Just got back from a short trip to visit family and friends in England. Here’s the eclectic mix of things I got to take for a spin during the trip.

2015 Seat Leon FR 2.0 TDI (184 PS)

My Dad bought this to be his new daily driver, replacing his A3 TDI Quattro. Less than 3000 miles on the thing and he’s already running a stage 1 map, milltek exhaust and forge short shifter, dyno’d at 220bhp.

Good: Great torque, crazy fuel economy (~60-70mpg), LED headlights are amazing.
Bad: Not mad on the front seats - well bolstered but very firm.

2002 Audi A3 1.9 TDI Quattro (130PS)


The old man kindly loaned this to me to run around in during the trip. Much better than spending $$$$ on a fiesta or a kia from enterprise. This car’s been in his hands for ~7 years and is running eibach springs, whiteline ARBs, S3 brakes, another milltek exhaust and a PD150 turbo. Good for in the region of 190bhp/300lbft but the car has never been dynoed.

Good: Bit of a sleeper, great backroads weapon. Heated recaro leathers FTW.
Bad: Short shifter on this is set way too notchy, 1st to 2nd was a real pain.

2009 Volvo XC70 D5 AWD


Bork bork bork. Lovely car. Very impressive engine and a transmission which was not completely daft. Even handles respectably when you stick the adaptive dampers into “Sport” or “Advanced”. Road tripped this thing for over 14 hours in a weekend and felt fresh as a daisy.

Good: Great engine, most comfy seats in the world, handles like a much smaller car.
Bad: Auto, meh.

1994 Eunos Roadster (Supercharged)


My baby I left behind in storage. Ok so I didn’t actually drive it, but I did flush all the fluids and run it for a bit to make sure everything still worked, gears driveline, boost etc. You can read more about this car in my other posts!

Good: My precious!
Bad: Never left her axle stands

Chesil Speedster


This is officially my Dad’s mid-life crisis, although it is a very pretty one. A beautiful fibreglass frock over a shortened beetle chassis with a stroked 1800 engine in the back. A real specatacle to buzz down the road in, although it’s so light that the on-center steering is actually a little scary.

Good: Amazing collection of noises pops and bangs as you drive down the road. Not an easy car to drive but it rewards effort in a fantastically charming way.
Bad: It’s not real, but I think I’d be too scared to drive it if it was.

Honorable Mention: “Phil” - MX-5 1.8 Turbo


I met up with Alex Kersten from CarThrottle to take a look at his freshly-turbocharged MX-5 which he took me out for a ride in. Running a TD04 at 10psi, it currently puts down 185bhp on a conservative tune, he’s hoping for more power soon with an upgraded clutch. I’d not been in a turbo MX-5 before, and boy was this thing lively! Antisocial choo choo noises are also ridiculously fun. Will have to line it up with my car for a race some time.

Anyway, a diverse set of cars for a short trip, mostly belonging to my family!