Category Archives: General

Modifying my house more than my car

I fitted a tap to the front of our house yesterday, totally exciting I know. Today I had a double glazed panel on our back door replaced with a clear panel, with a cat flap, so our cat “Berry” can enter and leave on his own. Two weeks previous, I had the old 80s era gas fire removed from the lounge and the pipe capped off…

My Mazda has been sat parked up over winter, which upsets me a little, but at the same time, and unlike previous years, I’ve really had no inclination to freeze my butt off outdoors wrenching!

The clocks go forward next weekend and the evenings will be getting longer and I have a little cash to spare. Tying in with my previous post ( I aim to finally complete my turbo MX5!

Before this though, we’re heading up to Sheffield to endure the snake pass in my girlfriends 1.8 Mk1 MX5. (My idea). And of course, it’s nice to get away for a couple of days. :)

The true cost of mods / the last car I will ever buy…


You’re likely to spend at least 1/2 as much on parts as your used car, or double if you are looking to modify it. This being in wheels, exhaust, suspension (coilovers, springs etc). If you start modifying the engine or turbocharging etc this will be even more. Modifications are not cheap and they will NOT increase the value of the vehicle when you sell. You have a higher chance of making your money back by selling the performance or modified parts separately and converting the car back to stock.

I have learnt this, noteably, the hard way. With my turbo Mazda I have been building the car for 2 years. Yes, you could do it much quicker by spending more and getting someone to start from scratch. It now has a custom exhaust system on it that has cost well over double what I initially paid for the car or the turbo kit on its own. Am I mad? Yes, probably, but this is something that I can build in my spare time now. It does need some welding to finish off, and then tuning from ground up again. I still need to purchase an oil catch can and some other bits but all along I know that I’m doing this properly. Modifiying a car is not cheap if you want to do it properly. I aim not to cut too many corners on this and I want to complete it. The majority of cars I do want are well outside my budget anyway. And let’s face it, smaller turbocharged engines are the way forward until electric vehicles become affordable.

This leads me on to say that my Mercedes 190 is the last car I will buy. If it lasts me as long as I need to take to finish my MX5 then that will be good, but I have good memories already in it, have already spent a lot more than I bought it for to get it through its last MOT, and don’t particularly wish to purchase another car. Modern cars bore me. I own two cars both 25 years old. Personally, I think their design is timeless. Not one new car particularly interests me. And the ones which do, Porsche 911 Turbo (circa 1970…) or ’66 Mustang Fastback are too expensive for me to even consider right now.

I’ve done V8s, convertibles, four bangers. I haven’t done motorbikes yet but for now I prefer life on 4 wheels.

I’ll hope to maintain this resolution for 2016 at least!

Year 2015 – a quick roundup 

As the end of the year is rushing up really fast I thought I’d post what I normally do toward the end of the year…

So what have I achieved this year:

  • Continued work on my house
  • Bought a car
  • Sold a car
  • Spent too much money on cars
  • Climbed Snowdon
  • Drove a lot of miles
  • Walked a lot
  • Kept on with my 5BX workouts, and mission to stay healthy
  • Not taken 1 sick day in over a year
  • Chopped down some trees
  • Planted some trees
  • Made new friends
  • Maintained a relationship
  • Learnt to love my self
  • Learnt to slow down and enjoy life more
  • Continued to work hard on freelance projects

Mission for 2016:

  • Don’t buy new cars
  • Pay back bills
  • Go on holiday somewhere warm
  • Complete my turbo Mazda no matter what it takes!

To be continued…: