Currently reading: Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 15 February
For a hair under £60,000, this Lamborghini Gallardo is worth a (very, very scrupulous) once-over
John Evans
News
4 mins read
15 February 2019

Lamborghini Gallardo £59,999: We must be mad but this 59,000-mile, right-hand drive, 2003-reg Gallardo is a rare and sought-after manual one and comes with stacks of history. 

It has had a really thorough going over recently; lots of things from new handbrake pads and brake fluid, through new OEM filters and the correct grade of branded oil, to having the throttle bodies cleaned, brakes and underside cleaned and checked, the offside lower front ball joint reconditioned and the wheels aligned. 

Worth making the journey for a look-see, then, but before we do, we’d want to know if it’s wrapped; and if it is, we’d wonder what’s lurking beneath. That aluminium body is hellish hard to repair and who’d want a knocked-about Gallardo anyway? 

Assuming it’s au naturel and we make the journey, we’d want to have that V10 engine pressure tested. (It’s prone to oil pump problems.) It’s good the throttle bodies have been cleaned since they’re a trouble spot, too. We’d also check for overheating. 

Moving to the transmission, the manual gearbox is tough but can suffer cable stretch, so we’d feel for imprecise changes. The seller has had the suspension checked and picked up a problem with the offside front ball joint (common). He’s had the rack checked, too, but it’s worth inspecting the condition of the gaiters. 

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The nose can suffer bad stone-chipping so, while a wrap would ring alarm bells, we would have no issue with a clear vinyl film here to protect it. Inside, the Audi-sourced trim and controls stand up well. Even so, we’d check the driver’s seat bolster for wear and the Alcantara steering wheel cover for shine – and then have a lie down.

Volkswagen Phaeton LWB, £9800: Diamonds aren’t the only things that are forever – so is the VW Phaeton. The seller claims this 2005-reg V10 TDI conveyed a certain singer to and from her concerts and residences and had done 263,000 miles when he bought it. He’s since added 30,000. 

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Alpina D3 Biturbo, £23,490: This 2015-reg, 90,000-mile D3 is for the next time someone knocks diesel. Alpina went through the BMW F30- based saloon fitting new manifolds, tweaking all the settings and suspension, and fitting a soul-stirring exhaust. It does 0-62mph in 4.6sec.

Lancia Thema 2.9 8.32, £25,000: Not the time of the next train to Woking but the number of cylinders (eight) and valves (32) that this very special Lancia has. The 2.9-litre engine was based on that used in the Ferrari 308 but is less powerful. Our example is a 1990 car with 47,000 miles.

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Skoda Rapid 136, £4000: Years ago, an Autocar reader wrote to say his Rapid coupé was as much fun as his Porsche 911. And we can confirm this rear-engined car is indeed a hoot. Our 1989 find has adjustable suspension, a Weber carb, new tyres and a good service history. 

Auction watch 

Land Rover Defender Tomb Raider: If the Camel Trophy ‘One life, live it’ slogan doesn’t make you want to saddle up your Defender and head for the mud, look out for one of these: a Defender 90 Tomb Raider. It was released in 2001 on the back of the Lara Croft action movie. Just 250 were built, each decked out with the requisite body protection, spotlights and alloy wheels but also a roll cage, detachable winch, long-range fuel tank and fire extinguisher. 

You’re too late for this 113,000-mile 2.5 diesel that made £14,300 but you can still find the odd 100,000-miler for around £18,000 in the classifieds. 

Get it while you can

BMW 730d M Sport, price new - £73,430, BMW PCP/HP deposit contribution - £17,754: Perhaps the two aren’t linked, but with the facelifted 7 Series due soon (bigger grille, quieter, posher interior), BMW is putting its hand in its pocket to the tune of almost £18,000. That’s its deposit contribution to a PCP or hire purchase deal on a new, outgoing Seven, and almost double what is required from the customer (£10,000). It’s a discount, really, but to be expected on such a big-ticket motor. Bear it in mind if you’re shopping for a nearly new one at just a couple of grand off list… 

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Clash of the classifieds

Brief: You have £40k for a hardcore but discreet sports saloon that won’t attract the wrong kind of attention.

Maserati Quattroporte 4.7 V8 Sport GTS, £29,995: The Quattroporte was never much cop as a luxury car, so when it was facelifted, Maserati turned it into the sporting saloon it always should have been. Complete with a gloriously noisy V8 engine, properly sorted passive dampers and springs, and a more conventional ZF automatic gearbox instead of the jerky automated manual, it was the finest Quattroporte ever made. Plus, all the oiks who worship at the altar of AMG, RS Audis and M division BMWs will have no clue what this is. Max Adams

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BMW M6 Gran Coupé, £36,000: Take all that’s good about BMW and wrap it in a four-door, pillarless, coupé-style bodyshell of exquisite loveliness and unholy discreetness and add a wonderful 552bhp twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 that will do all you ask of it, all of the time. This gorgeous Gran Coupé might be loaded with goodies but it’s really, really fast – think 0-62mph in 4.7sec – handles like a sports car, rides like a magic carpet and cossets like a luxury liner. This one has done a mere 43k miles and will leave you change from your £40k for a trans-continental driving holiday. I’m in love. Mark Pearson

Verdict: Sensational car, that Maserati, but its exhaust can wake the dead. Flawed M6 version notwithstanding, the big Beemer it is.

Read more

Used car buying guide: Lamborghini Gallardo

Alpina D3 Biturbo review

Five used Lamborghinis that you might just be able to afford​

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scrap 15 February 2019

None of your used picks

None of your used picks appeal this week but either of those sub £40k super saloons would be marvellous.

Vertigo 15 February 2019

Spec

£60k is a pretty common figure for an early Gallardo, and most of them are manual too. It's the 2006 model (or 2005's SE) which has the fettling that makes it a truly great car, but manuals become *very* rare from that point.

If you want that fettling with the first-generation styling, only 2006-2008 will do, and throwing in the extra requirement of a manual gearbox and LHD makes that ideal Gallardo very, very hard to find.

Vertigo 15 February 2019

Correction

Vertigo wrote:

...and throwing in the extra requirement of a manual gearbox and LHD makes that ideal Gallardo very, very hard to find.

RHD, sorry. Could really do with an edit button around here.

289 15 February 2019

Lancia Thema 8.32

Some wags opined at the time of launch, that the 8.32 designation referred to the minutes and seconda that the front tyres would last!

bican304 15 February 2019

I absolutely concur with

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289 15 February 2019

£9,800....

....for a 300k miles Phaeton is a bit ambitious I fear