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  •   orlov1988 reacted to this post about 4 months ago
    Tyre-burning #Volvo-850-T5-R smouldering along nicely / #Volvo-850 / #Volvo /

    Oh how we laughed. A Volvo estate in the British Touring Car Championship? But back in 1994 it only took a couple of laps to show that the T5-R had serious heave. I was there and remember the drivers delighting the crowds on the parade lap with a stuffed Collie propped up in the back.

    The T5s became standard issue for UK motorway cops, Clarkson and I raved about it on Top Gear and op the T5-R magically transformed Volvo’s frumpy image forever. Perhaps that’s why Fast Classics in Bramley has sold a Gul Yellow ’ #1995 with 42,000 miles for an astonishing £16,995. Good T5 and T5-R estates are smouldering nicely and it can’t be long before the best Rs start closing in on £20k territory.

    Finding good survivors is the problem though. This wasn’t a car you left in your garage. Making a bonfire out of the front tyres was something you did on every journey on a mission to prove Volvos could be cool. Lots got thrashed, trashed and modified so the survival rate is low – the DVLA lists only 20 licensed and 11 on SORN.

    Quite a few went to Japan and with their onerously strict used car condition regulations, repatriated Far Eastern T5-Rs now make canny buys. And remember all that wayward front-wheel scrabble came from a 240bhp Porsche-designed 2.3 five-cylinder with high pressure turbo which, ungoverned, could hit 160mph. From 50-70mph it would even out-drag a Ferrari 512TR. A rock-hard ride is the only penalty for all that punch.

    A private seller in Hampshire is advertising a ’1996 R auto estate with 92k for £4995. I don’t think it’ll hang around for long.
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  •   James Nicholls reacted to this post about 5 months ago
    Mercedes-Benz C107 SLC springs from the shadows / #Mercedes-Benz-C107 / #Mercedes-Benz-SLC / #Mercedes-Benz

    Maybe the sun is finally shining on the ’71 to ‘81 C107 Merc SLC. Left languishing in the gloom for decades by the more fashionable R107 SL, low-mileage examples of the tin-top coupé are now rising significantly. Perhaps the Dutch seller with a 35,000km 450 SLC is being a little optimistic at £70k but canny dealers like Howard Wise clearly see the growing potential too. He’s pitching a mint 18k-mile 450 at £50k. Rarer than the SL (the DVLA lists only 257 examples on the road) and often in much better nick, the SLC is starting to radiate a chic Seventies glow with trendy velour interiors and colours like Icon Gold and Thistle Green.

    While the lines aren’t as well proportioned as the convertible, those 14 extra inches of wheelbase make it a full four-seater and it actually drives better than the SL, plus the V8s are good for 120mph.

    In July Silverstone Auctions dispatched a lovely 17k mile 380 SLC for £17,780, which may be the last of the really cheap low-milers. Edward Hall in Buckinghamshire has a ’78 380 in Icon Gold with 79k, long history and £7k of recent bills for £25,950 while a private man in Solihull has a ’77 450 in Astral Silver with blue hide, three owners, FMBSH and 78k for only £17,250.

    These wide price variations between private and trade sellers won’t continue for long – and to show how prices have moved recently, back in 2014 Silverstone knocked down an ’81 380 SLC with just 20k and broad history for a bargain £9450.

    VALUE 2012 £7.5k
    VALUE NOW £11k
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  •   Guy Baker reacted to this post about 6 months ago
    BMW X6M (2009-2014)

    / #BMW-X6M-E71 / #BMW-X6-E71 / #BMW-X6M / #BMW-E71 / #BMW / #BMW / #BMW-X6

    An #M-Power-SUV was a bold step by BMW. Especially since it wasn’t sure that anybody actually wanted one. The £93,000 first-gen X6M of 2009 was deeply conflicted weighing in at 2.3 tons, blessed with 555bhp from a twin-turbo 4.4 V8 and the aerodynamics of a Georgian town house. Yet despite such a haversack of contradictions, not to mention the effects of physics, Munich’s hot-rod 4x4 can crack sixty in 4.2 seconds, and if you ticked the speed limiter delete box, will run all the way to 175mph. Impressive numbers but doubly attractive because the X6M can carry four fully-formed adults and a couple of German Shepherds in the back. As a very high-performance carry-all it takes some beating and with prices of reasonable mileage examples down to £20k it’s a wild ride.

    Don’t get me wrong, the X6M isn’t anything like as fluent or poised as most other M Power confections. But find a quiet ribbon of tarmac, point the nose and pull the trigger and it’s hysterically fast.

    In a straight line the X6M is as fast as an M5 V10 and slightly quicker than the contemporary M3. But this isn’t just a very rapid truck – it has a decent chassis, composed ride and the ability to out-corner a Supercharged Range Rover or Porsche Cayenne Turbo. The six-speed Steptronic ‘box with its M-Dynamic mode is wonderful and the self-levelling air suspension makes pottering along butchered B-roads a remarkably serene experience.

    And it’s comparatively rare too. Only 49 were sold in the UK in 2009, 52 in 2010, 228 in 2013 and 126 in 2014 – most going to China, the US and the UAE. Unique Prestige in Hoddesdon has a 2011 in black with 50,000 miles for £24,995, Essex Prestige has a white 2011 with 39,000 miles for £26,989, while a private seller in London has a silver 2010 with 38,000 miles and total BMW history for a very tempting £21,995. For rare M-cars with low mileages these aren’t big prices and make hard-driven M3s and M5s look expensive. BMW very likely lost money on every one, but we should be glad such an act of insanity passed all those customer clinics. A 175mph leather-lined SUV might not be what the world wanted, but for those of us with a sense of irony, it marks a magnificent act of automotive defiance. It has no relevance in the brave new world of low carbon electrification. And for that reason alone, I think it’s a future classic in waiting.

    COST NEW £93K

    VALUE NOW £20K
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  •   orlov1988 reacted to this post about 7 months ago
    The market has yet to recognise the potential of the #VW-Corrado-VR6 ’ / #VW-Corrado / #Volkswagen-Corrado / #Volkswagen-Corrado-VR6 / #Volkswagen / #VW

    I remember the 2.9 Corrado as one of the best-handling VWs of the Nineties. The first 150mph Volkswagen ever, it had a 0-60 time of 6.4 seconds and the coupé felt all-conquering and enormously cool. Roadtesters said it was good enough to wear a Porsche badge. A Dusky Mauve Storm edition with black leather rendered all hot hatches instantly passé. Restrained and handsome, they’re now a rare sight and because of VW’s adamantine build quality most survivors have racked up lunar mileages. But Jones Motor Co inWales has a 51,000-mile ’94 in the fabled metallic purple for a very reasonable £7990.

    The silky V6 engine is a gem that gets faster the more miles it travels, interiors are hardy and Storms come with heated leather seats and Solitude rims. VW struggled to make any money out of the Corrado and despite waiting lists and furlongs of praise from the press, they dropped it in #1995 .

    Find a last-of-the-line ’95 Storm (only 500 were built in Classic Green or Mystic Blue) and you’ll have the most desirable Corrado spec and one of the best cars VW has ever made – even a Golf R32 struggles to entertain you so completely. And while so many Nineties performance coupés have dated fiercely (think Ford Probe and Toyota Supra) the Corrado still looks elegant.

    There’s always been strong devotional interest from VW fans but the general market has yet to recognise the potential of the V6 Corrado. Perhaps that’s why there’s a ’95 on eBay with just two owners, 79,000 miles and full VW dealer history with a Buy It Now price of only £4500.

    Because of limited promotion it didn’t sell well. British buyers bought around 3600 but only 2000 are still registered on the DVLA mainframe with just 1100 of those taxed and on the road. The number of genuinely low-mileage, unmolested VR6s must be down to fewer than 100, and mint Storm survivors will be in single figures. Find one of these and you’ll own a spectacularly rare and special Nineties performance coupé that will never, ever depreciate. Start hunting now.

    While rivals now look tacky, the Corrado VR6 oozes class.
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  •   Daniel 1982 reacted to this post about 8 months ago
    / #Audi-100-C3 / #Audi-100 / #Audi – largely forgotten, massively undervalued

    The third-generation Audi 100 generated that now-famous Vorsprung Durch Technik strapline – Progress Through Technology. A genuine game-changer with galvanised bodies, front-wheel drive, fivepot engines, wind-cheating 0.30 coefficient of drag (it was the first car ever to have lush window glazing) and a revolutionary Procon-Ten safety system, the slippery 100 CD was the car that laid the foundations of today’s shimmering Audi brand.

    COST NEW £8894

    VALUE NOW £2000

    In the Eighties I owned several C3s and loved their NSU Ro80-like space, silence and technical audacity. My fondest recollection was of a white quattro Avant on Ronal alloys that I ran for 60,000 hiccup-free miles. Cool and efficient, in the Eighties and Nineties, Audi 100 CDs lined the streets of Fulham and Battersea, owned by family professionals who’d tired of their GTis.

    But like too many great cars of that era we didn’t cherish them and they’re a rare sight today. There’s a private seller in Norfolk with an unspoilt ’1987 100 CD in gold with 58,000 miles and full history asking just £1000. Another private man in Essex has a silver ‘1988 Avant (that’s the huge estate) quattro with 46,000 and continuous history from new for £3500.

    These prices are daft for such a handsome and capable machine that’s so well built, long-lived and distinctive. The DVLA says there are only 15 Avant quattros in regular use and only 14 of the 100 CD saloons. As an everyday classic they’re a perfect ride, but track down one of the few tiny-milers that still exist and you’ll own an Eighties icon priced massively below its intrinsic abilities and value.
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  •   Daniel 1982 reacted to this post about 9 months ago
    / #Audi-R8 / #2006-Audi-R8 / #2006 / #2007 / #Audi-R8-Typ-42 / #Audi-R8 / #Audi / #Audi-R8-V8-Typ-42 / #Audi-Typ-42 /

    (2006-2007) COST NEW £77k / VALUE NOW £35k

    Quentin Willson’s hot tips

    Back in 2006 the first-gen Audi R8 really should have been a massive hit – mid-mounted dry sump 414bhp 4.2 V8 32V engine, alloy spaceframe and monocoque, carbonibre cradle plus 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds and 187mph. Virtually hand-built at the Nekarsulm factory and sharing the Lamborghini Gallardo platform, only 28 R8s were made every day. This was a low-volume alloy supercar with four-wheel drive that was as reliable as a Golf. Yet only 164 R8s were sold globally in 2006, 4175 in 2007 and then, thanks to the 2008 recession, production tumbled to 2101 cars in 2009. The R8’s problem wasn’t only the financial environment into which it was born – it was just too clever and cerebral to catch the market’s imagination. Audi’s minimalist Bauhaus design grammar may have been fine for a TT, but for £77k before options, buyers wanted something that shouted a little louder. In many ways the R8 was too invisible, too quiet and too restrained.

    Back in those midmillennium glory days buyers preferred their supercars to wear prancing horses or bulls on their noses. But for collectors those early cars aren’t just worth seeking out because of their rarity – there are only 400-odd 2006-2007 R8s in the UK – they look howling value for money. Tradepricecars in Essex has a Silver ’07 with just 25k for £39,750 – or half the price of a very average Pagoda Merc. A private seller in Swindon has a black 2007, also with 25k, for £34,995 and it comes with £12k of factory options and full Audi history. That has to be one of the cheapest low-mileage supercars you can buy.

    Despite that prodigious top end those 4.2 R8s don’t feel properly ballistic – for that you’ll need the later V10. At 150mph things feel very stable and even exploring 180mph territory isn’t that scary. This is a well-planted and secure machine with a sublime ride. You’ll love the three turns lock to lock hydraulic steering but avoid the carbon brake option because they’re too grabby. I’d stick to the conventional six-speed manual because the sequential R-tronic isn’t as much fun.

    As a future classic a 2006/2007 UK rhd R8 could be a clever buy. They’re rare, respected, exclusive and technologically awesome. Find one of the very few 2006 #launch-year-examples and you’ll have something that’s already collectible. What’s more it’s a genuine supercar that doesn’t make you suffer to own and enjoy.
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