BMW M5 (E34)

BMW M5 (E34)

Cost new: £31,295. Value now: £29,995.

The E34 M5 is in no man's land right now, that won't last long with examples like this for sale

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This generation of M5 is often overlooked by fans of the marque. They’re hard to find parts for, plus its predecessor is the iconic classic and its successor has V8 appeal. But that’s a real shame as there’s many, many things to love about the E34. Its old enough to still give the shot of nostalgia that we all love and yet has it come from the era of over-sensitive modern driver aids. We saw this one for sale at Car Iconics in Oakham, Rutland and priced at the top end of the scale for this mileage, it needed to be good...

With just 139 examples of these 6-speed manual, RHD cars ever made and a lot less than that still on the road, it’s certainly got rarity on its side. What’s more it’s in utterly remarkable condition. The Avus Blue paint gleams with only the slightest of minor blemishes giving away its age (small chip to driver’s wheelarch and rear wing trailing edge). Inside it’s a similar story, the seat fabric is as new and there’s no marks to the headlining, dash or plastics. This feels like a three-year-old car, it even smells like one. 

Since purchase, Stephen and Daniel (father and son), owners of Car Iconics, commissioned a substantial refresh. Their mechanic went through and replaced effectively all of the perishable parts. That meant refurbished electronically adjustable dampers, new discs, calipers and pads all round, new bushes (a weak spot on these high-mile cars), a refurbished steering box, engine inspection revealed just the shells needing replacement and finally a full air-conditioning overhaul. When this was complete, the car was shod in brand-new Michelin Pilot Sport tyres. 

So, with all that done you’d expect it to drive pretty well and the good news is that it certainly does. As I’ve owned a number of E34s I was hoping that the ride hadn’t been compromised by all that refreshed suspension and, though it’s a little fidgety over rapid undulations, it remains superb. The slop and vagueness that plagues older BMWs has been sharpened up considerably. The steering feels well-weighted and accurate and those new brakes, though still bedding in, hauled up this big saloon easily.

The engine is super-quiet under normal conditions and yet when you stretch it past 3500rpm it comes alive. This 3.8-litre six loves revs and sounds fantastic. That metallic snarl is intoxicating. 
If you want an M5 that you can jump in and use right away without worrying about a thing, this is the right car for you. 

BMW M5 E34

Year     1994
Mileage     124,000
On sale at     Car Iconics     car-iconics.com 

Specifications
Engine     3795cc, 6-cyl, DOHC
Transmission     6-speed manual
Power     335bhp@6900rpm
Torque     295lb-ft@4750rpm
Weight     1725kg

Performance
0-60mph     5.8sec
Top speed     166mph
Economy     33mpg



Choose your BMW M5 (E34) 

1988 – BMW launches its new generation of 5 Series and M5. It's a huge step forward in tech and chassis dynamics over the E28.
1992 – For the first time the M5 is available as a Touring model. Just 891 are ever made.
1995 – In the final year of production a number of changes are added. The displacement of the engine grows to 3.8-litres with power up to 340bhp. The six-speed Getrag 'box shared with the 540i is added.
Handbuilt M5 era ends at the end of '95 with the last E34 built.


Bentley Continental GT

Bentley Continental GT

Cost new: £124,805. Value now: £27,995

Leather, wood, bombastic W12 power, and 1mph short of the magic 200 – all for under £28k

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It’s a divisive car, the Conti GT. It has big power, wonderful luxury, and the ability to crush continents with ease. It’s also got a slightly iffy image – but a good one is superb value. What else comes close for £28,000? An AMG CL-Class?

Just because this particular Conti is less than £30k, it's no dog. After long study, all we could find were stonechips, a bit of minor kerb damage and spots of corrosion on the alloys, shod in still-meaty Pirelli P-Zeros.

The inside is in excellent nick, with light creasing on the leather chairs, nail marks on the door panels behind the pulls, small scratches on the steering wheel and dash, and some loss of chrome from the start button. 

The engine bay is clean, with all fluids up to maximum. The paperwork file reveals largely yearly servicing at Bentley main dealers, followed by regular refreshments at the vendor's. The last stamp was Sept 2017. 

Behind the wheel, it’s hard not to be impressed. There’s just so much torque, even in normal mode. Injudicious application of the throttle will see you in a different postcode before you know it. Slip it into sports mode and your rate of progress is much more violent. Kickdown is keener and that enormous W12 powerplant holds on to the revs for a little longer. Despite the easy availability of truly eye-popping speeds, when you’re just floating around town the Bentley is as docile and as well-mannered as a Golf.

This is far from a lightweight sports car, so there’s not a great deal of steering feel. There’s so much grip it feels like you’re ripping up the highway during high-speed cornering. There’s very little body roll, too. 

This particular example exhibited no peculiar noises from the drivetrain, the gearbox moving seamlessly between the ratios. No strange rattles or vibrations came forth from the suspension, and the braking power was strong but also predictable, with no tramlining. 

The Bentley Continental GT faces a tricky future. Though we don’t foresee a drop into sub-£5k bangerdom in the same way that Porsche 928s did 15 years ago, it’s hard to see where the depreciation will end. 

But if you want a good Conti, it makes sense to buy one now rather than find yourself picking through a breaker's yardful of grim examples later. This car is clearly a good 'un, one that's ready for the type of adventures befitting its name. 


Bentley Continental GT

Year     2004
Mileage     48,000
On sale at     Kim Cairns Classics kimcairnsclassics.co.uk

Specifications

Engine:     5998cc, 12-cyl, DOHC
Transmission:     AWD, 6-speed auto
Power:     552bhp@6100rpm
Torque:     479lb-ft@1600rpm
Weight:     2350kg

Performance

0-60mph:   4.7sec
Top speed:   199mph
Economy:     17mpg


Choose your Bentley Continental GT 

 Unveiled at Geneva Motor Show in 2003, the CGT is offered with six body colours and eight hide colours. More trim options follow a year later.
 Continental GT goes on a diet in 2007, shedding 35kg. GT Speed model launches the same year, with 602bhp and uprated suspension. 
 Zagato-bodied special called the GTZ launches in 2008.
 Series 51 models of 2009 add a plethora of trim options.
 Supersports appears in 2009 with 621bhp and 590lb-ft.


BMW 840CI

BMW 840CI

Cost new: £54,950. Value now: £12,950

BMW's big GT is eminently useable and remains affordable, but for how much longer?

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Really great condition 850s, or rare manual models, are now nudging £25,000, with the CSI range-topping version tipping over £50k. That’s still reasonable for what is an extremely competent and useable GT car that has performance to spare.

With so few V12s changing hands, though, the market is beginning to look further down the 8 Series line-up at the V8. The 840 might lack the outright thrills and ultimate cylinder count of its 12-pot cousin, but It still has more than enough get-up-and-go to put a smile on your face, without the costly service premium. Not to mention a fantastic soundtrack that’s almost as evocative. 

With this in mind, we thought this 840CI that’s currently for sale at Cambridgeshire dealer Wallis & Son was well worth a closer look. 
With 78,000 miles on the clock, it appeared to be a well-loved and used example rather than a car-show queen, which instantly scored points with us. Though ultimate values may lie with pristine and barely used cars, the real enjoyment to be had from these big BMs comes from putting some miles on them – all the while enclosed in opulent luxury. 

This 8 Series makes a great first impression. It's Orient Blue paint finish gleams even on a wet, wintry day. There's so little to give away this car's age on the outside – only a few very minor kerb marks and a small milky section to the bottom edge of the rear windscreen, and that’s being picky.

The light sliver grey nappa leather interior is in generally good condition, however there are a few early signs of wear to the driver's bolster. A couple of other areas in here indicate the miles travelled, such as the driver’s door pull (the passenger one’s fine) and driver’s seatbelt.

The headlining around the sunroof has discoloured slightly, obviously due to damp, but we couldn't find any leaks on our test and it was chucking it down. 

There's an aftermarket 1990s Sony CD player that stands out a mile for all the wrong reasons. Finally there are some scuffs to the bottom edge of the driver's door card from feet swinging in.

On our test drive the long-travel throttle pedal needed a shove before we got moving and even in 'sport' mode the gearbox still felt clueless. The brakes work well and the ride is firm yet compliant. Flat and neat cornering was certainly a surprise in a car this size. 
This 8 Series has clearly been used, but has been well cared for. Its mechanicals and paint are cock on and it's well priced.


BMW 840CI

Year  1994
Mileage  78,000 miles
On sale at Wallis & Son wallisandson.co.uk

Specifications

Engine      3982cc, 8-cyl, DOHC
Transmission  RWD, 5-speed automatic
Power  282bhp@5700rpm
Torque  295lb-ft@4500rpm
Weight 1830kg

Performance

0-60mph    7.4sec
Top speed   155mph
Economy     22mpg


Choose your BMW 8 Series 

 1986 – CAD studies begin on a replacement for the E24 6 Series. 
 1989 – Final prototype seen at Frankfurt Motor Show. New 8 Series goes on sale later that year.
 1990 – 850i is available with both a manual six-speed and an automatic five-speed ’box.
 1992 – 830i concept is dropped after a single evaluation model
is made.
 1995 – 840Ci goes from the 4.0-litre M60B40 engine to the new 4.4-litre M62B44. This offers better torque and economy, but no extra power.


Alpina B10 3.5 (E28)

Alpina B10 3.5 E28

Cost new: £19,995. Value now: £39,995

A lot rarer than an M5 and a useful amount cheaper, though we can't work out why...

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We’ve driven many an E28 5 Series here at Modern Classics and whether an M535i, M5 or a 528i, all provide a great drive. It’s the model’s six-cylinder charm and nimble yet playful chassis that sets it apart. 

With this in mind, we therefore needed very little encouragement to sample this Alpina B10 3.5, which is currently for sale at Rutland-based dealers, Car Iconics. 

Well known in Alpina circles, this particular car has won multiple concours awards. As we get up close to it, we can clearly see why. Its outer paint finish is stunning, having been very sympathetically restored in the early 2000s to keep some of its original patina. Under the bonnet, it has been just as carefully brought back to life; all brackets, pipework and exposed metal has been refurbished and zinc coated, plus the bonnet sound proofing is brand new. 

The interior has been subjected to a similar treatment. There are a few, very faint water stains just aft of the sunroof on the driver's side, for example. There's also the odd screw missing from the trim (top of the A-pillar) no doubt to make room for the aftermarket alarm sensors. These are mere trifles however, the overall cabin impression is one of superb refinement and exceptional condition. It has been personalised somewhat by its previous owner, who was clearly something of an audiophile. The Alpine DAB stereo is the most obvious addition, however there are also some additional speakers and a discreetly hidden amplifier to the top underside of the boot lining.

Once you've wrestled engine control from the slightly over-officious immobiliser, the motor spins into life with very little effort. Its stainless steel exhaust system gives vent to a wonderful burble. Given a decent set of pipes, this engine can really sing. 

It doesn't take long to realise that this is a lively thing to drive. There's a huge amount of power on tap and not a lot of weight, which adds up to fun! This chassis provides excellent grip when you want to be sensible and very little when you don’t. It can play the classic BMW tail-slide party piece with ease, but should you wish to settle into a sensible cruise, it'll happily oblige. This example has to be one of the best E28s out there and the added Alpina rarity merely adds to its already monumental appeal.  

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Alpina B10 3.5 (E28)

Year  1985
Mileage  90,000 miles
On sale at Car Iconics car-iconics.com

Specifications

Engine      3430cc, 6-cyl, SOHC
Transmission  RWD, 5-speed manual
Power  261bhp@5800rpm
Torque  255lb-ft@4000rpm
Weight 1330kg

Performance

0-60mph    6.4sec
Top speed   155mph
Economy     20mpg


Choose your Alpina B10 

In 1985, the E28 528i was used as the base for the new Alpina B10 (first eight cars). Taking the M30 'big six' from the 535i as a starting point, Alpina engineers extracted 261bhp via a new cylinder head, camshaft and exhaust manifold.

In 1986, as BMW itself was making a 535i factory model, so it took over from the 528i as the B10's foundation. 

In 1987, after a production run of just 77 cars built in two years, the last E28 B10 was completed at the end of the year.


Alfa Romeo 145 Cloverleaf

Alfa Romeo 145 Cloverleaf

Cost new: £14.484. Value now: £3000

A rorty little hatchback with bags of 2.0-litre twin-cam charm is just the thing for Nathan

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Only a few years ago, £1000 would bag you a 145 Cloverleaf. Those days – and most of the cars brought into the UK – have long gone. There are just 98 taxed cars left here, and this example is particularly tempting.
Yes, it’s three grand, but with so few remaining in decent order, this represents good value compared with other similarly aged hot hatches. 
It's done 112,000 miles too but it looks good for its age. There are a few parking dings, some rubbing marks on the wings, and some minor scratches and blemishes, but the cosmetics will be sorted before the car is sold. The alloy wheels are in good nick, and the tyres have plenty of tread remaining. 
The interior shows some light wear ,which matches the mileage. It wouldn’t take much to put it right. There’s cloth coming away on the passenger door, and some marks on the cloth seats. The passenger sill cover has a crack in it, and the steering wheel rim is worn. There’s a little ‘lifting’ on the dashboard mid-section and some scratches on the door moulding, but the original Sony cassette stereo is a nice touch.

The car’s just been freshly serviced, with its belts replaced. There’s some service history to go with it too. The view under the bonnet is clean and tidy, and all of the fluids are up to their maximum marks. 
If you’ve never driven a 145 Cloverleaf, you're in for a treat. 150bhp may not sound much, but it’s only got 1200kg to move. It accelerates with the vigour of a much larger car. There’s some torque steer to contend with if you hoof it, but it only adds to the giggle factor. 
The Twin Spark engine isn’t blessed with huge dollops of torque, but it revs keenly with a properly exciting rasp. The five-speed gearbox is silkily smooth and positive, making it easy to keep the engine on the boil. 
In the best Italian tradition, the steering is sharp yet also light.  Chuck it into a corner and the wheel fizzes with front-end feedback. The suspension’s compliant too. Noticeable body roll is again all part of the fun. We didn’t hear or feel any rattles or noises through the steering or drivetrain, and the brakes were sharp yet predictable. 
The 145 is a design you’ll either love or hate, but if you’re down with its angular form and fancy some high-revving thrills then this is a good place to start. With so few decent examples left this is well worth a look. 

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Alfa Romeo 145 Cloverleaf

Year  1998
Mileage  112,000 miles
On sale at Auto Sportive: 07771 703595

Specifications

Engine  1970cc, 4-cyl, DOHC
Transmission  FWD, 5-speed manual
Power  150bhp@6200rpm
Torque  138lb-ft@4000rpm
Weight 1240kg

Performance

0-60mph    8.0sec
Top speed   129mph
Economy     29mpg


Choose your Alfa Romeo 145

145 arrived in 1994 with 1.9-litre turbodiesel, and 1.3-litre, 1.6-litre, 1.7-litre petrols.
In 1995 the 155's 16V, 2.0-litre Twin Spark engine came to the 145 Cloverleaf. In 1997, 1.4-litre, 1.6-litre and 1.8-litre Twin Spark engines were added. 
Phase Two 145 launched in 1999 with body-coloured bumpers and fresh interior. Old diesel replaced by 1.9 JTD turbodiesel. Later that year, Junior 1.4-litre model launched, matching Cloverleaf styling and suspension. 147 replaced the 145 in 2000.


Subaru Impreza WRX STI WR1

Subaru Impreza WRX STI WR1

Cost new: £29,835. Value now: £19,995

Rare, riotous and in wonderful condition. Time to channel your inner Solberg.

There are almost as many Impreza special editions as there are days in the year, but the WR1 does deserve respect. This is one of just 500 UK cars built to commemorate Petter Solberg's 2003 World Rally Championship victory.

This particular example has covered just 28,000 miles and has clearly been dotingly looked after. The paint absolutely pings, the panels are in perfect condition with no bumps or creases, and there are no window rubber maladies.

There are a few very tiny stonechips and a very light scrape on the passenger's-side skirt, but that's it – and we had to search hard to find them, plus we're told they'll all be attended to before sale.

The gorgeous seven-spoke alloy wheels are devoid of any kerbing marks or corrosion, though there is some minor flaking to the logos on the wheel centres. The Brembo calipers could do with a little paint, but there's nothing to really concern you here. This Impreza wears Continental ContiSport Contacts at all four corners, and all have a good level of tread remaining.

Under the bonnet all the fluids are up to the maximum mark and none made a break for the border in our presence. The well-stamped service book points to regular fettling from Subaru main dealers and specialists, and there's a recent receipt for a thorough mechanical refresh at Roger Clark Motorsport. The £1090 bill included an oil and filter change, refreshes to the suspension and exhaust system.

The interior is near-perfect – if we're being really picky there are a few minor marks to the gearknob. That's it – and everything works as it should. We couldn't find any wear to the seat bolsters either.

On the road, performance is ballistic – as you'd imagine. There are no peculiar noises from the suspension and nor are there any dead zones or sloppiness in the steering. The brakes are sharp yet predictable, and the engine doesn't search for revs at idle. The gearbox moves through the forward ratios cleanly. The turbo kicks in when it should, thrusting you deeply into the driver's seat – it's hugely addictive fun.

It's a truly special car, this (see left), and one that's been lavished with love and attention. We are being very picky to find anything wrong with it at all, and as such represents one of the best of the breed.


Subaru IMPREZA WRX STI

Year   2004
Mileage  28,000
On sale at Nick Johnson Motor Co: www.nickjohnsonmotorco.co.uk

Specifications

Engine  1994cc/4-cyl/DOHC
Transmission  AWD, 6-speed manual
Power  320bhp@5800rpm
Torque  310lb-ft@4000rpm
Weight 1470kg

Performance

0-60mph    4.2sec
Top speed   155mph
Economy     25mpg


Choose your SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI

 The second-generation Impreza receives its first facelift in 2002 after the original's round headlights prove to be as popular as a skunk lap dance. Standard WRX STI chucks out 300bhp and 300lb-ft.

 WR1 model arrives in 2004, boasting an extra 20bhp and 10lb-ft over standard STI. The 500 UK cars are sent to Prodrive for bespoke springs, Pirelli P-Zero Nero tyres, mesh grilles and Ice Blue paint. ECU and exhaust not homologated for EU so are added after registration.


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Audi S4 Cabriolet (B6)

Audi S4 Cabriolet (B6)

Cost new: £40,969. Value now: £8,500

Low miles and low price, plus a thrumming V8 gloriousness – it's difficult to resist, no?

Audi's S4 may not have the glamour of the RS but it doesn't leave you wanting for performance, with a 302lb-ft thump and 60mph a memory in less than six seconds. 

However, many S4s we've seen have suffered from indifferent care and as such are about as tempting as the clap. Happily, this one bucks that trend – save for a few minor blemishes it's in good condition, with relatively low mileage.

The bodywork presents well overall, though there are a few swirl marks and minor scratches here and there. There's a solitary parking dint on the driver's side. We could only find very minor stonechips to the front of the car, though there is a small chip half-way up the windscreen. The Bridgestone Potenza 5001s (235/40 R18s front and rear) have a good level of tread remaining, and the wheels themselves are devoid of kerbing damage or corrosion. The cloth hood works without error and we found no leaks when we washed the car.

Under the bonnet it's not studiously clean but all the fluids are up to the correct mark and none decided to part ways with the mothership during our time with the car. The paperwork file reveals that it was serviced twice yearly by a mixture of Audi dealers and independents until 2014, and yearly since then, with the mileage fully backed up. 

The interior is in largely good order too, though there are a few minor blemishes to the trim. There are a few minor dints in the aluminium trim strip on the driver's side and there are some minor nail marks on the door cards. The soft-touch material on the driver's side door pull is a bit patchy. There are a few marks on the seats and some creasing to the driver's seat cushion, but nothing too concerning. The driver's right seat bolster is discoloured and lightly worn. 

The 4.2-litre V8 instantly fires up to a whispery-smooth idle, and on the move the S4 pulls irresistibly forward with a big-hearted woofle. We detected no flat spots through the gears; the gearbox and clutch were light and precise too. There were no dead spots in the steering, no peculiar noises from the suspension and the brakes brought the car to a halt quickly and predictably. 

While there are a few minor imperfections, this is a lot of car for not a great deal of money. It's a good S4 you can enjoy during the summer and then get the minor jobs done during the winter. Well worth a look. 


AUDI S4 Convertible

Year                  2006
Mileage            42,000
On sale at        www.auto-vogue.co.uk

Specifications

Engine              4163cc/8-cyl/DOHC
Transmission   4WD, 6-speed manual
Power               339bhp@7000rpm
Torque              302lb-ft@3500rpm
Weight              1855kg

Performance

0-60mph         5.9sec
Top speed       155mph
Economy         25mpg


Choose your Audi S4 (B6)

Audi launches the S4 in saloon and Avant form in 2003, with the Cabriolet following in 2004. All variants are powered by an all-aluminium 4.2-litre, 40-valve V8. It's available with either a Getrag M6S six-speed manual gearbox or ZF 6HP19 tiptronic automatic. It also has Torsen T-2 quattro permanent four-wheel drive. Aluminium trim (later aluminium-covered plastic in some areas) identify an S4 over the standard A4.  

 Avant and saloon bow out in 2004, a year before the cabrio.


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SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI SPEC D

Subaru Impreza WRX STI SPEC D

Cost new: £31, 550. Value now: £16,900

Want a low-miles Impreza without the visual aggression? Then step this way...

If you're attracted to the idea of a Subaru Impreza and its sizeable turbo wallop, but are turned off by certain aspects of the Scooby owning image, then this Spec D makes sense. 

The D stands for discreet, which means that it has extra soundproofing, plush leather chairs, an upgraded stereo, touchscreen sat-nav and a more restrained bodykit. Well, slightly more restrained. Just 300 were built, and all in Crystal Grey. 

This one's covered just under 21,000 miles and as a result it's in very good nick. The only marks we found in the metallic paint were some minor stonechips to the front; the rest of the car is free of scrapes and creases. There are no signs of corrosion and the bodykit is still attached where it should be.

The wheels show some signs of minor kerbing damage, but nothing too concerning. It wears Kumho Ecsta LE Sport 225/45 ZR 17 rears and Goodyear Eagle F1 225/45 ZR17 fronts, and all
have a good level of tread remaining, with no signs of
rips or tears in the sidewalls. There is, however, some paint peel on the large Brembo calipers and a couple of small chips to the windscreen. 

Under the bonnet everything's in good order, with all the fluids up to their maximum marks. The good news continues inside – everything's in working condition. The headlining is in good nick and there's only a light amount of bolster wear and creasing to the seats. The only blemish is a scratch to the centre console forward of the gear lever, but it's not too deep. 

The paperwork file shows that the car's three owners have treated it well. It's got Subaru main dealer stamps up to 2014 and its last service was at an independent in April 2016, and all these back up the mileage.

The engine fires right off the key and settles to a refined burble – well, for an Impreza – with no rev searching. 

Though this is a calmed-down Impreza it's still scintillatingly fast, with plenty of punch from 3k. We found no flat spots at all. 

The steering wheel was as incisive as an Impreza needs to be, and we found no dead spots or sloppiness around the wheel. The suspension – though customarily firm – didn't bring out any peculiar noises or vibrations, and the brakes were sharp yet predictable. 

With low-mileage and rarity on its side, plus great overall condition, this Subaru is well worth consideration. 


Choose your Impreza SECOND-GEN FACELIFT

  • The Second-Gen Impreza is facelifted in 2005 with a new nosejob to reflect Subaru's revamped corporate face. 
  • In addition to the Spec D, which launches in 2006, Subaru releases the RB320 in honour of rally driver Richard Burns. Power is 316bhp and torque is 332lb-ft, with 320 built.
  • GB270 launches in 2007 with quick-shift gearbox and 266bhp/310lb-ft. 400 built. 
  • Another batch of RB320s launches in 2007 with trim differences to the 2006 car.

IMPREZA WRX STI in detail

Year                 2006

Mileage           20,970

On sale at        Centurian Automotive                        

Specifications

Engine             2457cc/4-cyl/DOHC

Transmission  4WD, 6-speed manual

Power             277bhp@6400rpm

Torque            311lb-ft@4400rpm

Weight            1520kg

Performance

0-60mph         5.4sec

Top speed       158mph

Economy         25.9mpg



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GOLF GTI MKII

VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTI

COST NEW: £8000. VALUE NOW: £11, 495

THIS NEEDS TO BE SPECIAL FOR SUCH A HIGH PRICE, SO DOES THIS ONE STACK UP? WE FIND OUT...

Before arriving at this dealer this Golf had two former owners (the first kept it for 21 years, the
second, a collector) and it survives in unmolested nick.

The 15in BBS alloys are perfect, recently refurbished and wearing excellent matching Toyo tyres. On initial inspection, the rear brake discs were a little corroded (indicative of the car’s minimal use recently) but they cleaned up well during our test drive, proving the callipers to be moving freely. The front discs look much newer. The window glass is in good condition all round, etched with the correct registration number, and all shut lines are good. The original Tornado Red paint shows no significant damage, and there are only a couple of minor scratches to the front bumper.

There’s nothing to worry about in the engine bay either,– oils and fluids are at their correct levels, and no leaks are apparent. The engine subframe has some surface corrosion which needs undersealing, but it’s no cause for urgent concern. The inner wings are immaculate, as is the boot. The wheel arches also show no corrosion.


CHOOSE YOUR GOLF GTI MKII

  • The MkII Golf arrives in 1983.
  • A 16v version of the 1.8 becomes available in 1986. Although it offers an extra 27bhp and a top speed of 129mph, some find the 8v (with its more accessible torque band) the more useable engine.
  • ABS becomes optional from 1987, and a subtle facelift in 1989 sees the introduction of the ‘big bumpers’. From 1990, the previously optional power steering is fitted as standard, and the 16v models gains a fivedoor option.

The interior is in lovely original condition, with very few signs of wear. There’s a little fraying to be found on the gear lever gaiter, and only very gentle abrasion on the grey cloth of the driver’s seat. Central locking is not fitted, but an optional factory manual sunroof is – fully operational and apparently leak-free. The dash contains an aftermarket Sony CD player, and a five-cassette storage bin in the centre console.

On the road we didn’t encounter any wobbles, rumbles or vibrations. This example has power steering, which became standard the year this car was produced, increasing its usability around town. The rev counter was sadly inoperative, which theseller is fixing before sale.

There’s a little looseness in the gear linkage, a common issue, but it's not too severe in this
case. The lever responds well to a light touch, engaging all ratios smoothly. Feedback through the steering wheel does feel a fraction woolly, hopefully just the result of low pressure in the front tyres during our drive.

The large history file includes a receipt in 2015 for gearbox repairs, oil changes and rear axle
bushes, and a 2016 invoice for afront-wheel bearing, PAS belt and steering-rack gaiter. 

This is a good example of an appreciating icon that’s ready to be used or squirrelled away as
an appreciating classic.


GOLF GTI MKII IN DETAIL

Year 1990
Mileage 58,750
On sale at 4 Star Classics: www.4starclassics.com

SPECIFICATIONS

Engine 1781cc/4-cyl/OHC
Transmission FWD, 5-speed manual
Power 112bhp@5800rpm
Torque 109lb-ft@3500rpm
Weight 920kg

PERFORMANCE 

0-60mph 8.3sec
Top speed 119mph
Economy 25mpg


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Alpina B6S (E63)

With nearly 500 supercharged horses, this makes more sense than an M6.

If you're a firm fan of the BMW M6 E63, you may be wondering why this Alpina commands such a premium over similarly aged examples from the M Division. After all, it's missing two cylinders and is slightly less powerful. But look at that torque figure... It's also rare – just three right-hookers were built. But is it worth it?

Before we come on to why this car exists, it has to be said that this is a very good example. The bodywork is in fantastic condition, with no blemishes or scratches to be found anywhere.  The bodykit is uncorrupted and we couldn't find any corrosion.   

The enormous, gorgeous 20in alloy wheels have succumbed to a bit of kerbing damage on the passengers' side, though this will be repaired before sale. The Alpina wears Michelin Sport Contact 2s at each corner – 255/35 ZR20s at the front and 285/30 ZR20s at the rear. All have plenty of tread remaining. 

The engine bay is clean and all the fluids are up to their maximum marks; nothing leaks. The service book is well-filled with stamps, pointing to dutiful care over the past decade.


Choose your Alpina E63

  • The Alpina B6 launches in 2007, and uses a 4.4-litre supercharged V8 loosely based on the  645i engine. The engine's matched up to a ZF 6HP26 six-speed gearbox with steering wheel-mounted buttons for manual shifts; it's a system called SWITCH-TRONIC; shift times are 50 per cent quicker than the standard ZF gearbox. It's available in coupe or  convertible formats, though the cabrio takes 0.3 seconds longer to 60mph and is 4mph slower, 'just' 194mph, then.

It's when you step inside that you start to see the benefits of Alpina's touch – it's far more luxurious in here, with beautifully soft cream leather, classy cherry wood and gorgeous blue dials. The driver's seat bolster has recently been refurbished, and the carpet hardly looks used. That same quality is reflected across the rest of the interior. It's a much nicer place to be than the rather austere M6.

It's not lacking for performance, and actually manages to be more exciting than the epicly fast but aloof M6. The supercharged shove is truly eyepopping and though we didn't come near to testing its top speed, we're pretty sure it can reach it. Overall it's far more engaging to drive.

The suspension is set up for cruising, so it's not quite as tight as the M6, but then this is a big GT – the trade-off works to the Alpina's favour. There are no peculiar noises, and the ride comfort is exemplary (a sharp contrast to the jiggly M6). Braking force is sharp yet predictable too. 

The Alpina B6S nails the fast GT much better than the M6; it may not handle as well on the limit, but it's not far off. The M6 can't touch the B6S for comfort and 'specialness', though. This example feels brand-new, and is well worth further scrutiny. 


Alpina B6S in detail

Year  2007
Mileage  35,000
On sale at Vas Vehicle Solutions:  www.vvsuk.co.uk

Specifications

Engine 4398cc/8-cyl/DOHC
Transmission   RWD, 6-speed auto
Power 493bhp@5500rpm
Torque 516lb-ft@4250rpm
Weight  1720kg

Performance

0-60mph         4.6sec
Top speed       198mph
Economy         23mpg


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THE SECRET BEHIND GETTING YOUR ULTIMATE 80S', 90S' & 00S' MOTOR FIX?

A SUBSCRIPTION TO MODERN CLASSICS MAGAZINE! AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR DIGITAL FORMATS, IN 6 MONTH OR YEARLY PAYMENTS.