17 January 2014

Shabby old sleepers are hilarious

Especially if it looks like a tired old Citroën AX, that leaves boy racers in souped up Corsas left for dust!

I DON’T know why, but I have a soft spot for shabby old knackers that are in fact sleepers. They look tired and unassuming…but they go like stink! 

This Citroën AX I saw for sale on PistonHeads tickled my funny bones. It’s a Citroën AX you’ll be saying, they’re not fast – but let me explain here! This AX for sale on the surface, looked like a bog-standard runabout approaching its last legs with the fading paintwork. It had no bodykit, no spoilers, and not even alloy wheels. 

But looks can be deceptive, and this old Franc was a real dark horse. What lied under the bonnet, was a 1.6 litre, 16-valve engine from a Peugeot 106 GTi. That was shoehorned into this little car along with other mechanical modifications. What I really liked about this advert, was that the seller wrote the story behind getting the work done on his AX, and also the barrel of laughs he's had with it too. Here was the description of the car that he wrote on the advert… 

So, Project S***box, where to begin. Basically a friend crashed his 106 GTi when drunk, and I decided it would be amusing to stick the engine in my AX. Not an AX GTi, but a base model with steel wheels and no body kit. Oh, and faded red paintwork. I mean properly matt finish from too many years of sitting in the sun. No rust mind, solid as a rock, just faded. She looks like a rotter, but is solid, and comfortably keeps up with Civic Type Rs, Clio 197s, etc. etc. This always puts a smile on my face and an expression of bewilderment on theirs. 
Anyway, engine and gearbox are 106 GTi, as is the entire front suspension assembly. It has 306 GTI6 discs and callipers and 106 GTi master cylinder. Exhaust is 106 GTi manifold and downpipe, with AX GT centre and rear section. Rear axle is 106 Quicksilver (I didn't think the hassle of messing about with discs at the rear was worth it). She also sports a lovely pair of fake side exit exhausts on the front bumper, which never fails to generate questions from most people. On the scales it was 800kg fully fuelled. 
Regarding the mileage, it actually has something like 65K, but the 106 clocks had 120K on them when fitted ( this was a pain to wire) and I forgot to change it before the MOT, so its now recorded in the ether. MOT until May 3rd, tax until Sept.
Also, the boot doesn't actually lock, in fact it doesn't actually latch shut due to the latch ripping out of the panel (they're plastic). As mentioned the paint is faded to a lovely matt finish, a bit like the matt black rat-look, but more unique and stylish, hey you've got to stand out right? There is the odd ding here and there. It does have a brand new windscreen fitted though, thanks to plod being pedantic recently, although it was actually cracked right across the driver's field of vision so I suppose it was warranted. She has a sweet single wiper conversion...no actually I'm lying that's a standard part. 
This is by no means a comfortable car, its hard sprung, the steering is heavy due to the 106 geometry, no PAS, and using Seicento tyre sizes. However, its hilarious to drive and everyone who's driven it in anger has come back with a smile on their face. So if you want something you can grab by the scruff of the neck and thrash down the twisties then look no further. I don't advise buying this car for your Nan because she won't like it.

Gotta love the fact the seller added humour in the ad, and that he also didn't taken himself and the car too seriously. It also appears he could have been honest and genuine here. A dealer would never write such an advertisement for the cars they sell. Not in a million years. It's more likely you'll see pigs flying to Mars.

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