A colossal amount of money is being pumped into one company that specialises in converting classics to battery-fy Fiat 500s and Ferrari 308s. What a colossal waste of finite resources that is. It is a pointless virtue-signalling exercise. So I asked to speak to the founder, who suddenly became unwell, and then someone else important, who went very quiet. I thought journalists were supposed to ask questions? Silly old sceptical me.
The toy-town battery cars are promoted on the basis that they are Ultra Low Emission Zone-compliant, but so is a historic vehicle, making the whole convert-a-classic thing redundant. Never mind: don’t buy a brand-new Chinese battery pseudo toy car when you can buy a Nissan Leaf with airbags and everything: £5995 gets you a 100,000-mile 2012 example, which at least proves they will do some solid service. Dealer ones are £6995 and I am sure that there are plenty of years left in them yet. Much cuter Renault Zoes seem to have lower mileages and broadly similar prices. A 2014 one with 40k miles is around £6750.
If you love EVs, great. There are more to choose from and it’s best to buy major-manufacturer examples. Meanwhile, the rest of us still have plenty of fossil options. As long as that continues, we have a credible rather than artificial marketplace.
What we almost bought this week
Citroen ZX 1.4 3-door
And still the 1990s producesgems, such as this one-owner,1995 M-reg ZX 1.4 with 85,000miles for just £395. With thatkick in the window line, thethree-door is a pretty thing,and because ZXs are light, ithas a decent turn of speed. Themodel handles and rides well,too. Still holding out for a 2.0Volcane, though.
Tales from Ruppert's garage
Porsche Cayenne, mileage - 101,500
There was definitely a coolant leak. I got right underneath butcould not see exactly where it was coming from. The curse ofthe engine cover. Anyway, I asked my local garage to take alook, which they did. They burrowed as far as they could andlocated the leak to somewhere at the back of the engine anddribbling down the gearbox.
The leak is not colossal. So we have decided to live with it and,later in the year when we have more time, will ask a specialist toget stuck in – unless they suggest it will cost a million pounds.
Bangerpedia A-Z: P is for Patrol
The Nissan Patrol has always been one of the biggest andcrudest 4x4s you can buy. This revised version from1998 onwards was much friendlier than before,though. There’s acres of space inside that huge bodyand five-door models even provide seven seats.Luggage space is more than adequate, too. Buildquality is good and overall the ride is acceptable.Arguably, this is an alternative Toyota Land Cruiser,but cheaper and duller. A seven-seat 2004 3.0Di SVEwith 120k miles is £4450.