24 Oct 2005

Mistubishi Sigma

Car No. 11
From 24/10/2005 to 14/12/2005

While in Australia, it is most useful to own a car to drive around. I bought the car in Perth, and in less then two months drove to the other side of the country, where I departed from Sydney.

The owner of the car told me it never left Perth, and I was therefore the first who would use it as a backpacker car. It was also the oldest car I ever owned, the car being from 1981. It didn’t fail me mechanically, but in the 20,000 kilometre driven I did experience 3 flat tires and one wonky ball joint, which I actually didn’t fix.

During the trip I found the car a bit boring, and I decided to paint it together with 2 other backpackers who joined me at that time. With paint in only three colours bought from the local hardware store we were able to paint our countries flags, an Australian flag, and some further decoration.

I had fond memories of this car, and when I started living in Australia 5 years later I tried to find one similar. Unfortunately, due to their age they’re quite rare now.

10 Jul 2005

Renault 5 GTT pearl-white

Car No. 11
From 10/07/2005 to 24/05/2006

Once again I found an interesting advertisement: ‘stripped GTT with revised engine’. Because the engine would be useful for the Thungsten, I bought the car without first looking at the car. When I came to collect the car it looked much better than I expected, and it would be a waste to take out the engine and discard the rest.

I garaged the car until I had time and money to completely restore it. Of course, I found out this was way more than I could afford, so I had to choose between this car or the Express GTT. I chose the Express and sold the pearl-white.

19 Jun 2005

Renault 5 GTT Thungsten

Car No. 10
From 19/06/2005 to 07/05/2006

While driving through the city of Almelo one day I noticed a GTT parked in the grass on the side of a main road. I left a note with my contact info, in case he ever needed some help fixing the car. He contacted me but actually asked me if I wanted to buy the car for almost no money. I couldn’t resist…

As the car was unable to drive, I hired a trailer and parked the car in front of my house with the intention to fix it. It turned out every bolt and screw in the compartment was so rusted it refused to budge, and I never had time to really spend a lot of time on it. When the registration ended and the car still wasn’t fixed, I sold it. It left the same way it came, on a trailer.

14 Jun 2005

Renault 5 (old type) 5-doors

Car No. 9
From 14/06/2005 to 07/01/2006

The Renault 5 Automatic sold much faster than expected, causing me to be without a car for a while. This time I wanted something different: a GT-version of a Renault 5 (but without turbo) or one with 5 doors so I could easily take passengers with me. Well, somebody had a very old Renault 5 for sale, which I bought.

Driving the older Renault 5 version is really different compared to the newer Renault 5s, mostly because the suspension feels really weak, and the car has no brake assist. Some time before I went to Australia for the solar team activities I put up an ad for the sale of the car, but nobody replied. After I returned from Australia I gave away the car to someone who’s really into the old Renault 5 types, also because the car registration ended.

15 Mar 2005

Renault 5 Automatic

Car No. 8
From 03/2005 to 26/05/2005

While I was driving my white Renault 5 Solar Team back home, I suddenly heard such a bad noise I thought the clutch broke. I parked the car on the side of the street and at home I immediately looked for a new car, found this one, and bought it. Only after taking a closer look at the broken down Renault 5 I found it actually had broken the axle, something very unlikely to happen but not a major repair issue. Because I now owned this Automatic, I sold the white Renault 5 after it was fixed.

Driving an automatic car, uncommon for The Netherlands, is actually very nice. It turned out it’s quite a unique car too, only few automatic Renault 5s were produced. Unfortunately, as soon the axle started making some noises, I sold it again.

30 Dec 2004

Renault 5 GTT ‘Red-T’

Car No. 7
From 30/12/2004 to 05/07/2005

I frequented the forum of the Renault Tuning Club, and sometimes there were cheap and interesting advertisements. I bought this car as a result of reacting to one of those ads.

The Express GTT was put away in storage as more significant repairs were needed again, but I missed the speed and thrills of a turbocharged engine. After a lot of bargaining I bought this car without a recent technical check.

Unfortunately, passing the required technical check was a significant challenge. I replaced almost the complete rear brake system, but it still had braking issues that did not pass the check. While working on the car, I found more and more problems. While the car just sat there, I decided to dismantle it. This turned out to be a good choice: underneath each piece of plastic the metal had rusted!

If this car was in tip-top shape, it would’ve been my favourite: an original Renault 5 GTT phase 1.


01 Sep 2004

Renault 5 Solar Team

Car No. 6
From 09/2004 to 31/04/2005

After I sold the Express LPG, I drove the Express GTT as the daily drive. Unfortunately, this turned out to be very expensive: its efficiency was only 8 kilometre to the litre, and it requires the most expensive fuel available (Super98). I needed something cheaper to drive.

In the same period I started the solar team of the university, the team that eventually built a car on solar energy and raced it in Australia in September 2005. With a team I also needed to carry more passengers. I bought a Renault 5, on which the Renault Express is based.

This car only had a 1.1 petrol engine, which is not powerful but fuel efficient. I did not want to perform another engine swap to make the car more powerful, so instead I beautified the car a bit. I swapped all boring black parts with nice white painted ones. I played a bit with LED lights, and after the exhaust broke, I decided to install a German DTM exhaust. This was extremely noisy, but also a lot of fun!

The following video shortly showcases the car, the broken exhaust, the sound of a difficult to start car, and the sound of the car when driving without the rear muffler.

01 Oct 2003

Renault Express LPG

Car No. 5
From 10/2003 to 06/2004

At this point I owned two cars, both unsuitable to drive: the Express GTT had mechanical issues and the Honda Civic was unregistered. I had to buy another car and with the little money I had left I bought an Express on liquid petrified gas (LPG).

At the time cars on LPG were offered a discount on road insurance, making it a very cheap way to drive, as LPG was also cheaper than regular petrol. For a change I had no mechanical issues with this car whatsoever, but at this point I already got used to change cars rapidly…

30 Sep 2003

Honda Civic 1.3 Deluxe

Car No. 4
From 2003 to 01/2004

I couldn’t resist the price of this car, just after I sold the Citroën AX. Unfortunately, the car never passed its technical inspection due to the rust at the rear wheel spats. And, unfortunately again, nobody responded to my advertisement when I tried to sell it again…

And so, I decided to strip the car to its bare frame, sell the parts, and scrap the body. I left it so it could still drive, and I drove the car, as shown on the last photo, to the junkyard. This certainly caught the attention of the police, but it had so many flaws they did not know what to do, and I did not get a fine at all!

In the end, I should probably have fixed the wheel spats, because the rest of the car had no rust at all.

20 Aug 2003

Citroën AX diesel

Car No. 3

While the engine swap of the Express GTT was taking place, my diesel Express died. I really needed transportation because the work on the GTT was on the other side of the country, so I bought a very cheap car close to my hometown. This was no Renault this time, but a black Citroën AX diesel. Although the car had a small leak in the head gasket, it drove reasonable. After the Express GTT finished I sold the car, but I enjoyed the cheap driving: my calculations showed it could drive 23 kilometre on 1 litre of fuel!