A couple of years ago a customer describe us as running the best sweet shop in the world. Well, the shop just got bigger. For 2014 our fleet gives you more choice than ever with lots of new cars added. More sweets means more choice means more fun.
Here are our new hire-ready cars. We also have 5 more in the workshop that will go on hire in early 2014. You can hire them by the day or the best way to sample a selection is on one of our ‘5 cars, 1 great day’ car rallies – just £199 for drivers or £99 for passengers. Visit http://www.greatescapecars.co.uk or call 01527 893733.
The only full replica I’d ever put on hire is a Cobra. And now we have. Fake snakes are a 10th of the price of a real one so they’re the only practical option if you want a Cobra experience. Our Cobra is based at our Cotswolds site and will feature on our Cotswolds-based rallies. Prices are just £229 for 24 hrs or £399 for a weekend. The car is burgundy with a cream interior and V8 power.
As a child of the 80s I’ve been waiting a long time for the cars of my youth to hit classic status. The Quattro has always been revered but is only just becoming a classic. It’s also one of the few 80s cars we’d consider hiring – it’s quick but it sticks to the road, so we can sleep at night when it goes out. Grab some Stig gravel-scattering action for just £199 for 24 hrs or £349 for the weekend. The car is based at our Shropshire site.
More replicas but for the same reason – fake Coopers are much cheaper than originals and just as much fun, so we can hire them out for a realistic price. In this case, just £95 for 24 hrs or £160 for the weekend. Our first two Coopers are based in the Cotswolds (white car) and Yorkshire (red car) and finished to a very high standard. We will be adding a blue car in Devon during 2014.
The Trollhattan turbo pulls off the unlikely trick of being a practical four seat convertible that is also quite cool. When we were looking for a four seat convertible to hire at a low price the classic Saab 900 was the obvious choice – just £160 puts you behind the wheel for the weekend. Our 900 convertible is based at our Yorkshire site on the edge of the Dales and is a 1986 full pressure 16v turbo. The car has been restored in our own workshop and is finished in white with a natty burgundy leather interior and manual gearbox.
Porsches that are not 911s have a history of being cheap and forgotten. Not quite so the Boxster. Yes, Boxsters are good value but forgotten, nope. We have added a Boxster to our Peak District fleet because it does everything so well – stylish, fun to drive and practical. A Boxster is the sort of car you could buy but in reality it’s expensive to own – so borrow one instead and let us take the pain.
Everybody has to drive a Bentley once in their life. Or more, if you wish. Big, brutal and bonkers, the Bentley Turbo is distinctly out of step with the modern age of lightness and small engines but who cares? Our car is one of the best, a very rare Brooklands Mulliner long wheelbase version. It’s based at our Cotswolds site and costs £249 for 24 hrs or £449 for 48 hrs. Which, if you care to check, is the cheapest self drive hire package for a classic Rolls or Bentley in Britain (and you won’t look like a pub landlord).
We already have one drop top Beetle – and Fern Brittain drove it on telly – so we had to get another one. The new addition is based at our Cotswolds site (the other one is in Devon) and is a proper Karmann convertible finished in silver with a black leather interior. Practical for four people, good fun and brilliantly engineered, the Beetle is a great way to enjoy the Cotswolds without breaking the bank.
Old Jags are no longer the preserve of criminals and motorway hard shoulders. Under Ford’s ownership Jags got good and the XK8 is one of the best with a growing following. We already have a popular supercharged XKR coupe on our fleet in the Cotswolds so it made sense to add another one. The new addition is a naturally aspirated 4 litre convertible based at our Peak District site. It’s the ideal alternative to th Boxster if you want to waft rather than hoon around.
9. Ford Granada Ghia X Occasionally we like to bring customers a bit of a left field choice. Here’s one. If you grew up in the South East you’ll know that when it came to one-up-manship in the 70s and 80s it didn’t get more up than a Ford with a Ghia badge on it. In an era before German car makers took over the Granada Ghia X was the top dog. Sample some ruched leather loveliness from our Shropshire site now.
The last proper MG sports car is still hovering around the pre-classic market but we felt it was time to add them to our fleet. Because they’re cheap we can hire them for a low price – just £160 for a weekend. That makes it easier to discover what we’ve come to realise – the MGF is great. It looks pretty good, it’s very practical and it’s easy to drive. We have cars based at our Cotswolds and Yorkshire sites, both high spec VVC models. We think the MGF is a worthy successor to the venerable B.
Nobody really does wafty, luxurious drop top GT cars better than Mercedes. The R129 SL, built in the 90s, is a worthy successor to the gorgeous Pagoda and bulletproof R107 and perfect for touring the South West. We already have a 1983 R107 SL on our Cotswolds fleet. Our new addition is a high specification 500SL V8 convertible with electric everything. Available to hire now for just £199 for 24 hrs or £349 for 48 hrs.
Before TVR went bonkers and then bust it made relatively conventional cars like the Chimaera. The Chim was the ‘soft’ TVR, if a 4 litre V8 with nearly 300bhp, rear wheel drive and no driver aids can really be called soft. It’s a practical, stylish GT that is as comfortable pootling around as blasting along B-roads. Our TVR Chimaera is based at our Shropshire site and finished in metallic burgundy with a cream lesther interior. Hire it for £299 for 24 hrs or £549 for 48 hrs.
In the realm of future classics the 90s Alfa Spider is a sure fire bet. Low prices and reliability mean we can offer the Pininfarina-designed Alfa for a bargain hire price in 2014. The Alfa is perhaps one of the nicest looking convertibles of the last 20 years and unlike previous Alfas is fairly well screwed together and dependable. It is comfortable, sound good and is fun to drive. Hire ours for just £160 for a weekend from our Cotswolds site.
The Corvette is America’s E Type. Big and brash where the E is small and lithe but we think it’s all the better for it. Unlike the Mustang, which has always been more of a chopped saloon car than a sports car, the Corvette is a proper GT car that handles well and goes well. Frankly, there’s nothing quite like it. Ours is white with a red interior – if you want to make a statement, it does. Hire it in 2014 from our Yorkshire site.
You’ve got to love a B. Simple and stylish the venerable B delivers its thrills humbly and easily. So we’ve added a third MGB to our fleet, based at our Cotswolds site. And it’s a good one – this is the car restored by Practical Classics and Wheeler Dealers at the NEC Classic Car Show in 2013.
17. Triumph TR6
Britain has always been rather good at making hairy chested, brutal small convertibles. Think Austin Healey and TR6. And a strong smell of Old Spice. The TR6 is the grown up MGB, the Austin Healey you can actually drive in comfort. In short, it’s great. Our Workshop Manager has rebuilt this car in our workshop and now it is available to hire from our Cotswolds site.
18. Triumph Stag
The Triumph Stag is one of a long list of nearly-there British cars. It was a brilliant idea, brilliantly executed. A burbling V8 convertible styled in Italy, comfortable and spacious and with the engaging, sporty driving experience you would expect from a Triumph. Except, of course, when it came to bolting this triumphant package together things weren’t so, well, triumphant. None of which actually matters to anyone driving it now. While the Stag has never topped our reliability list, the 40 year old examples now with enthusiasts are not beset by the daily driver dramas when they were new. We’ve added a second Stag for hire, based on the Peak District.