Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 18 October
The crown of the 6 series in full smoky glory
The E63 6 Series coupé is a big-bellied beast with a fat appetite for fuel. But my is it fine.
It’s well known that the E63 6 Series coupé that ran from 2003 to 2011 has a penchant for the black stuff, slurping it greedily and occasionally blowing it out through rocker cover gaskets, breather hoses and down cylinder bores. It sounds like a non-starter, but what the hell, we’re suckers for a big koop.
A twin-turbo 3.0-litre diesel version will be cheaper to run but you’re better off with the sweeter 630i petrol. A 2007 facelift car with the Efficient Dynamics package is what you need. The 3.0-litre engine makes 268bhp and up to 35.8mpg is possible with a feather-light foot.
We found an 08-reg car with 68,000 miles for £8799. It’s had two former keepers and has a full main dealer history, with eight stamps in the book. Dual-zone climate control, black leather, heated and powered memory seats, parking sensors and 19in alloys – they’re all here.
For a careful and thorough check-over, start with those oil leaks and then the Vanos system, whose actuators and solenoids can fail. The oil separator breather pipe can become detached, so we’d inspect that too.
We’d want to be sure there’s sufficient fluid in the gearbox, since the plastic sump cover can leak (the filter is part of it). On the test drive we’d feel for smooth shifts. Along urban roads we’d be checking for a shuddering sensation through the brake pedal caused by damaged front control struts that are prone to speed bump impact. We’d also be alert to uneven handling caused by broken rear springs. We won’t waste time looking for rust but fresh paint will be on our radar.
Bond Bug, £9995: Who can resist a Bond Bug? This restored example has done 43,000 miles and was registered in 1973 so could be a 700 or 750. The rebuild was fully documented. A similarly well kept 1972 Bond Bug 700ES made £16,100 at Sotheby’s last year.
Talbot Matra Rancho, £4695: This granddaddy of the compact SUV had a glassfibre body with a kick in the roof that pre-dated the Discovery and three rows of seats. Our find is a 1983 car with just 33,000 miles. They’re rare beasts with a loyal following so be quick if you’re interested.
BMW X5 M50d, £18,480: Thanks to its three turbos, the M50d’s 3.0 diesel delivers 375bhp and 546lb ft, resulting in 0-62mph in 5.4sec. This four-wheel-drive SUV hooligan cost more than £60,000 new, making our 2013-reg with 93,000 miles look like a bargain.
Porsche Panamera 3.6 V6 auto AWD, £17,995: The Panamera is a luxury car with 300bhp, four-wheel drive and a snappy PDK auto ’box. This one isn’t the sharpest driver but build quality, cabin space and comfort impress. This 2010-reg example has done 122,000 miles and has a full history.
Bryan Adams’ ‘Everything I do, I do it for you’ was high in the charts when this Nova 1.4 SR, Vauxhall’s answer to the Ford Fiesta XR2, hit the road. A kerb weight of just 675kg enabled its 71bhp 1.4-litre engine to catapult it from 0-60mph in 10.2sec, which, back then, was quite enough given the heavy steering, dodgy damping and ineffective brakes. On the plus side, the SR turned in keenly and gripped like a good ’un. This restored 1991 car with 29,000 miles and Powerflow exhaust made £6438.
The Mini Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit, to give it its full name, has no rear seats and weighs 50kg less than the standard Works car. At the time – 2006 – this limited-edition model was the fastest Mini yet built, with 215bhp (7bhp more than the Works) available from its supercharged 1.6-litre engine. Among all the special BMW Minis out there it can be hard to spot a future classic, but this is one. Our example is a 2006/56-reg car with 65,000 miles for £14,000 – or just £8000 less than it was new.
Clash of the Classifieds
Brief: Winter is coming, so find a trusty family 4×4 – that isn’t an SUV – for £6k.
Subaru Outback 3.0 R, £4990
Audi S6, £5989
Max Adams: A Subaru has trustworthy 4×4 written all over it. The firm’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive system is incredibly capable when the going gets tough, and the cars are pretty tough too, so I’d have no concerns running my nearest and dearest around in this wonderful 2007 3.0 R Outback.
Mark Pearson: As we all know, the world is going to end soon. In which case, I think we might as well forget the notion of longevity and just enjoy a rip-snorting 5.2 V10. My Audi is a peach: full service history, 435bhp, quattro running gear… I see it’s actually younger than your car, too.
MA: But yours is leggier, dear chap. And the last thing you want with a V10 is something with lots of miles, because it means big bills are coming your way. I think you might regret your folly.
MP: Not when I step into that luxurious interior and utilise all that performance: 0-60mph in 5.2sec.
MA: You won’t be doing that when it’s broken down. Meanwhile, my Subaru will just keep on going thanks to that under-stressed 3.0-litre engine and the brand’s excellent reputation for dependability: perfect qualities in a family car.
MP: I’d enjoy all that extra oomph while you can. Tomorrow may rain so I’ll follow the sun.
Verdict: Think trusty, think Subaru.
Source: Autocar Online