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Car Café 2018

Year after year Car Café meets keep getting better and better! With an ever-impressive selection of the latest supercars, incredible performance cars, iconic classic cars and everything in-between, brought along by enthusiast owners and hardcore petrolheads, the future is bright for Car Café. We take a look back at our favourite cars from the 2018 season.

5. Mercedes-Benz 280 SE

Old ‘Mercs’ are just the epitome of cool, aren’t they? Especially in black, with the chrome detailing and contrasting yellow fog lamps, breaking up the classic, sinister ‘60s gangster-esque look. Complete with tan leather and sat on old school Mercedes-Benz design wheels, accompanied by subtle white wall tyres, this ‘W108’ Mercedes had countless admirers when it turned up at the Car Café Leeds meet back in September.

Registered in 1968, it’s hard to believe that this particular example in question is now fifty years old, due to the impressive condition that this gorgeous German coupe has been kept in by its clearly fastidious and passionate owner. Why does it make our top 5? If you have to ask that question, you are kind of missing the point. Classics are always hard to value, but in this condition, we can only imagine many would be willing to pay very strong money for this excellent and wonderfully rare example.

Mercedes

4. Lamborghini Huracan Performante

Six hundred and forty rampant horses await to be unleashed from this angry bull’s 5.2-litre V10 powerplant as soon as you press the ‘loud pedal’. From a standstill, this typically mental Lambo can destroy 62mph in just 2.9 seconds. And just look at it. Italians know how to design a car don’t they? The Balloon White with contrasting bronze wheels are a nod to that of classic Lambos such as the legendary Miura. The Wilmslow meet also welcomed a stunning blue version too.

The Huracan may well be the entry-level (seems comical to say entry-level when referring to a Lamborghini) model, but this ultimate version of the Huracan happens to be one of the fastest production cars around the infamous Nurburgring Nordschleife, setting an absurd time of just 6 minutes 52 seconds. At the time of writing, that’s the 5th fastest road-legal car in existence. A snip at around a quarter of a million, and a joy for enthusiasts to see at Car Café Nottingham and Wilmslow.

Lambo

3. Porsche 356

You literally don’t see cars like this every day that’s for sure. As the first Porsche production model, the 356 commands well into six figures for an original. Therefore, there are a lot of replicas available at a fraction of the cost of a genuine Porsche 356. Unsurprisingly, the question of ‘Is this a replica?’ could be heard when in the vicinity of this gorgeous, and more importantly genuine, Smyrna Green Porsche 356 at the Car Café Nottingham meet in September.

Having undergone a full nut and bolt restoration, it was hard to think that this particular example was fifty-three years old. Everything looked absolutely immaculate, and the car was often seen with people trying to get closer look at just how much work had gone into this immaculate presentation of the car that started the iconic Porsche brand. It was quite something seeing this incredible calibre of car join the Nottingham meet, and simply had to make our list.

Porsche

2. Porsche 911 GT2 RS

The second Porsche to feature in our list, but unlike the 356, the GT2 RS is one of the very latest super sports cars to come from Stuttgart. Unsurprising really, considering the quality and popularity achieved by the famous Stuttgart manufacturer. This one is rather special though. It is the most powerful 911 ever built with a colossal 700hp developed by its 3.8-litre, six-cylinder, twin-turbo engine. Seeing cars like this on the road is quite a site for anyone, not just your avid petrolhead.

From a standing start, the GT2 RS can hit 62mph in an unbelievable 2.8 seconds. The sheer power of this Porsche was enough to see it clinch the fastest production car lap record at the Nordschleife with a time of 6 minutes 47 seconds. Okay, so it may have had its record surpassed recently, but there is no denying this is one incredibly special 911, that will go down as one of the greatest super sports cars ever made.

Like most rare 911 models, demand has seen prices of the GT2 RS skyrocket, despite it only recently being offered for sale, so it was epic to see this enhanced Weissach version at a rainy October Car Café meet. Proving that this special car is certainly no garage queen.

Porsche

1. Nissan Skyline GT-R Nismo 400R

If you know, you know. A masterpiece from the Playstation generation, the Nissan Skyline GT-R is a bona fide cult legend. Coming at a time when supercars were untouchable, the Skyline GT-R’s popularity for modifications and big power saw the car become a tuner’s dream.

The standard R33 GT-R is fairly scarce on UK roads, but the Nismo 400R is the holy grail of the R33 generation and is one of the most sought-after Skylines ever, with only 44 ever made and sold worldwide. It is thought that only 2 or 3 came to the UK, meaning this is one of the rarest cars to ever come to a Car Café meet and definitely one of the rarest cars on UK roads.

Beneath the bonnet sits a more powerful, 2.8-litre Le Mans proven ‘RB-X GT2’ engine producing 395hp with the enhancements never ending over the standard GT-R, thanks to a tasty carbon driveshaft, carbonfibre rear wing and bonnet along with Bilstein dampers. The car sits 30mm lower too, on some gorgeous three-piece forged Nismo wheels.

It may not be as striking as a Lamborghini or have as much polish as a Porsche, but there is no denying the Skyline GT-R engineered a generation of petrolheads. It also continued the legendary Skyline GT-R family, which has led to the latest generation of Nissan GT-R – a car that continues to push the boundaries of what is possible from a performance car.

Nissan

Honourable Mentions

TVR Sagaris

Joined the Leeds meet in September. Incredible looks, epic noise and a finished in a stunning shade of blue. Another rarity we loved seeing and perhaps TVR’s best ever model?

Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R

Several versions joined a number of the meets over 2018. Just like the R33 GT-R in our list, the R34 GT-R continued the incredible Nissan Skyline legacy. A number of iconic Bayside Blue examples were represented at the Nottingham and Bedford meets, along with a rare Millenium Jade R34 GT-R at Nottingham too.

McLaren 720S

Another one of the latest supercars to join the Car Café meets, again in a number of stunning colours. Nottingham saw an array of incredible examples.

Alfa Romeo 4C

They say you’re not a petrolhead until you’ve owned an Alfa, and the 4C is one gorgeous-looking, mini supercar. A white example looked great at the October Nottingham meet.

BMW E30 M3

(Photo credit Waleed Basit) The start of the legendary BMW M3, and a car that today commands some incredible prices. Great to see a couple of immaculate examples join the 2018 meets.

Fiat 500

(Photo Credit Waleed Basit) The original, not the remake, obviously! A lovely-kept original joined the first Leeds meet, and fitted in superbly with supercars and performance cars. The beauty of Car Café.

Lancia Delta Intergrale

The summer months welcomed a July Wilmslow meet with this boxy hot hatch of yesteryear, not looking out of place next to fresher, new era metal. A rally legend!

Ford Escort RS Cosworth

That iconic whale tail spoiler! The Escort RS Cosworth was the Fast Ford of the ‘90s and still looks as crazy as it did upon launch. A somewhat regular at Nottingham meets, this particular example is a credit to its owner.

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