T​he Cheapest Cars you can buy that make you look Rich

B​ecause we all love to look good...

5w ago

I​’m pretty sure you and I can agree that from time-to-time we all like a bit of a gloat. Getting that shot of dopamine in your brain telling you that you look cool or you’re impressing people is always a good feeling... unless you’re a hopeless blob like me. Moving on. Being posh and fancy, however, is a very expensive thing. It costs a lot of money to have a big house, to be able to afford expensive clothes, and to drive a flashy car. Unfortunately, I am unable to help you all with house prices, but I can recommend you a list of five cheap cars on the market today that make you look rich, or at least very cool.

(​Quick Hint - the budget is... somewhere between £20,000 and £25,000. I haven’t worked that out yet.)

1​. 1983 Ferrari Mondial - £19,771

T​he idea of a Ferrari for under £20,000 sounds like a very good thing. You can look like you came straight from Miama Vice at the lights, camera phones flashing left and right, and no one will be any the wiser that you paid less for it than a BMW 3-Series. However, I then laid eyes on the Ferrari Mondial, and... it’s not the worst I’ve ever seen, and the front is quite nice, but... it’s not good. Why did they put tiny Testarossa side vents on the rear arches? But let’s not get bogged down with the less-than-desirable looks, as I’m sure they’ll be enough to wow some passers by as you drive past. The Mondial actually carries an interesting burden over it’s head - it replaces the 308 GTS and GT4 as the 2+2, rear/mid-engined Ferrari, and is in fact the last of its kind. That mid-rear engined spot is filled by a 3.0L all-Italian V8, which produces about 214 horsepower, sent to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. That power can propel the Mondial from 0-60 in about 7 seconds, and on to a top speed of about 140mph. Of course, that’s nothing groundbreaking. But... it’s 20 grand. You get what you pay for. This Mondial in particular is a 1983 model, with 73,000 miles on the clock - so it might be a bit less than reliable. It also has a surprising amount of equipment for it’s age - disc brakes all round, electric windows, air con - the Italians invented reliability, as we know, so I’m sure they will all last... maybe ten minutes? But once again - it’s the price you pay for owning a 20k Ferrari. You pay 20 grand for the Ferrari, you get the 20 grand repair bill, and maybe one day you can sell it for an absurd price, like all the other Mondials out there.

(​Here’s where the car is being sold: www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1314345)

2​. 2005 Aston Martin DB9 - £24,995

A​nd now, we transition from a very unpleasant car to a very rather good car. Of course I’m talking about the one and only car so incredibly cool that it was unfit to go onto the Top Gear Cool Wall, and instead was placed in it’s own section - the Aston Martin DB9. Possibly one of the best looking cars ever made - not quite on the same level as its older brother, the DB7, but it’s still a very beautiful machine. Aston seems to have an reputation of making fantastic looking cars since the break of the 2000s - even the little Cygnet wasn’t bad. I can’t really think of a bad one. That statement is probably not going to age well. The more... proper Astons have always been good looking, in my humble opinion. The sleek shape that all of them have, and the long bonnet to house the massive engines underneath, give the classic Aston grille and iconic head list a certain emphasis that wouldn’t get from anything else. In terms of practicality... who am I kidding, nobody buys a supercar for practicality. In the front is Aston’s masterpiece of a 5.9L V12 that’s been rolling for 65,000 miles. The DB9’s variant of the V12 produces about 450 horsepower, which in this specific car is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed flappy paddle gearbox. The car is also fairly equipped... for a supercar. It has electric seats, proper climate control, a CD player, you get the idea. The interior itself is also a very nice place to be, as you’d expect from a hand-crafted British sports car. And all these small things add up to the perfect car for looking good, whilst also having a lot of fun, for not a lot of money. I really need to stop growin the list of cars I want to own, but this one makes it. Definitely.

(​Here’s where the car is being sold: www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202008162551285)

3​. 2003 Bentley Arnage - £24,991

B​entleys have always been the undisputed kings of showing off. They’re striking, sound good, have an enormous presence, and are pretty much the official cars of anyone with some money to throw around. However, if you live in my area (or maybe this happens elsewhere - I don’t know), you have a problem - you see, there are (or at least there were) loads of the most popular Bentley by far - the Continental GT - around here... so how do you stand out? Well, you get the Arnage. The connoisseur’s Bentley. The car designed for people who have royal blood in their body, and/or Roman numerals in their name. And the good thing is that they’re just as cheap as the common man’s - if you can describe a Bentley as ‘common’ - Continental. Under the bonnet, the Arnage shares a Bentley icon with its Continental brother - a 6.8L twin-turbo W12, producing 450 horsepower in this model. Despite how massive and heavy the Arnage was, it could still sprint to 60 in 5.5 seconds, and keep on going all the way to 186 miles per hour. And then you remind yourself that... it’s a Bentley! It’s a luxury car! It has electric seats, front and back; it has cruise control; it has heated seats, once again front and back; the list goes on. And this is all frock 2003! That would’ve been impossibly luxurious at the time. The interior is comfortable - covered in leather, with large seats - and it’s a beautiful place to be - every design piece inside is it’s own individual work of art. I particularly like the machined metal, in which the dials sit. It truly is incredible that you can get a handbuilt British luxury car - even this, a 27,000 miles Arnage - for such small money. And the simple question is: what’s stopping you?

(​Here’s where the car is being sold: www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202102018585622)

4​. 2011 Maserati Granturismo - £24,995

N​ow here is a proper Italian car - not like that abysmal Ferrari from earlier. Here we have a front-engined, V8 Italian grand tourer from the early 2010s. Of course, the car comes from the only company suited for the job - Maserati. And... where to begin? Let’s start with the speed and power for once... actually, I immediately regret that, let’s talk looks. And wow - what a car! The lines are exquisite - each one placed with more care and consideration than Ferrari took designing the entire Mondial... I really need to stop complaining about the Mondial now. The nose and the headlights slope downwards, making the front of the car look super sharp and aggressiv, but not in a flashy way. It’s subtle; it’s delicate; it’s gorgeous. It looks especially great in black, although I must say I would’ve preferred a white one. Nonetheless, it’s one of the best looking cars of all time. And I’m not alone there, as white Granturismos do seem to be worth more. Take that information as you will. The Granturismo technically had two versions of itself - the one with the 4.2L V8, and the one with the 4.7L V8. That 4.7L V8 also happens to be the same engine that lives in the Alfa Romeo 8C - another one of the best looking cars of all time. This Granturismo happens to be the 4.7, which is producing around 435 horsepower. That power - via a flappy-paddle gearbox in the middle, sending power to the rear-wheels - can propel the car from 0-60 in... 4.7 seconds, and a top speed of 183mph. Best of all, it’s only done 32,000 miles! It’s almost too good to be true! It’s an front-engined, Italian grand tourer, with a 4.7L V8 and one of the best looking bodies of all time. What is there that’s not to like?

(​Here’s where the car is being sold: www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202102279535777)

5​. 2008 Sebring MXR - £20,000

H​ere’s a little tip for people who want to stand out in the car world - if you want to be truly different, you want to have something nobody’s ever seen before. You want some form of kit car - like this one, for instance. If you couldn’t already tell, the Sebring MXR is a replica/restomod of a 1959 Austin-Healey 3000, which is probably my favourite British sports fan of all time. It had an enormous straight-six engine, and an even more enormous bonnet to remind you of it. True to form, it was covered in every place you looked with chrome details, which only added to it’s beauty. It was also hopelessly impractical compared to the hot hatches that wiped the sports cars out, once again true to form. It‘s a proper classic. The new boy, the MXR, does a good job upholding that reputation - it looks great, keeping the awe-inspiring style of the original whilst removing the chrome bumpers and fitting some mean, Shelby Cobra-style widebody arches. It‘s hopelessly impractical, as it’s based upon the 3000 itself. And it has a monster of an engine under that huge bonnet. It’s powered by a Chevy V8 - the 350 small-block, if I’m not mistaken. This engine produces around 350 horsepower, which gives the Sebring a 0-60 time that I’d love to tell you, but can’t, because nobody ever bothered to measure it. Same story with the top speed. But I don’t think that’s the point of the MXR - if you want sheer speed and power, you can have a Maserati Granturismo or an Aston DB9. If you want a device to make yourself feel special, and to show the world how much of a unique snowflake you are, here you go. The Sebring MXR; look no further.

​(Here’s where the car is being sold: www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202008303106547)

T​he conclusion...

A​ll of these cars are very different things. The Maserati and the Aston are built for speed, the Bentley is built for pure, undistilled luxury, the Sebring is built to make you feel special, and the Ferrari is built to hell with your eyes. Which one did you prefer? As always, I’ll have a poll set up below for you to vote on that. And until next weekend... keep an eye out for the polls I put out on Sundays. YOU can help choose what article I write during the week.

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Comments (8)

  • I’d rather enjoy real affluence with anonymity than wear it on ones sleeve. Interesting times ahead, discretion ensures preservation. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      1 month ago
  • I found a 2007 Jaguar XK for $10,998 the other day. I've also seen them for under 10k.

      1 month ago
    • XKs are very lovely cars, one of the best pieces of styling Jag ever did. Having one for under 10k sounds fantastic!

        1 month ago
    • Owning one for under 10k sounds fantastic, indeed.

        1 month ago
  • It would all be fun and games until first service receipt.

      1 month ago
  • The Bently and the Aston will fall to pieces and be very expensive to repair. The Maserati won't be far behind. And the Mondial was crap to begin with.

      1 month ago