Right then, £100k Garage, remember that? Well it's back! We won't beat around the bush, a lot of us have spent a lot of time browsing the PH classifieds during these long, slow days in self-isolation. So, while the smash hit that was the original £100k Garage may have run its course, and its differently-formatted successors and spin-offs may never have hit quite the same heights, we figured it was time for a comeback. We may as well channel our aimless wondering (if not wandering) into something (sort of) useful, after all.
So why not kill a little time and put together an all-new £100k Garage of your own? The very best will be featured on these hallowed pages, celebrated for time immemorial. You can find the template underneath our own attempt at taking on the Garage's revised rules. Before we begin, though, a quick update on what's now expected.
Within a budget of £100k and not a penny more, no imaginary haggling (oh go on then, maybe a little), you must assemble a collection of cars that includes:
At least one Shed - a Shed of the Week-worthy machine costing a maximum of £1,500.
At least one Brave Pill - usually something with prodigious performance available for a fraction of its original value. A car you'd need to be seriously brave to spend your money on in real life... but it could be so worth it if you did.
At least one car still on sale - i.e. a car which you can still buy new today. It may have been in showrooms for many years, and received a facelift or two, but it must be a model you could still find at a dealer at the time of writing.
Beyond that you're free to choose anything you like from the 100,000+ cars in the PH classifieds, right up to your hundred-thousand pound budget. So take a look at what's below, get your thinking caps on, and submit your £100k Garages to firstname.lastname@example.org today!
Name: Matt Bird
Previously owned: Rover 25 1.4 (Cat D), Ford Focus 1.8 (dropped a valve), Peugeot 306 Rallye (crashed it), Honda Civic 1.8 VTI (the next guy crashed it) - I haven't bought a car in a while
Currently owned: Nothing
On the shortlist: Any garage like this would have to have a Caterham in, probably an M car of some description and most likely a Japanese icon of some kind as well.
Mini Cooper S R53
Remaining balance: £98,510
Why I chose it: "For an assortment of reasons, there isn't the Shed choice that there was not so long ago, but somehow there are two examples of the supercharged Cooper S on PH at less than £1,500. Which, for something this much fun, looks like a bargain. Of course, the natural instinct at this money is to seek out something with a Renaultsport badge on it, though even those seem thin on the ground nowadays. The Cooper S offers supercharged speed (and sound), the famed Mini handling and, in this specification, a look that's still chic 18 years after registration. I really like it."
The Brave Pill
BMW M3 (E90)
Remaining balance: £85,515
Why I chose it: "This ticked off the Brave Pill element as well as the desire to have an M car. While this hopefully conforms to the criteria of the former by featuring that 4.0 V8 (and having covered 140,000 miles), the E90 is also one of my favourites from M Division - particularly as an incredibly rare LCI facelift version.
"Furthermore, you could hardly wish to see a better advert for what is ultimately a high-mileage, quite cheap M car. It's Le Mans Blue with beige leather, it's been owned by an M fanatic, photographed in a swanky London mews, always serviced at Dick Lovett and covered 136,000 of its miles with one owner. I'm not expecting it to be flawless by any means; let's instead call it an exciting way to transport four people around at the very least, be that very sideways or very stranded..."
The one still on sale
Remaining balance: £75,920
Why I chose it: "Originally this was an MX-5, and with a bit more budget it may well have been, but the fact is an early GT86 is half the price of a 184hp MX-5, which is the one I'd want. And saving money here means it can be spent on more exciting stuff.
"That the '86 hasn't been a rampant sales success is a crying shame; for anyone who really appreciates a great driver's car and not interior ambience, the little Toyota delivers in spades. I think that's proven by the fact that facelifts since 2012 have only really been cosmetic tweaks, because what's underneath was so well sorted to start with. I adored my long-term Primo, and this is about as close to that spec for less than £10,000: manual, red, no lairy interior colours. Obviously at this money it's carrying some miles - 76,000 - but what better car than a Toyota to continue adding more to?"
Renaultsport Clio 200 Cup
Remaining balance: £69,925
Why I chose it: "Seemed rude not to, to be honest, given how little good ones now cost. A Renaultsport great, one of the best driver's cars of this century, and for sale at £6k. The end of an era, too, given naturally-aspirated, manual hot hatches of this calibre effectively died with the Clio 200. It'll be called a classic in no time...
"I wanted the Recaros, which this car has, and I like that it's a 'full-fat' Cup car - call me a wimp, I think everyday cars should come with everyday amenities. Ideally it would have the Speedline wheels as well but, heck, it's really not a lot of money for a really very good car. The wheels can come later."
Porsche 911 GT3 (996.2) -
Remaining balance: £24,925
Why I chose it: "You'll shoot me for being predictable, but this GT3 tickled my pickle like nothing else at the money. I love that it's clearly used hard but cherished at the same time, that it's been treated to a wealth of expensive upgrades - from Manthey, Bilstein, Scroth, H&R, Yokohama and more - and I love that the owner has listed so much in the advert. It's clearly enjoyed how GT3s were meant to, which I'm sure it's brilliant at, and I'd love to carry on using it in a similar fashion.
"Being a repaired car is likely what makes it more affordable though, again, there's an argument to be made about being less precious as a result. One for the high days and track days, and hopefully one that'll keep hold of its value if I keep it on the circuit..."
Caterham 7 R300
Remaining balance: £1,930
Why I chose it: "Because it's very nearly my dream 7 spec, and a Caterham had to be in here. It's a Roller Barrel K Series car, so it'll sound great, it has the six-speed manual with a limited-slip diff, for manic acceleration and better traction, it's a narrow-body car (which looks better to my eyes) and Lotus Aubergine Purple has to be a rare colour. As well as a stunning one.
I love the rawness of Caterhams, especially as driving and cars become ever more sanitised. Which has been said time and time again, yet only seems to grow in relevance with each passing year. There isn't anything electronic to help the driver, though the torrent of feedback from every part of the car means you don't need it - the driver knows everything, and the little cars are so readable that you'll know what's going on immediately. Nothing better encapsulates the joy of motoring, the noise and the feel and the reward, like a Caterham 7, which is why it's my final choice."
£100K Garage template
On the shortlist:
Car make/model: (With link to the PH ad of the car in question)
Why I chose it:
Cut, paste and repeat until you're out of money!
Lead pic: Dafydd Wood