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Old 04-08-2018   #1
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New Panda Owner


I’ve just purchased a blue 100HP Panda, and it’s raised a few eyebrows (literally) with friends, family and work colleagues. Why? Well I’m a Lancia fanatic, I’ve got a few and I need to limit my addiction, so the Fulvia is for sale – but I needed something as a run around, something that I could drive and forget, not worry about, or dare I say care about.

A few years ago I was handed the keys of a Panda as a courtesy car while the Lancia was being serviced, and I drove it for almost two weeks (which gives an indication as to how much work was needed). Initially I wasn’t that impressed, but as time when by the little Panda grew on me.

So when I started thinking about a replacement for the Fulvia, the Panda came to mind, and the 100HP seemed sensible.

After looking around I found a lovely blue one, with the added bonus of the skydome. There were a few scratches here and there, the alloys could have been in better condition – but I didn’t want too precious about this car, it was a runaround.. The belts and water pump had been changed on the dot, it didn’t leak, the price was right. The plan was to look at it on Wednesday evening, sleep on it, offer and then collect it on the Sunday.

Hence I was quite surprised to be driving up the M11 on Wednesday night.

I was even more surprised to be arranging European breakdown cover and a green card the next day. I had an unscheduled, last minute trip to the Irish Republic for a family gathering, with my sister keeping me company. She wanted to take her VW convertible, but I insisted the Panda was up to the job – First eyebrow raise.

Friday dawned (and I ‘m pretty sure I saw it) as I collected my Sister and off we headed to Holyhead. “This is quite nice” was the initial review from my sister, and that’s “family code” for high praise indeed!

A14, M6, M6 Toll, M6, M56, A55 came and went, first stop was the Waitrose next to the Menai Bridge on Anglesey. Then a short drive down the hill to the waterfront to eat the sandwiches while watching the water flow under Mr Telford’s impressive bridge.

Then I spotted what looked like a pool of water under car. Oh, popped the bonnet and checked all the fluids. All okay. Hmm. Maybe I just drove over an existing mark on the road? Handbrake off, and pushed the car back a foot. New pond appears, with a line connected the two. Down on hands and knees, to see water flooding out behind the drivers side front wheel arch.

A quick look at the forum finds it’s the AC drain pipe. The temperature was in the high 20’s so the Climate Control had been on the entire journey. Pulse and respiration returned to normal levels.

Due to the last minute booking, the cost of the ferry was extortionate, but an unexpected “bonus” was the priority boarding and disembarkation, and access to the posh lounge at the front of the boat. My sister was warming to my skills as a journey planner – even if it was completely accidental.

Most of the motorways in the Republic are tolled, with prices from a couple of euros to an eye watering ten euros for the tunnel that connects the port to the orbital motorway, we needed to press on, so ten euros was stumped up. No roadworks, no traffic (even at rush hour on a Friday night), no potholes, and 120km/h. I remember when driving in the UK was like that.

815 miles in three days, averaged 50.1 mpg (at the end of the first day it read 53.7mpg), rather tired at the end, but the Panda didn’t miss a beat, and it was a complete hoot to drive. I even managed to out drag a Range Rover from a toll booth plaza. I caught him napping, and he had to work hard to catch up!

Now looking at seeing if I can tidy up the alloys, ordered a paint pen for the scratches, added a iPhone lead to the back of the radio, getting a locking fuel cap, some back to black for the bumpers. Hmmm, this little Panda has got under my skin. It was only supposed to be a runaround….. Does anyone want to buy a Fulvia?….. I’m smitten.

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Last edited by PandaHP; 04-08-2018 at 18:05. Reason: typo
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Old 05-08-2018   #2
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Re: New Panda Owner

Its a belter of a car. That engine is a gem Enjoy.and there is member on here who reported 200,000 miles and still going well with just routine servicing. The rear bump stops are a pain in the backside and sound like the whole axle is loose when they fail, which they do regularly. There is lots of good info on her re this, some from me!
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