Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 10 May

Lotus Evora, £27,995: If Matt Saunders’ brief tribute to the original Lotus Evora whetted your appetite for the Toyota-powered 2+2 launched in 2009, then you’ll be pleased to know clean, early cars are now below £30,000. 

We found an early 2010/59 VVT-i with 39,000 miles for £27,995 at a specialist. It’s a Launch Edition car so has the Tech (nav, parking aids, cruise), Sport (cross-drilled discs, deeper spoiler, uprated exhaust) and Premium (extra leather, heated seats, reversing camera) packs. 

For £500 less, there’s a privately advertised 40,000-mile 2010/60-reg, also with all three packs and finished in Solar Yellow. Interestingly, it’s had many of the model’s common issues addressed, including having new handbrake cables and a new window motor, a water leak in the passenger footwell plugged and its ‘peeling’ headlights sorted. We’d go for the dealer car. It looks better value and comes with a 12-month warranty.

If you’re tempted by the yellow one or to look at others, checks should include quizzing the ECU to see how often the engine has been over-revved. Also make sure it’s been serviced every 9000 miles and that the engine mounts are sound (they were an early warranty issue). 

If gearchanges are difficult, suspect stretched gear cables. Inspect the brakes and tyres for signs of track abuse and listen for the front anti-roll bar bushes knocking. Look for a red dot on the air-con condenser showing it was replaced under warranty (early ones were troublesome) and check the pipes aren’t draining into the cabin. Pray for even body panel gaps and, last but not least, check that the door handles work.


 

Mercedes-Benz R-Class, £10,980: With MPV versatility, all-wheel-drive capability, estate practicality and saloon comfort, the R-Class had an answer for almost everything. This 2011/61-reg seven-seat R350 CDI auto with 100,000 miles and full Merc history is less than £11,000.

Fiat Panda 4×4, £11,695: The basic Panda is shaded by modern fare but few cars hold a candle to the 4×4 version. It’s short and light with a willing engine and runs rings around more gung-ho alternatives. This 2016/16-reg 1.3 petrol has 20,000 miles and all the trimmings.

Peugeot 1.6 RCZ, £3980: The R version stole the headlines but the RCZ’s concept-car looks means a 1.6 Sport still turns heads. This 2010/10-reg car with full history has done 115,000 miles. Be aware that diesel versions might have potentially expensive problems lurking.

BMW X6 4.4 M, £23,495: Your sensible side says pay no heed to the self-regarding X6, but there’s no denying this 2011/61-reg 4.4 V8 M with full BMW history and just 65,000 miles looks fun. The 0-62mph sprint goes by in less then five seconds. On the other hand, road tax is £570. 

Auction Watch 

Ferrari Testarossa: This Testarossa project must be one of the more expensive basket cases. It made £29,415, although it does at least have a totally restored and rust-proofed chassis, all of its panels (in need of stripping and restoring) and its seats (they’ve been retrimmed). It’s got new tyres and all of its glass, too. Also present, fortunately, are the mechanicals, ECU and wiring loom. Good luck with that. It looks like a job for an expert, but we know someone who, with next to no marque knowledge, bought a Ferrari in similar condition and now has seven of the things.

Get it while you can

Nissan Juke Bose Personal Edition 1.6 112, price new – £19,355, price now £13,480: An all-new Juke arrives later this year, so Nissan is clearing out the old one. As a result there are a number of pre-reg examples on forecourts, at prices that mean they won’t be around for long. We found a 2019/19-reg 1.6 Bose Personal Edition with five miles on the clock for £13,480. It costs £19,355 new, although you can get £2200 or so off for cash or, via the PCP route, a £2700 deposit contribution from Nissan. Still makes that pre-reg look cheap, though. 

Clash of the classifieds

Brief: Find me a mouth-watering V12-engined something for £5000 or less.

BMW 750IL LWB, £4999: V12-powered cars are complex machines, so I’ve gone for something a bit more straightforward than my colleague’s E65 7 Series: a 2000 E38 7 Series. Yes, it has terrible aftermarket wheels, but it’s still very tidy, is far less leggy and has much less troublesome electronics than Mark’s later car. And it has some truly wonderful period pieces, such as a wired-in car phone and walnut picnic tables. Buy one now before it becomes sought after, just as the E32 has become in recent years. Max Adams

BMW 760LI LWB, £3495: Imagine the thrill of owning a plush limo that purrs down the motorway yet leaps like a leopard when you push pedal to the metal, then think of the sheer joy of opening up the bonnet to reveal a magnificent naturally aspirated 6.0-litre V12. This is a Bangle BMW for the price of a knackered Renault Clio, so look on the 5.5sec 0-62mph performance as a welcome bonus and the hushed, luxurious and capacious interior as your birthright. This clean 2003 example is up for peanuts, so don’t be a fool. Mark Pearson 

Verdict: That Max Adams really should be a car salesman. One BMW 750i sold to the clown with five grand in his hand.