The 10 most expensive used manual cars sold in SA

27 April 2020 - 15:00
The 911 GT3 Touring came exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission.
The 911 GT3 Touring came exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission.
Image: Supplied

The manual gearbox: a format on the decline.

To the point where, in many new model lines, two pedal derivatives are default choices. To be completely fair, that largely applies to products that fall into the premium category. In the budget and mainstream spheres there remains a decent number of derivatives requiring a driver with an active left foot.

In traffic, the virtues of two-pedal operation are hard to ignore. Whether that lever is connected to a dual-clutch set-up, continuously variable transmission, or regular torque-converter job — the convenience of moving and stopping by merely stretching a big toe is undeniably pleasant in congested conditions.

Also, we cannot forget how accomplished some automatics are today, dispatching shifts far quicker than even the most skilled driver, in addition to bringing efficiency benefits. As a counterpoint, some will argue that the greater control and immersion (or perception of, anyway) afforded by a manual is hard to beat. Especially when it comes to cars that were designed, from the outset, to reward the committed driver.

You will agree that all the cars on this list fall firmly in that exclusive camp. Vehicle classifieds portal AutoTrader gave us a list of the most expensive manual cars sold thus far this year, ostensibly during the period before the world had been thrown into pandemic-induced tumult. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of the examples featured on this list are certified classics, not run-of-the-mill used cars per se. Many of them were only available solely in three-pedal format anyway.

Which leaves us with an opportunity for a follow-up manual-car listicle, this time with an age cap perhaps, not older than ten years, revealing a different crop of contenders. We have plenty of time for this sort of thing at this point. For now, enjoy perusing this compilation, which resembles a to-buy list written by a lottery winner ...

Jaguar XK150 (roadster)
Jaguar XK150 (roadster)
Image: Supplied

10. Jaguar XK150 (roadster) Year: 1958 | Price: R2,499,900

When the least pricey car in this arrangement costs a snip under R2.5m; you know things are about to go wild. The XK150 preceded the famed E-Type on the timeline of delectable Jaguar two-doors. It traces its lineage to the seminal XK120, which forged an impressive reputation in motorsport circles.

Porsche 911 GT3 Touring (991.2)
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring (991.2)
Image: Supplied

9. Porsche 911 GT3 (991.2) Year: 2018 | Price: R2,649,900

If you consider yourself a Porsche 911 admirer, you need no introduction to the GT3 and GT2 suffixes, reserved for the most focused expressions of the breed. And when the RS acronym is added to the mix, expect an extra dollop of lunacy. Colleague Thomas Falkiner had a turn in the 991.2 GT3 RS in 2018. He wrote that, though it “wears number plates it is essentially a racing car — with airbags and Bluetooth — that you can drive from your house to the track.”

Ferrari 550 Maranello
Ferrari 550 Maranello
Image: Supplied

8. Ferrari 550 Maranello Year: 1997 | Price: R2,750,000

Since the 550 bears the name of the town in which Ferrari is headquartered, one could say its destiny as an icon was set right from the start. Boasting a V12 engine beneath its lengthy prow, the gorgeous Pininfarina-styled grand tourer certainly had the go to match the show.

Porsche 911 GT3 Touring (991.2)
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring (991.2)
Image: Supplied

7. Porsche 911 GT3 Touring (991.2) Year: 2018 Price | R2,995,000

So, you want the essence of a GT3, but with the volume turned down just a tiny bit? Like, literally, just a tiny bit? Enter the 991.2 GT3 Touring, which has all the trappings of the regular GT3, albeit with one notable deletion: a fixed rear spoiler. Also, the Touring is only available with a manual, no PDK option here.

Ferrari 550 Maranello
Ferrari 550 Maranello
Image: Supplied

6. Ferrari 550 Maranello Year: 1997 | Price: R2,999,000

One wonders what reasons ensured this specimen sold for a full R249,000 more than the example in spot number eight. Fun fact, the 550 Maranello featured on the cover of the video game Need for Speed: High Stakes. On that note, you should go check out our musings about a list of rad retro driving games after reading this.

Jaguar E-Type (Series 2, roadster)
Jaguar E-Type (Series 2, roadster)
Image: Supplied

5. Jaguar E-Type (Series 2, roadster) Year: 1969 | Price: R3,100,000

Famously referred to by Enzo Ferrari as the most beautiful car ever made, the Jaguar E-Type is probably the model most people associate with the Growler emblem. It was also the car that inspired Toyota to go out and create the 2000GT, which bore a striking resemblance to its British peer. The Series 2 facelift of the Jaguar ushered in subtle design revisions brought about by safety regulations, including a wraparound rear bumper and larger front indicators.

Porsche 911 Carrera 4S (993)
Porsche 911 Carrera 4S (993)
Image: Supplied

4. Porsche 911 Carrera 4S (993) Year: 1998 | Price: R3,995,000

What makes the 993 so special? It marked the end of the air-cooled 911 era. The model is regarded by many as the zenith of the series. And as such, prices of 993 specimens have skyrocketed. Interestingly, the 993 was also the first in the 911 series to gain a six-speed gearbox.

Lamborghini LP640 Murciélago
Lamborghini LP640 Murciélago
Image: Supplied

3. Lamborghini LP640 Murciélago Year: 2008 | Price: R4,300,000

The mighty Murciélago, successor to the Diablo, was the first model Lamborghini built under the ownership of Audi and the Volkswagen Group. It had all the ingredients befitting a flagship birthed to wear the raging bull emblem: a huge V12 engine, all-wheel drive — and the obligatory scissor doors. Hard to believe it first was introduced nearly 20 years ago.

Ferrari 512i Berlinetta Boxer
Ferrari 512i Berlinetta Boxer
Image: Supplied

2. Ferrari 512i Berlinetta Boxer Year: 1984 | Price: R5,500,000

Not the prettiest Ferrari if you ask most people. But the BB was special for other reasons. Among these is the five-litre, flat-12 engine in the middle, hence the 512 designation. It was succeeded by the Testarossa.

Lamborghini Countach S
Lamborghini Countach S
Image: Supplied

1. Lamborghini Countach S Year: 1982 | Price: R5,999,990

The most expensive manual on the list is the archetypal bedroom poster supercar: Lamborghini’s wedge-shaped icon. It continues to inspire 46 years after its release in 1974. Everyone who has ever had a turn in one seems to say the same thing, however: sometimes it is best not to meet your heroes — and that the Countach is far better to look at than it is to drive


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