If you’ve read car magazines for as long as I have, you will have at some point – probably about once every year, actually – come across the ‘XXXX for Mondeo money’ story.
It goes like this: for the money you were going to spend on your dreary mainstream Mondeo, you could have an old Porsche 911/Lamborghini/ Ferrari or whatever (fill in your own XXX). Be different. Express your credentials as a true motoring enthusiast and not just a sheep-like consumer.
I’ve always been dismissive of this idea. The best car to buy for Mondeo money is, in fact, a Mondeo, especially if you need a car in the accepted car-like role of dependable transport. And since you were looking at a Mondeo, that’s probably exactly what you were after. Not a Urraco.
And anyway, it’s not true. About eight years ago, I bought a mainstream air-cooled 911 for a bit less than Mondeo money, but last year sold it for three times what I paid for it. Ha! A profit, something I’ve never achieved before.
So-called car photographers always fail to get a lamppost and a terrible building in the reflection.
And now I’ve decided that my 1972 Rolls-Royce Corniche has to go, because I’ve become allergic to it. And I mean this. If I drive it for more than half an hour I start itching, and then have to boil all my clothes. So it’s going into an auction next month (Bonhams, 19 March at Goodwood) and it’s expected to fetch one-and-a-half times what I paid for it. Maybe twice.
So I’d like to apologise. Here were two cars bang in the for-Mondeo-money heartland, I actually did buy them, and they haven’t cost me anything to own. They were right, those misty-eyed car journalists, but they’re not right any more, because all of these ‘bargain exotics’ (think, indeed, of the Urraco, Ferrari 308 Dino, and Maserati Khamsin we drove on the telly years ago) are now worth much more than a Mondeo, and it’s because of people like me. And Richard Hammond.
On the plus side, it does give Ford an excellent marketing opportunity as it launches its new Mondeo Vignale. ‘A Mondeo for the price of a stupid old car. Two Mondeos, in fact’.
Crap photo credit: the author