The Modern Classics Debate

I am of course talking about my love affair with modern 1980’s, 1990’s cars and Jaguar motor cars of any age.

Catawiki’s modern classics auctions have regularly been a case of lose the credit card before visiting. They mainly have left hand drive stuff but there is some really great stuff in their auctions.

A quick look at eBay reveals from very nice cars that I could quite happily purchase. A beautiful Daimler is here. A Ford Sierra Cosworth is here. These are fanstastic cars. Definitely one that got away!

The things that these cars have in common is that these cars are rising in value so fast. Yes very good examples are so hard to find and this is reflected in pricing and values which is related to supply and demand.

My fear here is that these cars will end up being mothballed a bit too much. You see this is not just about the car being in mint condition and winning rosettes at a car show but about the occasion of the drive. You see with modern tastes and safety regulations. Cars that are as special as these will never be manufactured again with the same magic. This is what makes the drive such an occasion, not only is it an occasion but its fun too, as these cars drive differently and on a challenging road can also cause the driver some excitement.

This is the key point to me.  cars like these should be fun and exciting and these days should be not only an occasion but an event. They should be driven and enjoyed!

I still hanker after a Jaguar XJS convertible, in mint condition, preferably painted in British Racing Green, however prices are slipping that too far away from the grasp of my wallet! I do make one promise though. If I do manage to get my paws and accelerator foot on a Jaguar XJS not only will it be meticulously well maintained but it will be enjoyed and well driven!


More bottle than United Dairies!

As a self confessed petrol head I do like hear of quality drives and missions involving cars, especially when they seem like doomed ideas and they come good. Those of my generation can certainly consider “The Liver Run” as a shining example (Google it if you haven’t heard about it. Its an amazing feat of driving. Another amazing feat of driving was passed to me this morning by the Aronline website. My thanks to Keith Adams as always for writing these excellent nuggets of content that I enjoy reading and sometime blogging about.

Anyway over 20 years ago, a journalist buys a Morris Marina for £190 in Loot (anyone remember Loot?)  and drives to Bosnia. What he did in Bosnia and how get got out of it is one amazing story against all the odds. I won’t spoil the story so please click on the link below to read it all.


I think you will agree once you have read the article that both man and machine had “more bottle than United Dairies”!

The ones that got away

Following a blog the other day on which I blogged about a dutch classic car auction site and some of the interesting metal they had. I received a number of messages and had a number of chats with friends and colleagues about classic cars. Unfortunately the DVLA have removed my licence for a while on medical grounds and these would be the vehicles that are top of my wish list to drive or to own. In no particular order.

  1. Jaguar XJS 6.0 Convertible. There is something about these cars. I absolutely love them. Classic values for good ones are going through the roof. S-Jaguar-XJS-Convertible
  2. Toyota MR-2 Mk1. Always had a soft spot for these. I remember being picked up at Manchester Airport by a colleague who drove one and was amazed at how quickly we made it across northern country roads to a very important meeting. My flight was delayed and we were up against the wall on time. The MR2 definitely saved the day!mr2
  3. Ford Sierra Sapphire Cossworth. I remember these machines very well. Sharp handling and if you were too quick with a 2WD version this car could easily end up in the ditch 🙁 Find one that has been stolen is nearly impossible and finding a really nice one is very difficult. ford-sapphire-rs
  4. Mini Cooper. One of the last ones please 🙂 I did actually manage a drive in one of these. At the time I could not remember having so much fun sriving. It was the biggest hoot and left such a smile on my faceI really wish I could have bought one.minicooper
  5. Lotus Carlton. I can only dream about driving one of these especially in RHD form. What I wouldn’t want to dream about is how long it would take me to get done for speeding. One friend reckons I would lose my licence within one hour. If they give me licence back that is! Great car fantastic bit of kit. Rated better than a BMW M5 by some 🙂lotuscarlton
  6. Audi Quattro. What an icon after 30 years. I have heard so many special stories about these from people whi have been fortunate enough to own or drive one. A good drive across country in one of these would be a great few hours spent out of the house or office.

There are scores of other real world cars I could suggest such as the Nissan 200 sx, toyota celica BMW M3 E30, Mercedes 190E 2.3-16 but the ones above are my favourites of the era. I definitely missed the boat with these.  

So much classic metal in one place

Some readers of this blog will be only too well aware of my enduring love affair with classic 80’s and 90’s motor cars. I have been a member of some classic websites for some time, notably Pistonheads.On this site I am a massive fan of the Shed Of The Week feature, in which something off beam is found in the claasified for less than £1,000.

However I recently came across this auction site. Do have a look if you like this generation of motor car. Now I am not a great fan of auction sites, indeed I only use Ebay if I am desperate, however its been a while since I have seen so much classic metal in one place. Granted many of the vehicles are left hnd drive and there is a little dross and a few very over priced items as well. The only other downside is the trip to the mainland to pick the vehicle up and then having to drive it home.

My top picks from this particular page are the Jaguar XJS convertible, The Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth and the Lotus Elam M100. Proper 1980’s and early 1990’s classics 🙂

There are some clangers in there. Read the american stuff (I have never been a fan of american cars)  and 2 surprises from France. A Peugeot 505 V6 and a Renault 4 GTL.

The £100k dream garage

The Pistonheads website has a new feature called the £100k garage. I decided to have a go but then realised I probably wouldn’t get it published so for a bit of fun decided to write it up here. The aim is to spend a mythical £100k on cars! easy! Or is it?

I would love to hear your thoughts so please drop me a line here.

Start £100K

Type of car / Reason for buying: Executive express capable of taking clients and kit with me.

Chosen Vehicle: AUDI RS4 4.2 FSI Quattro 5dr S Tronic (2013) Link. Price: £49, 950.

Balance: £50,050.

I really do believe this car ticks all the boxes the reason for purchase and the estate should swallow all my kit and stuff for work. I also have a soft spot for Audi’s. It would not look too out of place in any clients car park either.

Type of car / Reason for buying: Lets do the South of France and back in a long weekend.

Chosen Vehicle: Mercedes CL500, 2003. Link. Price:£7995.
Balance: £42,055

I have always had a soft spot for these and in my opinion these do make the best grand tourers and I really cannot object at this price.

Type of car / Reason for buying: Shopping trolley.

Chosen Vehicle: Volkswagen GOLF (MK5) R32 2006. Link. Price: £7995.
Balance: £34,060.

Even with my love of online shopping there are times that even I have to nip to Sainburys/B&Q/The local retail park so I might as well have some fun driving there and back to ease the pain of being the dreaded stores in the first place!

Type of car / Reason for buying: London Commuter

Chosen Vehicle: HONDA CBR 900RR-2 954 (2002). Link. Price £3550.

Balance: £30,510.

There is no way I would drive a car into Central London for any reason and I do hate South West Trains with a passion, so this is a perfect bet of kit to get me in and out sharpish 🙂

Type of car / Reason for buying: Fun car.

Chosen Vehicle: PORSCHE 987C CAYMAN S 3.4 24V. Link. Price £13,900

Balance: £16,610

I was considering a Porsche Boxster when I came across this Cayman its probably an early one but still represents an awful lot of car and fun for the price!

Type of car / Reason for buying: Mucking about with boats and hunting shooting and fishing.

Chosen Vehicle: LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER 3.0 Td6 VOGUE Auto 2003 (2003)
. Link. Price £12,995

Balance: £3615

Well I went straight out to do the good thing and find the most competent 4×4 there is from in my opinion the best makers of these vehicles in the world. Land Rover. I also wanted something a bit unusual if I could find it. The problem was finding one that looked like it hadn’t been pimped in a drug dealer stylee.

With a balance of £3615 I could have added a people carrier to the stable for when my 7 year old daughter and her mates needed ferrying around but my real regret is not having enough left for this bad boy.


Annual awards

Annual awards are very of the moment, are they not? Every organisation has them. There’s car of the year, boat of the year businessman of the year, business woman of the year, even condom of the year! So in on the same note, I have decided to do the same and dish out my own annual awards. At this point I apologise for the fact that this post is more of an essay than a blog. Outstanding Excellence of the year award When I mentioned to a friend and colleague that I was writing this blog, he said he would not like to be mentioned on this one and also suggested that a few others involved might prefer not to be mentioned as well. So here goes. Earlier this year for various reasons I was right up against it and right in the whatsit. A number of colleagues in four different countries and a count of hundreds who will never know just how much help they have been came to my rescue and all in their own way made sure that everything that happened, just when it had to happen with the utmost of precision that is normally reserved for an accomplished orchestra playing its most challenging piece of music ever. This award is for every single one of those people involved even though they might not know it. Never before have I seen so much fall into place even when the chips are down. Thank you all so much. Car of the year Volkswagen Golf R32. What I did with this car cannot be discussed here. The police will want a chat. But its sticks to the road like s**t to a blanket and accelerates like Ed Balls backtracking when hes questioned by Jeremy Paxman. A well deserved award. A special mention goes to the Mercedes E-Class a from the point of view of being driven in one at high speed while highly stressed. Racetrack of the year The M1. With special thanks to the traffic police for leaving me be. I can say no more especially about the speeds I have taken this road at especially this year. Ever. Airline of the year Sod the cost, they are expensive but this one goes to Sky Work Airlines, based in Berne. Customer service simply does not come better. British Airways, please take note! Hotel of the year Hotel Baren Ostermundigen, Switzerland are the very worthy winners. Expensive but customer service is second to none. Ever. This is 2900 nights spent on hotel rooms worth of experience talking! Even The Dorchester in London is not as good as this! A special mention does go to Hotel Seattle in Brighton. Car hire Hertz win this one, especially when I got away with standing next to the fuel tank to cover the dent I put in a certain rental car at a certain airport! Well done! I can’t believe it award! This one goes to the co-operative organisation, especially Co-op bank! What were they thinking! I cried into my coffee award This has to go to Sealine going into administration. I did cry into my coffee when I saw this. Now reincarnated this was the end of a prolific boatbuilder as we knew them. Tech Kit Awards Customer Service, Lenovo. They are beating everyone else hands down at the moment. Software: Owncloud. A great private cloud alternative to the usual freemium services. Biggest disappointment: Apple. Going down the pan fast. Old values seem to be failing fast now. Hack: Cyanogen Mod: How to breathe new life into an old android tablet device! Pub of the year award Three winners this year. The Green Man in Ewell, my old stomping ground, for always being a great pub. The Mannor in Tooting for being so accommodating when I spent quite a bit of time there and my local. The Rose and Crown in Wimbledon Village for being a fantastic pub Corporate idiots award The Child Support Agency. When will you ever learn to talk properly, answer questions properly and honestly and stop talking to a script that makes you looks like a corporate version of the Goonies?! Plonkers of the year The Metropolitan Police officers who park on double yellow lines outside my local branches of Costa and Starbucks and lounge around usually for an hour or so when they should be arresting burglars and rapists. Laugh of the year This one is mostly deserved by UK Border Agency staff at Brussels Midi who asked me what the purpose of my trip to England was when I handed over my paperwork pone evening. I live in England you muppets! A special mention must go to the crowd behind me who gave me a standing ovation when I pointed this out to the relvant staff! Lifetime award for utter incompetence and complete spastication Its a bit premature to be giving out a lifetime award but this is so richly deserved. The winner is St Georges Hospital NHS Trust and each of its approximate 8,000 (according to its website) staff. Regular readers of my blog will know I have had a number of run in’s with this outfit over the past 12 months. Never before in my life have I come across a more incompetent organisation. Ever. From the chief executive to the most junior member of staff. Especially on Cavell Ward. Their only saving grace is the Marks and Spencer on the ground floor of the Grosvenor Wing and even their service is farcical! Indeed such is the level of stupidity and incompetence, more of which can be read here that I am concerned for the organisation’s future. Indeed I have already suggested on these pages that that the place be bulldozed for the good of the local community and replaced with well landscaped executive homes. Indeed it goes so far that I wonder and worry about the parents of each and every member of their 8,000 staff and am amazed that these parents never considered either contraception or abortion.Thats 16,000 parents to worry about! St Georges is that bad and as for cleanliness and data protection, well, don’t get me started. They are therefore the most worthy winners of this award.