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Poll: What car, down under - $8-$15k and *interesting*

Total Members Polled: 12

A big V8 Lexus or Toyota:
8%
W124 mercs:
17%
W123: 0%
W126 with a huge v8:
8%
Crusty old Jag XJ Mk3, or maybe XJ40: 0%
MX5?:
8%
An R33 GTST that's about to grenade:
8%
E28 or E34:
25%
Subaru wagons: 0%
Commodore V8 something or other:
25%
2
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mat1227

Original Poster:

365 posts

98 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Hello! biggrin

A question/musing for expats living in Aus, if I may.
To avoid hijacking a similar thread, I'd love some input as I struggle for options.

I'm after something that meets these criteria - a cheapish daily drive, mainly for weekend stuff, maybe the odd road trip or run to work and back:

- Essentials
A bit (lot?) of petrolhead character
Remotely sensible with potholes (Sydney is awful)
Specialist parts and labour that are cheaper than my current Alfa 916 GTV (!)
Most (all) depreciation done and dusted

- Would be nice
Ticks one of the major petrolhead boxes (turbo, wafty barge, V8, manual gearbox, something without a roof)
A bit of space (maybe pop some camping gear in the back from time to time)
  • maybe*, and this is a stretch, something that wouldn't get ruined by a trip to the beach or down a gravel road once in a while. Not "fragile"
Basically interesting petrolhead stuff.

This'd be an easy call in the UK with a load of decent metal for 1-5 large, but the usual suspects here seem entirely absent. No kids or anything like that to think about, and don't do heaps of mileage so fuel not a worry.

I've found myself looking at the following:
- LS400. I had a Soarer and while the rest of it was a pup, I loved the engine. A bit sedate, dodgy air suspension and complex electrics?
- Old mercs. W124s (300te), W123s (280e), W126s (420se, 500se). Lovely in character terms, age well I reckon - but I guess most of them are heaps?
- Some very tasty looking Mk3 Jags/Daimlers around from time to time. Maybe even an XJ40. Age badly?
- R33 GTST Skylines seem to be about the only things that are kind of decent value here. Would definitely scratch a decent automotive itch but seem to attract the sort of people that aren't great to deal with (and nearly all are horribly "tuned" in a way that would make me worry with a hot summer around the corner)
- Occasionally see nice E28 and E34 535s pop up, but they are sometimes $$ for what they are (especially the former)
- Bugeye Impreza wagons, or maybe a Forester GT? Loads of them around.
- err.. MX5..? I guess a roadster might not be as great as it seems if a decent summer materialises?!

Erring towards V8 Commodores (VX's) as things stand - seem like a good way of getting a little (V8) character in a way that is compatible with local conditions, and simple ish to fix if something does go wrong (?). Which ones are decent?

Aware it's a very rough and ready thing, and sounds a bit moon-on-a-stick, but convinced this must be a common situation to find yourself in as a recent (ish) expat, and very interested in the way others have solved a similar predicament? smile

What have you got? Any good experiences? Terrible? Something obvious I've missed?
Any inspiration greatly appreciated beer

200bhp

5,049 posts

99 months

mat1227

Original Poster:

365 posts

98 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Superb biggrin

Exactly the sort of irresponsible input I was after smile particularly like the merc, had looked at those but thought it was only coupes in my price range. Not so it seems.. scratchchin

motomk

1,431 posts

124 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
A thread from a year ago. Sorry I am being lazy!
http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a...

motomk

PomBstard

1,610 posts

122 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
In a very similar position to you, and I went for an MX5 with hardtop. It's been perfect for weekend fun, tootling around Sydney and also runs to Canberra and Newcastle. Selling now as I need something with rear seats - it's in your budget....

Of your list, I'm tempted by the older BMW as the few I've seen, whilst pricy, have been subject to some form of major overhaul and I'm a manual-only sort of person. If I could accept an auto, Merc W123/4 coupe would be top of the list.

Happy hunting!
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mat1227

Original Poster:

365 posts

98 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Yep had two E34 535s in the UK, they are fantastic old things. Maybe an E28 with all the work done (the Chris Harris drive video certainly got me looking for them). They're just so much cash.

I found a nice clean e30 325e with an M30 from the 535 transplanted into it. That was very interesting too smile

Mx5 wise, I'm quite tall at 6'3" so not sure if I'd look ridiculous like noddy. Need to grit my teeth, head off down Paramatta road and test drive a few things (and try to ignore what the same cash would get in the UK.. must stay away from the best bargain barge and M// threads in GG..)

Colonial

10,778 posts

85 months

TAS1981

494 posts

85 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
I had the same issue at the beginning of the year... the answer is there is very little that raises the heart beat for the cash we are talking about. So I got creative...and did not finance! Hopefully this means I will be able to keep both toys when I inevitably need a car with four seats!

Just picked up the V6 last weekend....my thoughts are I won't always get away with this so might as well do it anyway, plus me and two mates chipped in the on the latter!

If you're not interested in things that float, why not go for a turbo MX-5? $14k should get you a nice one. That's two petrol head boxes ticked.

You cannot go fast without losing your licence, the weather is very good, MX-5s are still good fun to tinker with and rag the nuts off. The other thing is to get out on the water, in Sydney that gives you a whole load more options!





Sorry for the censored pics!

TAS1981

494 posts

85 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
motomk said:
A thread from a year ago. Sorry I am being lazy!
http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a...

motomk
Oooh that was mine...yeah I heavily compromised power and cash in view of heavy expenditure in the move and not wanting to get finance. It's worked out ok...but I do miss having the power in the car....an induction kit on the MX-5 atleast fools me into thinking I am howling along...especially with all the tunnels around the Eastern Subs...

I'll upgrade at some point but I have found other things to spend my cash on that are fun.

mat1227

Original Poster:

365 posts

98 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
Awesome contributions smile and glad its not just me.

Particularly like the turbo Falcon, no idea what these are like to drive so will seek one out. The GTO Mitsi is something I used to love, but gives me the heebie jeebies in terms of bork potential. And the purvis.. speechless.

The timeshare speedboat is a great shout smile inspiring

Has anyone driven a VX Commodore SS? I recall all the reviews for the CV8 Monaro when it hit the UK at the same time, so these seem roughly like a reasonably priced 4dr equivalent. Is the manual box horrid?

ariddell

424 posts

109 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
I'd be thinking Jag, but not of the crusty persuasion. Thinking later than XJ40, so my money would be on something like:

S-Type v8 - Not my favorite Jag but given the year and KMs this looks like a bit of a bargain:

http://www.carsales.com.au/private/details/jaguar-...

Or tons of X300s around at that sort of money and a lot less grief than the x308, such as:

http://www.carsales.com.au/dealer/details/jaguar-x...

Whafty luxury for not much $.. smile


PomBstard

1,610 posts

122 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
mat1227 said:
I found a nice clean e30 325e with an M30 from the 535 transplanted into it. That was very interesting too smile
Was that the one in Colloroy? Had a look at the ad but no further - any good?

mat1227 said:
Mx5 wise, I'm quite tall at 6'3" so not sure if I'd look ridiculous like noddy.
I'm 6'2" and not found it a problem...


Burnedout

478 posts

70 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Spend $18k and get a Falcon BF Mk2 XR6 Turbo with the 6 speed ZF transmission.
Can't be beat!

Bibbs

2,666 posts

90 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Colonial said:
I loved those as a kid. There was a dealer here in Perth that always had several.


james280779

1,902 posts

109 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
I bought this

cost me $14k all up - of course I had to do all the leg work myself

sorry forgot to include a few bits so after some quick maths it came in at a shade under $15k but still within budget.







arrives on Monday!

Edited by james280779 on Wednesday 10th October 01:31

mat1227

Original Poster:

365 posts

98 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
That is a cracking solution. From the UK?

mat1227

Original Poster:

365 posts

98 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
PomBstard said:
I found a nice clean e30 325e with an M30 from the 535 transplanted into it. That was very interesting too smile

Was that the one in Colloroy? Had a look at the ad but no further - any good?
Yep - awesome idea on paper (I remember PPC mag doing one ages ago), but somehow the ad didn't make me want to go and view. I think it was the "slamm'd" stance and polished wheels, and there was a bit of wire hanging out of the steering column in a pic. Not logical, but at that price you want it to be just so smile

I'm currently thinking VY SV8 Commodore is a good shout (flavour of the month no doubt..). Good mix of abilities, and ticks a big "peak oil may be around the corner" box with the LS1 (while the SV8 avoids the cheap gaudy Halfords elements of an SS, and possible tough life that would come with it).

Hmmmm coffee

200bhp

5,049 posts

99 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
james280779 said:
Fingers crossed for you with that paint in the Aussie sun!

200bhp

5,049 posts

99 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
mat1227 said:
Yep - awesome idea on paper (I remember PPC mag doing one ages ago), but somehow the ad didn't make me want to go and view. I think it was the "slamm'd" stance and polished wheels, and there was a bit of wire hanging out of the steering column in a pic. Not logical, but at that price you want it to be just so smile

I'm currently thinking VY SV8 Commodore is a good shout (flavour of the month no doubt..). Good mix of abilities, and ticks a big "peak oil may be around the corner" box with the LS1 (while the SV8 avoids the cheap gaudy Halfords elements of an SS, and possible tough life that would come with it).

Hmmmm coffee
Dont bank on peak-oil just yet - I've read a few articles recently which say that by 2035, Iraq could be worlds second biggest oil producer and they have rather a lot of the black stuff. That, coupled with American and Chinese shale product could put off peak-oil (again) for a long time.

Remind me... why did the Americans invade Iraq?

james280779

1,902 posts

109 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
200bhp said:
Fingers crossed for you with that paint in the Aussie sun!
it will be fine, its the proper Lambourghini paint so not a cheap knock off, it will also be properly canuaba waxed which should help protect it and also parked under the house when not being used and covered with a dust sheet.

to be fair the only faded ones up here are the lead based paints of the mid 90's.

Yes I shipped from the UK, also got a classic 911 aircooled carrera which cost me $22k door to door.




i initially shipped over a 2002 MGTF which my wife had back in the UK, I paid 2250 gbp when MG went bust about 6 years ago (ish), I sold it in July for $18500 and bought a nice TVR Chimera with the proceeds as well as a nice holiday.

Edited by james280779 on Wednesday 10th October 05:27


Edited by james280779 on Wednesday 10th October 05:36

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