General Help, need advice about long trip!

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General Help, need advice about long trip!

Jan 24, 2004
New Milton, United Kingdo
Were off to the Czech Republic in a few weeks and until recently we were definately taking the MR2, its fast, comfy and itll get us there and back with no drama... however it will cost, reckon on £400 in fuel as we will be doing 3000 odd miles over 10 days. Im keen to take the Panda as it will cost around £250, but..... going out is OK as we are going first to Worms in Germany for a couple of days then Czech. Coming back is Czech to Augsburg in Germany, then home in one run. Its a long way from Augsburg as its near Munich! Am I being stupid? Wife said will Panda make it, well if it breaks its easy to fix, MR2 aint! Also shes done 7000 trouble free miles since October so what do I do!?
I drove to Russia in a £200 lada, and Jim drove to Morocco in a £100 panda. so what i am trying to say is - only adventurous (mad) people drive that sort of distance, so if you consider yourself to be like us, do it (y)
We did 5500 rather evenful miles last sept and this july poor sylvia is looking at somewhere between 5000 to 7000 miles depending how far into Mexico we go...

Make sure the exhaust is good, that its got fresh oil and such and just don't try and fit a new engine on the day your leaving:eek:

Exactly! The 903cc is easy to repair and so basic that it won't fail in the first place. Just give her a good service and she'll look after you :)

Mine took me to Norway and back without any trouble so go for it :)
This is the list that i gave Jim before he went to Morocco (but he didnt listen)...

here is a list of items you should take..

tyre weld, replacement fan belt, spare bulbs, warning triangle, first aid kit, fire extinguiser, spare wipers, 2 emergency bottles of water (one for the car, and one for you), headlamp beam converters, various bits of wire (in case the electrics go), and bribe money (you WILL be asked for a 'fee' by police and border guards(this is often the case in moscow)).

when i go for adventures (russia, saudi arabia, egypt, etc), i make sure that i know where the petrol stations are, and if there are any hostilities towards the british (i nearly went to iran, but the war started two weeks before i started off).

if i think of any other things to take i will let you know. hope this helps
worst case scenerio... you need a mechanic... which car do you think will be more recognised and repairable by European mechanics?...
Pandas are great for long journeys! Easy to fix if they do go wrong.

I would go inthe panda apart from anything, I would be bored in the MR2 . .

Just make sure your panda has a good service before you go?

I have done more miles in Pandas than any other car and I have never been towed home yet, breakdowns have always been fixable with either a 10mm or 13mm spanner, screwdriver and a pair of pliers. If the carb goes - you get about 1000 miles warning, so what's your problem?

The thing that is wrong with pandas is rust. . . . . . .
I love driving the Panda but it's a town car.. not really built for long journeys.

I've got another car as well.. an AMG Mercedes, built specifically for covering huge distances in comfort. Which one would I drive to Prague in... hmm.

Take the Panda by all means if you've an adventurous (or possibly masochistic) streak in you. Yes, it might possibly be easier to get fixed than the Toyota, but a) the Toyota won't go wrong in the first place and b) even if it did, you're only going across Western Europe, not the Kalahari desert. There will be a Toyota garage in every other town.

Horses for courses and all that.. just my £0.02.


The panda i'm convinced would continue as long as it had a good supply of fuel oil & water (coolant) and I wouldn't hesitate on it's reliability, but I'm in the same boat as Plug I've got the 7 series for long distances and the wife would never let me drive that far with her in it.

I have driven to London & back on the same day and regularly go to Scotland in it and don't for one second believe that it will let me down.
Although it's not had anything as torturous as going out of the UK, the drive back from the Isle of Mull was a great sign of reliability. Started driving at 10am after a hearty breakfast, had one last blast around the island because the roads were so fantastic. Parked up on the ferry at 11 and got to Oban on the mainland at 12pm.

Brimmed the car and did the 360 mile jaunt in just under 6 hours with very mixed driving. The first 60 or so miles were wonderful twisty roads and the car spent most of them opened up and having fun, then popped onto the motorway for some slightly less strenuous driving (except when I explored the upper regions of 5th gear on a wide and empty stretch of motorway) and there were absolutely no problems at all.

Money and adventurousness depending, I may well be taking Rufus to Italy this summer.
Cheers, jury still out on this one. Did a really big service today, all is well apart from a couple of jobs. Rear shocks have a light oil misting around them, will probably fail in near future. Middle exhaust rubber hanger is broke, so need a new one. Finally, underneath at rear a couple of boot floor seams are just starting to rust, the underseal has lifted in a couple of places, its nothing a wire brush and new waxoyl wont fix as its really just started, and is only affecting the very edges not right in the seams, and a little around the shocker on one side, again lifting underseal. Good job I looked!
Barry, let me know what the rubber hanger looks like (photo of old one would be good) and i will see what i have, as i bought new ones for my car but reused the old ones instead (were in good order) :)

edit - the middle rubber mount is an FTR10, the backbox mount is an FTR3. I know i have one of those, but i am not sure which :(
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I have to agree with Alan and Plug. I've had a Panda from Belfast to Tipperary, a 500 mile round trip and couple of times. If it's been serviced and you've checked it over then there is no reason why it should let you down. However, I was feeling particularly adventurous on those occasions and was on my own. If the family were in tow then I wouldn't take a Panda, I'd have taken the Brava (or Stilo now). In terms of comfort, overtaking ability, safety and so on a larger car with a bigger engine is always the better option for a long journey. As Plug said, Pandas are town cars, ideal for commuting, going to the shops, and generally tootling about in.
True, but, been to Switzerland in a Cinq, Austria in a seicento, belgium in a 126! I use my Panda everyday and drive anyplace in her, done 6000 miles in 5 months. I love the MR2, but reckon the trip would be a laugh in the Panda!
The plan is to go to the Monaco GP with the FF, and then go on to Turin. On the way back i was thinking of going to Geneva, and then back through France :)
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