Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 11 June

In Autocar’s recent tribute to the internal combustion engine (5 May), some of our writers named their favourite engines of all time. Here we’ve gathered five of those engines in the cars that made them famous, starting with the Volkswagen Corrado VR6.

“Its narrow-angle vee allowed this big-chested sophisticate to fit under the workaday bonnet of a Golf or that wedgy slice of heaven, the Corrado,” wrote James Disdale. What’s more, we’ve found an example of said Corrado. Registered in 1994, it has done 175,000 miles and looks bright, at least in the pictures. It’s finished in a classy dark blue with grey leather.

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We’re clearly big fans of the VR6, but we know that it isn’t without its problems. For example, the timing chains can stretch and jump teeth, especially beyond 100,000 miles. Replacement is an engine-out job costing about £800. Fortunately, this car has just had that work carried out.

Other jobs done in recent years include new wheel bearings all round, a new clutch master cylinder, new driveshafts and new engine mounts, plus it has just been serviced.

We would scrutinise the body for rust under that lovely finish, as it can strike at the sills, wheel arches, screen surrounds and front wings.

Most spares are easy to source, with the exception of some trim and the headlights and foglights. On that point, VW Heritage sells protective headlight covers, which we would fit quickly. The seller says all the electrics work, including the active spoiler, which can be troublesome.

All in all, then, this is a Corrado that sounds like a worthy home for Disdale’s beloved VR6.



MA: The beauty of my car (besides the looks) is that it’s not a temperamental, hand-made beast of burden. Besides, if you have deep enough pockets to run an old Bentley, you can PCP a new one and suffer the heartache when your ‘old smoker’ fails to proceed.

FP: Ah yes, but then James would have nothing to do on Sunday mornings. This Arnage R needs a new manifold gasket, a suspension system service and a touch of paintwork.

MA: Whereas my SL saves him £3000 from his original budget, which is enough for a swanky driving holiday (once international travel restrictions allow) to all the places where millionaires go: Monaco, Portofino, Klosters…

FP: Indeed, lovely places. But even when he’s made his millions, James will still be a petrolhead, so I can see him heading first to Le Mans. And how better to see La Sarthe than from an Arnage?

Verdict: I don’t think I would be rich for long with the Bentley, so it’s the Mercedes for me.