Not 2 Grand finds an unlikely survivor…
When you do what we do, and by that, we mean buy rubbish old cars on the regular, you get the occasional gem. And that’s what we have here, Not 2 Grand’s latest fleet addition, a 1992 Proton Saga. And let us tell you something; we are completely smitten with it. Which may seem odd, given that nobody in the history of cars has ever felt that way about a Proton. We have our reasons though, so do let us explain.
When you think of immaculate old cars your mind’s eye tends to err on the side of old Volkswagens and Triumphs being paraded at car shows and the like. It does not, however, draw up the image of a Proton. But here’s the thing; old Volkswagens and Triumphs have a following. As such, their survival isn’t at all surprising. Car enthusiasts the world over cherish those models and others similar, so finding one that is utterly mint isn’t a challenge. In fact, it’s commonplace. These cars have been carried to where they are now. They have not, like our Proton, survived.
It’s that survival that makes our car so special, at least in our eyes. And it’s not just survived longer than most other Protons (seriously, we can’t find another for sale), it’s done so in the most astounding way. This car, while not the easiest on the eye, is mint. And we’re not just saying that. Yes, one door has been a bit battered, but other than that this little Proton is a true museum piece. Or at least it would be were there a museum for crap old cars.
Bought in 1992 from a local dealer, our Proton would go on to spend the next 23 years of its life doing very little. In fact, the old chap who bought it never even drove it at night. We wouldn’t be surprised if the bulbs are the same ones the car rolled out of the factory with.
After his passing, his son drove it for a couple of years, then laid it up in 2015. Last month we came along and scooped it up for £200. And since scooping it up, we have been astounded by it. This is a true, dictionary definition survivor. It is mint. Un-abused and in many respects, dealership fresh. The odometer reads 23,000. The interior, while drab and brown, is fresh and new, the engine bay, man alive, the engine bay. It’s so clean and tidy. It is like new bar the slight layer of dust and the occasional cobweb.
For us, cars like this are more interesting and more captivating than the typical show fodder. A car that has been mollycoddled and polished to within an inch of its life is not a survivor. Our Proton is though. It’s a car that has no godly reason to survive. Nobody should have cared about it. But yet it has avoided abuse, it’s avoided scrappage schemes and it’s somehow avoided rust, repair or significant damage. It’s remarkable, truly.
And now it’s ours, so it can survive a bit longer. And that’s wonderful.