Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth » 27 Jul 2019, 11:16

They do seem to be somewhat...Italian where reliability is concerned. The owner of that one had just had a heap of work done, only to have it drop a valve head less than 50 miles later which wrote off one of the cylinder heads.

Coupe looks nice...though does mean you lose the bonkers rear window arrangement which seems a shame.

Still can't quite believe how good the ride was though. Or have I just got too used to modern cars with their complete lack of suspension travel?

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by GiveMeABreak » 27 Jul 2019, 12:01

Thanks for posting those pics - I was having a browse when I spotted my old car:
Prestige.PNG
My CX 2.4 C-Matic Turbo Prestige was an 'S' reg - 1978, but identical to the picture and brought back lots of memories as a young 20 something, bombing around SE London in this battle bus back in the 80s. Room for a disco in the back, it was supremely roomy and a real head turner.

A remember that I could fill up the huge petrol tank for £20, compared to £90 today. My MPG wasn't great, made worse one day where I was tearing up a hill with onlookers watching in blind panic and waving frantically - on stopping I noticed petrol being blasted out the rear! A split fuel pipe to which I remember rapidly dousing my cigarette ... Bosch Jetronic IIRC with that typical humming / whining noise of the injection that these systems made at the time. Chromed steel bumpers - no plastic like today to be found (apart form the interior trim). I miss the self-centering steering with the distinct swishing noises and all the other quirks of these beasts.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Gibbo2286 » 27 Jul 2019, 12:35

I had one of those in beige Marc, used it for a year or so, had to have it towed back from the roadside outside the car auction at Cam (Dursley) on one visit because the suspension pipes across the front cross member had rubbed together and dumped all the oil on the road.

I quite liked the C-matic box.

It had a tow bar and I used it a couple of times with a car transporter trailer but it struggled with anything more than a mini.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Michel » 27 Jul 2019, 13:39

Hell Razor5543 wrote:
24 Jul 2019, 11:16
For huskies it is WAY too hot. Get yourselves a decent (strong) paddling pool, fill it with water and ice, and see how the canine nutters react! :D
Nah, my dad had a husky in Athens. It lived to the ripe old age of 16. Didn't mind the heat at all. I used to have hosepipe fights with it in summer. Very adaptable dogs.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Pug_XUD_KeenAmateur » 27 Jul 2019, 13:50

didn't look at the Camper closely, but thought it was most likely a Mazda, Hiace came just after this IIRC and was a bit wider and less shapely

Of this bunch I particularly liked the slightly scabby beige Ambassador, very much in the spirit of the Unexceptional.

Nice to see an XUD RWD installation for the first time too, in a Freight Rover... and amazing to realise how many 'common as muck' cars I just hadn't clapped eyes on for ages; the Datsun Cherry really ticked that box!

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by van ordinaire » 27 Jul 2019, 20:58

Several Citroëns there which really should've been a couple of 100 miles away, among the other 5,000-odd celebrating the marque's centenary.

Definitely a HiAce - but looked like a bog-standard coachbuilt caravan conversion to me.

Couldn't help but notice that LTD had taken your fancy BUT, (just out of curiosity) why do you say it's re-badged? My son has a thing about these "woodgrain Fablon specials" - but for him it'd have to be older: must have round headlights (it's the aesthete in the genes). Unfortunately, I think you have both missed the land yacht, as prices of "longroofs" have been going up every year for a little while now.

Car of the show for me was the Yugo, spent a year looking for one when I learned the owners' club was planning a trip to the original factory site. Only ever found one - but a club member beat me to it!

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth » 28 Jul 2019, 02:23

This one did have round headlights...they just hide when not in use. Yet one more thing they insisted on using vacuum to operate.

I referred to it being rebadged as I recognised it as a Ford LTD, but it's actually badged as a Ford Country Squire (yes, really).

I do reckon I've probably utterly missed the boat (and honestly probably already had by the time I passed my test in 2003 - when we were living on about £50 a week) as a decent one is probably going to be the thick end of ten grand...and that's realistically double what I can honestly see myself ever justifying spending on a car even if I had the cash in my hand. The long, long term planned Rolls being the one possible exception to that, but I'm kinda willing to break my own rules for 20+ year wishlist items. Though I could see a big Yank Tank filling the same luxobarge shaped hole in the driveway potentially.

Even though having said that, a Rolls is something special and its own thing...even if I owned it for a year and then moved it on again, it's just something I want to have had a shot at. Even knowing that you're looking at a car which can throw £1500 parts bills at a routine service, two grand for an exhaust...and five grand if the suspension needs work... they're still just lovely cars. Just not one to go into without your eyes open!

It's all a bit academic anyway...I've no space for another car as it is...in fact I've one car I need to shift. Though having been trying to move it on for over a year now I've started to entertain the idea of swapping or part exchanging it for something which fits better in the grand scheme of our family as a whole than the Lada currently does.

I started trying to shift it before the last MOT was done...and it's run out again now and the thing's still here! Obviously it will get a fresh test shortly before I advertise it yet again.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Gibbo2286 » 28 Jul 2019, 10:19

van ordinaire wrote:
27 Jul 2019, 20:58

Car of the show for me was the Yugo, spent a year looking for one when I learned the owners' club was planning a trip to the original factory site. Only ever found one - but a club member beat me to it!


You probably got lucky there, they were dreadful cars, had a couple in part exchange when I was trading but never managed to sell one by retail, had to dump them in the auction and take the hit.

I've probably told this before, my brother after his divorce returned from OZ for a visit, looked up an 'old flame' , she was in Manchester, said she'd come to Birmingham to meet him after she's picked up her new car.

She arrived in her new Yugo, on the way down she had opened the driver's window and the sun roof blew off on the motorway, he had a look round the car and told her the front tyres were bald, the tracking was so far out it had scrubbed the tread off on the 90 odd mile trip.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth » 28 Jul 2019, 11:55

Have to admit that was kind of my take on Yugos as well. The Ladas and Skoda's of the time were very old fashioned cars, but never felt quite as flimsy as a Yugo...have driven three or four and they all felt like they were imminently about to fly apart at any moment if you attempted to go north of 40mph.

Only car which I think came close for downright shoddy and fragile feeling that I've driven was the Polski Fiat 125p. The Polonez while still absolutely awful in every respect aside from looks felt it was built like a tank in comparison. At least when Lada started building their Fiat clones they needed up the superstructure (if not the corrosion resistance).

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by van ordinaire » 28 Jul 2019, 23:01

Yup, it's an LTD, but I'm pretty sure all full size wagons were Country Squires, regardless of the base model - or,at least the ones with the "wood" trim were. Take the point about the headlights (although I was thinking they were "square" on that model). They used to be about £600 - but then so did Silver Clouds!

I know all about the Yugo's reputation (but then, e.g. Imps & Stags had terrible reputations) but that's based on one model & the few survivors must be sorted by now, indeed mechanically they're probably 90-odd% Fiat by now, they have a certain charm - but it was the idea of the run back to Serbia that was the real attraction. Although, are they really any worse than Trabbies? - & look at the cult following they have! Also, I think I prefer the earlier, 128 based, Zastava.
Last edited by van ordinaire on 29 Jul 2019, 20:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth » 28 Jul 2019, 23:33

Interesting...as they say, every day's a school day. Have to confess to not knowing nearly as much about the big US station wagons as I maybe should given I've known several folks who have owned them over the years. Annoyingly all of whom I've since fallen out of touch with over the last few years.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by van ordinaire » 29 Jul 2019, 20:56

Always happy to share my ltd knowledge! :)

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Gibbo2286 » 30 Jul 2019, 07:31

van ordinaire wrote:
29 Jul 2019, 20:56
Always happy to share my ltd knowledge! :)



For me 'know' has become 'knew' :( I've forgotten an awful lot of what I once knew, although a lot of stuff pops back into memory with a little hint.

For example the Velocette thread today shows a cork clutch and I immediately remembered that those old pre war Morris 10s 12s 14s and even the 25s had cork clutches running in an oil bath.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth » 30 Jul 2019, 17:36

Not been much going on since the last report.

You may recall a few months ago I was having issues with the clutch master cylinder in the van failing to hold pressure - so the clutch would slowly re-engage even if you kept the pedal on the floor. This was initially resolved by thoroughly flushing it through with brake cleaner and fresh fluid, however it's now started doing it again so I've ordered a new one. Hopefully it will be here in the next couple of days then we can forget about the clutch hydraulics for a few years (the slave was changed at the end of last year).

Wanted to at least try to dodge replacing it as genuine cylinders aren't particularly cheap, but I'm not cheaping out given the no expense spared approach to maintenance by former keepers. Plus it looks nice in the history file if I do come to sell it at any point.

Will be nice to have that off the list of stuff I need to worry about causing trouble in the future.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Gibbo2286 » 31 Jul 2019, 08:46

If a repair kit was available for the master cylinder I would have gone for that, it's usually only the edges worn off the main seal when it does that and a kit will fix it for years.