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Home  /  August 2015  /  Reviews

Let’s say you’ve got half a mill to spend on your next car. It’s tough because you’re spoilt for choice, you know the minute you drive out of the showroom you’ve already dropped $100k, and you’re paying about double what your mates in the US are for the same car.

Of course if you read the reports from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries you’d believe we are getting a great deal on our cars compared to other countries. Other countries such as Britain, not other countries such as the US or Canada.

And of course with the Australian dollar at parity with the Mongolian tugrik, the story looks a lot better than it did.

So the good old boys and girls at the Fed use the Range Rover SDV6 HSE as one of the case studies.

In Australia they tell us you can pick one up for $110,688. In a footnote they tell us luxury car tax brings the price to $126, 229. Actually, I make the drive-away number $134,799. Anyway, the FCAI tells us the Poms can steal one for $103,000. But in the US and Canada you’ll pay about $95,000.

Cars such as the new Ferrari 488GTB ($470,000 here), the McLaren 650S ($450,000) and the Lamborghini Huracan ($440,000) are only about $80,000 more expensive here, unless you get yourself a wholesaler’s licence.

The only car to be out of step is the Porsche 911. Consider this. Right now driving away in a Porsche Turbo will cost you $393,000. In the US? $208,000.

Look, I would buy any Ferrari, old, middle-aged or new, in a heartbeat if I lived by myself. But then again if you really want to get full value for money out of your car investment, why not double up?

For instance everyone gets off on E-types. But we all know that Jag wasn’t renowned for quality in those days. Last year the Indian-owned company announced that it would build six of the lightweight E-types that were originally planned in 1963. Eleven of the originals are still around. In January the lightweight owned by racer Peter Sutcliffe sold for a little over $11 million. The new six have all been sold for $2.5m.

Get my point?

While the new old ones qualify for historic racing, they have modern parts. This means you avoid the Lucas electrical systems that single-handedly brought down the British auto industry in the 1980s.

You remember the jokes: Lucas is the patent holder for the short circuit; the Lucas motto: “Get home before dark”; Lucas: inventor of the first intermittent wiper.

The six have the option of triple Weber carburettors, which means you can while away the hours during race meets tuning them.

Better news still: Jaguar also has some XK SS cars it didn’t build. Get your tugriks ready.

Here’s the thing. Modern supercars like the Fezzer and Lambo are so full of help-you-drive gear that you can’t help but set lap records, even in South Yarra.

New-old supercars like the Jag need enormous skill and courage to drive. Best not to invest unless your insurance company is very generous.

Read about my auction pick for next weekend (see photo below) at The Australian and stay tuned next week for an update on our service saga.

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