Dirtbag English Car Dealer Gets Jail Time for Ripping People Off

While there are absolutely exceptions, the days of the super-sleazy used car dealer seem to be behind us here in the States. Anyone ripped off by one of them probably wishes we had laws like those in England, where a shady dealer recently got jail time for his actions.

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Scrapyard Find: 2010 Citroën C4 Picasso VTR+

While SUVs and crossovers have become increasingly popular in Western Europe in recent years, compact MPVs have done very well there during the past quarter-century. One model that proved to be a solid showroom hit was the Citroën C4 Picasso, and I documented one of these machines during my recent trip to the scrapyards of Northern England.

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Scrapyard Find: 2009 Alfa Romeo Brera S

I took a four-day trip to Northern England a couple of weeks ago, primarily to visit one of the only American-style self-service junkyards in the UK. While there, I also dropped by quite a few traditional dismantlers (known as "breaker's yards" over there), and one of them was Sherburn Motor Spares in Leeds, a business specializing in Italian and French vehicles. While there, I found a special-edition Alfa Romeo that never made it to our side of the Atlantic: a UK-only Brera S, hot-rodded by Prodrive.

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Scrapyard Find: 2010 Peugeot Bipper, Royal Mail Edition

Last week, I joined fellow car writer Andrew Ganz on a four-day trip to Northern England, with one of Great Britain's two Ewe Pullet-style self-service junkyards as our primary destination. This was the U-Pull-It in York, and today's Junkyard Scrapyard Find is one of the more interesting products of the Société Européene de Véhicules Légers during the 2000s.

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U.K. Dealer Sells 'Death Trap' Twice, Faces Jail Time

The United States doesn't have a monopoly on shady car dealerships.

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Rare Rides: The 1975 Aston Martin Lagonda Series I, One of Seven

The Rare Rides series has covered every generation of Aston Martin’s Lagonda four-door except one. In the Sixties, the Lagonda Rapide helped to define the super sedan class: A grand tourer that could sweep four passengers and their luggage across Continental Europe with ease.

Then there was the late Seventies Lagonda, which had a long production run through 1990. Advanced electronically, that Lagonda was too ambitious and generally earned its reputation as a good-looking, expensive disaster. Finally, there was the Lagonda Taraf, a large sedan designed specifically and cynically for the UAE market. It was built to extract maximum dollars from oil barons and the like. Great success!

But between Lagonda Rapide and Lagonda was a missing link. It was called the Lagonda Series I and is the rarest Aston Martin Lagonda ever made. And one is for sale.

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Abandoned History: The Navistar EStar, a Very Troubled Electric Van

The plain white van you see here is the subject of our second edition of Abandoned History. Though it was produced and sold domestically as eStar by Navistar, it was actually developed in England years prior. In fact, the story of this electric van begins with the traditional black London taxi.

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Rare Rides: A Trio of 1965 Aston Martin DB5s, a Complete Collection

We’ve featured several Aston Martins on Rare Rides previously, but have never covered its most recognizable car: the DB5. Designed in Italy, the DB5 was an instant collector’s item when it starred as James Bond’s ride in Goldfinger.

Today’s collection includes all three different DB5 body styles, each rarer than the last.

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Rare Rides: The Superbly Rare 1963 Aston Martin Lagonda Rapide

Rare Rides has featured a couple of fine Lagonda sedans previously. First was the 1980s rectangle designed by William Towns, which miraculously remained in production from 1976 to 1990. Next was the Lagonda Taraf, a super sedan intended only for the oil-flush UAE market.

Today we bring you the genesis of the Aston Martin Lagonda sedan line, the Rapide.

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Junkyard Find: 1976 Triumph TR7 Victory Edition

I’ve been visiting car graveyards since I bought my first hooptie for 50 bucks in the early 1980s, and one thing about American junkyards has remained constant during the following four decades: the presence of 1970s British and Italian sports cars. Maybe they were a bit less weathered in 1987 or 1994 or 2006, but a steady trickle of discarded MGBs, 124 Sport Spiders, X1/9s, Jensen-Healeys, Spitfires, Midgets, and TR7s into U-Wrench yards has flowed at about the same rate throughout. That’s why I wasn’t surprised to discover this allegedly rare 1976 Triumph TR7 Victory Edition in a Denver-area yard last month.

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Rare Rides: The 1972 Gilbern Invader, Obscure and Welsh

Today’s Rare Ride hails from a tiny carmaker in business for less than two decades. The Gilbern name stands out in history as one of the few companies that built cars in Wales.

Let’s check the company’s most successful model, the Invader.

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Rare Rides: The Very Rare 1964 Alvis Graber Super Coupe

A small British firm headquartered in Coventry, England, Alvis faded from the automotive memory of most long ago. But for over 50 years, Alvis produced quality, hand-made British cars for the moderately- to very-well heeled.

Today’s Graber Super Coupe was one of the more luxurious ones.

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Rare Rides: The 1992 Lotus Excel, End of an Era

Today’s Lotus Excel hails from the end of a period of transition at the famed British brand. Built for 11 years, by the end of Excel’s run the company had chosen a new direction for its cars.

Most would say the change was for the better.

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Rare Rides: It's a 1977 Reliant Scimitar GTE, You Know

Today’s Rare Ride is a sporty shooting brake from the days when there were still many British manufacturers building cars like it across England.

Let’s travel back to the Seventies when everything was brown, excepting this particular Reliant.

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Rare Rides: The 1962 Singer Vogue, the Smaller Side of British Luxury

Today’s Rare Ride is the first time a Singer vehicle has appeared on these pages. Compact and well-trimmed, the Vogue was a bit more than the standard Sixties British family car.

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  • Kat Laneaux @jalop1991I get that. It should be that way. Bills should be one and only one. None of this...if you scratch my back, i'll scratch yours as long as you agree with this too. That's petty and bs. I guess no one has enough balls to stand up for what is right, regardless of which side you stand on. Do one bill and pass it but pass it on merits and not on tit for tat.
  • Kat Laneaux They do but the electric companies are striving to go higher on prices. They supposedly were petitioning to allow higher charges for Solar users, here in NC.As long as they have the money to buy regulations, anything can happen and I really don't feel like spending my dollars on satisfying those evil, money hungry people.
  • J I haven't owned a sedan since like 2011 had a ford fusion and impala then I discovered hatchbacks beats an SUV but the amount of stuff I can do with my little hatchbacks leaves sedan owners and even some SUV and truck owners surprised
  • Dougjp It seems like I'm in a minority by rejecting CUV/SUVs and wanting "cars" instead. Its because, comparing apples to apples (same specs), I don't want (a) worse performance, (b) worse handling, (c) worse fuel economy, (d) worse road & wind noise and (e) higher cost. I'm quite willing to PAY for shipping that costs way less than 1% of the difference between the cost of a car and a comparable CUV/SUV, to buy a bulky piece of furniture from a store that doesn't provide free shipping. Which I would seldom buy anyway. The problem is, people don't think logically, and would rather default to herd mentality. Its the same as why people buy "off road vehicles", complete with ugly add on patch body work to "look the part", then they never go off road.
  • FreedMike How about one for a brown diesel wagon?