Archive for the ‘Classic Cars’ Category

This very rare, genuine, right hand drive MB 220SE convertible was registered in the UK on the 29th September 1965 is being offered for sale on behalf of the current owner who lives in Thailand.

Finished in very attractive metallic silver/blue paintwork with contrasting dark blue leather interior the car presents itself very well and wears an appealing patina of age combined with some tastefully restored and updated fittings. The car was originally a maroon colour but is recorded as being re-painted in 2000.

The chrome finishings are free of any serious corrosion with just minor localised pitting in some areas.

The blue leather interior and black hood appear to have been re-commissioned at some stage in the car’s life but since there is no service history available with the car it is difficult to determine exactly when the work might have been done. However, the condition of those items is very good including the blue tonneau cover for the hood when folded.

The odometer is currently showing 45948 miles and the mot history indicates that in 2007 the car had done 41258 miles, suggesting that only very light use has been made of the car during the past 12 years of its life. The next MOT is not due until July 2020.

The engine starts without fuss and idles very smoothly whilst the suspension shows no signs of sagging or lack of support on all four corners.

Although this 220SE does not present itself in concours condition it is both a perfectly usable, solid classic and an ideal base for a long-term project to turn it into a show-winning example.

Genuine 220SE convertibles are very hard to come by since there are many coupes that have been modified to soft-top versions. In addition this an original UK-registered, right hand drive model which adds even more rarity value to the car.

This 220SE convertible is currently on sale at £95,000 and for more details or to arrange a viewing in West Sussex please contact The Car Spy on 01892 506970 or email sales@thecarspy.net

Old-School Cool: 1999 Volvo V70R AWD

Posted: January 19, 2020 by The Car Spy in Classic Cars, For Sale, Volvo
Tags: , , ,

The Car Spy does like a Q-car or a so-called ‘sleeper’. Something that looks like it couldn’t peel the skin off a rice pudding but has a discreet morsel of pumped muscle hiding under those family-friendly looks. Enter the Volvo V70R from the 90’s.

Much-loved by antique dealers for its ability to carry the entire contents of a stately-home, the ‘First Generation’ V70 had a somewhat conservative image. However, when Volvo stuck the turbo-charged 2.3 litre engine and an ‘R’ badge on the tailgate the Old Bill and British Touring Car drivers just couldn’t get enough of them. This was a high-performance family estate sporting an old man’s cloth cap. Sleepers didn’t come much better than this.

Phrases like ‘modern classics’ and ‘collectable cars’ are not normally associated with the Volvo brand, although, to be fair, original Amazons and P1800’s have their place in automotive history but the V70R from the 90’s onwards deserves to be taken seriously.

The good news is that if you are in the market for one you don’t need particularly deep pockets. There are normally several on offer in the classifieds for no more than £10k which is less than the annual depreciation on a brand new car from Geely-owned Volvo today.

Cars like the V70R are cool because only real car enthusiasts will appreciate and respect the historical capabilities of a car like this. Even car-mad JK (Jamiroquai) has had one in his impressive collection of desirable cars. And today, 250 BHP, 150 mph and a 0-60 time of just over 7 seconds is not too shabby for a car designed and built when Wham! were at No.1 in the charts.

We found this Laser Blue Metallic example on sale with only 95k miles on the clock at what appears to be a very reasonable £7990. Likely depreciation? Zero and if anything, likely to appreciate, we would bet on it.

Full details on the advertising dealer’s website are as follows: https://www.quickandbig.com/volvo-v70r-awd-1999

So values of classic Fords are on the rise at auctions and deservedly so, we think. Any petrolhead who can remember the car heroes of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s will know that Ford was the trail-blazer that turned mundane mainstream family cars into the sporting legends we all dreamt of owning one day. Lotus Cortina’s, RS Capri’s, Escort Mexico’s and Sierra Cosworth’s stole the automotive limelight and there didn’t seem to be a single TV cop series without a Ford as the motor of choice for the lead character(s). Cue instant flashback to ‘The Professionals’ and ‘The Sweeney’.

Like most ‘modern classics’, those more desirable examples of the brand have long since departed this world via the scrap-metal crusher or are currently locked away in a secure, climate-controlled storage facility like some precious work of art never to be seen and enjoyed by anyone apart from its owner.

Fortunately, however, the odd, very nice original example of one of those desirable Fords with Nike trainers will make an appearance in the classified ads and this non-modified 1990 Ford Escort Turbo RS Series II definitely caught our eye.

The dealer marketing the car is stating that the very low 44,000 mileage is genuine (backed up by MOT history) and there appears to be service history covering the early years of the car’s life. This Diamond White RS is being advertised at £18,995 which seems very competitive if the car and its mileage are as genuine as claimed. A 1989 Northern Ireland-supplied example with 29,000 miles sold for £27,900 last November at Silverstone Auctions – https://bit.ly/2G3TL9O

The Series II RS Turbo had the revised and uprated 1.6 litre CVH engine which produced 132 BHP, giving the car a top speed back in the day of 125 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 8.3 seconds. Those figures might seem pretty average by today’s standards but thirty years ago they were pretty much class-leading.

It appears that classic sporting-Fords will never be ‘cheap’ again especially since their heritage and impact on their modern equivalents is now being truly appreciated.

Take a look at the car in detail here:- https://bit.ly/2RxGU4W

Some people of a certain age remember steam engines. Living proof of an industrial revolution that helped change the world whilst making the most modest of train journeys a noisy, dirty but somehow enthralling, emotive experience. The job of a train driver was high on the wish-list of most adolescent young men smitten by the glamour of those powerful steam engines.

And then came the electric train. Clean, fast, efficient but with all due respect to train operators today, young boys stopped wanting to drive them.

The death of the steam-age and the arrival of electrification occurred a number of decades ago and yet the internal combustion engine, in some ways as primitive as the steam engine, has survived. Perhaps it is that childhood passion to control something mechanically powerful that even as adults we (as petrol-heads anyway) have an addiction that is hard to overcome.

And so times, however and inevitably, are changing (or rather evolving) again. Autonomous, electric cars are the future we are told and like it or not, just like the fans of those prodigious steam locomotives the baton will be reluctantly passed on to a new generation.

But, for the time-being at least, that looks like a dream for the future which means that today we can still experience the sheer joy of driving a car that was designed for pleasure and not just for purpose.

Despite being powered by relatively old technology, the new cars of today are frustrated by modern technology which means that they do a specific job for which they were built in the safest, most efficient manner that the (constantly evolving) law demands. Driver aids are de rigueur.

However, a car built in the analogue age will offer just about the purest mechanical connection to the dynamics of driving a car with four wheels and British sports cars of the 1950’s and 60’s provided the perfect ingredients for an evocative drive.

Enter the ‘Big Healey’ that we have on sale here.

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Ferrari F430 Scuderia Spider 16M

Vinyl is making a comeback apparently. Yours truly thought it had never disappeared but LP sales are on the rise again and the reason, we are told, is that people have re-discovered the peculiar qualities of music recorded on a grooved, 12″ plastic disc as opposed to a shiny holographic Compact Disc or the overly-compressed MP3 format.

The sound of noise makes a difference and ‘heavy metal’ car manufacturers have known that for years. Lamborghini could never make a car that sang ballads. It is the Motorhead of the car world – raw, raucous and mental. A Lamborghini Lemmy would have been entirely appropriate. TVR was (and hopefully still will be) any thrash metal band you care to mention. Aston Martin (and Jaguar) has adopted a Led Zep Jimmy Page hammer-tone to its latest cars and Ferrari is the Iron Maiden of the same universe since they have been around for so long with their loud, extrovert cars.

When you buy a super-car slash hyper-car you expect it to be loud but when you fire it up you want it to hit you in the chest with an invisible fist that expels the air from your lungs. Literally breath-taking. Many cars can do that these days but back in 2009 Ferrari gave to the world the F430 Scuderia Spider 16M. At first sight it looked like a convertible Scuderia F430 but in reality it turned out to be a member of Judas Priest.

The bark from a 16M is addictive. It is visceral and it will make your ears bleed. Every drive in the car will involve a route that consists of a bunch of tunnels to search for the next fix. Just visit YouTube and type ‘Scuderia 16M’ into the search bar to get an idea of what makes the 16M special. The videos will give you an insight of what to expect from a 16M but you really need to be standing near or sitting in one to appreciate the car properly. It’s all about the noise.

Dinner-party fact: the car was called ’16M’ to commemorate Ferrari’s 16th victory in the Formula 1 Constructor’s World Championship in 2008.

The 4.3 litre V8 engine produces 510 PS (503 hp) and 470 Nm (350 lb·ft) torque at 5250 rpm so 60 mph comes up in a smidgen over 3 seconds and the 16M will max out just shy of 200 mph. The car has a fair share of carbon fibre so it is pretty lightweight and the chassis was stiffened to cope with the extra performance available to make it more track-focused. Lightened front and rear bumpers (compared to the 430 Scuderia) and unique 5-spoke forged wheels were produced for the 16M and helped to considerably reduce unsprung weight with larger front brakes and calipers added for extra stopping power. Enough said.

Other features include a race-tuned suspension, carbon-ceramic brakes, the ‘Superfast2’ automated manual transmission that enables shift changes in 60 milliseconds, LED up-shift markers in the steering wheel plus the now-familiar ‘manettino’ race-mode selector.

Only 499 vehicles in total were produced from early 2009 and all were sold to pre-selected clients. Only 37 were made in right hand drive form which means that if you live in the UK and you like your passenger seated to your left in your 16M you may wait some time before you see your preferred car of choice come on sale.

Which brings us neatly to the 2009 right hand drive example that is being offered on behalf of the current owner.

Finished in Rosso Corsa with Tessuto Nero Tipo Cordura interior this 16M has covered only 7500 miles since new and comes with a comprehensive service history. The most recent service and MOT was carried out by HR Owen Ferrari in October 2015.

This particular 16M features Carbon Fibre Exterior Package, Carbon Fibre Racing Seats, Nero Soft-top, Rosso Brake Calipers, Racing Livery with Italian Flag, Extra Campionario Nero Carpets, Rosso Rev Counter, Rosso Stitching, Dash-mounted i-Pod Touch, Navtrak, Ferrari book pack, Ferrari toolkit, Ferrari car cover and two keys. Also included is a valuable Ferrari Classiche Certificate and supporting documentation. It really doesn’t get any better than this.

This stunning right hand drive Scuderia 16M is currently, oops sorry now SOLD! To find out more give The Car Spy a call on 01892 506970 or email sales@thecarspy.net

xj220

If you had met your mates for a drink in the local and told them you had just bought a car that could reach 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and could max out at 217 mph do you think they could guess the make and model? Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren etc would be the obvious candidates until you mentioned that it was built in 1992, and it’s a Jaguar XJ220.

The all-aluminium XJ220 was a car that made umpteen records and even by today’s hypercar standards the numbers still look impressive. A Nurburgring lap time of 7:46 set by the XJ220 was unbroken from 1992 until 2000 and the car’s twin-turbo V6 produced 540hp which in the early 90’s was akin to selling a Formula One racer to Joe Public. But it didn’t sell.

The story of the V12 proposed for the XJ220 being ditched in favour of the V6 at the eleventh hour is well-documented and for supercar-wannabes the smaller engine was a faux pas. The fact that it made the car actually go faster than originally intended was ignored by both prospective buyers and the press. Interesting that here we are today hearing about twin-turbo V6’s ultimately replacing traditional V12, V10 and V8 powerplants to save weight and become more fuel-efficient. The XJ220 could achieve 32 miles per gallon which made it the most economical car produced by Jaguar at the time. And still it didn’t sell.

So what really was behind the cancelled orders and the grand total of only 271 cars being produced? Simple – price.

When the XJ220 was launched in 1992 the list price in the UK was £470,000 including vat. That is over £100k more than you might spend on an Aventador SV today. The development costs crippled the project and nonetheless had to be recouped but buyers just couldn’t stomach the outlay. Great car but not at any price.

However, prices for XJ220’s have long-since hit rock-bottom and buying one for around £100,000 was something that occurred about 10 years ago. Now they are heading for £300k+ territory. The market has woken up to the fact that the XJ220 rightly deserves a place in the automotive history books and is a proper icon that moved the game on in its day.

The XJ220 is big and has presence. The styling is svelte and will draw crowds parked in a High Street even parked next to a LaFerrari. It is comfortable and very easy to drive (just avoid country lanes because it is wide, very wide). Most XJ220’s today have covered seriously low mileages and time is running out to buy at less than 1992 prices – the car is an absolute bargain.

We have spotted a 1994 Silverstone Green example with less than 3000 miles on the clock complete with what looks like great service history and provenance on sale in the Silverstone auction on the 27th/28th February here. The sales estimate is less than £300k so this could be a good opportunity for somebody looking to acquire a decent XJ220.

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In the meantime here is Jay Leno having his first encounter with an XJ220….

Superperformance GT40

When we saw the new Ford GT at last year’s Geneva show it completely blew us away. Floating on its revolving stand the metallic blue car looked a million dollars but (whisper it) the anticipated list price was to be less than £200k. That is a lot of money to spend on any car but in the world of supercars and hypercars you could be spending close to that on a new set of alloy wheels and a service. The owner of a P1 or LaFerrari would probably have that in small change down the back of the sofa.

OK it’s a Ford which doesn’t quite have the panache of a Ferrari or Lambo but it certainly does have the pedigree. Books the size of War and Peace have been written about the track successes of the company so engineering prowess is a given with any fast Ford. The latest Focus RS is a good example. ‘Blue-collar’ heroes they are calling them because badge-snobs wouldn’t be seen dead in one, even as a passenger. Their loss entirely. Incidentally, there will no less than four Ford GT’s competing at Le Mans this year. Look out Porsche, Audi et al.

But maybe the tide is turning. You see the so-called ‘blue-collar supercar’, the new Ford GT, is sending the car-collecting world into a right tiswas. Word is that only 28 cars will be available to UK buyers out of the planned 1000 to be built over four years and this has caused some anxiety amongst those who not only like their cars but also have lots of money to invest in their cars.

There are stories of individuals flying to the Dearborn HQ to see what strings they can pull to secure one of the first cars whilst shouting “Do you know who I am?!” Well that’s just hearsay but Ford has responded by saying that buying a fleet of Mondeos or offering free use of a Gulfstream jet will have no bearing on your chances of buying one. Maybe it will just be the old-fashioned short-straw routine or a gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Ford-style.

Suddenly the company has gone a bit shy on the exact sales price too. Quite likely one of the most sensible comments made at an HQ board-meeting since Geneva 2015 was that the car was possibly a tad too cheap and rumours are circulating now that you could be looking at Aventador-like pricing. If you think you can get away with it, Ford, then why not?

No doubt the car-collectors and ‘investors’ will be looking to double whatever they pay for their car in a few years time so any list price is quite frankly academic. Given the new GT is a spiritual successor to the original GT40 which is likely to be conservatively worth in excess of 10 million US dollars these days it is no surprise that the new car has created so much attention. Looks like Ford will be competing with Ferrari in the auction rooms as well as on the track.

However, there is an alternative option where the sensible money might be heading. The Superformance GT40.

The SPF GT40 story is not new of course and the South African-based company has been producing ‘authentic’ GT40’s for well over a decade now. So authentic in fact, that the company can legally use the name ‘GT40’ and each car carries the GT40/P chassis number and therefore is eligible for the official GT40 registry. So there.

The appeal of this car to ‘collectors’ and ‘investors’ of course is non-existent. But to somebody who would like to get as close as it might be possible to the Le Mans-winning cars from the 1960’s and who actually wants to drive their cars instead of moth-balling them in de-humidified cocoons then it is quite timely to put the spotlight again on this curious ‘replica’, ‘re-creation’ or ‘continuation’.

Each SPF GT40 is produced by Hi-Tech Automotive in Port Elizabeth, South Africa who just happen to produce cars for Noble. The Superformance brand is owned by the Hillbank Motor Corporation who just happen to be the US distributor for Caterham. Petrol (or gasoline) runs through the veins of the infrastructure.

If you want to buy an SPF GT40 you stop by your local dealer – Le Mans Coupes Ltd in the UK for instance – and tell them what engine you want installed (a choice of three from 430 to 580 bhp + as we write this) and your favourite colour for the bodywork. Hand over around £150k (more or less) and look forward to owning a 200 mph+ hand-built, re-creation of one of the most iconic sports car ever made.

For a car created in the 1960’s there is nothing else that can come as close to a Ferrari from the same period that could draw a crowd in a high street. The shape of the original GT40 has defied the ageing process and can hold its own against the forthcoming Ford GT. It looks like a brand-new re-creation will be a lot cheaper too. A proper race-bred sports car for the price of a modern supercar?

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