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Not 2 Grand goes scrap yard exploring
We like scrap yards. N2G boss-man, Pollitt, started working in scrap yards when he was just fourteen, so they have always been dear to us. But unlike way back in the 1990s, cars that reside in contemporary scrap yards don’t ever seem to look like they belong there. They always look too new, somehow. Maybe it’s the vast swathes of metallic paint, making scrap yards look like colourful, almost cheerful places? Maybe it’s the fact that modern cars are subject to much better rust-proofing, meaning their consignment to the scrap pile is almost always due to mechanical failure? We just don’t know.
With that in mind, we decided to head down to Yate Car Breakers to see what the score was. Were the ‘too new’ cars stacked high atop each other all mechanical lost causes? Um, no, actually. Take the Peugeot 407 we saw first. Okay, so it’s not the sexiest car to ever live, but it was sat there atop a pile of tyres, somewhat unceremoniously dumped, and guess what? It had 10 months MOT. We checked online.
We also checked the details of the 111k MINI Cooper. Despite the airbag having gone off, it hadn’t actually been in an obvious crash. The car looked tidy, the MOT history held no horrors, yet here it sat, going mouldy and feeling sorry for itself. No doubt chopped in for something newer, despite being perfectly serviceable itself.
Though don’t get us wrong, there were plenty of cares that deserved or simply needed to be in there. We’re not being anti-scrap yard here, far from it. The Honda Civic with its roof peeled off, the Mercedes-Benz S Class that probably broke, presenting the owner with a bill that put the now worthless car in the junk pile. The SLK above it, wearing some horrid bargain basement alloys, looked like it had been neglected to the point of being nothing more than scrap, poor thing.
But then, for every justifiable car in the yard like those just mentioned, or the obviously abused Mazda RX8, there were automotive mysteries. The MG ZS resplendent in blue and complete with X POWER body kit. Why was that in there? The MOT history was good, the mileage at 70k was low, so why had such a – in our eyes – special car been thrown away?
It’s not possible to save everything, we get that. We are, despite what you might think, realists. However, while saving every car isn’t possible, surely, it’s at least possible to just not throw away what it perfectly serviceable? There is so much emphasis on carbon footprint this, and environment that, these days. Is it not best to recycle? To get as much use out of something as possible? Scrap yards should exist, but for the wrecks, the smoke-belchers, the crashed cars. But for the ones that are being cast aside for no other reason than ‘newness’ or lack thereof?
No, that’s not cricket.
What’s Not Two Grand all about?
Adrian Flux sponsors motoring entertainment website, www.not2grand.co.uk, exploring the joys and trials of owning cars which cost no more than £2,000. Here’s found Chris Pollitt to talk about the Not Two Grand way of motoring:
Not 2 Grand and ‘Bangernomics’
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for ‘bangernomics’. If that’s an alien term to you, it’s simply the art of buying cheap cars and capitalising on their remaining mechanical life as best you can. Basically, you get as much motoring as possible for your money. And if you ask me, this is great. I’m not a ‘new car’ guy, they simply don’t appeal. The idea of keeping old cars on the road is one that I hold dear to my heart. However, there is one part of the ‘bangernomics’ life that does irk me, and it’s the fact that there seems to be no allowance for pride.
From where I’m sitting, it seems you must drive your cheap car with a deliberate sense of self-deprecation. You have to qualify it to people, “oh yeah, it’s rubbish but it was only £200”. That sort of thing. And that’s just not cricket if you ask me.
Why should you have to have a rubbish car because you’re on a budget? You don’t. This is why Not 2 Grand exists, to show you a world of wheeled possibility. There’s a wealth of cars out there, all less than £2000, that you would not only like to own, but that you’d be proud to own. Driving is – as my Dad is forever reminding me – a privilege, not a right. So why should you settle?
Your pockets being somewhat shallower than the next man does not mean you have to admit the fact, especially when it comes to cars. I’ve had A LOT of cars in my time, and with the exception of, understandably, a slightly battered Rover 414SLi, I’ve been proud of every one of them. Even the Oldsmobile, and that thing was a death-trap.
And it gets better still. Not only can you find a desirable car for not a lot of dosh, you also get the joys of the interchangeability. You can tick off your motoring bucket list. RX8 for a few months, sell it, then how about an Audi S3? Having more kids, chop the Audi in for an S Max. People like to think cheap motoring means knackered old hatchbacks, but it doesn’t. For every new car on sale, there is a slightly older, but still just as good bargain alternative available to you. And because they’re bargain-priced, there is no crippling finance, no balloon payments, you just pay your money and you own your car. Brilliant.
So yes, while I am all for ‘bangernomics’, I strongly believe that there should be a distinction made between that and bargain cars as a whole. A ‘bangernomic’ car is a bit of fun, it’s the car you fill with crap for a tip run, it’s the car you ding or scratch without caring, it’s a bit of a giggle. A bargain car, however, is the savvy, wise choice to keep you mobile without breaking the bank. That’s what Not 2 Grand lives for. If you’re not convinced, have a look on the site and see the breadth of cars you can buy. You’ll be surprised.