There is no car I want to buy next.

There is no car I want to buy next.

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Discussion

Voldemort

4,566 posts

244 months

Thursday 4th February
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Jumpingjackflash said:
I had an elise which did feel special and steering was the best but fell apart around me.
You can clearly afford for this to happen again. And again. Get an Elise. Accept that it will fall apart around you and have it patched up every now and again.

You're welcome. Enjoy.

douglasgdmw

441 posts

185 months

Thursday 4th February
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Jumpingjackflash said:
I am not criticising anyones choices. I am criticising the car manufactures. I thought about a Caymen/Spyder GT4 but the gearing is too tall and for the money I would probably buy a GT3. I gave not fallen out of love with driving. I am just frustrated that the cars are available are too fast, too big, too wide and not manuals.

How about this idea a Mk1 elise built by Porsche with Honda s2000 engine and Mazda Mx5 gearbox that looks like a baby ferrari.
Have you thought about a manual 987 Spyder, Porsche's Lotus ethos for losing a bit of weight (with a little bit more refinement compared to the Elise). Not quite as full on as the Porsche GT3 variants but more fun lower down the speed range.

Also with the limited number available in the UK (200 in total and 50/50 split between PDK/Manual) they are a pretty rare sights on the road.

Came from a number of Lotus to the 987 Spyder and certainly ticks a number of boxes on the performance front.

George

EJH

880 posts

175 months

Thursday 4th February
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Jumpingjackflash said:
I thought about a Caymen/Spyder GT4 but the gearing is too tall and for the money I would probably buy a GT3...How about this idea a Mk1 elise built by Porsche with Honda s2000 engine and Mazda Mx5 gearbox that looks like a baby ferrari.
I'm going to add to those saying GT4...or at least look at one. I wanted one for a while (timing was wrong for 981 so put my name in the hat for a 718) and with n/a ICEs looking to be on the wane (or at least on thin ice), when offered one last year I ordered as a possible final hurrah for a type of car I have always liked the car arrived in November and am now a few months and ~1,050 miles into ownership.

I had to go to NW of England last week and so was driving roads that young me knew very well but which I haven't driven much in the last 2 1/2 decades...and even with the car still being run in (and using far fewer than the full complement of revs), I was quiet surprised at how good it was.

It's not perfect (surprisingly bulky - only really noticeable when parking, gearing is long - lots of torque so I'm not sure it's as bad as everyone says) but it's better than I hoped it was going to be. That said, it's not as precious to me as my old 3.2 (objectively dire but subjectively lovely); that may also just be a measure of having owned the 3.2 for nearly 15 years.

I did think about an Alpine when I was looking at the GT4 but I never got around to driving one; they're small, beautifully detailed and (I believe) truly special cars...but I didn't want one enough. That possibly (probably?) reflects poorly on me but the Alpine was a car I was going to have to tell myself I wanted as opposed to a car I knew I wanted. Larger n/a engine helped with this.

I appreciate that Lotus have been mentioned here and think some of their cars could be worth a look, too. For me, they're just too small (I'm built with the grace and heft of the Honey Monster) which possibly explains my lack of desire for one...but they're really quite special cars and I know a few people who have / have had them and adore them.

Others have mentioned older Ferraris and these could be worth a look, too. A friend has a gorgeous 355 which is beautifully set up (including Pilot Sports in place of period P Zeroes) and which has been retro-fitted with the non-airbag wheel (which I believe makes a real difference to the steering feel as you lose the mass-damper effect of the airbag).

Crucially, he's also generous (foolish) enough to have added me to the insurance and to have tossed me the keys and, my god, it's a special thing. The noise, the feel the gated shift...it's a very, very special and utterly wonderful car. Not the quickest (esp. with the modern arms race of power) but it's more than quick enough for fun and it's quite nice to be able to wring the car out when going cross country. The noise at the top end when wide open...it's just wonderful.

A big distinction between 355s and 599s (have done a good few miles in those due to another extremely generous / foolhardy friend) is the speeds at which you're having fun. 599s are very special (engine, seeming lack of flywheel, HOW much power...?) but when pushing on in a 599 I found myself thinking of sentencing guidelines which makes one ponder if there is, perhaps, there is too much of a good thing?

Bispal

973 posts

117 months

Friday 5th February
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EJH said:
I'm going to add to those saying GT4...or at least look at one. I wanted one for a while (timing was wrong for 981 so put my name in the hat for a 718) and with n/a ICEs looking to be on the wane (or at least on thin ice), when offered one last year I ordered as a possible final hurrah for a type of car I have always liked the car arrived in November and am now a few months and ~1,050 miles into ownership.

I had to go to NW of England last week and so was driving roads that young me knew very well but which I haven't driven much in the last 2 1/2 decades...and even with the car still being run in (and using far fewer than the full complement of revs), I was quiet surprised at how good it was.

It's not perfect (surprisingly bulky - only really noticeable when parking, gearing is long - lots of torque so I'm not sure it's as bad as everyone says) but it's better than I hoped it was going to be. That said, it's not as precious to me as my old 3.2 (objectively dire but subjectively lovely); that may also just be a measure of having owned the 3.2 for nearly 15 years.

I did think about an Alpine when I was looking at the GT4 but I never got around to driving one; they're small, beautifully detailed and (I believe) truly special cars...but I didn't want one enough. That possibly (probably?) reflects poorly on me but the Alpine was a car I was going to have to tell myself I wanted as opposed to a car I knew I wanted. Larger n/a engine helped with this.

I appreciate that Lotus have been mentioned here and think some of their cars could be worth a look, too. For me, they're just too small (I'm built with the grace and heft of the Honey Monster) which possibly explains my lack of desire for one...but they're really quite special cars and I know a few people who have / have had them and adore them.

Others have mentioned older Ferraris and these could be worth a look, too. A friend has a gorgeous 355 which is beautifully set up (including Pilot Sports in place of period P Zeroes) and which has been retro-fitted with the non-airbag wheel (which I believe makes a real difference to the steering feel as you lose the mass-damper effect of the airbag).

Crucially, he's also generous (foolish) enough to have added me to the insurance and to have tossed me the keys and, my god, it's a special thing. The noise, the feel the gated shift...it's a very, very special and utterly wonderful car. Not the quickest (esp. with the modern arms race of power) but it's more than quick enough for fun and it's quite nice to be able to wring the car out when going cross country. The noise at the top end when wide open...it's just wonderful.

A big distinction between 355s and 599s (have done a good few miles in those due to another extremely generous / foolhardy friend) is the speeds at which you're having fun. 599s are very special (engine, seeming lack of flywheel, HOW much power...?) but when pushing on in a 599 I found myself thinking of sentencing guidelines which makes one ponder if there is, perhaps, there is too much of a good thing?
The F335 sounds amazing and is beautiful to look at but they are expensive and time consuming to own. Mine was no-where near as good to drive as my Exige or 981 Spyder and constantly had issues that required a trip to the local specialist and another £1k wallet pounding. Approach an F355 with caution OP, you need to be mechanically proficient so you can do 90% of the work yourself at least to a level of Jack P. (number 27 youtube channel - watch his exploits with his 308). I have plenty of 'larger' friends with Lotus Exige's and Elise's who manage fine with the size and go touring. I think Lotus is so unique and has such a 'fan boy' following that if you want one enough you will make it work, and most do after a test drive as that all it takes to want one. However if you don't then the 981 GT4 / Spyder is next best car at that price point but as EJH says they feel big and they are more firmly sprung than the Lotus so not the best behavior on UK roads and the main reasons I sold mine.







Harry Flashman

15,285 posts

208 months

Friday 5th February
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These posts are spot on.

I need four seats, and I had been looking at Ferrari FFs, but in the end I realised that the FF was too fast, too capable, and just too much car for the South East. I would have been buying it for the gorgeous interior and the pose, not the drive. The car is just too much for its environs, and as such, a complete waste of money.

My daily is 560bhp Mercedes CLS63 AMG. Its performance is completely unusable - this is a car that will do 100mph in 8.4 seconds and at traffic speeds, is wasted, V8 rumble notwithstanding. It is being replaced with a Nissan Leaf on a cheap lease, which is far more fit for purpose as a family runabout. So what to buy for fun, bearing in mind that I have a couple of old convertibles for summer playing outside of the London ULEZ? For runs out of town, and sometimes carrying kids so I don't have to take the dreaded Leaf always?

In the end (yesterday in fact) I bought a far, far cheaper car than the Ferrari, a 2006 Maserati Gransport LE. Flawed (and F1 shift as they all were), but I know that it will make me smile at the speeds I do, on the roads I drive.

In fact, at 400bhp, still too powerful really. But I could not resist a smallish car running an F430 block with Maser's cross plane crank in it. Incredible noise, great looks, relatively cheap to buy (although interestingly good, late ones like mine are more expensive than early versions of the later and better known Granturismo, now) . Gearbox not great, but better in London than a heavy clutched manual - again, the use case mattered.

This car is all about the event, which is what I need from a fun drive. I considered a 991.1 911 after reluctantly giving up on an FF, but again, for what I needed it for, no good. A car that is really only special at six tenths and above is no good when you are pottering and have kids and wife with you. Drama under 30mph is where it's at for me!




Edited by Harry Flashman on Friday 5th February 08:50

EJH

880 posts

175 months

Friday 5th February
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Bispal said:
…I think Lotus is so unique and has such a 'fan boy' following that if you want one enough you will make it work, and most do after a test drive as that all it takes to want one…
I think they’re absolutely worth a test drive! The only one I have ever driven was a Gen II which was Lightning Yellow and bone stock aside from a sports exhaust. A truly captivating couple of hours over lunch on 14/02/2003 (I was an audit trainee and the Lotus dealer was over the road from my client – quiet day and despite complete absence of means, I test drove one over a long Friday lunch). Far from the fastest car I have driven but touched by greatness and sweetness – that I still remember the details, the route I drove and the balance of the car, nearly 18 years on, says a lot to me.

That said, they’re not for those 1.93m tall and who weigh 132 kilos – if you’re constructed to a more conventional scale (as most are), however…


Harry Flashman said:
...I know that it will make me smile at the speeds I do, on the roads I drive.
This car is all about the event, which is what I need from a fun drive.
These 2 lines sum up how I feel about my old 911:

Harry Flashman said:
...but better in London than a heavy clutched manual - again, the use case mattered.
This is also a very wise point; even with a G50, a cross-town drive in traffic is "less than fun."

Your GS LE looks wonderful – such a special car (interiors and noise, before getting onto the rest of it)!

456mgt

2,477 posts

232 months

Friday 5th February
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Harry Flashman said:
A car that is really only special at six tenths and above is no good when you are pottering and have kids and wife with you. Drama under 30mph is where it's at for me!
This is bang on. You may have a fast car, but most of the time you aren't driving it fast, you just can't even if you wanted to. So you need to have drama and engagement at pootling speeds, and it's up to you what constitutes 'engagement'. Luckily this is a broad church so if it's engine sound, pops and bangs, feedback, looks or the feeling of wellbeing, there's something out there that'll suit your budget and give you what you want.

sardis

278 posts

142 months

Friday 5th February
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Interesting thread and reflects some of the dilemmas I went through in choosing my most recent car. One possibility is the Ferrari 328, a truly beautiful car, and one of the best balanced cars I have driven. It’s very petite by modern standards. Mine had the factory sports exhaust, which sounded lovely, and I’m guessing the OP’s budget would allow for some engine fettling too. Never going to be the fastest car on the road, but definitely will be one the most beautiful, and always an event to drive. Do let us know where you end up and of course add photos.

driving

rat rod

2,224 posts

31 months

Friday 5th February
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456mgt said:
Harry Flashman said:
A car that is really only special at six tenths and above is no good when you are pottering and have kids and wife with you. Drama under 30mph is where it's at for me!
This is bang on. You may have a fast car, but most of the time you aren't driving it fast, you just can't even if you wanted to. So you need to have drama and engagement at pootling speeds, and it's up to you what constitutes 'engagement'. Luckily this is a broad church so if it's engine sound, pops and bangs, feedback, looks or the feeling of wellbeing, there's something out there that'll suit your budget and give you what you want.
Same old dilemma, do you want to drive a fast car slow or a slow car fast ,

That's why i love my Caterham ,it feels as much drama at 30mph in 2nd as it does at 90mph in 5th,

But couldn't live with it if it was my only car.

Harry Flashman

15,285 posts

208 months

Friday 5th February
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I too loved my R300 for this. The reality of young kids is I you tend to take them with me a lot when I go anywhere (just my Mum's, during these times, for childcare), just to give my wife a break.

I could go back to a two-seater when the children are older, entertain themselves and this a fun solo drive is back on the cards.

And what I would really like, when that time comes, is an Ariel Nomad. In the crowded SE, something tall, speedbump friendly and engaging at all speeds is just the thing.

TTmonkey

17,014 posts

213 months

Friday 5th February
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456mgt said:
Harry Flashman said:
A car that is really only special at six tenths and above is no good when you are pottering and have kids and wife with you. Drama under 30mph is where it's at for me!
This is bang on. You may have a fast car, but most of the time you aren't driving it fast, you just can't even if you wanted to. So you need to have drama and engagement at pootling speeds, and it's up to you what constitutes 'engagement'. Luckily this is a broad church so if it's engine sound, pops and bangs, feedback, looks or the feeling of wellbeing, there's something out there that'll suit your budget and give you what you want.
Surely Harry’s drama is more likely going to be at 0mph.....???? hehe

Harry Flashman

15,285 posts

208 months

Friday 5th February
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Shut up damn you. It's an old Maserati and as such will not explode or fall apart, obviously.

rat rod

2,224 posts

31 months

Friday 5th February
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Harry Flashman said:
I too loved my R300 for this. The reality of young kids is I you tend to take them with me a lot when I go anywhere (just my Mum's, during these times, for childcare), just to give my wife a break.

I could go back to a two-seater when the children are older, entertain themselves and this a fun solo drive is back on the cards.

And what I would really like, when that time comes, is an Ariel Nomad. In the crowded SE, something tall, speedbump friendly and engaging at all speeds is just the thing.
Sympathise with you , remember many a nice warm Sunday driving off in my family wagon fully loaded with the kids which i spend

all week in and leaving my open 2 seater behind yet again, Would like to say it won't be long before they have

flown the home but like these lock downs it seems to take eternity . Have you tried bribery by any chance.

My kids now have their own kids and with the ex wife running off with my best mate there's only me and the dog so i can have as

many 2 seaters as i like now , in fact they all are .see there's always a positive side to everything.







sparta6

2,589 posts

66 months

Friday 5th February
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Harry Flashman said:
Shut up damn you. It's an old Maserati and as such will not explode or fall apart, obviously.
I used to say the same about my classic Alfa biggrin

Harry Flashman

15,285 posts

208 months

Friday 5th February
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456mgt said:
Harry Flashman said:
A car that is really only special at six tenths and above is no good when you are pottering and have kids and wife with you. Drama under 30mph is where it's at for me!
This is bang on. You may have a fast car, but most of the time you aren't driving it fast, you just can't even if you wanted to. So you need to have drama and engagement at pootling speeds, and it's up to you what constitutes 'engagement'. Luckily this is a broad church so if it's engine sound, pops and bangs, feedback, looks or the feeling of wellbeing, there's something out there that'll suit your budget and give you what you want.
And this is where a lot of modern high performance cars fall down. My CLS63, or an Audi RS6 may have a bit of burble to them, but at sane speeds, you could almost be driving the high end diesel version. Pointless from an enjoyment point of view, but all the running costs of a high performance car.

davek_964

7,538 posts

141 months

Friday 5th February
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Harry Flashman said:
And this is where a lot of modern high performance cars fall down. My CLS63, or an Audi RS6 may have a bit of burble to them, but at sane speeds, you could almost be driving the high end diesel version. Pointless from an enjoyment point of view, but all the running costs of a high performance car.
I guess it's different strokes for different folks.

The fact that I can trundle around in mine with minimal effort - stick it in Auto if I want, soft-ish suspension etc - is a positive. I have had cars which felt a bit more single purpose, but it's not really what I want these days.

It's quite nice driving something that can be normal, or something very special - just with a flick of a few switches depending on my mood.

I do acknowledge that it costs more to run than normal car - but I enjoy driving it, even in a fairly mundane way far more than I would something dull and cheap.

Harry Flashman

15,285 posts

208 months

Friday 5th February
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davek_964 said:
Harry Flashman said:
And this is where a lot of modern high performance cars fall down. My CLS63, or an Audi RS6 may have a bit of burble to them, but at sane speeds, you could almost be driving the high end diesel version. Pointless from an enjoyment point of view, but all the running costs of a high performance car.
I guess it's different strokes for different folks.

The fact that I can trundle around in mine with minimal effort - stick it in Auto if I want, soft-ish suspension etc - is a positive. I have had cars which felt a bit more single purpose, but it's not really what I want these days.

It's quite nice driving something that can be normal, or something very special - just with a flick of a few switches depending on my mood.

I do acknowledge that it costs more to run than normal car - but I enjoy driving it, even in a fairly mundane way far more than I would something dull and cheap.
No, I get you - it;s why I bought the CLS. Family taxi when it needs to be, wayward animal when not.

But the trouble is, wayward animal mode requires a style of driving and speed that is no longer safe in the crowded South East, and no longer wise with family on board.

Roof down

295 posts

92 months

Saturday 6th February
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Good thread this is, I feel the same as OP, I have a Boxster S gen 2 and it’s all I need or want.
My ideal car would be a modern equivalent of a 246 Dino, same size, same power, same noise, exact replica built ideally by a proper manufacturer, maybe Ferrari.

Would be all I could dream of, I also do not find myself endeared to anything currently out there, even if I had bottomless pockets there simply isn’t anything.

Maybe a manual 360, but they are not particularly small or practical all rounders.

21ATS

388 posts

38 months

Saturday 6th February
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I think this is what's fuelling the rise of restmods and custom built cars.

Like other posters on here, there's nothing new I'd really be interested in changing either of my current cars for, so I'm finding myself looking back in time rather than forward.

Maybe a BWM E9 Coupe with modern running gear and an E34 M5 engine. Or maybe a 560SEC which I owned years ago, but brought up to date with 6.2 litre E63 mechanicals. I do like a pillarless coupe cruiser.

I totally understand why companies like Retropower are flourishing. Singer would be where you go if you've got bottomless pockets and love Porsches.

I really enjoy watching Kinding Customs, despite the fact I often don't completely like the finished product, I enjoy watching the craftsmanship and the process of the build.

Then there was the Volvo based car recently that was eye wateringly expensive. The Cyan. That's got to be possible for a sensible budget, there's no reason whay all these things need to cost the same a small house.

Harry Flashman

15,285 posts

208 months

Saturday 6th February
quotequote all
21ATS said:
I think this is what's fuelling the rise of restmods and custom built cars.

Like other posters on here, there's nothing new I'd really be interested in changing either of my current cars for, so I'm finding myself looking back in time rather than forward.

Maybe a BWM E9 Coupe with modern running gear and an E34 M5 engine. Or maybe a 560SEC which I owned years ago, but brought up to date with 6.2 litre E63 mechanicals. I do like a pillarless coupe cruiser.

I totally understand why companies like Retropower are flourishing. Singer would be where you go if you've got bottomless pockets and love Porsches.

I really enjoy watching Kinding Customs, despite the fact I often don't completely like the finished product, I enjoy watching the craftsmanship and the process of the build.

Then there was the Volvo based car recently that was eye wateringly expensive. The Cyan. That's got to be possible for a sensible budget, there's no reason whay all these things need to cost the same a small house.
Absolutely. All of this. Find me a pre 1981 (for London ULEZ purposes) desirable classic engineered to be driveable and rustproof and that isn't a million pounds, and I will buy it.