(Jacob Rumans) #1

15


I


’dlike to say there’sa chance of you
findinganunmolestedoriginal
’9 3 to ‘96UK-specToyotaSupra
A80,butyou’llbelookinglong
andhard.Themodifyingcraze
reducedthesupplyof stockcars
todoublefigures.Thatandthe
factthat onlyaround 600 were
soldintheUK– hardlysurprising
witha 1993 list price of £40,000.
TheA80fourth-genSupra is a card-
carryingclassicwithmore horsesthanan
M3,betterpowerto weightratiothana Ferrari
34 8 anda de-limitedtopspeedof 177mph.Sixty
comes upinunderfive secondsandthat 3.0-litre
24vsixwithitssequentialturbos is a bulletproof
gem.Toyotadideverythingto lightentheA80–
evenincludinghollowcarpettufting.Theattention
toengineeringdetailwasobsessivewitha bespoke
GetragV160 six-speed’box,LSD,ABS, traction

controlandevena motorisedactive air
dam.Not forgettingthat raunchyrear
spoiler(alsohollowto saveweight).
PricesintheUS havegone
nutswithRMSotheby’srecently
drawing$173,000fora black’
TargaTwinTurbowith11,
milesandanoptimisticToyota
dealerinChicago hasa 7000-mile
red’95manuallistedfor$500,
(no,that’snot a misprint).In theUK
thingsaremuchsanerwitha privateseller
inBerkshireofferinga black, original’94UK-
suppliedautowithToyotahistory,‘massivefileof
invoices’and98kmiles for£21,950,whileJAPCars
inBerkshirehasanimportedsilver’95TwinTurbo
auto, totallystockwith11 stampsintheservice
book,ringbinderof history,blackleatherand62k
milesforjust £12,995.Don’t besurprisedif we see
mint, low-mileageUKcarsmakingover£60ksoon.

W


henweBritstalkaboutclassic
4x4swethinkLandRover.
Fortherestof theworld
thero yaltyof vintage
off-roadersis theToyota
FJ40. In 2014Gooding& Co drew
$1 37,000fora beautifullyrestored
’80FJat PebbleBeach,andthen
twoyearslaterscoreda world
recordof $174,000foran’81witha
similarlyperfectframe-offrestoration.
Butlastmonthat AmeliaIsland
Bonhamssolda final-year’85matchingnumbers
and‘e xquisitelyrestored’FJ40 softtopinHeath
Greyforjust $42,560– orprobablylessthanits
re stocost.Thissurprisinglyflat price couldjust
bea blip,butit’s worthwatchingthemarketfor
originalorperfectlyrestoredFJsbecausetheseare
themodelsthatkickstartedtheglobalcrazefor
vintageSUVsandtheircultdesirabilitycertainly
isn’t goingto disappearanytimesoon.

Productionranfrom 196 0-85(2001in
Brazil)andearlycarshada 3.9-litresix
witha three-speed’box andfrom
’75a 4.2sixwithfourspeed,with
PASarrivingin‘79.ThelaterFJs,
particularlythe’84sand’85sare
themost usableanddesirable.
AnFJis way coolerthana Land
Roverandwillsellanywhereinthe
worldto a youngandpassionate
demographic.Pastelshades like
MustardYellowandFeelLikeBluegive
a carefreesurfboardvibeandtheSeventies
Japanesedetailingis a joy. EclecticAuctionsin
Brightonhasjust sold‘thebestrhdFJ40 in
theUK’,a rare 1980 factorysoft-topwith
a frame-offresto,for£24,500,anda
re stored’77factoryrhdhardtopinCadet
Bluefor£26,750.WhileUKbuyersbegin
togettheirheadsaroundtheFJ’s global
allurethere are bargainsto besnappedup.

MercedesA45 AMG

M


ercedes’ first-ever hot hatch
is now down to 20 grand. The
A45 is a landmark car both for
Stuttgart and AMG, who had
never built a turbocharged
four-cylinder before. And for a
first stab they did a remarkably
fine job. The A45 squeezes
a bonkers 355bhp from its 1991cc – more
horsepower per litre than a Bugatti Veyron.
Adding four-wheel drive and a seven-speed
paddle-shift dual-clutch ’box into the mix
were clever ideas, giving the A45 enough
heave and grip to embarrass a 911. This is a
seriously rapid and entertaining Benz that
can dispatch 60mph in 4.5 seconds, run to a
limited 155mph and return 35mpg.
Like all landmark cars it’s the early
incarnations that should interest us. The
2013/14 MkI can genuinely claim to be the
world’s first hyper hatch, conceived long
before the Golf R and Audi RS3. As with all
AMG engines, the A45’s is hand-built by one
bloke with his signature on a
plaque. Inside there’sred
stitching and carbon-
fibre trim, while
outside you cantrick
things up with arear
bumper splitter,
red calipers, 19 inch
black alloys andthe
Aero Package (huge
rear spoiler) plusthe
essential Performance
Exhaust. Ownerswho
ticked all those boxeswillhave
paid over £45k, soa high-specearlycarat
around £24k is solidvalue.MotorMatchin
Rochdale has a Mountain Grey 2014 with 45k
miles for £20,497 while Proveeda in Suffolk
has a Jupiter Red 2013 with 29k for £22,950.
Turn-in is tenacious, grip awesome and
the steering, although electrically assisted, is
well weighted with real sharpness at attack
velocities. The all-wheel drive system means
it’s poised, balanced and sure-footed on
a sweeping B-road (but avoid the sports
suspension option because it’s too crashy
for UK roads). The whooshing, whining and
barking soundtrack is one of its greatest
virtues – it lets everyone know this is no
ordinary A-Class. I counted 14 pages of A45s
for sale on one online site, so buying a few-
owner low-miler for around £20k shouldn’t
be hard at all. Just watch out for damaged
repaired A45s – there are an alarming number.
Because it’s a proper AMG, only buy with an
MBdealer history and avoid cars with
specialist stamps in the service book.
Think of the A45 as having the same
game-changing influence as the MkI
Golf GTi and you’ll understand its
historical significance. Drive one and
you’ll wonder why you waited so long.

Toyota Supras are primed to go supersonic soon

Land Cruiser FJ40 crushes Land Rovers worldwide

Value 2012

£

ValuenoW

£12k

Value 2012

£18k

ValuenoW

£25k

cost neW

£42k

ValuenoW

£22k

CLASSICoNTHECUSP

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