Selling old cars: just because it’s retro doesn’t mean it’s good

High-end garage

Snapper TG Mark went to market… but this time he’s getting rid of his godwits, rather than buying more

An internationally renowned photographer, Mark has worked with TG for many, many years. When he’s not taking pictures, he’s buying inappropriate cars. Here he shares his addiction with the world…

Recently, I’ve treated buying a car as an extreme version of Pokemon Go, and while it’s not quite normal, it’s been good material for here. Yet what I find most amusing is the fact that people only question your sanity when you start selling them.

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Not when you send a foreigner thousands of euros for an armored BMW in Bulgaria. Or buy a pair of kei cars on Facebook Marketplace without seeing and saving them. Then there was the barn find Brabus W126 (non-starter) followed quickly by an identical Brabus W126 in Belgium (starter). Picked up by a friend in Germany as travel was not allowed at the time.

In the land of social media, this behavior seems admirable. But resell them? “What happened to Ricci? Everything okay at home? I heard he did a Jimmy Carr.

Obviously, everything is perfectly fine. Apart from the fact that – in the image above – these four cars have a combined 40 cylinder and 21.5 liters between them. In a world of downsizing, green energy and revival, it might as well be a comedy gala hosted by Jim Davidson with special guest Roy Chubby Brown.

So… what was moved? The seedy Brabus W126 recently went all the way to America. I’ve owned an R30 Skyline, but only managed 150 miles, despite spending a small fortune to get it working properly. The Pajero kei car followed soon after; I hadn’t really driven this on the road. And then the Suzuki Alto Works was the last to go, having rendered it undriveable with a set of jazzy Impuls wheels.

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I’m still not sure whether to keep the 7 series shielded, but that can also be influenced by the fact that it gives off white smoke under the throttle. I think maybe eight of the 12 cylinders are firing, so the good news is that it will be a cheap one to fix.

At some point, I’ll regret selling them all, but at least I got to have some fun while we’re still allowed to. There are too many interesting cars I still want to get my hands on, and unfortunately that actually means not keeping everything. Because in reality, these cars are often best enjoyed vicariously through someone else. They are expensive to manage, temperamental and a bit shitty. Retro doesn’t mean it’s instantly good.

But what does do something good is when it comes from Stuttgart, has a naturally aspirated flat-six and a rev limit of 9,000 rpm. Admittedly, its 3.8-litre engine may have had a slight tendency to flare up, but I think it’s a good middle ground between sensible and wacky to tackle next.

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