He owned the car for several years. Final work he had done, was wheels and roof rails refurb and a stainless steel exhaust. At approx 80,000k he booked the car in for a cambelt, and sadly it broke before the service and destroyed the engine. He decided to cut his losses and sell the car as a non-runner.
The car was purchased by Avantime4Mike and he replaced the engine with one out of HY02 WSV, which belonged to Gary Roberts. Luckily, the mileage on the two engines was very similar and a new cambelt was fitted. The spec of WK52 NNL was very high already despite being a dynamique. The original owner had all the options available - fitted. So Mike upgraded the seating and added cruise control and electric mirrors and badges to complete the Privilege upgrade.
I then purchased the car off Mike in 2015 as a birthday present to myself.
Then after several months of use, i decided on another cambelt replacement. This was due to the auxiliary belt slipping and jumping on its pulley slightly in heavy rain. So in view of the cars history with cambelts, i opted to have the whole lot replaced. Having done all that, i dont think its made any difference..... just peace of mind. And the camshaft oil seals were replaced at the same time.
After all this faffing about the steering was no better and i was about to go on the summer holiday cruising..... the tyres all had 2.5mm of tread, but i thought as a safety thing for the holiday to get 4 brand new Falken tyres.... they transformed the car!!!.... the wandering stopped, the steering became smooth and linear, less road noise too and better more stable braking.
With hindsight, the washer mod wasnt the best thing. I regularly park under trees, and the scuttle fills up with leaves and other debris and regularly causes them to fire anywhere but at the screen. Also the small washer jets must create more back pressure in the washer system, and it pushed a pipe off in the engine bay that seem to fire water over the engine coils. And finally, i always fit new wiper blades for the MOT as a matter of course and avoid the advisory..... well the brand new 1 piece, spray bar less wipers, were too bendy and didnt clear the screen properly - so it failed its MOT!...so i had to refit the old ones to pass!.
Anyway. I will probably fit a third (double) washer jet to the system to reduce pressure and have got into the habit of regularly scooping out leaf debris from the scuttle.
As i suddenly had loads of time on my hands, but no opportunity to drive the Avantime, i decided to do a project on her. I have always loved the EP interiors and have a model of my Avantime in red with the red interior. However i think the Standard EP red is a touch bright, so decided to paint mine in the mars red... its a bit browner than the standard EP red and i figured it would work. Several years previously i had purchased and stored another cars interior panels that had been painted blue (but the owner didnt like it). so i spent weeks rubbing them down, prepping with a special flexible primer, then a normal primer, then several coats of mars red, without the lacquer finish as i wanted an egg shell finish not a gloss finish.
The end result was amazing.... i totally love the look of it. It contrasts lovely with the black leather, i also fitted a central binnacle top which held the sat nav. I got a standalone sat nav that fitted the Avantime binnacle perfectly and looks great (despite the binnacle being at the perfect angle to pick up every stray reflection and render the unit pointless!).
I would seriously recommend everybody to paint their interiors - it looks that good!... but i am not going to - because fitting it into the car was the stuff of nightmares!. This forum has several wonder tutorials for taking the car to bits.... but nothing prepares you for the aged plastics of our cars becoming brittle, the mounting lugs breaking, little metal clips pinging in each and every direction.... and trying to replace the passenger airbag cover, that literally reduced me to tears!.
Yes with hindsight i could probably do it again much easier, and the likes of Avantime4Mike and Renoman1975 would probably do it in their sleep.
And i may well try and do a mod to make the rear valance of the car more similar to the concept car with double slot outlets and modify this exhaust to suit and not rub once and for all.
Long term.... i have a few stone chips on the nose, a bit of lacquer lift on the headlamp eyelids - so maybe get that addressed. I had the gearbox flushed again after the first gearbox cockup and the gear changed improved yet again, and its only sluggish and notchy now when its cold, fine when warm, but its done over 90k and a few owners have discussed doing part gearbox rebuilds on the forum - so maybe that will happen in time. For now - just want lockdown over and to be back using her.
Love the interior but then my favourite car is my Mars Red EP2
Have been up and down the road three times this month and will be good to meet up with other owners again while on route.
I’d love to get another but may have to wait a few years.