There’s nothing wrong with the Avalon – it’s a good, honest family car that can accommodate five adults in comfort. It’s reliable, has loads of kit and oh - it doesn’t cost the earth either. Prices for the Toyota start from Dh120,000 and go up to Dh160,000 for the top spec Limited trim but nothing will cure insomnia better than it. For that sort of cash, there are far more exciting alternatives to be had if you check out the classifieds. There, you’ll find forgotten sportscars, rare supercars and iconic muscle cars of yesteryear. Rather than spending the cash on models such as the Avalon et al, you could throw it on these five cool cars and not only feel better about yourself but give passers by a warm, fuzzy feeling when you drive past too…
1 – 1994 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur
Today, a Phantom will set you back oh just Dh2million. Pocket change for some, but for those who badly want a Rolls and don’t have anywhere near the sort of cash they command, there is good news. Head over to the Ras Al Khor auto market and you’ll find a few older Rollers sitting out their days under the baking sun. Why not rescue one? You might be tempted when you see prices for models such as the Nineties Silver Spur in the Dh75,000 range. Yes, that is quite unbelievable and sir is very, very pleased.
2 – 2005 Aston Martin V8 Vantage
The V8 Vantage made its debut at the 2005 Geneva motor show and sales began that year in September for around Dh400,000. That’s a lot of dosh in anyone’s book. The baby Aston - which went up against the Porsche 911 - featured a 4.3-litre V8 with a six-speed automatic and it had an amazing soundtrack not to mention a thrilling ride. It had 385bhp but then in the 2008 update it got a 4.7-litre making 426bhp and it was mated to a seven-speed auto. Great cars, with fabulous performance and yours now for the throwaway price of Dh135,000. Still want that Avalon?
3 - 2001 Ferrari 456M GTA
For most out there, a Ferrari is the dream. But sadly, it often just remains a dream because, well, they cost quite a lot in case you didn’t know. But, there is an affordable Ferrari out there for you - the 456 and 456M. The front-engined grand tourer was produced from 1992 until 2003 (it was the replacement for the 412) and the updated 456M was the last Ferrari to use pop-up headlights. It made 436 horses back in the day and even though just under 3,300 were built, they’re not that expensive – that is if you can find one that’s been beaten up pretty well. If you do, then all it’ll cost is Dh160,000. Good ones will set you back closer to Dh200,000…
4 – 2009 Jaguar XKR Convertible, Portfolio
The XK, launched in 2007, was the replacement for the XK8 and designed by Ian Callum. It got a convertible version in 2009 and then the lineup was facelifted. Originally powered by a 4.2-litre V8 with 300 horsepower and six-speed automatic, the XK Convertible got a bigger 5.0-litre V8 in 2010 with 385 horses. Today a 2009 XKR Convertible Portfolio which came with a supercharged 4.2-litre with a very healthy 420 horses can be yours for just Dh120,000. It was three times that when it was new.
5 – 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
With a roaring 6.6-litre V8 under that long muscular bonnet mated to a three-speed automatic, who wouldn’t want to own this iconic classic American muscle car? The special editions came with a black and gold paint job, snowflake wheels and T-tops. No, they weren’t the absolute fastest, not much in Seventies US was, but boy did they look and sound great. The fact you can pick these up for less than Dh100,000 makes us want to grow a moustache, buy a Stetson and be the Bandit so bad. The 400/403 cubic inch motors were bullet proof and even if you find a high-mileage car, don’t be put off; a regular oil change is about as complicated as ownership gets with these. The TH350 transmission lasted a lifetime too and with so many aftermarket goodies available to improve power, you can smoke the rear wheels just like the real muscle cars of the Sixties did.