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jfb1977
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 8:45 pm    Post subject: Opinions on Targa 4S. Reply with quote

I love convertibles normally, but not the 911. I prefer a car that was designed to be a drop top from the start (Boxster / SLK etc) rather than an (arguably) compromised coupe.

It's only a personal opinion, but for me the lines of the 911 are ruined as a convertible and I think it looks a bit like a bathtub with the roof down (I'm really not trying to upset any 'vert owners here, just my personal view).

So I'm just looking for some of your opinions / thoughts on the Targa 4S.

For me it seems the perfect 911 by maintaining the lines of the (widebody) coupe but giving you access to "wind in your hair" open top motoring.

How come there are so few? Is there a reason why they don't seem to be that popular? Am I missing something? Dont know

And I'm guessing their rarity is what makes them more expensive (relatively speaking) too? Question
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markiii
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As someone who has just bought a gen1 targa 4s

I agree with your reasoning that was my exact thought process.

I've done 3500 miles in 3 weeks including some of the best Scottish roads and I'm loving it

It's light, airy, contrary to many opinions I've read mine doesn't squeak, rattle. Or make any untoward noises, it's not noticeably slower or heavier contrary to what I expected.

The opening rear hatch is a boon and the roof being lower able at any speed is great.

I'm even loving the arguably overstyled chrome trim

The downside is most targas seem to be specced from new by poser rather than drivers (apaologies to any exceptions) the downside is sports seats and short shifter are hard to find. The latter is an easy fix, the forme I suspect will be more expensive

You will pay a premium over a coupe but so far I think I made the right decision
 
  
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goodethernet
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Joined: 10 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMHO, they fall between two stools and that's the issue for most 911 buyers/owners. This is why there are so few, simply that the demand is low.

Yes the glass roof is great and yes, the hatchback is a nice touch but the fact is that most 911 owners either want a coupe or a convertible. The coupe offers the "purist driving experience" (the convertible and targa are still great cars in their own right, of course) and the convertible offers that full open top experience that is impossible to beat on a good day.

I am on my third 997 now and did (briefly) consider a targa each time but have ended up owning two coupes and now a convertible. There is also no "turbo targa" option available. Now THAT would be a car Wink


I guess my view is that the targa is a great "compromise" but my thought process is that I don't want to "compromise" when plonking down such a big chunk of change on a car... I noticed you use that same word in relation to the convertible, presumably in reference to the driving experience. I am happy to admit in my case that I am neither talented nor brave enough to need that extra 5% of driving capability that is (allegedly) available in the stiffer coupe car.

I think to sum up, the Targa is a great idea and perfect for some, but I think I would be very unlikely to ever buy one over a coupe or a convertible.
 
  
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Maxie
Yas Marina


Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 8386
Location: London


PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also very nearly bought a 997 T4S after more than 3 years of driving a 996 Targa.

The plus points were the smoked sliding glass roof, the retractable blind, opening rear hatch (when combined with the folding seats makes for a very practicable loading bay). The downsides were the aforementioned rattles and squeaks, leaks when it was raining and the fact it took almost a year to sell it owing to the niche market that the Targa serves. I read up about the current T4S and came to know that the roof is carried over from the 996 save for a lighter mass sliding glass panel and another forum member's comments on his T4S (squeaky/rattly roof) that made him chop his car for a C4S instead. Very disappointed to learn of these which ultimately made me go for a 997 coupe. However, I can't deny that the current Targa is a very pretty car, the sweeping chrome strip shadowing the roofline sets it off wonderfully. Mechanically, the Targas are the same as their Coupe counterparts except the chassis has been softened up somewhat and the centre of gravity is higher which makes for a car that would roll more at roundabouts or corners at speed. I believe that this would not be a concern for the majority of Targa drivers.

Goodethernet perfectly explains why there are so few examples about. If only they would sort out the design of the roof and market it a bit more (and perhaps include a Turbo version like they did many years ago), then I could be tempted back into Targa ownership.

~ Maxie
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markiii
Imola


Joined: 07 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maxie wrote:
Mechanically, the Targas are the same as their Coupe counterparts except the chassis has been softened up somewhat

~ Maxie


interesting, by which we are talking about the suspension rates or some difference mechanically?
 
  
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GT4
Nordschleife
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Joined: 08 Nov 2008
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Location: Hertfordshire and Hampshire


PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Targa

It is difficult to define the word "Targa". In the beginning, Targa was the 911 with a removable roof panel, something between coupe and cabriolet. Since the 993, Targa has become the 911 with panoramic glass roof. This concept was carried over to 996 Targa and the latest 997 Targa, so let me reuse the words in my 996 Targa report to describe the roof:

"From the roof to the rear window is completely a glasshouse, giving the cockpit a bright and airy ambience. Press a button, the glass roof panel drops down a few centimeters and then slide backward and underneath the rear window. This idea won’t work in other cars, because only the 911’s swoopy roofline allows it. With the roof opened, fresh air enters the cabin. Turbulence and wind noise are well suppressed thanks to the wind deflectors popped up at the leading edge of the roof. However, the existence of roof rails and rear window still make a significant difference between the Targa and the Cabriolet. There is still no substitution to a real cabriolet."

As before, the Targa roof of 997 is built by CTS (Car Top Systems), formerly owned by Porsche and Mercedes. There are no significant changes made, but CTS fine tuned the system to make it lighter (1.9kg slashed from the glass to lower center of gravity) and better heat insulation (it filters 83% infrared). The glass roof opens and closes in 7 seconds whether the car is moving. The rear screen can now hinge up like a liftback to access the luggage on the folded rear seats – there are 230 liters there, making it the most user-friendly 911.

The 997 Targa is based on the wide-body Carrera 4 with 4-wheel-drive and PASM stability control. Targa 4 is powered by Carrera's 3.6-liter 325hp engine, while Targa 4S employs Carrera S' 3.8-liter 355hp engine. As the Targa conversion adds 60 kilograms to the equivalent C4, or 115 kilograms to the equivalent Carrera / Carrera S, performance is slightly reduced.

Buy a 911 Targa and you must be prepared to accept some compromises in handling. As glass is heavier than steel, the Targa has higher center of gravity than the coupe. Moreover, its chassis rigidity is just half of the coupe (although it is already 50 percent higher than cabriolet). No wonder Porsche tuned its suspensions softer, emphasizing ride quality and quietness rather than ultimate handling prowess and precision. Use it as a touring car, the Targa is better than other 911s. Push it to the limit, it won't match a standard Carrera.
 
  
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markiii
Imola


Joined: 07 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

which is a quote from?
 
  
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Maxie
Yas Marina


Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 8386
Location: London


PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

markiii wrote:
Maxie wrote:
Mechanically, the Targas are the same as their Coupe counterparts except the chassis has been softened up somewhat

~ Maxie


interesting, by which we are talking about the suspension rates or some difference mechanically?


Spot on. The spring and damper rates are indeed different for the Targa as opposed to the Coupe.

~ Maxie
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GT4
Nordschleife
Nordschleife


Joined: 08 Nov 2008
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Location: Hertfordshire and Hampshire


PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

markiii wrote:
which is a quote from?


http://www.autozine.org/Archive/Porsche/new/911_Carrera.html
 
  
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GT4
Nordschleife
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And another:

http://www.insideline.com/porsche/911/2007/first-drive-2007-porsche-911-targa-4.html

Quote:

First Drive: 2007 Porsche 911 Targa 4
Kleenex. Xerox. Coke. Google. Words so frequently uttered that they've become genericized to household terms. Same goes for Targa. Now synonymous with removable roof panels of varying style and manufacture, the word Targa was actually trademarked decades ago by Porsche.

Porsche has evolved the Targa concept over the years, but with the new 2007 Porsche 911 Targa 4 it has left the roof principally the same and made the biggest tweaks elsewhere.

A Carrera 4 with a twist
You may have noticed the extra character tacked onto the model designation for the newest 911 Targa. With the Targa 4 and Targa 4S, 2007 marks the first time there is more than one Targa variant. Those characters also indicate their biggest departure from Targas of yore — the hair-tousling Targas now sport the all-wheel-drive hardware of the current 911 Carrera 4 and 4S models.

The similarities don't end there. Targa 4 models wear the Carrera 4's wider rear track, more voluptuous rear fenders and larger tires. Same goes for the 325-horsepower 3.6-liter flat-six power plant and all-wheel-drive system. Ditto for the monster brakes and transmission choices. In fact, if you wanted to describe the 2007 Targa 4 as a Carrera 4 with a fancy roof grafted on, we'd let it slide.

Targa 4S models receive the Carrera 4S's 3.8-liter 355-horsepower mill, 19-inch wheels and bigger brakes. Porsche's active dampers, PASM, are standard on the Targa 4S and optional on the Targa 4.

Revisiting a theme
Named to recall past successes at Italy's Targa Florio endurance race, Porsche's 911 Targa originally sported a chassis-shoring basket handle which connected removable backlight and roof panels. Uptake of the half-breed Targa was brisker than expected, so Porsche allowed the model to live on alongside coupes and full drop-top 911s.

When the 993-based Targa bowed, it introduced a twist on the Targa theme in the form of a huge retractable roof panel. Sshhh. It's not a sunroof.

For 2007, the Targa theme established by the 993 Targa and enhanced with a folding rear window in the 996 continues in the 997. Above the beltline, the new 2007 911 Targa 4 offers no real surprises — the transparent roof pane still retracts, the rear glass still opens up.

New, but familiar
Relentless engineering focus on the 997 Targa's roof assembly resulted in a module which shares no parts with that of the outgoing 996. The glass panel itself is actually two layers of partially pre-stressed laminated safety glass separated by a tough, thin plastic film. Thanks to more rugged glass, Porsche engineers were able to thin out the sandwich slightly, dropping 4.2 pounds out of the car way up high, where it has the biggest effect on the center of gravity.

Still, the roof module, together with additional chassis reinforcements necessary to compensate for the stiffness lost in the beheading process, taxes the Targa's curb weight by 132 pounds compared to an otherwise similar Carrera 4.

Managing the situation
Flinging the Targa 4 around southern Portugal reaffirmed a few basic tenets:

One — 911s are good. There's a rare harmony and breadth of proficiency among the 997's steering, shifter, brakes and throttle which transcends its hard numbers and specifications. The Targa is no exception to this, and the measured doses of atmosphere and light afforded by the transforming lid just make the experience that much more enjoyable.

Two — you can't defeat physics. Masking the effects of all that weight teetering above a vehicle's roll axis is an exercise in creative chassis tuning, and Porsche did a commendable job managing the compromise. All Targa models wear the larger 0.93-inch front stabilizer bar of the C4S, larger rear stabilizer bars and revised bump stops in an attempt to prevent the extra poundage from inducing too much body roll during hard cornering. Coil springs in the Targa 4 are roughly 10-percent softer than the C4 to maintain ride quality and, confided a slightly tipsy Porsche engineer, to prevent the roof panel from creaking in its module. Porsche's PASM active dampers have been tweaked specifically for the Targa, too.

Drive it hard. It's still a 911
Where the Targa's extra mass is most apparent is when it's being tossed from corner to corner. At turn-in during a hard charge, the Targa's chassis takes a half-beat longer before taking a set, the sensation of weight shifting from tire to tire magnified a minute, but noticeable, amount compared to a fixed-head 911. Likewise, the 235/40/18 and 295/35/18 tires surrender sooner, generating a hair less ultimate grip according to our always dependable butt skid pad.

Like other 911s, Porsche's lightweight, über-expensive PCCB (Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes) system is optional on Targa models. Boy, do they work. No amount of flogging could convince the ceramic brakes to fade, and they retain the benchmark brake modulation and feel typical of 911s, though they are more gravelly-sounding than the standard binders.

Porsche's stopwatch figures that a manual-transmission-equipped Targa 4 is good for 5.1 seconds to 60 mph, with the more powerful Targa 4S making the sprint in 4.7 seconds. Decently quick, but they trail their C4 and C4S counterparts by a few tenths.

Considering that a Targa customer isn't on the lunatic fringe anyway, the minor dynamic penalty incurred by the snazzy roof is of little consequence. After years of building Targas, Porsche has figured this out, and it's part of the reason the carmaker is only offering the newest Targa in all-wheel-drive guise. The Targa 4 drives like a Carrera 4 with a shade of its immediacy rounded off, providing 95 percent of that car's athleticism and dynamic range. That's still a loftier standing than most cars can claim to achieve.

A safe bet
Annually, Porsche's brass expects to move only 1,800-2,000 Targas the world over. Doesn't sound like many, but it must be worth its while else Chairman Wiedeking wouldn't abide it. Combine the Targa's rarity with a $85,700 starting price and exclusivity is assured.

Porsche's Targa 4 neatly splits the difference between the 911 Coupe and the Cabriolet in terms of chassis stiffness and open-airiness. Throw in the hard-topped security of the hard roof and all-wheel drive, plus the added convenience of a folding backlight, and the Targa 4 hits the sweet spot for a niche 911 customer.
 
  
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GT4
Nordschleife
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And one more, this time from Porsche themselves (their brochure):

Quote:
The Porsche 911 has always been one of the most individual sportscars in the world. Of all the various models, it’s perhaps the 911 Targa that is most distinctive of all. Its inimitable charm is undoubtedly the key to more than 40 years of continuous success. Since its original debut in 1965, it has enjoyed ever-increasing popularity. For the Targa enthusiast, there is nothing to compare with its unique blend of qualities. Combining coupé and cabriolet in a single car, its powerful performance ensures driving pleasure in all ambient conditions.

Both Targa 4 models have an electrically operated glass roof module which forms an integral part of the bodyshell structure. Building on the same basic platform as the 911 Carrera 4 and 4S models, the new Targa roof provides a unique sense of space and light – even when the roof is closed. Your surroundings become part of the driving experience, whatever the season, whatever the weather, whatever the time of day or night.

The tapered geometry of the rear side windows creates an elegant and dynamic silhouette. It also differentiates the Targa 4 models from the 911 Carrera Coupé. The classic 911 roofline is tastefully enhanced with stylish trim elements in anodised and polished aluminium. Originating at the A-pillars, they arc across the car and culminate beyond the rear side windows. The result is a new and attractive interpretation of the classic 911 design.

The hinged rear screen provides easy access to the rear luggage area. It also provides another example of style and practicality combined. In all road conditions, the permanent all-wheel drive provides greater active safety. As on the 911 Carrera 4 models, the Targa 4 body is wider across the rear axle. The broader track combines with the all-wheel drive to ensure optimum driving dynamics. The new 911 Targa 4 models. Totally unique. Totally 911.

On every journey, there is one thing that matters most: the safety of you and your passengers. With this in mind, the new 911 Targa 4 models are equipped with permanent all-wheel drive as standard. As a result, each car offers maximum driving pleasure in every type of weather and in every season of the year. As with the other 911 models, there are two engine options to choose from.

The 911 Targa 4 has a 3.6-litre unit producing 239 kW (325 bhp). The 911Targa 4S has an even more powerful 3.8-litre engine developing 261 kW (355 bhp). On both Targa 4 models – as on all the four-wheel drive variants – the body of the car is 44 mm wider across the rear axle compared with the standard 911 Carrera. As well as creating a more positive stance, this makes for better driving dynamics. The widened track is combined with wider tyres, enabling higher cornering speeds.

Both Targa 4 models are also equipped with a new evolution of Porsche Stability Management. Together with the modified suspension, PSM compensates for the slightly heavier Targa 4 body, enabling Coupé-like handling and agility.

Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) has also been adapted for the new 911 Targa 4 models. Standard on the Targa 4S and optional on the Targa 4, it offers greater performance and occupant comfort, seamlessly adapting to individual driving style and changing road conditions. The bodyshell structure is stable and robust – in spite of the large glass roof. Contributing to this strength are the reinforced side rails and a lateral member within the roof module.

With their unique combination of full glass roof and permanent all-wheel drive, the new Targa 4 models are a totally unprecedented achievement. Few other cars offer such an accomplished blend of performance, practicality and style.


NOTE: The Targe uses the AWD chassis as this is 1) stronger (more rigid), 2) wider (more stable track and less transverse twisting) and 3) a lower centre of gravity is attained (due to the heavier contruction at a point approaching the lowest point of the car). Additionally, over the previous 996 Targa, torsional riggidity is improved by stronger and larger roof bars, visually disguised by the aluminium arc trims.
 
  
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Ant22
Newbie


Joined: 13 May 2006
Posts: 12
Location: London


PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 10:30 pm    Post subject: Targa 4s Reply with quote

When I bought my 997 c4s I found the stock very limited. I also excluded any non 's' cars & would only consider sport chrono stock. Only looking at cars I then discounted some for internal colour specification (all beige including dash doesn't work for me!). In the end I found a great car privately on 911uk, I would have bought from a dealer. When I bought I had a dealer 111 check & added a dealer warranty before ownership passed. Finally I find the Bose an excellent system, contrary to many threads on this site. As a final point, I avoided sport seats as they are very enveloping compared to 'comfort' seats. I'm not a big man (!), but manoeuvrability is enhanced.
I find the enjoyment of the targa top compliments what is my daily commuting car, Which is still a full blooded super car when I want it to be (hence 's' & chrono pack).
If you go targa I am sure you will enjoy it.
 
  
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nigelpugh
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Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 1



PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 7:29 am    Post subject: Re: Opinions on Targa 4S. Reply with quote

jfb1977 wrote:
I love convertibles normally, but not the 911. I prefer a car that was designed to be a drop top from the start (Boxster / SLK etc) rather than an (arguably) compromised coupe.

It's only a personal opinion, but for me the lines of the 911 are ruined as a convertible and I think it looks a bit like a bathtub with the roof down (I'm really not trying to upset any 'vert owners here, just my personal view).

So I'm just looking for some of your opinions / thoughts on the Targa 4S.

For me it seems the perfect 911 by maintaining the lines of the (widebody) coupe but giving you access to "wind in your hair" open top motoring.

How come there are so few? Is there a reason why they don't seem to be that popular? Am I missing something? Dont know

And I'm guessing their rarity is what makes them more expensive (relatively speaking) too? Question


Hi jfb1977,

Sorry for the late reply, I have not been on here for a while.

However I just wanted to give you my opinion on my own 997.2 Targa 4S PDK.

The reason I decided on a new Targa was three fold.

As has been stated by others here, its immensely practical for a 911, the hatchback and rear seats folding means you can get stacks of stuff in there for long trips.

Next the Targa Glass Roof makes the inside of the car seem so much more spacious, every one who gets in it, says wow to the Huge Class roof area.

Thirdly I previously had a 997 Gen 1 Convertible from new, and finally got fed up with the scuttle shake which eventually gets on your nerves if you push the car hard on cornering and track days etc.

Finally I still think the Targa shape for me is the prettiest looking 997.

I can honestly say that every day I look at my Targa, I still think it looks so fantastically beautiful, it just looks brilliant.

I am also impressed by how few other Targa 997.2 you see on the road, for me that exclusivity really appeals to my personal individuality to stand out form the norm.

In two and a half years of ownership it has been absolutely flawless, and on good runs can still average 29 MPG even when driven hard, though of course that is a product of the DFI and PDK and is an attribute all 997.2 share.

I would say just go for it, if you want practicality and to stand out from the crowd!!



Cheers,

Nige.

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jfb1977
Monza


Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Posts: 247



PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 12:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Opinions on Targa 4S. Reply with quote

nigelpugh wrote:
jfb1977 wrote:
I love convertibles normally, but not the 911. I prefer a car that was designed to be a drop top from the start (Boxster / SLK etc) rather than an (arguably) compromised coupe.

It's only a personal opinion, but for me the lines of the 911 are ruined as a convertible and I think it looks a bit like a bathtub with the roof down (I'm really not trying to upset any 'vert owners here, just my personal view).

So I'm just looking for some of your opinions / thoughts on the Targa 4S.

For me it seems the perfect 911 by maintaining the lines of the (widebody) coupe but giving you access to "wind in your hair" open top motoring.

How come there are so few? Is there a reason why they don't seem to be that popular? Am I missing something? Dont know

And I'm guessing their rarity is what makes them more expensive (relatively speaking) too? Question


Hi jfb1977,

Sorry for the late reply, I have not been on here for a while.

However I just wanted to give you my opinion on my own 997.2 Targa 4S PDK.

The reason I decided on a new Targa was three fold.

As has been stated by others here, its immensely practical for a 911, the hatchback and rear seats folding means you can get stacks of stuff in there for long trips.

Next the Targa Glass Roof makes the inside of the car seem so much more spacious, every one who gets in it, says wow to the Huge Class roof area.

Thirdly I previously had a 997 Gen 1 Convertible from new, and finally got fed up with the scuttle shake which eventually gets on your nerves if you push the car hard on cornering and track days etc.

Finally I still think the Targa shape for me is the prettiest looking 997.

I can honestly say that every day I look at my Targa, I still think it looks so fantastically beautiful, it just looks brilliant.

I am also impressed by how few other Targa 997.2 you see on the road, for me that exclusivity really appeals to my personal individuality to stand out form the norm.

In two and a half years of ownership it has been absolutely flawless, and on good runs can still average 29 MPG even when driven hard, though of course that is a product of the DFI and PDK and is an attribute all 997.2 share.

I would say just go for it, if you want practicality and to stand out from the crowd!!



Cheers,

Nige.

Thumb


Thanks for your thoughts Nigel. So erm....when can I borrow your car for an extended test drive then? Wink
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