I thought others may be interested in my opinion of an ex-Police Vectra "VXR" that I went to see today. The short version is that it was an utter waste of time other than seeing what spec these cars are and aquainting myself with the very worst of buying experiences; but read on if you like....
The people trying to sell it to me described it, and I quote, "a good, clean car". Bodes well you might think eh?
Last weekend they wasted my time telling me they'd have the trade plates so I'd be able to test drive it and then at the last minute it turned out the plates hadn't been returned as yet. This weekend they said they'd probably have the plates (by now I just wanted to see the thing TBH) but when I got there, no they didn't have the plates and it would be more usual to have them during the week - right, so when *most* people can actually get there to test drive the cars, they haven't got the trade plates
So these muppets expect me to seriously look at buying the car when a) they deliberately describe it as good, clean, etc. b) they deliberately mislead me about being able to test drive it and c) I end up having to visit *three* separate garages before I get to see the actual car! And then they make sure that there's another car blocking the "VXR" so that I can at least start the engine up to listen to it.
They keep referring to it as a "VXR" when it's nothing of the sort other than having the engine and (front) brakes. The front calipers are blue, the engine is the V6 unit and there are double exhausts though they point down underneath the car.
Outside the car, there's a black thing still bolted to the roof - obviously an aerial mount or similar. The roof rails have holes drilled in them where the Police lighting was mounted. There's a very badly repaired section on the outside at the rear and the front bumper doesn't quite line up with the front wing as though it's had a mild prang. Paintwork is actually OK other than that and the tyres all look fine. Likewise, the brake discs look to be in good condition as well.
Inside it's a real state - the front seat fabric is different to the rest of the car with blue leather patches sown in the lumbar sections. The radio fascia is missing along with the switch blanking sections. There are scuffs all over it, loads of cigarette burns in the front seats and on the plastics, it smells damp and there's some sort of speaker still left mounted in the roof section where the light is. The plastics are generally in very poor condition with the main dashboard section having been "cleaned" using some of that cheap silicone polish by the looks of the unnatural shine; and much of the plastics seemed to suffer from that worn look where the blackness has given way to a milky matt appearance as though the top layer has been scraped away.
Engine - the engine bay looks OK-ish (see picture) though there are missing bits (battery cover) and it doesn't look like a three year old car's engine bay does it?
Good bits - the lamps are Xenon HIDs, there's dual zone climate control which still works amazingly. The 2.8 litre twin scroll turbo'ed V6 engine sounds great especially considering the mileage (> 150K)
The dealer is shockingly bad - I'd never buy anything from them and would urge anyone to stay well away. I can't really name them here of course but I'm sure anyone interested could work it out.
Personally, I'd love an SRi spec sleeper with VXR engine/brakes but not one where it would take a lot of time and effort to sort out all the internal, cosmetic issues and not one that had done > 150K like this one! More than anything though, I wouldn't buy that car from that particular dealer if it were half the price. It's on Autotrader now but I expect it will be a long time before anyone actually buys the thing!
More pics here (interior and wheel/brakes):
Of course, one possible reason why the dealer couldn't give a toss about a prospective buyer of this car in particular was because they were also selling an M5, Audi R8, the latest Skyline, a ton of Imprezas and high spec Bimmers and a Lambo Gallardo (sorry for any spelling errors - I'm not exactly up on modern cars). Even so, it's still no excuse for such terrible customer service :/