With values of so many collectible cars galloping out of reach of mere mortals, a growing band of auction houses have stepped into the breach to offer cars that more modest wallets can afford.
Classic Car Auctions was a pioneer in the field and its next sale on 11 June reflects as much. The catalogue features everything from micro-mileage 80s repmobiles up to perfectly usable if less-than-perfect exotic fare.
Quite frankly, you could make a compelling case to buy pretty much everything on the lot list, but we’ve picked out a few favourites.
1961 Ford Consul Deluxe Convertible – Oh so very cool slice of rock ‘n’ roll. Only 59bhp so slow in the extreme, but this is a car to take a leisurely cruise in with Elvis blasting from the radio. Fully restored. Sold now: £17,490
1976 Austin Maxi 1750 – The only truly world-class car British Leyland built. Was one of the first family-size hatchbacks and felt like a big Mini to drive. Reasonably fast with 1750 engine too, with a top speed of nearly 100mph. Tricky gearbox, though. This one looks very usable. Sold for: £1,760
1977 Rolls-Royce Corniche Convertible – Summer’s nearly near and there is surely no finer car to tool around in on the few sunny days we’ll have. This one shows low miles and has had a new hood. Amazing value, too. Sold for: £25,850
1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo – The ultimate Essex boy’s dream car has come a long way in the last few years. For ages, the very best fetched no more than £5k, but now they go for crazy money. This very well-preserved one looks quite good value, now. Sold for: £18,700
1988 Ford Sierra Sapphire 1.8 GL – Yes, it’s a deeply boring mid-range 80s repmobile with a beige interior. But its only covered 2162 miles and looks as fresh as the day it left the factory. Even so, the estimate does seem ambitious. Buy now: £6,600
1988 Lancia Thema 8.32 – Biggish saloon powered a Ferrari V8, turned around to drive the front wheels. Fast for the day, doing 0-60mph in 6.9secs, though handling was ‘interesting’. But does have an obscenely lavish interior. Buy now: £8,800
1989 Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth – You may well recognise this from its appearance on Top Gear a few years ago. It popped up at a CCA sale last year with an over-ambitious estimate and didn’t sell. This time around, the guide price is about for a Cossie in decent condition. Sold for: £13,860
1991 Mitsubishi GTO Twin Turbo – High-tech, high-speed rival to the Nissan GT-R. 3.0 V6 twin-turbo motor makes at least 280bhp; 4WD, 4WS and active aero glued it to the road. Still more of a tourer, though. This one has a manual ‘box, and was imported to the UK in 2008. Completely standard and in very good nick. Withdrawn
1992 Lotus Esprit 2.2 Turbo SE ‘High Wing’ – Desirable, well-sorted model with the massive optional spoiler. Still hugely fast, with physics-defying handling. This one was originally a factory press car. Sold for: £21,780
1992 Peugeot 205 1.9 GTi – The 90s has called and wants its car back. Wears the full Dimma bodykit – fitted by the company – deeply dished wheels and Cadbury purple paint. Every Max Power reader’s dream, surely? Sold for: £10,450
1992 Porsche 968 3.0 – One of the few forgotten Porsches, but the ultimate evolution of the front-engined, 4-cyl cars, with hugely powerful 3.0 motor and precision handling. This early car has the desirable manual ‘box and is in great nick. Looks good value, too. Sold for: £11,660
1995 Maserati Ghibli II – Deeply esoteric, but a fine thing to drive with a twin-turbo 2.8 V6 and friendly handling. This one looks quite understated, despite being red, and has a hugely plush interior. Properly maintained, so should be trouble-free. Sold for: £8,360
1999 Rover Mini 1.3i Cooper – They’re not as pure as early cars, but these late original Minis hit a sweet spot of build quality and reliability. Still just as charming as lavishly appointed, too. This one shows 38k miles and looks very presentable. Sold for: £7,150
2000 BMW Alpina B10 4.6 V8 – Faster than a contemporary M5, and more refined and understated, too. This one shows 157k miles, but doesn’t look its mileage. Huge value. Buy now: £5,500
2002 Honda Insight – These are highly prized now because, unlike the Prius, they actually delivered on the hybrid hype. And they look fantastic, and go on forever, and are a proper giggle to drive. This is probably one of the best in the country. Buy now: £5,500
View the full catalogue
By Only Motors Images via ClassicCarAuctions.co.uk