Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Sussex, England
Re: So what about the 33 Permanent 4...?
i've had 3 perm 4's now and they were all great. but make sure you get a good one as the bad ones are hard work.
my first was a very cheap and not very well looked after car. after a while the 4wd broke due to the EMC cooking due to the last owner's attempt to wire in a switch for it.
the sloppy gear change, due to worn bushes, caused me to stick it in 3rd when going for a fast 5th. one rebuilt engine later and after a long run-in period and about 4000miles of normal driving, i started to up the usage of the engine after a service.
only a couple of months of fastish commuting killed the top end of the engine with quite a few of the hydraulic tappets going belly up. i sold the car after this.
the second car was lovely and had none of the trouble of the first one. it ran perfect for 4 years except the temp gauge was never quite right. one day it over heated badly and that was the end of that. its now about to under go major rebuilding into a rear wheel drive drift car.
my third 33 was a failed mot car. i spent a massive amount of time cutting out rust, redoing brake lines and replacing the suspension. only for some fool to crash into it on the way to the mot test. scrapped.
even through all the troubles of my first perm 4 i loved that car every time i sat in it. the engine is superb and the sound is addictive. for a car with less than 140hp it covered ground at a speed of much more powerful cars.
but the perm 4 really came into its own on a good B road. i have driven few cars that corner as nicely as the perm 4. i found it almost impossible, on public roads, to get any understeer. the front wheels provided so much grip that they would pull you into the corner and tighten your line rather than slip wide. in the wet the 4wd can be a bit basic and chuck too much power to the rear to compensate for the front slip. this can lead to the car handling a bit more like a rear wheel drive car.
once you learn to expect it, its loads of fun and quite controlable but you have to watch the angle as there isnt a lot of steering lock.
if i saw a perm 4 for sale tomorrow, i'd buy it there and then. amazingly fun cars.
if life was easy, everyone would do it.