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
6.4L V8, 350kW/637Nm, 135,572km, Homebush, NSW
The SRT Core was basic, but it still looks good, goes hard and sounds mega.
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.
4.2L V8, 287kW/452Nm, N/Akm, Malaga, WA
Those looks, that noise – if you can stomach the Cambiocorsa gearbox.
4.6L V8, 240kW/430Nm, 73,300km, Pymble, NSW
Can't wait for current Mustangs to depreciate?
Here's one to consider.