The Spotted Week That Was | MX-5, DS, Wolf

Christmas is looming, but we've still had time for classified daydreaming…

By PH Staff / Sunday, December 20, 2020

Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary, 2019, 3k, £23,990

Winter in an MX-5 is brilliant. To be honest, all seasons in an MX-5 are – but there’s something particularly entertaining about the colder months in a good convertible. At the merest hint of sunshine the roof can be stowed in seconds, allowing you to embrace the elements snug in a heated seat and enjoy driving what remains one of the most joyous little cars out there. 

Which has almost always been the case for an MX-5, really, but it felt especially true for the current car when it was facelifted in 2018. Put simply, more power from the 2.0-litre engine made it even better company rasping along on a crisp winter’s day. Those cars are nearing £15k now, and they really are excellent. This isn’t one of those, but rather the 30th Anniversary car launched last year. Why one of those? I just like the orange, to be honest. But rest assured an ND MX-5, in any colour you choose, remains a perennially fantastic little sports car. Especially at this time of year. MB

Citroen DS, 1972, N/A, £59,950

People often describe the Citroen DS is a futuristic-looking car, and from the viewpoint of designers in the 1950s, it is. The machine was created at a time when space exploration, nuclear physics research and rock and roll were all new. You can practically see the optimism bursting from its chic seams. Technological strides were embodied by hydro-pneumatic suspension and directional headlights. Every inch is packed with innovation. I think it’s one of the best cars ever made.

I can only imagine the sense of pride felt by those who worked at the French embassy when the car you see here – a top-spec DS21 EFI Pallas Automatique – arrived on the London fleet in 1972. Specced perfectly for the era, with bronze paint that’s set off by chrome trim and wheel covers, it must have made anyone aboard look like a political celebrity. That’s not something I ever expect to be labelled anytime soon, but I’d sure like to have a go at pretending with this car, which is up £60k, after a “Concours standard” restoration, according to the seller. Isn’t it just fabulous? SS

Land Rover Defender RWMIK+, 1999, 4k, £28,995

It's easy to like the various iterations of the Land Rover Wolf. They are the perfect antidote to all those urbanite Defenders which are treated like house cats. The British Army tends to treat its vehicles mean and put them away wet. It was famously reluctant to adopt the newer TD5 motor because it was considered too complicated. Better to have something you can fix in the woods without access to Land Rover diagnostics. Wikipedia notes that the manufacturer couldn't guarantee the engine's resistance to an electromagnetic pulse either – although you'd imagine that if it came to that the availability of working Defenders might be a lesser concern.

What Land Rover could help with – in conjunction with Ricardo – was gun mounts. Lots of them. The WMIK or Weapons Mount Installation Kit was true to its name, and allowed the humble Defender to sprout machine guns from virtually every vantage point. What's more the close fire support designation meant a liberal beefing up of components elsewhere, including air locker diffs and a Dana rear axle. Oh and uprated suspension to deal with the armoured floor you got with the R+ designation. The vendor says it weighs over 4 tonnes and ought to make 'that trip to the pub on a Sunday lunchtime a piece of cake'. Amen to that, chaps. Yours for £28,995. NC

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