The summer is the perfect time of the year for taking a long road trip and what better way to spend winter and spring than by planning it?
Ah, British summertime. Where it rains most of the week, flies wreak havoc with the barbeque and the humidity is enough to give you heat rash. Forget about the stereotypes however, as we do get some stunning weather as the months progress from winter to autumn – even more so if you head abroad.
Heading out for a road trip across the continent is something we all dream of doing at some point, but if you are going to do it, do it right. You wouldn’t head for Monaco in a Rover Metro, nor would you tackle the severity of the Alps in an Austin Ambassador. Rather, you would take the likes of an Aston Martin or a Bentley. In the same respect, you wouldn’t take the Aston or Ferrari to the local Tescos for fear of being judged, or fear of losing the sump over that speed bump you like to pick a fight with every time you go there.
So get out your wallet– as you’ll want the best car money can buy for heading off into the continent of culture. Think of it as an investment, as you’ll come back so educated on art and music and fashion that you’ll bring enlightenment to your family.
The folks at Classic Cars For Sale have come up with their top ten list of cars perfect for hitting the road in the summer months – especially if you are looking to do it with style. Read on…
Bentley Continental GTC
The Bentley Continental GTC is a thing of beauty and a modern classic in it’s own right – especially if you find an earlier model in immaculate condition.
Sporting sleek lines, convertible roof, chrome wheels and plush, comfortable interior; this Bentley is a car that needs to be seen and experienced to be believed.
This modern classic has a 6-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine that can reportedly do a stunning 0 – 60mph in just 5.1 seconds… not bad for a car as big as this! It’s like witnessing Robbie Coltrane lose his temper.
Boasting a top-speed of 195mph with the roof up and a whopping 189mph with the roof down – this is a convertible that delivers on sheer power but with the refinement and comfort we’ve come to expect from Bentley.
But let’s be honest – these bad boys don’t come cheap. You’re looking at anything between £50K – £100K+, dependent on mileage, use, etc, However, it’s also a car that appreciates in value as it gets older, as long as you look after it.
Rolls-Royce Corniche V
Is it sacrilegious to mention Rolls-Royce and Bentley in the same article? Well we don’t think so – especially when they’re as swish as this!
The modern Rolls-Royce Corniche still oozes the class and sophistication present in the older models but holds up to modern roads far better.
The car boasts a 6.75 Litre turbo-charged engine that’s reportedly capable of 0 – 60mph in 8 seconds, with a top speed of 135mph; slightly more modest than the Bentley Continental GTC but still impressive in it’s own right. Certainly nothing to snub your nose at considering this car weighs in at a hefty 3,101KG!
However, with it’s leather furnishings, chrome gauges, Wilton wool carpeting and dual-temperature control; it’s readily apparent that this car was built more for comfort than for speed.
A Rolls-Royce Corniche V tends to go for around £100K – £115K depending on how well the car has been maintained, however, we think it’s well worth the investment if you want a car that will appreciate in value with age.
Aston Martin DB7 Volante
The Aston Martin DB7 Volante falls into a far lower cost-bracket – with 2000 – 2002 models sitting at around £30K – £40K+ depending on condition and mileage; making them a far more affordable investment for many.
The Aston Martin DB7 Volante is the convertible version in the DB7 family and perfect for summer driving.
Sporting a powerful V12 5.9 litre engine with an acceleration of 0 – 60mph in 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 189mph (if a manual gearbox) this car delivers a real punch.
But with it being an Aston Martin this car does not skimp on comfort when driving; most models come with a leather interior, plush woolen carpet, electrically adjustable seats and anti-skid technology.
If you’re looking for something a little nippier than the Bentley or Rolls-Royce then the Aston Martin DB7 Volante is an excellent investment, and could make you the envy of every other driver on the road.
The Jaguar XK8 deserves an honorable mention in this list – yes it is the cheapest (you can pick up an early 2000s model for around £10 – £15K depending on condition) but it is still a lovely looking car that offers comfort alongside a powerful engine.
The XK8 boasts a powerful 4.0 litre engine that’s capable of 0 – 60mph in just 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 156mph. Certainly not the fastest of the 4 but by far the most affordable and will still deliver in many other aspects – including build quality.
The XK8 sports beautifully curved, aerodynamic aluminium bodywork, 17” alloys as standard – giving the impression that this is a modern re-working of the classic Jaguar E-Type.
This lovely looking car looks as good inside as it does on the outside – with a leather furnished interior and burl walnut trim and electronically adjustable seats.
If you’re on a budget but want something that looks and feels great then you can’t go far wrong with a Jaguar XK8. Best to grab one now, as prices won’t stay this low forever.