For a hair under £60,000, this Lamborghini Gallardo is worth a (very, very scrupulous) once-over .
by John Evans
15 February 2019
Lamborghini Gallardo £59,999: We must be mad but this 59,000-mile, right-hand drive, 2003-reg Gallardo is a rare and sought-after manual one and comes with stacks of history.
It has had a really thorough going over recently; lots of things from new handbrake pads and brake fluid, through new OEM filters and the correct grade of branded oil, to having the throttle bodies cleaned, brakes and underside cleaned and checked, the offside lower front ball joint reconditioned and the wheels aligned.
Worth making the journey for a look-see, then, but before we do, we’d want to know if it’s wrapped; and if it is, we’d wonder what’s lurking beneath. That aluminium body is hellish hard to repair and who’d want a knocked-about Gallardo anyway?
Assuming it’s au naturel and we make the journey, we’d want to have that V10 engine pressure tested. (It’s prone to oil pump problems.) It’s good the throttle bodies have been cleaned since they’re a trouble spot, too. We’d also check for overheating.
Lamborghini Gallardo 2003-2013
The Lamborghini Gallardo is the full supercar sensation with sublime handling
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Moving to the transmission, the manual gearbox is tough but can suffer cable stretch, so we’d feel for imprecise changes. The seller has had the suspension checked and picked up a problem with the offside front ball joint (common). He’s had the rack checked, too, but it’s worth inspecting the condition of the gaiters.
The nose can suffer bad stone-chipping so, while a wrap would ring alarm bells, we would have no issue with a clear vinyl film here to protect it. Inside, the Audi-sourced trim and controls stand up well. Even so, we’d check the driver’s seat bolster for wear and the Alcantara steering wheel cover for shine – and then have a lie down.
Volkswagen Phaeton LWB, £9800: Diamonds aren’t the only things that are forever – so is the VW Phaeton. The seller claims this 2005-reg V10 TDI conveyed a certain singer to and from her concerts and residences and had done 263,000 miles when he bought it. He’s since added 30,000.
Alpina D3 Biturbo, £23,490: This 2015-reg, 90,000-mile D3 is for the next time someone knocks diesel. Alpina went through the BMW F30- based saloon fitting new manifolds, tweaking all the settings and suspension, and fitting a soul-stirring exhaust. It does 0-62mph in 4.6sec.
Lancia Thema 2.9 8.32, £25,000: Not the time of the next train to Woking but the number of cylinders (eight) and valves (32) that this very special Lancia has. The 2.9-litre engine was based on that used in the Ferrari 308 but is less powerful. Our example is a 1990 car with 47,000 miles.
Skoda Rapid 136, £4000: Years ago, an Autocar reader wrote to say his Rapid coupé was as much fun as his Porsche 911. And we can confirm this rear-engined car is indeed a hoot. Our 1989 find has adjustable suspension, a Weber carb, new tyres and a good service history.
Land Rover Defender Tomb Raider: If the Camel Trophy ‘One life, live it’ slogan doesn’t make you want to saddle up your Defender and head for the mud, look out for one of these: a Defender 90 Tomb Raider. It was released in 2001 on the back of the Lara Croft action movie. Just 250 were built, each decked out with the requisite body protection, spotlights and alloy wheels but also a roll cage, detachable winch, long-range fuel tank and fire extinguisher.
You’re too late for this 113,000-mile 2.5 diesel that made £14,300 but you can still find the odd 100,000-miler for around £18,000 in the classifieds.
Get it while you can
BMW 730d M Sport, price new – £73,430, BMW PCP/HP deposit contribution – £17,754: Perhaps the two aren’t linked, but with the facelifted 7 Series due soon (bigger grille, quieter, posher interior), BMW is putting its hand in its pocket to the tune of almost £18,000. That’s its deposit contribution to a PCP or hire purchase deal on a new, outgoing Seven, and almost double what is required from the customer (£10,000). It’s a discount, really, but to be expected on such a big-ticket motor. Bear it in mind if you’re shopping for a nearly new one at just a couple of grand off list…
Clash of the classifieds
Brief: You have £40k for a hardcore but discreet sports saloon that won’t attract the wrong kind of attention.
Maserati Quattroporte 4.7 V8 Sport GTS, £29,995: The Quattroporte was never much cop as a luxury car, so when it was facelifted, Maserati turned it into the sporting saloon it always should have been. Complete with a gloriously noisy V8 engine, properly sorted passive dampers and springs, and a more conventional ZF automatic gearbox instead of the jerky automated manual, it was the finest Quattroporte ever made. Plus, all the oiks who worship at the altar of AMG, RS Audis and M division BMWs will have no clue what this is. Max Adams
BMW M6 Gran Coupé, £36,000: Take all that’s good about BMW and wrap it in a four-door, pillarless, coupé-style bodyshell of exquisite loveliness and unholy discreetness and add a wonderful 552bhp twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 that will do all you ask of it, all of the time. This gorgeous Gran Coupé might be loaded with goodies but it’s really, really fast – think 0-62mph in 4.7sec – handles like a sports car, rides like a magic carpet and cossets like a luxury liner. This one has done a mere 43k miles and will leave you change from your £40k for a trans-continental driving holiday. I’m in love. Mark Pearson
Verdict: Sensational car, that Maserati, but its exhaust can wake the dead. Flawed M6 version notwithstanding, the big Beemer it is.
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