Monday, 23 May 2011

The Mondeo ST220

No, really, you CAN have one of these once £20k+ beasties for less than £2000. What's more, you don't need to be a sales rep for 'Tupperware Tubs Inc' or some such.



Yup, just 8 years ago these V6 powered flagships of Ford were rolling out of dealerships for £22,000. The ST220 was initially met with rave reviews across a great many of the motoring magazines, praised on both its looks and performance. Its ability to mix both power and handling with comfort and refinement were what really sold it to the press, though.

Despite a fantastic start, the following 8 years were unkind, though through no fault of the Mondeo itself. It was the economy that was killing cars like this thanks to its perpetual upwardly spiralling fuel costs amongst other factors. These days there simply isn't room in the conscientious and thrifty motorist's life for a car with such colossal thirst, and with 24 valves and six cylinders swallowing 3.0 worth of fuel "colossal' really is the right word - you'd be lucky to get 25mpg out of the sucker. Put your toes into the carpet on roads with challenges as thrilling as hills and bends and your fuel gauge would hit the deck at a considerable pace. Add the fact that there was an identical diesel powered version available (with double the fuel economy) and you have all the factors you need for some harsh depreciation.



Still, that's enough doom and gloom. We don't care about how much money the suckers of 2002 have lost, all we care about is what your £2000 is going to get you, and in the case of the ST220 it's a lot!

In a Generation Game stylee, lets have a look!

Leather 'Recaro' sports seats, air conditioning, CD player, body kit, 18 inch alloy wheels, sports suspension, metallic paint, remote central locking, 3.0 V6 engine with 226bhp with 207lbft, A CUDDLY TOY, ABS, ESP, traction control, Xenon headlights, a op speed of 151mph and much, much more...

Oooh, we only just discovered we could do that scrolling thing, how very exciting.

Yup, that's a whole lot of spec for not a lot of money. Plus, it's a Mondeo which, in the ears of your darling other half sounds rather sensible - the fact it's got 226bhp and a bodykit needn't be of concern. Also, because it's 'just a Mondeo' it will cost roughly 45p per year to maintain, much like every other Ford. But, unlike a lot of other Fords, this one will nuzzle your crotch and lick your face like a happy puppy (metaphorically speaking) every time you turn the key and give it some beans. Yet it'll still "sit" when you need it to be mild mannered and gentle for family, shopping or getting-the-mother-in-law-home-in-time-for-Midsummer Murders duties. What a car!

We like Mondeos here at N£2G, especially this shape. We've had a few over the years and when we've not been crashing them...



...(yes, that really was us) we like to reflect on just how bloody good they are. Seriously, we'd all have a Mondeo of this age. They drive incredibly well, they're comfy, they're reliable (apart from the one that belonged to our cousin which recently blew up - one or two have to fail, right?) and, for a big car, they're great to drive. We've only had hum-drum diesels but even so, they've been more than accommodating to our 'spirited' driving style once introduced to some twisty A-roads. Put one on Bruntingthorpe airfield and you can really slide them about at a more than impressive rate of knotts, though this may bring on a drastic reduction of tyre life expectancy. Don't believe us? Well, in 2003/-4 the notion of a BTCC rivalling championship was put forward by Jonathan Palmer, for which this prototype was built...



We're going to choose to ignore the fact the idea tanked though, and focus instead on the awesomeness of the above car. Hmm, yes, awesome. The road car has plenty to shout about, too. Look, this is where your bottom goes...



...this is where your fuel goes...



...and if you buy an estate version, this is where a small country goes...



So, ignore what people tell you about Mondeos; they are not solely for people like this...



...because people like that would be scared of a V6. We don't care though, do we? We WANT V6 power and noise, not diesel economy and we want a car that really does look the part, despite being based on something that is normally lost within a sea of automotive anonymity. Okay, so the diesel counterpart is a long way off being within our meagre reach, but we don't care. We don't subscribe to sensible and well thought out ideas here at N£2G, we go for the silly, the noisy and the fun! The ST220 is a fantastic bit of kit and in all honesty, it could be one of our favourite cars to hit the pages of Not £2 Grand - we really, really want one! We might just have to take heed of our own advice...

Monday, 16 May 2011

First gen Toyota Prius...

Yeah, you can get one of these for £2000. See...



Don't. Just don't.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

ODDBALL!! 1962 Thames 'Hot Rod'

This isn't very exciting...



...nor is this lady...



Hmmm, snore. Stay with us though, because there is a point to highlighting the not-very-excitingness of the two above. We've stumbled over a bit of an automotive oddball you see, a beast so impressive in its obscurity that we just had to share it with you in all of it's awesomeness. To help said awesomeness have full impact though, we needed to show you the 'before' images, if you will.

The vehicle in question is a 1962 Thames van, much like the one above. However, the one above is NOT exciting, not even in the loosest sense of the word. This sucker though, the one you'll see when you scroll down a little, well, this one is a bit more befitting of such an adjective.





BOOM! Yeah, now we're cooking! What we have here is a survivor, a relic from a time when people dressed like this...



...and when toy cars looked like this! The 70s were simply awesome, especially for the modified car scene.



Vehicles like this simply don't come up anymore. Many simply fell by the wayside, ending up dead and unloved in breakers yards. Of those that have survived the 70s custom scene a great many have been subjected to modifications brought on by new trends and ideas within the modifying world. The ones that remain as they were back then simply don't come up for sale, ever.

This Thames monster - complete with a rear bed made from Cuprinoled chipboard and 3inch angle-iron - seems to retain all of it's 70s flavour, though it has picked up a fair bit of rust along the way. There are side-pipes, there's a dirty great V8 engine, there are Slot Mags so deep they resemble the opening of the Blackwall Tunnel and let's not forget that awesome metal-flake paint. So. Full. Of win.







Okay, so in reality it'll be a rusty money-pit that will destroy your marriage and eat your life savings - leaving you with nothing more than an old Ford van with a bit of wood on the back and an engine from a Rover SDi. Still, for less than £2000 it's pretty unique...and you'll never find another one! Plus, it'll be a great excuse to legitimately dress like these guys...



Want to buy it, you fools? Advert can be found here!


***you may or may not have noticed that we seem to have a bit of a thing for 70s tat. We're seeing a doctor, we should be better soon.