By Mike Atwal
22nd August 2019

Motorsport Heritage on a Budget



There are some big ticket cars out there that carry immense motorsport heritage. For example, the Jaguar D Type sits near the top of the tree already, and the BMW E30 is climbing that tree quickly too.

Not everybody can entertain a big ticket item these days, but if like me you fancy owning a future classic with some motorsport clout behind it, minus the big ticket entry fee, then stay with me on this.

If you’ve got 1500 to 3000 lovely British pounds to play with I would suggest scouting out some of the familiar faces from the British Touring Car Championship from the late 1990’s – specifically a 1999 Nissan Primera P11 GTLE.

The Primera in the hands of the factory team, piloted by the late David Leslie and Laurent Aiello in 1999 stormed to a one-two drivers championship finish, wrapped up the manufacturers title early on in the season and simply dominated the shop. It would be criminal not to mention that Anthony Reid hustled the race Primera to second place in the 1998 championship, it was literally down to wire with Rickard Rydell in the punchy Volvo. I would say he put the car on the radar. The Primera was so good that independent outfit Team Dynamics, with Matt Neal behind the wheel were running rings round some of the other factory teams too. It is a cracking car with a rev happy bulletproof SR20DE motor boasting 150 horses, a superb chassis and is ageing nicely. The GTLE model I mention, sported upgrades over the standard GT to celebrate Nissan’s success in BTCC – namely 16 inch Enkei multi spoke alloys, full leather interior and a Momo gear knob. They are increasingly rare and values are slowly on the up. I had one for many years and regret selling it to be honest.

It is however, just one of the handful that can provide super saloon racing nostalgia for roughly the same outlay. A Ford Mondeo ST200, Vectra GSi and Volvo S40 T4 from the late 1990’s proudly displayed the names of the late Will Hoy, John Cleland and Rickard Rydell on track. All three legends of the motorsport world. The Renault Laguna I believe may have introduced a young Jason Plato to the BTCC field, alongside famous racer Alain Menu and let’s not forget the Honda Accord…namely the Type R.

The E30 M3 and Ford Sierra Cosworth that gave BTCC fans thrills during the 1980’s are now significant sums. Perhaps the BTCC legends of the 1990’s will follow the same path?

Maybe it is worth a punt. They do seem to be bargains. With four doors. Practical too. And increasingly hard to find for sale.

What do you think – someone please agree with me 🙂

Mike.

 


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Simon Hiscock
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Simon Hiscock

Mike
I have to sell one first or Ruth will be displeased…

Michael
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Michael

Simon! How are you? Wow lovely to hear from you!

So what would be your late 90’s BTCC choice??

Simon Hiscock
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Simon Hiscock

Mike. As I still have one then the early 90’s belong to the E30 M3.
Mid 90’s it has to be the Volvo 850 Estate if just for the look on everyone’s face when they unveiled it…
Later 90’s, Alfa 155 because you have to love the accent, THAT barrel roll by Tarquini, and the fact that the road cars came with the extra spoiler & splitter parts in the boot.
Late 90 Accord Type R was the best front wheel drive saloon I had ever driven with one of THE great engines.
Go Fast Slowly my friend.
Simon

Michael
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Michael

Alfa was very clever with that! I watched the documentary Touring Car Legends yesterday…have to say it’s my favourite documentary of all time.

I’ve always wanted a go in an Accord Type R…now even more so since you said that it’s great.

I hope your red E34 M5 is still with you?

Simon
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Simon

Red M5 is still with us undergoing a protracted refurb underneath to banish the rust and then freshen up the chassis components, brakes, cooling etc
It has stalled a bit waiting for workshop space and trim parts but should be back on the road by 2020.
E30 M3 is also with me, now trimmed in red and black leather….
E21 323i, Alpina B10 v8 and TVR Tuscan Speed Six are new additions but some of these will go.
I do hope you are well and we can meet up soon.
Message me direct for a full catch up.
Simon

Simon
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Simon

PS – now supposedly semi-retired making a modest living as a track and low grip limit handling instructor.
Ice Driving Instructor’s course with the legend that is Juha Kankunen ….
Track stuff for Mercedes and others in UK, media stuff for Porsche and others….
I am currently sipping my morning coffee down at the Nurburgring before I head off to work for RSR…
Mid week I have a client with a +600hp Nissan GT-R at the ring before I head back to Brooklands…
Oh the glamour of hotel rooms, track side catering, and long motorway journeys….
…..and no time to drive any of my own cars…..!!

Kulraj Salh
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Kulraj Salh

It is crazy how cheap these cars can go for, you barely see them for sale and some owners struggle to value them.

Muj Shah
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Muj Shah

Worth a punt indeed!