This story starts in maybe 1995 when a mate had a fairly quick Gemini and he came home distraught that he had just been demolished in a traffic light battle … by a Magna.
We later learned that the third generation V6 Magnas were decently quick. I got hosed by Ross Dunkerton in the 2004 Rally of Canberra when he was driving one of the two factory AWD Magna rally cars.
Owning a Magna is an idea that has floated around in my mind for nearly three decades since, but I never had a need for one.
And I still don’t… but the idea came up again last weekend when a registered manual one was advertised dirt cheap. I missed out on that car, but a mate told me that a mate of his had a manual one for sale.
It was a maroon 3.0 V6 one, with terrible paint, and a dead alternator, but the interior is nice and it runs beautifully. The clutch master cylinder is also dead.
He talked himself down to $300 while I was looking at it, and I gave him the money.
Meanwhile, another one was advertised for $1234 ? but I noticed that it was also a V6 manual one. Covered in tree sap, not running and a dead clutch.
The seller told me that she wanted $500 for it, so I took the punt and hooked the car trailer up and drive 90 minutes to go and have a look: What a disaster!
It was another 3.0 litre (I was hoping that it might be a 3.5), dead clutch, stinks of mouse piss, flat tyres, full of dirt, broken/trashed interior, missing keys and busted ignition switch.
I haggled her down to $200 and then let her haggle me back up to $250 because it was clear that the extra $50 meant a lot more to her than to me…
The towbar, five factory alloys and the paint being better than the maroon one are pretty much the beginning and the end of the positives.
Oh, and the custom headlining!
The custom “mural” on the bonnet is not entirely to taste…
Today I tried to get my head around the white car: work out how good the paint actually is, under the tree scum and mould; and try to get it running.
So, the body is ok. A few dents here and there, and the original paint is pretty good.
Unfortunately it has been poorly repaired on the LHR quarter panel has flaking clear coat.
I temporarily fitted a Mirage ignition switch, and the maroon car’s ECU, and the maroon car’s key in the white car’s immobiliser ring … but the immobiliser is a separate unit so I have no spark and no fuel pump.
I will try to find the immobiliser unit and swap them tomorrow.
The longer term solution appears to be finding a later model (programmable) Magna ECU and have the immobiliser switched off - but I really only want to see if the car runs.
Right now, my thoughts are to use parts off the white car to make the maroon car work properly, and then strip the manual bits from the white car and send what’s left to scrap.
If I like the whole idea enough, then I will try to find a decent 3.5 litre wagon and convert it to manual.