Episode 192. Vauxhall Omega. Y841 TBK. (Part 4).

As the month draws to a close it was time to sell the Omega (car #3) off to someone else, But, like I said before, and like I've said about the previous two cars, I have genuinely thought about keeping it, and selling off one of my other cars instead. After a  long converstation with Mrs Clint, and our two little Monsters it has been decided that we would sell the Omega, as that was the plan for all the cars in the Twelve Cars In A Year saga!

Despite one of the Dads at the school where my little Monsters go saying he wanted first refusal on it when it came time to sell it, He asked me how much I paid for it and I told him it was just £950 which he thought was a good price. However as the month came to a close he didn't come forward with the money, and so I decided to bung it on the bay, where I had virtually no interest even though I had advertised it for much less than it cost me in the hope that it might attract some bidders. But no, nothing! I really had hoped that it would have attracted some furious bidding, and that I would get my money back on the Omega, and perhaps even cover the cost of the shiny new alternator! But no luck whatsoever. But, after the auction had started, the Dad at my Monsters school said that he still liked the Omega very much, and that he still would like to own it, so I joked that mine was now up for grabs, so why didn't he just buy it as I was ready to sell. He said that as he remembered I had offered it to him for just £950! I said I did offer that to him for that originally when I first bought it, but since then I have had to fit a new alternator which was getting on for £300! His response was, Oh? And that was that. However, later that day, and with about five or six days of the auction left to run he puts £950 in my hand and said that I could keep that as long as he got to drive home in the Omega...

So, away it goes! I think I did quite well there, because having looked at the prices that other Omegas were selling for on fleabay I've realised that I was never going to get the money back to cover the alternator. Infact I think I'd going to struggle to even get my money for the car back, or even anywhere close to it! So my two little Monsters and I enjoyed a nice mile and a bit walk home in the sunshine... Via the bank to put my new found wealth in, well most of it anyway as the Monsters wanted a lolly each on the way home! Besides, despite not getting the money back to cover the alternator as well I'm quite glad that one of my friends has it. But I have made him promise me that if and when he comes to sell it, I get first dibs, I've never bought back a car that I've sold before, but I like this car... I really do!

So, as ever I'm rambling on like a babbling fool, and what you probably want to know is what was it like to live with. Well it was good, no actually it wasn't good, it was GREAT!! I really REALLY like this car, out of the three other cars I've had this year this one is by far and away my favourite.

When I desperately picked it up about a month ago the odometer said 135956 miles, and by the time the other Dad drove it away from me the odometer had rolled over to 137928 miles which means that I've covered about 1952 miles in the car, plus another 7 miles on the back of a recovery truck! In covering these miles I have managed to burn off 279.30 litres of go-go juice, or in proper money that would be about 61 English gallons!

According to the little onboard computery thingy I was getting a massive 26.4 miles to the gallon, but according to my calculations I made it's more like 31.7 miles to the gallon! I can only imagine that the software that the computery thingy works it all out on is American, and therefore works it out on American gallons. Which, incase you're wondering are smaller. The imperial (English) gallon, is defined as exactly 4.54609 litres, which is used in some Commonwealth countries and was originally based on the volume of 10 pounds (approximately 4.54 kg) of water at 62 °F (17 °C). The imperial fluid ounce is defined as 1⁄160 of an imperial gallon, there are four quarts in a gallon, two pints in a quart, and 20 fluid ounces in an imperial pint. The US gallon, is equal to approximately 3.785 litres. A US liquid gallon of water weighs about 8.34 pounds or 3.78 kilograms at 62 °F (17 °C), making it about 16.6% lighter than the imperial gallon. There are still four quarts in a gallon, two pints in a quart but just 16 fluid ounces in a US pint, which makes a US gallon equal to 128 fl. oz. In order to overcome the effects of expansion and contraction with temperature when using a gallon to specify a quantity of material for purposes of trade, it is common to define the temperature at which the material will occupy the specified volume. For example, the volume of petroleum products are referenced to 60 °F (16 °C) in government regulations. So what I am actually babbling on about is that the UK gallon is about 760 millilitres larger than the US gallon. I hope you enjoyed this little trivia, but now back to the plot! 31.7 MPG though, thats not too bad for a big(ish) car is it? I know I've covered a lot of motorway/autobahn miles, but even so I thought this was pretty good.

So what else, well, aesthetically I think that it's quite a handsome car from pretty much all angles the only thing I didn't really like were the wheels. For me I felt that they looked a bit too much like pastic wheel trims, and as some of the Omegas had a five spoke wheel I would have preferred them as they look better to my eyes! But keeping with how the thing looks, it is vaguely like a Holden Commodore VX, and infact, I would think that they're all the same car. But for me, I quite like the larger headlights and grille of the Omega, the Commodore headlights look too small for my liking. Having said all that, I think that the Pontiac GTO had the best looking nose on it, I still think the lights are too small, but they don't have that awkward dip in the bumper where the driving lights are. I think that at some point I would like to get another Omega estate, and try to locate the nose from a Pontiac GTO to put on it. However I think getting the bits back from America might be both problematic, and expensive, so doubtful that in reality I would be able to do that. But I can dream, and you never know, an opportunity might turn up, and I might be able to build my Omega dream car. There's a sentence that I never thought I'd write!

Inside was a nice place to be, it had all the toys including heated front seats, full leather interior, dual climate control, radio, casette, CD multiplayer stereo, cruise control, everything you would want really. Seated up front you had plenty of room to strech out in comfort. I remember thinking though, back in the nineties when my Dad had his that I thought the dashbaord peak that went over the gauges would sag over time as it was made of a soft foamy rubbery material. I really thought that it wouldn't age well, but to my surprise it was still pretty stiff and hadn't sagged at all. I can only imagine the previous owners must have been polishing it with Viagra or something to keep it from sagging!

In the back it was the same story, plenty of room, and very comfy. My two little Monsters never complained once even when we were driving for hours on end across Europe, even Mrs Clint who is known to voice her displeasure from time to time said it was extremely comfy in the back as she also spent most of the drive across Europe sitting there. In short, sitting in the Omega felt like you were sitting in something very special, not just some old Vauxhall, but something really very good.

The boot was cavernous, admittedly not as big as the bed on the pick ups that we normally take on our European jaunts. But with 540 litres of space, and despite there being five of us, three adults, and two children this time, it still easily swallowed up our luggage and even left plenty of room for souvineers!

The 2.6 litre V6 engine lugged us along effortlessly, and quietly, but still had plenty of get up and go when we needed to um, well, you know get up and go! But for the most part the Omega just glides along beautifully, and never missed a beat... Umm, well, apart from the bit when the alternator decided that it want to play anymore! Plus, as I stated earlier, I still got pretty good MPG for a big ole bus!

So there we have it, car #3 done, so to sum up then, I would say that this 2001 Vauxhall Omega is a fabulous car, I can't emphasise enough how much I liked it, so much so that I made the new owner promise to give me first refusal if and when he comes to sell it. I would certainly have another one, and the funny thing is, everyone I know who has had one has felt the same. They pretty much all say that they would have another one. That is with the exception of one of my Brothers who worked at GM the time and thinks they're rubbish, still, no accounting for taste eh? The other thing I noticed is how few of them you see about on the roads today, where have they all gone? While I was driving through Germany we saw loads of them, especailly around Frankfurt, so whats happened to all the ones that were sold here? Where they just all unloved, and this made them practically worthless? Have they all rusted away like old Vauxhalls used to do? Did they all go due to the scrappage scam? Who knows, but I think that they are very under-rated. I liked how it looked, although having researched it now I'd like it a lot better with the Pontiac GTO face on it! But aside from the looks of the thing, I liked how drove, and how it wafted along the road effortlessly and quitely. I liked how the interior was comfy even after driving it all day, but most of all I liked how it felt special to drive, yes I know, an old Vauxhall special! But I drove this thing a long way, and even when we broke down on the side of the autobahn and we were waiting for the RAC to get their crap together, get their fingers out their bums, and come and rescue us I never tired of this car, I never felt fed up with it. I genuinely think that if you can get your hands on a good one of these you should grab one with both hands, and unlike me, hang on to it. If all the Omegas left are like this, then they are a very under-rated car, and for the bargain basement prices they sell for, they're pretty much the deal of the decade! When I told my two little Monsters that I had sold the Omega they both looked at me, made a 'L' with their hands against their foreheads and called me a loser! So I'm guessing that they even liked it too, still, never mind, onwards and upwards, and you never know, perhaps something even more special will show up, I'm only three cars into the year so far, so with another nine cars to go anything could happen, and it probably will, so on with the show. Of course, you guys already know what car number four is!