Oldschool is all about the fanboys of oddball /plain old "literally no one else in the world would think that's cool" vehicles so here's our latest adventures..
The story begins a couple of years ago when we had a Suzuki Vitara. The main idea for this vehicle was basically to transport our mountain bikes in winter (so our other cars don't get dirty), slog through paddocks pulling trailers of firewood and the occasional trip to the beach, the truck was by no means mint so we had fun thrashing it a bit and not worrying about scratching or dinging it. it was a proper 4x4, slow as heck beast from 2001 with interior that was very 90s. The thing was awesome but it was pretty flogged out and starting to show signs of future rust, and the fuel bill made our eyes water so we decided we needed to move to something more economical. Sold it and started the hunt for something else.
The criteria for our replacement was basically:
4wd/AWD (just enough to get us out of a boggy paddock while collecting firewood)
airbags/ safety features
The search wasn't really turning up many results until one day we happened to drive past a vehicle that made me think. I said to @Guypie"what about one of those? they're ugly so I bet they're cheap and they look like they probably have some sort of AWD system at the very least" ...a bit of searching and my suspicion was right.
Introducing the beast:
1999 Honda HRV. This one came up as an auction on trademe in Levin. We bid sight unseen and won the auction. Cost: $1261. Drove to Levin and picked it up, stoked as to see the seller had a massive folder of all the work done to the vehicle since 2007. Regularly serviced, cambelt recently done, near new tyres all round and best of all...The seller dropped 2k on new suspension all round 6 months prior to the sale. We were stoked, car was mint as for it's age and treated so well. Kind of felt like it was too good for our intended purpose but left Levin extremely happy and headed straight up the mountain to test the 4wd in the snow (these things have a very interesting 4wd system, worth having a google if you're interested, too long to type considering how long the rest of this novel is going to take)
Time to make it more practical.. The day we got it home, we jumped online and ordered a set of thule roof racks and the following week it was off to have a new tow bar fitted.
Starting to look more like a practical vehicle now.
Many swoons. We were living the dream.. until..
Wah wah. Long story short: Towing a trailer and the load shifted backwards, trailer fish tailed and popped off the towball, safety chain stayed connected and when the trailer whipped around it pulled the car onto it's side. It was a very mild flop over. funnily, the trailer stayed upright and didn't even lose the load. Conversation went like this:
Guy*suspended in the air, held on his seat by the seatbelt: are you ok?
Heather *looking at the road next to my window: yeah, you?
Heather: ... do we smash the windscreen to get out?
Guy: ... I can just open my door...
So we climb up and out of the car (which is a super weird feeling) and as we're getting out, the man from the vehicle behind us comes over and checks we're ok and then offers to pull our car back on it's wheels (he had a winch which was super convenient)
Car was only on it's side for probably 5mins max and the damage wasn't actually that bad, just super gutting that our mint little car got wrecked.
Battles with insurance followed. It was insured as market value not agreed value, they said market value was 2k, repairs were going to be 3.5k, they wanted to write it off and pay us out.. Turns out we got it way too cheap, there were no other 4wd manuals available for anywhere less than 3k. After many arguments they assessed it again and said they would pay 2.5k, still not enough to fix the car though so we decided to take the payout, buy back the wreck (specified to them beforehand DO NOT deregister) and fix it ourselves. After the excess, the cost of the "wreck" and the rest of the year's premium was subtracted from the value we got paid out the grand sum of $1300. So all in all, we made $39 and came out with a slightly wrecked car. Not the solution we were hoping for but could have been worse.
Time to start fixing it:
Progress was happening but then it was christmas holidays so the car repairs were put on hold to do fun things like ride bikes more.
Back into after the holidays.. found this...
Not too bad but still.. sigh.. you'd think the people who installed the tow bar might have mentioned it? anyway no biggie.
Time to go to Africa for a holiday, BRB in 3 weeks..
3 months later..
First weekend back from being stuck in Africa and sitting for two weeks in quarantine, Guy was itching to get things done again so progress happened fast after that:
Lots more pulling, shaping, welding etc etc..
At this point we didn't want to invest too heavily in fixing it only to take it for a WOF and find there's something majorly wrong with it (unlikely based on the repairer's examination, but you never know) so it was put back together just good enough to be road legal and taken for a pre-wof inspection..
All went well, the only issue they pulled it up on was the door, it was a bit too far gone so we hit up the wreckers. Took it for a real wof and..
Aww yiss, multi coloured but legal beagle!
Time to start adventuring again..
10/10 stoked to have the beast up and running again.
Now to make it look better.. Went to Guy's brother's house this weekend and they spent the weekend pulling out more dents, shaping, bogging and priming..The results..
Next step will be painting. We haven't decided what colour to paint it yet but matching the original colour will be hard as it's faded quite badly up the top compared to the bottom. It's mostly going to be our exploring vehicle so we're thinking something earthy.. green or brown? maybe some tinted deck liner to hide the imperfections, haven't quite decided yet. Open to suggestions.
Got some sweet wheels for it but you'll have to wait for the wheel reveal update (thanks to @mark105 for collecting them, will come grab them off you soon)
Also, now that it owes us basically nothing and isn't mint anymore, Guy is pretty keen to do some other mods.. a turbo is on the horizon but that will be a while away yet.