You really need to go and see them and not just buy off the internet because any sub-£10,000 vehicle is going to have some sort of issue – usually a rusty one. That brings us to actual Defenders, and at £2500 you are now looking at examples without even a few months’ MOT. Yes, we are in ‘project’ territory here. The sellers suggest their vehicles may need a chassis and that means lots more money. Oddly enough, pay a grand more and you get ones that may even have a spotlamp bar on the roof. There are some Disco mongrels around and bobtailed things that are probably a bit too niche. So £4000 is the bottom line and that’s so much better than a run-out £30,000 example.
It is time to talk ‘Poshfenders’. They are everywhere. I quite like the look of some of them, but I have watched one with high-back seats, gloss black paint and a £50,000 price tag fail to leave its place in a car supermarket showroom for six months. It is still there, but they don’t advertise it any more. A Flying Huntsman at £150,000? A 2005 Icon at £27,500? These make the entry-level Series 3s and Defenders look like absolute giveaways. And they are, of course, what Land Rovers are all about: water leaks, noise and discomfort. So stuff the bucket seats and air-con and keep it real.
What we almost bought this week:
Volkswagen Corrado: The Volkswagen Corrado was once an expensive commodity, but it looks like decent value now. Best move quick, though, because that won’t last forever; the Corrado has cult classic written all over it. Plump for a VR6 with as low a mileage as you can find for your budget. Ideally a post-facelift (1993 onwards) example in a metallic colour.
Tales from Ruppert’s garage - Porche Cayenne, Mileage: 97,034:
You may have noticed the recent arrival of the ‘Flying Pig’ and it is so far, so good. Not so good has been the damp dog smell. When we bought it, the temperature was sub-zero. So until it got a bit warmer, the essence of hound was not noticeable.
I had trouble sniffing it out at first, but it soon became the first thing that hits you. The boot was scrubbed with industrial fluids and – you know what? – in the cabin it went away. However, after shopping trips, the boot still contained the muggy aroma. More scrubbing is therefore required.
A-Z bangerpedia - S is for Mercedes SLK:
This is the roof that started it all. Before the SLK, you had to buy either a coupé or a convertible – but not any more. The SLK proved that the concept worked even if, with the roof down, boot space was at a premium.