Here’s why this Limited Edition ‘Keswick Edition’ DB7 Vantage has me pining for an Aston Martin

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It’s no surprise to anyone that I’m quite a fan of Volvo’s on this blog, I of course own my wonderful C70 Coupé project car, my parents have owned a MK1 S80 in the past and over the last year I’ve been very much a part of the Volvo scene more than I ever was before by going to multiple launch events, however, when it comes to cars, Volvo doesn’t even come close to my all time favourite car brand – I’m of course talking about Aston Martin!!

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That’s right, shocker right?, well let me explain, Ever since I was young I was bought up around cars so whatever it was I had or watched or even played it involved cars in one way or another, now I’ll admit, when I was really young I never really knew much about Astons or any high end manufacture for that matter as I was just way too young to even take notice, add that in with the fact that Astons aren’t entirely seen every day of the week it just never registered with me at such a young age, however that all changed with one movie & ever since then I was hooked and have been ever since.

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Picture the scene – it’s the year 2002, Brazil have won the FIFA world cup, Michael Schumacher was on his way to winning the F1 Season with Ferrari & EA are working on the legendary game that is NFS Underground – all while this is happening, a new film is getting filmed, it stars both Pierce Brosnan & Halle Berry and for the most part, it is filmed in Iceland, I am of course talking about Die Another Day, now what got me interested in this film really was the ice chase scene between the then new Aston Martin Vanquish and the equally gorgeous Jaguar XKR Convertible, now as a 6 year old at the time, I was instantly hooked, Imagine seeing two cars fight it out on a frozen lake while shooting a plethora of weapons at each other, as a six year old I was in heaven, ever since then I’ve had both a very keen interest in James Bond Films & the cars which have been in their before and on top of that – that was where my love of Aston Martin originally came from.

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Skip a few years later to when the DB9 came out and again, just like the beautiful Vanquish before it, this had me hooked, it was able to beat the then new 200mph cross continental train to Monaco with ease on Top Gear, it spawned the DBR9 race car & of course bought along the DBS & Virage later in life, in fact, the DB9 had me so hooked it instantly became my dream car and has done ever since, I’ve been lucky enough to both be a passenger ride in one at 13 & also drive one when I was 14 and it’s been my mission ever since to eventually get a DB9 one of these days no matter what thats how much I love it.

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Recently I’ve gotten into the classic Astons like the DB4, DB5, V8 Vantage & even the classic race cars like the DBR1, in fact a few years ago, I was lucky enough to get to see a 1954 DB2/4 Saloon up at Peter Vardy Heritage in Glasgow and it was everything I’d ever asked for & is a day I’ll never forget.

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Now by reading all this, you’ll think that I’m a massive Aston fan and while for the most part that is correct, there has been one car from Aston that I’ve never really bonded with and that is the DB7, now sure it is a beautiful car, there is no doubting that, however compared to the Vantage which preceded it and the DB9 which replaced it, it never really had that wow appeal that Aston’s are so used to giving off, on top of all that, it was based on the old Jaguar XJS which in itself was nearly a 30 year old car, worst of all however, especially by Aston standards was the 3.2 I6 which was used in the early cars, with the Vantage having a V8 and the DB9 having the truly wonderful 6.0 V12, the early I6 just wasn’t very Aston, now sure it was supercharged so it was as powerful as any other AM at the time but the soundtrack was just not the same plus with Ford switchgear it certainly was as well built as other Astons previous.

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In 1999 the V12 Vantage came out and this completely changed the DB7, it now had both the power and noise of an Aston, however at that point it was still quite an old car on an even older platform and it was starting to show it’s age quite considerably, however, Aston still plodded on and kept it going till 2003 with the absolutely savage DB7 GT and the equally gorgeous DB7 Zagato being two limited run versions of the DB, now these were essentially the two swan songs of the DB7 range before the truly fantastic DB9 came out, however these two weren’t the only limited edition DB7’s to be commissioned oh no no no, in fact, there is one DB7 which recently has gone under the radar for quite some time as it’s so rare that if anything no one knows it actually exists.

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I am of course talking about the Keswick Edition – what is the Keswick Edition you may ask? well, it was a limited edition run of ten DB7’s, 5 of which were Vantages & the other 5 were Volante’s, they all had the 5.9 V12 fitted which gave them 420 bhp & 540nm torque and either came with the six speed manual or the 5 speed auto gearbox, top speed was 186mph for the manual cars or 165mph for the auto cars, now while the engine was exactly the same as the normal Vantage or Volante, which made this so special was the following specification.

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For a start, they were all coloured Ferrari Nero Daytona Black, the Volantes had a black mohair roof, they had upper & lower mesh grilles, interior wise, you had charcoal hide on the top & bottom of the dash with DB7 insignias embossed into the seats, following on with the black theme was the charcoal carpets with the DB7 logo’s also embossed into them as well, the headlining was also black, the wood veneer was replaced with metallic finishes, on the instrument cluster, you had white dials with chrome rings which really lifted the interior somewhat, on the outside you had a wonderful set of 9 spoke 19″ wheels with black brake calipers hiding behind them, all Keswicks had a numbered IWC watch included as well to really show you had something special.

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Now, like a lot of rare cars, it’s very rare you’ll find a Keswick for sale, with only ten being produced it’s never going to be common which makes this one a real diamond in the rough so to speak, however, what is very weird is the price, now while £30,000 generally isn’t cheap, compared to other limited edition cars it’s unbelievable value for money, especially considering it’s only done 40,000 miles which is nothing considering the age, even for a high end car, also, this one is in fantastic condition that you wouldn’t really want to drive it it’s so clean, now sure, you can buy a normal V12 Vantage for that money or even a DB9 for that price but even for any of them, it’ll be either a wreck which will need a bit of work to get right or a good car with a middle ground specification, with this Keswick, you get a relatively low mileage, 2 owner car with a very high spec and the bonus of having something like nothing else on the road which is only a good thing really – this really is a car to buy now to keep as an upcoming modern classic.

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With the 6.0 V12 most definitely dead and other multiple V12 engined Aston’s going for quite a bit of money, now is the time to buy a DB7 V12 to look after & enjoy & for £30,000 this Keswick should be on anybody’s DB7 shopping list, it was one of the first Aston production cars to have that wonderful V12 fitted and with the added bonus of rarity added in, these cars won’t be around for these prices anymore.

 

Hope You Enjoy!

By Alex Jebson

Heres Why This Honda S2000 Based Aston Martin DB5 Has Given Me Mixed Feelings

So like a lot of car guys, I can’t help but search the classifieds to look for potential next cars, project cars or even unobtainable dream cars, now for me, my main car buying/selling site I use is AutoTrader as over here in the UK they are the most popular and have anything & everything for sale whether it’s a normal everyday cheap hatchback to a £1M+ Ferrari Daytona, now on a lot of occasions, I tend to look at affordable cars with the odd occasion looking at the wacky, weird & downright different cars and today I think I’ve found one in the shape of this Aston Martin DB5 kit car based on a 1999 Honda S2000 here.

 

Now being a kit car, it’s never going to look like an actual DB5 as it of course has to fit over an already existing chassis – In this case a AP1 S2000 so width, length and overall track is gonna be slightly different to the real thing, however, as kit cars go, this has to be the most accurate one I’ve seen for sale, compared to the F355 kit cars based on SW20 MR2’s it actually looks realistic, however there is of course some big & small differences.

 

For a start, the doors & windows are a different size to the real DB5 due to it’s Honda roots, the interior on this particular one still has the original S2000 interior which kind of looks out of place compared to the outside but everything does work which is typical of any Honda product, now I don’t have any issues with an S2000 whatsoever and that even includes it interior, however it does look weird in something which looks like a DB5.

 

Secondly, the mirrors, wiper arms & wheels are slightly different to the real thing, now these can easily be changed or fixed one way or another and shouldn’t take too long or much to fix, however, there is one last thing which is massively different to this replica and that is what ultimately gives me my mixed feelings.

 

See, being based on the S2000, it still has it’s F20C fitted, now in engine terms, the F20C is a wonderful engine, 9000RPM rev limit, bulletproof reliability & some decent power from a 2.0 4 cylinder engine, in a car which looks like a DB5, it makes sense to have an engine like this as it’d give good reliable power with a really good power band which in turn with the sublime S2000 chassis would make this rep a really good car to drive on any road you take it down, so why does it give me mixed reactions then? well it’s pretty simple really.

 

See, even though this is based on a really fantastic Honda sports car and it’s been a reliable old thing over the last 6 years the kit was applied, for me, having an Aston whether a kit or not, it should have the feeling of an Aston & of course the sound of an Aston, so to still have it’s 4 cylinder fitted makes no sense in that respect, If it was mine, I’d personally fit the 3.2 Supercharged I6 & running gear from an early DB7, that way, every time you drive it, it’d sound and would somewhat feel like the car it’s supposed to look like.

 

Same story goes for the interior, now of course it’s still a lovely interior which is very driver focused and of course everything works which you could never say about the original, however in this car it looks so out of place it’s unreal, to make it more realistic, it’d need replacing with a custom interior and custom retro bucket seats which would bring it more in line with a real DB5, unfortunately however to do all that will of course cost quite a bit of money to put right which brings me onto it’s biggest issue and that is the price.

 

Now a normal S2000 starts at around £5000 for a good one all the way up to about £10K-£15K for a later Facelift, however this Replica is hitting nigh on £70K which isn’t cheap at all, in fact you could get a MK1 V12 Vanquish for a similar amount of money, you could easily get a DB9, V8 Vantage or even a V12 DB7 Vantage which are proper Aston’s and not kits, however, if you really really love the DB5 then in that retrospect it really is a bargain as a real DB5 can cost upwards of £500K which is way out of reach for a majority of us, add in the upgrades that I’d personally do to make it more realistic, you’d probably be spending about £100K all in which is a 5th of the price of a real one with better reliability than the DB5 and a better driving experience too having DB7 bits added into the mix, add in the custom interior and it’d be a kit car which in theory wouldn’t be too far off the real thing which can’t be said for a lot of kit cars going these days.

 

So what is everyone’s opinion on this kit car then?, a very good remake which just needs the finishing touches I mentioned or yet another fake wannabe Aston Martin which is too much money for what it actually is?, me personally, I quite like it as it’s a whole lot better than a lot of kit cars these days and the work which has gone into it is a whole lot higher quality than others I’ve seen, once finished it’d be a 5th the price of a real DB5 and the best part really is the feeling it’d give off, with the upgrades done, it’d feel reminiscent of driving the real thing which can only be a good thing.

 

Hope You Enjoy!

By Alex Jebson

What Car Gadgets & Technologies Can You Live Without?

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With modern cars these days getting all different gadgets & technologies – some of which are potentially life saving and others just purely to satisfy us drivers while travelling, it can sometimes become way too much for any ones personal needs to the point it can get quite distracting & also slightly annoying which begs the question, when is enough enough and what should really be important in a car and what should take a step back?

 

It’s no surprise that us petrol heads like our cars to drive as pure as possible with as little driving aids as possible, however, we still love our gadgets and can’t live without the likes of a premium stereo system and the likes of electric windows and of course the good old air conditioning for those really hot days.

 

I know for a fact I’m one of those people and I know I’m not alone in this situation, me personally, I can’t live without cupholders for a start and I certainly can’t live without the likes of electric windows, leather seats & a cracking stereo system.

 

For example, with the equipment on my C70, I love the parking sensors fitted to mine as it makes it so much more liveable to park what is still a fairly big car, I also adore the leather seats and find them quite frankly fantastic to the point it’d be weird to be without them, not just are they unbelievably comfortable but because they were designed by an orthopaedic doctor, I know that they are helping out my back which is a god send, especially when my back goes which it sometimes does.

 

However on the flip side of that, there’s a good few things on my car which I hardly even think about and these include the heated mirrors for a start off, now sure they help clearing the frost & ice & water off the glass quite quickly, however unlike the seats they’re not really that much of a god send and even go unnoticed even by myself.

 

Other things which get unnoticed by myself are the DRL’s, now sure just like the mirrors they also serve a purpose & every Volvo ever since and even before the C70 have had them fitted but they serve such little purpose apart from a safety point of view that they’re easily forgotten about and can easily get unnoticed however good & safe they might be.

 

Now, this is where it gets a tad confusing but work with me on this, while with my car there is things I can & can’t live without, with the likes of the Seat it can easily be considered bare bones in comparison, for example, it has one cup holder between 5 people which is just crazy, it doesn’t have electric mirrors or even electric windows in the rear which was something I’d expect from a car built & using parts from the VAG parts bin, however with such little equipment apart from the bare essentials it kind of works in that situation due to the fact there is less to go wrong if there is less fitted to it in the first place.

 

Even with the Seat though, even though it is quite archaic compared to both the Volvo & even the Lexus which I’ll get onto in a little bit, there is even things in that which is in some respects unliveable even by todays standards, one of which is the 6 CD changer in the glovebox, now sure it takes up a good 80% of the glovebox space which isn’t that good, however, it’s such a good add-on that it’d be weird to live without.

 

Now, this is where the real point of this article comes into play and this can easily be explained by the RX400h we have, now, Lexus have always been known to add in tons of equipment even in standard trim into all of their cars regardless of price or car class and to some it’s fantastic, however, while our Lexus has tons of equipment we can’t live without, even to us it’s overkill with the amount of stuff it has – for a start off it has adaptive auto lights which swivel when you turn the wheel & rain sensing wipers, it has sat-nav, cruise control, Dual zone climate control & an electric tailgate to name a few.

 

Now most of those stuff in that car we’ve never had before so it’s all new to us and does take getting used to I’ll admit however even with the Lexus more than anything else there is tons of stuff in that we’ll never even consider using or living with and with some even there just for owner satisfaction it comes across as overkill which certainly begs the question, why is it there if it’s hardly ever gonna get used?, it just makes no sense!

 

Now, the RX certainly isn’t the worst, with new cars coming nearly every few months, the equipment & gadgets coming out on them are indeed great but on the other hand can be way too much for anyone to live with, what happened to the days of actually speccing the likes of an optional sports exhaust instead of it being controlled by a switch, also, whatever happened to paying a little bit extra for the likes of a “Sports Chassis” instead of going through in some cases a miss-match of options & driving modes just to get the perfect driving set-up, before all this came in, if you wanted a proper drivers car you’d always have to wind up going for the performance model but today it seems that every car has the option to sharpen something up with the change of a setting through the cars entertainment system.

 

Also, while on the subject of settings & entertainment systems, how is it possible for the likes of older people who are used to older tech to set up the car they want, now don’t get me wrong, I’m quite tech savvy so that doesn’t affect me in any shape or form whatsoever but there a lot of people out their who just aren’t tech savvy or haven’t gotten with the times just yet which makes all this tech & gadgetry quite frankly null & void however fancy or clever it is.

 

Another issue to be raised is some owners relying on the cars systems & gadgets to guide it down the road, considering that a good amount of drivers these days have the potential to do that, it makes drivers lazy & also prone to massive accidents all down to lack of due care & attention which makes motoring even worse for us petrol-heads who cherish our cars and don’t want them dinged up in any way shape or form.

 

Now am I just being old, senile and being generally stubborn to move on or am I right in what I’m saying?, I’d like to hear what you guys have to say and while on the subject, why don’t you let me know what you wish your car had or didn’t have, I’d really like to see what everyones view is on this.

 

Hope You Enjoy

By Alex Jebson

 

What’s it like to run a £300 Seat? 6 Month Review

In the world of car ownership, it’s always been said that the more expensive the car is, the better it is, now I’ll admit I’ve always went by this too and have always vouched to parents or family members never to buy anything under £500 as it’ll more than likely be wrecked and need a ton of work to get it back on the road, however, it seems that I’ll more than likely have to eat humble pie for breakfast, lunch & dinner after my stepdad bought a Seat Leon MK1 for the measly sum of £300 back in May – that’s right, he bought a fully working, full service history, relatively clean, lowish mileage car for less than my Canon 1300D Camera.

 

So what exactly is the deal with this Seat and why do we own one?, well, with my mum away working in her new job as a Live In Carer and needing a car to get her down to wherever she needs to be and my own car being a rolling project, my stepdad needed a cheap set of wheels to just get him mobile, now of course, with such a limited budget it would be highly unlikely that’d he’d get something flashy or prestige for that amount of money, for this he needed something reliable, cheap to run, easy to fix if it ever needed work and of course an easy array of parts at a relative cost, this is where the search begins.

my stepdad got a message from a friend of his through his Facebook saying that she’d found a guy in Glasgow selling a MK1 Seat Leon 1.4 on the Facebook Marketplace, after the usual questioning you ask when buying a car & a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, we finally decided on a price – £300 for the car itself & £20 delivery from his address and that was it, we had bought ourselves a Seat Leon MK1 1.4.

Now, I’ll freely admit, I’ve never really got the Vdub scene and especially the VAG scene with cars, I’ve been in a few VW’s before and while not too bad, they’ve never been a car I’d ever consider owning and when you add in Dieselgate a few years back and countless horror stories of their cars having big issues it put me off them and Seat was no different, after hearing all that stuff I’d honestly thought that I’d not gel with this car whatsoever and would soon begin to find issues with it and would soon begin to eventually hate it as it’d live up to the reputation these cars have gained upon themselves, however, a few weeks into ownership and I was actually pleasantly surprised.

I’ll admit, when the car came along that evening, it wasn’t anything fancy and it certainly needed work doing to it to get it up to roadworthy condition, this was expected for two reasons, one, the guy we bought it from had already told us what was wrong with it and for two, it only cost £300, it was never going to be a good running car for that amount of coin, even I’d be pleasantly surprised if it was like that, especially in this day & age.

Things all started to change the first time I shunted it around to help jump start my C70, it blew me away with how easy it was to drive & how well screwed together it all was, especially for a everyday, cheap, easily accessible 5 door hatchback, the build quality surpasses anything similarly priced or even any fit’s rivals, even the MK4 Golf it shares a majority of parts with.

Ever since fixing it & getting it roadworthy, it’s been perfect to own and hasn’t given us hardly any issues, we bought it on 98k miles and since ownership we’ve put about 3k miles into it which I’ll admit isn’t much but in those times we’ve done biggish trips and also small trips and not a single issue has raised it’s ugly little head – a big feat for a VAG car over 15 years old.

Drivability wise, it actually drives really well & has overall brilliant driving manners, the steering is great, the brakes are surprisingly good but to be quite frank the car doesn’t weigh much so it doesn’t need huge brakes to stop it, the engine & gearbox is strong albeit out of puff at higher speeds but that’s expected with a 1.4.

 

The best bit about it however is it’s fuel economy. It only costs £60 to fill with current fuel prices and that can last for a good few weeks, on paper, the little 1.4 can do 42mpg combined and after living with it for well over 6 months I can really start to believe it.

I honestly don’t know if it does actually hit the 42mpg like the stats state but it certainly isn’t far off, this means that for us or even anybody either on a budget or looking for a daily it will save quite a bit of money over a small period of time which can be spent on other things like new car parts for example.

 

The only real issue as I mentioned above is really the lack of shove at higher speeds, this isn’t a car built for high speed motorway driving, if you want something which can cope a little better i’d suggest either the 1.8T 20V or the well loved 1.9 Diesel as these will be so much better suited to the car.

Interior wise it isn’t actually badly equipped, ours has the optional 6CD Changer fitted in the glovebox as well as A/C, electric windows, Alloy wheels amongst other things and everything works, the heater is fantastic as is the stereo system, inside it is pretty sparse with equipment I’ll admit as it is the base model with a few extras added in however there is two good reasons why we don’t mind this – first off, it’s less to go wrong and for two, it can easily be replaced with OEM parts from higher specced Leon’s if we so wish, for now however it’s doing it’s job so we’re not too fussed about changing it up just yet.

 

So, you maybe asking what are the plans for this car for the future? – well for now we’re going to keep it the way it currently is as it’s working perfectly fine, it could be due a Service sometime soon and there is talks of changing out the interior for a full leather set from a higher specced car, already it’s had Audi A3 5 spoke wheels fitted as the originals were resprayed black and were done so terribly, the Audi wheels actually suit the car well so they’ll be staying unless we can find others which suit even better.

 

We’ll hopefully be keeping this little beauty for a few months to come as it keeps up clocking up the care free miles day after day, keep an eye out for updates on it in the future months as it hopefully changes from a £300 run about to something actually relatively decent, it’ll never be a show car that’s for certain but it’ll be a car anyone will be happy to own.

 

 

Hope You Enjoy!

From Alex Jebson

10 Reasons why Petrol Heads hate Winter!

 

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Now with winter starting to come in at quite a rapid rate, it’s at this time of year that it starts to take it’s toll on us petrol heads, whether it’s the cold weather, the dark nights or even salt & grit on the roads, unless you have a garage or unit of some kind where it’s somewhat easier to work with, for the rest of us who aren’t so lucky have to sit and suffer, so here is my 10 reason’s why us petrol heads hate winter.

 

1. Cold Weather.

Now this may sound typical but bear with me on this one, depending on where you live, it can get so cold, wet, windy & miserable that there is just no chance in hell of working on your car, add in potential storms & other weather related issues and it really does hinder progress on fixing cars, also, if like me and the car has been sitting for a few months, rust starts to build up which means that when it’s finally time to go fix the car, all the bolts & components have more than likely rusted making it more difficult to remove & fix.

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2. Dark Nights.

Another issue which we have to put up with at winter time is the dark nights, now obviously this affects everyone in different ways, whether that’s work related, travel related or just general living, in one way or another it affects us, however, I’d say that us petrol heads without a garage or unit have it the toughest, normally prior to the clocks changing, it’d be possible to work on your car until way into the evening and it’d still be light, however, now the clocks have changed you’re lucky to have light late afternoon meaning you’re missing out on a vital few hours of repair time.

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3. Salt & Grit.

Ah, Salt & Grit – a petrol heads worst nightmare, now, I like many others understand why the salt & grit is needed, it obviously works it’s way into the ice and breaks it up to give us car drivers more grip, however, in the process of doing all that, it winds up pinging up off of other road users tyres and causing stone chips and small dings as well as eating into the bodywork if not washed off properly which brings me onto my next point.

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4. Dirt & Road Grime.

Now, if like me, you’ll love keeping your pride & joy clean and you’ll also love putting in the hours to make it shimmering and will do anything to keep it clean, this may include a machine polish, a full professional detail or even a ceramic coat of some kind, however in the winter months, these options are very much limited due to all the dirt & road grime on the roads, as soon as the car is cleaned it get’s filthy within a few miles of driving making it a forever cycle of trying to keep the car cleaned, add this in with the salt & grit which also graces our roads at this time of year and it becomes a right pain to keep a car cleaned for a long period of time.

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5. Other Drivers on the Roads. 

Halfway through now & onto possibly the most annoying one on this list – and that is other road users, now us petrol heads have to obviously share the roads with every other car owner, now on the most part, we don’t have issues with that, however, it seems to me that whenever winter comes, those who don’t really care or those who don’t really notice just blast they’re full beams on, if not that, it’s either their fog lights blinding you or DRL’s, now with lightbulbs getting brighter & brighter it really annoys petrol heads, especially those in lowered cars, sports cars or even small hatchbacks, Unless the visibility is absolutely terrible, which on most occasion it really isn’t, there is no need whatsoever to actually have these bright lights blaring, especially Fog lamps, now if it’s not the lights which are the issue, it’s also the road users who decide to speed knowing the conditions on the road nearly causing a crash, when you put them two things together and a petrolhead who really loves their car into the mix, it doesn’t end well whatsoever.

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6. Gritting Lorries.

This kinda goes along with step 4 but again, bear with me on this, as a petrol head, the first thing we fear while driving in the winter is the gritting lorries, every time one passes, us car people wince in fear in case they are spreading the grit or salt, we fear for our paint work & our bodywork too, especially those with pristine cars and recently resprayed cars, it doesn’t help when the trucks grit slinger is above most cars body panels, as many of us know when they hit, you definitely know about it.

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7. Black Ice.

Black Ice to anybody is even a fear into itself but it’s even worse for a petrolhead, it’s a lot of people’s worst nightmare to hit black ice but for a car person, we feel it more, one thing we can’t stand is to spend most of our blood, sweat & tears into our cars just to hit a bit of black ice for us to then spin or even career off the road and crash them potentially writing them off to the scrapyard in the sky.

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8. Car Meets aren’t the same.

With autumn going away and winter coming in, it’s just too cold or too treacherous to even consider going to a car meet, this means that on most occasions, hardly anyone turns up which then means a very minute meat with hardly any cars on show, tie this in with the bad weather, salt & grit & even other dodgy drivers and you wind up with hardly showing up at all.

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9. Potholes become more apparent.

Now this list wouldn’t be complete with massive sinkhole like potholes littering our already bad roads, now the main issues which obviously cause these potholes to be so apparent is for one the terrible weather, the wet & windy weather certainly doesn’t help situations but unfortunately can’t be helped, neither can the mass amount of vehicles driving around help neither, all of these cause damage to our roads but with more and more deliveries and more & more family gatherings happening over these winter months it just can’t be avoided, however, the councils should in my honest opinion fix these roads, not just do potholes damage our pride & joys but they also damage us humans whenever we inadvertently drive into one, at this kinda time, you really feel for the car people with lowering springs or with massive alloy wheels.

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10. Cold Winter Mornings.

Last but not least, this is possibly the most time consuming thing any petrol head should have to deal with, especially if like me and you have an older car which takes a bit of time to warm up and get ready, these days manufacturers are able to create an app which can turn your car on, set the heating and even power up the heated seats & heated steering wheel for those cold frosty, possibly icy, cold mornings however us people who have a substantially older car or even a classic will feel the pain in what I’m writing, now depending on the car in question this simple task could take up to anywhere from 10 minutes up to possibly 30 minutes depending on the age of the car amongst other things, however for us, it feels a whole lot longer than any of that and while we wait, it is absolutely freezing to the point you can’t feel any of your fingers or anything let alone controls on the car like heater controls or anything like that.

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Can any of you wonderful people think of anything else which you think should come under this list?, if so, comment below what else should be in this list and I’ll get back to you and if it’s a substantial reason, I’ll consider either another top 10 or even top 20 reasons by you guys the reasons why as a car person you hate winter, I’ll also possibly do a shortlist of the reasons why a petrol head loves winter so it’s not just one sided.

 

Hope You Enjoy!

By Alex Jebson

 

Is it actually possible to have an emotional attachment to a car and when exactly does it go too far?

Now, if you are like me, you’ll more than likely spend a lot of time on the internet watching car related videos on Youtube, you’ll more than likely search the classifieds nigh on every night and if you are into modifying like a lot of petrol heads are then you’ll definitely be looking up for the next part to get for your specific vehicle.


Now apart from the modifying scene which i’m not really involved with due to restoring my car, I spend a lot of time watching car related videos & I, like everyone else spend tons of time looking on the classifieds looking up certain cars I’d love to own but could never afford and after watching a ThatDudeInBlue video last night, this had me thinking, is it truly possible to have an emotional attachment to a car and when is it time to say enough is enough?


I bring this up solely because after watching that video late last night, it tapped right into myself and my C70 Coupé restoration project, I’ve had my C70 for 3.5 years now and while I love it to bits and progress is being made, there has been times when I’ve felt like packing it in and getting a new car, however due to the certain circumstances I went through while buying it, the memories I’ve had with that car and the people I’ve met along the way its honestly the only reason why it is still with me.


For those who don’t know, I bought my C70 a few years ago as my first car, it was never intended as my first car but after finding a few for sale and realising I could eventually afford to buy one, insure it and run it I was instantly hooked, so hooked in fact I spent about 6-7 months spending the bare minimum that I could honestly spend to actually buy my car, it wasn’t plain sailing as I was getting hassled by the college I was in at the time as well as other things like trying to stay healthy so I could get my license and trying to balance both saving for a car and paying general bills it wasn’t easy.


However after persevering for about half an academic year my patience paid off as I was finally able to get my C70 as I’d always planned and even to this day I still remember it driving into the cul-de-sac of the previous owners address and seeing it for the first time and instantly falling head over heels for it.


Even over the years it’s generally been a great ownership experience, however, there have been times with it where I’ve just fallen out of love with it, add this into the money I’ve put out on it over these years and it’d be no surprise that I have on many occasions looked at cars for sale within a certain obtainable budget and wondered “what if?” or “that’d be nice” but it’s never went past that stage due to my sentimental connection to the C70.


Now don’t get me wrong, the C70 is a wonderful car and at the moment, I couldn’t ever see myself getting rid of it – in fact I point blank refuse to part ways with it as I’m not one to give up on a project car whatsoever and while I still have money in my bank and tools in my shed, it’ll all be getting spent & worked on with the C70 as well as other cars in the mini fleet we have now stumbled upon owning.


Thing is though, while having the C70 all these years and fixing it and mostly enjoying myself with it, there has been many cars which have came & gone in that 3.5 years while I’ve had my own car and all of which I’ve taken a shining to in one way or another.


Take my stepdads Seat Leon for instance, now on paper it isn’t anything exciting, it isn’t a Cupra or a Cupra R, hell, it doesn’t even have the well loved 1.8 20V Turbo unit under it’s bonnet but it has a certain charm to it, now for me, I’ve never really got the whole VAG movement and that was because I’d never really experienced one before, but after getting the Leon for £300 a few months back and getting it roadworthy it has just completely stunned me.
It’s reliable, easy to fix, really easy to drive & overall a brilliant little car to own, now like some people, I’ve never been one to spend so little on a car as they have always tended to be complete wrecks but this Seat is a little diamond in the rough and whenever my stepdad has bought up another car to replace it, I’ve always been one of the first to talk him out it and that is purely because it’s so good, I couldn’t see us without it and the fleet will personally always have that missing piece regardless of whatever car he replaced it with.


It’s been so trustworthy over these last few months and has truly blown me away with how good it is that I’ve kinda got an attachment to it, this is also the same for the old Saab 9-5 Aero and now to a certain extent the Lexus.


I’ll admit, I’m not a big fan of Japanese cars and that’s only due to previous ownership experiences with them, the Lexus is the 4th Japanese car we’ve owned and by far the best but the previous 3 just never hit the mark for me personally, they’ve all been good cars and ones that either sell well or ones which have a cult following amongst other fellow petrol heads but to me they just didn’t have a soul about them.


However for my family over the years, whenever they’ve got a car, like me, they’ve persevered when it’s came to ownership and just fixed the cars issues regardless of how bad the car is, now like myself with the C70, they have been the same with some of their previous cars and have fell for it regardless of it’s never ending problems which brings me onto my final point – when is enough finally enough?.


For me personally, there is a good few reasons why my C70 has stayed, those mentioned above of course and others too, if you take away it’s issues, it’s an amazing car to own, drive and to be around, it has a feeling that no other car has currently gave off and I know that once it is eventually at a point where it can be used without going wrong it’ll be a lovely car to own, also with sentimental attachment added into the mix, it’d be really difficult to just let go and I honestly couldn’t find another car to properly replace it with.


Also, it’s a great feeling driving around knowing that your own blood, sweat & tears have gone into it to make it the car it currently is, add that in with the mechanical knowledge you get from fixing your own car and you feel a connection that you normally wouldn’t if you were to leave it alone or to get someone else to fix it.


The only way I could find an instance where you don’t feel emotionally attached to a car is if it truly terrible to the point you don’t want to be seen in it, if it’s too common and it blends in way too much with the rest of the traffic or if it cost’s way too much to keep fixing and you just lose love for it which is possible with project cars and cars in general in fact.


Anyways, that’s enough from me, but here is a question from me to all you, is it truly possibly to become emotionally attached to what is essentially a mechanical object and when is enough actually enough?, I’ll leave that for you guys to answer.

 

Hope You Enjoy!

By Alex Jebson

Say Hello to the Brand New Porsche 911 ‘992’

Another day, another new car reveal and this time it’s from Porsche and it’s in the shape of a new 911, now, I’ll be honest, just like a lot of people e I’m not really into 9’11’s, they’re fantastic cars and I’d love to experience one but I’d never consider myself a 911 enthusiast and for the life of me, I just can’t fathom the 911 lineup so please bear with me while I go through this new one. So the new 911 is the 8th generation of the legendary sports car and is the replacement to the outgoing 991.2 911 and thus is a evolution of the outgoing car, design wise it looks very similar to the old one with a few subtle changes to it to differentiate the two, in saying that however, what I can personally see different is a new front bumper design, a new rear end with a LED strip bar going right across the rear of the car connecting the lamps together & a new set of really lovely wheels to set off a rather handsome little thing, also introduced on this new model is a staggered wheel setup which means, in Carrera S trim, it’s got 21″s in the rear & 20’s in the back which really sets this car off, on top of that, other design cues introduce a new hood which is very reminiscent of 911’s of old, enlarged front air intakes, new wing mirrors, twin oval exhaust tips & a slatted engine cover, overall it looks like a very smart, sleek & classy car as well as relatively muscly & sporty which is just so typically Porsche these days.  The new 911 isn’t just a fancy frock however, the front track has been improved by 40mm which’ll mean it’ll be wider than 911’s of old & due to this it’ll be very reminiscent of the GTS, the body itself is made of aluminium like all modern 911’s but this has way more than ever before which drops the weight significantly, unfortunately the weight hasn’t been released but by the sounds of it it’s not going to be a heavy old thing. Performance wise, it has a 3.0 turbocharged flat six mounted right at the back of the car just like all 911’s and even though this is in some form or another the same engine as the outgoing model, it’s been reworked to be cleaner & ultimately more powerful than the outgoing model, power is upped by 30bhp over the outgoing model by reworking the intake system, it now has piezo injection, an exhaust system with a particulate system, the intercooler has been repositioned, the turbo housings have also been revised and more, unfortunately this does mean the raspiness of the N/A unit will be gone which is a shame but as mentioned, by doing all of that, their is a 30bhp jump in power, this means a power output of 444bhp & a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 190mph for a AWD model or 191 for a 2WD model which makes it as powerful and as quick as the 997 Turbo which is no mean feat. To put that power onto the road, there is a new 8 speed DCT PDK gearbox available from launch, Manuals haven’t been confirmed just yet but they are expected in the near future, when hooked up to the Carrera 4S, 0-60 is 3.6 seconds and if that still isn’t quick enough, if you decide to opt for the Chronic Sport Package it goes down by yet another two tenths which is plentiful enough, now remember, these are just for the normal versions, the oncoming GT Products and RS cars will be even quicker than that and way more powerful which makes me wonder what they’ll be like when they eventually get released. Interior wise, it is pretty much the same as the outgoing version, however just like the outside, there are some changes, these include two thin frameless dials either side of the central rev counter, an enlarged 10.9″ centre screen & overall, the buttons and layout feel very similar to the likes of the new Cayenne or Panamera, Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find Porsches well designed cup holders coming from the glovebox area which is a shame as they were well loved but on the flip side, on the drive mode switch there is now a “Wet” mode for wet weather driving and believe it or not, it has night vision & thermal imaging too!  Costs start from £93,110 for a Carrera S with PDK while 4S prices start at £98,418, expect to pay well over £100K for a well specced one, Porsche are now taking orders for them as we speak so if you fancy one right now you can order one which I love, there is no date on when it’ll be launched over here in the UK but expect it to be soon.  Personally, if it was my money and I wanted a new 992 911, I’d hold off a few months until they start to bring out new faster, better performing, better handling versions and then go from there, being Porsche, they always wind up adding tons of options & trims on the 911 range, no doubt there will be a cabriolet, a Turbo model as well as GT models and then eventually RS models so to hold off for a few months isn’t actually that bad an idea. So what is my overall verdict? Well even though I’m not a 911 enthusiast per say, this new one sounds like it’s gonna be a hit and the more I look at the pictures of it, the more it appeals to me, I love the way it looks and even though it looks similar to the old one, with the revisions they’ve done inside, outside & mechanically, I’m starting to like it a lot which is a lot coming from a non Porsche guy. I’d personally love to see how it compares to the likes of the new Vantage or a McLaren or even the new TVR which also hasn’t long been introduced, it’d be great to see how they compare to each other in regards to performance, liveability & also price point, 911’s in the past have been known for being the best all rounder for many years now but with the competition getting stiffer & stiffer, the margins will surely be a lot more smaller.     Hope You Enjoy! By Alex Jebson

Say Hello To Our First Ever Lexus!!!!

So after a good few months without a proper family car due to unfortunate circumstances, we’ve finally bought ourselves another car to replace our sorely missed Saab 9-5 Aero Dame Wagon Auto (Known to us as Wasaabi), before getting onto our new car however, I’ll fill you guys in on what happened to Wasaabi and how we got into it’s replacement.

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So for those who don’t know, we used to own a late 2007 Saab 9-5 HOT Aero Dame Wagon which was known by us as Wasaabi – it was given this nickname thanks to no end to it’s ferocious power plant, powered by a 2.3T HPT 4 cylinder Engine producing 260bhp & 320nm Torque, it was certainly a powerhouse and as a replacement to our previous Subaru Legacy MK4 Wagon it was certainly an upgrade in the right direction and everything was going fantastic with it – it was plenty powerful, had enough space for everything we ever needed, really comfortable and most importantly it was fairly reliable with easy to get parts and good parts prices etc. We had that car for about 6 months and we loved it dearly – that was until it was drastically cut short!

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unfortunately for us, the Saab blew up with turbo issues, intercooler issues & exhaust issues due to too much oil in it, this meant that it had to get scrapped and my parents had to get a Mitsubishi as a stop gap, it done us well for the time we had it but it wasn’t in a good state bodywork wise & to sort it out properly would’ve cost way too much to fix so we had to get a new car.

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I actually really liked the Saab, it was our first ever Saab and it was truly fantastic and the power was truly immense, even in the winter it was perfect, it was such a shame it went bang as it was never given the chance to properly shine, unfortunately, I tried to talk my parents into another Saab but they weren’t having none of it which was rather confusing and a right shame.

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The Mitsubishi was actually fairly reliable but due to the bodywork issues, it was a right embarrassment to be in and the seats in it were unbelievably uncomfortable even though they were leather, after a few months of ownership enough was enough and it had to go!

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however due to the Saab breaking in such a quick way and a lack of funds we had to get another car as the Mitsubishi – even though not too bad was looking worse for wear, this is where the new car comes in!

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After my mum getting a new Job as a Live In Carer, we were finally able to splash out on a fairly expensive car instead of the cheapish run arounds we were used to so that’s exactly what we’ve done – Say Hello To Our 2006 Lexus RX400h!!!!!

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Yes, as this title reads, we have finally got ourselves a big classy Lexus, we decided to get a Lexus RX400h due to the fact they’re Full Time AWD which is perfect for the upcoming winter months, it has enough space for 5 people, a massive boot plus Toyota/Lexus’ well known Bulletproof reliability and due to it having a Hybrid system similar to a LS600h, a GS450h & even down to the simple Prius, it provides decent MPG figures from it’s rather large engine, also the Hybrid system in it also brings in other great features like free Congestion Charge for going through London, lower tax price & lower insurance costs which is great considering it’s large sized Engine.

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Which brings me onto that, Engine wise, it has a 3.3l V6 mated to two electric motors & a massive battery pack, combined it puts out 280bhp & a mighty 751nm Torque, this Lean, Mean, Green Machine has more torque than a V10 Touareg and isn’t far off a G63 AMG and they’re big thirsty V8’s & V10’s with double the litres.

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Size wise, this sits window to window to a Land Rover Discovery 4 and isn’t far off the size of a 2nd Generation M Class Mercedes, It absolutely towers over my own C70 which isn’t exactly small and it makes my stepdads Leon look like a bloody Smart Car which is rather humorous to be honest.

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Based on the MK2 RX Body shape, it is a rather handsome beast if I’m honest with chiseled good looks with some curves added into the mix as well, the rear lights are clear in colour which is reminiscent of Lexus lamps of prior years, on the door mouldings their is Hybrid badging attached to let everyone know it’s the low emissions model, It sits on 18″ multi-spoke alloy wheels, in the front, it has a different grille design to it’s RX300 & RX350 counterpart, different rounded fog lamp units, Xenon Headlamps & a slightly different front bumper, in the black it certainly looks the part and really looks classy.

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Inside, ours is cream leather and really compliments the black on the exterior, on top of that it has everything & more than we could ever ask for or need, some of these include sat-nav, bluetooth for mobile phones, heated seats, electric memory seats, cupholders, 6 disc changer, dual zone climate control, tinted windows, Auto headlamps which swivel when you turn the wheel, Auto wipers, electric mirrors, electrically operated foldable mirrors, electric windows all round, a tilt/sliding sunroof, electric memory steering column, a power tailgate which actually lifts fully like on more prestige 4×4’s & SUV’s and last but not least, my favourite feature by far, it has a built in DVD Player with two rear screens & bluetooth headphones so you can watch films – add in the sliding & reclining rear seats & you can really get comfortable while on a long journey.

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This has to have the best interior I’ve ever been in & that’s saying something – in fact I’d say this has as much if not more equipment & luxury as a similarly specced ML320 or Discovery & because it’s a Lexus and has Toyota underpinnings, it’s all going to work & won’t ever hardly go wrong and is so easy to work as soon as you get used to it!

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Comfort wise it is unfathomably good, the seats are unbelievably comfortable, you have tons of adjustment in all the seats, the steering column also moves electrically and is memory so can be saved to whoever is driving it, all the controls for the centre console are within easy reach and still feel solid after 12 years of use, the centre box in between the seats slides back & forth to either aid rear seat legroom or front compartment space depending on what you want it for – this is definitely where this car shines!

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Transmission wise it uses a CVT gearbox which isn’t exactly great mechanically speaking as they can go wrong but so far so good, there are no issues to report regarding that, also due to the gearbox used, it’s not the quickest getting up to speed as it does hinder performance quite a bit compared to a conventional automatic but that isn’t really the point of this Luxury Family Bus, however the power is definitely there as it can get up to speed without a care in the world & can easily overtake anything in it’s path, It’s no Saab Aero but it’s actually not as bad as I’d first thought.

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Also with no issues to report is with the Battery pack under the rear seats, Toyota tend to change them every 10 years or so but ours is now a solid 12 year old car and doesn’t seem to have any paperwork to show that it has a new battery pack installed, so far it’s working fine but I’m dreading the time that it needs replaced as it’s £3000 odds for a replacement pack from Toyota/Lexus, time will tell with that to see if it needs a new one or not.

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Driving wise it’s nigh on perfect, already it’s had new tyres which have made it so much quieter at speed and less jarring on rough roads, it’s a bit eerie when you start it up as it starts & runs on the electric motors up until 40mph when it seaminglessly changes to it’s silky smooth petrol engine, I’ll still need to get used to starting it as I’m used to hearing a conventional engine spring into life instead of a slight hum from electric motors, I’m also going to need to get used to the foot operated emergency brake as I’m too used to a manual gearbox which of course has 3 pedals instead of two.

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I honestly can’t find any faults with this car and because it’s a Lexus, I can’t see us having any major issues with it bar a replacement battery pack which may or may not get replaced just yet, It’s so good that I’ve even been looking at a Lexus for myself due to how good this one of ours is, I’m not a big fan of Japanese cars if I’m completely honest due to bad experiences in the past with asian cars we’ve previously owned but with this, it’s changed for the better, I’m not a Japanese car convert but I definitely have a bigger acceptance to a Lexus than anything else which can only be a good thing. I’m hoping this car stays for a long time as it’s too good a car to get rid of – It’s a Hybrid you’ll be absolutely thrilled to own!!!

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I’ll keep you guys in the loop a bit better than I did with the Saab and I’ll try and bring a whole lot more updates regarding it & our time with it so expect more to come from our wonderful RX in the near future. I’m hoping it brings a lot of people into Hybrid car ownership and takes the worries out of Hybrid car ownership that a lot of people still tend to have issues with these days!!

 

 

 

Hope You Enjoy!!

From Alex Jebson

 

 

Top Ten Cheap Supercars of 2018!

In the world of Supercars these days it’s always about who has the most expensive or flashiest supercar, now while that is great and all not everyone can afford to buy such an item and unfortunately they are only a dream to us mere paupers in our ‘ordinary’ cars, well that is no more as I’m about to show you – here are the top ten cheap Supercars of 2018!

1. Lotus Esprit V8

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Ah, the good old Lotus Esprit!, as British as a pint of Bitter and the star of many Spy films throughout the 70’s & 80’s the Esprit has been the car of choice for Mr Bond on more than one occasion, now while those were the 4 cylinder models (with some having Turbo’s on them) none of them have had that glorious 3.5 Lotus built V8 powering it.

Pushing 350 bhp & 295 ibs/ft Torque with help from two Garrett T25/60 Turbochargers and a top speed of over 170mph this Esprit was no slouch whatsoever and could finally keep up with the Supercar Elite from the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz & Aston Martin and due to it being a Lotus it only weighed in at 1338kg in GT or SE trims and even less in Esprit 350 trim, this meant it couldn’t just out handle the likes of the Ferrari’s or Astons on a back road or track but was also quicker 0-60 and 0-100 respectively making it a real force to reckon with and a real fly in the oitment for all the other manufacturers, However after 8 years of production run (for the V8’s) sales plummeted as the other manufacturers were able to pour out more money into their cars to make them better, faster, comfier and easier to live with compared to the old Esprit.

That wasn’t the only issue with the Esprit neither, Engines for the V8’s were detuned from a possible 500bhp to 350bhp due to gearbox issues, while Lotus could build their own engines, unfortunately for the Esprit there wasn’t a Gearbox which could handle that amount of power, throughout the Esprits life they all used gearboxes from Renault’s & Citroens – Citroen Gearboxes in earlier models & Renault Gearboxes in later models, these gearboxes were perfect in the Turbo models or the 4 pot models but unfortunately in V8 form they could only just put the power down without breaking everything so with 500bhp in original tune the gearbox wouldn’t cope and because this was the late 90’s to early ’00’s it wasn’t as if Lotus could shop around and either find another which could possibly fit or even build their own as they didn’t have the funds so with that the Esprit was hindered with an amazing Engine, a sublime chassis but a weak transmission and with other manufacturers upping their game the Lotus shortly fell behind and in February 2004 after a final redesign, the plug was pulled after 28 years of production.

So why am I bringing up the Lotus Esprit as such a good buy if has such a weak gearbox? well due to that prices have dropped and for a decent Esprit V8 these days you can pick one up for £30,000 to £40,000 for a low mileage unmodified SE or GT example with full Lotus history and a clean bill of health which makes it an absolute bargain of a buy, especially considering a brand new 68 plate BMW 3 series or C Class for instance is a similar price and nowhere as good to drive as the big beefy V8 Esprit. Also the Esprit’s are starting to become rare cars these days so prices are slowly but surely on the up with no signs of losing anymore value which means that if you buy one now, in a few years time you wouldn’t have really lost anything value wise. Gearbox wise you don’t really need to worry as there are kits available to make the gearbox strong enough to handle more than the factory 350bhp which makes it perfect for tuning if that is your thing.

Issues to look out for?

Esprit’s aren’t too shabby on the whole reliability front, just make sure you find a good example with a good gearbox, also check all the electrics are fine as trying to fix them can be difficult as they’re a majority of little wires which go to different things and can be tricky to retrace if lost.

gearboxes can still be found but as they aren’t being made anymore so trying to find a good one can be a little trickier than one might expect.

If you ever fancy modifying one, I’d suggest getting the gearbox rebuilt to handle more power otherwise you’ll run into more issues if you don’t and it can be expensive.

2. Audi R8 4.2 FSI MK1

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A cheap supercar list wouldn’t be a thing if it wasn’t for the Audi R8 4.2 V8 FSI, released in 2006 it was Audi’s first proper entry into the Supercar market after building Super Saloons & Wagons for years prior, first released with the 4.2 V8 from the Audi B7 RS4 it was a phenomenal engine in a fantastic package – Mid Engined, a Quattro 4WD system that Audi have been renowned for, big enough for two passengers yet small enough to drive easily and because it was an Audi and a part of Volkswagen Audi Group (VAG) it wasn’t just more reliable but parts were also cheaper than all of it’s rivals while still providing the build quality anyone expects from Audi’s.

On top of that, power was up there with the best of the bunch – 414bhp & 317 ibs/ft Torque respectively it could easily out drag a Porsche 911 or Aston V8 Vantage with relative ease, top speed for the V8 was 187 mph making it one of the fastest Supercars around at the time. Original pricing was £111,955 OTR for the Manual and £117,155 for the R-Tronic models

A majority of the design was taken from the 2003 Le Mans Concept car but altered slightly for production making it rather close to the concept car everyone loved with 3 years prior. Carbon Fibre was also used on the R8 to keep as much weight down to counteract the heavy 4WD system.

Now a few years after the V8 got released, Audi AG planted the 5.2 V10 from the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 into the engine bay to give it 525bhp & 391 ibs/ft Torque respectively and this boosted top speed to a staggering 196 mph – this was a lowish end Audi Supercar taking on the big boys from Italy and making it look easy, The V10 from the Lamborghini really worked well in Audi’s favour as many Supercar owners went to the R8 first before going to the Gallardo as they saw it as a easier way to get into a top end Supercar without paying over the odds for a Lamborghini which was very similar underneath or a Ferrari which was even more.

Now the main reason I’m bringing up the 4.2 V8 instead of the 5.2 V10 is because the early V8’s are unbelievable value for money, due to the fact it was Audi’s first supercar and they’d never built one before, they never really held their money too good compared to their rivals so what does this mean exactly? Well you can pick up a well specced 4.2 V8 Manual for a measly £35,000 with Full Audi History and and low mileage of 40K – 50K which isn’t really much for these compared to rivals, for an R-Tronic Semi Auto model expect to pay anywhere from £37,500 for a similar specced one with similar mileage which is in one way or another the same price as a Golf R or Audi S3 and none of those (while amazing cars) can quite fill the feeling you get when driving an exotic.

Issues to look out for? 

The real main issues really with the Audi R8 4.2 is only two things. first of all the early R-Tronics aren’t really the smoothest of Gearboxes as they have been refined endlessly throughout the R8’s life so don’t expect seemingless changes with the early cars as you’d be quite surprised, me personally I’d save a bit of money and buy the 6 speed gated manual instead as it’s known to be a right pleasure to use, only issue really is trying to find one in budget as there’s tons out there at similar prices and it’s quite easy to go over budget trying to find a well looked after example which brings me onto the second issue with the R8 – whether you are looking at an R-Tronic or the Manual prices are so similar it’s easy to be spoilt for choice and while that’s a good thing for your wallet, it can be quite difficult trying to find one which fits the bill exactly as you’d want it.

Whichever one you go for however is completely up to you and they’re faultless in terms of reliability and are known to be really easy to drive for a Supercar and regardless of price, spec, mileage or gearbox they are a very easy to get into the Supercar market and even after 12 years they still look, drive and go like a supercar should when pushed.

3. Nissan GT-R (R35) 

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Yes I know, I know, a pretty Typical Choice as a cheap supercar but hear me out on this, I am in no way a Japanese Car fan but even I have to acknowledge the GT-R R35, it is so good it just can’t be dismissed from the list. First, a quick overview of the R35 GTR

The R35 was the fifth incarnation of Nissan’s Skyline GT-R line up, over the years,  GT-R Skylines have been renown for bringing in massive amounts of power, a ton of groundbreaking tech and an amazing chassis into the mix and the R35 is no different, released in 2007 it completely dropped the ‘Skyline’ name (as that was used on Japanese Market Infiniti’s), it’s computer screen in the dash was developed by Polyphony Digital – the creators of the ‘Gran Turismo’ games, these showed many things like boost gauge, sat nav, G Force readout, oil temperature amongst many other things, just like the R8 above it had AWD, it had over 478 bhp (with some sources claiming it to be near 500bhp), but instead of a V8 like the Lotus & the R8, the GT-R had a 3.8 Twin Turbo V6 with that immense power also came unbelievable Torque at 434 ibs/ft respectively.

Numbers aside however this was not a car to be sniffed at, in fact the technology was the best part of the car to be frankly honest, out was the famed ‘Hicas’ system from the Skylines and in came an all new computing system which was able to balance everything with ease, the tyres, suspension & brakes were also the best they could possibly be with the wheels themselves having grooves in them to stop the tyres popping off when thrashing it round a track.

The Launch Control system was also known for literally flinging the car forward and for the time it was the best L/C system the world had ever seen as it could easily fend off an R8, Ferrari, Lamborghini or Porsche with absolute ease and unlike the higher end machinery which could only really use their L/C systems a few times before breaking a major expensive component, the Nissan could do it all day long without breaking a sweat making it a robust, reliable system which really puts into perspective how well Nissan engineer their cars.

All technology & performance aside, the GT-R was still a fully fledged 2 door, 4 seater coupé with a big boot making it an unlikely rival to a mid-engined Ferrari or Lamborghini, in many ways it could be easily mistaken for a GT car due to it being front engined too!

Which brings me onto something else too, GT-R’s are really good tourers if that’s your thing, they don’t break as near as much as a Ferrari would and could easily be used day in day out if needed be and due to their alliance with tuners can easily be modded in all different types of ways to suit the owners.

Issues to look out for?

While GT-R’s are known to be pretty reliable & bulletproof you still need to do your homework, for a start, make sure all the technology works as it should as it’s a very complex system and if it breaks it can be expensive, also check tyres & brakes – GT-R’s are very capable track cars and a lot of them have been thrashed in doing so so make sure they are all in good condition otherwise it can be quite a hefty bill to fix them.

Try to also get one with a Full Nissan History as these show that they’ve been looked after really well and have been babied throughout their life and always had the best thrown at them.

Apart from that the GT-R’s are bulletproof and can be had at a very cheap price considering the performance & reliability, expect to pay upwards of £32,000 for an early example all the way £76,000 upwards for a new 18 plate GT-R, in regards to price, these are really becoming a lot of peoples entry into getting a supercar, even though a lot of cars have become quicker and their gearboxes have become sharper which makes the GT-R slip down the supercar hierarchy a little bit, the GT-R is still a bonafide Supercar slayer and for the price you really can’t go wrong whatsoever.

4. Porsche 911 ‘997’ Turbo 

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Just like the Audi R8 mentioned above, this list wouldn’t be complete without a Porsche 911, for this however I’m going to concentrate on the ‘997’ Turbo as these are more a supercar than out & out sports cars, built to take on Ferrari’s F430, the Turbo originally came with a 3.6 litre flat six engine with variable vane Turbo’s meaning it had the responsiveness of a small light pressure turbo but had the out and out power of a high pressure turbo

Power for the early 3.6’s was rated at 473bhp & 457 ibs/ft Torque respectively with a 0-60 sprint being done in 3.4s and a top speed of 194 mph which certainly made it a contender in a game of Supercar Top Trumps, just like the GT-R & R8, the Porsche was also AWD with it being a very similar system used in the then Cayenne SUV, this made it quicker off the line if a bit heavy however it was still capable of being blisteringly quick

In 2010 the ‘997’ Turbo – known now as the 997.2 Turbo got a bit of a mid life facelift which included distinctive styling updates over the original and these included; Front LED Parking, Driving & Indicator lights and clearer looking rear lamps, mechanically speaking there was a big change, firstly the cubic capacity was now 3.8 litres instead of 3.6, for PDK models, flappy paddles were added in to make shifts faster & easier and it also had a bump in power to 486bhp which is a jump in 20bhp over the original.

Issues to look out for?

The ‘997’ Turbo in both 3.6 & 3.8 guise can go on forever so reliability shouldn’t ever be an issue, the only real issue I can see is body styles, the ‘997’ Turbo came in two body styles, a Coupé & a Convertible, Convertibles are rather flimsy when the roof is taken away so manufacturers normally put strengthening beams in place to make it stiff thus making the car heavier and not as sharp to drive, now while the 997 Convertible isn’t a pig to drive, if you want an out & out performance car, the Coupé is the better bet as it’s more taught, not as heavy and is far and away the better drivers car whereas the Convertible would be more suited to cruising

If you are in the market for a Convertible 911 Turbo, check that the roof isn’t ripped or teared as these can be expensive to replace, also check mats and carpet too as rain could possible get in and ruin them too and while they aren’t too expensive compared to the roof, they are a faff to do and can be timely to fix.

Overall the Porsche 911 Turbo is a very useable, quick and an easy owning car the world over loves and is certainly on the way up in regards to value with prices starting at £45,000 for a 3.6 Coupé & £50,000 for a 3.6 Convertible while prices for the later 3.8 models start from £65,000 for a Coupé & £72,000 for a Convertible.

5. Honda NSX MK1

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Oh how different & better the Nineties were, Unlike todays Honda NSX which is a Hybrid with a V6 in the mix, the original NSX from the early 90’s was a completely different animal, first of all it had a 3.0 V6 which was midship mounted just like a Ferrari 348, it was a Honda which meant it was gonna be Reliable as Honda’s always are and of course it had Honda’s fabled VTEC system which made it a completely different car when in the higher RPM’s.

Engine wise it had a 3.0 V6 which produced 271 bhp & 209 ibs/ft respectively, now while that doesn’t sound like much these days, the car itself was made of an all aluminium body making it really light – 1370kg in fact, in many ways it’s just like the Esprit above where it’s a decently powerful engine in a very light body & Chassis, just like the R8, the NSX was Honda’s first ever supercar and due to that it had to be special to stay ahead of the competition and boy was it special.

See, the late great Ayrton Senna actually helped Honda develop the NSX prior to his death which meant it was engineered to perfection and tie that in to Honda’s brilliant engineering regarding their Engines, with Ayrton working on the development of it the car was bound to be a success and boy it was.

It soon won the hearts of petrol heads all over the world with it’s balanced chassis, relatively powerful engine & lightweight body making it the Honda to have soon after it’s release, top speed was 165mph which might not seem much by todays standards but back in the 90’s Supercars were not far off hitting 180mph so it was definitely a contender.

The best part about the NSX by far though is it’s Pop-Up headlamps, this gave it a look which no other NSX has been able to pull off since, with them down it looks sleek and ready for purpose and when they’re up it looks like it’s attentive to what’s going on around it, Pop-Ups on a car really do look good, especially on the NSX.

Prices start at £38,000 for a well used ’93 Manual going all the way up to £80,000 for a late ’01 3.2 V6 Targa with only 11k on the clock.

Issues to look out for? 

The Honda is very reliable like all Honda’s so that’s not an issue, however every car has it’s flaws and the NSX isn’t any different, I’d personally steer away from the Automatic as it doesn’t suit the NSX whatsoever, I’d go for the 5 speed manual instead and save a bit of money and enjoy that Engine in all it’s glory, also if you are in the market for a later model Targa, check that the Roof seals are in good nick as these are likely to perish with age just like any older car.

If you can, try and find a Type-R model NSX as these are well sought after and are only gonna shoot up in value, on top of that they’re great fun to drive as they are lighter too so even more fun to drive, finding one isn’t easy but if you ever do, hold onto it – you won’t regret it!

Check for any dents or undulations in the bodywork, as these have an all aluminium body it’s quite easy to dent and can be a tad expensive to fix as aluminium is a soft metal which is rather thin compared to conventional steel.

6. Ferrari 360 Modena ‘F1’  

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‘Oh che bella automobile’ as the Italians would say, we have to have a Ferrari on this list as it won’t be the same without a Prancing Horse here and what a Prancing horse we have;

Released in 1999, the Ferrari 360 Modena was the replacement for the F355 and was a completely different car than the car before it, gone was the sharp straight lines for a more conventional curvy nature, gone also were the pop up headlamps in favour for clear lenses and also gone was the GTS model with the removal hard top roof.

The Ferrari 360 was powered by a 3.6 V8 with 400bhp & 275 ibs/ft and could hit a top speed of 183mph, it sent it’s power through either a a six speed gated manual gearbox or the aptly named ‘F1’ Electrohydrualic Manual – in other words a Flappy Paddle Gearbox.

The reason why the ‘F1’ Gearbox is mentioned in here is due to one of two things, first of all the F1 gearbox in the 360’s was technology carried over from Ferrari’s F1 team when Michael Schumacher raced for the team and got them back to the top of the championship, it was one of the first modern Ferrari’s to use this new system with plenty following afterwards and was the Gearbox to have if you wanted your Ferrari to be about out & out performance & lap times however over the last few years the times have changed for the 360.

What is that change exactly? Well over these last few years a lot of people looking at 360’s for either their collection, their first Ferrari or even for a liveable supercar, they’ve all been going for the Manual’s instead of the F1’s meaning the Manuals have started to go up in value leaving the F1 derivatives to stay put as people say the Manuals while not the fastest way of out & out driving, it’s more relaxing and more involved compared to the F1 box.

What does this mean for the F1 Gearbox cars? Well even though values have fairly remained the same over these last few years, they are now considerably cheaper than the manual derivatives meaning they’re a little more within reach for a potential Ferrari Owner.

Prices for a F1 Gearbox car starts from £53,000 for an early Coupé & £60,000 for the Spyder, while these aren’t the cheapest out there, compared to a Manual they’re significantly cheaper.

Issues to look out for?

First of all and this is the most important, check that the car has been serviced all it’s life by either a Ferrari specialist or even better a Ferrari dealer, this can separate the good cars from the bad ones, in regards to value, stay away from an Insurance write off as these can plummet the value by quite a bit.

Check that all the electrics are working and aren’t playing up as Ferrari’s of this age can become a little pain if not driven regularly, also check that the Gearbox oil has been regularly changed as it can make a good gearbox rather sloppy and horrible to use.

If you are wanting the wind in your hair and fancy the Spyder, just like the 911 Turbo, check that the roof doesn’t have any rips or tears in it and check the carpets & mats for any dampness as these can be expensive to replace.

7. Lamborghini Gallardo 5.0 V10 

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Released in 2003, the Lamborghini Gallardo was the first ever small Supercar Lamborghini had made since Audi bought them back in the early noughties, it was the younger son of the Murcielago and thus had a smaller engine compared to the big V12 Lambo.

Powering the Gallardo was a 5.0 V10 producing 493bhp & 376 ibs/ft, with a top speed of 197mph the Gallardo was in no way a slouch, all that power went through either the ‘E’ Gear Gearbox which just like the Ferrari was a flappy paddle setup, it was also available with a gated 6 speed manual gearbox, which ever gearbox you chose it sent the power to it’s 4WD system which made it slightly heavier at 1430kg but benefitted it in lots of ways.

First of all, it could get off the line quickly, safely and with no drama whatsoever whereas the likes of the 360 would probably be left scrabbling for grip, it also helped in cornering too as it wasn’t too crazy like the Lamborghini’s of old which was a bit of a double edged sword.

See, some people loved the new way Lamborghini were going as they were now seen as proper performance cars whereas old school Lambo people saw it as too soft and not scary enough to deserve the badge, whatever way people saw it however, it was still a stormer and a real competitor to the likes of the F430 or the Aston Martin DB9.

The best bit about the Gallardo though was the V10’s glorious noise, it was truly gorgeous to listen to and the cherry on top of the cake for many an owner.

Issues to look out for?

Now mainly the Gallardo and Lamborghini being now owned and ran by Audi they are relatively reliable & bulletproof, there was a recall for all 2004-2006 models for a potential fire risk due to power steering fluid leaking so make sure the car you’re looking at has had this recall done.

Make sure the car has full Lamborghini history so it separates the good from the bad, make sure to also stay away from an Insurance write off as they are pretty low in value.

Check the roofs, mats and carpets on Spyders for leaks as they can be expensive, check to make sure the nose lift works as it should as the Gallardo is quite low and can catch it’s front end on a kerb or incline if not careful, check the front bumper for any scrapes as this could be an indication that it’s on it’s way out.

Overall, the Gallardo is a great car and isn’t too bad on the whole reliability front due to being owned by Audi, prices are high but not over the top compared to it’s rivals which makes it perfect for sports car owners coming out of the likes of a Cayman S into their first supercar.

Expect to pay upwards of £60,000 for a Coupé & £75,000 for a Spyder, as mentioned, these aren’t the cheapest but compared to a new Hurucan which can be upwards of £200k they certainly are a great buy.

8. Aston Martin DBS V12

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Yes, yes, I know, this is more of a GT Car than an actual supercar but hear me out here please, the DBS V12 is very similar to the GT-R mentioned earlier, while it may not be a tech fest like the Nissan, it is a powerful 2 door 4 seater Front Engined ‘GT’ car with performance to match a Supercar, based on the DB9 and taking many an influence from the DBR9 race car, the DBS has numbers to match a bonafide Mid Engined Ferrari or McLaren.

the DBS was fitted with a 6.0 V12 from the old DB9 but this time it had 510bhp & 420 ibs/ft Torque and with a top speed of 191 mph it is certainly in the Supercar league, not bad for a GT Car at all.

The DBS also has history and an affinity with Mr James Bond and films like Casino Royale & Quantum Of Solace making it the only car here to actually be in a well franchised film series.

Gearbox wise, they had a 6 speed manual or a 6 speed ‘Touchtronic’ system which unfortunately was a Single Clutch affair, this means it’s not the smoothest or quickest of gear changes, the Touchtronic systems have been upgraded over the years so it’s not as bad as say the ones in the early DB9’s, Vantage’s or Vanquish’s but it’s no Twin Clutch that’s for certain.

Best bit about the DBS and any V12 Aston really is the noise, it honestly sounds like the London Philharmonic Orchestra are playing the Intro Song to a Bond Film through it’s exhaust pipes,  its honestly like a symphony and is an Engine loved the world over just for that and that only.

Issues to look out for?

The DBS isn’t actually as unreliable as everyone makes them out to be if I’m honest, however, many an Aston – DBS Included are handmade which means two things, one good, one bad, the good point is that they feel like no other car on the road, something a mass produced car could never bring to the table, however as they aren’t mass produced like it’s rivals, the build quality may not be up to scratch compared to an Audi or Porsche and it may need a few more parts and work done compared to it’s rivals.

Also check for Aston History and if possible, try and get one where Aston Martin Works have serviced it all it’s life as those are the holy grails in the Aston World, The Works dealer and technicians down in Newport Pagnell are downright wizards to Astons & their owners and just for that part alone they are worth a lot more than a DBS or DB9 getting serviced at a standalone dealer.

Expect to pay for quite a lot of fuel as those 6.0 V12’s aren’t the most economic of units, expect 17.3 combined MPG for one on a decent run and low teens if on a bit of a back road hoon.

Expect to pay upwards of £73,000 for a Coupé & upwards of £85,000 for a later Volante, now while these sound expensive, it’s either a DBS like these or a Mid to high spec new model Audi RS5 Coupé which certainly puts into perspective how much car you are getting with the DBS.

9. Dodge Viper SRT-10

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Well well well, what do we have here, a cheap supercar from America? surely not I all hear you scream but here we have one and believe it or not it’s probably one of the best American cars out there, the Dodge Viper!

Now a lot of people may say that the Viper is a sports car and that may well be true but with the SRT-10 it started to stray away from being a sports car and started to become a bonafide supercar, with a almighty 8.3 V10 under it’s nose, it produces a whopping 500bhp & 534 is/ft Torque which in no way or other makes it a contender for this list and with a top speed of 189mph it’s certainly left it’s sports car past behind it.

Power went through a 6 speed manual gearbox and from there sent it all to the rear wheels just like Vipers of old and while on the subject of Vipers of old, this also reminded people of Vipers of old as it wasn’t easy to drive and could easily snap if not driven properly, if driven properly and with respect however it was known to be an amazing drivers car and that shows as people love the SRT-10 worldwide.

Issues to look out for? 

First of all make sure you can find a garage or specialist who can fix a Viper like these up, we never got the Viper in the UK officially so trying to find a garage can be difficult, also expect parts to be expensive as they’ll have to be imported from America through specialist units.

Also for the life of you, take it easy when driving this car as they can easily snap and be a handful if not driven properly, also check to make sure all the running gear is in good working order, many of these cars are imports and there is a chance they could’ve been thrashed by their previous US Owners.

Also look out for Coupés as they aren’t as good as the convertibles as they are slightly heavier due to the fixed roof, weird to say I know as it’s normally the other way round.

These SRT-10’s can be amazing cars as long as a specialist can be found and parts can be accessed too. Prices start at upwards of £50,000 for a SRT-10 convertible and about £45,000 or more for a Coupé if one can be found.

10. Audi R8 V10 Plus 2nd Gen 

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So, here we are, we are finally at number 10 on this list and what a way to finish this article off with the Brand New – yes I said Brand New Audi R8 V10 Plus!, Remember what I said about the original Audi R8 4.2 V8 above? well this new one has the exact same formula as the old one, the new R8 has cemented itself as the new budget supercar, this car has as much performance as a car double the price of it which is just outstanding.

Just like the original R8, these also have a 5.2 V10 FSI from a Lamborghini, this time however the engine is lifted from the Hurucan and not the Gallardo like the old car, this time it generates 602 bhp & 413 ibs/ft Torque, that’s more than the new 911 Turbo, more than the new DB11 and as much if not more than the Lamborghini it shares it’s parts with but instead of being about the same price as the shouty Italian it’s 100K less – that’s unbelievable value for money, especially for a brand new factory fresh car.

Top Speed is 205 mph which makes it the fastest car on this list and can also compete with it’s rivals rather well, and because it’s an Audi, it also has Quattro 4WD making it a perfect usable supercar which isn’t something you can really say with todays new low, long and wide supercars.

Issues to look out for?

Well there is two issues I can see with the new R8 and that is this, first of all the depreciation isn’t the best and that shows as some are now dipping into below £100K belt, and unfortunately just like the old R8, everyone seems to go for one over the Hurucan making them rather popular and a crowded market on the second hand market.

Reliability is faultless and is typical Audi so no worries there, Parts aren’t that expensive neither, especially compared to rivals so just like the original it’s easy to look after and run on a nigh on daily basis.

Prices start from £88,000 for a coupé & £120,000 for a Spyder which makes it unbelievable value for money and a perfect way into brand new supercar ownership.

Summary:

So here we have it, you can indeed get a supercar on the cheap and just because someone has the most expensive one out there doesn’t mean that us normal people can’t have one because we can! As this list shows, if you shop around a little bit you can indeed go from whatever you have, whether it’s a Hatchback, a Saloon, A Coupé, a Convertible or even an SUV into the Supercar elite, now some of these cars are forgotten about a little bit, some are typical and some are just downright left field which is something great, especially in the car community!

What is your go to Cheap supercar and why?, also add into the comments if you have any suggestions that I may have missed and I’ll look into them, I found it gobsmacking that you can get the likes of a Viper for only £50,000, I’ve always expected them to be more so to find out they’re not is educating, it’s not just the Viper though, some of these cars are unbelievable value for money these days which can only be a good thing.

If you seriously are looking into buying a Supercar on the cheap, look into the one you’re after, check them out thoroughly, keep your options open and also check out cars you may not have considered before as sometimes these can be the some of the best hidden deals ever!

Hope You Enjoy!

By Alex Jebson

 

ProjectC70 gets a new Front Bumper!!!

So for anyone who keeps up with my Social Media pages, you will have noticed quite a rather large and intricate job getting done to “ProjectC70”, my Volvo C70 Coupé over these last few weeks and that is a new front bumper getting fitted to it. Now this wasn’t entirely a planned job as you’ll find out, never the less, it was a job I’ve never done before so I was excited to do it.

So Why Did I Change The Front Bumper?

As mentioned above the Front Bumper replacement was never on my lists of jobs to do as it was in a pretty decent state, it of course did have a few scratches and a little bit of paint peel due to rock chips but was on the most part structurally sound, that was the case until unfortunately I had a lil accident with the car which meant it had to be changed. Before the accident happened I was gonna get the original bumper sprayed when I eventually got the funds together to get the whole car resprayed as it’d of looked like new and would’ve went well with the rest of the paintwork.

How Did The Bumper Get Damaged?

Unfortunately for me, I had a bit of a freak accident involving ProjectC70 one day, Me and my Stepdad went out to the car to do some errands and while he went into the house to get my Wallet I went to start the car from the passenger seat to warm it up, what I didn’t realise is that in this occasion my stepdad decided to leave my car in gear.

now before anyone says that I should’ve checked if it was in gear before starting, my stepdad has a habit of playing Russian Roulette regarding that so I presumed it was in Neutral (I wouldn’t of started it if I knew it was in Gear).

Now of course looking back I should’ve checked but as this only happens on random occasions I honestly thought it was in Neutral.

Anyways, as a lot of you who are reading this may have presumed, as soon as I started it, it shot off in gear and because I was in the passenger seat I had no control of the pedals whatsoever so I couldn’t take it out of gear, unfortunately for me, the only way I had to stop the car was to hit it into our neighbours wall.

Due to that happening the cars bumper had an almighty scuff on the front right corner of the bumper, on top of that, due to the speed the car was going, when it hit the wall it was enough to smash the glass of the RHS Fog Lamp, that meant not just did I need to Replace the front bumper but also remove most of the front end to get to the Fog Lamps.

There is one almighty silver lining to this story though, Even though on the outside it looked like a serious shunt, underneath all that it was still all straight, no chassis damage to the car whatsoever which meant not only was it cosmetic but it wasn’t gonna be a hell of a job to do, plus I’d be saving some money too while at it.

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The Strip Down:

First of all, I put the car onto our ramps and unplugged the old Fog Lamps from the power ready for removal, really easy as they just twist off and disconnect, The Drivers side (RHS) was a little bit more difficult as the Windscreen Washer Bottle was in the way but after a bit of fiddling it was finally disconnected.

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With that done, I removed the 6 T25 Screws from the Front Wheel Arch Liners as I had to remove them to get the bumper off, these were a pain in the backside as I had to fight rusty chewed screws which weren’t wanting to come off, but with a bit of persuasion, we finally removed them.

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With them removed, it was time to strip down most of the front end, this included the Headlamps, Indicator Units, & Headlamp wipers. The headlamps were super easy to undo as they’re held in with 3 10mm bolts and two electrical connections each unit, the Indicators came out next and they just clip in so it was just a simple thing of unclipping them, removing the electrical connection and they were out, next were the headlamp wipers and wiper arms, for the wipers themselves it was just clips and with the arms it was two 8mm bolts and they were out as well, when all that was removed it started looking less and less like a car but I wasn’t finished yet as I still had to remove the bumper.

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The bumper itself is held in with two 14mm Bolts as well as the 6x T25 screws in the wheel arch liners, now while the screws eventually came out, the bolts on the other hand were difficult to say the least to remove, due to where they are placed and the age of the car itself the bolts were really hard to remove as they’d never been removed before in the cars nearly 18 year life, my 450nm Buzz gun wasn’t doing anything and neither were conventional ratchets & sockets neither so what I had to do was get smart and grab an old Trampoline pole which was laying around to use as leverage and hey presto, slowly but surely, they came undone and the bumper was free.

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This is the difficult part coming up next, now with nearly everything I do on the car, If I’ve never done it before I’ll pop onto the internet and find a guidance video on how to fix it/ remove items etc.

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And with this it was no exception, I personally watched RobertDIY’s video on how to remove the bumper skin and followed similar steps and to a certain extent he was correct, however, on a C70 the whole Bumper comes undone instead of the outer skin which means it has mounting brackets attached to it, clips, an assortment of screws and a rather large Steel Crash bar fitted to it which meant it’s heavier than the video explained.

If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, I’d suggest doing what we done and using a pasting table to put the bumper onto so you can strip it down as it makes it far easier to do and you don’t need to lift it far neither.

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Once it was on our Pasting Table it was so much easier to strip down, with everything at waist height it was a doddle to remove everything, first of all to come off was a multitude of clips, when they were removed we removed the brackets for the fog lamps making sure the bolts stayed with the brackets so we didn’t lose them.

After all that was done we moved the bumper and table to outside our front door so we could strip down the main parts of the Bumper without getting in the way of people walking up & down the street.

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Over the next few days we removed the main components from the old bumper ready for the new bumper, these included the grille for the intercooler, the Bumper bar, the Bumper bar cover and a rain guard as well as plastic inserts for the wheel arch liner screws. Once they were out and the Bumper turned up, we were ready for refit time!

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While waiting for the new bumper to arrive, we put all the screws and bolts into a container with WD40 in it to clean them up and make them easier to refit etc.

Also while that was also going on, I removed the Bumper Brackets, grinded off the old paint, got rid of the rust which was plaguing it and then primed it and resprayed it ready for Refit! Two 17mm bolts held them in place to the car.

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Rebuilding The New Bumper:

When the new bumper finally turned up we slowly but surely built the new bumper back up, while most of it was the reverse of the removal due to the time it took, we had to go by pictures so we could work out where everything went and how it got put back together, it was a really mellow job and something which didn’t really felt the need to rush.

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Using the hot weather to our advantage we were able to refit all the parts within a week or so and that was including washing the Crash bar, the two front wheels and painting the bumper brackets.

With the Bumper finally rebuilt and the brackets finally dried out and ready for refit, it was time to wrap this job up good and proper, we bought the table & Bumper back down to the car and within a few hours it was fully attached to the car.

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We started by refitting the brackets which a piece of cake as only 17mm bolts held them each side, once that was done, we carefully refitted the full bumper unit back on to the car being extra careful not to drop it.

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Once the Bumper was lined up, we refitted the Air Bag sensors, refitted the 6x T25 Screws for the Arch Liners and then refitted the two 14mm bolts for the bumper itself, as soon as we were happy it was refitted and bolted down, we triple checked everything to make sure it was safe and nothing was missing we finally put the two front wheels back on and tightened them up and that was the bumper refitted back to the car, however it wasn’t exactly finished just yet as we still had to fit the accessories.

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Refitting The Accessories:

As Soon as the Bumper was refitted, we got round to refitting the Headlamps, Indicator units and the Wipers, this was the icing on the cake really as it started to look more and more like a car the more we done and it was finally starting to get it’s face back, we started off with the Headlamps and they were easy as they were 3x 10mm bolts each sides + Electrical connections, then the indicator units slid in and connected back up and then the final cherry on the cake was the wipers, two 8mm nuts and they were back into place!

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we decided to wait until the new RHS Fog Lamp turned up at the dealership so we could fit them back up together instead of fitting one then the other as it’d look slightly odd, a few weeks went by and while I was at the V60 UK Launch a few weeks ago I picked up the new Fog Lamp unit ready for refit.

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With the Fog Lamps ready for refitting we decided to get to work and refit them, The passenger side was relatively easy as there was hardly nothing in the way but the Drivers side (RHS) was not however, the way the C70 is designed, the screen wash bottle is in the way and it makes access terrible to fit the lamp in with it in place so there was only one thing for it – remove the washer bottle, fit the fog lamp and then refit the bottle, so that’s what we done.

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When removing the bottle we realised we had to undo 4 bolts all in differing hard to reach places but after finding them all it came out easily enough and the new fog lamp fitted in no problem whatsoever, unfortunately however the washer bottle pump broke while refitting it which means I need to get another one.

Even though that broke, I was still over the moon the fog lamps were in and wired up as that was one of the big pieces of the puzzle to be fit together.

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There is still some more stuff I need to refit but these are only small in comparison to what has already been done, I still need to refit the Number Plate as that got removed when the bumper got disassembled, new Wiper blades for the Headlamps as the current ones are perished and the washer bottle pump, I could also be doing with tyres as a hefty chunk got taken out of them when the car hit the wall as well as new wheel weights as they also shot off when the car hit the wall.

Once these are done the car should be relatively road worthy and should be drivable once again which is something I can’t wait for.

In Summary:

Over these last few weeks I’ve learnt how to do something I’ve never thought I’d be able to do as I’ve never really played around with body panels before, Admittedly, I did take my time quite a bit and that was only due to me wanting to be careful and not mess it up.

This also teaches me to check to see if the car is in gear or not as I don’t want it happening ever again, overall even though it wasn’t something I originally intended to do, it was something I thoroughly enjoyed doing and I learnt a lot from it.

I’ve witnessed first hand how strong Volvo’s really are, How waterproof they are as well (No Rust on the 17 year old Crash Bar) which was definitely an improvement on the first crash bar I’d ever seen on a MK2 Toyota Yaris which was so rusty it wouldn’t even set off the airbags if involved in a crash (Quite a bad feat for a car ten years younger than the Volvo).

I’ve also learnt how to use a grinder for the first time and also how to rejuvenate metalwork by getting rid of rust and spraying the brackets with Primer & spray paint.

And last but not least, I’ve also first hand witnessed Volvo’s build quality and engineering and have to admit for a premium car from a premium brand, it was so easy to do and so stress free it was weird to think it would be possible.

When I get more money, I’ll get the remaining parts and fit them into place and get it back on he road for it’s first proper shakedown session since I started working on it all those years ago.

Hope You Enjoy!

By Alex Jebson