BMW’s F15 X5 M50d is an impressive machine – and you can now buy a decent example for just £25,000. Words: Guy Baker Photography: Various A proper Marmite car, BMW’s X5 M50d certainly divides opinion. But there’s no doubt it’s a seriously capable and sophisticated bit of kit. The car’s triple-turbo diesel six-pot produces 375hp and 546lb ft, enabling it to smash the 0-62mph dash in just 5.3-seconds.
There are seemingly endless models and factory options to choose from along the timeline of 911 production. Yet that variety only just begins on the dealer spec list. What of cars that have been altered over the years since they left the showroom? From rat rods to restomods, ‘Big Reds’ to RSR wings… you name it, someone will have done it over 50 years of fashions. Is there a market for a modified 911 today, or is originality best? Paragon sales manager Jamie Tyler says yes and no.
Interest and enthusiasm for owning a 911 of any era has never been greater. Everyone knows and covets an RS, GT3 or Turbo, keenly eyeing values and ads, but aside from those go-tos, which models are currently overlooked by the market? Sales debateIt’s fair to say our panel struggled to immediately call out a list of forgotten models. In today’s market, there’s a buyer for all 911s.
It would be naive to think that global lockdowns and disruptions from a pandemic wouldn’t bring with it some changes, but has it left a mark on the used 911 buyer? Two respected specialists concur it has. Sales debate“Yes, buyers’ habits certainly changed,” says Jamie Tyler of Paragon. “A lot more people are buying remotely now; this has continued from the days of only being able to buy cars via ‘click and collect’.” For that to thrive, stock must be of a quality to support worry-free purchase.
Good news if you already own a Volvo 240 or 260, but bad news if you're hoping to buy one. That's because values of these boxiest of classics have been increasing steadily over the past few years, to the point that they've proved to be a tidy investment for anybody who got in on the action a little while ago. MARKET INSIGHT Volvo 200 SeriesKevin Price is the man with his finger on the pulse; he founded the Volvo Enthusiasts' Club (volvoenthusiastsclub.co.
From hero to zero and back again – the Capri spent years as the butt of many a joke, but Ford’s humble fastback has enjoyed a significant resurgence. Few cars can demonstrate the lure of nostalgia quite like the Ford Capri. Although the not quickest or most dynamic of coupes, the lovable fastback has joined several of its contemporary Blue Oval stablemates in being hot property among enthusiasts – with prices to match.
With an ear to the ground, there are rumblings that the used 911 market is losing momentum. Undoubtedly we’re in times of global uncertainty, hot on the tail of a global pandemic, but is there any truth in it? Sales debate“In short, no,” says Philip Raby, of Philip Raby Specialist Cars, while highlighting the difficulty in predicting future trends. “When Russia hit, everything dropped overnight, but it came almost straight back,” he adds.
Mercedes-Benz’s original four-door coupe of 2004 was a big hit with buyers, bringing additional style and handling panache to the saloon car formula.
Rapid, luxurious and economical, BMW’s F06 640d M Sport Gran Coupé is also great value. Words: Guy Baker Photography: Various Sleek, elegant and purposeful, BMW’s F06 Gran Coupé looks expensive, but you can now buy a decent 640d M Sport from as little as £13,000. More balanced than the 6 Series Coupé, and much more fun than a 5 Series, the 640d is both fast and frugal. It also sounds great (for an oil burner) and handles sweetly for such a large car.
Predicting smart buys in the current market is getting tricky. Rising inflation, soaring energy prices, military conflict and reduced consumer spending are all exerting pressure on values. Higher interest rates may also divert cash that might otherwise have been spent on old cars into savings, and the next couple of years may see values of many classics soften further. So, with a deep breath and fingers crossed I’ve chosen five cars that look like they could be Smart Buys for 2022.
Dropping a six cylinder engine into the suburban Triumph Herald was a genius idea. But in practice the first 1962 to 1967 incarnations of the Triumph Vitesse weren’t all that quick, producing only 70bhp, a top speed of 90mph and sixty in a glacial 17.5 seconds. On the road though they do feel a bit brisker thanks to tipping the scales at a featherweight 920kg – or 17.cwt in old money.
In its day the fresh-air Ford XR3i MkIV was the best front-wheel-drive, mass-produced four-seater cabriolet in the world. Ford of Europe’s first convertible in 20 years arrived in 1983, when just 45 were registered in the UK, but by the late Eighties, production was running at 20,000 units a year. Although you could have it with fuel injection, the sportier XR3i version wouldn’t be available until the MkIV facelift of 1986.
Wrong car, wrong time, sums up the troubled history of the glorious Citroën SM. France’s staunch nationalism desired a grande routière to follow the defunct Facel-Vega marque, yet Citroën would have made more profits concentrating on a range of smaller, family cars as an antidote to the rising costs of petrol. The carefree world where you drove from Paris to Saint Tropez before lunch was changing fast.
I was there to witness the Volvo 850 T5-R miracle. A press car appeared in the BBC Pebble Mill car park – where those early-Nineties series of Top Gear were filmed – and Clarkson and I took it for a spin. We ripped through Birmingham, front tyres fighting for grip and out onto the M6, laughing out loud at the amazing, incredible urge. That day we both sensed that this was a seminal moment in Volvo’s history. A break from its sensible heritage with a large helping of Swedish mischief.
When it comes to buying a 996 you’ve got options, even if your budget’s at the lower end of the scale. But don’t hang about – people are wising up to the car’s immense value for money… Porsche 911 996 at 25Volume defines the 996 marketplace: the number available out there is far greater than any 911 before it.