MGB GT

Five of the best classic cars under 10k

Words: JJ Dunning
Images: Wikipedia

After an affordable retro ride? Here’s our expert advice on how best to invest in a classic car.

Classic cars are cool. This is why James Bond is synonymous with the Aston Martin DB5, and not the Ford Focus C-Max.

But while a DB5 might set you back in the region of £350,000, not every classic car will cost you a fortune. If you’re shrewd and pick the right vehicle to invest in, you can even stand to make money in the long term.

We asked Jack Tetley, of leading classic car dealer Duncan Hamilton, to recommend five starter classics available for under 10k.

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1. Jaguar XJS

Jaguar XJS

The Jaguar XJS: “will make you look like a publican”

© Jaguar/HonestJohn

Manufactured between: 1976-1996

GOOD – They’re definitely an appreciating car, and still undervalued. You won’t get a V12 for less than 10k, but you’ll still find a decent 6-cylinder if you’re clever. It has a great-sounding engine and looks that are becoming cooler by the day. There is good racing pedigree with the Group A TWR car (although that was a V12).

BAD – They ROT, big time! Also, you’ll look like a publican driving around in one… Many XJSs are sold when the rot is too expensive to fix, so watch out for that.

Expect to pay: £4000+

2. MGB GT

MGBGT

The MGB GT: prettier than a convertible

© MG/Newspress

Manufactured between: 1965-1980

GOOD – The MGB GT was designed by the famous Italian firm Pininfarina. It may have a roof on, but it’s prettier, more practical and cheaper than an MG Roadster.

BAD – Again, rot. Also, they’re not as fast as they look and the MG engine isn’t exactly sonorous…

Expect to pay: £4000+

3. Ford Capri Mk3

Ford Capri Mk3

The Mk3 Capri: “the Max Power car of the classics community”

© Ford/Newspress

Manufactured between: 1978-1986

GOOD – The Capri Mk1 (1969-74) has rocketed in price recently, but the Mk3 (1978-86) is not there yet, so it’s on the up. It’s an iconic name with great racing pedigree and strong looks. The sporting chassis makes it light and good to handle, but you only really want a V6.

BAD – It’s a bit like the Max Power car of the classics community. Also, the 4-cylinder is gutless, and sounds wrong (again: go for a V6!)

Expect to pay: £6,000+

4. BMW 840

BMW 8 series

BMW 8 series: less temperamental than an older classic

© Newspress

Manufactured between: 1989-1999

GOOD – It has a thumping 4-litre V8 with a great sound and its looks are just coming into fashion. It’s also comfortable and not as temperamental as an ‘old’ classic.

BAD – Heavy, complicated and expensive to fix when they go wrong. The worry will be that the car is for sale because it has a problem that the owner can’t afford to put right…

Expect to pay: £10,000+

5. Renault 5 GT Turbo

Renault 5 GT Turbo

The GT Turbo: an affordable alternative to the earlier Renault 5 Turbo

© Wikipedia

Manufactured between: 1985-1989

GOOD – Cheap when you consider the prices of Turbo 1 and 2s. They’re also huge fun; small, nimble, slightly unpredictable in a good way, with torque steer galore and bold French looks.

BAD – They’re unreliable and the build quality is poor (the engines happily go POP!) There are also lots of badly modified cars around with crappy Halfords parts.

Expect to pay: £5,000+

See something you like? HOLD ON A MOMENT. Remember these essential Dos and Don’ts of buying a classic car…

  • Don’t ever buy a car unseen
  • Always take it for a test drive
  • Always take a mechanic if you are not one
  • Consult a marque expert if possible, and pay them for advice if need be – you won’t regret it (providing they are impartial!)
  • Always garage the car – they’ll rot in no time if you don’t
  • Spend the money the car deserves – you’ll regret cutting corners. Buy a car you can afford to run properly, don’t stretch yourself financially or the car will suffer
  • Don’t use aftermarket parts unless an expert says it’s okay. Some of them are terrible and will damage and devalue the car
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12 2016 The Red Bulletin 

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