PH 2019 | Brave Pill of the year

PH 2019 | Brave Pill of the year

Saturday 28th December 2019

PH 2019 | Brave Pill of the year

All our Pills are brave, but some are more courageous than others, here's 2019's top ten



Eeh, 2019 - remember that? Barack Obama being sworn in, Farmville taking over Facebook and Avatar breaking box office records. No, wait, that was 2009. 2019 will be best recalled in years to come for the launch of Brave Pill, PH's weekly celebration of the most compelling automotive risks the classifieds can produce. Without further delay here are the 10 most popular of the year in terms of views, if not necessarily forum love.


10: BMW M6 (Aug)

V10 engines have featured disproportionately throughout Pill's short history, with two making our top ten. The BMW M6 is about as compelling a case in risk-versus-reward as you'll find, given the well-documented tendency of the mighty 5.0-litre S85 to ingest its rod bearings and the SMG transmission's ability to drop whale-choking bills. Our Pill was a good-looking and well maintained example, although many of you feared serious expense was lurking below the surface.


9: Audi RS6 (Jul)

Our second top ten V10 was an even more courageous proposition, the 'C6' Audi RS6's twin-turbo 5.0-litre engine having been tuned from a standard 571hp to produce an entirely unnecessary - but also glorious - 735hp. Given Resale Silver paint and a bodykit that most would struggle to distinguish from the one fitted to a 2.0 TDI S-Line it was almost certainly the Q-est Q-Car of the year as well.


8: Nissan GT-R (Oct)

The existential debate as to whether any Nissan could ever be regarded as truly brave didn't distract too much from a celebration of just how cheap early versions of the R35 have become. Our largely standard Pill had been maintained fastidiously by an owner who even listed the exact grade for each type of lubricant in the advert, yet was still being offered for just over thirty grand. A bang per buck champion.


7: Audi Q7 V12 TDI (Sept)

And now for something completely different. The oddball V12 TDI Q7 was an acquired taste when it was new - just 50 were sold in the UK over the four years it was offered - making it rarer than a well-driven Zafira. There doesn't seem to be a huge amount more love for it today to judge from the overwhelmingly negative comments it attracted. On the plus side, the fact I once saw Alexander Armstrong in one gave the chance to make some Pointless gags.


6: Ford Sierra Sapphire RS (Nov)

Nostalgia is a hell of a drug. With the Sapphire RS bringing out a solid crop of Cosworth anecdotes - most of which involved the car's catnip attraction to thieves and TWOCers - the Saph scored the highest number of comments of any Brave Pill. The spectacular rise in values for both the two-door Sierra RS and the wing-tastic Escort has left the Sapphire as the only semi-affordable version, with many reckoning this non-immaculate Β£14K example actually represented decent value


5: Alfa 156 GTA (Jun)

While Pill's mission is normally to celebrate excess and entirely ridiculous numbers of cylinders - see below - it's (mildly) interesting to note that the only front-driven car we've featured this year makes the list of traffic-driven highlights. Our GTA was wearing 150,000 miles and had a colourful MOT history, mostly cautionary red, but it was also being offered for less than half the price of a low-mileage minter. For Β£6,495 it was also one of the year's cheapest Pills, and the only one under ten grand to make the top 10.


4: Maybach 62 (Sept)

Pill has always acknowledged that there are different levels of bravery - from the ability to reach the end of The Green Mile without blubbing to the courage in combat that wins the kind of medals only senior members of the royal family are allowed to pin on. In car terms the Maybach 62 is about as far to the right of that scale as it possible to be, given the combination of expense and hard to find parts. Working out that our Pill had lost Β£8 a mile in depreciation gave an excuse for (nervous) laughter.


3: Aston Martin V8 Vantage (May)

Only one Aston has made it into BP so far - something that will doubtless be remedied next year. This attractive looking early V8 Vantage manual wore a bargain price tag on the basis of having covered 117,000 miles; which earned it the sort of suspicion that the lower reaches of the market would usually reserve for a 350,000 miler wearing minicab company stickers. Fortunately PHers are more sensible than that, with much love for this well-used example of what remains one of the best-looking Astons of all time.


2: MG SVR (Nov)

Here's one that surprised us. The MG SV was never a hit when it was new, especially not with sportscar buyers who were being asked to find Porsche 911 money for something with an interior that felt like it had been knocked up by a prison workshop class. Our Pill also had the extremely rare option of an automatic gearbox, something that nobody reckoned would add anything to the driving experience. Yet controversy obviously works, with Longbridge's lumpen coupe scoring the second highest number of views of the year...


1: Rolls-Royce Phantom (Nov)

Few would deny that the Rolls-Royce Phantom is a worthy winner of our Pill Popularity contest, scoring close to maximum under both risk and irrational "I want that now" appeal. While 150,000 miles is a sizeable odometer score, the Phantom seemed to have been well looked after and looked spectacular in a shade of purple deep enough to have recorded Smoke on the Water. We'll be doing well if there is anything as compelling at the top of next year's highlights reel. Oh, and this one is still for sale if you are looking for that perfect impulse Christmas buy...

Author
Discussion

Esceptico

Original Poster:

2,134 posts

58 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all
The Phantom is appealing but reality always intervenes as 1) even though my garage is big I’m not sure it would fit 2) where would I park it after I left the house as it must be a nightmare trying to fit it in normal parking spaces and 3) I’m not sure I would like the attention you would get driving it around.

virgilio

151 posts

94 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all
Depreciation aside, is the Maybach really that risky as a proposal? I understand that something going wrong could be obscenely expensive, but I would expect it to be pretty bulletproof mechanically.
I think a 57 could be the best cross-continental motorway cruiser ever.

Niffty951

1,898 posts

177 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all
There are some brave pills at the top. I would think after the horror stories of R35 (Skyline) being more expensive than Gallardo to run when it was first released its pill status is WELL deserved.

Not least because it was arguably a £100k car that Nissan sold at £55k as a publicity stunt.

The £11.5k parking dent story I read here stands out for me as a good example. Plus chocolate gearbox designed by Lotus.

Yacht Broker

2,970 posts

216 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all
All very enjoyable stuff, and good readership material for the masses, but also a pretty crap way to treat your paying customers.

Customer spends their money on advertising their car on Pistonheads in the belief that it is an effective way to sell their vehicle, especially if it is something out of the ordinary. Pistonheads themselves then picks the car out and writes an article promoting all the potential pitfalls and encouraging conversation about how brave you would need to be to buy it. All of which is searchable. Hmmm. Thanks Pistonheads.

Niffty951

1,898 posts

177 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all
Yacht Broker said:
All very enjoyable stuff, and good readership material for the masses, but also a pretty crap way to treat your paying customers.

Customer spends their money on advertising their car on Pistonheads in the belief that it is an effective way to sell their vehicle, especially if it is something out of the ordinary. Pistonheads themselves then picks the car out and writes an article promoting all the potential pitfalls and encouraging conversation about how brave you would need to be to buy it. All of which is searchable. Hmmm. Thanks Pistonheads.
It's unlikely a Pistonhead would buy a car of this nature without doing some research.

It's also most likely that a Pistonhead will be the kind of person to buy one of these cars. I'm still looking at M96/M97 engined Porsche cars at the moment as a daily. They are high on my list of options despite the 10k gamble. Buying with open eyes is never a bad thing.

Plus it's amusing to read smile

snuffy

5,239 posts

233 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all
I've had 2 brave bills then. Both a V8 Vantage and now a GT-R.

I often think one is just a roundy version of the other (or equally, one's a pointy version of the other):


Yacht Broker

2,970 posts

216 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all
Niffty951 said:
Yacht Broker said:
All very enjoyable stuff, and good readership material for the masses, but also a pretty crap way to treat your paying customers.

Customer spends their money on advertising their car on Pistonheads in the belief that it is an effective way to sell their vehicle, especially if it is something out of the ordinary. Pistonheads themselves then picks the car out and writes an article promoting all the potential pitfalls and encouraging conversation about how brave you would need to be to buy it. All of which is searchable. Hmmm. Thanks Pistonheads.
It's unlikely a Pistonhead would buy a car of this nature without doing some research.

It's also most likely that a Pistonhead will be the kind of person to buy one of these cars. I'm still looking at M96/M97 engined Porsche cars at the moment as a daily. They are high on my list of options despite the 10k gamble. Buying with open eyes is never a bad thing.

Plus it's amusing to read smile
Totally agree, but put yourself in the position of the owner of a car who has paid money to Pistonheads to advertise their car only to then find out that Pistonheads have chosen to use it as a feature article about how brave you should be to buy it. I would be very pissed off indeed. I have no issue with forum members passing comment, but this does smack of biting the hand that feeds.

As for 911 engines, I've just sold my 997 (with rebuilt engine). It didn't blow up during my tenure.

bloomen

3,272 posts

108 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all
virgilio said:
Depreciation aside, is the Maybach really that risky as a proposal? I understand that something going wrong could be obscenely expensive, but I would expect it to be pretty bulletproof mechanically.
It's electrics, trim and body parts that will likely finish you off long before the mechanics. I can't imagine there are many hanging out in scrap yards. I think the sunroof thing some of them have is several tens of thousands to replace.

I vote for the Mclaren as being the scariest prospect even if it isn't in this list.

Sandpit Steve

385 posts

23 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all
Definitely one of the best columns of the year, probably behind only PH Meets and the Ka Racing articles.

Some fantastic cars in there over the course of the year, and worryingly more than a few of which are on my own personal wish list - don’t we all have a V10 itch that needs scratching before everything goes turbocharged and hybrid?

The trick is, of course, to do your research, go in open minded and take time to find a good example - and make sure you’ve got a credit card handy for the inevitable bills that will come in.

Bravest pill of the year - definitely that Maybach. Despite looking a lot like an S-Class, almost every single component is completely bespoke - and they only ever made a few hundred of them, more expensive than a Phantom when new.

unsprung

3,985 posts

73 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all

fun article

also...

Assuming the pitiless march toward a world dominated by the BEV, what, in future, will constitute a Brave Pill? Just any ICE-powered car?


schmalex

13,236 posts

155 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all
All absolutely outstanding chariots! Keep up the good work in the terrifying twenties, Pill!!!

ZX10R NIN

16,125 posts

74 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all
How the GT-R is rated as more of a brave pill than the RS6 I will never know lol

plenty

2,718 posts

135 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all
Yacht Broker said:
Totally agree, but put yourself in the position of the owner of a car who has paid money to Pistonheads to advertise their car only to then find out that Pistonheads have chosen to use it as a feature article about how brave you should be to buy it. I would be very pissed off indeed.
I think it’s more likely that owners would be pleased at the additional exposure. In fact, I’d be willing to wager that featured examples tend to sell more quickly.

just passing by

31 posts

26 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all
best column of the year. well done PH. also enjoyed Yacht Broker's spectacular sense of humour failure. (in any event I expect that the PH advert stats will show that being highlighted in a Pill column increases the chances of a prompt sale, notwithstanding the wry wisdom about reasons not to buy.)

Yacht Broker

2,970 posts

216 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all
just passing by said:
best column of the year. well done PH. also enjoyed Yacht Broker's spectacular sense of humour failure. (in any event I expect that the PH advert stats will show that being highlighted in a Pill column increases the chances of a prompt sale, notwithstanding the wry wisdom about reasons not to buy.)
I wouldn't call it a spectacular sense of humour failure, but just a counter opinion, which is part and parcel of forums. As to whether it proves beneficial to the sale of the car, that maybe the case, but if I were the owner of the car in question, as a paying customer I would at least expect to be asked first (from a reply on a previous Brave Pill feature, I don't believe that happened, but stand to be corrected).

can't remember

868 posts

77 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all
plenty said:
I think it’s more likely that owners would be pleased at the additional exposure. In fact, I’d be willing to wager that featured examples tend to sell more quickly.
Absolutely. The discussion of the pitfalls of a car doesn't only apply to the featured car, it applies to every other car of the same model in the classifieds. The difference is that a featured car gets hundreds if not thousands more views.

I think Brave Pill has been the best addition to the site in ages.

gforceg

3,152 posts

128 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all
ZX10R NIN said:
How the GT-R is rated as more of a brave pill than the RS6 I will never know lol
Article said " Without further delay here are the 10 most popular of the year in terms of views, if not necessarily forum love."

That's how.

Same as the method for picking Shed of the Year.



virgilio

151 posts

94 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all
bloomen said:
It's electrics, trim and body parts that will likely finish you off long before the mechanics. I can't imagine there are many hanging out in scrap yards. I think the sunroof thing some of them have is several tens of thousands to replace.

I vote for the Mclaren as being the scariest prospect even if it isn't in this list.
agree on the mclaren. bravest pill of 19.

as for the maybach, i understand the costs for replacing parts, but my point is that I haven’t heard that maybach’s bodies or electrics are particularly prone to rust/failure. It’s a brave pill in the sense that if something bad happens then you are bankrupt, rather than “something will definitely happen”.

bloomen

3,272 posts

108 months

Saturday 28th December 2019
quotequote all
virgilio said:
as for the maybach, i understand the costs for replacing parts, but my point is that I haven’t heard that maybach’s bodies or electrics are particularly prone to rust/failure. It’s a brave pill in the sense that if something bad happens then you are bankrupt, rather than “something will definitely happen”.
Indeed, but even the lowliest example is still several tens of thousands of pounds. I could happily throw away a 2-3 grand Jag. Doing the same for something that cost 15x more wouldn't work for me.

Then again you might make double its value breaking it.

Zumbruk

5,025 posts

209 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
Niffty951 said:
There are some brave pills at the top. I would think after the horror stories of R35 (Skyline) being more expensive than Gallardo to run when it was first released its pill status is WELL deserved.

Not least because it was arguably a £100k car that Nissan sold at £55k as a publicity stunt.

The £11.5k parking dent story I read here stands out for me as a good example. Plus chocolate gearbox designed by Lotus.
The Nissan designed, Borg-Warner built gearbox, you mean? I suggest you give up your aspirations to being a stand-up.