They say that the best things in life are free. Are they though? A kick in the testicles can be had for free – it is not a good thing. You can fall down the stairs for free – also not a good thing. The ‘free thing = good’ rule isn’t exactly watertight. Neither, funnily enough, is our condensation-filled 1995 Citroën ZX Volcane. Which, as you might have figured out by now, was free. But is it more of a testicle clatter, or is a good example of a freebie? Well, we’re erring towards the latter. So far.
This has actually been on a back-burner for well over a year. But space, and then the small matter of a global pandemic sort of slowed things down. The car comes to us from Rob and Tony off of that there Twitter. They bought the car in 2015ish and then used it to do a couple of banger rallies, one of which was to Nice. This would be reason for the ‘interesting’ paint job. If you’re curious, the yellow was painted on in Calais, the red at Reims in France.
Anyway, flames aside, five years ago this little Citroën was just a cheap old car. And while five years hasn’t done a lot for its value, it has done a lot for its scarcity. You see, this isn’t any old Citroën ZX. This is a Volcane, and not a diesel one. It’s the 2.0 8V with a dizzying 123bhp. Feel. The. Power. Now, five years on, it’s actually a very rare car. And it’s because of that that we agreed to take it on. Had it been a shopping specification 1.4, we wouldn’t have bothered. But the Volcane angle makes this interesting. At least to us. Hopefully it will be of interest to you. Here’s a little video we did to introduce you to the car…
See, not bad, is it? It runs, it drives and under the questionable paint, it seems to be a straight and rust free car. This is all good news. We’ve yet to get underneath it, so it could be as rotten as a pear. No idea. It’s not stopped raining since we go it. Also, the alarm in the car seems to be possessed by the devil or something, as it has a mind of its own. It has that little keypad thing, which works. But then the alarm blares out for no go reason/when it wants. We’re still looking into it.
So, what’s the plan? Well, and this is all very loose at the moment, it’s going to be the basis of a five-part series we’ll make for YouTube. We’re going to try for one a month to start with, and everything will be on our Patreon page 48hrs before going out to the wider YouTube audience. Here’s what we have planned for each episode:
1) INSPECT AND SERVICE IT
We’ve already bought most of the service items. Fluids, plugs, filters, engine flush, that kind of stuff. It’s been sitting in a lockup garage for more than three years, so the engine oil is probably like treacle now. The old girl need some love, basically. So, in episode one, we’ll have a good look around the car, underneath it, systems check for MOT reasons, check the brakes, all that stuff. Carry out the service, engine flush, clean up the rancid engine bay (looking for to this, weirdly) and hopefully sort the alarm out. Oh, and sort the very stiff clutch pedal out – might be from where it’s been sat idle.
2) MOT IT AND THEN DO MORE BITS
We’ll stick it in for an MOT after this, as we don’t want to spend too much money on it until we know it’s worth carrying on. The service bits only owe us about fifty quid, so that’s not the end of the world. Plus, it’ll be handy for emissions. If it fails, and it’s not a spectacular fail, we’ll sort it and get it tested. If it passes, we’ll squeal with delight. Then we’ll do the timing belt and water pump. EXCITING YOUTUBE CONTENT OR WHAT?
3) GIVE IT SOME TREATS
If it’s good, and gets some shred of legality, we’ll treat it. New rubber, some new speakers, new and uprated brakes, clean the interior up, just make it a bit better. Quickshift, maybe? New gear linkages at least, as the shifter is a bit weak. We’ll also try and put some miles on it, get it on a ramp, clean up the underside a bit. See if it needs anything else. THIS WILL BE MORE INTERESTING IN VIDEO FORM.
4) PAINT IT
Now the good stuff. In episode four, we want to paint it. We have a nice indoor space where we can do it. It’s not going to be a show-winning job, because the car is only worth about nine quid. However, we’ll go through the prep stages, we’ll smash it in the face with more rattle cans than Banksy and we’ll make it look a LOT better. Because really, can we make it look any worse? Probably not.
5) ROAD TRIP, BABY!
With it looking like a car again, we want to (hopefully) see what all the fuss is about. The Volcane is supposed to be a riot to drive – snappy chassis, tight steering, passive rear wheel steer, it should be a lot of fun. It’s not the most powerful beast, but 123bhp should be enough for some smiles. We’re thinking about smashing some Welsh B Roads, somewhere where we can really press on and have some fun. Expect lots of gratuitous drone shots and stuff. Like Top Gear, but with a budget of 13p.
Will any of this happen? Who knows. It’s an old car, so it will throw up issues. But that’s the fun of it. And that’s what this is all about. Cars aren’t about big budgets, they’re about having fun. And you can do that on a shoestring. We want you to see what we do, and be inspired to have fun and automotive adventures of your own. Car culture is a diverse, wonderful thing and we, even with but a few coins to rub together, are just as valid in our passions as the man with a Ferrari. Cars should be fun. This one should be fun. We hope.
We’re doing this whatever comes, but if you want to help support Not £2 Grand, which does take a lot of time to run and create content for, we do have a Patreon page here. All the episodes mentioned will be posted there 48hrs before being made public, and we’ll be offering other exclusive content, too. But don’t feel obliged, the videos will still be going on YouTube anyway. But if you do help keep the lights on, we’ll love you forever.