Saturday, 31 December 2011

Lamborghini Espada..., really. An ACTUAL Lamborghini for under £2000, one of these no less!

Oh my!

Introduced in '68 the Espada was Lamorghini's answer to those looking for a true four-seater sports car. 'True' in the sense that your rear seat passengers were allowed to have legs. It looked nothing like its low-slung, two seater, rear engined Miura stable-mate, not by a long shot, but that didn't stop it from being a success. Over 1200 were built and sold, which made it pretty damn successful indeed.

That there is the 300+bhp V12 that lived in the Espada - noisy

The thing is, the Espada wasn't cheap in 1968. In 2011/12 it's much the same...

Yeah, okay then, how much?

Ready? Sitting down? Holding onto something tight?


Yeah, sorry about that. £50k is a little out of our budget, unless that is, YOU OWN A WELDER! Like spending three weeks at a time in the garage? Do you have cotton wool where your common sense should be? Do you hate spending time with your partner and find yourself wishing you had a distraction? Well, you need this beauty for the humble price of £2000. Oh yes...

...erm, yes. Okay, so it's in kit form, it's very (to put it lightly) rusty and even if you were born last week you'd still fail to finish it before you shuffled off your mortal coil. Who cares though, it's a Lamborghini. A LAMBORGHINI. Buy it, touch it with your spanner every now and then (that's not a euphemism you weirdo) and then just use it as a car of this ilk should be used - as pub fodder.

Pop down to the Dog and Duck on Friday and when you hear your mate John waffling on about his new Mondeo simply saunter over, gingerly place your chin on John's shoulder (for maximum effect) and declare "Yeah, well I've got a Lambo at home, John. WOOF!"

You're thinking about that now, aren't you?

One small caveat though: you can never let anyone see it. In the case of this Espada the Lamborghini name is all you're really buying. Let Mondeo John see it and he'll laugh at you a lot, which we would never want to see happen - we like you, we don't want to see you get laughed at.

So, there you go, a Lamborghini on on Not £2 Grand. What a great way to wrap up 2011!

Friday, 23 December 2011

BAH HUMBUG..., not really. This is what we mean...

Have a good one. We know we will. Bevis has already started wearing his sexy Mrs. Claus outfit (despite strong objections from the landlord of the local boozer and the lolly-pop lady who works every Tuesday), while Chris has already taken the time to attach some miseltoe to his belt buckle (you'd think he'd learn after last year's 'festive' trip to A&E). Yup, we're going to have a blinder!

We hope you all do as well!

Thanks for all the support over the last year, without the tens of thousands of you who read this blog we'd be nothing. WE LOVE YOU!

See you in 2012, you sexy buggers!

Now go, eat turkey, chat up that crush at the Xmas party and generally have a good time!

Monday, 19 December 2011

The Saab special...

Today we are sad. Very sad. Saab has had the final administrative nail driven into its lovely, slightly bonkers, Swedish coffin. Saab is dead, soon to be nothing more than another addition to the list of 'do you remember them?' car companies. Sniff.

It's a Saab hearse. Saab are dead now. Can you see what we've done here?

Saab first appeared on the radar in 1937 (if, that is, they had radars back then), though its primary concern was that of building planes, not tough hatchbacks with odd ignition key placement and a leave-it-in-reverse prerequisite. It was the mid-forties before it turned its hand to the wheel as a primary point of movement. That first car was the snappily named 92001. They wanted to call it 90210, but rich American teens had already collared that number some 40 years ahead of the TV show of the same name. That last bit may have been a lie. Anyway, yes, the Saab 92001...

Well hello there, you Swedish sexpot!

It looked a bit like a plane, sort of, if you squint. Okay, it looked nothing like a plane, but crucially it looked like nothing else either, but it transpired that people liked that quite a lot. Saab were off to a winning start and from the '40s onwards it continued to make good, if slightly odd cars.

As the years rolled on Saab decided on three things...

1) It liked turbos. Good, because we like turbos quite a lot, too.

2) It liked crashing into stuff. Not on purpose, mind. Much like not-dead-yet Volvo, the bods at Saab were all about safety. If you bumped one of its cars they wanted your pretty face (and it is pretty by the way) to stay just the way you like it - steering wheel free. They've spent millions on that, the lovely swines.

3) It liked luxury. Leather, dubious wood, lots of buttons and electric everything were chiselled into the modus operandi.

...and those three things shaped the way it would build its cars for its remaining years. Safe, powerful cars with plenty of kit. What could go wrong?

Darling, I think we've had a bump. Would you turn Dexy's Midnight Runners off and have look please, Sweetheart?

A lot, so it would seem. We won't bore you with all the details - there are proper grown-up news sites for that - instead allow us to summarise what's happened...

They ran out of money. Mainly because the brilliantly named Chinese conglomerate, Youngman, decided at the last possible moment that it had put Saab in its shopping basket by mistake. This left Saab as nothing more than the metaphorical tin of green beans that you see next to the shampoo in ASDA. Damn you Youngman, damn you to hell.

Now it's your time to step up, dear reader. Yes, you! Put the Pot Noodle down and listen up! You can live oh-so-many of Saab's dreams for less than £2000. Cars like the 9-3 convertible...

...or if you need a bit more space for the kids, the dog and half of Sutton Coldfeild you could opt for a 9-5 estate...

...or you could go classic and opt for a 900 Turbo...

...or something else. There are so many sub-£2000 Saabs out there that the choice really is yours. Buy one and you'll look good, you'll feel safe and you'll go bloody fast if you buy the right one! You'll also be preserving the heritage of a great, slightly odd car company. It'd be like having your bonkers aunt stuffed and mounted as a memorial, just without the inherent risk of getting you arrested/sectioned under the mental health act.

Goodbye Saab, and thanks for the cars. They might not have been to everyone's taste, but we loved them. Hell, N£2G head-honcho had a 900XS (though he's willing to ignore the fact that engine FELL OUT OF IT on the M32). You'll be missed. Mainly for things like this wonderful press shot...

...nope, we haven't got a clue.

Saab cars, 1944 - 2011.

The Mercedes R107...

Just a wee update here, one for a car we saw on Retro Rides - a site we spend far too much time on. Damn you internet.

It's a Mercedes R107, or 350SL to you and me. Two seats, a stonking great V8 and classic Mercedes lines - this is one pretty little car. It's also bloody cheap at just £1500. The SL seldom finds itself rubbing wing mirrors with the sub £2k market regulars, so this is a bit special. Just look at it...

Pimp-tacular! Now, have a look at its bottom...

Sassy! This really is one pretty little car, but with a 3.5l V8 it's also an angry one when you want it to be. Top down Mercedes motoring for under £2000, it doesn't get much better.

Before you go off romanticising about being a permed, 80s footballer with a shoulder-pad-sporting Page 3 girl called Susan in the passenger seat (a fine mental image, we're sure you'll agree), there is a caveat: this sucker is a bit rusty. A bit. Only a little. Honest. Ahem.

Look, it's a cheap old Mercedes. Cheap old Mercedeseses rust a lot, it's just what they do. But hey, don't look glum, this old girl is more than salvageable, that's why she's here being paraded before your pretty eyes. Plus - and we're just being honest here - we're living somewhat vicariously as we're broke-as-a-joke at the moment.

Buy this beauty now, fire up the MIG over winter, tack in some new tin before spring and then roll out in summer. Still not sold on the idea? Well, Danny Dyer drove one in 'The Business' and everyone wants to be Danny Dire (see what we did there?), right?

Bollocks, we've put you off now haven't we? Well, if you're still keen, here's the link to the advert.

Monday, 5 December 2011

The Skoda Superb...

Yeah, it's a Skoda and it's chuffin' ace. Deal with it!

Whoo, yeah! I'm a Skoda. No, really, I am

It's 2011 and we've all become a little bit older, a little bit wiser and a little bit fatter (well, that's the case in the N2G office at least). It's that middle point we need to focus on, the 'wiser' bit. With that wisdom should come warm feelings towards the manufacturer that once only offered warmth via the medium of a heated rear screen on your hands whilst pushing said car along the A12 - probably because a con-rod had fallen out or something.

Yes, be wise and embrace the fact those days are gone! Skoda is not a laughing-stock any more; it's a force to be reckoned with and one which has produced some great cars of late, cars like Not £2 Grand fave, the Octavia VRs. We're choosing to ignore the Roomster as that's one odd looking fish, and because it's still really bloody expensive. Anyway, we digress.

Yes Mr. Press Photographer, rocks always make things look cool

The car we're getting all giddy about this week is the Superb. As names go, the Superb is rubbish. Seriously, Superb? Then again it is better than Skoda S'not Bad, or Skoda Fantastic. Actually, we would have gone with Fantastic, because it is (see how we wrote that whole paragraph to meet our own needs? POW! That's snappy journalism for you).

The Superb was released around 2002 and, quite frankly, it is the biggest slab of internally combusted plagiarism to ever hit the road. Stay with us though, because in the context of the Superb it's not a bad thing.

The early 2000s were a time when people started looking at Skodas as a viable option for getting the family from A to B. The Octavia and Fabia were big sellers, robbing sales from Ford, Vauxhall and VW in impressive numbers. Skoda wanted a bigger slice of the pie, though, and the slice they wanted most was the executive sector. Yeah, an executive Skoda. Who'da thunk it? Still, Skoda had Lingyu in its crosshairs, which helped.

No, not this fella...


...that's Pingu, children's favourite and plasticine hero. No, we're talking about this...

...the VW Passat Lingyu. Never heard of it? Nope, neither had we until about four seconds ago. Basically it's a Chinese Passat with an extra 100mm (or 3.9inches) stuffed into its middle, making it like a limo, sort of. It's an ironic twist that a nation populated by people of a stature which ensures the top of the wardrobe remains a permanent mystery have brought us one of the largest cars in its class. Odd.

Now, as Skoda are owned by VW, the cheeky scamps at Skoda Design HQ thought it would be fine to nick the China-only Lingyu, slap a Skoda badge on it and sell it to Europeans on the basis that it was a swish Passat WHICH THEY'D COME UP WITH ALL ON THEIR OWN. VW tussled Skoda's hair, gave them a wink and let them crack on. Wise move.

When it hit UK dealerships everyone knew what Skoda had done, but no one cared. Why should they? I looked as good as a Passat, but it was longer and it had UMBRELLAS IN THE DOORS. LIKE A CHUFFIN' ROLLS ROYCE! It also had leather, electric everything, sat-nav (in most cases) and more. It was the flagship of the Skoda brand, and rightly so. It sold well, too. Mainly because it was cheaper than a fully-loaded Passat while being 100mm longer, and that 100mm is crucial *there was a penis joke here, but we edited it out*.

Now you can expect to get a 2.8 V6 (that's a VW engine, folks) with all the gizmos for your £2000, really shop around and you might get a diesel with less than 6,000,000 miles on it. Try getting a Passat of the same spec and year for the same moolah and you'll come up short, by more than 100mm (see what we did there, yeah, wordplay). We would go for the petrol, mind. Thirsty, yes, but much less likely to have been a taxi (a lot of diesels suffered that fate once they hit the used car market).

Buy one and you can be as happy as this bloke. We wouldn't be as happy as him though, mainly because a seagull ate our cousin in 1993, but that's another story

We'd buy one, and then every time we saw a Passat we'd giggle because ours is longer (we'll stop with gags now, honest). Seriously though, a sub 10 year-old 'flagship' car for less than £2000? If that's not great value we don't know what is. Never has a car embodied what we're about here at Not £2 Grand as much as the Superb does. Get one bought!

Oh, and in a media savvy way, we'd like to tell you that this very update has been featured on which is nice. It's a good place to get hunting for sub-£2000 cars.