Mike’s 2001 Celica

Back in 2005 I got my first ever brand new car. I say ‘got’ because I didn’t buy it. It was leased. The car in questionx was an 05 plate Toyota Celica. It was the only car I’ve had that really attracted the laydeees. I remember once being stuck in traffic on a sunny day. A woman in a new Golf GTi who was also stuck kept looking across and smiling. That bit in the Italian Job where the woman slaps the bloke… That would have happened in real life if I’d told her what was going though my mind.

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Some of the many women I imagined the Celica would attract.

Fast forward a few years, and I was considering chopping in my 1999 Mk4 240,000 mile Golf diesel, when I read the original Not2Grand blog post about the Gen 7 Celica. With a budget of £1200 I went hunting on eBay, and soon found a good one. It was a 2001 model, two owners, low mileage, full service history, full leather interior, MOTd and taxed. Unfortunately bidding went over my budget and I had to let it go. The next week it appeared again on ebay, and this time I was more determined. Upping my budget, I put in a bid, and won it for the (cheaper than last time) price of £1240.

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A Toyota Celica yesterday

I drove over to Manchester to collect it. The original winner didn’t want it because the private plate on the pictures wasn’t included in the sale. His loss. My gain. It drives just as well as the new car I had 9 years previously, and doesn’t feel old.

On the anniversary of my purchase we had some gale force winds. Unfortunately, my neighbours wall/fence blew down causing damage down the passenger side. Luckily it missed my Anglia van parked just in front. Even though he’d sold the house, moved out and was waiting to exchange contracts, the neighbour said he’d pay for the damage caused.

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Crap fence + Wind = Damage

The repair estimate was around £1000 but cheaper if I supplied a tailgate, door and bumper. Last week I bought a £500 spares or repairs car with a blown engine. The plan is to swap the door, tailgate and bumper, and break the rest of the car.

I’ve owned it for just over a year now and done 17,000 miles in it. It hasn’t let me down. The history includes every invoice for every bit of work done on it. And apart from petrol (and the spares car), all it has cost me are a couple of tyres and brake discs. It failed its MOT for the first time because the hand brake needed adjusting. Being an IT guy I have an app to keep track of the mileage. It has averaged 37.6 mpg over that time.

Who said budget cars have to be a crock of shit?

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Nerdy fuel app with up to date statistics.