Posts Tagged ‘Classic Cars’

Old-School Cool: 1999 Volvo V70R AWD

Posted: January 19, 2020 by The Car Spy in Classic Cars, For Sale, Volvo
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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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Finished in Black with Red Leather Interior this left hand drive, 1961 registered 1600cc 356B has recorded 54920 kilometres with only two owners and has been recently fully restored.

Click here for the Wikipedia entry for the Porsche 356 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porsche_356

Offers in excess of 68500 Euros are invited for this 356B (excluding Shipping/Delivery costs)

For further details please give The Car Spy a call on ++44(0)1732 760699 or email sales@thecarspy.net.

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Fifty years ago Ford launched a car that they thought would take away some of the market share that BMC were stealing with their revolutionary Mini. Instead their brand-new ‘Consul Cortina’ created a marketplace all of its own which has pretty much endured to this day in the form of the current Mondeo and the multitude of similar-sized cars from most of the world’s manufacturers – all chasing the same market segment.

Their Cortina (still not sure why they insisted on using the ‘Consul’ moniker) appealed to the 2+2 family of post-war Britain that were hungry to escape the dark past of two world wars and were ravenously consuming the renaissance in music and design that was taking place during the 1960’s. Think Beatles, Mary Quant, Conran and the beautiful E-Type Jaguar as part of a tidal wave of newness that knocked the population off its feet.

The Cortina offered the family man in 1962 a car with clean, modern lines, (relatively) willing engines and performance for a reasonable amount of his hard-earned Pounds, Shillings and Pence – ‘new’ money didn’t come along along until the early 70’s. But there was more to come.

Ford had created a GT version of the Cortina with lowered suspension and – wait for it – 78 BHP over the standard 1500cc engined car which produced a weedy-sounding 60 BHP. Today of course we would expect more power from a sit-on lawnmower but in those days there were very few road cars that would achieve more than 100 BHP. Anything on offer to the general public producing more than that would have fallen very much into the ‘sports car’ category and was often far too expensive for ordinary folk. The Cortina did indeed put a smile on Family Guy’s face.

I had an uncle who once owned a Cortina GT and he drove it hard and fast. I blame that particular car for the love affair I developed later on in life for all things Ford including a Cortina 1600E, a 3.0S Capri in Daytona Yellow and a Scorpio Cosworth (sigh).

Four individuals were the catalyst for the birth of the Lotus Cortina – Colin Chapman, Harry Mundy, Walter Hayes and Keith Duckworth.

Colin Chapman owned Lotus with all of their chassis engineering expertise; Harry Mundy was an engine designer who joined Lotus from Coventry-Climax; Walter Hayes was head-honcho at Ford and Keith Duckworth a highly talented engine tuner (ex-Cosworth).

The four men created the cocktail of ingredients that created a true ‘sports saloon’ that distanced itself from its cousin the Cortina GT and its nearest rival the Mini Cooper. Press reviews were full of praise for the car’s handling and road-holding capabilities comparing it to the track-day Lotus 7 at the time.

On the track the Lotus Cortina inevitably blew everything else into the weeds and quickly became THE car to beat. The Ford Cortina-Lotus (as Ford preferred) is now firmly rooted in the folklore of saloon car racing and will still often make an appearance at classic car racing events today.

There was a simplicity in the approach that Ford took in the overall look of the car that is tasteful and pleasing to the eye. No fancy spoilers or wide arches just quarter-size bumpers, 5.5″ Wheels, Lotus badges and any colour you wanted as long as it was white with a green stripe. However, there is a story that one customer insisted on a blue stripe because he was superstitious about the colour green!

Today most Lotus Cortinas still running would have received an enormous amount of loving attention (and expense) to keep them on the road and their rarity value means that they are achieving high prices when they change hands. Figures in excess of £30000 would be readily paid for cars in top condition and concours examples could write their own cheques.

The forthcoming Baron’s auction on the 28th-29th May happens to feature a Lotus Cortina which has been described as follows:-

“This 1965 registered, Airflow model, Lotus Cortina,  underwent a full restoration in 2008/2009 meaning that GRO 28C is in very good order throughout. The car was produced in July of 1964 but was not sold and registered until March of 1965, Originally an “A frame” car, which was later converted to the more popular leaf spring set up, when used for group 2 historic rallying by the Ecurie Ten team from 1990.  Among the car’s six previous registered owners are the above mentioned Ecurie Ten team and well known and well respected  motoring journalist, Richard Hudson Evans. This car is known to the Lotus Cortina Register.”

The guide price is quoted as £30000 to £40000.

Click here for further details of the car that has been entered plus details of the auction

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