A Mostly British Obsession

Winter car?

I’m contemplating buying a “cheap” car for winter use.

Old Yeller, the F250, isn’t making healthy noises, and I don’t want to rely on the old goat over the winter. I would really like a Mini (one of the original ones), but they’ve shot up in value (my theory is purchasers of new Minis interested in classic cars will buy an old Mini to have a matched set).


All of the funky old British sedans you used to be able to scare up when you needed “dry” transportation have now gone to their rewards. Rovers, Austin Americas and their cousins the MG 1100 and 1300, MG Magnettes, the BMC Farina cars, oddball Sunbeam coupes and Triumph 2000 sedans…all have gone to the crusher. Unlike sports cars, where at some point someone will want to fix one up if it survives long enough, that generally doesn’t happen with ratty, cheap old sedans.

Two ideas keep percolating:

I love my truck, it’s the right year, with the right specification, and it’s largely not rusty or dented, which would make it an “easy” restore. But mechanically it’s worn out, from the tranny to the engine to the front suspension. With gas prices the way they are, no one wants an old gas hog like this, which is reflected in their current prices locally. So I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for a very good original Ford F250 of this vintage at a bargain price. If one shows up, cool. If not, I’ll eventually fix up this one. In the meantime, it’s fine for occasional use.

Right now, Range Rovers are cheap (and probably for good reason). I keep seeing late 80’s models in OK condition for under $3,000. A 4×4 would be nice for winter use, though around here we’re amazed if we see more than one snow day. I’d really like an old Landie, but like the Minis, their value is through the roof. I like the old ones as they’re dirt simple, not to mention you can pretend you’re on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. The new ones are much more comfortable, but also more complex. If I get one, I need to resign myself to living with “luxury” items which may not work.

So we’ll see.

1 Comment

  1. Allie

    I am personally hoping for at least 6 snow days this year, so you’d best get your winter car soon. ;)

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