Wimminz – celebrating skank ho's everywhere

September 15, 2012

Used Cars


You can tell a lot about a country from their used cars.

Here in the UK we have an annual test called the “MOT” which is basically a vehicle safety check, it’s pretty comprehensive, far more stringent now that in used to be, mainly because of automated rolling road tests of braking systems, “shaker” pads under wheels to check for suspension wear, and of course computerised emissions tests.

Bottom line is that any car that has a new 12 month MOT and that starts and drives on the button is probably a fairly good car, barring wear and tear items that aren’t checked like cam-belts and clutches and water pumps… and of course nowadays things like the ECU

So go on fleabay and start searching for cars with 11+ month’s MOT, and you can find the sort of perfectly good, reliable, serviceable and LEGAL to drive cars that your average working stiff can and does buy.

Sure, there are more expensive cars, and there are cheaper cars, but just on the first page I see a 2004 Fiat Punto for £895, a 1995 Toyota Celica for £695, a 1997 Pug 306 for £695, a 1999 Ford Puma for £795, a 1999 Citroen Xsara for £650 etc

Repeat this for other countries and you will get similar stories, depending on how tight the annual vehicle check is.

Welsh cars for example go for 50-75% of the price of English cars, which sounds odd until you start seeing Welsh cars with 12 month MOT’s that would not merely fail English MOT’s but be marked as “Unroadworthy” at which point they are illegal to drive, because some of the more remote Welsh MOT garages are still operating in the 1980’s, which affects the value of all Welsh cars.

Europe used to be great for this before the digitisation of everything, loads of people used to do stuff like buy a reliableish but knackered 7 series beemer in northern europe and then drive down to southern europe and stay for a year, eventually dump it and it would find it’s own way to Egypt and another life as a taxi…

Back in the last big recession in the mid to late seventies it was again a time to buy cars cheap, I was always rolling around in an old v12 jag or daimler that someone else could no longer afford to run, so I ran it literally into the ground… but back then the financial response to the recession was to raise interest rates.

Sure, you could get a loan to buy a used car or motorcycle, but the interest rates on a 3 year loan (the limit in time) was around 32% APR.

three years at 32% APR = 1.32 x 1.32 x 1.32 = 2.299968, so a £500 car/bike loan meant repaying £500 x 2.99968 = £1,149.98 = £32 a month…

and yet here we are in 2012 with people only paying a few percent at most, and I am starting to see the same thing, the big / luxury / status gas guzzlers are coming down the line used at bottom dollar prices.

I can buy a used big mercedes for the same or less money than a used small town car with a 1300cc engine, because the small town car is significantly cheaper insurance, better MPG, and anything from £250 to £500 a year less Road Fund Licence.

As it stands, it costs me around £2 per day, or £720 a year, just to park a car legally on the street outside, what with MOT fee (before any repair work is being done) Road tax, insurance, before I put fuel in it and drive it…. you see how this compares to the used car prices above…

For all the oil and financial crises of the seventies, at least there were brakes on the system to stop a complete runaway, 32% APR personal loans may have made many purchases impossible, and dramatically limited others (e.g. a £500 car, not a £2,000 one) which on the one hand depressed the economy, it was after all in this era that the British car and motorcycle industry died, but not just through lack of credit, piss poor management, non-existent reinvestment and frankly shoddy and crap products all played a part, but on the other hand limited personal debt burden, which made crawling out of the financial hole and getting back to buying shit a lot easier.

For all the talk of scrappage schemes at one end, and increased road taxes at the other (offset by being included in the ticket price as well as two years servicing insurance and 500 cashback on new car deals) the biggest driver of ridding the roads of older vehicles has been the one two whammy of ever more stringent MOT testing, and the hourly labour rates of garages.

If you can find a garage (with an actual competent mechanic) charging as little as £60 per hour, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that 4 hours welding labour is about the limit for any used car, beyond which it becomes economically non-viable, scrap it and buy another.

So a whole host of jobs that never used to result in a car being scrapped, such as new suspension mounts being welded in front and rear, is now a £1,500 welding job, twice the cost of a replacement vehicle.

So if you go back to ebay UK, and start searching for pre 1973 cars (road tax exempt) you find all sorts of shit, including shit I used to drive, for frankly stupid money… and then you get to the end of the very short listings… 176 results, clear the year of manufacture search term and you get 214,509 cars listed.

Back when I was a punk, even the good quality exotica was affordable and achievable, if you were prepared to sacrifice other things, so there was the guy living in the caravan with the Vincent thou, the guy living on the barge with the Jensen, the guy working as a pump salesman who used ALL of his mileage allowances and a fair chunk of his wages to drive a full house Olds 442 every day instead of the usual Ford Cortina.

Today, perhaps not so much despite 0% APR for 72 months deals, but BECAUSE of them, these sorts of options no longer exist, nor can you find anyone who can work on this shit and knows it.

If you are seeing parallels between wimminz in the 1970’s and wimminz in the 2010’s you’re not far wrong, things may not have been perfect in the 1970’s when it came to wimminz, but at least the breakups weren’t so bad for guys as they are now, where the termination of the relationshit is usually announced to the guy in question by the police, who have turned up to arrest him for alleged domestic violence and / or sexual abuse.

Tune in to youtube now and look for “fails” and all you can see is young boys falling off skateboards and push-bikes, if you could have tuned into us you’d have seen boys chopping down trees, damming rivers, blowing up dead rabbits, and shooting at each other with catapults and air guns and roman candles.

I will freely admit, never before has buying a cheap, reliable, economical, comfortable used car been so cheap, but neither has it been so bland, so boring, so apparently safe but actually fucking dangerous, so lacking in any required mechanical knowledge.

I watch shit like one car too far, and see fat bloated so called fucking “experts” doing shit that we all did as a matter of course back in the day…

It is indeed the end of an era, but not with a bang like the end of the seventies and the end of cheap oil and the introduction of computers, but with a whimper, and it leaves me with a feeling of sadness and melancholy.

There was something to be said for throwing youth and stupidity and a total lack of self preservation at a 454 with a roots 6-71 jimmy on shite drum brakes and knackered 1970’s tech rubber at the road, or 200+ BHP of blown Z1 in a crap 1970’s jap bike frame and dodgy disk brakes, giving the bitches their head, and walking away to tell the tale.




  1. Add these retarded fine dust EU-regulations on top of it, basically making those old diesels that could run for ages illegal, and us young´uns get an overall pretty shitty deal when it comes to personal mobility.

    For a while I had the sligth hope that all this crap would drive some innovation with E-motor transportation, but I guess the newest shitty stupidPhone is way more important to my generation.
    Fuck ´em all.

    Comment by hans — September 16, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    • If you want a fright, and see it is not just ebay numbers, the website http://www.howmanyleft.co.uk/ tracks how many vehicles are left in the UK.

      Type in some thing like “peugeot 505 diesel” and you will find that there are, wait for it, 2 GL’s and 1 GR turbo left on the roads in the uk.

      Even the quality / enthusiast / expensive end of the market is frightening, how many Mercedes E300D, taxi to the world, are left? 477 on the road and 159 SORN and off the road… that’s it, less than 500 of one of the most popular and rugged and easy to repair diesel cars ever made

      Vauxhall Magnum 2.3…. 7 of those fuckers left

      Kawasaki Z1300, 4 A2’s, 7 A4’s and 12 A5’s that’s it

      CBX 25 of em

      Comment by wimminz — September 16, 2012 @ 10:51 am

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