Currently reading: Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 10 January
The ideal sports car in a GT body, it's the Porsche Panamera GTS
4 mins read
10 January 2020

Welcome to our five used dream machines of 2020, leading with this, the first-generation Porsche Panamera. There are stacks of diesels around and terrific value they are, too, but as oil-burners continue to get the cold shoulder, how about a petrol one? A rare GTS caught our eye. Based on the naturally aspirated 4.8 S but with more power and torque (424bhp and 383lb ft) for 0-62mph in 4.5sec, sharper steering and tweaked suspension, it’s possibly the best Panamera in the old-model line-up and slots between the 4S and Turbo.

Our find is a 2012/12-reg with just 46,000 miles, and ‘one lady owner’. (Surely, that’s sexist. I mean, are we saying ladies don’t know how to give a car a proper workout?) Anyway, it sounds like a good ’un, especially since it has full Porsche service history and is stacked to the roof with options. It’s £32,950 compared with an original new price of £91,000, so not a bad saving.

It’s a pre-facelift model but more important, being a post-2011 4.8, it’s likely to be free of the bore wear issues that afflicted earlier engines.

Used first-generation Panameras like this are tempting old things but very specification and colour sensitive. Our example, in white with upgraded 20in alloy wheels and full leather interior, ticks all the boxes.

Buying tips include checking the PDK gearbox sump for oil leaks and, on air-suspended cars such as our find, that the car rises to the correct height on start-up. A coffee spill can disable the central switch control, so check everything works. If you’re at all uncertain, a Porsche dealer will, for around £200, give the car a 111-point check.


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Aston Martin Vantage 4.3 V8, £23,995: With the new Bond film slated for release this April, why not play the part with this cheap-as-(gambling) chips Vantage? It’s a 2006-reg with a highish 82,000 miles but also a full service history courtesy of main dealers and reputable specialists.

Jaguar F-Type V8 Supercharged R, £31,980: The SVR is faster but try finding one, which is why we’ve settled for this R. It’s a 2014-reg with 80,000 miles, one owner and full Jaguar service history. It looks mint, in fact almost as good as it did the day it drove out of the showroom as a £92,000 car.

Volkswagen Golf R, £13,995: One of the best hot hatches ever for less than £14,000. That’s the price of this 2015/15-reg R manual with 60,000 miles. It has full service history but, as always, we’d scrutinise the service book and workshop receipts to check exactly how full.

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Bentley Continental GT V8 S, £59,950: The best Continental yet, we declared at the model’s launch. Our find is a 2014-reg with 35,000 miles, for sale by a top dealer at around half what it cost new. The 2300kg coupé does 0-62mph in just 4.5sec. If you have to ask what the economy is…

Auction watch

Mercedes-Benz S600: Old luxo barges always look mouth-watering until you pause to consider their running costs. But be brave: this 2003-reg S-Class had done just 71,000 miles when it went under the hammer, and although there’s no mention of it having a full service history, it appears to have had a fettle of some sort most years. Equipment included heated and cooling front and rear leather seats, a TV, a fridge and sat-nav. It made £3816.

The S600 was powered by a 5.5-litre bi-turbo V12 producing 490bhp and today is a collector’s item of sorts. Whatever, this one looks like it was a bargain.

Future classic

Alpina Z4 Roadster S, £13,500: Before BMW launched the Z4 M, Alpina snuck in with its Roadster S. It’s powered by the hand-built 3.4-litre straight six from the Alpina B3 S, producing 300bhp for 0-62mph in 5.1sec. It’s fitted with an uprated six-speed gearbox and suspension. Our find, a 2004-reg with 84,000 miles but little mention of service history, has the desirable Lux pack comprising leather, xenon lights and 19in wheels. We’d check for leaky dampers, the battery warning light (the alternator is exclusive and a replacement is hard to find) and a failed head gasket.

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Clash of the classifieds

Brief: Find me a great slice of American pie for no more than £8000.

Chevrolet Corvette, £6900

Ford Thunderbird, £7995

Max Adams: Ford’s premier personal luxury car was quite a thing when it came out, although I’ll admit my example doesn’t quite have the shine it once had back in ’65.

Mark Pearson: Everyone’s idea of the all-American muscle car, my wonderfully proportioned ’78 Corvette drips style. It’s a drive-in diner on wheels and worth the entrance fee for its 5.7-litre V8 burble alone. To be honest, you could plant one in your front room and just stare at it: it’s so long and narrow and the driver sits somewhere back there over the rear wheels. And will you look at those wheels!

MA: The Corvette is a sports car in the loosest of terms, whereas mine is a supreme barge in every sense. It even has a Cruise-O-Matic automatic gearbox and an even bigger 6.4-litre engine.

MP: Your Thunderbird looks a little, er, raw, Max. My car you could use every day, so long as you had access to an oil well and weren’t going far. Its shapely curves are glassfibre, too, and my handsome brute even has independent rear suspension.

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MA: Mine has sophistication. You think Audi was first with sweeping tail-lights? Think again. The Thunderbird had sequential rear lights back in ’65.

MP: Hmm, Thunderbirds are go although, looking at yours, not going very far, I should think...

Verdict: Cor, what a ’Vette. I’ll take it.


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10 January 2020

 The Porsche Panamera, I'd have it...if someone paid the servicing costs, how much money would you have to set aside to run a car like this for a year?

10 January 2020
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 The Porsche Panamera, I'd have it...if someone paid the servicing costs, how much money would you have to set aside to run a car like this for a year?

xxxx in a (trash poor) disguise...says it wants it, swiftly followed up with a reason why can't buy it. Why would anyone pay YOUR costs?. As to your inane question...LOOK IT UP. Fool.

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