Category Archives: Fun With Cars

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:


COOLING FAN IS ON A SWITCH (new sensor supplied)

Escort RS Cosworth Replica Watch #1

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!

Here’s one that doesn’t look too bad. With a bit of work, it could be a good little replica. Price seems reasonable, good replicas can be somewhere between £4-6k depending on how well it’s been done, or more, if it’s REALLY good.

(NOTE a little while after this blog was written, the eBay listing ended with the winning bid at £4100)

Ford Escort Cosworth Replica (eBay link)


The seller states:

Ford Escort RS Cosworth replica.

Based on 1.8 EFI Zetec.

Push Button Start.
Full RS Cosworth Bodykit With Full Leather Cosworth Seats.
Cosworth Banana Dash With Turbo pods.
RS 2000 Steering Wheel.
Front Bumper Cosworth Hockey Sticks (Gloss Black)
Genuine RS Cosworth Alloys Including Spare.
25mm Wheel Spacers All Round.
RS 2000 Rear Axle / Disk Conversion.

Drives Fine, Doesn’t Knock / Smoke Etc.

Sailed Though Last MOT.

Both Front Tyres Are Running Low On Tread, I Have x4 New Ones Ready To Go On…. Struggling To Find The Time To Get Them Fitted Though.

As Shown In The Pictures There Is Slight Bubbling On The Boot Lid (nothing major but its there)
Slight Scab On Drivers Door.

Please No Timer Wasters! Also This Isn’t A Day Out For You And Your Friends.

Genuinely Lovely Car, Looks Amazing. People Can Never Tell The Difference.

Might P/X….No Rubbish.

Also To The Lads That Think They’re Gonna Get It For 2k…. Don’t Bother Contacting Me You’ll Just Be Ignored.


On 24-Apr-17 at 06:55:01 BST, seller added the following information:

Ok so far I’ve been offered burger vans to silly little 125 Scooters.

If it’s not interesting or you haven’t got the money for this car STOP wasting your time!

Fast Estate Cars – Alternatives to that Boring Diesel Family Car You’re Considering

That’s it, you’ve reached a stage in life where the pitter patter of tiny feet means the MX5 / Audi TT / 3 Series Coupe is weeks away from finding itself on Autotrader or eBay. You’re thinking about buying a sensible, safe family car that’ll do 50mpg and take a buggy, travel cot, 18 blankets, nappies, toys… STOP! Before you type ‘Ford Focus Diesel’ into Google, READ THIS BLOG.

OK, so having kids has made us concede that you probably will be needing an estate car… especially if (like us) you accidentally bought a pushchair that folds down to almost exactly the same size and dimensions as a double bed. Oops.

So, without further ado, here’s our round up of quick family wagons that can be bought for the same amount of money you were thinking of spending anyway…

(Oh and we haven’t included any Vauxhalls. Yeah Yeah VXR and all that but just… No.

Fast Alternatives to that Boring Diesel Family Car You’re Considering:


Audi S4 Avant (Typ B5 variant, 1994 to 2001)

2.7 litre V6, 261 bhp, 0 – 60 mph 5.9 seconds, 155 mph top speed (limited)

Currently starting around £6,000

The earlier B5 variant is where the ‘subtle but quick’ thing really took off. If you haven’t driven a B5 S4, you really should. The combination of 6 speed gearbox, wonderful 2.7 litre V6 and four wheel drive is just magical. The handling and grip of an Audi Quattro is immense. Hope the kids aren’t travel sick.

Audi S4 Avant (Typ 8E/8H variant, 2000 to 2006)

4.2 litre V8, 339 bhp, 0-60 mph 5.7 seconds, 155 mph top speed (limited)

Currently starting around £7,000

Next generation S4s for V8 power, but somehow lost a bit of the pizazz and understatement of the earlier model. Still, performance is impressive and that V8 sounds sublime.


Audi RS6 Avant (Typ 4B variant, 1997 to 2004)

4.2 litre V8, 444 bhp, 0-60 mph 4.7 seconds, 155 mph top speed (limited)

Currently starting around £7,500

The daddy-o of affordable german load lugging muscle, the RS6 uses two turbo chargers to achieve an impressive 444 bhp. Not only is it large enough to transport a grandfather clock and quick enough to embarrass a Porsche 911, it’s cool enough for Daniel Craig, who drove one in the movie Layer Cake.

Considering a fast Audi for that summer holiday with the kids? It’s important to note that Audi S and RS owners report that the speed limiter is rather liberal on all RS cars, with genuine ‘limited’ top speeds of 270 km/h (167.8 mph) being possible to achieve.


Sorry, caption is in German, it actually says Mecedes C55 AMG Tiff Needell takes the Formula 1 Medical car and virtually goes beserk while the kids put up no resistance


Mercedes C43 AMG Estate (w202 variant, 1993 to 2000)

4.3 litre V8, 306 bhp, 0-60 mph 5.7 seconds, 155 mph top speed (limited)

Currently starting around £5,500

The C43 is a mighty choice for a quick estate car. It might not have the load space offered by an E55, but what it loses in size it gains in rarity… Just 100 arrived in the UK, and if reports are to believed, around 10% of these are all that remain on the roads today. Only available as an automatic. We’ve not yet had one of these, so if you’ve got one for sale, do get in touch.


Mercedes E55 AMG Estate (w210 variant, 1995 to 2003)

5.5 litre V8, 354 bhp, 0-60 5.4 seconds, 155 mph top speed (limited)

Currently starting around £6,500

Both the W202 C43 and W210 E55 hark back to the glory days of AMG, paying tribute to a time when having huge amounts of power was nothing to shout about… These cars offer a level of subtlety that some of the other models mentioned in this blog just don’t match. The E55 AMG is understated. Without the big mono block wheels and lower suspension, there isn’t much to give give the game away. Remove the boot badges and you really can hide the blistering performance that these cars are capable of. We once fitted a vintage rocking chair in the back of an E55 AMG Estate, along with 2 kids, 2 adults and a all necessary family essentials for a day at the beach. Just a wonderful piece of German engineering. You’ve got kids, you don’t need 5.5 litres of V8 muscle… but why on earth not? Life is short, after all, and too short to drive boring cars.


Mercedes C32 AMG Estate (w203 variant, 2000 to 2007)

3.2 litre V6, 354 bhp, 0-60 5.2 seconds, 155 mph top speed (limited)

Currently starting around £5,500

It almost doesn’t seem right for an AMG Mercedes-Benz to be without V8 power, but as BMW were selling shed loads of 3.2 litre M3s, Mercedes had to act… Hence the 3.2 litre C32. The lighter V6 engine made it quicker off the mark, but for those of us who just love the noise and wallop that a hulking great V8 provides, it just doesn’t quite cut the mustard. Still, it’s quicker and more fun than a Ford Focus Diesel.

Mercedes C55 AMG Estate (w203 variant, 2000 to 2007)

5.5 litre V8, 354 bhp, 0-60 5.4 seconds, 155 mph top speed (limited)

Currently starting around £6,500

The C55 was the C Class Estate but with the larger displacement V8 which featured in the W210…. But these are rare. Just 55 examples made it to the UK. They rust, badly, so finding a good one is never going to be easy. In fact, if you’ve got one for sale, do get in touch.


Subaru Impreza Turbo Wagon (First or Second Generation)

2.0 litre or 2.5 litre turbo and about 270 bhp, depending on which of the many special editions you choose… They’re all quick.

It might be one of the smaller wagons featured here, but the Subaru Impreza Turbo Wagon should definitely be on your list. With that rally heritage, a super sweet turbo charged engine and oodles of Japanese reliability, there’s a lot to love with an Impreza. Go on, put aside the image problems and the fact that the interior is really a bit naff and go be Colin McRae for a bit. Just don’t put a big exhaust on it, because you WILL look like a twat.


Volvo 850 T5 / T5-R / R Estate (mk1, 1991 to 1996)

850 T5 2.0 litre 5 cylinder turbo, 210 bhp, 0-60 7.7 seconds, 143 mph top speed
850 T5 2.3  litre 5 cylinder turbo, 225 bhp, 0-60 7.4 seconds, 149 mph top speed
850 T5-R 2.4 litre 5 cylinder turbo, 243 bhp, 0-60 6.9 seconds, 152 mph top speed
850 R 2.4 litre 5 cylinder turbo, 250 bhp, 0-60 6.7 seconds, 158 mph top speed

Currently starting around £1,000

In many ways, the Volvo 850 is where fast estate cars really began. Oh wait, no it isn’t, remember the Volvo 740 Turbo? Yup. That’s where it all started. We love the Volvo 850. If you’ve got one with less than 100,000 miles on the clock, do get in touch… All the ones we find on eBay for play money seem to have gone to the moon and back. Although isn’t that what a Volvo is all about? Dependability, reliability, longevity and all that.


Volvo V70 R AWD Estate (2000 model year)

2.4 litre 5 cylinder turbo, 265 bhp, 0-60 7 seconds, 152 mph top speed)

For the 2000 model year, Volvo upped the ante and gave the V70 R 265 bhp. Not bad for a car that essentially still resembled a wedge stuck in a box. It’s around about this time that Volvo got to the end of the road with the whole ‘marketing fast cars on the success of the 850 touring cars’ gig, and things started to get boring. So we haven’t featured any newer Volvos in this roundup.

And the other contenders…

Ford Mondeo ST24  / ST200 / ST220 Estate

Not so much a Fast Ford as a fairly quick one. Can’t shake that Ford image. Can’t find ST24s, at all, can’t find ST200s with no rust. ST220 it’ll be then.


Skoda Octavia V-RS Estate

One day a man from Volkswagen owned Skoda was strolling around a Volkswagen owned Audi factory. “What are all those?” said Skoda man to Audi Man, pointing at a pile of boxes. “Oh, they’re 1.8 litre 180bhp engines for the TT, everyone keeps ordering it with the 225bhp lump so they’re sort of just sat there” replied Audi Man. “Hmmm” said Skoda man…. Right, I’ve got an idea”

Two weeks later the Octavia V-RS was born. (We’re fairly sure this is a true story, a man from Skoda told us about 15 years ago)


Volkswagen Passat R36 (b6 variant, 2005 to 2014)

3.6 litre V6, 298 bhp, 0-60 5.8 seconds, 155 mph top speed (limited)

Currently starting around £9,500

The R36 was exclusive to Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. With a 3.6-litre V6 engine and 296 bhp, it just about sneaks into our roundup of fast estate cars. There hard to find in estate form, especially below our second-hand-ford-focus price bracket, but occasionally they pop up around £10,000, so well worth considering. Still a Passat though.

Think we’ve missed any fast estate cars out? Contact us!

A closer look at the Lamborghini LM002

The Facts:

  • 301 LM002s were built between 1986 and 1992
  • It was the first 4×4 from Lamborghini
  • It used the 7.2 litre, V12 engine from the Countach
  • In order to meet the vehicle’s tire needs, Lamborghini commissioned Pirelli to create the Pirelli Scorpion tires with custom, run-flat tread designs. These were made specifically for the LM and were offered in two different tread designs, one for mixed use and the other for sand use only.
  • These tires could be run virtually flat without risk and could handle the desert heat, the loading, and the speeds of the LM.
  • The LM002 was fitted with a 290-litre fuel tank
  • On 18 July 2004, at a US military base near Baqubah, members of the American military used an LM002 that had belonged to Uday Hussein to simulate the effects of a car bomb. They didn’t know what the car was, or how rare it was, and destroyed it.

In 2009, Pistonheads wrote:

“Less than half a dozen LM002s are thought to be left in the UK. Chassis number 300 came up for sale in April this year: with 27,000 miles on the clock it was a fiver under £50k. If you find one for sale, check the roof.

If it’s got an opening flap over the back seats it might be one of the 100 LM002s President Gaddafi ordered for the Libyan army, complete with machine-gun mounting points. And if you buy any LM002, don’t expect to get much joy out of Kwik-Fit when you need a new tyre.”

And we’d be willing to be that in 2016 that same vehicle would reach £100,000 at auction. Hey ho.

The LM002 had various famous owners, including prolific writer Hunter S Thompson:

“It was a big bore Lamborghini hot rod, a monstrous thing that weighed 5000 pounds with bulletproof glass and twelve cylinders with a top speed of 125 miles per hour and a .50 caliber machine-gun mount behind the drivers seat… One night on the Big Sur Highway I beat a Porsche 928 from the Carmel Bridge to Nepenthe by nine minutes, mainly because I beat her like a cheap hound on the curves. It was a small woman driving the 928 and she went all to pieces when I passed her at 110 on the Bixby Creek Bridge and then squeezed her into the sand dunes…”


Bristol Classic Car Show 2014: Alternative Report

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:

‘Trouble at the top… Conflict, Fear and Loathing in the competitive world of professional car club exhibiting’

Car enthusiasts enjoyed a sun drenched weekend at the Bristol Classic Car Show, which is cunningly titled to make customers think it’s in Bristol when it’s actually in the middle of nowhere.

Around 300 classic cars filled the main auditorium, three huge event marquees and even the vacated cow sheds of the agricultural Showground.

Owners Club Displays lined the halls, with only a few clubs complaining about the smell of urine in the cow sheds, although the Riley Owners Club insisted that the smell was fine before the Jowett Drivers Club arrived.

Over 70 car clubs were competing for a plethora of awards, which included ‘Best Display’, ‘Best Car’, ‘Best Hat’, ‘Baldest Head’, ‘Least Coordinated Outfit’, ‘Highest Combined Member Age’ and of course the coveted trophy for the ‘Club That Promotes The Least Interesting Type Of Vehicle’, which the Rover 200/400 Owners Club has proudly held since the car was launched.

Out in the public classic car car park the car snobbery was rife. Some of the car clubs thought the general public ought not to be allowed to judge whether or not their car is a classic, and tried to implement a judging system to “wheedle out the crap” .The Riley Owners Club caused trouble again by joining with the Alvis Owners Club, Early MG Club and the Jaguar E Type Club, who were all reprimanded by event staff for trying to roll a 1990s BMW 3 Series Cabriolet into the path of the Bath & West Railway train.

The Riley Owners Club weren’t the only club to be cautioned by event staff. The Imp Club received a severe talking to for bringing the classic car world to a standstill by starting a rumour that Mike Brewer had been found dead. Their antics were only discovered when event staff became suspicious and drove to the nearest pub to use the internet, because no one in the history of the world has been given the WiFi password for Bath & West Showground.


Sunday’s classic car auction was full of surprises, when a Vauxhall Calibra actually sold to a customer who had deliberately and consciously placed a bid. “I couldn’t believe that my Calibra only sold for £300, I bought it for £2000 and it’s recently had a £7000 restoration” said Mr S Hitcar from Somerset, who said he was using the funds to purchase a Rover 400.

The autojumble was the noisiest area of the show, with the sound of hands rifling through boxes of MG door handles and window winders only drowned out by the constant booming of drum and bass music that was coming from the Ford RS Owners Club stand.

Outside in the traders zone a full schedule of well attended demonstrations took place, including ‘how to replace a head gasket on a Rover using nothing but an old coat hanger and an egg’ and ‘how to strip a 1970s Escort for parts when you need to be very quiet, don’t have much time to spare and can’t find the keys’.
Many of the vehicles in the main arena were for sale, although a white 1978 MGB failed to garner any interest at all “I keep asking if anyone wants to buy an MG” said Jayne Smith, of Bath “but it’s like I’m selling AA Membership, people just say ‘already got one thanks’. How can everyone already own an MGB? Even the caterers say they have one at home”.

The awards ceremony presented few surprises, with the Pre War Morris Society taking the ‘Best Hat’, ‘Least Coordinated Outfit’ and ‘Highest Combined Member Age’ all at once. No one could touch the Rover 200/400 club in the ‘Club That Promotes The Least Interesting Type Of Vehicle’ award.

“It’s been a great event” said Geoff Jefferson of the Triumph Tiara Club “Next year we will be better prepared, there’s a committee meeting on Monday and the chairman wants silverware, so we’re hoping to be the first car club to send a man into space”

And with that, a horde of classic cars left Bristol Classic Car Show for the long journey back to Bristol.

NEC Classic Motor Show 2013: Alternative Report

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 Classic Motor Show at the NEC is a big event in the Classic Car Enthusiast calendar, and being from Birmingham, we were looking forward to it. The NEC is a 45 minute drive from home and I figure that my younger brother Jake won’t appreciate the cold if I turn up with the MGF’s top down, but when he jumps in the car he immediately asks “is the roof broken or something?” So we drop the top and hit the road.

At 27 and 22, Jake and I are on the younger side of classic car enthusiasts, so we’ve developed a set of rules for attending classic shows. It’s important to note we love cars, we love driving but we can’t stand dull car talk – we are more ‘Fast and Loud‘ than ‘Wheeler Dealers‘. We don’t care if the indicators aren’t period correct or whether it’s the original factory colour; we want to know if it’ll smoke the tyres going sideways or get down Broad Street in under a minute on a Saturday night.

The rules we’ve created are as follows:

1. Don’t join an owners club
2. Don’t buy anything
3. Don’t talk to anyone

We also rack up a points system for overheard conversations, 5pts for ‘you know, I had one just like this‘, 10pts for ‘although that’s not a factory colour’, 15pts for ‘of course the later models were fitted with the 3.2‘ and so on.

Our plan is to get in, oggle fast sexy cars (and maybe some hot promo girls), get some free loot and get the hell out before anyone offers us a thirty quid chamois. We ditch the MGF next to a Corvette and a Monaro and instantly forget where we parked it. We’re still 200ft from the show entrance when I score the first points. An MG Midget scoots past and the chap behind us used to have one just like that.

Vauxhall Cavalier

After being fleeced for forty quid at the gate we are consulted by a host of Vauxhalls, a company that’s number one on my list of ‘companies whose cars I definitely don’t want to own‘. Don’t get me wrong, some of their cars are excellent – I’ve recently driven three of their cars, two of them were incredibly fun and had 6.2 litre engines and the other one was a hire car. Vauxhall are celebrating 25 years of the Cavalier, which seems to me like celebrating having a wart for a very long time. I’m offended by the beige F plate atrocity on the stand, I don’t want to see a Cavalier covered in polish and shining I want to see it in a canal and sinking or on fire, ideally both. It makes me feel sick. It’s not even an SRi. When we see a group of males admiring a Nova I start to think we don’t belong here. I owned an SR Nova – I got it free and sold it for a tenner. It broke down between junction 3 and 4 of the M5 in the same spot every day for a week. We abandon the Vauxhall stand in search of real cars.

Vauxhalls aside, there are some seriously tasty cars at the show. Anyone who’s grown up loving cars will always appreciate a supercar like an F40 or a Countach, and seeing these calendar cars in the flesh is always a treat. I get the same excitement seeing an XJ220 in 2013 as I did watching it on Top Gear in 1992, before Jeremy lost his hair and became bitter. Only these days at £169,000 it seems like a bit of a bargain.

Around 11am the inevitable happens – we’re on the MG Owners Club Stand. Jake is laughing and telling me to sign up already while I’m reading the 10 reasons why I should join and trying to find a reason I should join. I try on an MG sports jacket and secretly quite like it – though I could never do that to myself. We leave without even buying a keyring and no one mentions head gaskets.

At this year’s show there’s the option to take a 10 mile passenger ride in a dream car, starting at £10. It’s all for charity and looks like a laugh. Though we’re tempted by a thirty quid spin in an Escort Cosworth, we have more fun debating how much trouble we’d get in if we bailed the owner into the boot and took the Cossie on the kind of joyride that sent insurance premiums through the roof in the 1990s. We decide the Cossie terror run is more trouble than it’s worth, drool over a fleet of De Tomasos and then call lunch time.


The ‘King Donut‘ is the long wheel base model of the popular Filled Donut; has a v8 sized cream centre and is finished in chocolate icing with optional caramel trim. It’s the muscle car of the pastry world – it’s huge. We tick all the options and plump for the King Caramel. Values are strong at the show, with variants consistently changing hands for around £2.

The King Caramel is intense. Jake actually finishes his gargantuan pastry but I’m not even half way through before considering a return to the Vauxhall stand to throw up inside the Cavalier. Maybe I can pay them thirty quid for the pleasure.

I’m still feeling nauseous when Mike Brewer’s voice starts booming from a sound system. He’s spouting nuggets of wisdom about ‘lubbly jubbly bargain bangers’ whilst sporting a leather jacket he borrowed from the 1990s. Celebrity or not, I’ve no idea why anyone would buy a car from this man. Mike is with his best mate Ed who is predictably wearing his patented combo of too many T shirts and bed hair. What a stylish pair. We head off in search of coffee somewhere that Mike’s voice can’t reach.

Near the Meguiars stand we find two seats and two coffees and sit down to review the day so far. I’m in love with a ’70s Opel GT with non-original wheels and aftermarket mirrors, whilst Jake is trying to work out if he can finance a 1989 Guards Red 911 or a 2013 Quattroporte. I point out he’s not a 1980s stock broker or in the mafia, but he shares my view on classic car ownership – he doesn’t care, he just wants the car.


A couple in their mid-sixties approach and ask if anyone is using the two spare chairs at our table, so we invite them to join us. I try to work out where they sit in the classic car spectrum, and finally conclude that they probably drove here in a Triumph of some sort and are card carrying club members. After small talk we ask the gent which car he would take of all the cars in the show, stating the two of us had unanimously agreed on the F40. He says the insurance and parts cost would be too high on that car, and that he’d probably take a Triumph Stag. He missed the point entirely, but then confirms my suspicions: he already owns a Triumph Stag. The Stag is in the garage right now, they do 1500 miles per year in it and the only stand they’ve visited so far today is The Triumph Stag Owners Club stand. We finish our coffee and I wonder how much Vauxhall would charge me to hit the Cavalier with a hammer. Heck, I could probably get a cheap hammer in the autojumble.

It’s important to remember the rules when at the autojumble:

1. Don’t join an owners club
2. Don’t buy anything
3. Don’t talk to anyone

We both own cars that work. They don’t need hand crafted carpets or monkeywax polish, we don’t collect toys and have outgrown neon lights. Back when I had real classic cars I would have searched for hours through indicator housings and inlet manifolds but the MGF has these things. Jake drags me away from a pair of leather driving gloves and I point out that a wooden steering wheel will add nothing to his Suzuki Bandit. I try on a set of Jaguar overalls for the same price the Phoenix Four paid for Rover and Jake tries a leather jacket worth more than a high mileage MGF. I can’t make a satisfactory deal on a hammer so we go in search of more coffee and freebies.

We come up trumps at the Classic and Sports Car stand, where they’re giving away a tool kit with magazine subscriptions. I think we can talk our way into the tool kit without signing up but Jake insists we do it properly, so we both walk off with new screwdrivers. Well, it is fun getting stuff in the post isn’t it?!

On the way out we have another look at the Morgans before collecting our coats and heading into the cold. As we exit I offer Jake a thousand pounds in cash if he can tell me the name of the car park where we last saw the MG. He can’t, and neither can I. I approach a staff member who doesn’t crack a smile when I say “excuse me have you seen an MG?”. I consider asking him to put out a lost person announcement for Geoff, twelve years old with black mohair and a silver coat.

We eventually find the MG exactly where we left it, not before drooling over a Mercedes 280 in the car park, which has aged far better than the ’99 E55 AMG next to it. The car cranks into life, so we drop the roof and try to find an exit that doesn’t involve paying the £10 parking fee. We fail, and screech away from the NEC looking to spend our remaining cash on Sunday lunch, long before the crowds start to crawl out of the huge car parks.


On the way home we debate the cars at the show, the people and the classic car ‘thing’ whilst I get us hopelessly lost and we decide Solihull is a good place for food. The show has been great, it’s fun for all the family and really does offer something for everyone – sure, we can be cynical because we’re still young enough to enjoy a good poke with the right foot and don’t yet care for part numbers but that stuff will come with age. The show has been well attended and considering the newspapers are saying everyone is broke, the traders all seemed happy.

I make a last minute decision to leave the roundabout one exit early and hit the sweeping bend a little faster than I would have liked…. The back end gets loose and the rear wheels decide they’d like to have a go at being at the front. With such a short wheelbase and rear engine/rear drive, it’s easy to see why these little MGs aren’t used as drift cars… Thankfully the roads are empty because everyone in the world is trying to find indicator housings and chamois cloths for less than thirty quid at the autojumble; so I catch the drift, then deal with it biting back the other way and get Geoff back in a straight line. Crikey, that was a big one! We both nervously kill ourselves laughing and Jake points out that if I hadn’t caught that slide then the MG would have been in the river. I tell him if that was the case then we would have left it there, dried off and gone to buy another one.

I love owning a cheap MG, I’ve been there and done that but I’m not quite ready to buy the T-shirt.


Eastnor Land Rover Show 2014: Alternative Report

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:

Land Rover lovers from around the country descended on Eastnor this weekend so they could all get stuck in the same field, tug each other off and then drive home.

The show, which was attended by around 300 wellies has been running for over 40 years. The two day event offers plenty to see, including Land Rover displays, Land Rover parts for sale, Land Rover demonstrations, Land Rover clothing and other Land Rover related things.

Rain hammered down throughout Saturday but this only served to excite the Land Rover community who proudly paraded around in wellies and Land Rover branded clothing, happy as pigs in shit, saying things like ‘a bit of mud never hurt anyone’ and ‘we love a bit of rain, that’s why we drive Land Rovers’.

Also on sale were the famous Land Rover ‘One Live. Live It’ stickers, which can be seen on most of the vehicles that had driven to the muddy field and not moved for 2 days whilst the owners got drunk and talked about Land Rovers.

Over 4 people gathered to watch the Winching Demonstrations in the main arena, where Lord Mauricethwaite of Thistlehampton talked about rope, different ways to use rope, different types of rope, how to tie your rope to your Land Rover and how to tie your Land Rover to your rope without accidentally killing yourself.

On Sunday the awards ceremony caused quite a stir when the Best in Show award was controversially won by a Land Rover.

After 2 days of rain the Land Rover fans were ecstatic to find that the field was muddy enough to warrant tugging each other off, and the roar of V8 engines could be heard around the field as Land Rover owners realised that thick, claggy mud often meant that the maxim of ‘You can go fast, I can go anywhere’ doesn’t always apply.

The event that pulled the biggest crowd was watching a Range Rover attached to a Defender attempting to pull one of the traders vans out of it’s muddy patch, which in Land Rover circles is the same as watching a threesome with two buff men and a fat girl.

All in all the event was a positive experience, and leaving the show there were smiles all round, particularly from my car, as we effortlessly cruised down the perfectly smooth tarmac of the motorway past a convoy of noisy, muddy, slow moving Land Rovers.

A guide to BMW E36 values and prices

We see it on Facebook a lot, things like ‘how much is my BMW E36 worth?’ or ‘my neighbour offered me this BMW E36 for £18,000 is it a good deal?’

The BMW E36 has been up and coming for some time now, but there isn’t a Glass’s guide for the humble drivers car of the 90’s. So, we thought we’d have a go. Here it is…

PROVISO: Before you start, bear in mind that the Good Shout Media team come from the classic car world, which is more Pebble Beach and Silverstone Auctions than Club Meets and Race Night… So yes, you might have one of the fastest, lowest, most cosmetically pleasing 328i’s on the internet, but this blog is about values when the car rolls across the auction block, not what your mate Dave from the pub will pay you or how many likes on Instagram you’ve got.

We’ve made this really simple.

It’s a BMW E36 bookshelf… All the good stuff is on shelf #1, and it gets progressively less interesting and desirable down at shelf #5.


Simply look at your car, read our descriptions, then work out which shelf (1, 2, 3, 4 or 5) your car should be on.

1st Shelf Cars: Real M Power Cars

The first to go up in value are the M cars. M3 Coupes shot in value first because people realised they were fast and cheap so turned them into track cars, so good ones are thin on the ground. A good Coupe is now into 5 figures, with the Saloons and Cabriolets following behind. Although the later models had the 3.2 engine (with more power), the purists seem to prefer the early non-Evo cars with the 3.0 single vanos engine, but there doesn’t seem to be any solid facts around this, mere speculation


2nd Shelf Cars: Genuine ‘Sport’ Models in good condition / Good Manual 6 Cylinders

After the track car thing came the drift boys, who want anything with a bit of power and rear wheel drive. A 6 cylinder BMW is perfect for this so the drifters swept up all the manual Coupes, then consumed the saloons too. Estates are also falling prey to the drift bunch. So if you’re looking for a good 2.8 Manual Coupe that hasn’t been crashed at Silverstone or drifted into a lamp post in an Asda car park, you need to reach for the second shelf. Anything in good condition that’s badged as a Sport falls in this category.


3rd Shelf Cars: Good Low Mileage Automatic 6 Cylinders / High mileage manuals / 318is

Once the M cars and 2.8 Manuals have gone, that leaves the tidy 2.8 and 2.5 automatics. Coupes are the most desirable, followed by cabriolets and then estates then saloons. The coupe and cabriolet thing is interchangable… Sometimes everyone wants a cabrio, sometimes it’s a coupe. Low mileage (this means less than 100k) cars with full history are the ones to go for.

Now, despite the four cylinder engines being underpowered for the car, the ‘is’ badged version in Coupe form makes it into the third shelf. The more juicy 1.9 engine had 138bhp (or 140bhp depending who you speak to) which makes it far better than the standard 316i and 318i, which had between 98bhp and 114bhp, depending on who’s asking. The 318is came with full sports suspension and the Sport styling, making it more desirable. The 1.9 engine was the same lump used in the Z3, and can be a hoot when driving on your own… Pile the kids and luggage in with you and it’ll feel a tad underpowered.


4th Shelf Cars: 4 Cylinder Cars / High Mileage or Poor Condition 6 Cylinder Cars

Lastly there’s the 4 pot engines… totally underpowered for the car, gutless and slow. BUT if they’re done up in Sport or M Sport spec, or are well equipped (leather, good colour) they’re desirable and slightly more valuable.

5th Shelf Cars – All the other shite

Down on this shelf we have… all the other shite. 4 door saloons with 2.0 6 cylinder engines, high mileage and all cloth interior, coupes on crap wheels with 4 pot engines that don’t have the all important ‘is’ badge, most estates that aren’t 6 cylinders with full leather and good kit… anything that looks like it’s been hit by the Max Power brush, neglected council house projects, crashed drift or race cars, half built drift or race cars…

(It’s a BMW 318i, four pot, Barry Boys edition… Probably best to avoid)


H.S.T reviews the Ducati 900SS

As car/bike reviews go, they don’t get much better than this:

Song of the Sausage Creature

by Hunter S. Thompson

There are some things nobody needs in this world, and a bright-red, hunch-back, warp-speed 900cc cafe racer is one of them – but I want one anyway, and on some days I actually believe I need one. That is why they are dangerous.

Everybody has fast motorcycles these days. Some people go 150 miles an hour on two-lane blacktop roads, but not often. There are too many oncoming trucks and too many radar cops and too many stupid animals in the way. You have to be a little crazy to ride these super-torque high-speed crotch rockets anywhere except a racetrack – and even there, they will scare the whimpering shit out of you… There is, after all, not a pig’s eye worth of difference between going head-on into a Peterbilt or sideways into the bleachers. On some days you get what you want, and on others, you get what you need.

When Cycle World called me to ask if I would road-test the new Harley Road King, I got uppity and said I’d rather have a Ducati superbike. It seemed like a chic decision at the time, and my friends on the superbike circuit got very excited. “Hot damn,” they said. “We will take it to the track and blow the bastards away.”

“Balls,” I said. “Never mind the track. The track is for punks. We are Road People. We are Cafe Racers.”

The Cafe Racer is a different breed, and we have our own situations. Pure speed in sixth gear on a 5000-foot straightaway is one thing, but pure speed in third gear on a gravel-strewn downhill ess-turn is quite another.

But we like it. A thoroughbred Cafe Racer will ride all night through a fog storm in freeway traffic to put himself into what somebody told him was the ugliest and tightest decreasing-radius turn since Genghis Khan invented the corkscrew.

Cafe Racing is mainly a matter of taste. It is an atavistic mentality, a peculiar mix of low style, high speed, pure dumbness, and overweening commitment to the Cafe Life and all its dangerous pleasures… I am a Cafe Racer myself, on some days – and it is one of my finest addictions.

I am not without scars on my brain and my body, but I can live with them. I still feel a shudder in my spine every time I see a picture of a Vincent Black Shadow, or when I walk into a public restroom and hear crippled men whispering about the terrifying Kawasaki Triple… I have visions of compound femur-fractures and large black men in white hospital suits holding me down on a gurney while a nurse called “Bess” sews the flaps of my scalp together with a stitching drill.

Ho, ho. Thank God for these flashbacks. The brain is such a wonderful instrument (until God sinks his teeth into it). Some people hear Tiny Tim singing when they go under, and some others hear the song of the Sausage Creature.

When the Ducati turned up in my driveway, nobody knew what to do with it. I was in New York, covering a polo tournament, and people had threatened my life. My lawyer said I should give myself up and enroll in the Federal Witness Protection Program. Other people said it had something to do with the polo crowd.

The motorcycle business was the last straw. It had to be the work of my enemies, or people who wanted to hurt me. It was the vilest kind of bait, and they knew I would go for it.

Of course. You want to cripple the bastard? Send him a 130-mph cafe-racer. And include some license plates, he’ll think it’s a streetbike. He’s queer for anything fast.

Which is true. I have been a connoisseur of fast motorcycles all my life. I bought a brand-new 650 BSA Lightning when it was billed as “the fastest motorcycle ever tested by Hot Rod magazine.” I have ridden a 500-pound Vincent through traffic on the Ventura Freeway with burning oil on my legs and run the Kawa 750 Triple through Beverly Hills at night with a head full of acid… I have ridden with Sonny Barger and smoked weed in biker bars with Jack Nicholson, Grace Slick, Ron Zigler and my infamous old friend, Ken Kesey, a legendary Cafe Racer.

Some people will tell you that slow is good – and it may be, on some days – but I am here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba….

So when I got back from New York and found a fiery red rocket-style bike in my garage, I realized I was back in the road-testing business.

The brand-new Ducati 900 Campione del Mundo Desmodue Supersport double-barreled magnum Cafe Racer filled me with feelings of lust every time I looked at it. Others felt the same way. My garage quickly became a magnet for drooling superbike groupies. They quarreled and bitched at each other about who would be the first to help me evaluate my new toy… And I did, of course, need a certain spectrum of opinions, besides my own, to properly judge this motorcycle. The Woody Creek Perverse Environmental Testing Facility is a long way from Daytona or even top-fuel challenge-sprints on the Pacific Coast Highway, where teams of big-bore Kawasakis and Yamahas are said to race head-on against each other in death-defying games of “chicken” at 100 miles an hour….

No. Not everybody who buys a high-dollar torque-brute yearns to go out in a ball of fire on a public street in L.A. Some of us are decent people who want to stay out of the emergency room, but still blast through neo-gridlock traffic in residential districts whenever we feel like it… For that we need Fine Machinery.

Which we had – no doubt about that. The Ducati people in New Jersey had opted, for some reasons of their own, to send me the 900ss-sp for testing – rather than their 916 crazy-fast, state-of-the-art superbike track-racer. It was far too fast, they said – and prohibitively expensive – to farm out for testing to a gang of half-mad Colorado cowboys who think they’re world-class Cafe Racers.

The Ducati 900 is a finely engineered machine. My neighbors called it beautiful and admired its racing lines. The nasty little bugger looked like it was going 90 miles an hour when it was standing still in my garage.

Taking it on the road, though, was a genuinely terrifying experience. I had no sense of speed until I was going 90 and coming up fast on a bunch of pickup trucks going into a wet curve along the river. I went for both brakes, but only the front one worked, and I almost went end over end. I was out of control staring at the tailpipe of a U.S. Mail truck, still stabbing frantically at my rear brake pedal, which I just couldn’t find… I am too tall for these new-age roadracers; they are not built for any rider taller than five-nine, and the rearset brake pedal was not where I thought it would be. Mid-size Italian pimps who like to race from one cafe to another on the boulevards of Rome in a flat-line prone position might like this, but I do not.

I was hunched over the tank like a person diving into a pool that got emptied yesterday. Whacko! Bashed on the concrete bottom, flesh ripped off, a Sausage Creature with no teeth, fucked-up for the rest of its life.

We all love Torque, and some of us have taken it straight over the high side from time to time – and there is always Pain in that… But there is also Fun, the deadly element, and Fun is what you get when you screw this monster on. BOOM! Instant take-off, no screeching or squawking around like a fool with your teeth clamping down on our tongue and your mind completely empty of everything but fear.

No. This bugger digs right in and shoots you straight down the pipe, for good or ill.

On my first take-off, I hit second gear and went through the speed limit on a two-lane blacktop highway full of ranch traffic. By the time I went up to third, I was going 75 and the tach was barely above 4000 rpm….

And that’s when it got its second wind. From 4000 to 6000 in third will take you from 75 mph to 95 in two seconds – and after that, Bubba, you still have fourth, fifth, and sixth. Ho, ho.

I never got to sixth gear, and I didn’t get deep into fifth. This is a shameful admission for a full-bore Cafe Racer, but let me tell you something, old sport: This motorcycle is simply too goddamn fast to ride at speed in any kind of normal road traffic unless you’re ready to go straight down the centerline with your nuts on fire and a silent scream in your throat.

When aimed in the right direction at high speed, though, it has unnatural capabilities. This I unwittingly discovered as I made my approach to a sharp turn across some railroad tracks, saw that I was going way too fast and that my only chance was to veer right and screw it on totally, in a desperate attempt to leapfrog the curve by going airborne.

It was a bold and reckless move, but it was necessary. And it worked: I felt like Evel Knievel as I soared across the tracks with the rain in my eyes and my jaws clamped together in fear. I tried to spit down on the tracks as I passed them, but my mouth was too dry… I landed hard on the edge of the road and lost my grip for a moment as the Ducati began fishtailing crazily into oncoming traffic. For two or three seconds I came face to face with the Sausage Creature….

But somehow the brute straightened out. I passed a schoolbus on the right and got the bike under control long enough to gear down and pull off into an abandoned gravel driveway where I stopped and turned off the engine. My hands had seized up like claws and the rest of my body was numb. I felt nauseous and I cried for my mama, but nobody heard, then I went into a trance for 30 or 40 seconds until I was finally able to light a cigarette and calm down enough to ride home. I was too hysterical to shift gears, so I went the whole way in first at 40 miles an hour.

Whoops! What am I saying? Tall stories, ho, ho… We are motorcycle people; we walk tall and we laugh at whatever’s funny. We shit on the chests of the Weird….

But when we ride very fast motorcycles, we ride with immaculate sanity. We might abuse a substance here and there, but only when it’s right. The final measure of any rider’s skill is the inverse ratio of his preferred Traveling Speed to the number of bad scars on his body. It is that simple: If you ride fast and crash, you are a bad rider. And if you are a bad rider, you should not ride motorcycles.

The emergence of the superbike has heightened this equation drastically. Motorcycle technology has made such a great leap forward. Take the Ducati. You want optimum cruising speed on this bugger? Try 90mph in fifth at 5500 rpm – and just then, you see a bull moose in the middle of the road. WHACKO. Meet the Sausage Creature.

Or maybe not: The Ducati 900 is so finely engineered and balanced and torqued that you *can* do 90 mph in fifth through a 35-mph zone and get away with it. The bike is not just fast – it is *extremely* quick and responsive, and it *will* do amazing things… It is like riding a Vincent Black Shadow, which would outrun an F-86 jet fighter on the take-off runway, but at the end, the F-86 would go airborne and the Vincent would not, and there was no point in trying to turn it. WHAMO! The Sausage Creature strikes again.

There is a fundamental difference, however, between the old Vincents and the new breed of superbikes. If you rode the Black Shadow at top speed for any length of time, you would almost certainly die. That is why there are not many life members of the Vincent Black Shadow Society. The Vincent was like a bullet that went straight; the Ducati is like the magic bullet in Dallas that went sideways and hit JFK and the Governor of Texas at the same time.

It was impossible. But so was my terrifying sideways leap across the railroad tracks on the 900sp. The bike did it easily with the grace of a fleeing tomcat. The landing was so easy I remember thinking, goddamnit, if I had screwed it on a little more I could have gone a lot farther.

Maybe this is the new Cafe Racer macho. My bike is so much faster than yours that I dare you to ride it, you lame little turd. Do you have the balls to ride this BOTTOMLESS PIT OF TORQUE?

That is the attitude of the new-age superbike freak, and I am one of them. On some days they are about the most fun you can have with your clothes on. The Vincent just killed you a lot faster than a superbike will. A fool couldn’t ride the Vincent Black Shadow more than once, but a fool can ride a Ducati 900 many times, and it will always be a bloodcurdling kind of fun. That is the Curse of Speed which has plagued me all my life. I am a slave to it. On my tombstone they will carve, “IT NEVER GOT FAST ENOUGH FOR ME.”