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Cheap Rivage - Am I mad?

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Hi All,

I need some advise and opinions.

I've been offered an old friends Rivage (Blue, Cloth). I've known this car for nearly 20 years and I always said I'd buy it off him. I've seen it go from immaculate, pride and joy to it's fall from grace. Long story short, my friend adored the car for 10 years then gave it to his mum and dad who have since ran it into the ground - think 3rd car, tip run, gardening, shopping car and unloved beater.

The cars now parked up with a flat battery, unused and the MOT's has expired. It has an intermittent fuelling  problem so it randomly cuts out.

I went to view the exterior today whilst my friend was at work and it's in a worse state than I thought. Needs a new roof, full respray, all seals, oil leaks around the sump, ripped drivers seat etc. It does appear straight, solid and rust free. It's also has a lot of originality.

The car is only fit for a full restoration and if it wasn't a Rivage it'd be a breaker or scrap. Luckily a full nut and bolt is something that I've always wanted to do and the car is cheap and special enough to consider it. I'm under no illusion I won't drive the car for years and it's going to cost thousands.

Then I found out the kicker. The MOTs since 2012 have the same recorded mileage of 51k. I need to have a chat with him to find out why and what's happened. My main concern is that I know provenance and history means a lot to these cars, especially when considering future value.

Whilst I plan on keeping this car for the foreseeable future, circumstances change and I don't want to be in a position where I've restored the car, poured thousands into it for it only to be a financial mistake.

Would I be better finding a car which has a more "honest documented history", I can't answer this as my judgement is clouded by the emotional involvement with this car.

Last edit: by MrP


1992 MK1 Golf GTi Rivage - Classic Blue Metallic - Long term project
1991 MK1 Golf GTi Rivage - Classic Green Pearl - Sold
 

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Depends on lots of things, can you DIY a lot of the work and would it be a pleasurable hobby? If so it shouldn't cost millions and would be good fun.

I don't think any MK1 could be restored by a garage and make money even a 77 GTI never mind a more run of the mill cabrio. If you can't or don't want to DIY lots to off set the costs just buy a nice one it will be chaeaper and less hassle.

Not sure the speedo mileage is an issue on a rough 30year old car?

If its not rotten and a weldathon it does sound like it does need saving, a good winter project if you have garage space.

1983 Mars Red 1.8 Golf GTI
1987 Alpine White 1.8 Clipper Cabriolet

The trouble with doing nothing is that you never know when you are finished.

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The are you Mad, is unfortunately unknown to me and you may need to seek professional mental health providers opinion on that.

Mk1's and honesty goes part and partial to the car at hand.

Odo's can be repaired (simple gearing issue in the clocks).

Money pits these can become to get them to Daily Driver status.  I would think it would of failed the mot when the odo didn't change as that would suggest to me that the car had sat at the MOT site and been pushed back and forth to test over the years.

If the body is sound, and the engine at leasts turns over by hand, then sorting it out isn't that much of an issue.  If it is a pigsty inside and the interior is worn out, then that can be difficult to overcome, but all things mk1 can be replaced or repaired.  Frame damage, and Rust are the biggest things…. Engines/Trannys can be replaced.
So can hoods.

If it isn't too pricey and you can wrench on a car then go for it, if you can't wrench on a car then the repairs can drive you to the poor house in a UBER/LYFT and a tow.
 

What do Divorces, Great Coffee, and Car Electrics all have in common?

They all start with GOOD Grounds.

Where are my DIY Links?

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Thanks for the responses. So mileage is not as much of an issue as I thought.

The car is honest, it's literally just been neglected by the parents, it's failed MOTs on the standard old stuff, perished tyres, gaskets, rubbers, bulbs etc. The mileage didn't stop the car working so wasn't a requirement to fix it.  

I can and will do all of the mechanical work myself, the only thing I can't do is bodywork. I've always had older VW's and had a Rivage before which I pretty much rebuilt - the nut and bolt resto doesn't phase me.

It's more a case of head over heart (or the other way around) and if I'm doing the sensible thing. If I'm going to the effort, I would rather start with the best basket case possible. But I suppose any car at this age and price is going to have something bad about it, even most expensive ones will likely have a blip in the history somewhere.  

1992 MK1 Golf GTi Rivage - Classic Blue Metallic - Long term project
1991 MK1 Golf GTi Rivage - Classic Green Pearl - Sold
 

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If the speedo is reading the speed and the miles are not counting it's probably a cog on the end which has become lose, blob of super glue on the cog and it should work. Simple cheap fix, it's getting to cog inside the instrument cluster which can take the time.
It's a common problem and lots of info on the web.

Check the fuel filler neck as that my be the cutting out problem if there's water/dirt in the fuel system that can get expensive..

1988 Mk1 Golf GTi Cabriolet 1.8cc DX, K-jet. Daily drive. 300,000 miles and counting
1978 Mk1 Scirocco GLS 1.6cc FR, Webber carb. Weekend toy.

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100% snap it up especially if the price is right. Theres a K reg blue rivage parked on the main street of a tourist hotspot near me, tatty as you like and sat for as long as I can remember. Each time we go I hope and pray there will be a for sale sign on the window….

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You WILL lose money doing the required work to bring it up to decent standard. Its up to you whether you still want to do it, for the fun of it.

                                

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mark1gls said

If the speedo is reading the speed and the miles are not counting it's probably a cog on the end which has become lose, blob of super glue on the cog and it should work. Simple cheap fix, it's getting to cog inside the instrument cluster which can take the time.
It's a common problem and lots of info on the web.


The gear in question is Red, it is on the side of the speedo after you get the cluster out, and disassembled.



Without the faceplate removed.




You first must make sure that all the teeth on the gear are intact and that you aren't missing any teeth.  If you are then you are going to have to order a new gear, and they run about 30-45 bucks usd.  If there aren't any teeth missing…..

Move the gear a little inward or outward.  Clean the shaft with alcohol on a cotton swap (Q-Tip)…After teh glue has dried re-position it to re-engage the other gear, then use 0ne Drop and one drop only of super glue, best to get it on the shaft and then reposition it quickly…..
And one more drop on the exterior of the gear to the shaft.  To prevent it from running elsewheres you can dust it with Baking Powder, as that will wick it and make it dry extra quickly, and provide a better bond….

Notice I said 1 drop only and that is a itty-bitty drop not a glob…..   If you remove the face plate, take caution on removing the needle.  Lift it carefully over the pin stop.

look at the center of the needle it is pressed on and to get it off you have to pry it off from directly next to the pin, and not from the needle elsewise you will break the needle off.  I use a pair of curved hemostats, and pry next to the pin under the black circular part not near the needle….

Going back you will see the alignment dot on the face plate that is to the right of the stop pin.  Place the needle in alignment with the dot and press the center of the pin back in place.  Carefully rotate the needle to teh left, and over the stop.  This should re-align it to the proper speed setting by pre-loading the clock spring.






What do Divorces, Great Coffee, and Car Electrics all have in common?

They all start with GOOD Grounds.

Where are my DIY Links?
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