OK, I've finally bought a car. After a while of looking and several false starts I have a new toy. It's a Toyota MR2 GT 2.0 Turbo, it's red and it goes like shit off a shovel.
The car mentioned in my previous post was a false start. I paid £189 for the AA to inspect it only to be told that it had been involved in a side-swipe pre-import and that they didn't recommend that I bought it. Damn! Still, I recovered and the search continued.
Skipping over a couple of local ones I looked at but that worried me, I found another of the same model but a bit newer and with higher mileage. It was 40-odd miles away (Camberly) but me and a mate went to have a look at it. It turned out to be perfect in every respect except one: the speedometer only had KPH on the dial. This caused a problem when it came to getting it inspected.
When I called the AA to arrange the inspection the took all the details as usual and I left them to it. I got a call from them the next day to say that they could not inspect a car without MPH on the speedo. This annoyed me. I called the RAC who said they have the same rules. I called the owner and suggested that he should have it changed, he said no. I left it at that.
Several more bad examples were viewed before I decided that I was not going to find one better than the one in Camberly so I called the Department for Transport to find out if the speedo was actually legal or whether the AA and RAC were just being annoying. It turns out that it is illegal. So I called the owner again and suggested that he should have it changed again and informed him that he could get a hefty fine if he's caught driving it. Again he refused.
I searched the drivers club mailing list archives for details of how to get the speedo changed and came up with 3 possibilities. You can either change the whole mechanism (expensive), change the face of the speedo (very hard to find a replacement) or "chip" it. I called a few Toyota garages and other places that had been recommended and asked them to quote for doing this job. All but one said that chipping it was the only way to go (the one that suggested replacing the whole thing clearly had a spare one to get rid of). So chipping the speedo is the way to go.
The cheapest place quoted £65 for the chip and 2 hours labour at £35/hour. So a total cost of £135 - not bad I thought. I called the owner again and said if he dropped the price by that I would take it. He refused to drop the price so I reluctantly agreed to pay the price we had negotiated prior to arranging the AA inspection.
That was last week. I went to get the car last night. It rocks! It's great fun to drive as well as being well-behaved enough to drive my mother around in. I'm very happy with it.blog comments powered by Disqus