Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mid Week Match-Up: Quid Pro U-Que?

This week's Mid Week Match-Up, victim is DT logo guru and godfather Kaibeezy who is looking for something to replace the Citroen Xantia that has only driven a few miles since he picked it last year for about the price of a used set of snow tires.  I guess you get what you pay for and Kaibeezy is looking for something else interesting to drive on the little Island community in the North Europa region known as the UK.


From Kaibeezy:

£10k budget, give or take. I want a car worth keeping and maintaining long term, even if at some expense. Something that will age well and has a good chance of becoming a classic.

Manual transmission -- stick, not paddles -- is non-negotiable. Doesn't have to be a raging bull or ballerina, just not too boring. There are speed cameras on the freeways and main arteries guaranteeing fast-car-slow frustration, whereas the minor roads can offer a lot more slow-car-fast fun. Even the major roads can be very narrow, and big trucks will take the single-track country lanes, so I want reasonably modern safety.

I drive sparingly, so it's not going to get beaten or have maintenance be a constant drain. It should have a nice-to-very-nice back seat, which is the key to the family wanting to take my car once in a while instead of the family truckster Land Cruiser. Road salt means it needs some resistance to rust (lookin at you, Italy). Snow begets snow tires, so I'm OK with front, rear or all wheel drive.

If I got a Saab 95, the question is: How low should I go?
- top dog V6 petrol 300hp Aero AWD - might be 3 of those in existence - goes down from there
- skip the AWD
- 4 cyl petrol 220hp
- twin turbo diesel 190hp

Should I go on a snipe hunt for the SportWagon? Released from pre- production only, never made it to dealers, so there are only a handful. Alas, probably all LHD.

Other possibilities:
  • E28 - Maybe too old.
  • E34/E39, E38 - Solid option, conservative.
  • W124/126/140/other - Classic but risk of boredom. Maybe there's a secret model. C126 with a custom engineered stick transplant being a particular fantasy.
  • Phaeton - Some with a stick, but possibly LHD only.
  • Citroen C6 - Big, plush, modern, rare (tip of hat to tip from Hunsbloger).
  • Jag - A higher performance model of some kind, but would have to have more than a rudimentary back seat.
  • Bentley/Rolls - Why not consider it?
  • Panamera - Pretty sure it's not in my price range yet, haven't even looked.

30 comments:

  1. In 1995, the UK got a Mercedes W124 E36 with the 3.6 straight 6 AMG engine. The 500e was not sold in the UK that year and the E36 model came in a sedan, coupe, wagon, and convertible. They are all pretty cool and came loaded with options. I think they sold something like 100 cars. It is a very challenging to find info on this model as any search for "E36" gives you mid 90's BMW 3 series...

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    1. Aha! Exactly the arcane ephemera I was looking for. You think a set of Firehawk Indy 500s will fit on one of those?

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  2. From the colder nordic north -
    V70R
    9-5 Aero or 96+ 9000 Aero of some flavor. 10k should buy you one of the best ones out there. I haven't taken my 95 past base boost, but am reasonably pleased with it in two years of ownership. Need to get the drivers side outboard bolster releathered.

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    1. I should clarify re 9-5 I'm talking mostly about the last (sob) gen version 2010-11. But a particularly fine example of an earlier Aero would get my attention.

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    2. We have a 4 banger FWD 2011 9-5. Pretty peppy for it's size, not bad on gas, certainly unique. Good in snow with winter tires, bad with OEM Pirellis. Common problems are minor: melting stop bulb holders, LED issues in 3rd stop light and rear light bar - permanent fixes are available. Good car, go for it.

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    3. thanks, e - i appreciate the vote of confidence - i really wish Saab could have hung in there - i'd feel good about keeping a car like that alive for a while

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    4. There are people who still drive MGs and Triumphs... not many, but the support is there.

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  3. Seems like Italian cars of today don't have a propensity to rust any more than other cars. So, I'd go for a Alfa Romeo (of course) 159 Sportwagon. Unfortunately when I took a look on Gumtree, all I could find are ones burning the Fuel of Satan. But I guess with the UK backing off it's tax scheme to consign citizens to dying from black lung, you might be able to get a deal on an oil burner. I'd go for a proper petrol car myself.

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    1. I hear you loud and clear re the 159. It's been at the top of my list intermittently, especially after I see one, wowza, bellissima. Then I read the reliability reports and go, unnnh, I dunno.

      As a Murican, I don't know diesel from walnut oil. Only petrol seems right to me, less rattling, more perkiness. The Xantia is plenty perky. Big advantage: everyone here still swoons for diesel, so the petrol cars sell at a discount. Works for me!

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    2. BionicTorqueWrenchMay 12, 2017 at 2:54 AM

      Alfa 156 GTA. Sportwagon if you like. Not necessarily this one . But something like that.

      I've never had reliability problems, and I've owned circa 12 Alfas.

      Given fuel costs in the UK and on the continent, diesel is worth considering. I was in the UK for 5 years, ending 4 years ago. Every time I went to a motorsport event, there would be Alfa Sportwagons, either 156 or 159, running the 2.4 JTDm engine, being used as tow cars and support vehicles.

      I had a 156 2.0JTS sportwagon. Really nice car. I had the 2.0 because of fuel costs. Not the fastest thing around, but a really sweet little engine. Lovely pointy steering. Drove it around the UK, and all over France/Spain/Germany.

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    3. BionicTorqueWrenchMay 12, 2017 at 2:58 AM

      Basically, if you're okay with Saab reliability, you're okay with Alfa reliability.

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    4. @Bionic - how's the rear seat room? - figured these are 3-series/Saab 9-3 size or maybe a smidge more - i parked next to one with my Avensis wagon (basically a narrow Camry; previous to Land Cruiser) a while back and they looked similar, which is to say, adequate but not more than that - the better the back seat, the more i will get to drive *my* car

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    5. I have no experience with diesel Alfa's, being a North American Alfista so all my Alfas have been petrol powered. Something about a diesel Alfa rubs me the wrong way... Plus the European governments seem to have changed their tune on diesels with talk about scrappage schemes, extra license charges and bans from certain urban areas.

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    6. yep, G, officialdom has changed its tune, but after 20 years of pushing diesel on the masses, reinforced by advertising, dealers, used dealers, private sellers, mechanics, conventional wisdom, your uncle Bob, etc., etc., the message has sunk in to the bone, and it will take quite a while for it to outgas - hence the counterlogical discount for petrol on the secondary (ok, for me it's more like quaternary or octonary) market

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    7. 2008 159 Sportwagon with the 3.2 Busso V-6 with 54k miles for 8 grand!

      [image src="http://pictures2.autotrader.co.uk/imgser-uk/servlet/media?id=59ee49e6ccc6469f9b27dde3dfe1087d" width="400px"/]

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    8. yeah, wow, that's really something - it's in Belfast, bit of an expedition from here but could be done - here's a question: big guys, do they fit in one of these? - i'd have a bit of a kerfuffle trying to find one around here to try out

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    9. Fleetwood T. BroughamMay 12, 2017 at 4:16 PM

      Plus, since it's Euro, you also can be confident in the knowledge that your car has the most phallic trailer hitch in existence.

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    10. if you must know, he's talking about this business...
      [image src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v101/David72/smalltowbar5.jpg" width="250px"/]

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  4. What about a driver quality restomod Mk II? Too many archaeic systems to deal with and not enough modern safety?

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    1. Or this - there's room for the kids- https://london.craigslist.co.uk/cto/6100411949.html

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    2. and then keep it properly waxoyl'd out the wazoo.

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    3. Ooh, that's a beauty, but she's something for special occasions. Got to look at it this way: While I might not be "daily" driving, when I do drive I need the reliable, safe, comfortable, modern-ish car. I am absolutely conflicted by the fact that modern = unfettleable electronic sorcery, so I keep saying nonsensicalizationisms like "E28" and "C126".

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  5. Death by a thousand repairs?

    http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/1999-MASERATI-3200-TURBO-GT-V8-6-SPEED-MANUAL-70k-mile-/222504152210?hash=item33ce47ec92%3Ag%3AHwcAAOSwzaJX65Ua&_trkparms=pageci%253A9d0019dc-36a6-11e7-bff5-74dbd180cd26%257Cparentrq%253Af9f8dea115b0aa41712a4d3efffe9618%257Ciid%253A5

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    1. Or this http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/Saab-9-5-2-0T-2011-Aero-Turbo-4-Full-S-H-Nav-Finance-Available-p-x-Swap-/292031177266?hash=item43fe6a2232%3Ag%3AHakAAOSwXYtYyrEq&_trkparms=pageci%253A50458151-36a7-11e7-9f99-74dbd18074fa%257Cparentrq%253Af9fd756415b0a8670b7a6285fffe9ce3%257Ciid%253A6

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    2. http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/Saab-9-5-2-3T-Turbo-Edition-Aero-Estate-/282463378234?hash=item41c4211b3a%3Ag%3A90QAAOSwzgBY1Rwr&_trkparms=pageci%253A9d51c6df-36a7-11e7-92a5-74dbd180d9a8%257Cparentrq%253Af9ff6e7415b0ab644d0a99c3ffff995e%257Ciid%253A4

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    3. petrol black/black 220hp is tempting - 72k miles is reasonable, but i'd hold out for a granny car with 38k - on the previous gen estate, there are quite a few more of those about, would have to be extra special in some way

      modern Maserati, now, hmm - i know nothing about those - my gut would be they are viable while under warranty but just not feasible after that - like the Mazdaspeed 6 i saw a couple of weeks ago - will these be real, regularly drivable classics in the future, or just for show?

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  6. Audi S8 (the Ronin one, the first-gen), perhaps?

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    1. greetings, Eduardo - yes, that one has the certain something - my understanding has always been it shares heavily with the Phaeton, which i especially like for its "what, that boring Passat?" anonymity - i will do some research - comes with a stick?

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  7. Do they not sell Lexus' in the UK? Jeez, I was ready to suggest an IS250 or IS300, manual... I couldn't find bupkis on London's craigslist. Anyway, that's my 2 cents. Happy Hunting...

    - The Average Bear

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    1. hello, Mr. Bear - yes, you can get a Lexus here, but i don't think they sell all the models - no Acura, but some are sold as Honda models, and i don't remember ever seeing an Infiniti - i'm not sure either of those would help me with the back seat upgrade, and i'd have to call the "future classic" status a wee bit iffy - now, a 460 with a stick, you might be on to something

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