Sunday, 11 September 2016

A new toy ...



Well, I say new but it's an eight year old Astra 'Twintop' coupe-convertible....


It's been a long while since I've had any new toys, but we bought this one a couple of months ago as a cheap summer runaround.  

I've had convertibles before, namely a Triumph Spitfire, an older-style Mercedes 300SL and most recently an MGF that we sold around three years ago.   Although it was nice enough to drive, the MGF simply wasn't being used - I only did around 300 miles between the last two MOTs, yet it was costing money in both insurance and road tax and I was in save-every-penny mode at the time.   It didn't get used very often because it was totally impractical, with hardly enough storage space for a rucksack let alone a trip to the supermarket.

The Astra is much more practical with a folding steel roof, four seats and a cavernous boot when the roof's up which is still very usable when the roof is folded down inside it.   And being the 1.9 litre diesel version, it returns around fifty to the gallon.  We've already done 1,000 miles in it, including a trip to the Norfolk Broads in July where we spent a great week on a hire boat, plus a long weekend in the Scottish Borders last month for the wife's birthday.

The automatic roof folding operation is a robotic marvel to behold.  If you're interested, there's several videos of the mechanism in action on Youtube.  Here a link to one showing it opening - it's not the best quality of all the videos out there and there's an annoying soundtrack, but it shows the general sequence of the process. 

We're taking this car to mainland Europe next weekend for a touring holiday.   It should be another adventure - like the last time we went touring four years ago, the only booking we've made is the outbound ferry crossing......

Maybe I'll write a post about the trip after we return.


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