Classified Dreaming

I Could Afford That / Classified Dreaming #5

It’s been a while since EngageSportMode browsed the adverts in search of possible used car bargains and beauties. Well, that’s a lie; ESM is always checking the classifieds, just in case, you know? Anyway, after that brief spell of good weather the other week, ICAT/CD’s attention has been turned towards convertibles this time. For some, bizarre, reason the UK remains once of the biggest drop-top markets in Europe. Perhaps it’s that classic British sense of optimism, or humour, that leads us to buy so many roofless roadsters? Either way, here is a selection of vehicles at both ends of the unlimited headroom scale.

I Could Afford That

2000 Toyota MR2 1.8 VVTi – £2,495


I Could Afford That / Classified Dreaming #4

It’s been a while since the last episode of ICAT/CD, mainly due to actually going out and buying real cars. But having owned the Polo for less than a month, ESM is intrinsically drawn back to the classifieds like a proverbial moth. This edition is, like the ham in my sandwich today, distinctly Bavarian in flavour. There is no defining reason, other than I had a crazy dream about putting an M3 engine into an 3-Series Touring the other night. Regardless, let us delve into the Black Forest gateaux of offerings on display:

I Could Afford That

What is it that make’s BMW such an effective brand? For decades it sold identical looking saloons, which increased in size and price as you moved up the simple model numbering system. They were always rear-wheel drive and had dashboards which were angled towards the driver. For generations, the advertising slogan was “The Ultimate Driving Machine” not this stupid “Joy” business. The examples below are all testament to the simpler times, before the X6 and 5-Series GT (urgh).

1993 BMW 318is Coupe – £500

I think you have to be a certain kind of person to want a burgundy coloured car. Personally, I would be more than happy to own one, but others detest this darker shade of red. Perhaps it’s because it was the colour of the jumpers at my primary school? Funnily enough, when this example rolled off the production line I was still in the very first stages of my education; was it really that long ago?! (more…)

I Could Afford That / Classified Dreaming #3

Certain things cross the transatlantic divide rather well; television shows, rock music (I’m looking at you Springsteen) and a growing tendency to litigate over anything. Other things have tended to find the journey across the “pond” rather more difficult. Many of the products of Motor City have failed to make the adjustment to life in the confined surroundings of the United Kingdom. Our narrow roads and parking spaces favour nimble, nippy hatchbacks; our over-taxed fuel prices reward economical four-cylinder engines compared to rumbling, huge, thirsty V8 motors. But that doesn’t stop manufacturers, or private individuals, eschewing such ideas and bringing vehicles born in the USA to these shores. This week’s ICAT/CD focuses on those such cars.

I Could Afford That

Along with being American Week, this is also confessions week on ESM. And the second confession is that attempting to find bargain priced Yank motoring has not been easy. So accept my apologies if this week’s offerings are less budget than usual. Also, I’ve picked genuine US imports; not the products of European designed and built Ford or Vauxhall. Anyway, gentlemen (and any ladies present), start your engines.

1985 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am – £2,950


I Could Afford That / Classified Dreaming #2

If you’ve somehow managed to avoid all cardshops, department stores or Moonpig adverts recently, then you would’ve missed the fact it was Valentine’s day yesterday. Fortunately I did remember so I’m here to bring forth another installment of I Could Afford That/Classified Dreaming. To perpetuate a very tedious link (for which I apologise profusely) Italy and the Italians are often considered to be very romantic; so this weeks edition has a certain Italiano flavour. So if music be the food of love, lets look at some cheap cars.

I Could Afford That

Finances only extend to Cava not Champagne? Tesco value chocolate over Thornton’s? Fear not, below is an ensemble of vehicles sure to win you affection with the Azzurri.

1998 Alfa Romeo 156 1.8 16v – £1,495

As saloons go, you cannot deny that the 156 is a looker

So the antipasti for today’s menu is this really rather lovely Alfa 156. Along with being an (more…)

I Could Afford That/Classified Dreaming – #1

Today brings a double-barrel of EngageSportMode goodness at either end of the automotive economic spectrum. So whether you’re scrimping by on £30k worth of benefits from your seven children, or if you’re Fred Goodwin, there’s something for everyone. Anyway, without further a topical money slur, let us proceed.

I Could Afford That!

The clue for this is very much in the title. Unless you are a former banker, having thousands and thousands to fritter away on cars doesn’t come easily. Instead for many the  budget end of the market is where the action is really at. So what offerings does the ever faithful Pistonheads bring forth on this occasion?

2000 Volkswagen Polo GTi – £1,695

“Flash (red) A-AHHHHH, saviour of the universe”

Confession time. I used to own a 6N2 Polo GTi, in red, so I do tend to have a real soft spot for them. It’s one of the first listing sections I always check to see if my old car has appeared for sale. (more…)