Back when the Gran Coupe was new, there was some consternation in the ranks that it wasn’t a ‘proper M car’ - it being thought too heavy and too plush to wear the hallowed tricolour. Perhaps there’s an element of truth to that argument, but it would also be accurate to say that not every great M car has descended from the track. Some didn't really enjoy much motorsport influence at all. Which kind of gets forgotten.
Despite being derived from the least loved M5 of them all, the M6 Gran Coupe has always been able to count on its urbane good looks to make it a fair bit more desirable than the saloon. That the model was indirectly replaced by the much meaner looking M8 Gran Coupe has only served to make it look sleeker still, I think. It really is a great bit of BMW design. And it has that V8 where it counts.
Furthermore, though the four-door thing was new ground for BMW a few years back, it hasn't prevented the Gran Coupe from plummeting in value in the traditional manner of a bonafide M car. This one with not terrifically many miles is on sale now at £33,000 - or the price of a new 128ti. Or, to put it another way again, a third of its price when new. Bargain. NC
You know those unforgettable car mag features? Those ones you read as a kid and which leave an indelible mark? One that stands out for me (one of many, to be honest) was a 2003 triple test centred around the then-new BMW M3 CSL. It was pitted against the second generation 996 GT3 and an Impreza just like this one, somewhere warm and sunny and definitely not England. The feature headline was ‘Strip Club’; to car mad 13-year-old, it looked like paradise.
The lightweight, stripped-out sports car is a genre I love to this day, but then so do the collectors: both M3 CSL and GT3 will still cost you more than £50k. A Spec C, however, is much less. This one, in red with gold just like the magazine car, is for sale at £12,990. It’s been tweaked a little - find a Subaru that hasn’t - and it’s hard to imagine its miles have been gentle ones, but I love the Spec C nonetheless. The lighter, meaner, madder Imprezas always seemed so exotic against the typically tamer UK cars, and I’d love to see what all the fuss was about. I’d love to read that feature again, too - bet the plucky little Subaru gave the thoroughbreds a good run for their money… MB
Don’t you just hate it when you come across an ad for a potentially great car, but the pictures are a bit rubbish? Conversely, isn’t it possible to take real pleasure in finding a brilliantly illustrated ad, like this one? It could be of a black-bumpered Dacia Sandero for all I care. Admittedly, it helps that the car in question is a Lamborghini Diablo SV, which would still look fantastic parked outside Boots on a rainy day. But with these terrific lockdown city centre pics, the want is made even stronger.
Normally, I’d be well against the idea of promoting the Sloane Street supercar life, but it's hard to argue with a Diablo under neon. That being said, were this SV mine, I’d prefer to let the 5.7-litre V12 do its 517hp singing at 7,100rpm on more appropriate roads. Not least because despite its size and 1.6-tonne weight (fairly podgy for a nineties supercar), the SV is considered to be a brilliantly involving driver’s car. Although that’s almost a given with a manual V12.
This car has enjoyed a fair amount of use at 27,000 miles, but with only 100 SVs made, the price behind the POA stamp is still probably well over the £200k mark. That needn't stop anyone daydreaming though. I for one reckon that its shade of paint would look great under the lights in my local Lidl carpark... SS
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