Category Archives: Reviews

The Nürburgring Is For Sale

The Nurburgring is reportedly for sale in the region of £120m.

The Nurburgring is home to the German Formula 1, alternating with Hockenheim, which also has reported to running at a loss from hosting the F1. As noted by the German Tourist Board on my recent trip; “The track costs 17,000 euros per day to hire on non-race days, however Hockenheim must pay 20m euros to hold the F1, which breaks even selling 100k tickets averaging 200 euros.” 125 years of the car

The Ring will also be well known to the audience of Top Gear and often quoted as the testing ground for most performance auto makers with the Nordschleife times providing great marketing power much is the ongoing battle of Porsche 911 Turbo vs Nissan GTR.

Sabine Schmitz has become a national hero and has been providing driver tuition and the Ring Taxi with the BMW M series and Porsche track prepped 911 models. Ring Taxi

Compared to a location such as Goodwood, an investor should be able to see there is scope for improvements. Goodwood hosts the Moving Motorshow, Festival of Speed, horse racing, golf courses, corporate events, hotels, restaurants, yearly memberships and so on.

There are rumours of the pool of bidders having shrunk to 20% so there must be some hidden issues but as a name and grounds the Nurburgring offers a lot of potential.

Ferrari Experience Silverstone

The boys at Fast German headed up to Silverstone for the ‘blue ribbon’ experience including driver tuition, driving a Lotus Exige, Ferrari 355 and a fast passenger ride in a supercharged Lotus Exige. The format for the day was as follows: –

Introduction – 30 minutes or so as a group for driver tuition in the class room. The circuit was marked out with red, yellow and green coloured cones. Between the red cones is your braking space before entering the corner, which will have a yellow cone to indicate the clipping point also known as the apex. This is mainly to indicate the fastest route to take. You will be advised to keep the accelerator at a constant rate to avoid oversteer and understeer, however this was my first time in a Ferrari and I had to get the back out a little. Once the green cone is visible in your windscreen you can floor it! The instructors advise pushing the throttle at the same pace of returning the steering wheel to the central position.

Demonstration Lap – This involved being taken out by your instructor for a slow lap in the Lotus Exige, which would be driven by yourself later. This proved very valuable and trying to pay as much attention to the surroundings as possible to plan out what sort of speeds could be achieved and where.

Lotus Exige – Swapping places with the instructor from the demonstration lap, it was time to practice what we had been taught and get ourselves ready for the 380 bhp Ferrari 355! I must add it really was hard work to get in and out of the Lotus, especially being 6ft 3 and wearing a helmet. This car really gripped, it is unbelievable how precise everything is but I wasn’t all that convinced by the claimed performance figures. It’s hard to know how fast we were travelling because I had no time to look at the speedo from trying to have a full conversation with my instructor on the best plan of action and trying to remember where the hanger straight is. I found on the final lap of the 4 that I was going a lot faster, especially when the back stepped out, which was enormous fun and very easy to correct. This car is definitely a track day weapon.

Ferrari 355 – It was time! We were told to go and sit in our cars before the instructor joined us. I was a bit disappointed to find the cars were all left hand drive and I should have taken the time to get used to the gear box but I was way too excited. On firing up the V8 I had the biggest smile on my face and this thing sounded awesome especially at high revs. The first thing I noticed was how much faster this car was and then how heavy it felt in the corners compared to the Lotus. The instructor told us we should be seeing speeds of 140 mph down hanger straight, again I wanted to look at the speedo but had no time, all I know is it felt very fast. The worst thing about this part of the day was the instructor telling me to pull into the pits, 4 laps went ridiculously quickly.

High Speed Passenger Ride – Definitely one of the most enjoyable parts of the day was being taken out in a track prepared, supercharged Lotus Exige. The driver was power sliding through every corner and to see where we were going I had to look out of one of the door windows. I still couldn’t believe the speeds the Lotus could take the corners before the front or back brakes away. I obviously need more practice.

Debrief – A few jokes are shared about those who spun the cars and the slowest drivers, happily I was neither but certainly not the fastest either. An assessment sheet and certificate was given to each driver, mine contained many references to brake earlier, I did wonder why my instructor looked so shaky. There was also a chance to buy photos and merchandise, the last two pictures below are taken from track mounted cameras and definitely worth the memory even if a little pricy.

Lotus Exige

Porsche 993 RS

ferrari 355 silverstone track day

Car Reviews

We have collected some excellent car reviews over the last few months, which provide a real world experience of ownership from real people. The reviews detail the best and worst elements from performance to insurance and repair bills to provide our visitors.

The E36 vs E46 M3 and 930 vs Cayman type reviews are becoming more popular to help our visitors make informed decisions on what aspects of cars will suit their requirements.
Porsche 911 SC
This site is aimed to help those buyers who are not necessarily interested in buying new but still want something exciting, well built with reasonable running costs and minimal depreciation. These are the type of buyers that research the most whether your budget is cash or finance and £5k or £50k.

Please continue the good work and send your reviews to ns@fastgerman.com

Audi:

Wanted

BMW:
M3 Evo II (88), 318 is (96), 328i Sport (98), Hartge Z3 Coupe 5.0l (98), 330i (00), M3 Convertible (99 and 01), M3 Coupe (02), X5 3.0d (06), 335i SE Coupe (07),

Mercedes:
SLS AMG (10),

Porsche:

911T (68), 911 Turbo LE (89), 968 Coupe (92), Porsche Carrera S (05), Porsche Cayman R (11) & 911 SC, Porsche Panamera (11),

Volkswagen:

MK1 Golf GTI (85), Scirroco Scala (91), Corrado 2.0 (94), Corrado VR6 (94),

Cat D Write Off – Should I Buy?

Firstly, what does Cat D mean – It means the car has been written off in an accident.

Category D write off infers that the insurance company consider it uneconomical to repair but one that could be repaired and returned to the road given cost, time and technical ability.

Category A and B should never be returned to the road. Category B write off is one that is so badly damaged it can only be used for the salvaging of spare parts. Category A is one that is sent to the crusher.

It is worth noting that a Cat D write off isn’t always a big issue. I would be more inclined to walk away if the Cat D was recorded while the car was relatively new e.g. a £50k car new that is a few months old and has been declared as written off by the insurance company will most likely have hefty repair work.

If, however the £50k car is now only worth £5k 10 years on and is a BMW (for example) then labour at £150+ per hour, a new front bumper, paint and some lights could nearly equal the value of the car. It’s then written off as not economical for the insurance company. Cat D can also apply to stolen recovered cars that have not been damaged.

Example of a worthy review given today’s Porsche 993 prices is a 78k miler 993 C2 in silver for just under £13k on Pistonheads. No paperwork but worth some digging.

Start with an HPI check. Investigate further by phoning dealerships and head office to get some history. Try calling MOT stations if you can find some clues of previous owners addresses on the V5. Have a specialist inspect the car.

Classic Cars That Will Appreciate

An interesting topic and a more exciting investment than shares/art/property for the petrol head.

Unfortunately, there are running costs to take into consideration unless you really want to dry store, which can result in perished rubber, belts, seals, tyres and so on.

Therefore the most useful option is to find a car, which you can enjoy on weekends/special occasions and sell for the same or more than the purchase price.

A good example is the Porsche 964 RS. Value’s have tripled since they were £20k only a few years ago. I’ve even seen one on the market at over £100k and these are still usable cars.

Going up quite a few levels, it wasn’t that long ago that a Ferrari F40 could be had for £150k, now they are closer to half a million. The 250 GTO that sold for circa £20 million this year… well, you wouldn’t want to drive that would you.

Back to usable classics and my thoughts on cars that can be used with minimal depreciation and could possibly appreciate in time:

<£5k - Porsche 944 Turbo, VW Corrado VR6 VW Corrado VR6

<£10k - Audi RS2, Audi Quattro but not the UR unfortunately at this price Audi UR Quattro

<£15k - BMW E30 M3, Lancia Delta HF Integrale, Porsche 968 Club Sport BMW E30 M3

<£20k - Honda NSX, Mercedes SL55 AMG R230, Porsche 964 C2 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

<£25k - BMW M3 CSL, Porsche 993 C2 Porsche 993 C2

<£30k - Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Porsche 993 C2S Corvette Stingray

<£40k - Ferrari 355, Porsche 930 Turbo Porsche 930 Turbo

Big Money Car – Ferrari F40, Mercedes-Benz 300SL, Porsche 959
Mercedes-Benz 300SL