Summer Cars

Anyone with any knowledge of cars knows that traditionally, summertime isn’t the best time of year to buy a convertible or classic car. Dealers, keen to capitalise on the one-and-a-half days of brilliant sunshine that the UK usually gets, hike up their prices around May. Nevertheless, despite having a fully-functioning car (yep, I got that alternator fixed) and being a student, I can’t help browsing the classifieds every summer for a cool toy.

Take, for example, your quintessential convertible. There is, of course, a lot of choice out there, but for me your usual crop of British sports cars just don’t cut it. Despite being a child of the 90’s, the allure of a bona fide 80’s icon of yuppie sucess is just too strong. I want need an R107-series 500SL in my life. Just look at the chrome; the V8; the bus-sized steering wheel… I could definitely see myself cruising down to Rome in this:

Mercedes-Benz |
Waft over the poor in your auto ‘Benz!

The only downside to an old bus like this is that it’s somewhat conspicuous. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have a soft spot for very subtle, discreet yet rapid cars, like the E39 540i. If any of you have seen the Nicholas Cage remake of Gone in 60 Seconds, you’ll know that they’re rapid in a way most auto saloons of the time had no right to be. For those in the UK, the Vauxhall Omega 3.0 V6 was a familiar traffic-cop sight during the early 2000s. One of these autos can be had for around £1-2k, and would make a perfect Euro roadtrip vehicle. Ex-police vehicles can even be bought if you desire that authentic ‘holes-in-the-roof-where-the-sirens-were’ patina.

Let’s be (relatively) sensible for a moment. What would £10k get you for a summer toy? For virtually half the price of that 540i above, you could get a very leggy C5 Corvette. Let me just restate that: for the price of a Fiesta you could get a 5.7 litre V8 wedge of auto slushiness and a horrifically-designed plastic interior. Madness. I also want this, mainly because I played Need for Speed so much as a kid

Chevrolet - Corvette - C5 |
Chevrolet - Corvette - C5 |
Buttons ahoy!

All the above choices have to take a back seat to my favourite choice, though. Usually, a ‘recreation’ is cause for concern, as the term is synonymous with shameful pastiches of a bygone classic. Occasionally, however, a modern company makes something so faithful to the original that there isn’t really any downsides to their creation (apart from the price or lack of daily useability). My ideal car for summer 2013 would be the Beck Porsche 550 Spyder; complete with original aircooled VW engine, four-speed gearbox and blood-red interior.

If you need to be persuaded further, just look at the thing. It’s light, relatively nippy and it looks fantastic in a way that the new Boxster or Cayman could never replicate:

Porsche - 550 - Spyder |
Porsche - 550 - Spyder |


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