Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Every now and then a little voice tells me that I should buy a new car. I don't think I'm going crazy and I don't think it's a frittering spending spree coming on. Something has to be done.

Take a look at the beast that is the "Opi" (pronounced, "Oh-pee"). A fantastic car of it's time, just a shame that time was 21 years ago. No joke. In 1984, this 1.8l (115 bhp) sports coupe rolled out of the factory and teared about the German autobahns, before coming to rest in good old Budapest some 2 decades later. 

 More about Opi

Bought from the lovely lady's butcher-in-law at the beginning of 2004 for a grand price of 150,000 Ft, it's served us well (most of the time). Thing is, you can't get upset when it misbehaves, it can't help it. It's old now and can't keep control of all it's functions.

Why, just this weekend it embarrasingly wet itself on the family's drive. Not urine, not even something simple like water. Seems that the petrol tank was too full (how would I know, the fuel gauge doesn't work) and in the sunshine, everything expanded until it couldn't take anymore. At least it was brought to our attention in good time (petrol really does stink) and the solution was easy (park it facing downhill out of the sun).

This is just the latest in a line of mishaps our poor old Opi has gone through. First the lack of fuel gauge caused us to run dry (though really it was pouring down). The attempted starts on an empty tank was probably what made the computer (yes, 21 year old computer engine management, amazing!) burn out.

Other electrical problems involve the wires to the rear light clusters melting into the trim. Smelt terrible but it also meant I had no brake or indicator lights. Bit scary driving home that time.

The brakes siezed up after being parked on the street a while. After that one I learnt to keep it in gear to stop it rolling rather than applying the handbrake too hard (the handbrake doesn't really work that well anyway).

And that's just the stuff that stopped it going. I haven't mentioned the wobbly wheels (bad tracking - fixed) radio that pops out when you go over a bump. Or the bonnet release that snapped off in my hands so now there's just a thin wire to pull. Or the mess of wires hanging under the dashboard as they don't seem to fit anywhere else. Or the sunroof that can stand the sun but not the rain.

But to be honest, I don't mind. It gives it a bit of character and adds some adventure to every trip. It goes like stink and it's strangely reliable. After sitting in the snow for 6 weeks it started first time without any grumble.

I'll be genuinely sad to see it go but it must.

Back to home


At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Doctor Pockless said...

Happy birthday, by the way, our Tim. Bit late, I know... Hope you celebrated appropriately.


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