Opinion owners of cars
I’m sure we’ve all got stories about the one that got away. The car we sold, the car we were offered or could have bought for what now seems like a knock-down bargain price. Of course, if I’d known that BMW E52 Z8s were going to go mad in recent years I’d have bought the one I was offered at around £40k by a main dealer not long after it was launched.
The last Jeep Cherokee rolled from the production line at Belvidere, Illinois on 28th February this year, bringing to a close production of a nameplate that stretches back across five model generations to 1974. DRIVEN TO EXTINCTIONThe original SJ Cherokees had an Australian connection, being assembled for right-hand drive configuration in Brisbane, Australia from 1981.
It’s not often that two M cars arrive in the space of a few weeks, but here we are with the bookends of the fullfat M range, the M2 and the XM, both being put through their paces by the motoring press at the same time. One’s a traditional M offering: straight-six and rear-wheel-drive, and available with a manual gearbox, while the second is a massive SUV powered by a hybrid V8 powertrain… can you guess which one received the more favourable reviews?
Evans discusses whether late-1990s and early-2000s cars and trucks represent the last of their kind... Across the pondIn conversations I have among industry pundits and fellow enthusiasts, there seems to be more and more talk about classic cars becoming ever more sought after. I think a big reason for that is the current political push towards battery electric vehicles and the fact that today, cars and trucks are becoming more and more homogenised.
A couple of months back, I had a keyboard full of vitriol, and I was getting ready to unleash it towards the BMW i Vision Dee concept that was revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Something held me back, though, and after a couple of months of reflection, I feel able to give a slightly more considered verdict on this latest concept car. Initially, I was struggling to see past the crappy name – Dee standing for ‘Digital Emotional Experience’.
Sales debate - is inflation making customers think twice about a Porsche purchase? With the past year seeing consumer price inflation rising to well over 10 per cent, we might wonder if such record numbers affect the used Porsche market. So do they? “No,” says Paragon’s Jason Shepherd. “I don’t really see a link between inflation and values. They’ve levelled off, but there doesn’t seem to be anything to create too much downward pressure.
Although the name was unusual, the improvements made to the AMV8 in 1978 that resulted in the Oscar India were not. For the model’s 45th anniversary we explain why the changes resulted in one of the most attractive and important variations.
It’s a quarter of a century since I first drove the X100 generation of XK when, as an aspiring motoring journalist, I was asked by a leading British car magazine to help with a twin test in Italy between the newly launched Maserati 3200GT and XKR (pictured). After flying to Rome and collecting a British Racing Green Jaguar, I had a fabulous 250-mile drive north to Maserati’s home of Modena where the shoot took place.
There’s something ineffably cool about comparatively unloved Ferraris. Whether it’s a 365 GTC4, most notable for not being a Daytona, the scallop-fuse-laged 612 Scaglietti or the behemoth FF, these are Maranello’s chorus line cars, rarely enjoying much of a moment in the spotlight. DRIVEN TO EXTINCTIONMuch the same can be said of the Portofino. It only seems like yesterday that it was being introduced to replace the bulky California T, but we have word that the factory will build no more.
Not long before this issue of 911 & Porsche World went to press, the motorsport world was shocked by the news of Ken Block’s passing. The rally driver, gymkhana star and ‘Head Hoonigan in Charge’ died near his ranch in Woodland, Utah, in a snowmobile accident. He was fifty-five. Block co-founded skateboarding and snowboarding footwear and apparel brand, DC Shoes, in 1994 and used his fortune to realise a long-held ambition to compete in international rallying.
There’s a thread that runs through an entire bloodline of supercars that we can tease at during their lifetimes but which only really makes itself apparent through the lens of hindsight. Underrated, misunderstood, underbacked or merely out of place and time when they were launched, cars like the BMW M1 E26, the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 964, the Ferrari F50, the McLaren 12C and the BMW i8 all needed time beyond their respective production runs for us to appreciate them for what they achieved.
Scarabeo is the Italian word for ‘beetle’ but for a few Alfa Romeo connoisseurs, it is also the name of one of the most tantalising ‘might have been’ chapters in the marque’s history. The story of Project 105.56 began in February 1966, less than a month after Giuseppe Busso and Alfa's experimental department had begrudgingly surrendered development of the Tipo 33 sports prototype to Autodelta, Alfa’s racing division headed by Carlo Chiti.
Philip Raby, of Philip Raby Specialist Cars, points out it can be hard to identify trends, but he notes a definite run on 993s of late. Unusually, he’d had four in, and had so many enquires that he could have sold them again and again. “People were almost fighting over them,” he says. Avi Tandon of Garage Sportique backs that up, noting demand for 964s and 993s. “90s air-cooled cars, particularly manual C2 Coupes, are in demand, but finding those with low mileage is quite tricky,” he says.
BMW M has certainly been enjoying itself during its 50th anniversary year, and the debut of machinery such as the M3 Touring and the M4 CSL have been some of the highlights. More recently, we’ve seen the world premiere of two further M cars, topping and tailing the range in the guise of the all-new XM and the perhaps rather more enticing M2.
Forgive us this diversion, but whisper it… other car brands do exist. Hell, there are even other Porsche models out there, and there’s every chance you’ll have one, or at least have experienced them at some point. While we’re not going to stray too far from our favourite brand here, this month’s trawl of the classifieds has seen us take a bit of a tangent because we’ve been looking at Audi RS2s. It’s unlikely you’re unaware of the RS2, but here’s a recap – just in case.