What’s The Most Unreliable Car You’d Happily Own?

Chap broken down

“Buy with your head, not your heart,” is something you’ll either hear from your parents, partner or non-car person. I’ve had this kind of advice fired at me from all angles over the years… thankfully, the wife is (slightly) more understanding.

Luckily, if you are like me and born with high-octane sluicing around in your arteries, this advice goes unheard, no matter how persistent the messenger. I’ve bought cars with my heart every time I’ve fancied a change, and to hell with reliability and MPG, especially with my first two. When you’ve just passed your driving test and you are still in your teens, money is usually an issue, especially when it comes to insurance – you are advised to select something simple, sensible and cheap for both insurance and maintenance.

1978 MGB GT

1978 MGB GT

“Bugger that,” was my immediate response, all ready knowing full well I wanted an MGB GT. A 1983 Ford Mustang quickly followed, then an Alfa, a Maserati, an M3… the list goes on.

People spend silly amounts on various hobbies, such as art, flying, fashion and golf, so why is driving your desired car a problem to these people who harp on about MPG and reliability?

Funnily enough and despite the marque’s bad reputation for breaking down, the Alfa I owned was reliable and extremely fun to drive. My 147 was Russo red with cream leather and top-spec alloys; it was a lovely looking thing, too. The older Alfas are not so reliable, which leads me onto the point of this post – notoriously bad for electrical and mechanical failings, there is one particular model I’d happily own, despite the bad rep.

Alfa Alfetta GTV6

Alfa Alfetta GTV6

The combination of the Alfa Romeo GTV6’s looks and V6 wail is enough to hammer the last nail into the proverbial pragmatic coffin. With looks this good accompanied by the mechanical opera soundtrack, who cares if you spend more on fuel and recovery trucks?

This is defiantly a car you’d gawp at over your shoulder every time you parked up and walked away.

Here’s the Italian beauty in full flight in 007’s Octopussy. 


The Totally Awesome RX-7

Having watched this clip 5 or 6 times over the past few days, I came to realise this is the perfect video to show non-car people – maybe they’d understand a little more as to why us car guys and gals see a car as more than a means of transport.

Over a two year period, this 19-year-old put every last buck delivering pizzas into his powerful rat-look Mazda RX-7. He doesn’t realise it yet, but in another 19 years he’ll look back with fond memories of his build. Even if he makes it in the world and is driving around in the latest Ferrari, it’s this RX-7 that would’ve given him the greatest thrill and buzz.

He may hear a song on the radio that was popular during the time he spent labouring away in his garage and be transported back to the days of delivering pizza, or he might catch a scent of combusted petrol and burnt rubber and suddenly find himself enveloped in a memory of sunny summers and adrenalin fueled near misses.

How do I know this?

My first car wasn’t as insane as this beast, but I did opt for an MGB GT. It had a re-bored engine, wire-wheels and sat slightly higher at the rear – a look that was once the in thing. It looked pretty mean and my father (a non-car guy) surprisingly let me have it. Whilst I was taking lessons in a pathetic 1.0-L Rover Metro, the MG sat in the garage. During the hot summer the garage was a cool retreat where I would just sit behind the wheel and marvel at the dials and the low down seating position. Because it was as old as me at the time, it smelt of petrol, and this combined with the scent of vinyl is a concoction unmatched by any other car I’ve owned.

I crashed the poor thing on my first legal day on the road, spinning it one way, over-compensating and spinning it into a station wall – luckily I had 100% compensation as I suffered the usual whiplash and a shredded shoulder.

You’d have thought I’d learnt my lesson, but like The Toad from The Wind In The Willows, sitting in the road and repeating “poop poop”, I was hooked. Although I became more obsessed with cars, I went on a few driving courses, the best dealing with wet surfaces and skidding.

My next car?

A 1983 2.3-L turbo Ford Mustang – unusual for the UK but I loved it!

Anyway, check out this kid’s skills in creating this rather special RX-7:

Anyone ever thought about car restoration?


I wrote this article because I have a passion for old cars and have owned a few over the years. My first car was an MGB GT, a 1978 model that appeared solid on the outside but was a little rusty underneath. With a little research I found out restoring these cars – or at least installing enough love to keep them on the roads for a few years longer – isn’t as hard as you may think if you start with the right car.

This ARTICLE features 5 Top Starter Classics, posted from Motor Ward.