Let’s just say that you are a cool surfing-type dude. What you need to make your automotive life complete is a ginormous, board-friendly estate car. Especially an old classic one that’s quite likely to be interesting to look at and own. I was asked the other day to suggest alternatives to a fabulously expensive Transporter Vee Dub. Easy.
Rather sarcastically, I suggested that one of those Peugeot 505s would be perfect, on the basis that I would not have to bother looking any further for one because they don’t actually exist any more. Except that a rather wonderful one is up for auction as this is written. The details are that it is a 1982 GR model in rather fine fettle. The ‘barn find’ phrase is used, but actually that is a pretty good explanation for the 33k-mile odometer reading and the ‘time tunnel’ condition. You didn’t get much with a GR back in the old days and the steel wheels look remarkable. There’s 2.0-litre petrol power as opposed to anything diesely. The guide price is £9000 to £12,000 and it certainly looks worth that. The load bay is a carpeted cricket pitch. I’m in.
That might be a bit too rich, so let’s switch to Volvo. They used to be brilliant at estate cars and tempting as it might be to seek out an Amazon, I think a more modern V70 would be a better buy for the itinerant surfer. This is the point at which I get distracted and, instead of a cheapo 2.0 petrol, here’s one from 1998: a 2.3 T5 SE, which is great news, especially as it happens to be a manual. The mileage is a whopping 263k miles and the description is very honest indeed, mentioning an oil leak, seat bolster wear and cosmetic scratches. It needs a closer look, like every single used car, but at £1500, why not?
Actually, instead, let’s consider an Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon, which is at least pretty rather than supremely practical. Just make sure it has roof rails. I’m taken with a 2007 example in 1.9 JTDm Lusso guise with a new clutch and timing belt to inspire proper buying confidence. It has a full service history, just over 90k miles and the all-important silver roof rails – and all for £4400.
If you are planning on mucking around near beaches, then perhaps four-wheel drive might just come in handy. A surfer doesn’t want or need an SUV and I have avoided the minivan/people-carrier vibe in favour of a supercar estate. Let’s go for a Subaru Outback 3.0R: a 2004 example with 134k miles and comfy heated seats for under £2000. Those Subarus can cost a bit to fix and that’s the only wallet-stripping downside, apart perhaps from fuel bills. It’s living at a dealer so is worth a proper look, surfer dudes.
Tales from Ruppert's garage