5 amazing cars you wished you owned but will regret having it



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1 - Mazda RX-8 (2003-2010)

A healthy, happy 1.3-litre rotary engine in this Mazda is one of the most uplifting and invigorating things in the car business.
But if you’re offered a worryingly cheap RX-8 and the owner starts talking about tricky starts on a warm engine, beware. The bill for fixing those worn out rotor tips (which is usually what’s wrong) can run to over two grand.
If you mean business, make sure you see the paperwork, proof that the coil packs have been changed and, crucially, the oil consumption history – including the type the car has used.
If you don’t spend the extra for a warranted car, you’ll probably suffer for it. Available from £4000.

2 - TVR Cerbera 4.5 (1996-2003)


Electrics and trim issues can be a bother with a lot of TVRs. Engines trouble, however, can put all that in the shade. When the Formula 1-inspired, high-revving AJP V8s blow, they blow large.
Rigorous maintenance can make sure that doesn’t happen, keeping the prospect of snapped crankshafts at a safe and comfortable distance. It’s highly recommended. Assembling them is costly.
In truth, the Cerbera is a surprisingly practical car, a true four-seater with masses of power. And £20,000 will get you a very fine example.

3 - Citroën SM (1970-1975)

A combination of temperamental Maserati V6 mechanicals and progressive 1960s French luxury sounds like a disaster in the making, but a Citroën SM in top form is a thing of beauty and a joy to drive.
Its engine is notorious for terminal oil pump failure coupled with timing pump and fuelling troubles. Then there’s rust – something else without a quick, or cheap, fix.
And yet, dig deep, spend upwards of £25,000 and you should find something that won’t break your heart. Or bank account.

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4 - Lamborghini Miura (1966-1973)

When he got bored with building tractors, Ferruccio Lamborghini built one of the two best looking sports cars ever made. It was a career shift every bit as dramatic as the mid-engined Miura’s styling.
Despite the looks, driving the Miura can actually be something of a let down. It can wander about at speed and early models lack braking power. And to keep things running well, the six carburettors on the quad-cam V12 need lots of care and attention.
But what does all that matter? Prices are now at £850,000 and they’re on the up.

5 - Lotus Esprit Turbo (1981-1987)

Light weight and heavy power is a nigh-on perfect formula for a supercar – which is exactly what you get with the Turbo version of Hethel’s mid-engined missile.
So it’s a shame that a less-than-respectful acronym – Lotus: lots of trouble, usually serious – does have a ring of truth about it. Many Esprit owners will know the score: overheating, clutch failures, leaky head gaskets and broken engine mounts.
Even so, a galvanised chassis and GRP body means rust is rarely a concern, and suspension systems are usually fine too. About £20,000 should secure a good car, but factor in extra for the occasional hefty bill.
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