Hilariously Cheap 12-Cylinder Beater Cars -- ROAD TESTAMENT

Uploaded by drive on 29.11.2012


ALEX ROY: This week on the "Road Testament," Matt Farah
and I discuss 12 cylinder cars.
Can a used 12 cylinder be as good as, or maybe a better
value than a really good you used 4 cylinder?
I have no idea.
Farah, you're going to tell us.
ALEX ROY: This week.
MATT FARAH: Indian food is probably the most complex food
to cook in terms of the sheer number of ingredients.
ALEX ROY: Not as complex as hanging out with me after I
eat it, my body rich with faraway spices.

Were do you follow our show?
MATT FARAH: I don't know, @Drive on Twitter,
facebook.com/drivetv, and follow me
@TheSmokingTire on Twitter.
ALEX ROY: Can a V12, used, possibly be a better value
than a really great used 4 cylinder.
MATT FARAH: Possibly, but it depends on
which V12, of course.
ALEX ROY: You own a V--
I've never owned a V12.
You own one.
What is it?
MATT FARAH: It is an Aston Martin Vanquish.
ALEX ROY: OK, besides the fact that it looks amazing--
MATT FARAH: It looks amazing.
ALEX ROY: Explain to me the aura and majesty and why V12--
MATT FARAH: Well, was it Jeremy Clarkson who said
everyone should own a V12 super car?
Who said that?
Someone said at some point, everyone should own a V12 car.
And I see where they're coming from, because the 12 cylinder
engine is beautiful in the way it revs.
It's perfectly smooth.
It's a balanced engine, so you get basically no vibration
whatsoever from the engine.
But you get this amazing sound that is very unique.
They don't sound like anything else.
It's this even hum, that is like [ROARING SOUND].
ALEX ROY: They also cost 40% to 50% more than the 8
cylinder version of any car.
MATT FARAH: Exactly.
ALEX ROY: And in my life I have never ever heard of any
V12 car ever being reliable over time.
MATT FARAH: My car, the engine itself is very reliable.
It has never ever broken in any way.
ALEX ROY: Because Ford probably owned
Aston at the time.
MATT FARAH: Yeah, and it's literally two Ford V6s stuck
together at the crank.
So it's two 3 liter Ford Duratech V6s which
make a 6 liter V12.
ALEX ROY: So we've got a list of really great used 4
cylinder cars, and some not so great.
MATT FARAH: Some interesting V12 cars.
ALEX ROY: Some interesting used V12s which are
hilariously cheap.
And we're going to discuss why, and which one might even
possibly be a good value.
MATT FARAH: There are some gems in there,
like this right here.
So this is the car that came before my car.
This is the DB7 Vantage.
So when this car first came out, it had a supercharged 6
cylinder engine in it, which was not a terrible engine, but
it only made it like 330 horsepower.
Then in the early 2000s, the Vantage model, they put the
first version of the V12 I have in it, so the six liter
V12 in this car it made 620 horsepower.
And you can pick these up with relatively low mileage in good
shape for about $40,000.
ALEX ROY: Reliability in this car.
ALEX ROY: Well if I recall correctly, this was the era of
the really crap interior.
MATT FARAH: Not as crap as you'd think.
This is the era where the interior looked almost
identical to a Jaguar XK.
ALEX ROY: This to me seems like the dark times of--
MATT FARAH: No, middle '90s was absolutely--
before this car, the last Astons before this car, the
boxy Virage.
ALEX ROY: I like the boxy Virage.
MATT FARAH: I like them in a weird way.
I like the earlier versions.
But these are nice.
ALEX ROY: When I look at this car, you know what I see?
I see a newer Aston that's been in a fire
and slightly melted.
It just seems shapeless to me.
MATT FARAH: Well Aston's design structure, their
philosophy is on rules of thirds, like the height of
this window versus its relationship to the ground,
the length of the greenhouse versus-- they
have all these formulas.
So that's why all modern Astons kind of look the same,
is because of that.
But as far as an exotic car, 12 cylinder car, compared to--
believe it or not-- compared to a Ferrari 575 or something,
this is rather cheap to maintain and own.
ALEX ROY: Interesting.
MATT FARAH: But It's just the little bits, like when my
parking brake cable broke on my car, it was $2,500.
ALEX ROY: Of course.
You know something, I don't care if it's a good value.
This is just--
MATT FARAH: Doesn't do it for you?
ALEX ROY: I don't--
I'm not--
MATT FARAH: I think it's a good value
in terms of 12 cylinders.
The next car--
ALEX ROY: Before we go on, by the way-- that Aston, when's
the last time you saw one of those on the road?
MATT FARAH: I saw one recently.
ALEX ROY: You never see them because they're just not sexy.
This car has its place in my heart because in 2004, I drove
one on a rally.
It was a 2004 CL600 that one year they did
a twin turbo option.
And it was unbelievably quick.
And the power-- it was an amazing car.
MATT FARAH: Well this is the 65.
This one's even faster.
So this car was about $190,000 new.
MATT FARAH: This is 600 horsepower and 738
pound feet of torque.
ALEX ROY: The one I drove did over 200 miles an hour.
This one is a 200 mile an hour car legitimately.
And it has all kind of neat stuff like air
suspension, and Mercedes--
it's got good seats in it.
But these things--
ALEX ROY: You could get one of these for $20,000.
MATT FARAH: The 65 is probably 30 for the
nicest one you can find.
The problem with these, of course, is out of warranty
maintenance is terrifying on a car like this.
And people actually email me a lot, and say Matt,
I found this 65.
I can get all this horsepower for no money.
I could be driving a Mercedes.
God forbid anything breaks on one of these.
ALEX ROY: Think about Lincoln Boulevard in LA.
Every dealership, these are lined up.
Literally it's like $21,995, $23,995.
And you can't give these cars away because if it breaks, you
might as well just throw it away.
MATT FARAH: If a turbo goes on this car, it's totaled.
If the air suspension goes, it's totaled.
ALEX ROY: I would love to--
I also love the look of this particular car--
MATT FARAH: Oh, it's a great car.
ALEX ROY: --and for $20,000, even for $30,000.
ALEX ROY: But I don't think it's [INAUDIBLE].
MATT FARAH: And they put this engine in the sedan, the
S-Class in this and in the SL.
And they're all stupid cheap.
ALEX ROY: But you know something, you never see these
actually driving around under their own power.
You see them on used car lots all the time--
MATT FARAH: In used lots on rims with something ending in
$995 on them.
ALEX ROY: And it's this or a little row of Range Rovers.
MATT FARAH: Yeah, all on rims, of course.
So instead of spending $30,000 to 40,000 on one of these, you
get this--
four cylinder supercharged Lotus Exige S260.
MATT FARAH: Probably about $40 to $45 for a used one, which
is a lot for a 4 cylinder car with basically no interior,
but Toyota engine--
ALEX ROY: Bulletproof.
MATT FARAH: Bulletproof.
There's nothing in this car to break even
though it is British.
They're actually pretty reliable.
ALEX ROY: I was kind of hoping we would come up with a 4
cylinder car that actually was comfortable in the way that 12
cylinder cars are.
I'm sure this is a great car.
MATT FARAH: But it's hard to find--
I mean, we were trying to find four cylinder-- it is hard to
find expensive 4 cylinder cars.
And obviously, a Lotus Exige S260 is not a Mercedes or an
Aston Martin, but if you want a--
ALEX ROY: But it's more exclusive.
MATT FARAH: --quick sports car.
ALEX ROY: Nobody has one.
MATT FARAH: They are relatively rare.
They're fun to drive.
ALEX ROY: And they will last.
MATT FARAH: They will last.
And maintenance is not so bad on them actually.
ALEX ROY: Cool, but it's not for me.
MATT FARAH: Not my style.
ALEX ROY: Me neither.
MATT FARAH: But I'm not buying a V12 twin turbo Mercedes
that's seven year old either.
ALEX ROY: What's next?
MATT FARAH: What do we got next here?
ALEX ROY: All right, this--
now you're talking.
Because I think the 8-Series is the last awesomely
beautiful aggro shark nose BMW design language up the wazoo--
I own an '88 M6, which never runs, even though it's not--
even though it's a 6 cylinder.
But this thing, I remember in college when these things
would go around, and I wanted one so bad
MATT FARAH: I love these cars.
I guy I know has an 850 csi with a stick and it is--
ALEX ROY: Really?
MATT FARAH: --brilliant.
MATT FARAH: And his is the nicest one I've ever seen.
And it's probably a $25,000 or $30,000 car, but you can get
these things cheap cheap.
ALEX ROY: Actually I saw one for about $8,000.
MATT FARAH: But what is lurking under the hood--
what is it, a 360-ish horsepower, V12, I
believe, maybe 380.
ALEX ROY: The thing is, of course, if you're going to
look at 12 cylinder engines from German manufacturers, as
unreliable as Mercedes engines are, it is a universal fact.
If you don't believe in the Newtonian theory of gravity,
you have not owned a BMW 12 cylinder car
and seen the deprecia--
it literally, the car drops an inch as son as you drive it
off the lot.
MATT FARAH: They're really bad.
But these are great cars.
And for $10,000 You buy one and you put an LS motor in and
call it a day.
ALEX ROY: Actually, you know something?
That's a great idea.
MATT FARAH: Yeah, an LS--
you know, if it fits a V12, it will fit an LS motor, and
you'll have a sweet looking BMW that actually runs.
ALEX ROY: You know something, for under $10, actually this
might be an OK buy.
It would be cheap.
And then we have another cheapie--
this guy.
You know what's funny about the--
ALEX ROY: The Sacco-designed S-class.
These things were the tank tanks.
ALEX ROY: Looking, but the real tank tanks was the
predecessor to this.
MATT FARAH: Oh yeah, like the "Coming to America" ones.
ALEX ROY: Right, but they didn't make a 12
of that, did they?
MATT FARAH: They did not.
A V8 was the biggest you could get.
This one, you could get the 12, and it was also about 360
And you know what's funny is--
ALEX ROY: You never see these rolling around, ever.
The only one that I ever see, I have a friend who house sits
for Madonna.
And she has one.
ALEX ROY: Still?
MATT FARAH: Still has one, and still--
ALEX ROY: 12 cylinder?
MATT FARAH: Yes, it's a 600 and she still gets driven
around in it.
ALEX ROY: Can you imagine what the dealer-supplied
fourth-party extended maintenance plan must be on
this things?
It must be more than the lease payments for a 14-month lease.
These are so stupid cheap, I mean $6,000, $5,000 you're
buying one of these things for.
Someone actually, I think, brought one to a lemons race
recently, because it was like un-sellable.
ALEX ROY: It was a guy who actually
brought an SL, I think.
And they docked him 3,000 penalty laps.
MATT FARAH: Oh, it was the long wheelbase, the SEL.
ALEX ROY: They gave him like 3,000 penalty laps.
But if you think about it, actually, given the cost of
these cars, there should be like above lemons, like, a
race series just for 12 cylinder cars under $10,000.
Because clearly, there's a bunch of them.
MATT FARAH: And they can just is set up dealerships on the
side of the racetrack and do it.
I wouldn't want to be anywhere near this car.
ALEX ROY: This might be a better value than the
8-series, although the 8-series is
sexy and this is not.
MATT FARAH: No, because the 8-series has some collector
value, a little bit.
This has none.
This is now a taxicab in the Sudan.
ALEX ROY: Yes it is.
MATT FARAH: Or, of course, the coupe version.
ALEX ROY: This was really the worst of the Mercedes two
doors ever.
And in the V12, you had to be like a full
masochist, like [BLEEP]
down blind.
MATT FARAH: It's Russian gangster--
ALEX ROY: The worst.
I don't care if this was--
for $2,000, I wouldn't drive this.
MATT FARAH: Yeah, but the next car is of course your other
option, 4 cylinder, you could spend a lot more money on a
used Fisker Karma, equally masochistic.
ALEX ROY: Is this the most expensive 4
cylinder car ever sold?
MATT FARAH: I believe this to be the most expensive 4
cylinder car ever sold.
Now I know it's a hybrid and it's electric drive--
ALEX ROY: It's 4 cylinder.
MATT FARAH: But it is a 4 cylinder engine under there.
And new, $110,000-- we're finding them used on eBay for
$75,000 to $90,000.
ALEX ROY: I mean I love the looks of this car.
We've discussed it many times.
MATT FARAH: But you also have to hate yourself
to own one of these.
Because if they're not catching on fire,
or breaking, they're--
I'm going to say it.
They're not very good.
ALEX ROY: In five years--
if Fisker's still in business in five years-- and I don't
think they will be-- but if whatever happens, you could
pick up a Fisker in a couple years for under 20, say?
MATT FARAH: Totally.
ALEX ROY: And throw in a Corvette motor
like your buddy did.
You'd have the best sedan of all time.
MATT FARAH: Yeah, an LS9 with a manual
transmission in this car.
You are winning at life.
ALEX ROY: You know something, I bet you there are some
salvage Fiskers after hurricane Sandy.
You could pick one up for like, say, $10.
MATT FARAH: Yeah, just the body.
ALEX ROY: Just the body, and you could have the greatest
sedan of all time.
Can we go down there and look?
ALEX ROY: We actually should.
MATT FARAH: Let's go down there and look
ALEX ROY: We should find out.
MATT FARAH: I don't know, but let's go back to 12 cylinder
beater cars, with--
ALEX ROY: Well this is, I mean, obviously, the
"Transporter" car.
MATT FARAH: Yeah, the BMW 750.
Well, he had a 740, didn't he?
Because he had a manual transmission.
ALEX ROY: But it was BS, because he was shifting, and
it was totally--
MATT FARAH: "Fast and Furious" shifting.
ALEX ROY: This is really the best
looking, I think, 7-series.
MATT FARAH: I liked it with the James Bond wheels, when it
had the sport package.
The Bond wheels were good.
ALEX ROY: That was really cool.
MATT FARAH: My friend's father had one of these.
And I remember when he bought it--
and I think it was a '97 or a '98-- he brought it home and
was bragging that there were more computers in this car
than in the space shuttle, which when the car is brand
new, sounds like a very good thing.
Now all those computers are 20 years old, and that prospect
sounds unbelievably scary.
ALEX ROY: This car was famous for having the dash with the
little square really dim LEDs.
And they always died.
The dash clusters over time were just useless.
MATT FARAH: But unlike a lot of the other cars we're
talking about, I see a ton of these still running.
ALEX ROY: Yeah, but they're 740s.
They're not 750s.
MATT FARAH: They're not 750s.
I don't ever see 750s.
ALEX ROY: It seems like BMW obviously they don't sell
nearly as many 7-series as Mercedes sells S-classes.
But it seems like the differential with BMW 12
cylinders versus the 8, is it even greater than Mercedes's
MATT FARAH: I think Mercedes sells more V12s than BMW does.
ALEX ROY: But do you think that the cost to
upgrade to a 12--
what is it?
MATT FARAH: Its massive.
ALEX ROY: It's massive.
MATT FARAH: It's not as big in a Mercedes.
Because an S600 is $130,000, but an S500 is
$100 flat or so.
In a BMW, a 750--
or in this case it would have been a 740--
was like $65,000 or $70,000.
The 750 was like $120.
ALEX ROY: I love this car.
MATT FARAH: It was stupid expensive.
ALEX ROY: But I would not buy the 750.
I'd get the 740 if I could.
But these cars, you could get a 750 in this generation for
about $8,000 to $12,000.
MATT FARAH: That's on the high end.
Yeah $8,000 will get you the world's nicest--
ALEX ROY: For $6 to $7 it's probably a good buy.
MATT FARAH: A good beater car?
ALEX ROY: Very cool.
MATT FARAH: I could see it at $6 to $7, but again, with the
separate ECUs for each side of the motor--
one thing goes bad in this car and it's totaled.
It is literally a throwaway car.
ALEX ROY: But it was the last generation 7-series before
everything went modular computerized.
The E39 was the last 5-series before
everything went modular.
And actually, I have a lot of faith in BMWs from the late
'90s that I don't have today.
MATT FARAH: Yeah, my dad has a new 750, and it is terrible.
At least it's not a V12.
What do we got next-- and then of course, this.
ALEX ROY: You couldn't give me this car.
MATT FARAH: The 2003 BMW 760.
ALEX ROY: This is cheaper than the prior generation
12 used, isn't it?
I've seen this for like, $6.
MATT FARAH: This actual car was on eBay right now, 2003,
60,000 miles, $18,000, which is just over 10% of its
original price eight years ago, nine years ago.
ALEX ROY: You'd have to be out of your mind to get this car
new, used, warranty--
MATT FARAH: They are the biggest waste of money.
A, they're not that fast for a 7.
They don't look any different.
I mean, look at this car.
ALEX ROY: Horribly ugly.
MATT FARAH: Horribly ugly, other than the bad--
the iDrive and stuff, this is a straight up no buy, no give,
no anything.
Or, you could get that.
We have the expert.
That is a classy move.
ALEX ROY: I'm going to say that I know it's insane to
include this on this list.
But I've seen a mint condition DS for about $40,000.
ALEX ROY: Yeah, and you know something?
These things--
granted, the hydropneumatic suspension, braking, and
steering system is a little funky--
MATT FARAH: No, wait does this have--
this was a 4 cylinder car?
But your SM has a 6.
But this is a 4.
ALEX ROY: But the thing about this car is that it had a
simpler hydropneumatic system than the SM.
Because it was an earlier system.
And if you can get one in good condition, this is amazing
car, super sexy.
MATT FARAH: And they ride really--
I've driven yours.
They ride amazing.
I mean, this is a classy move.
ALEX ROY: Everyone's going to tell me I'm an idiot for
including this car on this list.
MATT FARAH: I don't care.
I'd rather have a Citroen DS than a BMW 760 from 2003.
ALEX ROY: Well, you can have one of these rusted and kind
of running for about $4,000.
MATT FARAH: Yeah, or a totally decent one like this one right
here, which looks clean, not perfect--
ALEX ROY: Probably $25 to $30.
MATT FARAH: OK, so that or an '03 760.
No question.
ALEX ROY: But this or an 850?
I'm still taking this.
ALEX ROY: I think I might take the 850.
ALEX ROY: Because the 850, only one thing can go wrong.
It's the engine.
Throw the car away.
This, if anything goes wrong, you could get three 850s.
MATT FARAH: Is that the last of our list?
That's the game, isn't it?
Follow us on Twitter @Drive.
Follow us on Facebook.
There we go.
ALEX ROY: But wait, what did we learn here today?
MATT FARAH: Oh, we have to come to some sort of a
conclusion, don't we?
Are 4 cylinder cars better than 12 cylinder cars?
I think the answer is pretty obvious, yes.
ALEX ROY: Well, actually, to be clear, if you want to own
the magic of a 12 cylinder car, you kind of
have to do it soon.
Because 12 cylinder cars, there are not going to be many
of them around in 10 years.
MATT FARAH: Probably not.
And there certainly are not going to be any cheap ones.
ALEX ROY: You know something, we completely forgot the
greatest 12 cylinder car you can buy.
MATT FARAH: A Ferrari 550?
ALEX ROY: A Volkswagen Phaeton.
MATT FARAH: Oh, the picture.
There should have been a picture there.
ALEX ROY: We totally forgot to discuss the Phaeton.
MATT FARAH: We missed it.
ALEX ROY: The Phaeton had two VR6 motors connected.
Is that correct?
MATT FARAH: It's two VR6s to make a W12.
So it's not a V12, which is the basis for
the Bentley GT engine.
ALEX ROY: But the Phaeton was meant to be a competitor with
the S class, the A8, the 7-series.
MATT FARAH: And it was in all respects except the badge.
In fact, it was better.
ALEX ROY: It's a really cool looking.
And you could pick one up now for about, what--
MATT FARAH: $15 will get you a 12 cylinder one. $8 to $10
will get you a V8.
ALEX ROY: And I bet you that is the best value 12 cylinder
car you can buy today.
MATT FARAH: Probably, because I bet you that Volkswagen
dealerships would be very happy to see you
come in in that car.
And they will treat you very nicely.
ALEX ROY: And you know something, and I actually do
see some Phaetons driving around.
People love driving those cars.
MATT FARAH: I see them in California.
You know who was a huge Phaeton enthusiast?
MATT FARAH: Jack Baruth--
owned two of them.
And Mr. Sylvester Stallone, as well, owned two Phaetons.
ALEX ROY: Well then that's where the episode has to end.
I vote VW Phaeton.
MATT FARAH: As the best 12 cylinder car--
used 12 cylinder--
MATT FARAH: I agree.
Best cheap 12 cyinder car you can buy, V12 Phaeton.
Follow us in all those places.
We already told you to follow us, especially me,
Two straight men talking about cars.
Just two straight men talking about cars.
ALEX ROY: Our bodies rich with faraway spices.