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Vehicle purchase history

Vehicle purchase history

Feb 18 2014

I was wondering about all the cars I've bought over the years, and started making a mental list of the sequence of them all.  Then I got inspired to make a blog post setting them out in order.  Seems I've wasted a lot of money buying vehicles!

Here goes :)

1: 1964 VW Beetle

My first car!  Bought for $125 (Dad paid for it) when I was 14.  Did it up quite a bit and sold it for $400!  



2: Yamaha 175 Trials bike

My parents forbade me to get a motorbike, so of course I bought one secretly and kept it at my girlfriend's house. Equally of course, I got busted one day, so it got sold shortly thereafter.

3: 1973 VW SuperBug 

I bought this from my dad, to replace the old 1200 bug. Massive improvement in all areas. Bought it for $3000. Spent over $3000 modifying it. Sold it for $3000.  Sold it to a friend and it is probably still running around today.


4: MG Magnette


This was sort of inherited from my brother-in-law (sister-in-law?). It wasn't the world's greatest ever MG. Wasn't even sprightly. But it did have lovely seats!  Sold it for $250 and my wife bought a new pair of boots.

5: Datsun/Nissan 720 dual cab ute 


My first 4x4.  An average start to 4x4ing, but we did a lot of camping and exploring in it.  Sold it to go overseas.

 6: Bedford Camper (UK) 

What do you buy when you rock up in London and you're 23 years old?  Buy a Kombi of course. Except that we bought a Bedford.  Toured all over the UK and I think we sold if for only about GBP200 less than we paid for it.

7: Alfa Romeo GTV 6 (UK)


Got this for a song, as it had a "huge" 2.5 litre engine that scared away all the British buyers.  Most of our friends has 900cc Metro buzz-boxes which got huge MPG but I fell in love with this car even though it smelt like a burnt wet dog for the whole time we owned it (previously owned by a smoking vet) and had a number of salt-induced rust holes in it.

 8: Toyota HiLux dual cab (Kenya)

A better option than a Nissan dual cab, and we gave it a fair old thrashing over rough Kenyan roads. Bought it brand new at an extortionate price (well, my company bought it) and proceeded to remove half of the leaf springs so it didn't rattle our fillings out.

9: Land Rover Defender 2.25 petrol (Kenya)


This was the one that started my Land Rover affliction. It was slow. It was basic. It went anywhere.  In comfort.  It was love.

10: Toyota Corolla SECA

A practical car once we'd returned to Australia.


11: Toyota Land Cruiser 60 series


One of the worst cars I have owned. It was a Petrol (should have bought a Diesel) and every 20,000Kms it needed the valves ground. Got expensive after doing it 2 or 3 times, so I sold it and have never owned another Toyota 4WD since.


12: Holden HSV Commodore 5.0L

Yep - a bogan car. Fabulous engine and transmission. Everything else was mediocre, especially the trim which fell off at regular intervals during our ownership.

13: Nissan GQ Patrol 4.2 Diesel

Absolutely fantastic car.  It got abused and mistreated and never missed a beat. Was a shame to sell it, but moved to Sydney and it just wasn't the thing to nip around the suburbs in.

14: Mazda Astina 323 v6

A great little run about for Sydney.  It might have even been a Eunos - I can't remember, but it was definitely a v6.

15: 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera

A midlife crisis at 34. A bucket of fun except in the wet weather, when it would try and kill you. No ABS + too much power + no weight over the front axle and you'd lose it pretty easily in the wet.  Flew to Adelaide for the weekend, and when I got back it wasn't where I left it. Stolen - and never recovered. Total bummer.

16: Land Rover Discovery 1 2.5L Diesel

Back to the Land Rover fold once again. Bought it new in 1997 and I still have it.  Probably won't ever sell it.  Fitted it with front and rear ARB diff locks, snorkel and a winch and went all over eastern and northern Australia in it.  One of the best cars I've ever owned.  Can't kill it with a stick.

17: Volvo 850 R

A replacement for the Porsche, which I thought no-one would want to steal.  Got it as a 6 speed manual - it was actually a very quick car.



18: VW Kombi 2000cc Camper (UK/France)


This time when I went to UK, I bought a Kombi. It was purchased from 4 Australian nurses who spent 9 months touring around in it, and I don't think they cleaned it out once in all the time they owned it. Still, it came with a cassette player and a selection of ABBA, Boney M, etc cassettes so it was a good deal. It broke down for a short while in Spain with an electrical fault, but after an hour of fiddling around I found a wire on the distributor was shorting against the engine case, which was fixed with a band-aid (and lasted until I got back to London).  Sold it for 200 pounds less than I paid for it, just like the Bedford!


19: Land Rover Series III LWB

Seemed like a good idea at the time.  Driving around in a soft top.  Had a lot of fun restoring it to its former Army glory, but the reality was: it was slow, windy, noisy, and just generally woeful in all areas.  Got lots of inquisitive looks when it was out and about.


20: Range Rover Classic 3.9

My main memory of this Land Rover, was how much fuel it would drink, for relatively languid acceleration. It was a great car in all other areas though. Even the air suspension worked nicely on it. Sold it mainly due to it's huge appetite for petrol.

21: 1999 Porsche 911 Carerra

This car was not subtle. It was psychedelic yellow and fitted with a GT3 body kit.  Took it out to the Mallala race track a few times and scared myself.  Phenomenal piece of kit.

22: Triumph Thruxton 975

Thought it would be fun to get back into motor-bike riding.  Not a bad bike to start out with again, but should have bought something a bit 'taller' seeing as I am 6'3".


23: Toyota Celica (Paddock Car)

Bought this for a case of beer and $50.  Thrashed it around the paddocks until enough bits fell off to make it un-roadworthy (even for a paddock car). Sold it to the local recycling bloke for $100, so basically a free car.

24: Chrysler Galant (Paddock Car)

This was the greatest paddock car of all I think. Rear wheel drive manual and very light. Brilliant in the mud.  Unfortunately I rolled it and it was never as good again. Off to the recycling bloke for another $100.


25: Honda Civic (Paddock Car)


Front wheel drive, so not one of the better paddock cars.

26: 2002 Subaru WRX STi

Complete and utter weapon.  The bloke I bought it from spent $30,000 modifying it, and it was totally like WOW. Insane. Blasted it around Mallala racetrack a few times with great effect.  Unfortunately it came to a sad end when I wrote it off on Greenhill Road owing to a bad decision overtaking a truck.  No injuries, so I was lucky.  Put the Porsche on the market the very next day.



27: Mitsubishi Magna (Paddock Car)


This car had nothing to commend to it, even though I only paid $100 for it. Front wheel drive and automatic.  It was a hopeless paddock car.  It's only redeeming feature was that I made a profit on it due to cashing in the long registration it came with; the boot full of firewood; the full tank of fuel; and a nice first aid kit. Strangely, it got stolen from the farm by some chaps out Elizabeth way.  I have no idea why they bothered to drive all the way to Balhannah (75Kms?) to steal it when I would have happily given it to them for nothing. Plus, they burnt out a clutch in their car towing it back on a car trailer, so I think they were down overall.  Police weren't bothered to press charges when the object stolen wasn't worth more than $100 or something.



28: Subaru SportsWagon L seris (Paddock Car)

An excellent paddock car, until my friend Brian rolled it whilst he was being chased by the mighty Galant.


29: BMW 5 Series (Paddock car)

Although it was auto, it went hard. Excellent fun to drive in the mud.

30: Mercedes 280CE Coupe

I bought this sight unseen from a deceased estate in Sydney.  It only went 63Kms from Sydney before it overheated and had to be flat-bedded the rest of the way back to Adelaide. Took $2000 of engine work to get it back to a reasonable state. Lesson learned - Be careful buying a car that's been standing around for a couple of years.  Other than that, it was a lovely car.


31: Subaru SportsWagon 1800


This was purchased as a 'kids car' so they would have something to learn on and get around in.  Bought it with 250,000Kms on the clock and sold it 7 or 8 years later with nearly 350,000Kms on it.  Completely bulletproof, even when abused by two teenagers.  The perfect first car.

32: Volvo 244 DL (Paddock Car)

This one cost $100 but didn't last very long as the engine was so clapped out when we got it.  Traded up to a GL (see next car).


33: Volvo 244 GL (Paddock Car)



This one was a case of beer jobbie. Rear wheel drive, but auto.

34: Mercedes W123 300D


I bought this for my daughter after my son left home and took the Subaru Sportwagon.  I did suggest a little i30 or a Fiesta might be a good car for a young lady, but she'd have none of it.  After driving my old 280CE she wanted something similar, so we found this 1984 W123 Diesel.  It needed a new set of injectors, but it's still running happily today with over 300,000Kms on the clock.  A beautifully built car.



35: 2006 BMW M3 3.2L CSL

Got back into a quicker car after being sensible for a few years. It was reliable. It was quick. But it didn't have the same soul as a Porsche 911. 


36: BMW R1200 GSA

Did quite a bit of touring on this.  It is a very heavy bike though, and was NOT happy on sand.  We did a trip to Lake Eyre on it, and got caught in some huge downpours which turned into floods. Made for some very amusing riding sliding all over the place. Nearly lost it going through some deep sand at 80KM/h and had to stop to compose myself after that.  Never missed a beat through rain, mud and all the other crap thrown at it. 


37: 1960 Karmann Ghia

Being an ex-VW owner, I'd long fancied a Karmann Ghia.  This was a lovely example that had been restored and updated with an 1800cc engine, so it had a reasonable amount of go for a little car.  No airconditioner (of course) so couldn't use it much over summer.

38: BMW K1200


I got talked into this by the local BMW bike salesman when I went to buy some gloves on a Saturday morning. Silky smooth and very fast. I only used the ABS on it once under duress, and I was very glad to have it.  Reckon it saved me from an off.


39: Alfa Romeo 159 2.4 Diesel

The was a demo from the F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne.  It was the track Medic's car.  I blame Mr Clarkson & Mr May for talking me into this one.  Sooooo much better than my GTV6 that had in the UK.  Restored my faith in Alfas again.

40: Aprillia 650 Pegaso


Bought this bike from a friend in Berlin of all places!  Picked it up in Germany and spent 3 weeks riding it back to Amsterdam via France.  Took it to the Nurburgring, but it was closed for racing on the day I got there.  It still lives in Amsterdam and I really must go back and do another trip on it.



41: VW Kombi Campervan Type 4

Bought this when I went down to the local shops one day. Didn't mean to, but it was a reasonable price and I thought it'd be fun to have a Kombi again.  My daughter used it a lot more than me to go to music festivals with her friends and do a bit of touring through Victoria and NSW with it  


42: Yamaha 225 XT


I bought this as a farm bike, but the next year the bottom fell out of grape prices, so it hardly got used.  Sold it the following year.

43: BMW 318 (Paddock Car)


Another paddock car. This one cost $200 as it was in pretty good condition apart from a mildly bent rear axle.  It wore rear tyres out prodigiously fast on the bitumen, but was fine on my dirt track.

44: BMW x450 Motocross


Is 50 too old to learn how to ride moto-cross?  Yes.

46: 2003 Range Rover HSE Diesel 

One of the best cars I have ever owned. Ever.  It was good at everything, whether you wanted a posh car for a night out in town, or a long distance touring car packed with luggage or something to drive up and down the beach in.  Nothing fussed it, and it got incredible MPG for a 3 tonne lump of steel - between 10 and 11 liters/100 aroud town and down as low as 9L/100 when cruising. 


47: Nissan 300Z (Paddock car)

I went down to the local shops to buy some potatoes, saw this on the side of the road with a For Sale sign ($500), and ended up driving it back home!  It was the maroon velvet interior that got me. We thrashed it around the paddocks and did quite a few KMs on the road until it sadly expired with engine issues.  Sold it on eBay to a bloke who wanted a manual transmission for his 300Z for $1024, so even made a small profit on it.


48: Land Rover 130 ex-Telstra "Extra cab"

This was going to be our long distance touring car.  It came with a lot of additional goodies, like a stretched cabin, HD rear axle (Wolf military diff/axle), snorkel, water tank, long range tank, snorkel and even a UHF radio.  Once I started to convert it however, I decided that the back wasn't really big enough for what I wanted (no fault of the cars) so I then ventured off looking for a 4x4 truck to buy.  


49: Mercedes W203 220CDi

A sensible town run-about car. Incredible fuel usage from a gutsy little 2.2 litre engine (down in the 6L/100Km range if driven nicely).  


50: Land Rover Defender 90

A 90 is too small.  Should have bought a 110. It was a good little car, but just not big enough. 60L of fuel is not enough to traverse Australia's vast distances.  

51: 2003 Mercedes S Class 380

Couldn't resist this at the price being asked. Looks and drives like a brand new car, even though it had 100,000 Kms on it.  Always brings a smile to my face when I drive it. Am crossing my fingers that nothing major breaks on it, as I can imagine my wallet would take a battering.  A stunning car in all respects.  


52: 2000 Porsche 911 GT3

Finally sold my M3 to get back into another Porsche. This one is a simple car, with no sunroof, traction aids, cup holders or anything superfluous. It did come with a radio and air-conditioning (comfort pack) so it can be an every-day car if needed, but it's not what you'd call comfortable to ride in.  Insane performance though.  Another car that makes you smile every time you drive it.  


53:  Land Rover 110 Defender

A whole lot more practical than a 90, and it even has a white 'Daktari' roof. Has a good amount of grunt for a little 2.4L 4 cylinder, and the 6 speed gearbox makes cruising at 100 or 110 reasonably quiet. I miss the front opening flaps though.

54: 1955 Land Rover Series I 88"

I bought this from a local farmer for the princely sum of $250.  When I went to pick it up, it had not been started for 6 or 7 years, and had been sitting outside in a paddock with the canopy slowly rotting away.  With 10 litres of petrol and a set of jumper leads, it sprung to life!  I was well impressed.  It now gets used around the farm to cart firewood and other general farm stuff. I had it registered for a short while, bit its on road characteristics leave something to be desired, mainly in the braking department.  


55: MAN 4x4 15.290 Truck

See all the other blog threads here for more information on this one!  One of my madder ideas....


56: Land Rover 110 3.9 Diesel - Ex Australian Army

I put in an early bid (in an online auction) at a fairly low value for a "Fitted for Radio" 1991 Isuzu powered 110 Land Rover.  Didn't expect to get it, so was quite surprised when I found no-one topped my early bid.  The 3.9 Diesel is rattly old thing, and the canopy is drafty. 0-100 would be close to 20 seconds I think, and at 100 is is fairly humming along. Still, it has a certain charm and feels 100% rock solid driving along.  This car will probably go for another 25 years. 


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