Archive for the ‘Classic Cars’ Category

Ferrari F430 Scuderia Spider 16M

Vinyl is making a comeback apparently. Yours truly thought it had never disappeared but LP sales are on the rise again and the reason, we are told, is that people have re-discovered the peculiar qualities of music recorded on a grooved, 12″ plastic disc as opposed to a shiny holographic Compact Disc or the overly-compressed MP3 format.

The sound of noise makes a difference and ‘heavy metal’ car manufacturers have known that for years. Lamborghini could never make a car that sang ballads. It is the Motorhead of the car world – raw, raucous and mental. A Lamborghini Lemmy would have been entirely appropriate. TVR was (and hopefully still will be) any thrash metal band you care to mention. Aston Martin (and Jaguar) has adopted a Led Zep Jimmy Page hammer-tone to its latest cars and Ferrari is the Iron Maiden of the same universe since they have been around for so long with their loud, extrovert cars.

When you buy a super-car slash hyper-car you expect it to be loud but when you fire it up you want it to hit you in the chest with an invisible fist that expels the air from your lungs. Literally breath-taking. Many cars can do that these days but back in 2009 Ferrari gave to the world the F430 Scuderia Spider 16M. At first sight it looked like a convertible Scuderia F430 but in reality it turned out to be a member of Judas Priest.

The bark from a 16M is addictive. It is visceral and it will make your ears bleed. Every drive in the car will involve a route that consists of a bunch of tunnels to search for the next fix. Just visit YouTube and type ‘Scuderia 16M’ into the search bar to get an idea of what makes the 16M special. The videos will give you an insight of what to expect from a 16M but you really need to be standing near or sitting in one to appreciate the car properly. It’s all about the noise.

Dinner-party fact: the car was called ’16M’ to commemorate Ferrari’s 16th victory in the Formula 1 Constructor’s World Championship in 2008.

The 4.3 litre V8 engine produces 510 PS (503 hp) and 470 Nm (350 lb·ft) torque at 5250 rpm so 60 mph comes up in a smidgen over 3 seconds and the 16M will max out just shy of 200 mph. The car has a fair share of carbon fibre so it is pretty lightweight and the chassis was stiffened to cope with the extra performance available to make it more track-focused. Lightened front and rear bumpers (compared to the 430 Scuderia) and unique 5-spoke forged wheels were produced for the 16M and helped to considerably reduce unsprung weight with larger front brakes and calipers added for extra stopping power. Enough said.

Other features include a race-tuned suspension, carbon-ceramic brakes, the ‘Superfast2’ automated manual transmission that enables shift changes in 60 milliseconds, LED up-shift markers in the steering wheel plus the now-familiar ‘manettino’ race-mode selector.

Only 499 vehicles in total were produced from early 2009 and all were sold to pre-selected clients. Only 37 were made in right hand drive form which means that if you live in the UK and you like your passenger seated to your left in your 16M you may wait some time before you see your preferred car of choice come on sale.

Which brings us neatly to the 2009 right hand drive example that is being offered on behalf of the current owner.

Finished in Rosso Corsa with Tessuto Nero Tipo Cordura interior this 16M has covered only 7500 miles since new and comes with a comprehensive service history. The most recent service and MOT was carried out by HR Owen Ferrari in October 2015.

This particular 16M features Carbon Fibre Exterior Package, Carbon Fibre Racing Seats, Nero Soft-top, Rosso Brake Calipers, Racing Livery with Italian Flag, Extra Campionario Nero Carpets, Rosso Rev Counter, Rosso Stitching, Dash-mounted i-Pod Touch, Navtrak, Ferrari book pack, Ferrari toolkit, Ferrari car cover and two keys. Also included is a valuable Ferrari Classiche Certificate and supporting documentation. It really doesn’t get any better than this.

This stunning right hand drive Scuderia 16M is currently, oops sorry now SOLD! To find out more give The Car Spy a call on 01892 506970 or email sales@thecarspy.net

xj220

If you had met your mates for a drink in the local and told them you had just bought a car that could reach 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and could max out at 217 mph do you think they could guess the make and model? Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren etc would be the obvious candidates until you mentioned that it was built in 1992, and it’s a Jaguar XJ220.

The all-aluminium XJ220 was a car that made umpteen records and even by today’s hypercar standards the numbers still look impressive. A Nurburgring lap time of 7:46 set by the XJ220 was unbroken from 1992 until 2000 and the car’s twin-turbo V6 produced 540hp which in the early 90’s was akin to selling a Formula One racer to Joe Public. But it didn’t sell.

The story of the V12 proposed for the XJ220 being ditched in favour of the V6 at the eleventh hour is well-documented and for supercar-wannabes the smaller engine was a faux pas. The fact that it made the car actually go faster than originally intended was ignored by both prospective buyers and the press. Interesting that here we are today hearing about twin-turbo V6’s ultimately replacing traditional V12, V10 and V8 powerplants to save weight and become more fuel-efficient. The XJ220 could achieve 32 miles per gallon which made it the most economical car produced by Jaguar at the time. And still it didn’t sell.

So what really was behind the cancelled orders and the grand total of only 271 cars being produced? Simple – price.

When the XJ220 was launched in 1992 the list price in the UK was £470,000 including vat. That is over £100k more than you might spend on an Aventador SV today. The development costs crippled the project and nonetheless had to be recouped but buyers just couldn’t stomach the outlay. Great car but not at any price.

However, prices for XJ220’s have long-since hit rock-bottom and buying one for around £100,000 was something that occurred about 10 years ago. Now they are heading for £300k+ territory. The market has woken up to the fact that the XJ220 rightly deserves a place in the automotive history books and is a proper icon that moved the game on in its day.

The XJ220 is big and has presence. The styling is svelte and will draw crowds parked in a High Street even parked next to a LaFerrari. It is comfortable and very easy to drive (just avoid country lanes because it is wide, very wide). Most XJ220’s today have covered seriously low mileages and time is running out to buy at less than 1992 prices – the car is an absolute bargain.

We have spotted a 1994 Silverstone Green example with less than 3000 miles on the clock complete with what looks like great service history and provenance on sale in the Silverstone auction on the 27th/28th February here. The sales estimate is less than £300k so this could be a good opportunity for somebody looking to acquire a decent XJ220.

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In the meantime here is Jay Leno having his first encounter with an XJ220….

Superperformance GT40

When we saw the new Ford GT at last year’s Geneva show it completely blew us away. Floating on its revolving stand the metallic blue car looked a million dollars but (whisper it) the anticipated list price was to be less than £200k. That is a lot of money to spend on any car but in the world of supercars and hypercars you could be spending close to that on a new set of alloy wheels and a service. The owner of a P1 or LaFerrari would probably have that in small change down the back of the sofa.

OK it’s a Ford which doesn’t quite have the panache of a Ferrari or Lambo but it certainly does have the pedigree. Books the size of War and Peace have been written about the track successes of the company so engineering prowess is a given with any fast Ford. The latest Focus RS is a good example. ‘Blue-collar’ heroes they are calling them because badge-snobs wouldn’t be seen dead in one, even as a passenger. Their loss entirely. Incidentally, there will no less than four Ford GT’s competing at Le Mans this year. Look out Porsche, Audi et al.

But maybe the tide is turning. You see the so-called ‘blue-collar supercar’, the new Ford GT, is sending the car-collecting world into a right tiswas. Word is that only 28 cars will be available to UK buyers out of the planned 1000 to be built over four years and this has caused some anxiety amongst those who not only like their cars but also have lots of money to invest in their cars.

There are stories of individuals flying to the Dearborn HQ to see what strings they can pull to secure one of the first cars whilst shouting “Do you know who I am?!” Well that’s just hearsay but Ford has responded by saying that buying a fleet of Mondeos or offering free use of a Gulfstream jet will have no bearing on your chances of buying one. Maybe it will just be the old-fashioned short-straw routine or a gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Ford-style.

Suddenly the company has gone a bit shy on the exact sales price too. Quite likely one of the most sensible comments made at an HQ board-meeting since Geneva 2015 was that the car was possibly a tad too cheap and rumours are circulating now that you could be looking at Aventador-like pricing. If you think you can get away with it, Ford, then why not?

No doubt the car-collectors and ‘investors’ will be looking to double whatever they pay for their car in a few years time so any list price is quite frankly academic. Given the new GT is a spiritual successor to the original GT40 which is likely to be conservatively worth in excess of 10 million US dollars these days it is no surprise that the new car has created so much attention. Looks like Ford will be competing with Ferrari in the auction rooms as well as on the track.

However, there is an alternative option where the sensible money might be heading. The Superformance GT40.

The SPF GT40 story is not new of course and the South African-based company has been producing ‘authentic’ GT40’s for well over a decade now. So authentic in fact, that the company can legally use the name ‘GT40’ and each car carries the GT40/P chassis number and therefore is eligible for the official GT40 registry. So there.

The appeal of this car to ‘collectors’ and ‘investors’ of course is non-existent. But to somebody who would like to get as close as it might be possible to the Le Mans-winning cars from the 1960’s and who actually wants to drive their cars instead of moth-balling them in de-humidified cocoons then it is quite timely to put the spotlight again on this curious ‘replica’, ‘re-creation’ or ‘continuation’.

Each SPF GT40 is produced by Hi-Tech Automotive in Port Elizabeth, South Africa who just happen to produce cars for Noble. The Superformance brand is owned by the Hillbank Motor Corporation who just happen to be the US distributor for Caterham. Petrol (or gasoline) runs through the veins of the infrastructure.

If you want to buy an SPF GT40 you stop by your local dealer – Le Mans Coupes Ltd in the UK for instance – and tell them what engine you want installed (a choice of three from 430 to 580 bhp + as we write this) and your favourite colour for the bodywork. Hand over around £150k (more or less) and look forward to owning a 200 mph+ hand-built, re-creation of one of the most iconic sports car ever made.

For a car created in the 1960’s there is nothing else that can come as close to a Ferrari from the same period that could draw a crowd in a high street. The shape of the original GT40 has defied the ageing process and can hold its own against the forthcoming Ford GT. It looks like a brand-new re-creation will be a lot cheaper too. A proper race-bred sports car for the price of a modern supercar?

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lamboc1

There are too many icons from the 1970’s but some will remain in our minds forever. Glam-rock, flares, tank-tops and the Lamborghini Countach are freeze-framed for eternity.

Any self-respecting petrol-head with a spare bedroom wall to hang the Athena posters on would have given centre-stage to the one featuring the Countach. The car was white and it was car-porn. Yours truly remembers it well.

Even better than having the poster was to one day see a Countach in the flesh and one day it happened, in Carnaby Street (or very near that at least). The car was red and matched the owner’s jacket. It attracted a large crowd and the sound ‘Wow’ was repeated constantly which roughly translated is what ‘Countach’ meant if you came from the Piedmont region in Italy. A visitor from Mars may just have well landed in front of us.

Today, the car is still likely to get the same reaction. Not because of its outrageous design but more so that it comes from the past. From around 40-odd years ago in fact. That is what boggles the mind these days. Park one next to a Pagani Huayra and see which car attracts the most attention. Have another look at the sharp, angular detailing of the design and then take a close look at the Aventador. The genes are obvious and the Countach set the blue-print for most Lamborghinis that followed it.

In its day the Countach was no slouch but by today’s hypercar standards a 0-60 mph time of slightly less than 6 seconds and a top speed of 160 mph seems a bit laid-back and more comparable to modern-day hot hatch performance figures. However, if road presence is a major factor then a Countach has it by the spade-full and not only did the car look sensational it sounded mental too.

A few decades ago nobody really gave a damn about how noisy your car was. Cherry-bomb exhausts and sawn-off silencers were high priorities for a spotty-faced adolescent looking to impress his mates in the pub car park. The louder the better so it went back then.

A Countach’s V12 woke up with a war-zone explosive sound that could vibrate the inside of your rib-cage. It was feral and primeval and made your neck-hairs stand upright. It was glorious and it attacked all of the senses. This is what made the Countach a hero of its day.

Today, the Jimi Hendrix of the car world is more likely to be found posing at a classic car event or sitting in an auction room as eye-candy for investment opportunists. It is likely that most owners of the few that were made have ever driven them, at least if they have then not very far. And who would want to anyway? On the UK’s congested roads and tight parking spaces the Countach would be a pig to navigate. The letter-box view from the cockpit and virtually no rearward vision would make for a very stressful driving experience let alone the recurring nightmare of damaging your very expensive purchase.

So how much would you have to pay for one today? Up until only a few years ago it was possible to buy one for well under £100k. Today you would need to spend at least double that for a decent example. It is strange that such an important car as the Countach would have arrived so late to the ‘appreciating classics’ scene but now it seems the sky is the limit depending on which model is up for sale. An early 70’s car with solid-gold provenance could probably write its own cheque.

Not many do come on the market but on the 26th – 28th February Silverstone Auctions will be featuring a rare right hand drive 1981 LP400S which was originally purchased by a certain Tim Dutton Woolley of Dutton Cars fame. The car appears to have a decent recorded history with plenty of paperwork to support the work carried out on the car over the years including various colour changes. The current-day Pearl Yellow finish suits this Countach and is a good match for the Oatmeal leather interior. Just look at those dinky 15″ Campagnolo wheels too!

Yep, still in love with the Countach so it seems that The Car Spy is about to make another poster purchase.

For more details of this Countach click here take a look at the information on the Silverstone Auction site

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DSCN3439

It’s a good idea to run a classic car show in the New Year. Christmas is over, the weather is rubbish, everybody is looking forward to their credit card bill at the end of the month – not. So what we need is a car show to lift the spirits and for those of us who love their classics we have been looking forward to the first ever classic car event at Excel in London ever since it was proposed over a year ago.

First impressions? Well a tad underwhelming to be frank at least as far as the marketing of the event is concerned. Great location, potentially a great format but the promotional effort just seemed a little half-hearted.

Get off the train at Customs House and you see a multitude of signage suggesting that you were actually visiting the London Boat Show which has been held coincidentally at Excel this time of the year for most of the last decade.

Nothing wrong with a boat show being on at the same time and in fact there is probably a lot in common between boat buyers and classic car buyers. Both are obsessed with their toys and think nothing of pouring money into bottomless pits of expenditure. Wives are noted by their absence.

However having found the entrance to the classic car extravaganza it was obvious this was not a half-baked event as far as the exhibitors were concerned. Many of the well-established names in the classic car world were very much in attendance – Joe Macari, Hexagon, JD Classics, Frank Dale and Nicholas Mee – along with a healthy contingent of restorers and other assorted specialist service providers.

A ‘Hall of Fame’ section of the show featured a number of historic Formula One racing cars including Mansell’s ‘Red Five’ plus a huge nod to Adrian Newey’s contribution to motor sport. Some truly great cars were on show in this section.

Certainly the industry seemed to be taking the new event very seriously indeed.

Since the people behind the event have a history of putting together well-organised events such as the Top Gear road-shows it was no surprise to find a ‘live’ feature to entertain the crowds.

A ‘runway’ or ‘catwalk’ ran the length of the hall and at certain times of the day a gaggle of selected classics would make their way individually up and down the track while a commentary about each car was belted out over the PA system.

For those attracted by the aural sensations of a Lamborghini Diablo being fired up this was a lovely place to be. Add to that the explosive arrival of an historic F1 car such as Ayrton Senna’s Lotus 97T which provided a piece of gratuitous wheelspin at each turn at the end of the track and it was schoolboy nirvana. Nice.

It would be impractical to discuss every exhibitor and car in detail but if you are a classic car lover you would not be disappointed and there is plenty to ogle at. Most stands were welcoming and inviting for visitors and in fact most of the cars were left unlocked so peering inside a concours classic was not an issue for the exhibitors it seems.

Amongst the highlights for us were the Eagle E-types which although accepted are ‘re-creations’ rather than original classics the standard of finish and detail of their cars was deeply impressive. A lime-green Stratos also captured our hearts along with a short wheel-base Quattro and every single Ferrari 275 on display.  Hang on what about the Jensen Interceptor Convertible, Lotus Elan, McLaren F1 GTR, Miura, DB6 Vantage and Porsche 912? The list could go on and on but take a look at our show images and decide which are your own favourites.

Will we be going in 2016? Try and stop us, might even try and see a few boats next time too!

Finished in Polar Silver with Black Soft Ruffled Leather Interior this April 1995 registered, right hand drive 911 Turbo has recorded 51000 miles only and comes with the following options in addition to the standard specification:-

Manual 6 Speed Transmission, Taxed until November 2014, MOT valid until November 2014, 18″ Turbo Style 1 alloys (Porsche Original), Pirelli P Zero Tyres, Blaupunkt Single CD with AUX for iPod, Leather Dash and Centre Console, Original Leather 4-spoke Steering Wheel, Sports Seats, Trip Computer, Full Electric Seats, Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Rear Wiper, Electric Sunroof, Full Porsche and Specialist Service History, Beautiful example.

This 911 Turbo is now SOLD!

For further details please give The Car Spy a call on ++44(0)1892 506970 or email sales@thecarspy.net.

We have been asked to find a buyer for a right hand drive 1967 Austin Healey Mk III which we are told is the last of the big Healeys to be registered in the UK. The registration date is 24th November 1967 and has had only three owners in total. We know the current owner personally.

The registration number is OAC 652F and the car is known by the Austin Healey Register. This Healey was featured prominently in Practical Classics magazine in 1988 – there is a copy of this feature in the history file.

The car is finished in Ice Blue metallic as per the original colour when it left the factory together with a navy blue interior and hood.

The car comes with an extensive history file and even has the original BMC ‘Passport’ service book showing the supplying dealer. The second owner of the car was a real enthusiast and has kept copious notes on work that was done on the car showing dates and mileages plus an abundance of previous MOT certificates. The provenance of the car in other words is exceptional.

The car was last MOT’d in May of this year and we are told that there are no mechanical issues that need attending to. We have driven the car ourselves and would say that for a car of that age it drives very well indeed and seems as though it would cope very well with long journeys.

Having covered 118000 miles this Healey has been used by its respective owners and not dry-stored as a museum piece. It shows the expected wrinkles acquired from 46 years of motoring and by no means could be described as anything approaching concours condition.

Having said that it would be an ideal project car for anybody that wanted to create a ‘best-in-class’ example and in the meantime it would only take a relatively small amount of investment to attend to items such as paintwork, wheels and interior to make it look very presentable.

We have taken quite a few detailed shots of the car which can be viewed by clicking the following link:-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thecarspy/sets/72157637318223434/

If you think this rare Healey 3000 car may be of any interest or if you require any further detailed information please let us know and we’ll be happy to help.

Please note this car has now been sold!

For further details please give The Car Spy a call on ++44(0)1892 506970 or email sales@thecarspy.net.

1967 Austin Healey 3000 Mk III in Ice Blue

1967 Austin Healey 3000 Mk III in Ice Blue For Sale