Personality in Motion: Our Top Picks for 2024
On this week's edition of the Apex, we've brought together an eclectic mix of cars that represent an interesting buying opportunity in 2024. They belong to a variety of automotive segments, eras and design philosophies. While initially appearing to lack a singular commonality, we assert that they all share a rebellious spirit—a unique charm and personality that deems them worthy of consideration.
Written by Archie Hill for The Apex by Custodian. Edited & produced by Archie Hill, Charles Clegg & Jeremy Hindle.
BMW E92 M3
BMW managed to create something truly special with the E92 M3. It’s the only M3 to feature a V8, and probably the only M3 that ever will. It was also the only car in BMW’s entire line-up to be blessed with that N/A V8 engine, making it a one of a kind. But it’s not just the power unit. The E92 is a muscle car with grace. It’s balanced and poised. It has a near perfect 50/50 weight distribution and over the years has gained a reputation for being a ‘favourite’ among the true driver’s cars.
At list, the E92 would set you back around £50,000 (consider that to £80,000 for a new M3 today!). Now, you can pick up a good example for between £18,000 and £38,000. Running costs aren’t cheap, but with an MPG of around 20 that’s hardly a surprise. Given their age, known issues like the rod bearings are a relatively easy fix, and it’s a sure bet that the E92 is destined for modern classic status. An M car should be attainable, and the E92 M3 still falls into that category. The M3 pictured is currently for sale here on The Showroom.
Alfa Romeo Spider (Series 4)
The Alfa Spider has always been cool. It was, after all, the last car designed by Battista Pininfarina back in 1966, and has served as Alfa Romeo’s longest running sports car. Just the other month Austin Butler was seen driving one around California, as he channelled a modern James Dean.
We’ve specifically chosen the Series 4 because it’s the Spider you can rely on (electrical glitches aside). The design was also revisited in 1990 and marked a return to the Spider’s more original, cleaner, sleeker body. The silver example pictured sold for £11,770 in 2021, and in today's market, you can pick up a nice one for around £12-£17,000.
By far the most expensive car on the list, the Ferrari FF does represent an interesting value proposition. £100,000 for a naturally aspirated V12 Ferrari that’s not particularly old, has a five star Evo review from Henry Catchpole, more room in the back than the Rapide, and once had a list price of £227,000. Not convinced? Watch the Ferrari FF promo vid below. If only all automotive adverts were this good.
The FF has an edge to it that warrants recognition. Prices for the FF haven’t changed much over the last few years, and the fact that the FF is now a pretty rare sight would suggest they won’t go too much lower any time soon. Just make sure you get one with Ferrari’s extended warranty, like this one that is currently for sale on The Showroom with Joe Macari:
Fiat Panda 100hp
The Fiat Panda 100hp defies the typical hot hatch archetype, emerging as a pint-sized powerhouse that punches above its weight. With its unassuming appearance, the Panda conceals a spirited 1.4-liter, 100-horsepower engine and weighs less than 1000kg, so it's quicker than you think. If you live in the city and you want a fun run around, they don’t come much better than this. They’re also cheap to buy at sub £5k, cheap to maintain, and cheap to run!
Over time, the Panda 100hp has earned widespread appreciation, establishing itself as a car that not only provides a thrilling driving experience but also represents outstanding value for money.
Revered by all who have driven one, the 968CS is Porsche at its best, where less is more. The CS is a classic piece of Porsche's 'school of lightweight' and an exercise in pure driving pleasure. Not super quick by modern standards, but it’s fast enough to have fun. As the mighty talented petrolhead Jay Kay once said, “Anyone who is serious about building a car collection should have a 968CS”.
You can pick up a nice example for around £30,000, which isn’t bad considering only 179 cars were made for the UK. Our partner dealer Car Vault Co has this wonderful Amaranth Violet example for sale here on The Showroom.
Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution
Unveiled in the late 1990s as a purpose-built homologation special for the Dakar Rally, the Pajero Evolution stands as a robust testament to an era when 4x4s were genuinely engineered for off-road adventures. This vehicle encapsulates the quintessence of a homologation 4x4, featuring a reinforced chassis, rally-tuned suspension, protective bash plates, and an assertive aesthetic. Originally crafted for the Japanese market, Mitsubishi limited production to somewhere around 2,500 units, which is a reasonable number and explains why prices on the Pajero Evolution have remained steady when compared to other JDM specials.
Ford Mustang (1964 - 1973)
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Ford Mustang. Released amid a backdrop of societal change and a quest for youthful exuberance, the Mustang sparked a cultural shift in the automotive landscape. Part of its mass appeal was the variety of specifications available to buyers. For example, the entry level cars with the inline six cylinder engine could be optioned with a three speed manual, a four speed manual, or Ford’s Cruise-O-Matic automatic gearbox. You could upgrade to a number of V8 options, improve the brakes, add a limited slip diff and opt for a handling package upgrade with retuned suspension.
Of course, being an American muscle car, the V8 is a must. For a standard V8 coupe, you can expect to pay between £20,000 - £50,000 depending on condition and specification. The 1967 Mustang pictured above is currently for sale here on The Showroom.
Jaguar XKR (X150)
Penned by legendary designer Ian Callum (former Apex Interviewee), the Jaguar XKR (X150) has aged beautifully and represents fantastic value, especially when compared to its Aston Martin or Maserati equivalent. The 2009 facelift model in particular with the 5.0 litre V8 was hailed at the time by Evo as ‘the best car Jaguar makes’. There’s no mistaking the GT character and subtle refinement, but the XKR is severely underrated when it comes to performance and handling. Jaguar used an all new aluminium platform for the X150 generation, making it significantly lighter and stiffer than the steel body found in the X100, and the new engine produced 461lb ft of torque offering spritely acceleration and a 0-60 of 4.6 seconds.
For a facelift 5.0 V8, you can expect to pay between £16,000 - £20,000 for a good example (with an original list price of £72,000), and the running costs will be significantly cheaper than its competitors. The previous X100 generation has now entered classic territory, making the X150 a very attractive proposition.