Roadsters

How many times do we hear that the arrival of a young family stopped the hot-rodding fun? Simon Coulson finds two ways you can keep the fun going, despite those pesky kids!

Renault Espace

This is our family-friendly budget build. For the price of a second-hand Galaxy you could be rollin’ something slightly more interesting. We’ve started with a Nineties vintage Espace II, which, despite its age, should be laden with all sorts of useful luxuries to keep you and the little ‘uns happy. Engine options range from a frugal diesel to a 24v 2.9 V6, so there’s something for everyone. The body has been mildly massaged for a smoother look and then painted in Stealth Grey with a graphic flourish on its flanks. Wheels are 17 inch items off a later Laguna, sitting where they should be in the arches thanks to some custom-made springs. Comfy on the inside, cool on the outside.

Chevrolet Suburban

At the other end of the scale, this behemoth is an alternative way to spend the kind of money you might drop on a big 4×4 school-run mobile – think Audi Q7, Merc ML or Porsche Cayenne – except our Chevy won’t get hit with the same depreciation, so you can tell the other half it’s an investment! Our base is a relatively late (1977) model, but what we’ve saved on purchase price we’ve spent on making it awesome. How have we made it so awesome? A full restoration, air suspension and a set of big-inch steels are the obvious mods, but don’t think we’ve skimped on the interior – you’ll be wanting it full to the brim with enough high-end gadgets to make all the Range-Rover school-runners green with envy. Perfect for a trip to the bowling alley (you might need two parking spaces) or a V8-equipped blast down to Cannes.