QOTW #49 – Vantage S for 45k or early 4.3 for 20k in the bank?

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Welcome to BamfordRose and another question of the week. Before we get into this question of the week, if you’re one of those several thousand people that view our channel but don’t subscribe, Hey! It really helps us out if you can click that subscribe button, click a like and post your comments on what you think about this video.

The question of the week is a really really good one. It is “Should I buy a V8 Vantage S at 45k or should I buy a 4.3 V8 Vantage and have 20k sat in the bank?” so, here’s a quick pic of a V8 S up at 45k and this is a phenomenal amount of car for the money now. It’s got the 7-speed gearbox which when it’s got a decent swim plate clutch in remap of the transmission software, shifts are slick, fast, smooth, pull away is nice. The Vantage S has got a good 420-430 bhp. It’s got an updated interior. Suspension is good, especially if it’s got a Bilstein sport pack on. Maybe it’s got sport seats in it, you know, absolute cracking car.

Or, at the other end of the scale is the 05 4.3 V8 Vantage. Typically, now they’ve got 30-50k on them. And you often see these now whether it’s a generic sports car seller not a brand specific one or private sale. You know they are low-20s, mid-20s, so you can buy one of those cars, which from the outside to someone that doesn’t know what they’re looking at means both cars are going to look essentially the same. But one of them has allowed you to have 20k sat in the bank.

So, is the Vantage S really worth losing that extra 20k for and not having it sat in the bank? The driving experience from the Vantage S in terms of handling, big front brake kit, extra bhp, evolved interior, it really all comes together and gels in Vantage S and it really really is worth the money. But that’s if you’ve got the 45k sat around and you can sink it into the car. Obviously, at the other end of the scale is the 20-25k car.

Now V8 Vantages and DB9, they’re trying to sell at 20 or less then I treat these cars with extreme caution. They need a pre-purchase inspection. There’s definitely problems lurking underneath the surface of those cars. You know, maybe they start to drive and everything’s okay with them. But the amount of cycle parts and consumables they’ll need will just tot up and we’ll be eye watering, you know, wheel bearings, suspension wishbone arms, brake pads and discs, a battery, maybe a clutch, radiator, a few other of the common parts, aircon compressor is leaking… And I’ve seen this time and time again. It’s quite easy to put one of those cars on the ramp, do an inspection and with a set of tires very easy to I’ve got a bill of 15-20k especially if it needs a clutch.

So, those cars at 20 sub 20 they need to be treated with extreme caution. It’s okay if you’re going into it with eyes wide open and over a period of time, maybe if you do the work at home, you’re going to slowly get the car up to speed because you couldn’t outlay any more than the 20 to get maybe a younger or lower mileage car. But even the 25K, 30k cars, especially when they reach 50,000 miles, you’re going to need to see a receipt in the recent past of a clutch of suspension wishbone arms. You want to check yourself that the brakes, the tires, are all okay.

Have a look if you can examine them at the wishbone arms. Look at the paint, is it going to need a bit of a front-end refresh? And a lot of those, I’m not going to say everyone, you know, maybe there are a few honest good examples out there. But a lot of those 25k cars are going to need a minimum of 5, probably 10, spending on them to make them cars that you can get into, you’re not driving around any issues and you can go and give it a good thrash on roads on a Sunday, and keep getting in and out of it every Sunday of the summer, and keep doing that without having to have trips to the garage to fix something.

So, if you bought that car for 25, you’ve got to spend 5-10 on it minimum. You’re already up to 30-35, the Vantage S there is at 45 and that extra outlay on the Vantage S in terms of the driving pleasure, the newer car, the higher resale value, later on when you come to sell it, it’s all well worth it. Slight caution is those cheaper Vantage S, yeah, they could need having money spent on themselves in exactly the same components because the same things wear and go wrong no matter what the age of the car. So, yeah, you’ve got to check that the Vantage S that you’re looking at doesn’t need 5 or 10k spending on it. But you can find one owner, lower mileage examples, these are always the ones to go for. They’re treated better.

We do a few sales or returns here and I’ve seen it on the older cars, well, it can happen to any car but this sort of shows as a good example, the 25k V8 Vantage sort of pattern of events. We’ve serviced cars for a good few years and each year you say to the customer, you know, the clutch is starting to bite at the top and pedals feel a bit wooden. You know, you need to renew suspension bushes. Hey, the radiators look a little bit corroded and there’s a long list of stuff that just gets put on the back burner because mileage is… A thousand miles, yeah, very low, seldom uses the car and the sorts of things that are being brought to the attention at service aren’t things that the car is going to break down on at that moment in time.

So, there’s a load of stuff that gets stored on the back burner. It doesn’t get done and then one year they’ll come in for a service and there is something that’s pretty big that needs doing maybe is the clutch. And that’s the trigger point for the owner to say, well, I think I’ll get out of the car at this point and all you do is sell a return, do fancy trying to punt this one along. It’s a little bit of a difficult situation because we know what that car needs and there’s no way that we could sell that to someone else in that state. And there’s no way that we could prepare it, repair it, sell it and try to make a margin in the middle. It just won’t work out. So, we politely decline to sell those cars and then surprise even a prolific brand specialist seller, you see that car for sale and you know it’s harboring a load of repairs.

So, that’s why I say, I wouldn’t treat every single 25k car on the market, the same I’m sure there are some really really genuine ones there, where the owner just needs to sell but the message is being very careful of those. Go into the purchase eyes wide open, get a good pre-purchase inspection done.

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