Back in August, a Ferrari 250GTO was auctioned for a world record price of $38 million.
For many people, that sums up the world of classic car auctions: exotic dream machines selling for phone number prices. But there are plenty of other auctions at the more… affordable end of the market.
Anglia Car Auctions‘ November sale (happening today) is one of them, catering for buyers with even the smallest of budgets.
Here are Only Motors’ top five lots for those with only a few quid to spare.
1991 Ford Escort XR3i
Once derided as a favourite of Essex boys and joy riders, the XR3i is now a bona fide classic.
By modern standards, 108bhp, a 0-60mph time of 8.8 seconds and a top speed of 116mph are nothing to shout about, but back in the day they were impressive numbers.
The XR3i may have less than half the power of today’s hot hatches, but it weighs a good half-ton less. So it’s still huge fun to drive.
This late Mk.4 XR3i looks good and has an MoT, so hopefully rust hasn’t taken hold. As a project base or cheap daily driver, it looks like a bargain at £800 – £1,200. Sold for £1,785. See it here
1953 Triumph Mayflower
The Mayflower is widely regarded as one of the ugliest cars ever made. But in a way it was actually ahead of its time, Triumph attempting to make its smallest saloon look like its biggest.
That’s a trick that most manufacturers regularly do these days, but back when a big car looked like a baroque country mansion it didn’t really work. I think ‘awkward’ is about the politest way to describe the Mayflower.
It’s pretty basic under the skin as well, with a 1.25-litre sidevalve engine, three-speed column-shift gearbox and solid rear axle on leaf springs. With just 38bhp to haul over 900kg, it won’t get anywhere in a hurry. It’s roomy and well made, though.
This striking example has a V5 and low mileage. No MoT is mentioned, but it looks like a usable rolling project for £1,000 – £2,000. Watch out for rust, though. Sold for £1,500. See it here
1989 Fiat 126 Bis
Everybody remembers the Fiat 500, the tiny little car that got Italy on the road when it was introduced in 1957. But what about its replacement, the 126? Not so much.
That seems odd. After all, the 126 had the same lifespan as the 500 (18 years) and nearly 800,000 more were built. But, with its boxy styling, it always lacked the cheekiness that made its older sibling so endearing.
Still, it makes a quirky little classic today, is a lot cheaper than the 500 and slightly more usable. This late-model, Polish-built 126 Bis was dry-stored for 18 years and has recently been re-commissioned and MoT’d.
And in case you’re wondering, it has a 700cc engine producing a mighty 26bhp. Yours for £1,100 – £1,300. Sold for £1,300. See it here
1982 Renault Fuego
It doesn’t look like much, but this Fuego is something of a legend. The Fuego (Spanish for ‘fire’) was introduced in 1980, the French answer to the Ford Capri and Opel Manta.
The bloke who built this Fuego track day car dropped the suspension, beefed up the brakes, added some homemade aero and stripped the interior out. Then he dropped the engine from a tuned Renault 21 Turbo under the bonnet.
The result is 250bhp in a car that weighs a claimed 825kg. It’s been featured in several magazines over the years, as a masterclass in how to make a tiny budget go a long way. It ain’t pretty, but it is by all accounts very effective on track.
And you could snap it up for some cheap thrills, with an estimate of £1,200 – £1,500. Sold for £1,200. See it here
1996 Lada Riva
Lets get it out of the way: Ladas are terrible cars. And yet…
When it was new, this Riva was the most basic of basic transportation. It was badly made, awful to drive and completely characterless. It’s still most of those things, but somehow age and increasing rarity has a way conferring character on a car.
This one is a very late UK car (sales stopped in ’97) and only has 7,000 miles on the clock. So it’s pretty much brand-new. Rivas have developed a cult following in recent years as they’re cheap, tough, very easy to modify and rear-wheel-drive.
It would be a bit shame to rip such a nice example apart. But it would be a much cheaper basis for a rear-drive racer than, say, a Mk.2 Ford Escort. Estimate: £1,250 – £1,750. Sold for £2,250. See it here
If you’re feeling a little flush, ACA also has this Ferrari Testarossa at £60,000 – £70,000.
All images courtesy of Anglia Car Auctions