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Nissan Almera Gti

Nissan Almera Gti Published: 29th Nov 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Nissan Almera Gti
Nissan Almera Gti
Nissan Almera Gti
Nissan Almera Gti
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Car: Nissan Almera GTi YEAR: 1997 Owner: A new happy one…

The selling of our project Nissan Almera GTi was a bittersweet experience. On the one hand, it went to a good home, at a fair price, but on the other it highlighted all that’s wrong at the other end of the market, where price rules over value every time. To recap, our 1997 GTi – one of only 50 left it’s now claimed – was heading for the scrapyard, having been a trade-in against a nearly new Mazda. Offering an insulting £150 for it, the dealer was fully prepared to send it to the great car park in the sky, if we hadn’t intervened with a bit more of the folding stuff. And, we’re glad that we did save this ‘two owner from new’ hot hatch, which had years and years of life left in it, care of a superb service history which the previous owner had kept up to scratch for an amazing 17 years!

Running it for some 18 months, we had the engine TerraCleaned to perk it up a bit (see story in next month’s issue) and tidied up the bodywork to the point where it looked immaculate. Apart from the well knackered aftermarket alloy wheels (we had the originals) and a performance cone air filter (we were given the original) this car was, well, totally original!

However, it was time to move it on to make way for another project car. With GTi Golfs and hot Escorts selling for big money, surely it was worth around a grand in anyone’s books? Apparently not, and while we love a bargain as much as anybody else, most of the callers offered buttons for it and felt they were doing us a favour at the same time!

It was a similar, sad story each time, which went something like this: “ ’ere mate, that Almera you’ve got for sale, what’s the lowest [price] you’d take for it?”

Trying to enlighten and educate them with the car’s history and condition was a waste of breath. The fact that it was probably the last original Almera GTi left in the country made no difference to them at all. “Take £500 for it, mate?” Perhaps they’d been watching too many Wheeler Dealers?

Thanks to this cheap-as-chips culture, is it any surprise to learn that many traders at the lower end of the market are throwing in the towel, because there’s little profit or job satisfaction in the business anymore? It’s not just a case of classic car snobbery, before you ask – there’s far too much of that without Classic Motoring adding to it! However, there’s more to a ‘bargain’ than simply a cheap price. But this is increasingly being forgotten, or simply ignored, in this day and age. Here was a true modern classic that sported a history that couldn’t be bettered – hell, with interest soaring in such modern metal, you’ll make money on this car if kept in the same nick for a few years – why should it go for peanuts? One mag recently ran a feature on buying £100 cars and – with due respect and without wishing to cause offence – if that’s all you can afford, perhaps you shouldn’t be on the road?

Happily, all’s well that ends well. At first, it sounded like a leg pull when a young chap, sounding keen as mustard, called us. After looking at tired old examples, he reckoned that R497 DVX was just the car he’d been searching for, if it was as good as described, and bought it over the phone without bartering. The next day, after less than five minutes of viewing, he slapped a fat envelope full of wonga in our clammy hands and drove off as happy as Larry. But, as Wheeler Dealer Mike Brewer would say “It’s not always about the money”. Classic Motoring saved a classic from the scrapper, gave it TLC where it needed and found it a good home – so both parties were happy. Look after it, Brad; you’ve got a gem of a GTi that’s better than money in the bank – tell that to the so-called ‘bargain’ hunters!



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