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8th March 2018

Back to the old days- again! - Castrol GTX Metal Can 'Mancave Trophy' and Eldro Dum Dum.

In the mid 1980's when I worked as a young 'oik' at a garage we used to sell and use Castrol GTX oil for all the cars we dealt with except the Subaru Turbo engined variety which had to have Shell Gemini, as specified by Subaru head office.

GTX at that time came in lovely tin cans for the half litre, two and a half litre, and five litre sizes with the famous red and green livery. One litre containers had moved onto plastic bottles by then and I think the five litres went to plastic in the early 1990's from memory.

We used to call the little half litre cans 'a pint' (for top ups), and the big five litre cans 'a gallon' of course and threw away literally dozens of these beauties every week! They are now considered to be motoring memorabilia, and the long empty old five litre cans currently go for about 20 on Ebay!

As I hadn't saved any from yesteryear I 'invested' fifteen hard earned pounds on my own semi-battered 'gallon' can as a 'mancave trophy', and it turned up today and looks as lovely as I remembered.

The only other notable tin I still have is a small Eldro Dum Dum. This still has a small amount of it's contents in it and I still use it sparingly. Eldro Dum Dum stopped being made about five or six years ago and it's a real shame as it was such good stuff. I do not know if production was stopped for business reasons or for health and safety reasons.It was a sort of black oily putty that was brilliant for sealing things and stopping vibrations. Over the years I've used loads of it for: bedding panels and lamps etc, sealing leaks, and in place of missing grommets, plugs and bungs.

If you have any Eldro Dum Dum stashed away for sale please contact me!


Saturday 24th February 2018

1980's Allsop3 Vintage Car Cassette Head Cleaner Nostalgia Trip

Ebay is very good at helping you find those nostalgic items that you probably don't need anymore, else you'd have kept them- right?

Well having enjoyed some cassettes from my youth in the old Alfa recently, I decided that it might be a good idea to clean the head/s and rollers on the now vintage (about 1995) Pioneer head unit. What better way to do that than to source and 'invest' in an old Allsop3 head cleaner?

I found this new old stock set on the 'bay in Germany and couldn't resist it in it's little secret agent case and long story short it arrived this week.

These were all the rage in the late 1980s for cleaning the otherwise almost inaccessible workings on car radio/cassette players.

You put a few drops of the cleaning solution on all the pads and then pushed it into the machine just like a normal music cassette and the rotation of the 'spools' operated an ingenious wiper to clean the main head. The pinch rollers were cleaned by the static pads on each side. This would make your tapes then sound (almost) crystal clear again and help stop things gumming up and chewing up your latest purchase from Our Price Records.

Remember this was the time when although you might just about have got a CD player in the house, they hadn't really crossed over to cars yet, and CD's were very expensive by comparison to vinyl records (which you then taped for the car) or pre-recorded cassette tape albums.

This video shot by MG Junior shows the splendour of the set and how the cogs and wiper work:

15th February 2018

The Peugeot 205 is 35 years old!

Yes it's 35 years since the 'PUG' 205 was launched, and what a car it was. It was the car that really turned around Peugeot's fortunes and in the 10 years between the mid 80s and the mid 90s they were absolutely everywhere much like the classic Mini had been previously.

The last UK market 205's were sold in 1996 apparently, but I don't think I've ever seen one later than an 'M'reg' (94-95) on the road. Towards the end of the 205's run the smaller 106 and bigger 306 were sold alongside it, both good cars, but not as good as the iconic 205 to most.

My mother and brother both had brand new Peugeot 205XS (later TU engined) models, in 1989, both in gloss black, and both 'F' plated. They were great, but my mother's was notably peppier, possibly due to that fact that it had been loosened up from new by myself as I was allowed to drive it, and I thrashed it from day one.

The XS was the 'warm hatch 205', it looked almost like a GTi, but without the alloy wheels, and was powered by a 1400cc engine with a fantastic sequential twin choke carburettor which gave a very noticable roar and kick as you pressed down the go pedal.

Two friends had 205 GTi 1.9s and I rode in them and drove one having done a service on it- they were very quick and nimble, and it was easy to see why the GTis in particular were such a hit.

I bought my own 205 in 1994 to use as a driving instructor. It was only a 1.1, but a 2 year old special edition Zest model with Miami blue paint, a sunroof, good Clarion radio/ cassette and 5 speed gearbox. My pupil's and I loved it. Whilst not pwerful the little TU engine with a carburettor and no cat' made it fairly nippy and it handled well. It was also extremely reliable. It did over 90,000 miles having nothing much more than oil/filter changes, tyres, front pads, front exhaust downpipe and a wheel cylinder. It was sold with it's original clutch still in good order.

After the 106 (and excellent Citroen Saxo- same car really) and 306, Peugeot seemed to go downhill according to many. I won't run them down too much but I've driven a 307 quite a bit which was OK, and mid range 206, 207 and 308 that were fairly awful IMHO.

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