Spotted Week That Was | Boxster, Giulia, 205

The weather has definitely turned. It might have gone to our heads…

By PH Staff / Sunday, February 28, 2021 / Loading comments

981 Porsche Boxster Spyder, 2015, 9.5k, £74,000

It’s always at about this time of year that I find myself dreaming of what life would be like if I had a Boxster Spyder. As the sun stays out for longer and the surface temperature of tarmac edges into double figures, I don’t think there’s a car better equipped to welcome the spring than a lightweight convertible Porsche. I love the honesty of the original Spyder recipe, with that tent-like roof and an enhanced focus on driving purity. To me, there are few sounds better than that of a naturally aspirated flat-six, especially when it’s just over the shoulders in a relatively small package that’s as agile as it is communicative.

I’m always astounded by the number of Spyders in the classifieds still in single-digit mileage. They’re not the most rounded machines out there, but to not subject such a brilliant driver’s machine to routine summertime use feels like sacrilege. Perhaps it’s because the owners have more than one car; take the manual 981 Spyder I’ve chosen here, which has accumulated just 9,501 miles in six years. Not only that, the owner’s decided they’ve had enough and that it’s time to sell. Lordy. Rest assured that if I had £74k spare, I’d be making up for those lost miles on the road right away. MB

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifolglio NRing, 2019, 2k, £79,995

I’ll admit that there’s a large amount of fluff attached to Nurburgring lap records these days, not least because it’s very clear that two otherwise identical runs can end up looking vastly different according to the stopwatch. Be it wind direction, cloud cover or even the falling of a few extra leaves, lap times at the Nurburgring are inconsistent by default. But they still matter, don’t they? Because if there’s anything we like to brag about in the pub (not long now!), it’s who’s got the Top Trumps winning car. If it’s not horsepower, it’s ‘ring times.

Which brings me onto my choice for this weekend, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio NRing. A one-of-only-12 RHD 510hp Italian exotics, a former 'ring record holder and a four-door saloon. Honestly, even without the laptime it’s a recipe hard to argue with. There was naturally an oversubscription for the £82,500 model when it lauched in 2019, which you might have expected to lead to ‘used’ examples popping up for an added premium. But according to this 2k-mile car, that’s not been the case; it’s a couple of grand short of the original list. That means it represents a second chance to get a highly desirable Alfa for those who missed out first time around. Or something to lust over for those who can only dream of ever owning one. SS

Peugeot 205 GTI, 1991, 87k, £12,995

Interesting times at Peugeot. Last week the firm revealed a new logo, and while it immediately reminded yours truly of the lion used by Stratton Oakmont, Inc. – the brokerage house founded by Jordan Belfort (he of Wolf of Wall Street fame) – it did at least signal a changing of the guard at the 210-year-old manufacturer. Peugeot has insisted it is moving upmarket before, of course – without much accompanying evidence – but it is surely true that the company needs to elbow space for itself within the behemoth that is Stellantis.

Much apparently rests on the new 308, which is odd given the market's wavering interest in C segment hatchbacks. Of considerably more interest (to us at any rate) is the 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered, the 360hp petrol-electric hybrid already launched in Europe. If the model proves a success, the company has suggested that its revitalised in-house tuner could be very busy in the near term. And it's rather easier to charge buyers more money for cars when they go faster.

Moreover, there is plainly nothing preventing Peugeot from mining the rich profit margin of uprated models. Its heritage might be getting somewhat distant, but cars like the 205 GTI still loom fantastically large in reputation. Not large enough to convince me that paying £12,995 for a Japanese import would be a good idea – but the fact that the market decrees that kind of price appropriate ought to tell the manufacturer everything it needs to know about the value of building something epically good. No matter what the logo looks like. NC

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