Inside the multi-million-pound Porsche showroom

Last month, Porsche built its millionth 911. Then, just a fortnight later, a 1993 911 sold at auction for £1.7million. Think about that for a moment. One-point-seven million pounds. For a 911. Has the world gone mad?

Before you spill your PG Tips or take to Twitter, I should point out that, yes, the car in question was a rare 964 3.8 RSR. And yes, it was essentially new, with six miles on the clock. Nonetheless, we’re still talking about a 911: a car for which around 700,000 of that one-million production run remain on the road.

Thankfully, you won’t need £1.7million to buy a Porsche at JZM – one of the UK’s leading marque specialists, based at Kings Langley in Hertfordshire. But if you’re looking for an investment-grade Porsche it’s a good place to start; the showroom is packed wall-to-wall with classic 911s, including plenty of RS models. I went along to see what all the fuss is about.

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Inside the JZM Porsche showroomJZM Porsche

Since we’re talking telephone numbers, it seems fitting to start with the most expensive car on sale. The 997 GT3 RS 4.0 was a limited-run special that Autocar declared: “The finest Porsche ever to wear a number plate”. And, with 4,285 miles under its centre-lock wheels, this hardcore road-racer is advertised at £535,900. Quite incredible for a car that cost ‘just’ £128,466 in 2011.

Next-up in price order is an immaculate Midnight Blue 964 Turbo 3.6: a relative snip at £199,000. The 360hp 3.6 was only produced between 1993 and 1994 (most blown 964s used the 320hp 3.3-litre motor), making it a rare beast today. With wheelarches stretched over polished split-rims and that iconic ‘tea tray’ wing (take note, Porsche geeks: it’s not a ‘whale tail’), this is the brawniest-looking 911 of all.JZM Porsche

If anything can wrench my eyes from the visual sucker-punch of a 964 Turbo, it’s a Viper Green Carrera 2.7 RS. Except this isn’t a genuine RS, but a meticulously-built ‘tribute’ based on a 1972 911T. With a 2.7-litre MFI engine, period Recaro seats and chromed Fuchs alloys, it looks fabulous – and a price tag of £129,900 is less than a quarter what you’d pay for the real deal.

The evolution of an icon

Wandering around the JZM showroom, it’s fascinating to see how the 911 has evolved. Over five decades, it has swelled in size, sprouted spoilers and become hugely more luxurious, but that iconic silhouette has stayed the same. Perhaps this is key to the car’s long-lasting appeal; it’s constantly evolving yet curiously timeless. Present-day Porsche’s profits may come from SUVs, but the 911 remains the core of its range.JZM Porsche

Even so, it’s one of the oldest 911s here – a 1970 2.2E finished in Light Ivory – that really wins my heart. A ‘California car’ that has never been welded, it still wears all its original body panels, and the delicate chrome trim looks flawless. JZM says the car has ‘been fully prepared for the British climate’, but I’d still be loath to take this £104,900 classic on wet winter roads. One for sunny Sunday mornings (and evenings spent lovingly polishing in the garage), I suspect.

If in doubt, Flat clout

I’ve added the 2.2E to my lottery-win garage and am heading for the door when… whoah! Poking its sharkish snout out of the next-door workshop, I spy a 930 Flachbau. This special-order ‘flatnose’ version of the original 930 Turbo is fast, fearsome and – to a kid who grew up in the excess-all-areas 80s – probably the coolest 911 you can buy. Sadly, it isn’t for sale, or it would have bumped the 2.2E from the top spot on my personal (and, sadly, entirely theoretical) shopping list.JZM Porsche

So, if my numbers came up, would I buy a Porsche 911? As a daily-driver, probably not. A Cayman S is all the sports car you really need, especially on congested UK roads. But if I wanted somewhere to put my money, an appreciating asset that I could drive and enjoy, then absolutely yes. The 911 is a car that, like its rear-engined layout, defies logic. Yet if you can afford one, it’s probably the most sensible sports car you can buy.

From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOWWhy buy a new car when £5,000 will bag you a used car bargain? Using Auto Trader, our brief was to find two cars per category, ranging from humble superminis to luxury saloons. We’ve only been window shopping, so inclusion does not represent an endorsement.

Small car: Skoda Citigo (£5,000)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

Right now, the Volkswagen Up and the two cars based on it are probably the best small cars on the planet. But don’t worry if you can’t stretch to a new one, because they’re also brilliant secondhand buys. This one-owner Citigo looks terrific in Sport trim and has covered a mere 26,609 miles.

Family hatchback: Kia Cee’d (£5,000)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

Go easy on the right pedal and you might see economy figures in the low 70s in this 2012 Kia Cee’d EcoDynamics. It’s hardly the last word in excitement, but air conditioning, a six-speed gearbox, cruise control and steering wheel controls should make this an excellent commuter vehicle. Just check the rear tyres, because the last MOT listed them as an advisory.

Crossover: Nissan Qashqai (£4,995)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

The Nissan Qashqai is Britain’s most popular crossover, which means there are hundreds to choose from on the used car market. This 2008 example appeals because it’s a one-owner car with 47,876 miles on the clock and not a single MOT advisory to its name. The Visia trim is a bit spartan, but if practicality is your thing, it’s hard to ignore this one.

Estate car: Dacia Logan MCV (£4,895)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

The Dacia Logan MCV is Britain’s cheapest new estate car and offers a massive 573 litres of boot space with the rear seats folded up. New, you’ll pay £7,295 for the entry-level version, but why buy new when this ‘plush’ Logan MCV Laureate is available for £4,895? Just one owner and 42,000 miles on the clock.

Coupe: Audi TT (£5,000)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

It’s possible to spend much less on a first generation Audi TT, but we believe it’s worth spending a little extra to secure a good example of what is a guaranteed future classic. This 2004 example is powered by the 3.2-litre V6 engine and is being sold by somebody who has clearly looked after it.

Sports car: Fiat Barchetta (£4,950)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

It’s hard to look beyond the Mazda MX-5 in the affordable junior roadster segment, but the Fiat Barchetta remains a hidden gem. It might be front-wheel drive – it’s based on the Punto – but the Barchetta is terrific fun to drive. All cars were left-hookers.


Premium car: Volvo S80 (£4,995)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

It’s all too easy to opt for something German in the premium car segment and Auto Trader is littered with £5,000 examples of varying degrees of quality. But we’re turned on by this low mileage Volvo S80, not least because it’s powered by the sublime 3.2-litre six-cylinder engine. In the real world it will feel almost as quick as the heavier V8 version, while the high level of standard spec will help to while away the hours on a long motorway drive.

Luxury car: Audi A8 (£5,000)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

The DVLA lists this 2005 Audi A8 as ‘beige’, but we suspect the new owner might prefer it to be classed as ‘gold’. Whatever, £5,000 seems a stupidly low price for this huge chunk of Ingolstadt, which is barely run-in at 59,000 miles. Probably a good idea to avoid looking at the fuel economy figures…

MPV: SsangYong Rodius (£4,991)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

Look, stop smirking at the back. We accept that the SsangYong Rodius isn’t going to win any awards for its beauty, but it’s hard to find a more practical and spacious seven-seater at this price. Besides, as Matt LeBlanc and Rory Reid demonstrated on Top Gear, the Rodius does a passable impression of a boat. SsangYacht, anyone?

SUV: Suzuki Jimny (£4,995)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

The Suzuki Jimny continues to fly the flag for the old-school SUV and is available to buy new from £12,999. They tend to be owned by loyal and enthusiastic people, as appears to be the case with this 2006 example. The condition and mileage suggest that it hasn’t seen much in the way of off-road action.

Convertible: Renault Wind (£4,995)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

If you want to stand out from the crowd you could do a lot worse than breaking out the Renault Wind. It’s based on the Renault Twingo and features a solid roof that folds away in just 12 seconds. Sadly, it was a slow-seller and was quickly pulled from sale. You could say that it was gone with the Wind…

Saloon: Mazda6 MPS (£5,000)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

It might not look it, but the Mazda6 MPS is one of the greatest sleepers of the past decade. Beneath that unassuming body lies the beating heart of a 2.3-litre turbocharged engine producing 260hp, enough to propel this four-wheel drive saloon to 150mph. Nobody will ever know, until the point at which you zoom-zoom past a sports car in a blaze of anonymity.

Classic: Mercedes-Benz 500 SE (£4,900)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

A 30-year-old Mercedes-Benz for £4,900 might not seem like excellent value for money in light of some of the aforementioned examples, but this 500 SE oozes presence and charisma. The seller claims it has full service history, which should confirm the relatively low mileage.

Hot hatch: Suzuki Swift Sport (£4,989)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

The Suzuki Swift Sport remains our favourite junior hot hatch of recent years and we especially like the first generation model. The current (and outgoing) version might be the better all-rounder, but the original feels more old-school and is all the better for it. This 2011 car has covered just 37,000 miles.


Classics in the classifieds: dream cars for every budget

Classics in the classifieds: dream cars for every budgetFrom a slice of retro Japanese heaven for £500 to an Aston Martin for £1.25m, we’ve got a classic car to suit every pocket. Having scoured the online pages of Auto Trader, we’ve selected two cars per price bracket, providing an overview of what’s available to buy right now.

As usual, inclusion doesn’t represent an endorsement and cars are available at the time of writing.

Under £500: Mazda 323F – £499Classics in the classifieds: dream cars for every budget

While we accept that a 1989 Mazda 323F won’t be many people’s idea of a ‘dream car’, at this end of the market beggars can’t be choosers. Besides, it has pop-up headlights, which, being a Mazda, probably work.

The car has covered a mere 31,000 miles and, as the seller points out, there’s very little to go wrong. Stop dreaming, start driving.

£500 – £1,000: Toyota Celica – £999Classics in the classifieds: dream cars for every budget

Ah, this is more like it. The sixth generation Toyota Celica (ST200) was introduced in 1993 and is likely to be one of the most reliable coupes you can buy for £1,000. It might have been front-wheel drive, but in 2.0 GT guise it remains a thoroughly decent driver’s car.

This one has covered 169,000 miles, but the previous owner bought it brand new from Toyota.

£1,000 – £2,500: Audi Cabriolet – £1,695Classics in the classifieds: dream cars for every budget

If it’s good enough for Princess Diana…

In truth, this 1995 Audi Cabriolet doesn’t look as polished as Lady Di’s 2.3E, but then it’s not being offered with a royal price tag. In fact, about a grand and a half should secure this timeless – and classless – classic.

£2,500 – £5,000: Renault 4 – £3,250Classics in the classifieds: dream cars for every budget

Renault’s answer to the 2CV was actually more successful than the Citroen, thanks mainly to its practicality and huge opening tailgate. More than eight million Renault 4s were built before production ceased in 1992.

The fact that this 1984 example is accompanied by almost every invoice from new makes it rather appealing, as is the fact that it’s not immaculate. This means you can use it every day, safe in the knowledge that you’re simply adding to its patina.

£5,000 – £10,000: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution III – £7,995Classics in the classifieds: dream cars for every budget

In 1995, Mitsubishi introduced the Lancer Evolution III, complete with a new 16G turbocharger. This meant the Evo III could call upon 270hp and 228lb ft of torque.

This GSR looks in great shape, although the MOT history suggests that it was off the road from 2011 until 2016. That would be worth investigating.

£10,000 – £15,000: Mercedes-Benz 350 SL – £14,990Classics in the classifieds: dream cars for every budget

R107 SL prices are only going one way, so now is the time to buy. Introduced in 1971, the R107 lived on until 1989, making it the second longest single series Mercedes-Benz ever built.

The yellow paint and brown interior is a classic 1970s combination, while the 3.5-litre V8 engine will provide effortless cruising potential.

£15,000 – £20,000: Bentley Turbo R – £14,950Classics in the classifieds: dream cars for every budget

The Turbo R was introduced in 1985, with a new Bosch fuel injection system helping to deliver more power than the outgoing Mulsanne Turbo. The Turbo R was also more of a driver’s car, encouraging owners to sit in the front, rather than relaxing in the back.

As a 1995 car, this Turbo R is one of the last off the line and benefits from the facelift of 1992. The 6.8-litre long-wheelbase Bentley is yours for little more than the price of an entry-level Kia Cee’d.

£20,000 – £25,000: Aston Martin DB7 – £24,995Classics in the classifieds: dream cars for every budget

If you’re looking to spend £25,000 on a good, useable Aston Martin you have two choices. Either buy a Cygnet or invest in a DB7. We know which option we’d take.

This 1995 DB7 benefits from a full Aston Martin service history and a manual gearbox.

£25,000 – £50,000: Ferrari Mondial 8 – £34,995Classics in the classifieds: dream cars for every budget

From a £25k Aston Martin to a £35k Ferrari. OK, so the Mondial 8 won’t top the shopping lists of many lottery winners, but it represents an affordable point of entry to the world of Ferrari.

We think that time has been kind to the much-maligned Mondial 8, not least because the Pininfarina styling is so of its day. This 1982 example comes complete with receipts totalling £30,000, which may or may not be a good thing.

£50,000 – £100,000: BMW 3.0 CSi – £59,995Classics in the classifieds: dream cars for every budget

The first of the BMW E9 coupes was the 2800 CS, but the model came of age in 1971 with the arrival of the fuel-injected 3.0 CSi. With 200hp on tap, the CSi could boast a top speed of 135mph and a 0-60mph time of sub eight seconds.

This looks like a fresh import, with the number plate surround suggesting that it has arrived from its native Germany. We’ll readily admit that we’re a little in love.

£100,000 – £250,000: Porsche 993 Turbo – £179,950Classics in the classifieds: dream cars for every budget

The Porsche 993 Turbo was a line in the sand moment for the 911, being the first of its kind to use twin-turbochargers and the first Turbo model to feature all-wheel drive. At launch, the 3.6-litre twin-turbo engine developed 408hp, although this was increased to 430hp in 1995 and 450hp in 1998.

This 1995 example has just 27,700 miles on the clock and has been owned by the same person since it was delivered new via Road Range in Liverpool. This is probably one of the most sought-after cars for sale on Auto Trader.

£250,000 – £500,000: Ferrari 512 BB – £349,950Classics in the classifieds: dream cars for every budget

The Ferrari 512 BB of 1976 was an evolution of the 365 GT4 BB, with a number of small details marking it out from its predecessor. There was also the small matter of a 4.9-litre 12-cylinder boxer engine developing 360hp.

The 1981 example for sale here is one of the last 512 BB models built before it made way for the less powerful 512 BBi. It has covered 21,000 miles and is available for just shy of £350,000.

£500,000 – £1,000,000: Ferrari F40 – £925,000Classics in the classifieds: dream cars for every budget

It needs no introduction, does it? This Ferrari F40 was the pin-up for a generation and remains one of the most important supercars of the 20th century.

None other than Eric Clapton owned this 1991 example, which has covered the equivalent of 6,750 miles.

£1,000,000+: Aston Martin DB4 – £1,250,000Classics in the classifieds: dream cars for every budget

In this age of super-expensive cars, we’re a little surprised to find just one £1 million car on Auto Trader. And it’s this: a 1963 Aston Martin DB4.

The DB4 convertible was unveiled at the 1961 London Motor Show and only 70 were ever built.

Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy nowIf you’ve got £10,000 to spend on a used car, what are your options? Much will depend on what you’re looking for, but we’ve selected 20 cars for sale on Auto Trader to provide some inspiration. To be selected, a car must be no more than three-years-old and with a sensible amount of miles on the clock. As always, inclusion doesn’t represent an endorsement.

Honda Civic: £10,000Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

We kick things off with the current Honda Civic, which majors on practicality and comfort. That it’s not the drivers’ car it once was won’t matter to the majority of owners, but the poor rearward visibility is hard to ignore. A new Civic is on the way, so you might find your budget goes further when buying a used example.

This 2014 car is powered by a 1.8-litre petrol engine and comes with a host of desirable options, including Bluetooth, cruise control, parking sensors and automatic wipers. As a bonus, the next two services are included within the price.

Skoda Octavia: £9,667Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

Why buy a Volkswagen Golf when you can buy a car that offers more space and better value for money? The Skoda Octavia is an evergreen member of our used car galleries, and for good reason. They might not be the most exciting cars on the planet – vRS models aside – but they’re practical, solidly built and usually well equipped.

This 2014 example offers exceptional value money with just 6,077 miles on the clock. The SE trim offers a good level of specification, while the 1.2-litre petrol is surprisingly adept at hauling this hatchback along. The DSG transmission wouldn’t be our first choice, but that’s our only complaint with this one.

Ford Fiesta: £8,499Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

You know those monthly ‘sales’ figures that seem to show just how well the new car industry is doing? The knock-on effect of these new car registrations is a surplus of nearly-new used car stock. The Ford Fiesta is a good case in point.

This pre-registered Fiesta has ‘travelled’ a mere seven miles and is offered with a £1,896 saving off the new price. It’s one of a huge number of similarly priced Fiestas, meaning you can pick and choose your engine and trim.

Volkswagen Up: £9,950Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

Look, it’s another pre-registered bargain. Seriously, armed with a £10,000 budget, you can select from a wide range of superminis and city cars. The Volkswagen Up is arguably the perfect city car, even if we’d choose the Skoda Citigo when buying new.

It’s hard to ignore this Volkswagen Up in ‘High Up’ spec, and not just because it’s finished in Honey Yellow Metallic. It offers a big car specification for a small car price.

Mazda 3: £9,982Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

Thanks to the dominance of the Golf, Focus and Astra, cars like the Mazda 3 tend to get overlooked. Which is a shame, as the 3 is one of the best looking cars in the segment, not to mention one of the sharpest to drive.

This 2015 car has covered 39,000 miles and has a full service history. Check out the cabin which, again, is one of the nicest in the family hatchback segment.

Kia Cee’d: £10,000Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

Buying a Kia Cee’d makes a great deal of sense, not least because a two-year-old example will have the remainder of Kia’s seven-year warranty. It also helps that the Cee’d is well-equipped and fuel efficient.

The 1.6-litre CRDi diesel engine in this 2015 example could return around 51.4mpg and has covered just 9,401 miles.

Suzuki Swift: £10,000Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

A new Suzuki Swift will be launched this year, but it’ll have to be pretty special to improve on the outgoing model. It looks great, is good to drive and offers a generous level of standard spec.

The SZ-L is a desirable special edition, offering black 16-inch alloy wheels, sat nav, DAB digital radio, LED daytime running lights and a cheeky rear spoiler. New, you’d pay from £11,649, but this 2016 example is on sale for £10,000. Buy it, because the world needs more Horizon Orange cars on the road.

Abarth 500: £9,995Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

The Abarth 500 is the closest you’ll get to a sports car in a supermini body, with ‘go-kart’ like handling and terrific steering feel. Some won’t like the firm ride, but that’s a small price to pay for a pint-sized performance hero.

This 2015 car looks the business and has covered a mere 6,822 miles. We love the chequered-red roof and 17-inch diamond cut alloy wheels.

BMW 1 Series: £10,000Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

The rear-wheel-drive BMW 1 Series is the sharpest handling member of the family hatchback segment and is blessed with an efficient range of diesel engines. Its biggest drawback: space for rear seat passengers.

If you don’t care about your passengers, this 2014 car will be hard to ignore. The specification is generous, while the 59,598 miles on the clock suggests a stress-free life on the motorway.

Audi A1: £10,000Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

Other superminis might offer better value for money, but few can offer a feel good factor quite like the Audi A1. The cabin might be a little sombre, but the quality is what you’d expect from an Audi.

Predictably, this 2014 car passed a recent MOT with flying colours and no advisories. What’s more, 23,680 miles is sensible for a three-year-old supermini.

Dacia Duster: £8,296Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

Buy a new Dacia Duster in Laureate trim today and you’ll spend upwards of £13,995. Great value, but why would you when this 2015 example is on sale for just £8,995?

The 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine is tried and tested, while the Woodland Brown metallic paint gives the Duster an upmarket feel. One-owner from new and 22,938 miles complete the deal.

SEAT Leon: £9,295Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

Another Volkswagen Golf by another name, the SEAT Leon offers great value for money when new, and even better value for money on the used car network. It’s a good seller, so there’s plenty of choice.

Take this 2015 Leon 1.6-litre TDi in SE spec. Just one-owner from new, 35,139 miles on the clock and a DSG transmission. All this for £9,295.

Toyota Aygo: £7,994Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

There are hundreds of Toyota Aygos available for £10,000, but we’ve avoided the rather spartan X-Play models.

Instead, how about this X-Clusiv model, which offers 15-inch alloy wheels, a touchscreen entertainment system and reversing camera. A £7,994 price tag is quite a saving on the £13,035 on the list price when new.

SsangYong Tivoli: £9,995Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

One day, we might look back on the Tivoli as the car that transformed the fortunes of SsangYong in the UK. It’s the Korean firm’s most credible car to date, offering exceptional value for money across the range.

It hasn’t been on sale long, but used examples are creeping beneath the £10,000 mark. This 2015 example has covered 8,027 miles and comes in mid-spec EX trim level.

Nissan Pulsar: £9,000Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

OK, so the Nissan Pulsar isn’t the most exciting car in the family hatchback segment, but it does offer a jaw-dropping amount of rear legroom. A curious USP, granted, but it’s like a Mercedes-Benz S-Class in the back of a Pulsar. Of sorts.

In fairness, there’s more to the Pulsar than a huge amount of rear legroom, it’s just that the car doesn’t sparkle. This 2015 example is good value at £9,000.

Citroen DS3: £10,000Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

This could be our favourite car in this £10,000 gallery. The Citroen DS3 is at its best when powered by the 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, making this 2014 DSport a potential peach.

Highlights include a full leather interior, climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear park-assist and just one owner from new. Where do we sign?

MINI Hatchback: £7,995Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

The MINI One D is a hidden gem of the current MINI range. The One might be the entry-level model, but the 1.5-litre diesel engine is the same unit you’ll find in the more costly Cooper D. And it’s a cracking engine, too.

This 2015 car should offer the same feel good factor as more expensive MINIs, thanks in part to the orange paintwork. The claimed 83.1mpg is an added bonus.

Renault Twingo: £9,499Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

We happen to think that the Renault Twingo is most desirable when powered by the non-turbocharged SCe 70 model, despite giving up 20hp to the 90hp TCe model. It helps that the power peaks at 6,000rpm, encouraging you to explore the upper reaches of the rev counter in the name of good fun.

This 2017 Twingo is a pre-registered car with just five miles on the clock and loaded with the toys associated with the Dynamique trim level.

Honda Jazz: £7,995Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

Face it, you knew we’d be recommending a Honda Jazz. The fact remains: the Jazz is one of the best used cars you can buy. It offers more space than a standard supermini, has an excellent track record for reliability, and cars tend to be driven by careful and considerate owners.

The Si trim is the ‘sporty’ member of the range and this Milano Red example has covered a mere 17,137 from new. Yours for less than £8,000.

Hyundai Veloster: £10,000Best used cars for £10,000 you can buy now

We finish with a curveball: the Hyundai Veloster. The quirky-looking coupe is a rare sight on UK roads as it never sold in huge numbers. It’s not the sharpest car to drive, but the extra side door makes it interesting/strange/weird (delete as applicable).

This 2015 car is being sold through a Hyundai main dealer and will be covered by the manufacturer warranty until 2020. With 7,005 miles on the clock, we have to ask: what has it been doing for the past two years?


20 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

20 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

20 quirky classics for sale on Auto TraderAuto Trader is great if you’re looking to buy a five-year-old Ford Focus or nearly-new BMW 3 Series. But what if you’re after something a little different?

Armed with a virtual blank chequebook, we trawled the depths of the classifieds in search of quirky classics and rare oddities? If you’re hooked on classic cars, one of these might catch your eye.

Auto Union 1000: £13,99520 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

When Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer merged in 1932, the result was the Auto Union parent company. Twenty-five years later, Auto Union launched the first model under its own name: the Auto Union 1000 Coupé de Luxe. Technically it was similar to the DKW 3=6, albeit with a 1,000cc engine developing 44hp.

This 1958 car was recently imported from South Africa and would have been one of the first off the production line. The seller claims it is “very genuine and rust free”, while the odometer is showing 25,000 miles.

DeLorean DMC-12: £29,99520 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

As a supercar, or even a sports car, the DeLorean DMC-12 couldn’t hold a candle to its contemporary rivals. It was too big, too heavy and the Renault V6 engine – whilst good in its own right – wasn’t the V8 or V12 lump demanded by supercar buyers of the early 80s. And yet, against the odds, a starring role in Back to the Future ensured the DMC-12 would become one of the most iconic cars of the 20th century.

As a 1981 car, this DMC-12 was one of the first to roll off the Belfast production line and the ad claims it has (time?) travelled 17,000 miles. Buy this and everyone will stop and stare. Not a car for shrinking violets.

Fiat 126 Bis: £2,95020 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

The Fiat 126 was introduced in 1972 and was faced with the unenviable task of following the Fiat 500. Fifteen years later, the 126 Bis arrived, featuring a new 26hp watercooled engine and practical hatchback rear end.

We’re not entirely sure what’s going on with a couple of the photos on this ad, but the 1989 126 Bis looks to be in remarkably good condition. Quick, it most certainly won’t be, but the green and white stripes are good for an extra 5hp. Probably.

Alfa Romeo 164: £7,94020 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

The Alfa Romeo 164 shares its ‘Type Four’ platform with the Saab 9000, Fiat Croma and Lancia Thema, and is, in our opinion, the prettiest of the lot. Add the glorious Busso 3.0-litre V6 engine to the mix and you’ve got all the ingredients required for one of the most alluring executive cars of the 1990s.

Which is why this left-hand-drive example appeals. Sure, at £7,940, it might be a while before a buyer arrives with a bag full of cash, but you’ll struggle to find a better one. It was sold new in Japan, before being imported by the dealer selling it today. With a mere 27,000 miles on the clock and what appears to be a faultless interior, we’re struggling to avoid falling in love.

Austin Champ: £14,99020 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

Had it not been for the Land Rover, the Austin Champ might have enjoyed considerable success in the UK and export markets. Like the Land Rover, it was inspired by the Willys Jeep, but by arriving four years later than its more famous rival, the Austin Champ was doomed to failure. It wasn’t reliable enough for the military, while the civilian market had already fallen for the Land Rover.

Which kind of makes survivors such as this all the more interesting. It’s one of two for sale on Auto Trader, the other one being totally original and with just 1,700 miles on the clock. But we find this fully restored example all the more appealing, although we readily admit that we might be swayed by the military specification.

Daihatsu Cuore Avanzato: £2,99520 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

The Daihatsu Cuore Avanzato TR-XX R4 – to give its full and slightly comedic name – is like a rare Pokémon. They don’t come up for sale very often, and when they do, their diminutive dimensions make them incredibly hard to spot. We don’t suggest chucking a Poké Ball at this Avanzato would be a good idea, but we’d wholeheartedly recommend owning one.

The four-wheel-drive kei car on acid is powered by a 660cc turbocharged engine and weighs less than a bag of sugar. To drive, the Avanzato is an absolute riot, not least because it redlines at 8,500rpm. A quirky future classic if ever there was one.

Citroen CX: £13,44020 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

We looked on a well-known classic car website and found a selection of Citroen CXs for sale at prices ranging from £1,500 to £10,000. Not bad for one of the the most technologically advanced cars of the 1970s. At £13,440, then, this 1987 CX could seem a little on the expensive side.

Purists might prefer a S1 model, but this 1987 S2 GTi looks to be in tip-top condition, having arrived from Japan. It stands every chance of being among the best in the country, but will anybody be prepared to fork out £13k for the privilege?

Lancia Trevi: £2,99420 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

The Lancia Trevi was introduced in 1980 and was essentially a four-door saloon version of the Beta. Although this one has a valid MOT, it is currently listed as SORN, making it one of five manual versions registered as ‘off the road’ by the DVLA. Indeed, the only Lancia Trevi on the road has an automatic transmission.

Some contemporary reviews criticised the “awful fascia”, but we find it fascinating and so of its time. As an Italian car of the early 80s, you might want to check that everything works.

Morris 575: £9,99520 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

And now for something completely different… Anyone who keeps an eye on classic car auctions might recognise this from the Historics at Brooklands sale in August 2016. There, this Morris 575 pick-up – which just happened to be the Morris motor show car when new – sold for £6,720.

Now on sale for £9,995, the dealer is hoping to make a tidy profit, but try finding another one like this. Note: the MOT expired in October 2016 and there are a few issues that’ll need sorting before this pick-up rides again.

Volvo 480: £2,99520 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

The Volvo 480: notable for being the Swedish firm’s first front-wheel-drive car and the only one in its history to feature pop-up headlights. It was unveiled in October 1985, before being shown to the public at the 1986 Geneva Motor Show. Production took place at the old DAF factory in the Netherlands, while the 1.7-litre engine, seen here, was sourced from Renault.

It might not be a sports car, but the shooting brake styling remains achingly cool. The ad suggests that this 1992 480 ES comes with plenty of history, although it failed an MOT in January 2017, with the tester noting problems with the parking brake.

Pontiac Firebird: £9,99520 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

KITT – an acronym for Knight Industries Two Thousand – was one of the most famous TV cars of the 1980s. For a generation, Michael Knight’s Pontiac Firebird Trans Am is up there with the General Lee and The A-Team GMC van.

This is your chance to play at being Michael Knight in the UK, and you needn’t pay more than the price of a good city car. Note: this 1989 car has been untaxed since November 2015 and the MOT expired in October 2016.

Honda Prelude: £19,99520 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

Stunning, isn’t it? When the fourth generation Honda Prelude arrived in 1992, it upset the European establishment by becoming the coupe of choice. All of a sudden, cars like the Volkswagen Corrado and Vauxhall Calibra seemed a little passé. Visually and technically, the Prelude stole the show, and it helped that it was stunning to look at.

The electronic four-wheel steering was a significant improvement compared to the old mechanical version, while the 2.3-litre engine, as seen here, was the unit to have. Of course, the elephant in the room is that price. At best it’s ambitious, but we can’t help but scroll through the photos with wonder. As the cliché goes: try finding another one like this.

Jowett Jupiter: £26,00020 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

Following new investment at the end of the Second World War, Yorkshire-based Jowett developed the Javelin. The Jupiter, as seen here, was the roadster version, built between 1950 and 1954. It turned out to be quite a competitive sports car, enjoying considerable success at Le Mans.

This 1951 Jupiter might not have an illustrious motorsport career to its name, but it looks quintessentially British. Sadly, Jowett died in 1954, bringing to an end five decades of proud Yorkshire history.

Mazda MX-3: £1,00020 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

The Mazda MX-3 arrived in March 1991 and was notable for featuring the world’s smallest six-cylinder engine, as well as previewing the new 323 platform, not set for release for another three years. Seeing this makes us mourn the passing of the affordable small coupé.

Sadly, this one-owner car isn’t powered by the sweet-sounding V6, meaning you’ll have to make do with the more conventional 1.6-litre unit. The automatic transmission will only serve to blunt the performance, but at £1,000 we’re finding it hard to ignore this sharp-suited coupé.

Mitsubishi Starion: £9,99520 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

The Mitsubishi Starion evolved throughout the 1980s, gaining wider arches and upgrades. Arguably, it looks best in its original, naked form, as highlighted by this 1983 stunner. That it shares its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with the Lancer Turbo only serves to increase the levels of desire.

The ad claims the car has been fully restored, while the engine has been rebuilt. We like the fact that it still wears its original dealer sticker and number plates. Given the values of some modern classics, this Starion looks sensibly priced.

Opel Senator: £9,98520 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

Back in the day, the Opel Senator was a credible rival to the premium Germans, especially when powered by a 3.0-litre straight-six engine. The Senator had it all: acres of space, excellent engineering, and a surprising turn of pace. Rust has killed many of them, but some have managed to survive.

This must be the best in the country. With 40,000 miles on the clock, the dealer claims it has been dry stored, which helps to explain why it was last taxed in 1991. On the plus side, it passed an MOT in May 2016 with no advisories.

Reliant Scimitar SS1: £2,99520 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

In his book, The Worst Cars Ever Sold, Giles Chapman said: “If ever there was a golden opportunity to revive the small sports car, then Reliant had it in the mid 1980s. The fact that the ship was spoilt for a hap’orth of tar showed just what an amateurish outfit the company was. And then, of course, along came the Mazda MX-5.

Harsh, perhaps, because in turbocharged guise the SS1 is a cracker. Sadly, this isn’t a turbocharged car, but it does boast a near blemish-free MOT history. Logic dictates that you should spend £3k on an MX-5, but fortunately some folk like to think differently.

Saab 900: £5,99520 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

You can’t create a gallery of quirky cars without mentioning Saab, so here’s a slice of Swedish greatness. Of course, the smart money’s on the 900 Turbo, but it’s important to remember the unsung heroes of the range, such as this flat-nosed gem.

Steel wheels, cream paintwork (read: hearing aid beige), and a basic specification only serve to make this ‘demo plus one family owner’ car all the more appealing.

Triumph Acclaim: £2,45020 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

The Acclaim was the last car to wear a Triumph badge, but it’s also notable for being the first of many Anglo-Japanese cars to be built in the UK. It was based on the Honda Ballade, which ensured the Acclaim offered greater reliability than Triumph customers had grown accustomed to.

This 1983 car is a late example – production finished in summer 1984 – and has an excellent MOT history. From the photos at least, it appears to be in brilliant condition.

Fiat 132: £6,99520 quirky classics for sale on Auto Trader

The chances are you may never have seen a Fiat 132 in the UK. Indeed, you can count the number left on the road using the fingers of two hands. The 132 arrived in the UK in 1972, taking over from the old 125 saloon. It was never a big seller here, which helps to explain why so few are left.

This 1978 example was imported from Malta, so it should have escaped the ravages of rust. The 2.0-litre twin-cam engine gives it a surprising turn of pace, although it’s genuinely hard to value a car as rare as this. Does seven grand for a Fiat saloon from the 1970s represent good value for money? You decide.

Ferrari 328 GTS

Ferrari 328 GTS review: Retro Road Test

Ferrari 328 GTSWe’ve covered a lot of bases in these reviews, from a £2,000 Skoda to a £200,000 Porsche. But we’ve never driven a classic Ferrari… until now. Welcome to the Retro Road Test Christmas special.

The prancing horse in question is a 328: the entry-point to Ferrari’s mid-1980s range, alongside the Mondial, Testarossa, 412 and – latterly – F40. Thirty years on, it remains one of the most beautiful ‘modern’ Ferraris – and potentially one of the most sensible, too.

This 1988 328 is a targa-topped GTS (Gran Turismo Spider), kindly loaned to us by GVE London. It’s for sale at GVE’s Uxbridge showroom, priced at £129,900.

What are its rivals?Honda NSX

If you were shopping for a new Ferrari 488 GTB, you might also look at the Aston Martin V12 Vantage, Audi R8, Lamborghini Huracan, Noble M600, McLaren 650S, Mercedes-AMG GT S or Porsche 911 Turbo S.

Back in 1988, supercar buyers weren’t so spoilt for choice. The 328 had just three rivals: the Lamborghini Jalpa, Lotus Esprit and Porsche 930 Turbo. Oh, and the De Tomaso Pantera, if you really must.

Perhaps the most obvious alternative today is the original Honda NSX. Launched in 1990, the NSX has an identical power output to the 328 and shares its mid-engined layout, wedgy profile and cockpit-style cabin. It’s a sharper drive than the Ferrari – and cheaper to buy, too. But it doesn’t offer the same investment potential.

Which engine does it use?Ferrari 328 GTS

Fire up this mid-mounted V8 and there are no theatrical throttle blips or showboating exhaust pops. Only when you approach its lofty 7,700rpm redline does this engine sound special. Well, needs must…

The 328 uses a 3.2-litre development of the 3.0 quattrovalvole (four valves per cylinder) V8 from the Ferrari 308. Maximum power is 274hp at 7,000rpm, while peak torque is 224lb ft at 5,500rpm. In a car weighing a modest 1,325kg, that’s good for 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds and a top speed of circa. 160mph.

What’s it like to drive?Ferrari 328 GTS

Ferrari’s open-gate manual gearbox looks timelessly cool, but boy it needs some muscle – especially when cold. I’m advised to short-shift from first to third until the oil is warmed-up. However, I immediately fail by forgetting first gear is on a dog-leg: down and left, where reverse might usually be. Forget your click-click flappy paddles, this car demands deliberate, decisive inputs.

The same goes for the unassisted steering, which is heavy at low speeds, and the engine, which demands to be kept on the boil. The brakes are far better than most cars of this era, though, despite the pedals being ridiculously skewed towards the centre of the car.

On damp, December tarmac, I won’t pretend I pushed the 328 anywhere near its limits. But I did escape the London suburbs and find some quiet lanes, stowing the targa top behind the seats (a two-minute job, incidentally) and relishing the rasp of the V8 as it bounced off the hedgerows.

It took a while, but here the Ferrari and I had a meeting of minds. Its gorgeous Momo steering wheel danced in my hands as we dived through a series of bends, poised and precise. If offers no electronic safety nets, and thus no excuses. Driving a 328 is physical, cerebral and utterly analogue – and all the better for it.

Reliability and running costsFerrari 328 GTS

The 328 is considered one of the most reliable classic Ferraris. An evolution of the 308, launched in 1975, it’s a relatively simple car, free from electronic wizardry. Bosch K-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection was the order of the day here.

Unlike many Ferraris, a 328 can be serviced without removing the engine. This keeps servicing costs down: GVE estimates around £750 for a new cambelt, plus oil and filter change. Taking into account wear-and-tear parts, such as tyres and brake pads, budget around £2,500 a year in total.

Fuel economy is quoted as 22.5mpg at a constant 56mph – and probably low teens if you give the car a workout. Still, look after your 328 and it should be an appreciating asset. With luck, that rise in value could outweigh the running costs altogether.

Could I drive it every day?Ferrari 328 GTS

In theory, yes. Amazingly, the 328 is shorter and narrower than a current Ford Focus, so it’s compact enough to feel nimble in the city. That’s not something you could say about the wide-boy Testarossa, or indeed the majority of 21st century supercars.

Ride quality is better than modern machines, too – thank absorbent 55-profile tyres – and the 328 has enough luxuries (air-con, electric windows, um… a cassette player) to be comfortable on longer journeys. It feels like a sports car built for the road, rather than the racetrack.

The big question, of course, is should you drive it every day? There, the answer is probably ‘no’. The rising value of 328s dictates that most owners want to keep wear and mileage to a minimum. And on that note…

How much should I pay?Ferrari 328 GTS

The 308 GTS was built in large numbers for a Ferrari. In total, 6,068 left Maranello, versus 1,344 for the hard-top GTB.

Prices vary widely depending on mileage and condition. The cheapest UK-based GTS at the time of writing was a left-hand-drive car with 60,000 miles for £59,995. At the other end of the scale, a GTS with a scant 275 miles on the clock was advertised at £169,990.

GVE’s car falls somewhere in the middle. It’s covered a modest 13,000 miles from new – the equivalent of less than 500 miles a year – and is offered at £129,900.

What should I look out for?David Rai

We asked GVE owner David Rai (pictured) and the company’s leading Ferrari expert, Guy Tedder, what to look for when buying a Ferrari 328. These are their top five tips:

  • As with all Ferraris, service history is of paramount importance. Originality is vital with older cars, too.
  • Don’t be scared off by service stamps from a specialist; they can be a better bet than Ferrari main dealers, who don’t necessarily know much about the classic models.
  • All 328s had a galvanised body, so rust problems aren’t a big issue. However, check the bottoms of the doors and the back of the rear wheelarches for possible corrosion.
  • Windows can become slow and shuddery through lack of use. This can be rectified by lubricating the moving parts inside the door.
  • Always check that the air conditioning works efficiently. It wasn’t the most well-designed system in the world, and most cars have been converted to new gas by now.

Should I buy one?Ferrari 328 GTS

The Pininfarina-penned 328 is an object of beauty. I had one on my bedroom wall as a child and, unlike yours truly, it has only grown lovelier with age.

It isn’t particularly quick by 2016 standards (a Ford Focus RS would leave it for dust), but that hardly matters. The Ferrari offers a driving experience that’s immersive, invigorating and intoxicating. It’s a car you’ll want to learn more about: to discover its abilities by developing your own. It isn’t perfect, but the quirks are all part of its character.

For the price of this particular 328 GTS, you could buy a new Porsche 911 Turbo, a car that is, objectively, better in every way. But that is missing the point. The Ferrari is a car to be enjoyed on sunny Sunday mornings and special occasions. And it’s a savvy investment, too.

So, our Retro Road Test Christmas special didn’t disappoint. Let’s just hope Santa is paying attention…

Pub factFerrari 328 GTS

Ferrari built 542 UK right-hand-drive examples of the 328 GTS between 1986 and 1989. Of these, 292 had anti-lock (ABS) brakes.

According to Guy Tedder, ABS, models are slightly less desirable due to revised suspension geometry that made the car feel less responsive. ABS cars – like the one seen here – are easily identified by their convex alloy wheels. Non-ABS cars have concave alloys.

Inside London’s most exciting supercar showroom

Inside London’s most exciting supercar showroom

Inside London’s most exciting supercar showroomTucked away on a nondescript industrial estate in Uxbridge, near Heathrow, is GVE London: a gleaming white showroom that houses the capital’s most exotic collection of supercars. From classic RS Porsches to new McLarens, it’s a veritable paradise for petrolheads. Join us for a guided tour…

Lamborghini Aventador SVInside London’s most exciting supercar showroom

We start with a car that isn’t actually for sale. This Lamborghini Aventador SV belongs to GVE owner, David Rai. At 32, Rai is a self-made millionaire who quit his job in the City to set up a business exporting supercars. The first GVE showroom opened soon afterwards, in 2012.

The SV – or Superveloce – is the lightest, most powerful version of Lamborghini’s flagship. Powered by a 750hp 6.5-litre V12, it hits 62mph in 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 217mph. It also looks like it’s doing 200mph standing still.

Porsche 911 (991) GT3 RSInside London’s most exciting supercar showroom

Fancy something (slightly) more subtle? How about a Porsche 911 GT3 RS in rare ‘Ultra Violet’ purple? This hardcore 911 has just 1,600 miles on the clock and is for sale at £229,900 – around £100,000 more than it cost when new.

The GT3 RS packs a 500hp flat-six, driving the rear wheels through a seven-speed PDK automatic gearbox. Buyers wanting a manual ’box could opt for the limited-edition 911R.

Porsche 911 (996) GT3 RSInside London’s most exciting supercar showroom

The value of any Porsche with an RS badge has gone supernova in recent years. Even the previously-unloved 996 (1999-2004) model isn’t immune, as a £199,900 sticker price for this GT3 RS confirms. We’re big fans of those side-stripes and red alloys, which evoke the iconic 2.7 RS.

With a rollcage and Recaro race seats fitted with five-point harnesses, this 911 is ready to destroy all-comers at your local track day. And it has a good ol’ manual gearbox, which should keep the purists happy.

McLaren 650S SpiderInside London’s most exciting supercar showroom

Much of GVE’s business comes from McLarens, especially the 12C and 650S. The company even has an example of the mighty P1 hypercar in stock, but it was on loan to McLaren’s Knightsbridge showroom at the time of our visit.

This open-top 650S Spider has special-order Aurora Blue paint and lots of carbon fibre accessories. With 3,890 miles on the clock, it’s priced at £179,900.

McLaren 675LTInside London’s most exciting supercar showroom

The 675LT is a more extreme, track-oriented version of the 650S. Its ‘long tail’ bodywork (the ‘LT’ in its name) pays homage to similarly-stretched racing versions of the McLaren F1.

This 675LT is owned by David Rai himself and has covered just 500 miles from new. It’s priced at £339,900, meaning the car has appreciated around £80,000 in a year. Not a bad investment, if you can afford one in the first place…

Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SVInside London’s most exciting supercar showroom

Mad, bad and dangerous to know, this Lamborghini Murcielago is, at £349,900, the most expensive car in the GVE showroom. Widely regarded as the last of the ‘old school’ Lamborghinis (although it was developed under Audi ownership), only 186 SVs were made.

You want stats? How about 670hp, 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds and 209mph flat-out? On a more practical note, this SV has an electric lift-kit for clearing speed humps.

Ferrari FFInside London’s most exciting supercar showroom

Speaking of practical, how’s this for the ultimate family car? The four-seat, four-wheel-drive Ferrari FF was recently replaced by the GTC4 Lusso and looks downright stealthy in ‘Nero’ black with a black interior.

This 2014 FF is very high-spec and comes with a long list of carbon fibre accessories. Oh, and red seatbelts – like an MG Maestro. With 9,900 miles on the clock, it’s priced at £189,900.

Tesla Model S P90DInside London’s most exciting supercar showroom

A ‘standard’ Tesla Model S isn’t slow, but the tuned P90D version is excrement-off-a-shovel quick – particularly when it has the ‘Ludicrous’ upgrade like the car here. This family-sized four-door saloon will hit 62mph in just 2.8 seconds.

At £95,900, this 2015 P90D isn’t cheap. However, low running costs and free car tax sweeten the pill, as will driving one of the coolest Q-cars on the road.

Bentley Continental SupersportsInside London’s most exciting supercar showroom

If you want to experience supercar pace in a tastefully-appointed drawing room, the Bentley Continental Supersports fits the bill. By removing the rear seats and boosting its 6.0-litre, twin-turbo W12 to 630hp, Crewe created a car that can hit 60mph in 3.7 seconds.

In fact, GVE’s Supersports – priced at £84,900 – has the ‘Comfort Seat’ option, meaning the rear seats have been popped back in. It also boasts carbon ceramic brakes and a device for opening your electric gates. But of course…

Ferrari 328 GTSInside London’s most exciting supercar showroom

One of the prettiest Ferraris ever made, the 328 also ranks among the most affordable. Even if, at £129,900, ‘affordable’ is a relative term. The GTS was on sale from 1986-1989, and has a removable targa top that stows behind the seats.

Finished in classic ‘Rosso Corsa’ red, this late-model 1988 GTS comes with anti-lock (ABS) brakes – the only electronic driver aid you got back then. Its 3.2-litre V8 punches out 274hp: good for 60mph in 5.5 seconds.

Ferrari 360 ModenaInside London’s most exciting supercar showroom

This 360 Modena also floats our boat, not least because of its unusual ‘Fjord Blue’ paintwork. The original owner also specified ‘Challenge’ front and rear grilles – like the cars in Ferrari’s one-make race series.

The 360 Modena hasn’t yet attained full classic status, which means you can buy this 2002, 9,850-mile example for £84,900. Look after it and the values will only go one way…

Porsche 911 (964) Carrera RSInside London’s most exciting supercar showroom

We’ve saved our favourite car in the GVE showroom until last. The 964 RS is essentially a roadgoing version of the Carrera Cup racer. With a 264hp air-cooled six atop the rear axle, it’s uncompromising, uncomfortable and utterly brilliant.

This 964 is finished in classic Guards Red and comes with a rear rollcage and uprated 911 Turbo brakes. The price is ‘on application’, but a similar car we drove at Autofarm earlier this year was valued at £168,000.

Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOWFeeling slightly mischievous this week, we set ourselves a particularly challenging, er… challenge. Armed with a virtual wad of £2,000, we wandered through the lower reaches of Auto Trader in search of performance bargains. We emerged with everything from a pint-sized hot hatch to a lazy, all-American Cadillac. As always, inclusion does not represent an endorsement.

Ford Mondeo ST220: £2,000Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

We’re tempted to conclude this gallery here and suggest you go out and buy a Ford Mondeo ST220. This thing has got it all: a delightful 3.0-litre V6 engine, a terrific chassis and – just as importantly – a bargain basement price tag.

This is one of a number of ST220s available on Auto Trader, but it looks like an absolute steal. The Essex number plate is a bonus, too.

Jaguar X-Type 3.0 V6: £1,999Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

Fancy a sleeper? The 3.0-litre V6 in the Jaguar X-Type is significantly faster than the 2.5-litre version, with only a marginal difference in terms of economy. You also get the benefits associated with all-wheel drive in a body that could pass as a standard diesel repmobile.

This 2004 example benefits from the lavish SE spec, including upgraded 17-inch alloy wheels, full leather, climate control, and electric everything. A steal at just under £2,000

Lexus IS300 SportCross: £1,495Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

The Lexus IS300 SportCross won’t be able to offer proper estate levels of practicality, but if your idea of ‘lifestyle’ extends to carrying the odd mountain bike and space for the dog, it could be the ideal chariot.

It’s another 3.0-litre V6 engine, although the SportCross is able to add rear-wheel drive to the mix. The 0-60mph time is polished off in 8.4 seconds, but don’t ask about fuel economy. It’ll only put you off.

Mazda RX-8: £1,949Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

We recently covered the Mazda RX-8 as a Retro Road Test and concluded that, if you buy a good car, it’ll be an enjoyable (and unusual) car to own. We appreciate a RX-8 is more of a heart than a head purchase, but good cars do appear in the classifieds.

This might be one such car. Yes, it’s an earlier RX-8 – some folk advise buying a later car – but it has three things going for it. Firstly, the mileage is sensible. Secondly, it has had just one previous keeper. And finally, the MOT history check is rather promising. Worth a look?

Proton Satria GTi: £1,995Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

You don’t need a gazillion horsepower to have fun. With the right chassis, even a mediocre hot hatch can provide the necessary thrills – and none of the spills – on a British B-road. Cars like the Proton Satria GTi, then?

You might not like the styling and the cheap-looking bodykit. You probably won’t be too keen on the quality of the interior. The Mitsubishi-sourced 1.8-litre engine isn’t the most refined unit, either. But Lotus worked some magic with the chassis, which is something you’ll discover when you reach the first corner. Try it. You might like it.

MG ZR: £1,250Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

The MG makeover could only achieve so much, which is why the ZR still has the look of a Rover 25. You’ll know about the issues associated with the K-series engine, but in ZR 160 guise, this was a properly quick car.

Sadly, this example isn’t powered by the 1.8-litre engine, meaning you’ll have to make do with the 105 1.4-litre unit. But look on the bright side: it’ll be cheaper to insure, it has had “one careful owner from new” and there’s only 43,900 miles on the clock.

Skoda Octavia vRS: £1,695Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

The Skoda Octavia was the first car to wear the vRS badge, taking its running gear from the Volkswagen Golf GTi of the time. This means you get a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine developing 180hp, although some cars have been tuned to 225hp, giving them Audi S3 levels of performance.

We like the look of this 2005 example as it has had just one owner from new and comes with full Skoda service history. If it’s as good as it looks, this might be a performance bargain.

Subaru Forester S-Turbo: £1,950Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

And now for something completely different. Back in the day, the Subaru Forester S-Turbo was a bit of a (sound the cliché klaxon) wolf in sheep’s clothing, thanks to its 170hp ‘boxer engine’ and ability to cover ground – rough or smooth – at an alarming pace.

The black alloy wheels and aftermarket exhaust suggest this Forester may have been owned by an ‘enthusiastic’ owner, but it looks to be in great condition. The perfect winter hack?

Suzuki Swift Sport: £2,000Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

The Suzuki Swift Sport is one of our favourite junior hot hatches of all-time, with an ability to deliver ‘scruff of the neck’ old-school thrills. Prices of the earliest cars are edging temptingly close to the £2,000 mark.

Some, like this 2010 car, are already at the £2,000 mark. OK, so the category D status might be an issue (the seller claims it has a dent on the boot lid), but the MOT history is almost faultless. What’s more, it has a mere 47,000 miles on the clock. Further investigation is required, but this might be a bargain.

Rover 200 BRM: £1,995Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

Before the MG ZR there was this: the Rover 200 BRM. The special edition was based on the Rover 200vi and featured a Torsen differential from the 220 Turbo. A bright orange grille was added to pay homage to the BRM F1 cars of the 1960s.

Sadly, somebody has painted the orange grille on this example, but fortunately the ‘Marmite’ red interior remains in place. A future classic for £1,995. Where do we sign?

Toyota MR2: £1,995Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

The Mk3 version of the MR2 is the last one Toyota built and is therefore the most sensible choice if you intend to use it everyday. Unless you want to carry any luggage, that is. There are dozens of similarly priced MR2 for sale on Auto Trader, but this has strong appeal.

Silver over red is a classic combination, while the MOT history makes for good reading. Winter is a good time to buy a roadster, so get haggling.

BMW 328i: £895Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

A gallery on cheap fast cars – ideal territory for the BMW 328i and 330i. Or so you might think. Sadly, a few minutes desktop research suggests that many of the cars on sale haven’t exactly been treated to a pampered lifestyle.

Which is why we’re proposing a 328i convertible. The chances are it will have led a more relaxed life, while the seller claims it comes with full dealer history. The one downside is that it needs a new roof. But look on the bright side: it’s only £895.

Saab 9-5 Aero: £1,695Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

There was a time, in the not too distant past, when Saabs were driven by nice people. You always knew where you stood with Mr Saab (the majority were driven by men). Buying a Saab from a main dealer or directly from a seller was a pleasurable experience.

Sadly, those days have gone, not least because the majority of cars have fallen into banger territory. But gems do exist, like this 2004 Saab 9-5 HOT Aero. The description reads like it has been written by a seller who’s rather reluctant to part with the car. This is always a good thing.

Volvo V70 T5: £1,999Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

From one desirable Swede to another: this Volvo V70 T5 ticks many boxes. With acres of space and 250hp on tap, it’s little wonder they were firm favourites of the nation’s traffic cops.

The gold paint gives this 2002 added stealth appeal, while the specification and seven-seat factor means this could be all the family car you could ever need. Few cars offer such a compelling mix of space, comfort and pace.

Ford Puma: £1,495Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

Again, the Ford Puma isn’t the fastest car on the planet, but its chassis means you can cover ground rather quickly. If it’s not the best front-wheel-drive coupe ever built, there can’t be too many cars above it.

A price tag of £1,495 is punchy for a Puma, but sub-£1k cars tend to be high-milers with more than a little body rot. Which means paying extra for a 26,000-mile car might be a wise investment. Green isn’t the Puma’s nicest colour, but the 1.7-litre Yamaha engine is the one to have

SEAT Toledo V5: £1,000Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

You want a sleeper? Have we got a sleeper for you. The SEAT Toledo V5 is essentially a Volkswagen Golf V5 in a more sombre and less desirable suit. All of which means nobody will know you’re packing a 170hp 2.3-litre five-cylinder engine until you disappear into the distance.

This 2002 car has covered 131,605 miles, which won’t be an issue if it has been serviced correctly. There’s an old-school performance saloon feel to the Toledo V5 and we’re very tempted to make an enquiry about this stealth weapon.

Audi TT: £1,850Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

In standard 180hp form, the 1.8-litre Audi TT is more pose than power, but with 225hp on tap, things get a little more interesting. There are many TTs available for this sort of price, so you can afford to be selective.

This 2001 example looks to be in good condition. As for its performance credentials: bank on a 0-60mph time of 6.6 seconds.

Fiat Stilo Abarth: £1,550Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, the Fiat Stilo Abarth could be the car for you. Contemporary reviews criticised the Italian warm hatch for looking a little plain, but to our eyes it has aged rather well. You’ll also be able to enjoy the soundtrack from a 2.4-litre five-cylinder engine.

Sadly, the engine only manages to rustle up a mere 170 raging horses, delivering a 0-62mph time of 8.5 seconds. On the plus side, this 2003 car has been treated to some subtle modifications and looks to be in good order.

Ford SportKa: £1,995Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

Much like the aforementioned Ford Puma, it might be worth spending a little extra to secure a good SportKa. Rust is the big issue, while many cars will have been well used and abused. Find a tidy SportKa and you’ll be rewarded with a terrific junior hot hatch.

A price knocking on the door of £2,000 is bold, but it’s a late, 2008 car with a mere 40,000 miles on the clock. What’s more, we can’t see any tell-tale signs of rust on the wheelarches and around the filler cap. Looks great in red, too.

Cadillac CTS 3.6: £1,990Performance per pound: cheap fast cars for sale NOW

And so to our final car: the curveball, or leftfield choice. This time we’re offering something American: the full-fat Cadillac CTS 3.6-litre V6. Check out the performance figures: 0-60mph in 7.0 seconds and a top speed of 145mph. Best we gloss over the 24.4mpg and 275g/km CO2 figures.

As you’d expect, the Cadillac CTS is a rare sight in the UK, with many customers preferring the more economical, but rather lethargic 2.8-litre version. But if straight line speed and the ability to waft floats your boat, a CTS might be an inspired (if brave) choice.

Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2

Is this the lowest-mileage classic Porsche 911 Carrera in the world?

Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2

“A Porsche 911 is better than a flat in Chelsea.” So opined a classic car expert to us recently. And while nobody is suggesting you sell the house and squeeze your worldly goods into an old Porsche, the comparison between 911 values and London property prices is a valid one.

Values for the most desirable 911 of all the Carrera 2.7 RS – have climbed nearly 700% in a decade. And just this week, we learned the limited-edition 911 R is changing hands for close to £1 million. Not bad for a car with a list price of £137,000.

Now a 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 with just 4,429 miles on the clock has come up for sale. It’s described by the vendor, Hexagon Modern Classics, as being in ‘timewarp’ condition. So while £84,995 certainly isn’t cheap, who’d bet against it being worth more in years to come?

Last of the original 911s
Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2

The Carrera 3.2 replaced the 911 SC in 1983 and was the last of the original 911s before the much-modernised 964 arrived in 1989. Its 3.2-litre engine produced 234 hp, giving 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds. Top speed was 158 mph.

Road testers at the time praised the car’s improved refinement and driveability – the latter thanks to a big hike in torque to 209 lb ft. And, of course, it still had the classic air-cooled soundtrack. It would take until 1998 and the 996-generation 911 before Germany’s greatest sports car went water-cooled.

This particular ‘Garnet Red’ 911 is fitted with the earlier 915 five-speed manual gearbox, which is often criticised for its vague shift action. The 1987-on Getrag G50 five-speeder is a big improvement, if you can find one.

Germanic build quality
Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2

Just look at that interior – zero fripperies or superfluous styling touches, just no-fuss functionality. It was during the 1980s that German cars cemented their reputation for build quality (compare a Mercedes-Benz of the era to one built a decade later) – and the 911 is among the best of the breed.

That said, the Carrera 3.2 is hardly an ergonomic masterpiece. The large rev-counter, red-lined at 6,300 rpm, is situated dead-ahead, in traditional Porsche style. But the minor controls are scattered haphazardly across the dashboard, or awkwardly situated behind the steering wheel.

Traditional ‘tombstone’ black Porsche seats with matching door cards give the interior of this 1985 911 a sombre air. But hey, nobody said you have you live in it…

Driven just 143 miles a yearPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2

Hexagon says the interior of this Carrera 3.2 is ‘pristine’. And so it should be, with just 4,429 miles under its Fuchs alloy wheels. Over 31 years, that’s an average of just 143 miles a year. Barely enough to keep that famous flat-six ticking over.

Fortunately, the car has a full service history and comes with a 12-month warranty from Hexagon, plus a fresh MOT.

Inside, the new owner will benefit from air conditioning, electric windows, an electric sunroof, cruise control and a Blaupunkt radio/cassette with an oh-so-1980s graphic equaliser. The original handbook, jack and toolkit are all present and correct, too.

Own a piece of Porsche history
Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2

The 911 Carrera 3.2 was produced in three bodystyles: coupe, cabriolet and Targa, with the coupe being the biggest seller. So while this car will never boast the weapons-grade investment potential of a 2.7 RS or 911 R models, it’s sure to appeal to Porsche collectors. Besides, we rather like the 911 is its pure, unadorned state, without even the optional ‘Whale Tail’ spoiler to break up that classic silhouette.

Paul Michaels, chairman of Hexagon Classics, said: “This is a massive opportunity for someone to purchase a true collector’s item. It is always difficult to find 911s of this era with low mileage – they were built to be used daily after all – but to find a Carrera 3.2 with less than 5,000 miles on the clock is almost unheard of.”

Let’s hope that lucky new owner actually drives it, rather than leaving it in air-conditioned storage fro another 31 years…

McLaren F1

Dream ticket: nearly-new McLaren F1 tops our lottery list

McLaren F1A Veyron goes faster, a Lamborghini shouts louder and a new Porsche 911 Turbo S is quicker to 62mph. But for us, the McLaren F1 remains the ultimate supercar.

Only 106 F1s were made, 64 of which were road cars; the rest were strictly for the racetrack. So they rarely come up for sale, and this car – chassis number 69, and one of the last built – is something (even more) special.

Why? Because the F1 McLaren calls ‘#069’ has just 2,800 miles on the clock, and has been maintained by McLaren Special Operations since new. Well, you’d hardly take it to Kwik Fit…

McLaren F1Return of the Mac

Painted in svelte Carbon Black, it has ‘stealth finish’ 17in centre-lock magnesium wheels. Inside, the driver’s seat – positioned centrally, of course, for optimum weight distribution – is upholstered in red and black leather, while the passenger seats either side are trimmed in Alcantara (man-made suede).

Car #069 also comes with all its original equipment, including a fitted luggage set, titanium tool kit, a correct numbered edition of the Driving Ambition McLaren F1 book – and even a limited-edition F1 owner’s watch.

Still, who cares about the time when you have a BMW Motorsport V12 behind you and 627hp beneath your right foot? Certainly not us.

McLaren F1Murray’s minter

We have to confess, none of us at Motoring Research have ever had the privilege of driving a McLaren F1. But those who have, say it’s of one the most invigorating, visceral and downright sensational cars on the planet.

And how could it not be? The F1’s V12 is naturally-aspirated, so there’s no turbo lag to worry about. It’s refreshingly analogue, with an old-school manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive. And it doesn’t have any electronic safety systems – not even ABS brakes. In a car capable of 243mph, that’s a slight concern.

Indeed, the F1 is as close to no-compromise as road cars get. It was one man’s single-minded vision of the ultimate driving machine, and that man – Gordon Murray – designed his dream without concern for cost. It was the first road car with a carbon fibre chassis and the engine bay is lined with 24-carat gold (the best material for reflecting heat).

McLaren F1If you have to ask…

So, what is the price of supercar supremacy? Tellingly, McLaren won’t say, although interested parties are invited to email for more details.

Given that Rowan Atkinson recently sold his twice-crashed F1 for a reported £8million, it certainly won’t be cheap. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it achieve eight figures.

To put that in perspective, the F1 was the most expensive production car ever made, at £635,000 when new. But its value has increased hugely in the intervening years, to the level of rare, classic Ferraris.

Let’s hope whoever buys #069 doesn’t get too hung up on its value and actually drives it. After all, it’s what Gordon Murray would have wanted…