We all need things to look forward to in what isn’t a particularly great time to be alive. But it will get better, there’s plenty on the horizon to be glad about and there’s plenty to look forward to. 2020 might well be a write off, but that’s ok, it gives us more chance to think about what we want to do next, what we want to do Afterwards…

Part 2 saw us thinking about where we’d like to go and some of the shows we want to do. In Part 1, we were lusting after a Hyundai i30N. Now an i30N is a lovely car, but its at best a £20k car. And that’s a lot of money. Which lead me to wonder, wouldn’t it be better to delve into into the used car market and see what we could get that somehow mixes a dash of everyday practicality with enough excitement to get the red blood cells hurrying about their daily tasks without spending more than a few thousand? Now we know from experience that you can get plenty of enjoyable stuff for relatively little money. Our £210 Mazda 323F was, pound for pound, possibly one of the best cars we’ve ever had. So with a bit bigger budget, what could we find that tickles the automotive tastebuds?

Lets open AutoTrader….

There’s loads of cheapish, quick cars we like. We do like Mazdas though and a 3 MPS has to be on the bucket list, surely? This one looks superb though, 33k miles, 4WD and 258bhp. And the best bit is that all this costs just under £7k leaving enough change to buy about 20 miles worth of super unleaded… But anyway, there’s a lot of fun to be had there. Yes its only ever going to see 20something MPG and roadtax is enough to make your tongue curl, but man, it’s quick. Plus, its doesn’t stand out that much which is also a good thing – discretion being the better part of something or other as the saying goes.

But what about something a bit more obvious. In a colour that stirs the soul and with a heritage than makes grown men instantly proffer their respect to your taste / commitment to spending ever increasing amounts of money at the local dealer. Yes, we’d have an Alfa. And preferably a Giulietta Cloverleaf. In Red. Always overshadowed by its German competitors, the Giulietta was a relatively rare car. But in 1.8 TBi engined form, we want one. That it might not be dynamically a match for some its competition isn’t a big issue – for a competent, quick daily driver thats ok. Looks are subjective of course but I think it looks ace. And at just over £5k for a 2011 / 61 plate car, I think that’s decent value as well.

One car that looks like a bargain, not to mention looking like a cut price Aston Martin (only me?) is available for relatively tiny money at the moment. Sexy two door coupe body plus a 3.5 V6 engine sounds like a good combination. Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce the Renault Laguna Coupe. This one, finished in a sexy metallic grey, looks lovely. £2399 sounds like pretty good value to be. Shame its an auto but you can’t win them all can you. And its a lovely thing to gaze at whilst you wait for the AA…

You can’t get more practical than a Volvo though, right? So that means they aren’t exciting presumably. Well, we’d beg to differ. This S40 costs a smidge less than £4000 yet still looks entirely respectable so you wouldn’t be giving the neighbours cause for concern. The 2.5 T5 lump up front though means that there’s plenty to entertain and no excuse for doing anything stereotypically Volvo-driver like such as attaching a caravan and bimbling along in the middle lane at 55…

Finally, theres the slightly, ok, incredibly leftfield choice. Think of it like a French BMW M5. You could, well someday you can, nip over the channel and bag yourself a Renault Safrane BiTurbo. As the name suggests, this is no ordinary Safrane. Two KKK turbos strapped to a V6 motor and four wheel drive resulted in a big, comfy and very fast way for French VIPs to get around the countryside. Yes they aren’t common even in France and yes, they aren’t that cheap. But we’d be spooning out an organ if it meant the possibility of dailying this.

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