Can you buy and fix your dream car purely on eBay?
Buy car online. Fix car using parts bought online. Drive car online. No wait, drive car in the real world. Yes, that's a better idea
I sold my first ever car on eBay. I didn't want to; my girlfriend at the time demanded I get rid of it because I didn't drive it enough. IT'S A PROJECT CAR, IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE DRIVEN MUCH.
Sad though I was to see my 1996 Ford Escort Freedom disappear on the back of a low loader, it was an incredibly easy process to find a buyer for it. And that was back in 2007; eBay's come a long way since then.
So the DriveTribe gang wondered - could you find a car on eBay, and then find all the bits you need for it on eBay to keep it running nicely? Hypothetically, of course. Our budget doesn't stretch to actually doing it, YOU'LL BE PLEASED TO KNOW, CATHERINE.
Anyway, here are three ideas that we came up with.
2007 Jaguar XKR
Let's start with a reatively easy one. Here's a top-quality British performance car from the pen of Ian Callum, with a Buy It Now price of £10,250, and the buyer's open to offers. That could mean a lot of style and performance for less than £10k. OK, it's the 4.2-litre model rather than the faster 5.0, but that's still a mighty motor with 420 horsepower, in a car that's both comfortable and fast.
The seller says it's in pretty good nick, although with 120,700 miles on the clock it's likely had some adventures. The alloys need refurbishing, but I found an already-refurbed set for sale, with tyres, that would be direct replacement. Stick 'em on, sell the old ones on eBay to make some money back. Bosh.
Brakes and discs can go quite quickly on XKRs, especially if they're driven in the manner that the engineers intended, but it's easy to find new ones on eBay; punch in the car details and it'll throw up a load of parts that will fit. Maybe I'd add some Powerflex bushes to replace the standard ones when they're worn.
Apart from that, owner's forums suggest that the XKR is actually reliable. Job done.
2005 Hummer H2
Look, who wants to be boring and blend in? Who cares about fuel economy, or whether anyone likes them? Not you! That's why you need a 16-year old American monstrosity that your neighbours will hate. Like this Hummer H2 with just 47,700 miles on it. And underbody neons. YES.
Bidding as I write is at £12,155 with 31 bids. It's left-hand drive, has recently had £4k spent fixing its gearbox, and a load of suspension work too. That could mean that it's now all sorted, or it could be a sign of what's to come.
Some research suggests the water pump is prone to failing, so that seems like a good thing to have ready in the garage. Likewise, wheel bearings can fail, but it's not too pricey for new ones.
The CD player's broken too, which seems like a good time to upgrade the sound system to something more modern. Now, how best to wedge one of these into the dash...?
Find a used Hummer H2 on eBay. And please tell us if you buy one so we can arrange a medal.
1992 Mazda Eunos Roadster
Anyone who really knows driving knows that those who slag off the MX-5 don't know what they're talking about. It's hard to have more pure driving fun for the money. That's why we'd be all over this 1992 JDM Eunos Roadster Monza Edition, in British racing green, with 106,000 miles, for less than £3k.
It's got a black boot and bonnet for some reason. You can get a can of BRG spray paint on eBay, but knowing our skills with a can, that's probably best left to an expert. The description says there are some laquer and chip issues, so a respray is in order.
According to the owner though, the car is in pretty good condition, considering it's nearly 30 years old. It has had a few mods that wouldn't be quite to our tastes, so we'd pick up some standard sidelights and indicators instead of the weird aftermarket ones.
Brakes are prone to seizing, especially as MX-5s get older, so it'd be worth having some spare calipers on hand. Perished rain rails can lead to a wet boot, so that's another thing to keep in the shed. All available on eBay in abundance.