REAR-DRIVE DREAMS

AN 86 IS GREAT, BUT WHAT IF YOU LIKE STRAIGHTS MORE THAN CORNERS?

BY SCOTT NEWMAN

THE TOYOTA 86 is rightly viewed as one of smartest ways to spend $30-odd grand on a fun set of wheels. But fun means different things to different people. The 86 is perfect if you want to carve some corners, but if you crave $30-odd grand of grunt (sorry, Russell Crowe) then you're going to need to look elsewhere. Thankfully, a quick trawl of the classifieds at tradeuniquecars.com.au revealed that the used-car world is your eight-cylinder oyster.

We've outlined a variety of options below, everything from US muscle cars to more exotic screamers from Japan and Italy, but one of the tastiest tempters was a 2003 Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG. In the early 2000s AMG was beginning to play a major part in Mercedes' product strategy and the introduction of its 5.4-litre supercharged V8 was a game-changer, transforming everything from the SL55 to the E55 into tyre-frying tyrannosaurs. Up until 2002 the biggest dog in the supersedan yard was the BMW M5 with 294kW/500Nm, a paltry amount of power compared with the AMG's 368kW/700Nm.

The S55 was one of the more incongruous homes for this engine, gifting this two-tonne palace on wheels the ability to sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.8sec or, more accurately, perform rolling burnouts for hundreds of metres it's an immense amount of car and performance for the money. Go in with your eyes open as there's a lot to fail on these cars, but the mechanicals are pretty good and you'll feel like a king.

CLASSIES Watch 04 modern classic tempters we found on tradeuniquecars.com.au

2013 CHRYSLER 300 CORE

6.4L V8, 350kW/637Nm, 135,572km, Homebush, NSW

The SRT Core was basic, but it still looks good, goes hard and sounds mega.

$32,990

2008 LEXUS IS F

5.0L V8, 311kW/505Nm, 149,991km, Homebush, NSW

Japan's M3 can't quite match its German rivals, but it's depreciated a lot harder.

$34,990

2006 MASERATI 4200GT

4.2L V8, 287kW/452Nm, N/Akm, Malaga, WA

Those looks, that noise if you can stomach the Cambiocorsa gearbox.

$35,000

2002 FORD MUSTANG

4.6L V8, 240kW/430Nm, 73,300km, Pymble, NSW

Can't wait for current Mustangs to depreciate?

Here's one to consider.

$29,500