Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Super Cheap Euro's

I think it might be time for another round of super cheap Euro. I scour the internet for potentially your next European car in Australia, with current rego, for ridiculously low prices. As before I can't vouch for the actual hands on condition of these cars, I just go of some motoring intuition, read into what the adverts say and base my opinions on that. The reason; though I'm sure your aware by now is, just to continue proving my point, that European cars in Australia need not be as expensive as people would have you believe.

I've picked different cars from last time to show some diversity, although I have still included a classic Alfa as I'm drawn to the flaky Italians for some reason. All the ads date from the last couple of days but of course the older they get the less likely the car will be available. In saying that most cars are for sale for at least a month before they reel someone in. More info on the models listed can be found by clicking the link in the cars name.


Praised in its day for being one of the finest handling hatchbacks around the 33 uses a 1.5 litre boxer engine to hurry it along. Deep down it was a good engine and car, but unfortunately Alfa's electrical systems in the 80's blighted the 33's reputation. The small matter of rust also consigned most Alfa's of this vintage to the wreckers yard prematurely, so it would appear this ones a well cared for survivor.

A mid 80's 4 wheel drive performance Alfa Romeo? What could possibly go wrong? Looking in a little need of TLC cosmetically the seller says this Alfa 33 runs well. The car appears to be fully original and even comes with a full set of 5 Alfa Speedline alloys. Details like this make the car more collectable and given it's relative rarity already this little Alfa could prove to be an investment opportunity for the right enthusiast. It's so cheap it might be worth a punt if your in Victoria.

1985 Alfa Romeo 33 Quadrifoglio Verde, $950


Not keen on the Italian? How about another Mediterranean offering, this time from Seat. A company that only existed in Australia for 4 years (95-99) before poor sales forced them out of the market, a few cars survive though and I'm pleased they do. In Europe Seats are commonplace and for good reason, they offer people on a budget a car of VW quality for less. (VW have owned 99.99% of Seat since 1990). Seat nowadays is seen as the fun, youthful arm of the VW group, it's just unfortunate that Australians didn't see that in the late 90's, things could have been a whole lot different.

This is a Seat Toledo and by the looks of it a rather well cared for one, red cars have a tendency to fade in the Australian sun and the fact this one hasn't shows its been loved. Essentially a Mk2 Volkswagen Golf under the pretty Giugiaro styled body the Toledo has solid mechanical's and with proper maintenance posses the ability to just go on and on. This ones done a poultry, by VW standards, 226,000km's, plenty of life left in this rarity yet.

1995 Seat Toledo, $1500



Ok maybe Mediterranean flair is not your bag, so lets go further north to Scandinavia, the home of Saab, a car company that when they were not bankrupt the Aussies seemed to quite like. The Saab 900 I've picked is a car that GM hoped, by providing Saab with the already tried and tested GM2900 platform could save the company a lot of money in the mid 90's. However the innovation first, worry about the cost later nature of the Saab boffins meant the platform was so heavily re-engineered you cant really call it a GM product in Scandinavian clogs anymore. It is very much it's own car and a good one at that as back in the day the number of awards the 900 won was staggering.

There isn't a great deal to say about the 900 S I've picked, mainly because the advert amounts to 6 words! But let me try anyway, the wheels for starters might not be to everyone's taste but the tyre tread looks reasonable, there could be money in selling them on if you could pick up a set of cheap steels to put on it. The bodywork from the 2 pictures doesn't look too bad either, nothing a weekends polishing couldn't sort out I'm sure. Although the real selling point of this car has to be that 10 months NSW rego and relatively low km's.

1997 Saab 900s, $1500


I think I've saved the best super cheap Euro for last though and rather unsurprisingly its a German, the legendary Mercedes Benz 190E. Now I say legendary because if you've been to any continental European city in the last 25 years the chances one of these was your airport Taxi was pretty dam high. These cars, of which over 1.8 million were produced, literally do not die, I went to the Mercedes Benz Museum last year where they actually have one on display that a cabbie gave back to Merc after he racked up over 1 million miles without major mechanical failure. The white one I've picked, showing just 282,000 km's is barely run in by comparison!

Now this car in particular is an Australian delivered 180E, a parred back 190 that allowed Mercedes to dip under the pesky Australian luxury car tax and ultimately sell this car at a reduced rate back in the early 90's. The 180 did away with such frivolities as leather seats and electric windows to avoid taxation. At the time this might have annoyed buyers but nowadays I cant help think this means less things to go wrong on what is already a bulletproof car. This one appears to come from a loving family who've owned it over half its life and got it serviced by Mercedes specialist, the body work looks immaculate as does the interior, so you can't ask for better really. 3 months South Australia rego left too.

1992 Mercedes Benz 180E, $1500

I hope I've given car buyers out there in Aus something to think about again when it comes time to look for a second hand motor

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