It’s that time of year again where we open our garage door to show you that we have acquired in the last 12 months.
Andrew Frankel – Porsche 968 Sport (1994)
I do buy a 968, so I was able to drive the 918 Spyder? I think I did. Or, at least, that’s what I keep telling myself. The story goes that Porsche had its own hypercar in Scotland and invited those journalists who wanted to ride her. The only snag was that they had in their Porsches, one of which I was not.
What I have is a friend, who owned the Riviera blue 968 sport for the last 16 years and who would have bought it from my brother, so that his lineage was impeccable. The car was cosmetically a touch shabby, but structurally and mechanically it was better than sound. The price was right and I tell myself that I’m gonna sell it as soon as I drove the 918, I wrote a check.
Now that was many months ago and still I have. He so endeared himself to me for these few days in Scotland that I can’t give it up. He kept pace, which had much faster cars, reminded me why I loved them when they were new and never skipped a beat, despite being driven, as I suspect, he was not associated with ruddy young car tester called Chris Harris left him in the gravel at Spa many, many moons ago.
I did a few minor things such as wipers and heating work properly, putting it on a proper tire and installing brilliant period viewing Porsche satellite navigation, Bluetooth and a stereo system. I will order the paint and interior over the winter and see how I feel about it come spring. My plan is to sell it because I don’t really have space for it. So not the least bit surprised if you saw that here in the next year…
Rachel Burgess – “Mercedes-Benz” sl500 (1997)
It is the eternal dilemma of a classic car enthusiast who is too wise to be reckless with the decisions of the cars: old car I can buy that, at least, does not depreciate and, if I’m lucky, to appreciate? And so my partner and I invested in this model sl500 two years ago.
In 1997, ‘r129 manufacturer was the height of luxury in the times: £72K with a choice, it was more than the average price of a home. Using the reliable 5.0-litre V8, he said that the people were hewn from granite and those that until 1998, the best built. This is partly because it was one of the last models produced before Chrysler bought Mercedes and huge measures to reduce costs were introduced.
Time made it less luxurious but, almost 20 years later, I’m still impressed with the level of comfort and Central locking locks one of the secondary compartment when the roof is lowered. However, it has some problems, namely that the transmission is not properly shift into second and third, and the diagnosis that we need a new one. But still we like to ride in it now and then, especially in the summer months, even if the color is a bit much for my black/silver preference.
Money-wise, it has strengthened in the last two years. We’ll probably keep her a little longer, although the BMW 8 series is calling our names and we can’t both…
Tim Dixon – Ford Fiesta (2004)
Technically Mk5 Mk6, but in common parlance, it is mechanically strong 1.4 petrol scarce example with 50,000 miles has been mine since 2006. He just passed the mot test with no warning (again). Fun, Mk5s have a habit of snapping front springs (one left last month), plus a spark plug wells to fill up with screen wash and you have to go raining, recessed upper mounts for the front suspension and nuts from rusting solid. In addition, it is completely reliable and drives and rides a treat. And no, it’s not for sale, so don’t ask.
Rory White – Mercedes-Benz 190E 1.8 (1992)
When you need to sell your E34 BMW 5 series, to help Fund my wedding in the beginning of this year, the old car began to itch too almost as soon as the bills for the flowers and honey ceased to arrive.
As before, I’m not after anything in particular, although in the 1990s the spiders Alfa Romeo and Audi Convertible was, of course, the saved search. In fact, I ended up in something completely different, and I couldn’t be happier with it.
This is a 1992 Mercedes 190E, with 122,000 miles, which are unlikely to work in one of these, I’m told. Decent six cylinder examples seemed few and far between, and those available were out of my price range. So the four cylinder was, in this case 1.8 Petrol with automatic transmission.
Even better, the previous owner has spent a tidy sum by giving it a little TLC. New rims, new rear shocks, new exhaust and a new set of tires was installed within the last four months – not bad for a final trading figure of £1300. It’s a little more than I did in the past, but then I’m starting with a much more solid car.
I’m really impressed with just how it feels to move. It has sensors full of stamps and a few MOT papers and it feels like a thoroughly well looked after car. The engine is smooth, gearbox is the same as properly warm and to drive a car is sublime, largely due to these recent shocks and complete balance wheel.
But of course, this 190E is not perfect. The first task you will new license plates because the current is not damaged, and the windshield replacement. Soon, a couple of tires will be needed, in the present antenna requires attention, and I may even explore the sources and spraying a new front wing.
Neil winn – Subaru BRZ (2014)
It all started with learn how to drift at last year’s festival of speed at Goodwood. Toyota organized and opened to the public, he gave me the opportunity to try the car that has always eluded me: the Toyota gt86.
Now, I have read all about the incredible balance of the car and balance, but nothing prepared me for how much fun I would have driving. Needless to say, after my brief session, I was hooked.
The next few days were spent scouring ads, only one question in mind: gt86 and the Subaru BRZ or its twin? In the end, the choice was made for me after a visit to the dealer was for me to stumble upon my perfect specifications of BRZ. It was a GP Lux 2014 in lightning red, with sports seats and a manual transmission. It looked clean, mechanically sound and has done only 6000 miles. I made an offer.
Fast forward 12 months and I have covered 11,000 miles in it. From a Scottish trip in the daily grind, he was an absolute hoot. In fact, it is difficult to come up with a car for sale today at the same price that provides a smile-inducing driving experience.
That said, I found it hard to resist tuning the car, which has received so much love and support in the aftermarket world. As it sits now, it has a set of sticky Michelin Pilot super Sport, dark gray TSW wheels and motors Litchfield handling pack eibach springs and adjustable sway bars.
The car now feels tighter and more predictable cache, all without losing the essence of balance, which in the first place. I’m not sure what mods are next, but one thing is certain: I can’t wait for another action-Packed year with him.
Richard Webber – Porsche Cayman S (2006)
Of the 50 or so I used to buy guide I wrote to Autocar, the two LEDs on the purchase, and this 987 generation Cayman s is one of them. It has a six cylinder, three pedals and two boots that still make me very happy after four years of ownership. Napkin math says that it cost no more than $ 35 per month, depreciation is also. There were charges (exhaust gaskets, drive belt and roller idle this year, plus untold high road tax), but a relatively modest independent specialist Porsche of wage helps to keep them manageable.
I envy even slicker gearbox 981 Cayman Islands, superior ride and added a zipper, but not its electric power, or about 718, in addition to fuel economy. By the way, my return to Edinburgh last year said goodbye to average 13mpg in London and “Hello” bonanza Scottish roads that sent joy to the gallon gets up.
Regular trips to the Scottish borders and sometimes the tour of the highlands and Islands confirmed my love for this car: noise, handling talent and engagement, gilded with a bit of luxury. Any sensible offers considered at this time.
Hilton Holloway Honda accord 2.0 ex estate (2004)
After more than 20 years, the new press cars, buying their own motor isn’t easy. Without diverse fleet, where you have to take your car you have to be handy: compact enough for Central London, a serious go-kart and is powered by gasoline (I’m not going to pollute the air with aging, etc.). It is also so cheap and automatic transmission; London is no place for a hand car wash. The engine should be as simple and box cars ’torque Converter.
My local main dealer Honda was just the thing. In 2004 accord 2.0 estate lending comprehensive information about the history and life of domestic services in Maidenhead. The paintwork was a bit shabby and the driver’s seat lining torn, but the story was flawless. And Honda was willing to guarantee it.
It was a tick so reliable. It runs absolutely straight and true on the motorway and reasonable long-distance summer could return 35mpg. I gave him a massive service and regassed air conditioning, four new tyres Dunlop only £200 fitted. That is the beauty of 15 inch wheels.
Five-hour drive to Suffolk on the hottest day of the year including two hours in London to a standstill – not to disturb him and left me a big fan of Honda engineering. But it should go. It has a low seat, I’m big and discomfort is too much. But what a fabulous car.
Alex Robbins – BMW 635 CSI (1988)
I grew up with an innate dislike of anything with a BMW badge. I endlessly read car magazines and bored with the tedious competence of the Bavarian cars, a predictable beating everyone in the group tests.
Of course, I soon saw sense. And when I decided to follow the advice I give people for many years and to invest in their own 1980s to enjoy, I couldn’t help thinking of a shark-nosed 6 Series.
I ended up with this machine, and 104,000 km Highline 1988, which means he gets a more powerful engine, which went on a generation E34 535i, and an interior in which everything – even the roof is covered with skin. Air conditioning and cruise control, and the First owner of the specified Heated seats, so you need very little. The previous owner serviced it in disgust and changed the old wheels for metric cross-spokes of 18 inches from the 7 series, the one I kept. They look great.
It’s an unbeatable Grand Tourer – a sleek and comfortable but agile running on a mountain road, as I found out last year on the route Napoleon. I hope there will be more such things in the future BMW, because it’s perfect for this kind of trip.
Richard Bremner – mg f VVC (1999)
Salvage vehicles: low prices, a lot of damage uncertain history. But not all salvage cars are like this, I found that while trawling slightly convincing UK auction site. Crashed near presents stolen, broken, and sometimes inexplicably disposed of. It was an example of one of the last that got me bidding on the 1999 mg f VVC.
These days you can buy project mg f for the price of decent food, and there are many poor examples to use for a bit more. What made this different was it 16,000 miles, no damage and the fact that he was unregistered. What the scrap did not fall in the range from A to D the definition of damage, where A and B must be destroyed, and C and D can be resold.
This gun was one of them and was in great shape. But I didn’t have time to go and see. Having studied the prices a lot-won the FS, I think there is a big chance that the mileage was correct. So I desire. And got it for $ 1700, including fees of the auction.
That’s a lot for a 17 year old f, especially one from a salvage yard. But when he arrived at Delivery of the trailer I made, it looked amazing. It ran sweet and there is strong evidence – although no service history – low mileage.
He handed the MOT test, mobile mg Rover mechanic installed a preventative timing belt, alternator belt and water pump, and the oil was changed. Even at the dump, brought the instrument glass cover and a little trimming to produce a flawless and surprisingly brisk 143bhp VVC in a seductive collector quality.
The trouble is that I promised my tolerant wife that it would be a temporary acquisition. So it was sold for a little more than I spent. Given the extremely low mileage mg of FS, I can still regret it.
Hemal Mistry – Mini Cooper (2006)
Buying your first car is not an easy job, and visiting one dealer suggests that my only real options were to either Opel Corsa or Peugeot 108, none of which appealed. Not to be defeated, I continued my search and came across this in the r56 generation mini with 28000 miles on the clock. It ticked all the boxes I was looking for, with its stylish appearance and large alloy wheels, as well as being cheap to run and insure. He hasn’t missed a beat and rebellion, when the country roads to reveal themselves.
Alan Taylor-Jones – BMW BMW Z4 (2007)
If you’re on a BMW anorak, you probably looked at the picture of my Z4 and wondered why it lacks a couple of cylinders. Although I could justify referring to the lighter nose, and processing cleaner (eggs), the truth is that I bought this for my wife. Her previous car was a mini diesel with 75bhp knock, we decided that 150bhp is more than enough for a first RWD car. It’s not fast, but rather brisk and delightful treatment of acute. The only problem? After less than six months, she already wants 3.0 I. Bugger.
Steve Cropley – Mazda MX-5 (2015)
You’ve read ad infinitum about the advantages and disadvantages — mostly strengths — this is a great little car. Deputy ed mark Tisshaw has done about 15,000 quiet miles a year in it, with the assistance of others. When it came time to send it back to Mazda, I just can’t imagine what it’s like so I bought it. It is winter now, but still prickly on my local roads in Gloucestershire with the top down — and it was launched for the first time on the climb Prescott hill, where he won me a Cup! Looking forward to a much more simple and affordable pleasure.
Claire Evans – Available Roadster (1995)
When I heard that a friend is selling this Japanese import a couple years ago for 2100, it was too lucrative to resist. Although he was not in perfect condition and has been slightly lowered, it was a MK1 1.8. For me it’s the perfect combination because I can still remember the smirk of the evening I’m driving a press fleet when it first came out in 1995. I love how it feels wrapped around you on a winding country road. My best recent trips was a day whizzing round the lanes of Kent and Surrey, comparing it with the mk3 2.0.
Matt prior – Honda XRV750 Africa twin (2002)
Why should I buy this year, 2002 Honda Africa twin? Because I missed Biking on a regular basis because my old scrambler project takes more time than I wanted to, and because it’s a little more expensive, a little plusher motorcycle than the one I was going to buy the man maths at work. That makes more sense than impractical, large, single-cylinder SUV thumper I was going to buy, I said to myself. And I was right. I love it. This is a 750cc, two-cylinder adventure bike, very comfortable at a distance and, possibly, appreciating classic. Not that I plan to give it now that I started again.
Darren Moss – Lotus 2-Eleven (2008)
Modernization is a serious business. We moved from our first track day car, Westfield Megablade, in the performance of AB saber in 2014, but little more than a year later we did it again, this time for the Lotus 2-eleven. We use it on the road in places like Rockingham, Silverstone and Bedford, where his real ability shines through. He was taken on the road once or twice, but on the track where he feels most comfortable. More than £30K, this is not a cheap purchase and not cheap to repair if we get it wrong — but the thrill it gives is priceless.
Chris Culmer is 5-door Peugeot 206 1.1 fever (2004)
I think my little Peugeot was great. Now I’ve led something from this decade, I know it’s awful. It is noisy, bulky, terribly inefficient and alarmingly unsafe. Anyway, I still love him. Two years ago I unknowingly paid too much for him, learned to drive and passed my test in it. Since then — because all my friends are impoverished students — my social life revolved around it. Stereo is terrible, tinny, and we choose rap music a disproportionately deep voice, but he gave me that the first car who gives them independence.
Catch up on the fact that the staff car was fill your garage in 2015, and that 2014.