Philip, good to read your daydream. For me that is a reality, sort of.
I bought my first February Spring 2006, spotted it on
but it didn't reach it's reserve so I called the man in Uxbridge and made an offer. It was mine the next day! Sadly, a car hit me on the motorway during Christmas grid lock and my Twingo was a write-off. As soon as the insurance came through, I started looking for a replacement.
is few and far between and I knew exactly what I was after having owned one. There are no reputable UK importers but lots of sharks willing to fleece your money - so be warned. The only good thing that came of that was one told be about mobile.de
owned website, but for Germany only. Luckily, the Germans look after their cars extremely well. Next on my list - in order of expected car condition - would have been Belgium, Luxembourg and finally (reluctantly) France.
So I used mobile.de
to find a Twingo of the exact spec I wanted - full length glass sunroof, 16V, 2001+ model, ABS, power steering, manual gears etc. Luckily that matched a German limited edition almost exactly. I bargained with the dealer over badly written/translated German emails, and did my research about export/import. I then booked a flight to Stuttgart for one Friday morning. Everybody involved on the German side bent over backwards and made the whole thing go without a hitch. The only problem being I neglected to take good enough maps to get back - via a night out on the tiles in Brussels, of course! I've since bought Sat Nav.
So, my advice to you is - live the dream because that's what it's there for! If what you want is out there, don't settle for second best. People may think you're a little crazy, but at least you'll know you're having a bloody good time at it.
Your car and mine are essentially the same, in terms of engine and most parts but in character are miles apart.
I'll save the story of my classic Honda scooter search following a holiday in Corfu for my next post.
Take it easy,