Tescos car park is a funny old place...
One minute you're loading your groceries into the back of your cool, but still broken retro grocery getter, and the next minute...
You've sold the damn thing! This happened quite by chance this morning. I was putting my groceries into the back of the Scorpio, and as often happens when you drive something a bit old, or different someone strikes up a conversation. It all started with this fella saying nice car, as he walked by, to which I replied yeah, it used to be, and pointed to the rear bumper. Anyway, he stopped to have a look at it, and said that he'd love one as his Dad used to drive one of these, and he couldn't remember the last time he even saw one. To which I replied, half jokingly that it was for sale! So this fella asked me what I was looking for, and I told him what I would like. My price was a little rich for his liking, so I asked him what he was thinking? He made a counter offer in the car park at Tesco, which to my mind was a little lean for my liking! But I figured that if I went too far the other way I would lose what could be a chance to sell the Scorpio. Not that I thought he was all that serious really anyway, or, that I was even that keen to let it go just yet. Well, he made me another offer, that although wasn't anywhere near as much as I wanted, it was somewhere close to the middle ground between my price and his, although still closer to his! He asked me where I lived, and when he could come and get it, so I gave him my address, and said that I would be at home around 13:00hrs for lunch! That was it, he wandered off into Tesco, and I got into the Scorpio. Driving back to BelongaClint I figured that I would never see him again, as we hadn't even exchanged phone numbers, so my feeling was that he wasn't really serious about buying it. But, just after 13:00hrs as I was tucking into a slice of toast there was a knock on my door, and there he was, with the cash. I couldn't decide if I was disappointed that he'd turned up or not. I knew I wasn't really ready to part company with it, but sometimes you've just got to grab the bull by the horns and run with it. So paperwork done, and it was off to enjoy it's new life with it's new owner on the other side of town.
So what can I say about the Scorpio now that it's all said and done? Well, I liked it, I liked it alot. I know that for most people this was the ugly Scorpio, but for me it was the shape that I preferred. You can keep your so-called prettier Sierra-esque faced Granada, I prefer the gopping hideous face of the village idiot as Jeremy Clarkson once described it! Besides, once you're inside the car, you can't see what it looks like on the outside.
Under the bonnet was the Cologne 2.9 litre V6 engine, although this would have only had about 150 -160 horsey power when it was new, 23 years later it still has enough power to whip the Scorpio along quite nicely. I'll admit that from a standing start it was not that fast off the line, but I think thats due more to the automatic transmission, than a lack of power from the engine. That being said, if you really stood on it with the transmission in first gear, it would spin the rear wheels without any drama at all. But it would cruise nicely along the motorway, and accelerating from 50mph, to 70mph was quite brisk, perhaps even sprightly! If there was a downside to this engine it was that like a great many things in their early twenties, it does like a drink! I'm guessing that I was probably only getting around 20 - 25 mpg at best! But then I guess this is quite an old car, with an engine that was based on an engine originally designed in the sixties. I remember initially being disappointed with the economy of the Scorpio after coming from a S-type with a bigger V8 engine which had much more power, and gave better fuel economy. But then while chatting with my brother about it he told me not to forget that the Jaguar was a much newer car, with a much newer engine, and so it was bound to be more powerful, and more economical. This kind of put things in perspective for me, and I must admit that both it's fuel economy, and it's power to weight seemed to be on par with the 1980 Trans Am that I used to have.
From the drivers seat it really wasn't a bad place to be, I'm guessing that at the time it was the flagship model for Ford in Europe at least, and although not as plush as the S-type Jaguar that it replaced on my fleet, I much preferred the warmth of the velour seats on the cold mornings, over the coldness of the leather seats in the Jaguar! I'll admit that I'm not a fan of the beigeness of the interior, but it was very comfortable, almost like driving along in your favourite armchair. It would be fair to say that as comfortable as it is, Mrs Clint never liked it. She only drove it a couple of times, and although she thought it was OK to drive, she couldn't get past it's distinctive looks. Or as she put it, its downright uglyness! I reminded her on several occasions that it bodes well for her that I like ugly things, a statement that saw me buying dinner several times!
In the rear my two little Monsters also enjoyed the warmth of the velour upholstery, and they said they had ample leg room, and space to get a good swing at each other while they play their favourite car pastime, irritate, poke, and punch each other! Honestly, I've no idea why they do that, but it seems like they do nothing but irritate each other the minute we get in the car these days. I'm guessing it's a girl thing, as I don't remember my Brothers and I doing that when we were kids, I reckon my Dad would've stopped the car and given us a damn good thrashing!
To be fair I don't think I can say a bad thing about the car its self. I like pretty much everything about it. It drives nicely, got plenty of power, nice and comfy inside, quiet as you drive along, and it's even interesting to look at. I think I could've kept this a really long time, and I had in my mind the idea of keeping it at least until the Carlton is finished (whenever that will be!) But the one thing that spoiled the ownership of it for me was how other people reacted to it. Earlier this week I came out to it in the morning when it was icy and some moron had drawn a rather large pen-15 on the bonnet, and written beside it a word starting with 'C' and sounding like Punto, but without the 'O'. I am presuming that this may well be because although he knew what a pen-15 looked like, perhaps he had never seen the receptacle that you might put it into should you happen to be with a woman. Stuff like this irritates me as there's simply no need to do that to anyone's car, even if it is coated with ice, or for that matter, dust.
The other thing is that people seem to have no respect for it. To be honest I feel that the vast majority of so-called motorists have no respect for their own cars, let alone anyone else's. But when I got it originally it was in average condition I would think for a car of it's age, but in the year or so that I have owned it it has picked up at least 47 new points of damage. These range from the rear bumper, obviously, to car door dings in the side that I've picked up while out shopping, and also scratches, that have for the most part picked up while it was parked in a car park. It's even got a small scratch on the roof now where someone has obviously put a box on the roof, then dragged it off to put in their own car! I think that this kind of irresponsible behavior by other motorists has kind of spoiled the experience of owning the Scorpio for me more than anything else. Although I always tried to park as far away from the other cars as possible in car parks, whenever I came back to my car someone would have parked beside it. The other thing is that I was always concerned whenever I left it that I would come back and find that someone had beaten the front bumper off to match the rear. I mean the back looks bad enough with a plank of wood across it, can you imagine how bad the front would look if I wooded that out to match it?
But it has to be said that now it has gone I am quite sad about it. I think that if I was able to find a rear bumper for it I would've kept it, and probably searched for a front one to keep as a spare just in case. I doubt that I will ever have another one, simply because of the brittleness of those damn bumpers, why on Earth the powers that be at Ford thought it was a good idea to make a part designed for low impact bumps out of a material with all the structural integrity of fine china I'll never know. I think that had the Scorpio had been a model that people actually liked, then perhaps there might have been some sort of aftermarket support, and possibly someone would've sold a fibreglass bumper for them. I would've even been happy to have had one with some sort of max-bygraves style body-kit attached to it. Of course with little to no interest in the Scorpio, the market for aftermarket styling accessories never existed, and therefore if I was going to find a bumper, it would be genuine, or nothing! But apart from that the main reason I'll never have another one is simply that there just are none to be had, with the dreadful scrappage scheme of 2009 robbing the country of 467 Scorpios and Granadas the few that got left behind generally get bought up by the banger fraternity, and that's just a one way race to the recycled metal plant. I guess that with only 690 Scorpios left out there in the UK allegedly at least I can say that I didn't sell mine for it to go banger racing... Hopefully, although now that someone else has it they are of course free to do to it as they please. Sadly however, no matter what the new owner does to it, no doubt due to their popularity with banger racers, at some point it will see it's last tour of duty gladitorially battling it out on some dusty track to be the last Scorpio (or Granada) standing, and that will be a shame. I wonder who will actually end up with the last Scorpio in the UK, and I wonder what will become of it. I wonder if there is one in a museum somewhere? I'd like to think that there is one somewhere, tucked away in a museum for people to come and look at and marvel at it's uglyness, a place where people like me can come and look at it and say, Yeah I had one of those, and it was fantastic!