Sko'
I got it from a long gone garage in Bideford in '94 for £800.
The gearbox was more a 'gearbag' - I had 'stirred' first gear at a junction, to find (to my friend's utmost joy) reverse - which was put down to the white nylon linkage under the 'stick - £24 a it was replaced.
It overheated regularly, although I flushed the system several times, and the clutch sounded like an elephant.
I took it to the garage I purchased it from to complain, and they threatened to beat me up.
The door pockets fell off - cheap plastic - more like service station sandwich containers, and the key snapped off in the door lock.
Mine would never start either - it had a prime lever on the fuel pump, but was never good. The car would start first time every time, then after 10 seconds it would stop - I had to suck the fuel up the pipe to get it running again.
I changed the fuel pump to an aftermarket one that was just as hopeless.
A pushrod fell out in Southampton (RAC back home to North Devon).
Distributer sheared off in London (RAC home).
Overheated in Cornwall (three times in all - RAC back home to Devon).
Head skimmed, new valves, regrind etc...
The RAC men knew my first name after a while. It was embarrassing.
The engine finally gave up the ghost on the A30 Oakhampton Bypass - oil light came on, black smoke, another a trip home by the RAC.
I changed the engine for one from a 120L (which I got for £70) by pulling it out on a skateboard, and it ran fine for a while, before losing compression.
I remember a strange smell of mushrooms, and the back seat was disintegrating.
I loved the secret compartment behind the rear seat, the heel mounted accelerator pedal, and the radio aerial was built into the sunroof - excellent reception!!
The ride was very smooth with light steering - it was like driving a magic carpet! It was bit tail happy in the wet, but I must admit to doing donuts in it on a gravel car park one Sunday afternoon, which was great fun.
I had a little mishap into the back of a restored '76 Toyota, when a 'friend' covered my eyes while I was driving along Bideford Quay, and the parts were incredibly expensive - so another donor was called for...
The joy for my friends made the whole experience worthwhile. I went to university, and it went a shade of green. My parents had a scrappy come collect it - they put a crane arm though the sunroof and lifted it onto a truck. It was never seen again. A sad day - but NEVER AGAIN!!!
(D694KRL ended with 47500 miles - what an adventure in so few miles!) A.L.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 3rd April, 2006