The Lotus has been sold and I'm holding folding. After lots of four-pots, a few V6s, 6-in-line and a flat-four, it's time to tick the box of V8 ownership. But which one?
It needs to be a two-door, so the Jag XJ and larger BMs are out. Also no LHDs as it makes overtaking difficult. Budget of around £7k, up to £10k for something irresistible.
I'm drawn to the Merc CLK - maybe 2004 onwards to avoid the rust, also because the tiptronic is easier than the XK8 j-gate.
Is there anything I might have overlooked?
Only something like a Rover engined TVR Chimera if a 2 seater isnt an issue,
me I'd buy one of those recently out of production, Rover 75 based MG V8s (an Estate)with either the Manual in MG ZX form or auto with The Rover V8 version, either way you get a bullet proof 32 valve Mustang engine with injection through a plenium inlet manifold, in a Q Car that is also rear wheel drive, and you have quite a lot of change in your pocket to spend on other things, like more bikes, in my case, and parts that can go in the back, just a thought.
I had a 2001 CLK55 for about three years. You're right about the rust - all four arches were blistering by the time I sold it. If I was in the market now I'd have a 2004-on CLK500. It should be well within your budget and in the real world it'll be plenty fast. Don't bother with the AMG model unless you like paying for all the AMG-specific parts and higher insurance costs.
Or, if you fancy something a bit different, how about a Vauxhall Monaro?
Thanks for the advice chaps. I saw Clarkson on Dave in the ZTV8, which he had some respect for, though a normal ZT I tried some years ago struck me as harsh and not wonderfully screwed together. I had never heard of the Passat W8!
A CLK55AMG owner I met recently had also had a Monaro and reckoned the Merc engine was a lot smoother. So, do I find a 2004 onward CLK500 (point taken about the AMG cost), or find an older W208 version and budget for having the body sorted? The rust may add to its rarity value...on what used to be the F1 pace car.
Mind you, I've just seen pictures of a CL55AMG. Which might just fit in the garage. If only they weren't such money pits...and I still struggle with that "wood" dash effect.
If you're going to buy a W208 budget for an exhaust upgrade. The standard single pipe system lacks oomph. Look for a car that's had someone else fix the body and spend the spare cash on making it sound like it should.
That said, drive both the 208 and 209. The later car is a much better drive, I think, especially the steering.
I have driven both, one 430 was a bit vague in wet conditions, but another and a 55 felt fine. The W209 is smooth - maybe too smooth?Surprisingly, no reply yet from the Staggists or the Jag boys. I tried an 2001 XKR last week, apparent build quality issues there. Or was I unlucky?
Sounds like you need a 928 ;).
Changed my mind about the two-door...
...and bought a BMW 540. Less to buy and run than a 840, and 300 kgs lighter.
I just have to wait for it to become a classic.