TODAY should have been the climax of the Goodwood Festival of Speed – the greatest car show on the planet – but you can guess what spannered it.
So, to cheer you up, we thought we’d celebrate YOUR speedy motors instead.
We asked Alfie, our used-car expert, to run the rule over eight corkers sent in by Sun readers.
You jammy bleeders. Enjoy.
Car: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL
Owner: Alan Taylor
Alan says: “I have owned this 300 SL for ten years and it is my pride and joy. It has done 100,000 miles and it is still a brilliant motor – I am sure it will do another 100,000 miles. It has both a hard-top and a soft-top.”
Alfie says: “Glorious old German motoring, whatever the weather.”
Car: Packard 160 Sedan
Owner: Steve Day
Steve says: “This is my 1938 Packard and it is one of only a few in the UK. It has 70,000 miles showing – not bad, given it turned 82 this year. It still drives beautifully.”
Alfie says: “What would have been one of the nicest cars in the world in its day still looks flippin’ fab in 2020.”
Car: 1996 Porsche Boxster
Owner: Chris Efthymiou
Chris says: “I own the first Boxster sold in the UK. I drove it in 1997 and I tracked it down in 2019. ”
Alfie says: “The car that saved Porsche and a historic example at that. Quite the motor, Chris.”
Car: Mk2 Ford Escort
Owner: Adrian Dark
Adrian says: “It’s a modified 1979 Escort and I won it from Retro Ford magazine at the NEC 2016 Classic Car Show. I call the car Poppy, because I won her on Remembrance Sunday.”
Alfie says: “Corking motor, Ade, and one heck of a prize to pick up as well.”
Car: 1977 Triumph Spitfire
Owner: Barrie Lane
Barrie says: “This is my ’77 Spitfire 1500, S-reg, with 91,000 miles on the clock. I have owned it for ten years and it’s admired wherever it goes. It is affectionately known as Douglas.”
Alfie says: “A proper British classic sports car with a name to make you proud.”
Car: 1995 Aston Martin DB7
Owner: Kevin More
Kevin says: “My lovely DB7 is a rare straight-six, manual-gearbox, 3.2-litre model. It has been maintained to a beautiful standard and has only 66,500 miles on the clock.”
Alfie says: “The first Aston to grace my column was worth the wait. A stunning machine.”
Car: 1984 Ford Capri
Owner: Stephen Harper
Stephen says: “This is my 1.6-litre Ford Capri. It’s a 1984 car and I’ve owned it from new – it has covered 39,000 miles since then. I will never sell her. She is my pride and joy.”
Alfie says: “No car meet would be complete without a decent Capri in attendance, eh?”
Car: 2001 Audi TT Roadster
Owner: Andrew Rimmer
Andrew says: “I bought this 225hp Audi TT about three years ago and I still have the original documents from when it was bought new in 2001 for £33,000. It has covered 89,000 miles in total, but only 700 miles last year with me. It’s a great car.”
Alfie says: “Original TTs like these are classics in the making, you mark my words.”
Q) I HAVE a 67-plate Dacia Duster automatic and I want to purchase a new Duster auto. But my local dealer says they can’t get hold of them. Can you find out why? Thank you.
A) Davey, I am almost 100 per cent positive this is a hangover from Covid.
Dacia, like so many manufacturers, will have had to shut down its production lines at the height of the global pandemic and that has interrupted stock levels in the interim.
Have patience and perhaps contact the dealer again, as they may know by now when the new Duster automatics are due to land in the country.
Q) WHAT vehicle would you recommend for towing a medium-size caravan? The vehicle I have is a Renault Kadjar 1.6 diesel. It struggles when towing on an incline. I’m looking for something with more power and style.
A) Yeah, Ste, a small-ish diesel engine in what is already a fairly sizeable crossover/SUV is not going to perform well with a caravan tacked on the back of it. You really need something with a 2.0-litre or 2.2-litre turbodiesel, so try out a Volkswagen Tiguan or a Mazda CX-5 for size.
However, those in the know (i.e. country types who tow horse boxes regularly) swear by the SsangYong Rexton.
It’s maybe not the most stylish vehicle in the world, but it ain’t bad either and will effortlessly haul a medium-sized caravan as if it wasn’t even there.
Q) HI Alfie. We bought a Mini Cooper S five-door for £23,000 but we have now been told if we trade it in for a new car, it’s only worth £8,500.
It’s only got 10,500 miles on the clock and it has a full service history. Can Minis devalue that much in three years?
A) Nah, Paulie boy, you’ve been offered a ridiculous trade-in value there.
A 2017-onwards Cooper S five-door with what amounts to little more than delivery mileage on the clock ought to be worth £13,000 to £14,000 of anyone’s money, all day long.
That does mean polite trade-in values will be around the ten-grand mark, but I’d only pay £8,500 for a five-door Mini if it had done 100,000 miles or more.
Tell the dealer who offered you this paltry sum where to shove it and find a better place to sell your car.
Q) I HAVE a BMW 218i Gran Tourer Luxury, registered in September 2015 and with 8,550 miles on the clock. What’s it worth?
A) As your car is low- mileage, George, you can push up on 2015 Gran Tourer prices and look to get £13,000-£13,500 for your motor.
Three hot hatches for under £9k
- 2009 (09) Renaultsport Clio 200, 39k, £7,000, private seller, Abingdon, Oxon (autotrader.co.uk): This is the last non-turbo Clio RS and the last with a manual ’box. Liquid yellow paint is also rare. Owner has looked after it well.
- 2014 (63) Ford Fiesta ST-2, 64.5k, £7,500, V12 Sports & Classics, Leics (v12sportsandclassics .co.uk): No supermini hot hatch of the past ten years can match it for thrills. Nice spec and price on it.
- 2008 (08) Volkswagen Golf GTI DSG, 50k, £8,495, Windmill Autos Ltd, Sandy, Beds (windmillautosltd.co.uk): The Mk5 was revered when new and a tidy three-door like this makes a smashing second-hand buy.
Sport’s back on with Hot Suzuki
By Ken Gibson
VALUE for money is key for motorists buying a new car in our straitened times.
That’s good for Suzuki, which has always been all about value and reliability.
Suzukis were seen as cars for pensioners and young drivers. But when the company ran TV ads with Ant and Dec, and Take That, it started to appeal to a wider audience.
Now it has improved its value pitch with zero-per-cent PCP offers across its hybrid range, and a seven-day return for all new customers if they decide not to buy.
Anyone buying a new Swift Sport Hybrid needs a £3,365 deposit, then to make 48 monthly payments of £249 and an optional final one of £6,235 to keep the car.
You don’t buy a Suzuki for emotional reasons. They are a rational, shrewd buy. That said, the Swift Sport I tested was surprisingly lively and entertaining to drive on country roads.
People tend to forget Suzuki has a long history in rallying and the Swift underlines that with precise, responsive steering and solid handling. A proper junior hot-hatch.
But it never loses its sensible side thanks to a new 1.4-litre petrol-hybrid engine with BoosterJet turbo. This gives it performance similar to a 2-litre but it does 45 to 50mpg, helped by a six-speed manual gearbox.
The engine is boosted by the latest 48V hybrid system, which features an electric motor that kicks in at speeds below 50mph and also boosts fuel economy. The Swift Sport is also easy on the eye.
It gets a bold new grille, deep spoilers, smart alloys and twin rear exhausts, while the interior is a big improvement on the grey plastic of the past.
SUZUKI SWIFT SPORT HYBRID
Engine: 1.4-litre turbo petrol with 48V hybrid
0-62mph: 9.1 secs
Top speed: 130mph
You get smart cloth seats in the front and splashes of red mock-carbon fibre trim on the dash and doors, plus red instrument dials and a neat infotainment screen.
The rear space can cope with adults, and a boot of 265 litres is 25 per cent bigger than the previous model but still only average. Swift prices start at £13,249, for the 1.2-litre.
The Sport opens at £19,249 and the one I tested is £21,570 but loaded with kit. The Swift sums up Suzuki’s progress. Its cars no longer look bland and boring. Models such as the Ignis and Vitara, like the Swift, now have a bit of character to go with reliability.
Suzuki also makes scooters and motorbikes, selling like hotcakes in the present climate. Prices from £2,374, for a 110cc scooter. Offers included a £500 deposit, or £500 off certain models, with PCP starting from £89 a month.
By Rachel Burgess, deputy editor at Autocar magazine
- JAGUAR has registered the name EV-Type. Does that mean there could be an electric sports car in the pipeline? Let’s hope so. Whatever the new name refers to, it is a neat reference to the marque’s iconic Sixties E-Type.
- MG enjoyed its best-ever June, thanks largely to the pure electric ZS EV. Meanwhile, the downfall of diesel continues. Diesel vehicles now makes up less than a fifth of all new car sales.
- SUZUKI has axed the Jimny, pictured, from this country in order to keep a lid on its CO2 fleet average. The rest of its range is now hybrid-only.
- THE Ariel Atom 4 – the ultra-lightweight track-day toy – nipped in to claim two of the top gongs at the Autocar Awards. It was recognised as the only car of the past year to land a five-star review and was also crowned Britain’s Best Driver’s Car. You can listen to the Autocar Awards podcast special in all your normal podcast places.
A bike to bend time and mind
By John Hogan
LET’S take a reality check. Some day, motorbikes as we know them will be nothing more than videos on YouTube.
Within a generation we could witness the shift to silent, electric propulsion and the petrol engine will become the preserve of the rich and famous.
The bikers of tomorrow simply won’t know how it felt to fuel the bikes of today.
Regardless of how quiet and eco-friendly those new plug-in-and-go bikes will be, they will never match the explosive excitement of a large-capacity petrol motor in a well-balanced chassis.
There are few bikes that display that quite as well as the Kawasaki ZZR1400 does.
I remember pinning pictures of the ZZR1100 to my wall as a teenager. Not because of how the bike handled corners or even how it looked. It made the “cool wall” because of how fast it was.
When it grew to 1400cc, it got even faster. “A gentleman’s express” is one way of describing it. But that is not really enough.
Big Bertha eats up the miles at a ridiculous rate, and in complete comfort. It produces 199bhp, which is enough to turn your eyelids inside out.
I once rode one somewhere – I am deliberately being vague here – and it took less time to arrive at the ferry than it did to check in, strap down the bike and find a seat. And I started out a LONG way from the port.
‘A gentleman’s express’ is one way of describing it., but that is not really enough.
It is a mind-bender – one that will sit at 186mph as easily as a London bus sits in traffic.
Nowadays, it has traction control, riding modes and other important things.
But the beauty of the ZZR1400 is the way it demolishes miles. Kit strapped to the back, an extra passenger on board . . . it doesn’t care.
It is one of very few perfect motorcycles and before it is outlawed, you must ride one.
When Elon Musk wants to show the world how rich and successful he is, it won’t be an electric bike he rides to the shops. It’ll probably be a ZZR1400. Musk knows which side his bread is buttered.
The 2020 Kawasaki ZZR1400 costs from £12,599.
- John is the editor at SuperBike and presents Bike World on YouTube.
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