Project OMG: Put to work

I guess most normal people wouldn’t recommission a car that has been off the road for 18 months, then immediately put it into use for a critical series of business meetings. That’s what I did though, and thankfully, I have not lived to regret it!

Sight-seeing in Bucks.

Sight-seeing in Bucks.

The above photo was taken in Buckinghamshire. By this stage, I’d spent two days at Race Retro. The Sunday was spent driving down to see my mate Chris so I could play with some of his old clunkers. Hopefully there will be videos forthcoming on that. Just don’t ask me when!

Monday saw me up at Silverstone Circuit ahead of a Retro Japanese photoshoot. I can now say that the Omega has done a lap of Silverstone! Well, the perimeter road anyway…

Estates, and coupes, compared.

Estates, and coupes, compared.

It was amusing to get a pair of BMW-powered estates together. Both R-reg, both with that distinctive BMW six-pot sound. The Omega wins for load space, but the BMW’s interior is far nicer. I prefer the Omega’s wipers. I can’t wait to see BMW-owner Chris Frosin‘s photos from this shoot. They’ll be in the issue of Retro Japanese on sale 24th March.

Then, for a spot of something different, the Omega took me to Didcot and the Figaro Shop for more piccies. A greater contrast of Nissans would be harder to find. Hours earlier, I’d been struggling for traction in a fearsome 300ZX Z32 twin turbo. The Figaro is also a Nissan, and also has a turbocharger. It’s tiny though! There will be a Figaro Buying Guide in the next issue of Retro Japanese though, because I believe in variety. I’ve actually blogged about my dislike of the Nissan Figaro before. Here’s the thing though. They are still one of the most fantastic looking little cars every produced. I really did enjoy soaking up the details of the rather special interior. As a piece of design, they’re fabulous, even if the driving dynamics aren’t exactly thrilling. That’s ok. My Honda S-MX deals with bends in much the same way as I deal with my tax returns. It isn’t pretty, but the job gets done. I still like it. Much more than tax returns.

From Oxon, I hurtled along the A361 to Byfield, and more kindly friends who put me up for the night. Rachel and I lived in Byfield for several years. It was very pleasant to return. Then, this morning, the Omega took me to a Bentley specialist (as in pre-Rolls-Royce era – fabulous), then a Rolls/Bentley breakers – sadly pouring rain meant I didn’t get any photos of the Omega during these visits. It is a working car after all. This is what it’s meant to do.

Then, I could finally point the Omega back towards Wales. It munched the miles up merrily, hitting 42mpg on the computer at one point. I suspect I’m some way from that, as I can still smell diesel. There may be another leak. I really am starting to like it though. Sure, backache set in at one point, but I then realised that I’d been at the wheel for over three hours straight – not sensible really! Sure, the column stalks feel horrible (they do in the Honda too) and the seats are rather too firm, but the Omega is joyous simplicity to drive. Just want you want in a mile-muncher.

There are things to sort out, as you’d expect. I think new discs and pads (at least at the front) will be necessary. The lack of use has not been kind to the old ones, and there’s a definite judder – not to mention that braking performance is not the sharpest. I also need to address the rear diff leak, which may also give an opportunity to investigate the diesel leak. Then there’s the rust-proofing I promised to do, and I need to give the poor thing a wash. It’s absolutely filthy! Oh, and that bloody alarm…

On the whole though, I think I’m becoming fond of my new steed.

The hard-working Omega at Silverstone.

The hard-working Omega at Silverstone. Deserves a wash.


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