Category Archives: Fun With Cars

How do you sell a classic car?

When it comes to selling cars, there’s a number of different ways to do it. The method you use to sell your car is entirely up to you, it depends on:

a) how soon you want the car out of the way
b) how soon you want the cash in your bank
c) how much effort you want to put into preparing the car
d) how much time you have to deal with prospective buyers

We’ve outlined the different ways to sell your classic car below.

Want some help selling your classic car? You’re in the right place. Find out more.

Selling your car privately – Pros and Cons

Pros – Complete control of the sale, the car stays with you
Cons – Lots of work to prep and photograph the car, people coming to your house, risk of bad offers and time wasters. Can you write…? Will your words and photos do the car justice?

For some classic cars, a small ad in the back of your owners club mag might be all it takes. For other cars, channels such as Autotrader and Gumtree will work, but be prepared to do all of the grafting yourself. This means cleaning the car, photographing the car and dealing with all the enquiries. Do you really want prospective buyers coming to your house, scoping out your garage and offering you half the asking price?

Some of these classified sites are free, and there are some good ones… though big sites that suit modern cars like Autotrader aren’t suited to classic cars.

We have had successes with selling cars privately this way, but we’ve also had some awful experiences. If your car is valuable and desirable, we don’t recommend it.

To get the most money for your car privately, you’ll need a good description and some excellent photographs. We can help with both.

Selling your car on eBay – Pros and Cons

Pros – eBay has a huge reach
Cons – No guaranteed sale, buyers coming to your house, lots of silly enquiries

eBay is an online auction website that charges a fee to list the car, then a final value fee. Buyers can bid online, but be warned… There’s no guarantee they will show up.

In our experience, eBay used to be great – but these days it seems to take 2, 3 or 4 attempts for an auction to finish and an actual buyer to turn up.

It’s not cheap to do, it’s stressful and can be down right frustrating. You’ll spend your evenings answering the same questions over and over, regardless of how much or how little you put in the description. It can be done with eBay, but honestly… We don’t bother anymore.

Still keen to sell your car on eBay? Contact us for help and we can guide you through it.

Selling your car at auction – Pros and Cons

Pros – Its easy. Just drop the car off. You set the reserve.
Cons – Expensive, fixed dates for sales might work against your timeline.

The buzz of the auction hall, the smell of cheap coffee and bacon sandwiches… The classic car auction is a great way to sell your car and guarantee you’ll get the money if it sells. With an auction, there’s no comeback for the buyer if the car blows up after a sale (use that as a buyer beware just as much as it’s an advantage!).

Most auction houses will do the description and photos for you, saving you the effort. Some are better than others at this, and also at marketing their sales. There are auction houses that we rate, and some that we hate, so ask us first! We won’t name names here.

When it comes to values, the auctioneer will discuss the figure he thinks your car will achieve, and where to set the reserve price. They will have a good idea for where the bidding will fall on the day for your car and it’s condition. Be wary though – remember they want cars in the sale just as much as you want to sell it, so watch for false promises. As we said previously, some auction houses are better than others.

Although classic car auctions are popular, the values of cars can go both ways. Sometimes a car will sky rocket past it’s estimate and get carried away with the ‘auction room buzz’, selling far higher than the market value, but let’s be honest… people attend classic car auctions to get a bargain. So expect to be slightly down on the ‘agreed value’ your insurance company thinks it’s worth.

For all of the benefits a classic car auction offers, you’ll pay handsomely. Expect to pay an entry fee for the car, as well as a commission on the sale. There’s also a Buyers Premium, so wherever the hammer falls, it’s the auction house that wins!

As a rough example, the last car we sent to auction came out as follows:

Auctioneers Estimate – £7000 to £9000
Top bid on the day – £6,250 (It was rusty…)
Price with Buyers Premium – £6,750
Entry Fee + Commission – £90 + (6% + VAT) = £450 = Total Cost of £540
Total Returned after fees – £5,710

Not sure if a classic car auction is for you? Contact us.

Want to read more about our experience with auctions? Like the time we bought a classic car the media had been hyping and due to a disastrous series of events got a check from Brightwells Auctioneers for just £60? Or the time we invested £4,000 in a Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG to end up with just £1,500? Or the time we got carried away, lost track of who has bought what and had to move 9 cars in an evening? Or the time we bought an Audi S4? Click here.

Still keen to sell your car at an auction? Contact us for help and we can guide you through it, and to choose an auction house.

Selling your car in a specialist online auction – Pros and Cons

Many auction houses have now adopted the eBay formula, operating online auctions. There are a number of operations that do this, and it does seem to be growing in popularity. You’ll pay a fee to list the car, but the best auctions will send a photographer to shoot the car, and assign a proper writer to describe it.

The auction will have a defined end date and start date, but you’ll coordinate viewings from your house, just like a private sale. Think of it like a private sale, but with no fixed price, and a whole lot more marketing.

With a physical auction you can wash your hands of the car as soon as you drop it off, but with an online auction like this, you risk having the buyer come back to you if there’s issues with the car. You’ll be doing the handover and the auction house still take the fees.

In terms of costs, expect to pay around 5% depending on the auction house. We know of a few, and more are popping up all the time. Want to discuss selling your car this way? Get in touch.

Pros – Reach a wider audience quickly, cheaper than a physical auction, likely to find a buyer if one exists, take advantage of large marketing reach of auction house
Cons – No seller protection, you’ll still be hosting the sale at home

Selling your car on consignment with a dealer – Pros and Cons

Pros – Professional marketing, achieve a good price, some dealers offer warranties
Cons – Can be expensive, no guarantee it’ll sell, car stays with the dealer (which is both a pro and a con – what if the dealer goes bump?)

As you browse through the pages of classic car magazines, you’ll see a huge range of classic car dealers offering cars for sale. Did you know that many of these aren’t owned by the dealers themselves? Instead these cars are sold on consignment, owned by a customer and sold on their behalf by the dealer.

This is a good way to sell a car if it’s valuable, but the fees can be hefty. A good dealer can charge anything from 5% up to 25%, depending on the car and the price. For some people, this is still a good solution. It means all you have to do is get the car to the dealer, and they’ll take care of everything – right up until the point you get a cheque (or more likely bank transfer). A good dealer should be able to put together a stellar car description, a professional set of photos and some superb marketing for your car, but a bad dealer will do none of the above. There are good ones and bad ones out there, so choose carefully.

Still keen to sell your car on consignment? Contact us, we know a few people who can help.

The Rover P6 National Day and Why We Love Old Cars

This post was written by Geoff Thompson, a person who is in no way affiliated to, on the pay roll of, related to, involved with or even known to Good Shout Media. Sort of.

Guest Post:

The Rover P6 is an iconic British saloon car introduced in the late 1960s and supported by a number of well-established car clubs. The P6 Rover Owners Club is one of them, and their collective love of this four-door sedan peaks at the P6 National Day, held at Rufford Abbey Country Park, in Nottinghamshire. Tasked with reporting on the event from the inside, a classic car insurance company gave me a rental car, a pen and a free ticket. The gig was on.

Armed with nothing but a McDonalds coffee and the very best press credentials; I opted to bypass the queue of traffic that had already amassed along the A614 and instead drive the incorrect way down the English Heritage Property’s one way system. I intended to sneak past the waiting classic cars and talk my way into the staff car park – after all, when you’re documenting an event for a prestigious publication (and I was), there are liberties to be taken.

As soon as the car park attendant saw me, I knew the plan was flawed. The poor chaps mind was blown. No one had ever tried to drive the wrong way down an English Heritage Property’s one way system. I slowed to a crawl and dropped the passenger side window, leaning forward to address him as he stepped out of his booth. He locked eyes with me, waiting for the moment of glory when this sunglass wearing, rental car driving psuedo American would stop the car and experience a verbal dose of British car parking etiquette the likes of which Rufford Abbey had seen before.

I leant further forward and opened my mouth to speak… then cruised past him with the window down at 3mph. The look on his face said it all; there wasn’t any training for this. No one had ever lowered the window to talk and then gone right by without saying a word, it simply wasn’t the British way. He started to slump to the floor but the access road kinked to the right and with trees on both sides, I soon lost sight of the scene.

Continuing the wrong way down the access road, I abandoned the rental in the staff car park. Panicked looking green uniformed park wardens were sprinting towards the main road and clutching handheld radios, so I hid the car in a bush and continued on foot.

Rufford Abbey is a 16th century monastery, which was converted into a residence at some point in its I oh didn’t really care, the sun was shining, the cars had arrived and the cafe was open. One black coffee later and I was amongst over 50 classic Rover cars, blending into the crowds with my sunglasses and straw hat.

I’d been sent to Rufford Abbey by a British motoring title to write about the history of the Rover P6, but my main interest in the article was ‘Rover people’. What makes them tick? What is it about these rusty, badly made yawn boxes that make people want to join owners clubs? I’d also been asked to nominate a car for the ‘Visitors Choice’ award, although after what happened at the Land Rover show I was under strict instructions not to nominate the rental car.

The long access road leading down to the Rover P6 cars and the Abbey itself was lined with all manner of classic and modern show cars. Although the array of vehicles on display was impressive, it was nothing compared to what was going on behind the cars – the deck chair and picnic display.

Lightweight, folding camping chairs took precedent, with a smattering of older, wooden framed canvas deck chairs in for good measure; but the concours worthy folding chair with optional roof was a sight to behold, so I promptly made a note of the make and model on my piece of paper and nominated it for the ‘Visitors Choice’ award.

No darling, they’re not all the same” a well-dressed man replied to his equally well-dressed wife as they browsed the Rover P6 display. At this stage I thought she had a valid point.

The P6 fraternity were congregated in the main arena, where 50 or so of the seemingly identical cars were gathered, but my prey were all lined up along the main entrance road, parked in the shade of the trees. Ah ha, I thought. Here we go… The Real Rover People.

Nearest to the P6 circle were a trio of Rover 75s, four MGFs and two Rover Coupes. I got chatting to one of the owners.

Well I’ve got a Coupe, a 75 and a 25, but I’d really love a 45 quipped one, when asked what his dream car would be. Dream car. A Rover 25. Who are these people?! The Rover 25 was a hashed together design job based on an ancient platform and leftover running gear. The Ferrari F40, on the other hand, wasn’t.

“7” replied his friend, when asked how many Rover Coupes he currently owns. “And I’m always on the lookout for a bargain Coupe”. Knowing full well that a taxed and tested Rover Coupe can be bought for only slightly more than I’d just paid for a Panini and chips, I silently wondered what he considered a bargain, and why anyone would deliberately buy one of these cars, let alone seven of them.

A man in a hat was talking to a man with a beard about why the Rover 800 was better than a BMW 5 Series, whilst stood next to a Rover 75 with a plastic BMW badge stuck to the engine cover. This new world of appreciation of the mediocre was confusing me, so I slumped into a late model, wooden framed, canvas deckchair to ponder my findings.

How can there be so much love for these seemingly mediocre cars? How can it be that cars that were so average develop such a cult following years after the presses have stopped?

Longbridge, (the spiritual home of many of the cars on show at Rufford Abbey) was originally built in 1895 and made cars on and off for over a hundred years. For over a hundred years, ordinary lives of ordinary people have been touched by the Longbridge legend. The legacy of British Leyland, Austin Rover, Phoenix Consortium or whatever it was called at the time is huge. The amount of cars that come under the collective banners of the companies really was monumental. Maybe your schoolteacher drove a Montego. Perhaps your family holidays were in a Marina, or your first company car was an Austin 1800, or you learnt to drive in a Mini. Somewhere, at some point in your life, you’ll have come across a Longbridge car.

The point is, when it comes to buying, driving, restoring and cherishing classic cars, we don’t just want to re-live and cherish moments from the past; we want to relive and cherish moments from our past. The Ferrari F40 was the poster car of my youth, but I can’t relate to it – it never reached me. On the other hand, when Uncle Martin arrived at our family home in his dark grey Rover Coupe around 1994 my eight-year-old self thought it was the coolest car in the whole world.

For all of their pitfalls, for all of the head gasket rumours and unreliability and build quality issues that are part and parcel of the British Leyland and Rover cars; the fact of the matter is that they reached a lot of people. Yes, some were rubbish cars, yes, they probably still are, but the sentimental value of a memory can’t be bought for love nor money. There are so many classics out there that the glossy magazines skip over, “but Grandad had one as his last company car and kept it until he passed away, and even though it’s a worthless Rover 216 saloon, to our family, it’s priceless”.

With all the glamour and grandeur that is so prevalent in the classic car scene, with constant updates on the latest seven figure sales and stories of vintage race cars being found in barns it’s as though we’ve forgotten why we love the things in the first place.

Over a hundred people gathered to watch the P6 Rover Club Prize Giving and raffle, and it was at this point, looking around at the crowd of assembled owners in front of a circle of 75 of the same car that I realised the well dressed gentleman had been right – they’re not all the same.

Having reattached the numberplates of the hire car, I reflected on the day. The reason we feel so attached to these rubbish old cars is because they’re memorable. Yes, it broke down, yes, the doors fell off, no it didn’t have any window winders, but at least it had character.

It’s not just the build quality and reliability that make modern cars so forgettable, we live in an age of cheap credit and for many drivers, it’s easier to finance a brand new car every two years than to keep the old family wagon on the road through successive MOTs. To so many people, the car is no more special than the cooker, or the toaster, or the freezer… just another expensive item that works until it breaks and then gets replaced.

As I let that thought linger, I stamped my foot into the carpet as hard as possible, desperately trying to coax some character out of my rented toaster. The little car didn’t moan, it just did what it was told, sped up, and took me away from Rufford Abbey. There was no drama, no tappet noise, no smell of leather, no hint of petrol in the air, and ultimately no lasting memory of the journey or the car. Was this a sign of things to come?

Only time can tell, but right now I’ve got to get on eBay to find a Rover P6 before the values hit seven figures or the park wardens bust me for breaking the cardinal rule of the Rufford Abbey One Way System in a rented toaster.

The UK BMW E46 High Mile Club – 200,000 miles and above

Welcome to the UK BMW E46 High Mile Club, a blog post to round up high mileage cars and show some appreciation to the dedicated owners.

For the record, and a bit of context, when the moon as it it’s closest to earth it’s a mere 238,855 miles away.

Too many people think that 100,000 miles is ‘high’. It isn’t. A well built and well maintained car should last forever.

We live in a wasteful, throwaway society.  Ask yourself a simple question: What’s better for the planet? Owning and maintaining an old car for many years, or replacing it with a brand new one every 3 years?

It’s great to see a good range of cars, and it’s not all diesels!

Own a high mileage E46 and wish to be included? Submit it here.

See your car here but you want to add some details? Let us know.

Display your ‘Club Membership’ with pride!

Get the 200,000 High Mile Club Sticker here.

BMW E46 High Mile Club Membership Sticker

The UK BMW E46 High Mile Club Gallery:

200000

Model: 2001 BMW E46 330d Manual Sport Touring
Miles: 200,000
Owner Notes: “Just ticked 200k recently”

Model:
Miles: 200,384
Owner Notes: “there’s not even a scratch or rip on it, it costs more than my ex girlfriend does 😂 its a stage 2 253bhp 637nm and smokes more than a Jamaican stoner”

Model: BMW E46 320d Touring
Miles: 201,000
Owner Notes: In 2012 I swapped my really crap Peugeot 20something and £800 for this at 130,000miles. Initially there was no love there at all, I got the interior thick in mud and all scratched up, the dog lived in there 10 hours a day, so much rubbish on the front seat that it couldn’t be seen. I use to drag the car over low ground coming into site (work) and couldn’t of given a shit. Then after about 7 years of heavy abuse something changed, I hit about 195,000 I realised I wasn’t gonna break her. Now there is so much love, all new leather interior n door cards, Meguiars compound 👌 new 17″ wheels, bit of turbo love from my mechanic and I love it, currently on 201,000 and drives like it always has”

202645

Model: 2003 BMW E46 325ci
Miles: 202,645
Owner Notes:bought it 2 years ago was an auto reverse Tumble went in the Autobox I got a kit from good old nick jup and I had auto barn fit it for me in waterloovile. Bc racing coilver 19in diamond cut alloy wheels running 255 30 19 on the back and 235 35 19 on front have a custom-made exhaust by myself run the auto diff of the 325ci it’s mapped has launch control better throttle response crack and pop mapped the rev limit has been raised for 7100 Android head unit carbon fibre front grille carbon fibre aerial fin carbon fibre spoiler carbon fibre rear diffuser list goes on”

204000

Model: 2001 BMW E46 converted to M3 spec 3.2 with manual gearbox
Miles: 205,000
Owner Notes:

205000

Model: 2004 BMW E46
Miles: 205,000
Owner Notes:

206000

Model: 2000 BMW E46 330d
Miles: 206,000
Owner Notes: “it’s 330d, hybrid turbo 277bhp 535nm, meister r coilovers, all PolyBushed, fiberglass wings, carbon bonnet, e90 M Sport seats”

207000

Model: BMW E46
Miles: 207,000
Owner Notes:

210847

Model: BMW E46
Miles: 210,847
Owner Notes:

211000

Model: 2004 BMW E46 320cd
Miles: 211,000
Owner Notes: “original clutch, flywheel, turbo etc, doesn’t smoke, use water or anything, exceptional runner and all year it’s cost me a track rod end!”

211111

Model: 2004 BMW E46
Miles: 211,111
Owner Notes:

211447

Model: 2005 BMW E46 320cd
Miles: 211,447
Owner Notes: “320cd 2005 with 211,447 miles, serviced every 10k since new. 👍”

213772

Model: 2005 BMW E46 320d SE 6 Speed Manual
Miles: 213,772
Owner Notes: “high spec late car in daily use. It’s like a family pet. we bought it showing 184,000 miles with a dent in the side, a whistling turbo and a grinding clutch release bearing. Now it’s on 213,00 miles, it’s been to souther Spain and back, it’s still got a dent in the side, the turbo is still whistling and the clutch release bearing still grinds! Had a couple of expensive MOTs, a couple of brake callipers and the handbrake has been repaired about 6 times”

216000

Model: 2005 BMW E46
Miles: 216,000
Owner Notes:

223000

Model: 2000 BMW E46 330ci
Miles: 223,000
Owner Notes: “Bilstein B12’s, H&R rolls bars, Cobra Bucket Seat, Quaife LSD, Been all over Europe!”

Model: BMW E46
Miles: 224,000
Owner Notes:  

226000

Model: BMW E46
Miles: 226,000
Owner Notes:

Model: 2003 BMW E46 320d M Sport
Miles: 231,000
Owner Notes:

231000

Model: BMW E46
Miles: 231,000
Owner Notes:

Model: BMW E46
Miles: 231,000
Owner Notes: 240k still going strong with Mpg

238000

Model: 2002 BMW E46
Miles: 238,000
Owner Notes:

251000

Model: 2005 BMW E46
Miles: 251,000
Owner Notes:

251000a

Model: 2002 BMW E46
Miles: 251,000
Owner Notes:

255000

Model: 2005 BMW E46 320d SE
Miles: 256,000
Owner Notes: “This car has a great story which is covered here

Model: 2003 BMW E46 320d SE
Miles: 272,000
Owner Notes: “Bought on eBay for £490 and an ongoing project” You can follow Jake on Instagram here https://www.instagram.com/tjt_e46/

355103

Model: BMW E46
Miles: 355,103
Owner Notes: “it’s still going!

Model: 2004 BMW E46 330d Manual Sport Saloon
Miles: 480,729
Owner Notes: “She was a £250 bargain saved from being scrapped still had 10 months mot. She has had a £10 wash and a quick coat if show shine (lol),and windows cleaned still drives without fault and will keep me going through the winter hopefully”

 

Escort RS Cosworth Replica Watch #3

For some reason, we quite like the idea of an Escort RS Cosworth Replica, so every now and then when one pops up, we’ll blog about it.

(You can see all the other posts in this blog series by clicking here) Seen one for sale? Tell us about it and we’ll feature it on the blog!

This one doesn’t look the best example in the world but maybe it’s a diamond in the rough?! The seller can’t spell or take photos, either. We love the photo of the beam inside the workshop that the car just happens to be behind. Yeesh.

Check it out for yourself below…

1994 Ford Escort Cosworth Replica (on eBay)

escort-cosworth-replica-black

The seller states:

Unfinished project 
Do not bid if you don’t have NO FUNDS
1994 3dr ford escort 1.6 that’s had a 2ltr zetec blacktop put in that runs but gearbox is broke so must be trailered away!! Spares or repairs, good project for someone to do up. 
Used to be yellow but been sprayed black but not finished.. it needs flattening and polishin..looks quite bad atm. Door shuts are yellow, and its yellow on the logbook (full logbook here) Few months mot on it. It’s a cheap project. I wish I had room to sit it off as old fords seem to increase in value. Needs someone to give it the love it needs. Looks well from distance the alloys are not cosworth ones they are escort gti Located wa12 Newton-le-Willows  delivery availible once it paid for Ask for a quote. no timewasters this is a cheap project 99p start. starts first turn of the key engine sounds really nice and healthy no oil leaks or any thing comes with a 5 ince exhaust induction kit  alloys it has the full cosworth kit apart from back bumper for a rep it lucks really good cart tell some of the paint has flicked off in places still has mot so if you have your own break down cover might be able to get free delivery just check with them 1st has bonnet pins to open and shut black half leather and cloth seats front and back theses are doing silly money only going up in price and so are the replicas if you cart aford the reel thing why not build your own like this car just needs tlc and love 
Comes with cosworth back lights still boxed up and all so have the front bumper washer jets for the lights what all so is included must be picked up with in 48 hours And contact to be made straightaway on the small deposit and contact to be made straightaway If you need me to hold the car will need a big deposit to be paid straight away

A journey into the heart of darkness – a morning in the Marrakech souk

This post was written by Geoff Thompson, a person who is in no way affiliated to, on the pay roll of, related to, involved with or even known to Good Shout Media. Sort of.

Guest Post:

A journey into the heart of darkness – a morning in the Marrakech souk

I sit drinking American Coca Cola and eating an Italian pizza on the balcony of a French restaurant in Morocco. The upper terrace is tranquil compared to the scenes below. I take advantage of the peace to hide from the relentless street traders and use the afternoon sun to simultaneously dry my swim shorts, bronze my skin, and charge my smartphone.

I’ve returned from the heart of darkness. A cold Coca Cola in the wide open square feels like truth and beauty amidst the melee.

The restaurant sits on the bank just south of the entrance to the jungle. From my second storey vantage point I can see the wonderings of those who venture further into its depths, the ebb and flow of the human traffic, all with looks of trepidation and anticipation, knuckles white from holding their chest mounted rucksacks as they prepare to enter the souk, hoping to buy bangles and delicacies but ready to reach for the antibacterial gel at the first sniff of trouble.

They enter cautiously, keeping away from the sides so as not to be snared close to the entrance. They set a central course at a steady pace and gradually leave the sunlight behind and progress into the darkness of the souk.

They navigate the marketplace with a nervous awe, looking, touching, holding, smelling, tasting, lusting and browsing stall after stall of products, each one a literal Alladins cave of endless opportunity, everything attainable for the right buyer, everything available from the right seller.

They won’t look the same when they return from the depths of the darkness. The ‘returners’ are a different breed. The madness of the Souk can change a man.

On their return the pace is slow and pointless, their gaze fixed yet distant, the excitement replaced by loss and bewilderment. They leave the souk drained and stripped of purpose. They drift from side to side, no discernible heading to their course, no ambition in their step, ambling toward the light like drunks towards a sunset, laden with treasures in bags and in hands, armfuls of wondrous mysterious plunder.

Two Australians wear woolen hand made tea cosy hats and looks of utter despair in the thirty five degree heat. A lanky Swede sports a Rolex wristwatch and a Touareg ceremonial war mask, yet has no idea why. A family of Norwegians confusedly clutch wooden camels, polished shades of teak and walnut burr, beautiful yet pointless, handcrafted yet worthless. A skinny German in his mid twenties wears a satchel of fine leather, having never in his life considered purchasing such a product.

The stench of confused consumers reeks in the afternoon heat, dirhams are exchanged indiscriminately – what enters as hard currency exits as worthless tat.

Oh the horror!

What terrible confusion in this, the heart of darkness.

Having escaped from the depths of the souk I think of England, the land of the pure and true, so many miles away from this land of plunder, this savage wilderness where Trading Standards never surfaced from beneath the vicious rolling tide of today’s ‘special price’. The western concepts of chip and pin, receipts and the description of goods act all drowned in an ocean of the unnecessary and the bizarre.

This jungle of consumption is a dangerous free-for-all, trade without limits, sales without scruples.

England, land of the free, home of the brave.

You won’t be locked in a traders stall and forced to exchange your currency for cut rate tat in England.

You won’t have to fight off hordes of salesmen all anxious to pry the pennies from your pockets in England.

You won’t have to buy a bangle of bone for every minute with a monkey in England.

The dark, brutish commercial practise of the souk is abhorrent to us enlightened westerners – it is savage, primal, prehistoric and dangerous.

Us enlightened westerners are far above all that.

We like our salesmen to be impeccably presented with a script well rehearsed.

We like our products to be arranged with clinical precision, symmetrically placed under artificial lights beneath the knowing glare of giant, beautiful, airbrushed idols.

We need our Rolex watches to be presented in photoshopped glory on the inside cover of glossy magazines.

We need our tat to be spread over a two minute segment between airings of our favourite television program.

We need the monkey to be clean and talkative and selling toilet paper.

We don’t have time to barter over price, just give it to us marketed and branded and gift wrapped so we can ignore the 75% profit margin.

Oh the horror, the horror!

I order another Coke, then leave fifty euros and the shirt off my back to make up for a morning of haggling over prices.

We come from the West and oggle at the complexities of business relations in the souk, blind to the fact that the connection between trader and client, between product and price, between value and worth; the central pillars that hold up the purchasing process are entirely lost within western consumer society.

We come here to barter with poor men over pennies to return home and be ripped off by rich men over pounds.

We work jobs we hate to finance products the television told us we wanted, to put in the house we won’t own for decades.

We walk around shopping malls knowing the clothes are substandard and overpriced yet we queue up at cash registers like lemmings off a cliff.

We pay good money for crap products made by poor workers and marketed by well paid geniuses because ‘that’s the way it is’.

The true heart of darkness lurks not within the seedy confines of the old world souk but within the veneer and sheen of everything that motivates and controls humans within the western capitalist machine.

It is vile to its core yet the developed world carries on regardless whilst the poor nations attempt to play catch up, ensnaring the people with the enchantment of exported status symbols and brand names, selling the bandwagon of unreality, until all nations tear down the forests and rip up the grass to build shopping malls and parking lots so humans have somewhere to spend thier wages on worthless products that they use to impress their wealth and prominence upon others.

Oh the horror, the horror!

I consult my €20 Breitling wristwatch and rush to catch my plane, towing a suitcase full of wooden camels, bronze bangles, counterfeit Calvin Kleins and replica Rolexes; gifts for friends and family who will laugh at what they see as the amusing unreality of a counterfeit product – when the reality in which these status symbols and brand names actually exist is a more bizarre illusion than a penniless Arab riding a stinking donkey through a sewage ridden city whilst wearing a Rolex Submariner.

Wake up, world, it’s time we all stopped living in Disneyland and started thinking about doing something worthwhile as a species.

Or we could carry on exactly as we are and wait for everyone to own a Range Rover and a Rolex but what’s the point in that…?

The Evo Triangle in a Mercedes-Benz SL500

We recently undertook a trip on behalf of The SL Shop, driving the Evo Triangle in a Mercedes-Benz R129 SL500 and writing a report on the trip and the car.

Here’s some photos of the adventure, you can read the full story here:

https://www.theslshop.com/clubhouse/2018/12/20/the-evo-triangle-in-an-sl500/

Where drug smuggling and motorsport collide

The March 84G was built to compete in the now defunct IMSA GT sports car series. In 1981 the GTP introduced a class for Sports Prototypes. This 84G was championed alongside an 83G for the 1984 championship, driven by Randy Lanier and 1979 Le Mans 24 Hours winner Bill Whittington. It was this very car that helped Lanier, Whittington and the Blue Thunder Racing / Apache Power Boats team take the title that year.

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The 1984 season was hugely successful for Lanier and Whittington, taking the fight to professional racing teams and often coming out on top.

As Lanier defeated the heavily sponsored and factory supported Group 44 Racing Jaguar XJR-5 and Löwenbräu sponsored Holbert Racing Porsche 962, questions began to surface about how the small team was being financed.

Lanier soon found himself under investigation by the FBI, along with Bill and Don Whittington and Ben Kramer of Apache Power Boats.

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It was around this time that the full story began to unravel – Lanier had been using ‘Go Fast’ powerboats to bring narcotics into the USA since 1974, and had been working in cahoots with Ben Kramer (the owner of Apache Powerboats) and others as part of a multi-million dollar drugs empire.

Lanier was convicted of importing and distributing over 300 tons of marijuana, believed to be worth $68 million. He disappeared before shortly before he was due to be sentenced.

In October of 1988 he was caught, and both he and partner Ben Kramer received life without parole sentences on 4 October 1988.

The 84G was seized by the FBI in October 1987, then sold to Turky Burky’s Auto Sales the following year, who sold it on to Jim Briody. Briody and his wife were determined to unearth more of the history on the 84G, and that correspondence remains in the history file today. Not many top race cars can list General Services Administration Personal Property Centre, Kennedy Space Centre as a previous owner.

The car came to the UK in 2007, with a full rebuild happening in 2015.

Randy Lanier was released from prison in 2014 and is still involved in motor racing.

The car was listed for sale by a classic car dealer in the UK in the summer of 2018. It has now been removed from the website and it’s whereabouts are unknown.

Do you have further information on the car or the story behind it? Get in touch.

Have No Small Wrecks – Hunter S Thompson’s Rules for Driving Fast

Quoted from Kingdom of Fear:

Speedism can be Fatal when mixed with high-speed automobiles & whiskey. It is wrong & I condemn it, but some dingbats will do it anyway…. And not All will survive, but so what?

For the others, the Living, here are some basic rules.

No 1 – Make sure yr. Car is Functioning on all Mechanical & Electrical levels. Do not go out on any road to drive Fast unless all yr. Exterior lights are working perfectly.

There is only failure & jail very soon for anybody who tries to drive fast with a one headlight or a broken taillight. This is automatic, unarguable Probable Cause for a cop to pull you over and check everything in yr. car. You do not want to give them Probable Cause. Check yr. lights, gas gauge, & tire pressure before you drive Anywhere.

No 2 – Get familiar with Brake pressures on yr. machine before you drive any faster than 10 mph. A brake drum that locks up the instant you touch the pedal will throw you sideways off the road & put you into a fatal eggbeater, which means you will Go To Trial if it happens. Be very aware of yr. brakes.

No 3 – Have no small wrecks. If you are going to loop out & hit something, hit it hard. Never mind that old-school Physics bullshit about the Irresistible Force & the Immovable Object. The main rule of the Highway is that some Objects are more Movable than Others. This occurs, for instance, when a speeding car goes straight through a plywood billboard, but not when one goes through a concrete wall. In most cases, the car going fastest sustains less damage than the slower-moving vehicle.

A Small Wreck is almost always both Costly and Embarrassing. I talked to a man tonight who said he had been demoted from Head waiter to Salad Boy when he had a small wreck in the restaurant parking lot and lost all respect from his fellow workers. “They laughed at me & called me an Ass”, he said. “I should have hit the fucker at seventy-five, instead of just five,” he whined. “It cost me $6800 anyway. I would have been maitre d’ by now if I’d screwed it on and just Mashed the bastard. These turds have made me an outcast.”

No. 4 – (This is one of the more Advanced rules, but lets pop it in here while we have the space.) Avoid, at all costs, the use of Any drug or drink or Hubris or even Boredom that might cause you to Steal a car and crash it into a concrete wall just to get the Rush of the airbags exploding on you. This new fad among rich teenagers in L.A. is an extremely Advanced Technique that only pure Amateurs should try, and it should never be done Twice. Take my word for it.

No 5 – The eating schedule should be as follows: Hot fresh spinach, Wellfleet oysters, and thick slabs of Sourdough garlic toast with salt & black pepper. Eat this two hours before departure, in quantities as needed. The drink should be Grolsch green beer, a dry oaken-flavored white wine & a tall glass of ice cubes & Royal Salute scotch whiskey, for the supercharge factor.

Strong black coffee should also be sipped while eating, with dark chocolate cake soaked in Grand Mariner for dessert. The smoking of oily hashish is optional, and in truth Not Recommended for use before driving at speeds up to 150 mph in residential districts. The smoking of powerful hashish should be saved until after yr. return from the drive, when the nerve ends are crazy and raw.

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A tale of two Coupes…

Classic Car Weekly recently published a story about one of their writers, Chris Hope, accidentally smashing one of the glass panels on his Rover 216 Coupe…

Well, that took us back…

SUBJECT – Re: Your Rover Coupe Roof… You Idiot!

Chris!

Just reading your article about the Tomcat in CCW.

YOU”RE AN IDIOT…. Oh, and I am too. I did THE EXACT SAME THING a few years back with a 216 Coupe.

I managed to find someone with one about two hours from my house. Thankfully it wasn’t raining. I paid £50.

That guy had a pile (and I mean a pile) of Rover Coupes in his house / garden / shed etc, so I trust that if you haven’t found a panel already, you will. Although that guy probably got kicked out by his wife, who wasn’t happy about being second in line to a lot of old Rovers.

I remember being mighty impressed by the sheer amount of pieces that the glass broke in to, and just how sudden it was. One minute I was tightening the screw, and a millisecond later the whole panel had disappeared. It was like magic.

Anyway, just wanted to say, COMMISERATIONS.

On my Rover Coupe, I have a bit of a story there… 

I’d crashed my MGF after a bad day at work drifting it around a dry roundabout in Birmingham. I wanted a replacement and always wanted a coupe, so did what most blokes do when they’ve got a bad idea… Got drunk and went on eBay….

Two nights later I’d got my nightfire red 1.6 coupe home, and my phone buzzed… turned out I’d won another one. The second one was A) local B) very cheap C) identical to the first one but with higher mileage.

I couldn’t get out of the auction without coming across like a horrible person so I bought that too.

A ‘nose to bumper’ run back across Birmingham ensued with my very best friend and I driving two very original, very identical, very unusual, very cheap, very close together cars at very silly speeds across Birmingham. It might have been the highlight of my motoring life for pure hilarity.

I didn’t need both cars so sold the low mileage one, as the high milage one drove much better. I accidentally left my favourite pair of trainers in the boot and got them back.

I kept the high miler and ran it for a summer, until whilst on my way into the Volksworld Show to do some business for Heritage Insurance (with the roof panels stowed in the boot, and sunglasses on) the car got trapped beneath the lug nuts of a skip lorry that merged in without seeing my low slung coupe. The driver didn’t realise I was stuck beneath his truck until I climbed out through the roof, stood on top and tapped on his window.

The insurance paid me a grand for the write off and I sold it as it was… with some MOT left and still very much usable despite a crumpled wheel arch.

A week later the new owner rang me and honestly said ‘have you seen my Rover’…

Turned out he hadn’t insured it, had racked up 2 speeding tickets and got the car impounded in London.

And that was the end of my Rover Coupe ownership…!!!

I’d have another one though…

Cheers for reading, this was only meant to be a one line email but then it dragged up some memories!

Joe

Escort RS Cosworth Replica Watch #2

For some reason, we quite like the idea of an Escort RS Cosworth Replica, so every now and then when one pops up, we’ll blog about it.

(You can see all the other posts in this blog series by clicking here) Seen one for sale? Tell us about it and we’ll feature it on the blog!

This Escort Cosworth Replica looks like it has potential. With a genuine XR3i underneath the Cosworth skin, it has a little bit of kudos anyway…

Either way, at £3300 it seems cheap to us.

Ford Escort Cosworth Replica (eBay Link)

(not sure what the seller does for a living but it sure isn’t photography… why can’t people turn their phones sideways?!)

The seller states:

HI
HERE I HAVE FOR SALE MY FORD ESCORT RS COSWORTH REPLICA, IT IS BASED ON THE FORD XR3I MODEL AND SOUNDS GREAT!!
I BOUGHT THIS WITH THE INTENTION OF DROPPING A RS TURBO ENGINE IN IT BUT I JUST HAVNT HAD THE TIME SO IT MAY ASWELL GO TO SOMEONE THAT CAN APPRECIATE IT AND TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL.
IT HAS THE FULL ESCORT COSWORTH BODYKIT INCLUDING THE FLARED WINGS.
IT HAS THE XR3I 1.6 EFI ENGINE WHICH PULLS VERYWELL FOR WHAT IT IS, IT IS FULLY ALARMED WITH A CLIFFORD SECURITY SYSTEM AND HAS BEEN COMPLETELY DE-LOCKED ALL ROUND.
A BRAND NEW BATTERY WAS FITTED A MONTH AGO AND IT HAS A PARROT BLUETOOTH HANDSFREE INSTALLED.
THE INTERIOR IS IN GOOD CONDITION WITHE THE CLOTH RECARO SEATS.
IT ALSO HAS A PUSH TO START BUTTON FITTED AND A FAKE DUMP VALVE SO IT MAKES A DUMPING NOISE JUST AS A REAL ONE WOULD.
THIS CAR IS 25 YEARS OLD SO PLEASE DONT EXPECT AN IMACULATE CAR BUT IT DOES STILL GET LOOKS AND PHOTOS TAKEN WEREVER IT GOES! IT IS VERY TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE THAT ITS A REPLICA.
22000 MILES SHOWING ON THE CLOCK AND BACKED UP BY VOSA SINCE 2005
IVE HAD 2 NEW TRACK ROD ENDS FITTED
NEW WISHBONE FITTED
NEW CV BOOT FITTED
2 BRAND NEW FRONT WHEEL BEARINGS FITTED
THE UNERNEATH HAS BEEN UNDERSEALED ASWELL AS HAS THE BOOT AND BATTERY HOLDER
THE CAR WOULD MAKE A GREAT PROJECT FOR SOMEONE AND THESE ARE GETTIN INCREASINGLY MORE RARE EVERYDAY!!
VIEWINGS ARE WELCOME AND RECOMMENDED.
THE CAR IS LOCATED IN BOOTLE LIVERPOOL
07881402318

BAD BITS
RUST BUBBLES ON PASSENGER WING AND BOOTLID
CRACKS IN SOME OF THE BODY KIT
BRAKES HAVE A LOT OF TRAVEL BUT STILL DO THERE JOB (possibly need bleeding)
COOLING FAN IS ON A SWITCH (new sensor supplied)