I’ve rather fallen out of love with the BX, but the weekend just gone was a chance for it to redeem itself. I was attending 2CVGB’s Registers’ Weekend in Cambridgeshire, where I hoped to convert a spare 2CV gearbox and a pair of front wings into cash – or at least get them out of my garage in the case of the quite seriously broken gearbox.
Fitting those things and the camping gear into the 2CV would have been ambitious and knowing we needed to cover mileage at speed, Elly the Tin Snail was in for a quiet weekend. The BX was loaded up and off we headed. After two hours, we finally reached some motorway and could get the hoof down. Being able to travel at motorway speeds so swiftly and with sound levels so acceptable is always nice. It’s not as serene as the Mercedes, but compared to the 2CV, it’s like wearing ear defenders.
Naturally, it barely noticed the weight in the back with the self-levelling suspension being an absolute boon in these circumstances. It is starting to feel its many (307,700) miles though. The clutch is stiff, the engine mountings are worn, the engine is increasingly down on power (and horribly smokey) and the ride isn’t as good as it should be, even with new spheres.
Still, we headed cross-country on the Sunday, taking in the excellent All-Rover Rally at Coughton Court in Warwickshire.
I was thrilled at being allowed to park in the ‘other’ section. We were pretty much the last to be allowed into this section – a Lamborghini Jarama and Ferrari 308 had to park in the overflow bit! It’s hard to say the BX isn’t old enough when there was a good selection of Rover 800s and absolute masses of 75s.
All too soon we were on the road again and gladly arrived back home on the Sunday evening. We’d covered about 400 miles in a car that is far from top health. I’m really not sure what the future is for this car. It needs an enthusiast with more time, money and inclination than myself to give it a proper sorting out. As it is, dare I say it but I’m actually feeling a bit bored with BXs. I’ve enjoyed the past four years of returning to them (after the odd flirtation since I was 19) but as ever, there are plenty of other vehicles I’m keen to own.
The problem is that running a BX every day is becoming harder as the remaining cars get older. They’re good at repelling rust compared to some rivals, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune. Keeping one going requires a dedication that I just can’t spare at the moment. My enthusiasm gets eaten up by my 2CV and latterly the Land Rover Discovery.
So, I think it’s definitely time to sell the BX (and the Mercedes hopefully) and once that’s done, give some thought to what could replace it. How to find that car that does all the dull, dependable things so well, but isn’t so dull that driving it makes me cry!