If your budget doesn't quite stretch to a mint Miura, here are our top tips for appreciating classics below £10,000. The key at this level, where the car will be used, is to buy well. A poor car will cost money rather than make it. Watch out for our advice on what to ask buyers to ensure you buy well - on the blog shortly.
At Great Escape Classic Car Hire we watch the classic car market daily to spot cars that our customers will want to hire. And we buy and sell classics for our fleet all the time. With £10,000 in your pocket here are out top picks for appreciating classics in 2012. Let us know what you think at http://www.greatescapecars.co.uk/ or call 01527 893733.
1. Jaguar XJ6/XJ12 Series 1
The lovely old Series 1 XJ Jaguar has been slumbering for a while, stuck in the shadow of the iconic Jaguar Mk2. But as a new breed of buyers enter the market, who grew up with the younger car, it's the Jaguar XJ that is appreciating. Values for good XJs have skyrocketed over the last 12 months but there are plenty about so there are still lots of well priced cars. We think that XJs will go the same way as Jaguar Mk2s. The safe money is in a Series 1 (with the bigger radiator grille) with the 5.3 litre engine but the 4.2 is also worth a look. If your budget is tighter look at a Series 2 - the same car but with a smaller grille and for some reason less loved (misguided concerns about BL build quality that no longer apply after 40 years). We think this strange prejudice will mellow and prices will balance.
2. VW Golf GTI Mk1
The original hot hatch has been promising to appreciate for some time. There are surprisingly few unmolested, well maintained examples of the veedub around, which is seeing values for good cars increase. 12 months ago £3,000 would have bought a good one, now it's closer to £5,000. We think they'll go higher as buyers appreciate their reliability, useability and sheer capability. And with more children of the 1980s entering the nostalgia market for 'cars they grew up with' we expect demand for good cars to increase.
3. Peugeot 205 GTI
While we're on the subject of hot hatches, the more youthful 205 GTI is ripe for investment. Like the Golf, good cars are rare and now command serious premiums - this is usually a sign that the car is on the up. While average cars can be found for less than £1,000, decent 205 GTIs are around £4,000, significantly up on 12 months ago. Like the VW Golf, nostalgia will fuel this market.
4. BMW 6-Series Mark 1
The shark-nose Beemer coupe of the 1980s has lurked in the shadow of the earlier CS coupe for years. We're not sure why - it's a great looking car that's reliable and backed by a decent club and specialist repair network. The ones to go for are the M635, 635 or the Highline. There are plenty about and values have still to rise. We think they'll follow the CS, which has appreciated dramatically in recent years, despite expensive rebuild costs that don't really apply to the better built later car. Although beware - all 6-Series cars rust.
5. Jaguar XK8
In the world of youngtimer classics, not many people would put their money into a Jaguar as a sure fire investment. The big cats usually take years and years to climb out of the old banger world. But we think the elegant XK8 coupe and convertible are different because they look so good - plus the Jaguar brand is seriously on the up at the moment. We are already seeing a lot of hire demand in these cars, up significantly year on year, which suggests that interest is there. The reliability and sheer useability of these cars gives them very broad appeal. Good cars are already starting to rise, we expect that to continue as demand for decent cars outstrips supply.
Great Escape Classic Car Hire has 4 out of 5 of these cars (all except the XJ6 sadly) available to hire from one of our 8 UK locations. To find try before you buy call 01527 893733 or visit http://www.greatescapecars.co.uk.