Land Rover 70 years of history

World Land Rover Day celebrated with prime-time broadcast

Land Rover 70 years of historyLand Rover has invited the film crews into its HQ for a special online broadcast celebrating its 70th birthday – fittingly, to be aired on World Land Rover Day. Scroll down to watch the broadcast

The global show will air at 8pm BST and, says Land Rover, tell the story of how the Land Rover originally emerged after World War II merely as a stop-gap vehicle knocked up after drawing an outline on a beach in Anglesey.

It’s since gone on to develop into one of the world’s most highly-prized car brands with a 4×4 production total of 7 million sales and counting.

As an added carrot to tune in online, viewers are promised “a look to the future, with a level of insight only available direct from the factory”. Might the long-awaited new Defender finally be teased in some form?

The first Land Rover originally debuted at the Amsterdam Motor Show on 30 April 1948. The online show will feature HUE, the first prototype Land Rover, along with a gathering of other gems including:

  • Original two-door Range Rover
  • Original Land Rover Discovery
  • Famous expedition Land Rovers from history
  • Modern models including the Range Rover Evoque and Velar

Land Rover’s also going to show off latest progress in the restoration of one of the three Amsterdam show cars – a pre-production model that was discovered last year, and which the firm has vowed to “sympathetically renovate”.

Land Rover Classic has been charged with the work: viewers will also see one it made earlier, the £150,000 Defender Works V8, compete with a wold 405hp supercharged V8 motor.

Tune in from 20:00 BST at Land Rover’s YouTube channel to watch the special broadcast

UPDATE, 20:25 BST – Land Rover says things are running a little late but the special broadcast will be happening soon!

UPDATE, 21:15 – The special broadcast is now live! Sit back and enjoy…

Mini Convertible 25th Anniversary Edition

Mini Convertible celebrates 25 years with limited-run special

Mini Convertible 25th Anniversary EditionPeople with angle grinders and ambition had been producing open-top Minis for years, but it wasn’t until June 1993 that the first official Mini Convertible rolled off the Longbridge production line.

The Rover Mini Cabriolet was a mainstream version of the ultra-rare Mini Lamm Cabriolet conversion, which was launched in 1991. The fast sell-out of the 75 models convinced Rover Group the idea had a future, and despite costing almost double what a regular tin-top Mini did at launch, the Mini Cabriolet nevertheless proved popular.

This inspired BMW to develop an open-top version of the reborn Mini. The new Mini Convertible launched in 2004 and it too has sold well – and how. More than 89,000 have found homes in the UK alone.

To mark the quarter-century of its open-top car, Mini UK is now launching a 25th Anniversary Edition of the Mini Convertible, based on the Cooper S and limited to just 300 cars – each costing £32,995.

Coincidentally, that’s around double what a base Mini One costs.

Finished exclusively in a unique combination of Starlight Blue metallic with Satellite Grey ‘lounge leather’ interior, Mini Yours Union Jack woven fabric roof, white bonnet stripes and two-tone 18-inch Mini Yours ‘Vanity Spoke’ alloys.

Also standard is the Mini Chili Pack, Navigation Plus pack and a beefy Harman Kardon sound system. Oh, and a commemorative plaque for the dash.

Mini Convertible 25th Anniversary Edition

As with all factory-fresh Mini Hatch and Convertible models, the 25th Anniversary Edition also benefits from 2018 model-year upgrades, including front and rear LED lights, 6.5-inch colour infotainment screen, multi-function steering wheel and the latest ‘2D’ Mini brand logo (replacing the old ‘3D’ motif).

Oh, and the ‘Union Flag’ rear lights that are the quickest way to spot a 2018 Mini. There’s no missing them…

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

Using the feedback received from car owners who took the Driver Power survey, Auto Express has named the best and worst car manufacturers of 2018. Drivers who bought their car in the past 12 months rated their vehicles across nine categories, with the results created to form an overall percentage score. If Auto Express readers are to be believed, these are the car manufacturers you can trust with your hard-earned cash. We’ll present the results in reverse order.

10th best: Jaguar

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

With a score of 90.65 percent, Jaguar manages to creep into the top 10, just ahead of Suzuki. Owners praised the engines, gearboxes, ride and handling, exterior styling and practicality, but were less happy with the infotainment systems, interior design and reliability. A total of 28.1 percent owners reported faults within the past 12 months.

9th best: Mazda

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

Mazda drops four places in the 2018 Driver Power survey, finishing with a score of 90.97 percent. It’s a mixed set of results for the Japanese firm, with second places finishes for exterior styling and build quality counterbalanced by low marks for practicality and running costs. Owners were also quick to criticise Mazda’s MZD-Connect infotainment system.

8th best: Kia

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

Kia finished an impressed third in the 2017 Driver Power survey, but drops five places in this year’s table. The reasons for the slump: a lowly 22nd place in the engine and gearbox category, along with 18th for running costs. On the plus side, Kia picked up runner-up positions in the practicality and infotainment categories.

7th best: Land Rover

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

Last year, Land Rover had to endure a miserable 24th position in the Driver Power survey, so a seventh place finish in 2018 will be seen as a good result. Owners praised the interior comfort, along with the engine, gearbox, infotainment, practicality and safety. A 21st place for fuel economy and running costs, and a 16th for reliability, suggests there’s still work to be done.

6th best: Skoda

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

From the dizzy heights of second in 2017 to sixth in 2018, Skoda might be a little disappointed with this result. According to Auto Express, the owners would like a little more excitement from their cars, while the Czech company finished in the bottom half of the table in the exterior category. Predictably, Skoda owners seem satisfied with their car’s reliability and running costs.

5th best: Volkswagen

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

Volkswagen beats Skoda by the narrowest of margins, with VW scoring 91.15 percent, while its Czech mate scores 91.14 percent. This nine-place rise is helped by good engine and infotainment ratings, along high praise for the interior quality. Only one in 10 drivers told Auto Express they had a experienced some kind of fault in the first year.

4th best: Nissan

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

Hats off to Nissan, with the Japanese giant jumping from 20th in 2017 to an excellent fourth place finish in 2018. Being ranked first for infotainment, connectivity and electrics certainly helps, while Nissan also performed well in the safety and exterior categories. Reliability and build quality are two of the brand’s weakest areas.

3rd best: Honda

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

A score of 91.36 percent is enough for Honda to secure a podium finish, with owners enjoying low running costs and reliable cars. The company achieved a first for practicality and boot space, while dealers were praised for their fair prices. Negative points include styling, ride and handling, plus Honda’s infotainment system.

2nd best: Alfa Romeo

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

Be honest, if we had asked you to predict the top three, you wouldn’t have placed Alfa Romeo in second spot. This represents a tremendous turnaround in fortunes, with Alfa going from nowhere to be seen in 2017 to a silver medal in 2018. Predictably, owners love the way their cars look and drive, but are less sure about reliability and build quality.

The best: Lexus

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

It’s another first place finish for Lexus, with the Japanese luxury brand ranked first for interior, comfort and reliability. The firm’s hybrid powertrains played a part in a fourth place for running costs, while build quality is another Lexus strong point. The only negative: a seventh place for infotainment.

10th worst: Peugeot

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

You’ve seen the best, now it’s time to focus on the rest. According to Auto Express readers, these are the worst manufacturers in the UK. We’ll present the results in reverse order, starting with Peugeot. A score of 89.74 percent is low enough to keep Ford (90.02 percent) just out of the top 10.

9th worst: Audi

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

This isn’t a good result for Audi, but it’s not the only premium brand to finish in the bottom 10. In fact, a score of 89.67 percent is enough for Audi to finish above Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

8th worst: MINI

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

MINI offers a range of cars dripping in showroom appeal, but on this evidence the novelty of owning a fashionable motor might soon wear off. A score of 89.62 percent is only enough for a 19th place finish, or eighth worst.

7th worst: Mercedes-Benz

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

Still, it could be worse. Mercedes-Benz offers a bewildering array of vehicles, including coupe versions of SUVs, and performance crossovers, but it might need to concentrate more on keeping its owners satisfied. On the plus side, Stuttgart finishes ahead of Munich…

6th worst: BMW

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

But only just. BMW is the lowest-ranking premium brand, with the remaining five places filled with volume and budget-led manufacturers. A case of owners having high expectations, or a more deep-rooted problem?

5th worst: Vauxhall

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

Into the bottom five, where we find Vauxhall on 89.20 percent. PSA bosses will be hoping that the range of Peugeot-based crossovers will propel Vauxhall up the table in 2019.

4th worst: Fiat

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

Next, we arrive at Fiat, which finishes with a score of 89.01 percent. If Fiat sold enough of its Mazda-based 124 Spider it might stand a better chance of finishing higher up the table, but the third-generation Panda is in desperate need of an overhaul, having been launched in 2011.

3rd worst: Renault

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

French car fans look away now, because this won’t make for good reading. Renault secures an unwelcome podium spot, scoring 88.37 percent in the Driver Power survey. The Captur finished a miserable 70th out of 75 in the individual car table.

2nd worst: Citroen

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

Meanwhile, the C4 Cactus and C3 both finished in the bottom four, contributing to a disappointing 87.88 percent score for Citroen. The company is pushing more upmarket with the revamped C4 Cactus, but this would suggest that there’s a lot of work to be done.

The worst: Dacia

The best – and worst – car manufacturers 2018

While leaves us with Dacia: named by Auto Express readers as the worst car manufacturer of 2018. The Sandero also finished rock bottom of the individual car table, cementing an unwanted double dose of misery for the budget-led brand.

Read more:

Captain American SpeedKore Chevrolet Camaro

What car would Marvel’s Captain America drive?

Captain American SpeedKore Chevrolet Camaro

If you’re one of the many Marvel fans flocking to the cinema for the release of the new Avengers: Infinity War movie, you might find yourself wondering what car Captain America might drive. Although if you’re a real comic book aficionado, you’ll already know that he rides a vintage Harley Davidson motorbike.

However, when it comes to Chris Evans, the actor who plays Captain America and his Steve Rogers alter ego, the answer is much clearer. It’s a rather impressive 1967 Chevrolet Camaro, thoroughly customised and upgraded by Wisconsin-based SpeedKore, a company that specialises in taking muscle cars to the next level.

Lurking beneath the bonnet of the ‘67 Camaro is a modern LS3 Chevrolet crate engine. Off the shelf the 6.2-litre (376-cubic inch) V8 produces 430 hp and 425 lb-ft of torque, making it more than sufficient to power a 1960’s classic. SpeedKore has also upgraded various engine parts, along with mating it to a Chevrolet Performance four-speed automatic gearbox with push-button shifting.

Captain American SpeedKore Chevrolet Camaro

All that power would be wasted without bringing the chassis up to date, and nothing has been overlooked for Evans’ Camaro. Using a Detroit Speed performance suspension kit, this superhero has been lowered closer to the ground, with stopping power also increased by the addition of huge Baer 6S ‘Extreme’ brakes. Wheels supplied by HRE measuring 18-inches in diameter at the front, and a huge 20-inches at the rear, complete the chassis makeover.

Captain American SpeedKore Chevrolet Camaro

Skilled in custom bodywork design and fabrication, SpeedKore have given the Camaro numerous exterior modifications to mark it out as something special. The transformation also continues inside, where Recaro bucket seats are wrapped in leather described as ‘Bomber Brown’ in colour. Quite apt given Captain America’s World War Two backstory. Keeping things cool is a vintage air conditioning system, whilst a Kenwood satellite navigation unit brings the technology into the 21st century.

Captain American SpeedKore Chevrolet Camaro

This is not the first time SpeedKore have created a muscle car for a Marvel movie hero. Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr. commissioned the firm to produce a stunning Ford Mustang Boss 302, which picked up a ‘Best of Show’ design award at the prestigious SEMA show in 2017


SpeedKore has also produced cars featured in the Fast & Furious movie franchise, including a 1,650hp twin-turbocharged 1970 Dodge Charger. Other highlights include a version of the already crazy Dodge Challenger Demon clothed in carbon fibre, and a lightweight Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R.

Captain American SpeedKore Chevrolet Camaro

Given the number of actors involved in Avengers: Infinity War, we have our fingers crossed that SpeedKore will get even more commissions for bespoke American muscle cars.

Renault Clio Williams

MR week in review: 29 April 2018

Renault Clio Williams

For those of a certain age, the Renault Clio Williams represents one of the greatest hot hatchbacks to ever be released. From the association with the then dominant team in Formula 1, to a love for lift-off oversteer and an iconic combination of blue paintwork and gold wheels, the Williams had it all.

But driving one today could risk discovering that after 25 years, this legendary Clio doesn’t live up to the high expectations. You can read whether it impressed in our review, and watch the Williams on the move with our video. 

This week we have driven another rare hatchback, picked out the most beautiful Jaguars ever built, and investigated the story behind a mysterious turbo Corvette. 


Koenigsegg Agera RSN hits 242mph on UK airfield
If you’ve followed the story of Koenigsegg, you’ll know that the 1,160hp Agera is really rather quick. A new VMax200 record speed of 242mph is confirmation of that.


Renault Clio Williams
Meeting a hero – Renault Clio Williams
It consistently tops lists of the greatest hot hatches ever made, meaning that our expectations were high for an encounter with the Clio Williams. Find out if it managed to deliver.

Aston Martin Cygnet
Aston Martin Cygnet – what is it like to drive?
Controversial from the off, the Cygnet stunned many when announced in 2011. Forever set to be a rare curio, we’ve driven one to see just what the smallest Aston Martin is really like. 

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Cream of the crop
How do you pick the ten most beautiful Jaguars ever built? Carefully, but safe in the knowledge not everyone will agree, was the strategy chosen by Gav. See if you concur with the chosen big cats

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50 must-see motoring events
Good weather has to arrive at some point this year, so get planning for the motoring events you really cannot afford to miss. Bring an umbrella.

30 fabulous Ferraris up for auction
Ferrari auction fever
With 33 Maranello products on offer, the first Sale of Ferraris to be held by Silverstone Auctions certainly lives up to the billing.

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With accolades handed out at the inaugural FirstCar awards, these are the best cars, driving schools, and more for new drivers.

1980 Corvette Turbo
The mystery machine
Just what exactly is the 1980’s turbocharged Corvette that recently appeared for auction here in the UK? John Moroney dug deep into the history books to find out where it might have come from.

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30 fabulous Ferraris up for auction

In pictures: 30 fabulous Ferraris up for auction

30 fabulous Ferraris up for auction

You’d expect the inaugural Sale of Ferraris to contain a few Ferrari models, but you might be surprised to learn that the forthcoming auction has a total of 33 cars on offer. The cars are being offered for sale by Silverstone Auctions in association with Ferrari Owners’ Club GB, with the auction taking place at Silverstone on 18 May 2018. Take your pick from our list of 30 Ferraris.

Ferrari 550 Maranello: £135,000 – £160,000

Ferrari 550 Maranello: £135,000 - £160,000

Launched in 1996, the Ferrari 550 Maranello was powered by a 5,474cc V12 engine developing 485hp at 7,000rpm, enough to give it a top speed just shy of 200mph and a 0-62mph time of 4.4 seconds.

This 1998 example is owned by the hat-loving Jamiroquai frontman, Jay Kay, and is said to be the first supercar he ever bought. He was 29 at the time and living in an 11-bedroom Georgian mansion with Denise Van Outen. He must have died and gone to heaven…

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona: £500,000 – £575,000

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona: £500,000 - £575,000

“Without doubt, this is one of the most exceptional Ferraris we’ve had the pleasure to offer for sale. It’s in incredible condition thanks to the very careful ownership of its previous guardians, and I’m sure it will be of serious interest to car collectors worldwide,” said Adam Rutter of Silverstone Auctions.

It is thought to be one of only 158 UK-supplied, right-hand drive, 365 GTB/4 Daytonas, with a mere 35,900 miles on the clock. It is, by some distance, the most expensive Ferrari to go under the hammer at the Silverstone Auctions sale.

Ferrari 365 GT4 BB: £255,000 – £295,000

Ferrari 365 GT4 BB: £255,000 - £295,000

Launched in 1973, the Ferrari 365 GT4 BB took inspiration from the BB prototype of the 1971 Turin Motor Show, and was powered by a 4.4-litre flat-12 engine developing 380hp. It has the appearance of having two body shells, thanks to the painted top half and the satin black bottom section.

This is one of 58 right-hand drive examples, originally finished in Giallo Fly yellow. The respray is thought to have been completed in 1982, when the owner also went to the trouble of retrimming the interior. “It could well reward some investment by returning it to its rare original Yellow, or a new owner could simply jump in and have fun. Either way, this is undoubtedly the most usable 365 Boxer on the market today,” said Silverstone Auctions.

Ferrari 512 BB: £110,000 – £150,000

Ferrari 365 GT4 BB: £255,000 - £295,000

Here’s one they made… later. The 512 BB was unveiled at the 1976 Paris Motor Show as a replacement for the 364 GT4 BB. Although the two cars are visually similar, the 512 BB was powered by a 5.0-litre version of the flat-12 engine, developing 360hp. Later, Ferrari switched to Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, reducing the power to 340hp.

Forming part of a collection, this 1978 512 BB is being offered from a deceased estate, but the history file is not available. What we do know is that it was treated to a makeover courtesy of Emblem Sports Cars, a company acquired by Nigel Mansell.

Ferrari FF: £120,000 – £135,000

Ferrari 365 GT4 BB: £255,000 - £295,000

The FF hit the headlines in 2011 when it was launched as Ferrari’s first ever production four-wheel drive model. With a top speed of 208mph and a 0-60mph time of 3.7 seconds, it also happened to be the world’s fastest four-seater car. It proved to be especially popular in China, where wealthy supercar owners like to take their families along for the ride.

Not that family motoring was high on the list of priorities for Jay Kay, who purchased this 2011 example in 2013. The spec includes baseball-stitched leather, upgraded Potenziato audio system (naturally), Scuderia shields and privacy glass.

Ferrari 550 Barchetta Pininfarina: £325,000 – £375,000

Ferrari 365 GT4 BB: £255,000 - £295,000

Unveiled at the 2000 Paris Motor Show, the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina was launched to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the famous Italian styling house. Just 448 numbered cars were built, with the last one leaving the factory in December 2001.

This is car number 200, which was supplied new in Wilmslow, Cheshire – where else? – and with 3,022 miles on the clock, it is thought to be the lowest mileage example in the country. It comes complete with its original ‘Barchetta’ helmets in their bespoke badge.

Ferrari 430 Scuderia: £165,000 – £185,000

Ferrari 430 Scuderia: £165,000 - £185,000

The figures are outstanding: 510hp, 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds, a power-to-weight ratio of 2.45kg/hp, and a top speed of 198mph. Ferrari used all of its F1 knowhow – not to mention a little help from Michael Schumacher – to create one of the best track-focused road cars ever built.

The list of F1-derived goodies includes a lightning-quick SuperFast 2 transmission, an F1 Trac electronic differential, and a host of aerodynamic aids. This 2009 example is finished in Rosso Corsa with a factory-fitted stripe, and has covered 13,600 miles.

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta: £190,000 – £240,000

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta: £190,000 - £240,000

At the time of its launch in 2012, the F12 Berlinetta was billed as the fastest road-going Ferrari ever built, be it around the Fiorano test track or anywhere else in the world. The naturally aspirated V12 engine could propel the F12 to a top speed of 211mph, sprinting to 62mph in just 3.1 seconds.

Little is known about this 2014 example, other than the fact that it has covered 12,715 miles in the hands of one owner.

Ferrari 550 ‘World Speed Record’: £140,000 – £170,000

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta: £190,000 - £240,000

In 1998, Ferrari sent a lightly-modified 550 to a 12km test track in Ohio and set three world records, namely: a distance of 100 miles covered at an average speed of 190.2mph, a distance of 100km at an average of 188.9mph, and driving for one hour at an average of 184mph.

To celebrate the achievement, Ferrari built 33 ‘World Speed Record’ cars, each one fitted with a Fiorano handling pack, leather-trimmed roll cage, suede-covered steering wheel, carbon bucket seats and a ‘WSR’ plaque.

Ferrari Testarossa: £100,000 – £120,000

Ferrari Testarossa: £100,000 - £120,000

As one of the most iconic cars of the 1980s, the Ferrari Testarossa probably graced more bedroom walls than the tennis player with an itchy bottom. Launched at the Paris Lido nightclub in 1984, the Testarossa was famous for its slatted side intakes, designed to channel air to the radiators.

This right-hand drive Testarossa has covered 13,867 miles since it was delivered new in Egham, Surrey. The current owner bought it in 1994, with Silverstone Auctions claiming “you don’t own a car for this long if it’s not an exceptionally good one.” Correct, but wouldn’t you want to drive it more often?

Ferrari 512 BBi: £210,000 – £240,000

Ferrari 512 BBi: £210,000 - £240,000

The 512 BB with its carburettors might have offered 20hp more than the fuel-injected 512 BBi, but the Bosch K-Jetronic provided more reliable performance, making this later version the one to have. Without wishing to revert to cliches, this is one of the most coveted Ferrari models of them all.

“This fabulous 512 BBi has travelled less than 1,000 miles in the last twenty-four years”, said Silverstone Auctions. Imagine owning a 512 BBi and only driving 1,000 miles in a quarter of a century.

Ferrari 330 GT: £140,000 – £170,000

Ferrari 330 GT: £140,000 - £170,000

The oldest Ferrari in the sale just happens to be one of the prettiest. The 330 GT was unveiled at the 1964 Brussels Motor Show and ushered in a new era of grand tourers for Ferrari. Pininfarina designed a suitably timeless and elegant GT car, although not everyone was won over by the relatively sombre styling.

This is one of 44 right-hand drive models, having been imported by RJ ‘Ronnie’ Hoare of the F.English group of Ford dealers. It was delivered new to a Mr Lewis of Marleybone in August 1964.

Ferrari 612 Scaglietti ‘One-to-One’: £90,000 – £110,000

Ferrari 612 Scaglietti ‘One-to-One’: £90,000 - £110,000

To commemorate a relationship dating back to the 1950s, Ferrari decided to name the 612 after the Italian coachbuilder, Scaglietti. The 612 of 2004 was said to have been inspired by the 375 MM Berlinetta Aerodinamica, commissioned by Roberto Rossellini for Ingrid Bergman.

The second generation 612 of 2008 introduced a number of revisions, which coincided with the launch of Ferrari’s ‘One-to-One’ personalisation program. This is believed to be one of 20 right-hand drive 612 Scaglietti ‘One-to-One’ models and it has covered 24,000 miles.

Ferrari F430 F1: £95,000 – £110,000

Ferrari 612 Scaglietti ‘One-to-One’: £90,000 - £110,000

Unveiled as the heir to the 360 Modena, the Ferrari F430 incorporated a number of F1 developments, such as a five-mode electronic differential and a six-speed sequential transmission (a manual was available as an option).

This 2006 example has covered just 7,901 miles in the hands of its one and only owner and was awarded a class win at a Ferrari Owners’ Club concours event. Amazingly, the seats are still wrapped in their original protective covers.

Ferrari 400: £45,000 – £50,000

Ferrari 400: £45,000 - £50,000

No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you, this is a Ferrari 400 convertible. Although a drop-top version of Ferrari’s 4.8-litre V12 GT car was never offered by Maranello, one-off conversions did surface.

According to Silverstone Auctions, this 1977 example was converted by AC Cars using parts from the Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible, although there are no documents to support this. The odometer is showing 2,500 miles – could this be genuine?

Ferrari F355 Spider: £80,000 – £90,000

Ferrari F355 Spider: £80,000 - £90,000

Jeremy Clarkson liked the Ferrari F355 he road tested for Top Gear so much, he went out and bought one with his own money. The Spider version of the F355 was designed with the North American market in mind and featured a semi-automatic hood. A sequential transmission was available from 1997.

Of the 454 F355 Spiders imported into the UK, 315 had the six-speed manual gearbox, as fitted to this 1996 example. Silverstone Auctions reckons that the red on black with a black soft-top is the best combination for an F355 Spider. Do you agree?

Ferrari F355 Spider: £90,000 – £110,000

Ferrari F355 Spider: £90,000 - £110,000

If you disagree with Silverstone Auctions, how about this Giallo Modena yellow and Nero interior example? The F355 Spider was offered with some quite obscure metallic colours, although red and yellow are two of the more common hues.

This is “undoubtedly one of the finest 355s currently on the market”, said the auctioneers. Yours for around £100,000.

Ferrari 456M GTA: £48,000 – £54,000

Ferrari 456M GTA: £48,000 - £54,000

The ‘M’ in 456M stood for ‘Modificata’ – or modified – to mark a series of aesthetic changes over its predecessor: the 456 GT. In the case of the 456M GTA, all cars were fitted with a four-speed automatic transmission.

This 2003 example looks resplendent in Tour de France Blue and is showing just 28,900 miles on the clock.

Ferrari Mondial T: £50,000 – £60,000

Ferrari Mondial T: £50,000 - £60,000

Launched in 1980, the Ferrari Mondial faced criticism for its lack of performance and unusual Pininfarina design. With the benefit of hindsight, one could argue that it was a relatively successful attempt to combine sports car styling with 2+2 practicality.

This 1991 example is a Mondial T – the ‘T’ a reference to engine and gearbox layout – and one of 842 Mondial T coupes to leave Maranello. Amazingly, this left-hand drive car has covered just 2,100km from new.

Ferrari F355 F1 Berlinetta: £65,000 – £75,000

Ferrari F355 F1 Berlinetta: £65,000 - £75,000

If you’ve had your fill of Ferraris, we’ll rattle through the remaining cars in record time, starting with this: a F355 F1 Berlinetta. It’s fitted with the F1-style electro-hydraulic paddle-shift transmission, and looks delightful in Tour de France Blue with a cream interior.

Ferrari 308 GTS: £40,000 – £45,000

Ferrari 308 GTS: £40,000 - £45,000

The 308 GTB was unveiled in 1975, with the GTS arriving two years later. They remained in production until 1985, by which time some 12,000 cars had been sold. This 1981 car was sold new in Italy, before arriving in the UK in 1988.

Ferrari 575M Maranello F1: £58,000 – £66,000

Ferrari 575M Maranello F1: £58,000 - £66,000

Another left-hooker: this 2002 Ferrari 575M Maranello F1 was supplied new in Germany, before moving to Spain, then arriving in the UK. It’s good to see that somebody has enjoyed driving this front-engined grand tourer, because there are 61,135km (38,000 miles) on the clock.

Ferrari 348 TS: £60,000 – £70,000

Ferrari 348 TS: £60,000 - £70,000

Launched at the 1989 Frankfurt Motor Show, the 348 replaced the successful 328 and borrowed many styling cues from the Testarossa. The TB and TS models arrived at the same time, with the TS marked out by its removable ‘Targa’ top. This right-hand drive example has covered 5,500 miles.

Ferrari 308 GTS QV: £75,000 – £85,000

Ferrari 308 GTS QV: £75,000 - £85,000

One of just 233 right-hand drive 308 GTS QVs produced, this one comes complete with the ‘MSV 308’ registration mark. An indoor car cover is also included, so you’ll have no trouble keeping that Rosso Corsa and Crema leather in pristine condition.

Ferrari 360 Modena: £64,000 – £74,000

Ferrari 360 Modena: £64,000 - £74,000

Ferrari ushered in the new millennium with an entirely new body shape and a new aluminium space frame chassis. At the time, customers were forced to wait two years for delivery of their 360 Modena. You only have a few weeks to wait if you fancy placing a bid on this 2000 example.

Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano: £60,000 – £70,000

Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano: £60,000 - £70,000

The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano: so called because 599 is the displacement of the V12 engine divided by 10, ‘GTB’ stands for Gran Turismo Berlinetta, while Fiorano is the name of the famous test track. This 2009 example was delivered new in Dubai.

Ferrari 308 GTB QV: £45,000 – £55,000

Ferrari 308 GTB QV: £45,000 - £55,000

The Koenig bodywork won’t suit all tastes, but you can’t deny that this 308 GTB QV has real presence. There are just 6,000 miles on the clock.

Ferrari Mondial QV: £28,000 – £33,000

Ferrari Mondial QV: £28,000 - £33,000

One could argue that the cabriolet is the prettiest version of the Mondial and it’s certainly one of the cheapest ways to get on the Ferrari ladder. This 1985 example has spent most of its life in California and has covered 37,500 miles.

Ferrari 348 TS: £55,000 – £65,000

Ferrari 348 TS: £55,000 - £65,000

This might be one of the most desirable cars in the auction. It’s one of the first 348 TS models to roll out of the factory, first registered in Florida, then exported to Germany where it was owned by the proprietor of the Kia/Mazda Autohaus dealerships. Amazingly, there are just 3,985 miles on the clock.

Ferrari 550 Maranello: £140,000 – £180,000

Ferrari 550 Maranello: £140,000 - £180,000

Speaking of low-mileage cars: this 550 Maranello has covered 3,000 miles from new in the hands of a single owner. Imagine owning a car for two decades and hardly driving it. If you fancy spending upwards of £140,000 on this 1998 car, head to the Sale of Ferraris at Silverstone on 18 May 2018.

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Series Elite Jaguar F-Type GT4

Race series for rich over-50s will use 200mph Jaguar F-Type GT4s

Series Elite Jaguar F-Type GT4The first one-make race series for the freshly-developed Jaguar F-Type GT4 racing car has been announced. The Series Elite championship is targeting “high net worth individuals” – all of whom must be at least 50 years of age.

Offering “more mature drivers an opportunity to compete on a level playing field”, the turn-key race series is aiming to field a grid of 20 cars when it holds its inaugural event in autumn 2018. The plan is for a six double-header race championship in 2019.

“Currently there is no series that caters specifically for older drivers who want to compete at a high level with like-minded racers,” said series director, Graeme Glew.

Series Elite Jaguar F-Type GT4

He said that although competitors will buy their own cars, everything else will be done for them – including preparation, transport, arranging hospitality plus sorting travel and accommodation. “With time at a premium, it will allow drivers to fulfil their desire to go racing with minimal effort and fit (it) into their busy lifestyle.”

The race series will extend further too, offering competitors the chance to take part in flash lifestyle events away from race weekends – and “expand the race experience into new areas, such as ice driving”.

Both amateur and more experienced drivers are welcomed with a training, testing and race experience programme tailored to suit.

Series Elite Jaguar F-Type GT4

The Jaguars will all be stored at a central race prep facility. They’re FIA GT4-spec cars, based on the 200mph F-Type SVR and originally developed for Invictus Games Racing. Apparently, said JLR director of vehicle personalisation Greg Clark, “the concept and series profile is an obvious fit for Jaguar”.

The first race will be held at Brands Hatch on October 27-28, and expand to events at Silverstone, Donington and Rockingham in 2019 – with an end-of-season international finale also being planned.

Parking ticket

Parking penalties up by 1 MILLION in just 1 year

Parking ticketA record 5.65 million tickets were issued to drivers parking on private land in the last financial year – a staggering increase of almost one million penalties over 2016/17 figures (which themselves were a record).

The rapid increase in parking penalties has been highlighted by RAC Foundation analysis – and as charges can be as much as £100, the association calculates British motorists could be spending more than half a billion pounds a year simply on private parking fines.

It’s a stark contrast to just a decade ago, where less than half a million parking tickets were issued. In 2006/07, a mere 272,000 tickets were handed out.

The ticket tally equates to 15,486 penalties being issued every single day. The RAC Foundation has calculated its data from the purchase of driver data from the DVLA; by far the biggest purchaser was ParkingEye Ltd, which bought 1,768,233 records in 2017/18; Euro Car Parks bought 406,323 records and Smart Parking Ltd paid for 390,860 records.

A total of 119 parking companies paid for data from the DVLA.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Each year we publish this analysis and each year we are not only astonished by the numbers involved, but also by the fact that those numbers keep rocketing up.

“Pursuing so many people must be a major administrative task for the companies involved, but the questions the numbers really beg are: what’s going wrong? Are Britain’s motorists really flouting the rules on such an industrial scale?”

But why are there so many parking tickets now being issued? The RAC Foundation points to the 2012 Protection of Freedoms Act, which banned clamping on private land except in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

The Act instead allowed private parking companies to go after the registered owners of vehicles themselves, instead of proving who the driver was at the time of the so-called offence – hence, as the figures below show, the incredible rise in parking tickets being issued…

Financial year Vehicle keeper records obtained from the DVLA by parking companies
2017/18 5.65 million
2016/17 4.71 million
2015/16 3.67 million
2014/15 3.06 million
2013/14 2.43 million
2012/13 1.89 million
2011/12 1.57 million
2010/11 1.17 million
2009/10 1.03 million
2008/9 687,000
2007/8 499,000
2006/7 272,000
TOTAL 26.64 million
Skoda company car driver

Company car drivers eat SIX sandwiches a week behind the wheel

Skoda company car driverSkoda, clearly keen to encourage greater fleet adoption of its ever-expanding range of practical, value-priced cars, has commissioned a survey into what company car drivers get up to.

Some of the stats are unsurprising; Skoda thinks company car drivers spending nearly three years of their career behind the wheel is news, but it actually works out to a perfectly reasonable 13 hours a week (although four of them are likely to be spent stuck in traffic).

And the headline of covering nearly half a million miles over a career is eye-opening, the fact this equates to a mere 235 miles a week is not. That’s little different to the distance covered by the average UK driver!

As ever, it’s all in the details. Company car drivers claim to drink 614 hot drinks behind the wheel every year (no wonder there are drive-through coffee shops sprouting up everywhere). Make over 350 hands-free calls. Use sat nav almost twice a day and admit to singing along to eight songs every week.

The killer fact for us, though, is company car driver’s eating habits. Fleet drivers eat more sandwiches behind the wheel than there are days in the working week – six of them, with a munchsome six bags of crisps a week to go with them. Why six? Do fleet drivers have frequently have hungry days? We’re intrigued. 

The Skoda survey quizzed 1,000 business professionals, and Henry Williams, Head of Fleet for Skoda UK, said “the results… influence the specialist business car range we offer. We know consumer requirements are evolving all the time so our research ensures our cars are always relevant for the driver”.

Skoda’s wise to do this. Two in three company drivers reckon they spend more time in their car than they do on their home sofa, despite only one in three saying they really enjoy driving. A car isn’t just a fleet driver’s office, it’s their life. 

But then, as 20 percent of drivers say it’s the only ‘me time’ they get, perhaps getting behind the wheel, opening up a BLT and a bag of McCoy’s, and cranking up Magic FM might not be so much of a drag after all.

Renault Clio Williams

Renault Clio Williams review: the perfect pocket-rocket

Does the Renault Clio Williams deserve its place in the hot hatch hall of fame? Tim Pitt has waited 25 years to find out