Like your cars?
I've noticed recently I've had more and more opportunity to spam the forums about my car, or find ways to make awful, awful car similes etc. I've also been upvoted for talking car stuff (on rare occasions).
So who here likes their cars? And what you got? Why do you like it?
I'm currently running The Yellow Shed, a Ford Puma Millenium Edition in 'retina-scarring' zinc yellow. A quick google will give you an idea of how borderline luminous the paint is.
Why do I like it? Well, it does everything. It's quick enough (125hp/1100kg), it's got nice leather Recaros which are staggeringly comfy on long trips and hold you tight when giving it some. It has all the important bits - leccy windows, leccy and heated wing mirrors, heated front screen, remote boot release, leccy seat height adjustment (Millenium only), air con (broken, arf), CD player head unit (swapped out for an iPod one) with decent speakers, etc. Generally it's a nice place to be.
It makes a lovely noise - all intake and cam scream, not unlike a high tuned BDA engined Escort. I recently replaced the centre section with a straight pipe, which makes it crack and pop on the overrun, but doesn't make it too loud - a nice mix and compliments the intake nicely, with a bassy burble through the floorpan on full throttle changing to a howl as you approach the rev limiter.
It's powerband is stupid wide - 85% of it's torque from 1200rpm through to 6000rpm, max power at 6250, soft rev cut at 6500, hard cut at 6750. It revs cleanly, in a very linear manner, to the rev limiter, basically. this means you can go from 15mph in third to 80mph (where permitted) with one movement of your right foot. Magic Third Gear. And the gearbox is a snickety peach of short-stacked ratios specifically designed to take advantage of that engine. You can throw it through the box with aplomb, it's what it was made for. If you've ever driven a Focus or Fiesta, imagine that with a shorter throw. Lovely.
The practical upshot of this is that you have usable power, pretty much everywhere, in any gear. Which is more confidence inspiring than you might think. I drove an MX-5 with 130bhp and all it's power comes in above 5000rpm, it was easy to get caught out. You just don't have that problem with the 1.7 Zetec VCT engine.
The handling is sublime - proper flattering. No, you can't do donuts (front wheel drive, innit) but it's generally agreed that the only contemporary car that's noticably better than it for handling and all round ability is the DC2 Integra Type R - widely acknowledged as the best front wheel drive car, ever by most motoring journals.
There's real feel, and subtelty and nuance to that feel. The front end is very talkative, so you know exactly what's happening there in terms of grip or slip, and as my rear bushes were shagged, I put poly bushes in the rear beam assembly. This introduces a lot of road noise to the cabin, but it makes controlling the - really rather playful, if you want it to be - rear end far easier as you get lots of seat of the pants type stuff, all the time. But yet, it manages to be docile when pootling through town. Yes, it's a little firm, but it's far from jarring. And on fast, bumpy roads, the body control is astounding - it moves around a little, but it never skips, slips or does anything untoward. Really rather special stuff.
It has (smallish) back seats, a surprisingly usable boot (bigger than a Fiesta - seriously, that's why the back seats are small - they moved 'em forward), can get 300 miles from a tank if you baby it (I normally get around 200....), shares almost all of it's major mechanical parts with the Fiesta/Ka (so wheel bearings, etc are cheepy cheep and readily available), they still look pretty sharp all things considered, and it cost me all of £600 to buy. The handling you get from it, that's stonking value.
Downsides - it rusts. The rear arches, particularly, rust from the inside out due to the...stupid way the arch liners are installed. just throws salt and mud into the arch lip and it eats it out. £200/side to fix.
The paint really, really shows up blemishes, worse than a white car in my experience because that colour gets attention more than a white car.
The headlights are fucktacularly bad. Dipped beam is useless on normal bulbs. Osram Nightbreakers help, HIDs more so, but that's legally dubious.
Tracking/geometery - I've never driven something that is so sensitive to tyre pressure and alignment. It pays to watch your pressures.
Otherwise it's never failed to start on me in two years, it's plenty quick enough for 95% of driving, it handles wonderfully whether you're pootling or hammering it, it's cheap as chips to run, mechanically simple, full of character (the same is true of non Milleniums to be fair - which are mechanically identical other than seats/other options), and generally a nice thing to have sitting outside the flat of a morning, glowing through the windows, begging you to go for just one little trip to that villiage ten miles away over those backroads...
That, and I wanted to just talk cars anyway - any kind of cars - and justify my fanboyism for my car with some opinion/facts. :-)
So what you got?