Just bought 147 GTA
I've just sold my 2004 Seat Leon Cupra R - a perfectly competent and reasonably quick daily driver that unfortunately didn't excite or entertain, which is a fairly major failing point for a hot hatch!
I'm based in Norwich, Norfolk, in my early 30s, married with no dependants. Yet. I work in the motor trade, and have done on and off for around seven years, and sadly my car history is a mixed bag.
My first motor was a green Peugeot 106 1.1; perfect first car fodder really. It had no rev counter, so you had to pay attention to the sound of the engine to work out when to shift which really made you appreciate every one of it's rampant sixty horses!
Following the unfortunate demise of said 106, I replaced it with another Pug, this time a 206 1.6XS. A little quicker, with around 90bhp officially (a rolling road would later reveal the car to be rather healthier, making just over 100bhp) and with a few token mods (wheels, exhausts, the usual stuff any 20 year old puts on his first warm hatch) this actually lasted me seven trouble free years before the urge for power got the better of me.
I traded it in against yet another Pug - no, I have no brand loyalty, they were just the cars I liked at the time I was looking, honest! - this time a 406 coupe. This one though had a V6 under the bonnet. It wasn't the fastest in the world, with only 194bhp but it sounded lovely and had a wonderfully smooth delivery. Sadly, the dynamics didn't live up to the engine and I moved it on after a couple of years, looking for something genuinely exciting.
I tried a few hot hatches, the usual suspects, all of which left me cold; Civic Type R, Astra VXR, Golf GTi (Mk4). Then I tried a Mk2 Focus ST and I was in love. The engine had such character, and the chassis communicated everything the car was doing. I bought it on the spot. A few engine mods later saw 299.3bhp (so close to 300 I could have cried!) and 346lb ft, so performance was strong yet - alas!- the recession bit hard and the cost of chasing those horses ended up meaning I'd gone well over my budget. Just over two years after picking the car up (and a full nine months after first listing her for sale) I saw her drive off in the care of a new owner.
Debts were paid off, money was moved around, and I found the Leon Cupra R locally for good money. It drove well, so I bought it. I then had the pleasure of driving a 147 GTA a few weeks ago - it was my boss's car - and while it was far from mint, it left with me a very deep desire to own one. With that in mind, I set about selling the Leon and beginning the search for the right GTA.
I narrowly missed what looked a minter last week, selling my car half an hour too late to try and do a deal, but found another more locally and viewed it with a set of more experienced eyes to hand - a bit of negotiating (highlighting things the current owner hadn't noted, like front wishbones completely knackered and rear tyres bald on inside edge) got the car to a more suitable level, and a deal was done.
No, it's not a cared for example, it need a fair few jobs doing to it some of which are trivial, others are not. Still, it's my project and it's going to get the love and attention its previous owner seemed unwilling to give it, while I try and fight the urge to go for a drive every ten minutes just to listen the noise of that wonderful 3.2 V6!