junkYARD – Nissan Micra GLS 987cc K10 Review
This was my first car after I had passed my driving test at 17 or 18 years of age.
My dad and myself were scouring the local classifieds for a small, cheap first car. Safety didn’t even come in to consideration. It was all about getting them first wheels.
Being a new driver meant that insurance was at a premium, so a low value and low powered car was the order of the day.
Some of my friends had second cars in the household and they would get insured on their mothers car for instance, but my mum didn’t drive and I wanted my very own wheels…no sharing.
I nearly had the opportunity to get a mark 2 fiesta that was low mileage and looked like it was part of the sale from a deceased. Unluckily I just missed out on that one as it probably would have been much better than my Micra.
Either way, this came available in white with a tan/brown interior and even though it looked like a clown car with its big angular body and its tiny 12 inch wheels it was a bit of freedom and teenage attempts of hitting 100mph.
Scrapped – £100 or thereabouts
I think it was around 80,000 on the clock when I bought it
Opinion and Experience:
It was built very well, very reliable but not without it faults.
It had a small oil leak that never seemed to be eradicated and it failed an MOT on rust.
I also blew the head gasket experimenting with hard engine braking on steep hills…
I remember we spent as much as the car was worth on repairs which seems silly now, but i think in some cases at that period of time when cars weren’t such good value it was more of a case of the devil you know.
It did reach an indicated 100mph on the motorway and not long afterward the exhaust separated from the manifold making a rather alarming noise while I was travelling to Leeds trying to find some student accommodation hastily.
It went through snow, had reclining front seats and I added some 12 inch speakers to the parcel shelf so I could listen to hard house and trance in poor quality but load sound.
It drove like a tank. A big steering wheel, stiff gear change (it did have 5 gears though!), no power steering and no other luxuries.
It was ultimately reliable and took some utter hammer from me, I even reversed it in to a concrete pillar in a multistory car park and it survived.
This meant having the rear body hammered out and a scrap yard sourced hatch fitted by my dad.
In the end I think it just needed scrapping, but not before I went up and down the motorways at speed up at all hours out clubbing.
It was even broken in to once outside The Republic nightclub in Sheffield one night and a friends motorbike jacket was stolen. Sorry Dan.
My first glimpse in to motoring wasn’t cool, but in those days cars were quite brutally unrefined compared to what you can get these days for the same price.
I saw one of a similar age come up on eBay not long ago and I was sorely tempted to buy it but I noticed a bit of rust on the doors and I think a few others were looking for some nostalgia too because it sold for a price way more than its worth.
Mechanically the old thing would still probably be running if it wasn’t for Japanese’s cars lust for rust.