Welcome to Gear Shifters.
We have decided to start up this blog for the casual car enthusiast, the kind of person who chooses cars over everything, the kind who found amazement in watching their parents drive as kids and the kind who got their licence as soon as they possibly could.
My name is Andre McCarron and for the first post of this blog, I would like to share my story with you.
Like most petrol heads, I spent my spare time as a prepubescent on sites like AutoTrader looking at the kind of cars I would chase after when I grew up. From the age of 13 I was taken onto private roads to learn how to drive and on my 17th birthday, I booked my first lesson, within 3 months I had a license in my hand and within 2 weeks of obtaining that glorious card, I was driving my first car.
1 month before passing my test, I convinced my father to take me 40 miles to a car auction (BAD CHOICE NEVER DO THAT) and found myself a 1998 Peugeot 106, and like most petrol heads do, I fell for the classic car and truly believed I could restore it to former glory.
My first love
So, being the idiot that I am, I forked over 370 of my pounds over to the auctioneer after being outbid by the owner to pull the price up (yes, I know that I am an idiot).
After forking over a lot more than the car was worth, I took it outside and within 5 seconds, noticed an issue; the speedometer only read 40mph – this started a long list of things that needed fixing. Realising that my little patchwork car was not all I had expected it to be, I took it to my mechanic, who told me it had:
- A broken water pump
- A buggered instrument panel
- A less than average battery
- A rubbish handbrake
- Some paintwork damage over the driver’s door
- Practically non-existent back brakes
- A sticky accelerator
These repairs came to £150 or so and I was on my merry way. All of a sudden I had obtained the freedom I had hoped for and nobody could tell me that my 106 was a bad car (although, in hindsight, with less than 60 BHP and a 1.5 Litre diesel engine, it was possibly the worst car of all time).
Thousands of slow miles passed and within 9 months, the car was sold. Since then I have had a stint driving a 2006, 1.9L turbo diesel Saab 9-3, however, this was not my own car.
The time to move to university had come and all I could think about was once again driving my own car, so for months I scoured the forums and car selling websites until just less that one week ago, I found the perfect replacement, the car that has spawned the inspiration for this blog.
A young woman had put a 2003, 1.2L naturally aspirated Seat Ibiza S for sale for only £550 and after a quick test drive, it looked to be the perfect car. I bought it for £500 and I am now using this as my daily driver.
My Seat Ibiza S
Things you need to know about my purchase:
- It is not the most powerful car in the world with a measly 65 BHP which is much less than the equivalent Vauxhall Corsa. It is the same engine used in the equivalent 12V Volkswagen Polo, as it is the car that spawned the Ibiza.
- Even though it is not the most powerful car, it will still manage over 100 MPH easily and will get from 0-60 according to Seat in 14 seconds, however, from personal testing, it can do it closer to 10 seconds.
- It was very cheap to insure, managing to cost less than £900 for the year under my own name (18 year old male with one year NCB).
- For a petrol it is very efficient managing over 50MPG on daily use.
The Ibiza Project has been spawned with one goal: to monitor the reliability and daily use of a car that costs half a grand. To show young drivers that owning your own car and maintaining it can be done without breaking the bank and that a car that costs half a grand or less can be just as good as the £10,000 equivalent cars.
Keep your eyes peeled on the website for updates, they should come once a week or so until there is a new project to write about.
I’ve been Andre
Thanks for reading.