Smokers, daily, used: sadly there is no dictionary definition, I checked in the Oxford English. What it should say is ‘Daily transportation of car traders, big engine, comfy seats, long tax.’
The truth is that real car traders never get attached to their stock. Everything is always for sale, even the wife’s Mercedes-Benz SLK if the offer is right.
So when he (and in 99 per cent of cases it is a 'he', even in this day and age) goes to the auctions, drives to Sheffield to appraise a car or visits the scrapyard for a replacement door handle, he’ll need some transportation.
Ideally it will have a good few months of tax on the screen (although with tax discs being phased out in October, not for much longer) and be very comfy. It just might be a motor which could take a while to shift off the forecourt anyway, on account of its large engine. Here are four of my picks.
Car traders love their Lexii. For many years the Lexus LS400 in particular was the smoker of choice because it could be relied upon to be utterly reliable. It also had every single electric gizmo known to man or beast. In fact they were so good the LS400 smokers got sold early. Instead they switched to the slightly harder-to-shift GS version. Just as reliable, almost as big as an LS and usefully anonymous in the auction car park.
If a Lexus LS is easy to sell, the jumbo-sized Accord has an almost legendary ability to stick to the forecourt. That means it makes the perfect car trade chariot which is even harder to spot on the road and is usefully invisible. However, a Honda Legend cossets and spoils its occupants and makes it way lazily between appointments as you play with the electric sunroof. It has masses of room in the rear and it is hard to believe that the mid-1990s version was related to the dismal Rover 800 which dropped off the top 100 smoker’s chart in 1993.
It is usually found with a towbar at the rear and a TDi engine up front in the Avant package, but we would suggest that a saloon with the Quattro running gear that comes with SE spec as standard is the smoking way forward. Indeed, this would be the smoker of choice for the winter months. There would never be any danger of falling off the icy roads. It's certainly comfy and there are no worries when it comes to interior quality – the Audi A6 is a great place to be.
We had to have a Mercedes in this list, and although the late 1990s were not a good time for the marque, as a big old comfortable barge this is a premium smoker. We reckon the bigger-engined and higher-specced models had the better quality compared to the classics, so an E430 V8 Elegance is going to be the model for the dedicated smoker. You would not necessarily want to go fast in an E-class but the four-eyed model drove better and was more refined than ever.
I'd love to read about your nominations for great smokers.