Hi all,

I suppose technically I'm a returning member as i had a marina kit back in 90s that didn't make it to the road.

Now, i have recently purchased a completed car, i can recommend taking a roadster for a test drive on Birminghams ice sheets on one of coldest days of last year! That was fun! I was put off buying by the ford sierra mechanicals, I'm not a ford enthusiast, but she was available, and very pretty, so i swallowed by prejudices a bought her.

Then the fun really started, it's a car, best drive it home, Birmingham to exeter, it's not far.... well it wasn't for those in my support car! Thoroughly enjoyed the bits i drove, panicked often about temperature, I've decided now she just runs hot. Then the alternator packed up, having an alternator putting out 11.5v gives some really odd symptoms. By the time I'd figured out the problem, there was nowhere to buy a new one. Nice RAC man dismantled old alternator but rebuild didn't cure it. So off we go on a tow truck to gordano. Which was shut. It's a strange place to be at 10,00 at night. My support car left me to the wait for next tow truck, at about 23,00 the rac confirmed there were no tow trucks, try again tomorrow! So i went to hotel for supper of a pint of stella and a kit kat, which was best on offer at gordano services at that time.

Next day, tow truck arrived about lunch time, off i went homewards. 2days later I've managed to get an alternator, i thought ford parts came off the shelf? Not order and pray! But fixed and off we go for a jolly, chilly, jaunt around east devon countryside. A fabulous trip, its nice to be able to talk to pedestrians and horse riders.

Next project was cam belt, wouldn't be doing that on a B series engine! That went ok (ish) not done many ford belts, but have done a lot of Citroën ones, many things were in the wrong place! But it worked, a trip out to lyme regis and back along little roads to sidmouth to break down, kind of, about 3miles from home! Hmm, no idea why it stopped, but it wouldn't start due to starter motor dying. A quick bump and off homewards. Buying a new starter motor is proving challenging! Hmm!

Fords are not proving to be the reliable beast i was expecting. One reason i don't like fords is they're so well designed, they're boring. This ones being every bit as interesting as an allegro vanden plas i once owned! To be fair, everything thats failed i would consider a service item. She's still a very pretty car, giving enjoyment to everyone including the nice man in my local motor factors who's starting to develop a twitch when he sees me.

I'd like to thank the nice chap i bought car off, my friends and i had a lot of fun playing with his car collection in the snow and ice. So far marlin ownership has delivered what i wanted, a pretty car, met some decent people, got my hands all mucky, and some open top motoring.