September 21, 2007

Belgium for sale on eBay

On auction site Ebay Belgium has been for sale for a while. Ex journalist Gerrit Six is responsible for the joke. He offered his country for sale, with the notification that the item concerned a kingdom in 3 parts. In addition tthe sellerr stated that Belgium could also be bought as a whole, but that this was not recommended, and that the product was accompanied with a state debt of 300 billion dollars!
Six opened the auction with a bid of 1 euro, but very quickly itt turned out bidders considered belgium more valuable. After a bid of 10 million euros the administration of eBay decided that the jjoke had taken long enough and put an end to the auction.

September 01, 2007

Old car new car

I sold my Passat...
I was a bit sad to get rid of it as I put blood, sweat and tears in that car. But on teh other hand, it was giving me problems on a regular basis.
I now decided to buy something that was classified as very reliable.
I have been looking around for:
Nissans: Primera, very reliable, very dull...
Mazda 323: interesting car, very reliable, nice shape, but most of them are horribly light green metallic! And most of them have fairly small engines (or too big...)
Honda Prelude: Old coupe, very sporty, not too powerfull though if you get a 2.0i, but the bigger engines are often used as boy racers.

My first viewing was on thursday. I went to a small village south of Bath to look at a Honda Prelude. It had been taken off the road so no tax, but it had a full year MOT, and full service history.
Then I found out that the owner had bene driving it for less than 10 miles in 2 years time. Literally just to go to the garage to get it services, with the last service nearly a year ago. It had been standing outside, so it had a bit of rust. Actually, it was pretty stupid of the previous owner to not drive it. Now all the seals have dried and rotten away. A car needs to be used to stay lubricated. Standing still for 2 years has pretty much killed it.

The second viewing I had was of another Prelude, near Portishead. It was a bit older, but in perfect condition! Paintwork perfect, interior a bit old and slightly worn, but the car is 12 years old! Mechanically it looked and sounded good. Service history log is complete, but it seemed like a copy. Price is very good though!
Chris wants to look it over first though.

The third one I looked at was a mazda 323 2.0 V6. That was quite an interesting trip! I drove to Stroud, but on the motorway, when I wanted to take the exit to Stroud, the police just blocked it, and I saw a car being consumed in a sea of fire! I was about 50m away when I drove past it, but I could still feel the heat inside the car! There were a few younger guys (and girls) sitting nearby, one of them crying: obviously the driver upset about loosing the car. Strangely there didn't seemed to have been an accident. It was a Fort Ka, but there was no sign of another car being involved. Maybe the engine blew or something...
When I got to Stroud I couldn't find the place where I was supposed to meet the owner of the Mazda. He had to find me at some point!
The car was fair. Maintenance had been done by "a mate" and the guy had zero receipts. The car itself was in an ok state cosmetically. Outside was as to be expected for a 10 year old car used daily. The inside was absolutely perfect. However, technically there were quite a few issues. Airco had to be recharged, there was a rather large oil leak due to a head gasket not being replaced properly. The engine sounded rough, and the drive itself was no more than OK.

I decided I wanted to go for the Prelude, and I already told the guy. But Chris wants to look it over first before a definite "yes". the guy might be a bit upset about that, though I hope not. He should be fine if I do buy it though. If Chris advices me not to buy, then the guy could get dangerous I fear...

Lets wait and see...