I’m in the market for a second car at the moment. A classic Mini would be my preference, but that’s out of my price range at the moment, and after a lot of research I’m more or less settled on a Corsa 1.2 SXi. I won’t bore you with the logic that’s led me to that particular choice. Feel free to comment with your opinions anyway.
Anyway, today I went to see a Corsa that looked like it might be good, at a garage in Frome. It turned out to be something of a disappointment.
According to their website they opened at 9am, so I rang at 9:15. I’m pretty sure I woke the guy up. He muttered various responses, some of which I had to ask him to repeat, but I eventually ascertained that the Corsa in question was still for sale, but wasn’t at his Frome branch because all his stock was in Radstock on Saturdays. He gave me a postcode.
When I arrived at the postcode I found a garage, but with a completely different name, and no Corsa on the forecourt. Confused, I gave the guy another call. Apparently he was “round the back”. Amid mounting concerns, I eventually found his ‘garage’ – a scruffy plot of untarmacked road with no signage and no office. There were about 20 cars parked in the middle, right where the rain had collected in a large puddle, meaning that the majority of the cars were inaccessible. The Corsa was right in the middle
. He apologised a bit and said that his wife was driving down with a pair of wellies. So I waited for about 15 minutes in the cold and wind. This had better be worth it.
It wasn’t. Once the car had been extracted and driven to a dry part of the wasteland, I had a good look round. This is a quick summary of what I found:
- There was a hefty scratch, on the front wing, although it was plastic underneath so it wouldn’t rust.
- The back of both wing mirrors were slightly scratched.
- The trim along one side was falling off.
- There was a nasty rusting scratch on the bootlid.
- One of the rear light clusters was loose.
- There was a nasty rusting scratch on the rear quarter above the window.
- The alloy wheels were very scratched.
- The strut for holding the bonnet up was missing its clip, so you just lay it down somewhere in the engine bay and hope it stays put.
- The backs of the rear seats were scratched and rusting.
- There was no spare wheel.
- The passenger side electric window wouldn’t go all the way up without some manhandling.
- The button that controlled the electric wing mirror position was missing.
- Both buttons on the key fob were missing, revealing the circuit board underneath.
- The top of the steering wheel was worn away.
In fairness, there were a few positives too:
- The roof seemed to be complete.
- The engine sounded in good condition.
- The gearbox worked.
It may not surprise you to learn that I did not buy this particular car. I’ll keep looking.