At Shred we spend a chunk of every day making stuff look better, usually this is businesses but our creative all seeing eye is always set to scan. When it comes to top products there's many criteria that need to be taken into consideration but not here, we're only interested in style. Here's the first in a series of articles, we're unashamed car fans so we started close to home.
Shred Top 5 :: Budget Cars
Back when we were at Uni' there was a game called the Auto Trader challenge, you set a budget and you found the best car you could for the budget, usually whilst sat on the toilet. Transference of germs issues aside, it was fun and whilst the internet, like so many personal moments, has made the gratification far less challenging there's no escaping the fact that a cool car is still a cool car.
You'll notice before we begin that there's no new cars in this list, we've called it budget cars as we're picking out cars on a budget, for the sake of this feature this budget is £5000 which is more than enough to spend on a decent ride. You're not going to find a cool new car for £5K - not because £5K isn't enough cash but because new cars are not, and will never be, cool. They reek of one-upmanship, a lack of imagination and a compliance to the man that has told you that any car over 3 years old will break down. Would we like a brand new car? For sure, we just can't afford one so we'll pretend they suck.
Anyone that knows me will also note that there's a couple of cars in here that I already own. This shouldn't come as a surprise, these cars were picked for one reason only.
5th Place :: Saab 9-5 Estate (£800 for the worst - £4000 for the best one)
They don't make Saab cars anymore which immediately puts them up in the halls of iconic status. For sure they are big and they are insanely comfortable but actually that Swedish style is unmistakable. It's a family wagon that still looks cool. You could kid yourself that a 9-3 Convertible is cooler but you'll need to wear your jumper over your shoulders and get into Am' Dram'.
4th Place :: Audi A8 (£2000 for a standard, £4999 for a V8)
If you've seen Ronin then you already know what I am talking about, before Jason Statham milked the Transporter cow dry he looked cooler than cool in an Audi A8, ok they were rolling in the S8 but they're out there if you're prepared to go look.
3rd Place :: Porsche 924 (prices rising but you can get an ok one for £4500)
You could buy a nice Porsche Boxster for five grand and spend your whole time telling everyone how you chose this over a 911 and how amazing it drives or you could take the same stick, drive around in a 924 and not look like your wife just left you. Note this is specifically for narrow bodied 924 models, 944 models just aren't cool, they're like Mel Gibson, seemed ok back in the 80s but will never be cool again.
2nd Place :: Fiat Panda (£800 for a mark 2, mark 1 £5000)
I have been trying to find a Fiat Panda forever, super basic inside, it's a go anywhere car that just looks like a lot of fun. Millionaire at the holiday home or broke CDT teacher - they look equally cool in a Fiat Panda. The rule with Pandas is the older the better but good luck finding a decent mark one.
1st Place :: Alfa Romeo Brera 3.2
If you've never owned an Alfa Romeo and it's your last five grand then don't buy one, you'll need at least another two lots of five grand to keep it on the road for a couple of years. That doesn't stop it being cool and actually whether you opted for a GTV or a Spider you'd get our respect, Alfa Romeos turn heads, get a smile and start conversations, they're the drivers choice and reek of good taste. Arguably the super ugly 166 in the right hands could be even cooler but we'll leave you to contemplate that one.