2014 Euro-Brit Buyers' Guide: Market Review-Pt.2

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Alfa Romeo Spider Alfa Romeo Spider Alfa Romeo Spider
Aston Martin DB4 Aston Martin DB4 Aston Martin DB4
Austin A30 saloon Austin A30 saloon Austin A30 saloon
Austin Healey 3000 Austin Healey 3000 Austin Healey 3000
Bentley T series Bentley T series Bentley T series
1994 BMW 8-Series 1994 1994 BMW 8-Series 1994 1994 BMW 8-Series 1994
BMW 635 BMW 635 BMW 635
BMW E30 M3 BMW E30 M3 BMW E30 M3
Ford Capri V6 Ford Capri V6 Ford Capri V6
Citroen 2CV Citroen 2CV Citroen 2CV
Daimler Majestic Major Daimler Majestic Major Daimler Majestic Major
Ferrari 550M Ferrari 550M Ferrari 550M
Ferrari Dino Ferrari Dino Ferrari Dino
Fiat 1500 Fiat 1500 Fiat 1500
Hillman Gazelle Hillman Gazelle Hillman Gazelle
Jaguar E-Type Jaguar E-Type Jaguar E-Type
Jaguar Mk II Jaguar Mk II Jaguar Mk II
1999 Jaguar S-Type 1999 Jaguar S-Type 1999 Jaguar S-Type
Jaguar XJS Jaguar XJS Jaguar XJS
Land Rover Land Rover Land Rover
1981 Lotus Esprit 1981 Lotus Esprit 1981 Lotus Esprit
Lotus Esprit Lotus Esprit Lotus Esprit
Maserati Merak Maserati Merak Maserati Merak
Mercedes-Benz coupes Mercedes-Benz coupes Mercedes-Benz coupes
Mercedes-Benz S Class Mercedes-Benz S Class Mercedes-Benz S Class
Mercedes-Benz SL Mercedes-Benz SL Mercedes-Benz SL
MGA MGA MGA
MGB MGB MGB
MINI MINI MINI
Morris Minor Morris Minor Morris Minor
Peugeot 504 Peugeot 504 Peugeot 504
Porsche 356 Porsche 356 Porsche 356
Potrsche 928 GTS Potrsche 928 GTS Potrsche 928 GTS
Rolls Royce Rolls Royce Rolls Royce
Rover P5B coupe Rover P5B coupe Rover P5B coupe
Triumph Triumph Triumph
2003 Alfa Romeo 156 GTA 2003 Alfa Romeo 156 GTA 2003 Alfa Romeo 156 GTA
1991 Audi 80 1991 Audi 80 1991 Audi 80
Volvo P1800 Volvo P1800 Volvo P1800
VW Baywindow Kombi VW Baywindow Kombi VW Baywindow Kombi
VW Type 3 VW Type 3 VW Type 3

Our exhaustive price guide to all the collectable European and British makes and models...

2014 Euro-Brit Buyer's Guide: Market Review-Pt.2

Market review example:

 Model 

Years of production 

Av price surveyed 

Number surveyed 

 2000GTV

 1976-86

 $6900

 [17]

Alfa Romeo 1963-92

105-Series Alfas continue to appreciate, but the rest of the 1960s-80s Alfa family has fallen on tough times. That includes the 1970s GTV Spider that 20 years ago sold for more than it does today. However, round-tail Duetto versions can still exceed $30,000. GTV6 coupe values remain strong and excellent cars manage $20,000, with 2.0-litre cars generally below $8000. 75 Twin-Sparks still make $5000-7000 and once costly 164Q manuals in decent order have slipped below $5000. Sud Ti and Sprint coupes have become scarce and any fuel-injected 33s that appear are usually neglected and cheap.

1750/2000GTV    $23,010 [23]  2000GTV   1976-86   $6900 [17]
GTV6   1982-87   $15,470 [15] Spider   1971-92   $16,980 [31]
75 2.0 & 3.0 Litre   $6820 [10] 164   $3240 [8]

Alfa Romeo 1997-2003

Alfa trying to pitch its latest models on price against Korean and Japanese models is a horrible come-down, but resale values give them few options. 147 and 156 models that sold new at $45-50,000 can be found a decade later below $6000, and even the V6-engined 166 costs only $3000 more. For slick looks with decent performance, $10-12,000 buys a late-1990s GTV Coupe or open-top Spider. A little scary with 184kW being fed through its front wheels, 156 GTA models are a bargain for anyone keen to own a shrunken supercar. Very good examples currently cost less than $20,000.

GTV Coupe   1997-00    $10,110 [18]  GTV Spider   1997-00   $9525 [14]
147 Monza/TI   2000-03   $6315 [34]  156 Twin-Spark/Sport   1999-02   $5790 [33]
156 GTA   $20,090 [9]  166   $7930 [17]

>> Search Alfa Romeos for sale

 

*****

Aston Martin 1963-2002

Demand for ‘grey import’ prestige models is soaring and inner-city car spaces can be occupied by Astons that originally were sold in South London or South-East Asia. During its journey, a UK-spec DB7 or Vanquish will at least double in price as fees from various middle-men, tax and compliance costs are added. Enjoyable to own, but not likely to generate a profit for decades. That’s not the case with 1970s AM and DBS V8s, which are soaring; the car driven by Roger Moore in The Persuaders TV series recently cracked £500,000 at auction and ‘normal’ cars can exceed $150,000. Classic DB4-5 Astons regularly make $500,000, but a later DB6 in decent order is half that amount.

DB4-6   $294,830 [3]  V8/AM V8   $146,115 [4] 
DB7 Coupe   $70,000 [3] Volante 6.0 1999-02   $96,545 [9] 
Vanquish V12   $125,470 [8]

>> Search Aston Martins for sale

 

*****

Audi 1983-2004

Looking for a chance at making some money on an older car that’s still a hoot to drive? Then hunt down a 1980s Audi Quattro coupe. Lots of rally kudos and good ones are still available at less than $50,000. Among more recent Audis, the S4 – 2.7 twin-turbo or 4.2 V8 – is also fun and usually priced below $25,000. The tiny TT coupe and convertible aren’t practical and that’s helping push values below $15,000. The A4 Turbo and Avant Quattro are commuter cars with some style and cost less than $10,000. In the bargain bin you can still find well-kept 80 and 90 Sports for $3500-5000.
 
80/90 Sport   $3445 [14]  Quattro Coupe   $36,250 [2]
A4 Turbo/Quattro   1996-02   $7225 [33]  S4 B5   2000-2003   $19,140 [13]
TT Coupe/Cabrio   1999-02   $17,330 [68]

>> Search Audis for sale

 

*****

Austin 1920-71

If you want to know why tiny Austin A30s might have a better collector market future than larger examples of the brand, take a look at what they do in British historic racing. These things are giant-killers and lots of people now want one. That leaves the earlier A40 sitting pretty much unwanted at $4-5000, with the scarce A70 Hereford slightly dearer. A90-105s are scarce because a lot were robbed of their engines to keep Austin-Healeys running and $8000 buys a good example. 1800s at under $3500 remain inexplicably cheap, but you need to be a real enthusiast to find value in a vintage-era Austin Seven. 

Seven/Eight   1922-39   $13,275 [15]  A30   $6440 [11]
A40 Devon/Somerset   $4410 [14]  1800 Sedan   $2650 [9]

>> Search Austins for sale

 

*****

Austin-Healey 1953-68

The occasional car being offered at more than $100,000 is boosting average values for ‘Big’ Healeys, but most remain in the $45-70,000 price range. Four-cylinder 100/4 models are definitely climbing and excellent cars reach $60,000. That’s where you also find very nice examples of the 100/6. The most desirable mainstream Healeys are 3000 models from the 1960s, but stocks right now are good so negotiate for the best deal. 1960s Sprites have been stuck for ages in the $10-15,000 price bracket and still offer great buying for first-time sports car owners. So too the flip-front Mark 1 that looked set for big gains but has stalled at around $20,000.

Sprite Mark 1   $19,140 [8]  Sprite Mark 2/3/3A   $11,620 [21]
100/4   $56,345 [16] 100/6   $53,235 [15]  3000   $70,220 [31]

>> Search Austin-Healeys for sale

 

*****

Bentley 1955-2003

The $30-40,000 needed to buy a 1980s Bentley is nowhere near what such cars might cost in the course of a decade of ownership. They were built to satisfy the motoring needs of ‘money no object’ owners and a lot have found themselves neglected in the hands of people who can’t afford even basic maintenance. Older S1-S3 models are less complex but not a lot cheaper to keep and it will take at least $50,000 to buy an excellent V8. Late-1990s models such as the Azure convertible at around $150,000 and the Arnage twin-turbo saloon at $100-120,000 are becoming cheaper.

S1-S3 Saloon   $54,800 [15]  T Type Sedan   1965-77   $26,345 [5]
Turbo R   1984-90   $32,700 [13]  Mulsanne   1982-89   $30,970 [17]
Arnage   2001-03   $120,230 [8]

>> Search Bentleys for sale

 

*****

BMW 1968-92

Despite BMW’s ability to construct outstanding cars, there is little joy for owners of older models. Fuel-injected versions of the  2002 have topped $20,000, but good carburettor cars remain at $10-12,000. Those hunting some faded 1980s kudos will find 323i sedans and 320i convertibles below $4000 and $8000 respectively, with $7000 buying a good E32-series 735i. The V12-engined 750iL, even with service history, isn’t recommended because fixing even minor failures can cost more than the car is worth. Better times lie ahead for owners of purposeful E30 325iS two-doors, which are headed for $25,000, and top examples of the 635CSi. The M6 at $40-50,000 is better again.

2002   $10,300 [13]  318/323i E30   $6120 [37]  320i Conv.   $7565 [13]
325iS   $17,630 [10]  635CSI   1986-89   $20,665 [21]  735/750IL E32   $6855 [25]

BMW 1992-2002

Abundant choice coupled to buyer concerns about maintaining an older prestige model combine to keep prices of 1990s BMWs down and declining. Potential problems can be managed if you buy a car with service history, and $10,000 for a good 328i convertible is just ridiculously cheap. So is similar money for the quick and lavishly equipped 540i sedan, which new cost $135-150,000. The 316Ti in the same price region offers a classy alternative to mainstream four-cylinder cars. At the opposite end of the complexity scale, the V12 850 coupe can be found below $20,000, but will cost plenty in upkeep.

316Ti   $9115 [44]  328I Conv.   1997-00   $10,190 [26]
330CI Coupe   2000-03   $12,220 [37]  540I   1997-01   $10,360 [28]
840Ci/850i   $26,375 [17]

BMW M3/Z3 1987-2004

First-generation M3s were the only cars of their ilk to perform spectacularly well in motorsport and the only ones now generating collector appeal. Recently imported E30s hover in the $35-45,000 range, while later, Australian-spec versions have become extremely cheap. Best value are E46-series cars, which were $140,000 when new and have shed 70 percent of their value since 2004. If you just want a cheap M3 then 3.0-litre E36 models from the mid-1990s beckon, but beware the potential of costly engine and differential rebuilds. Six-cylinder M5s are also cheap, but require big-buck maintenance. For the cash-challenged, a decent 1.9-litre Z3 delivers open-top glamour and a Bimmer badge for around $10,000.

M3 E30 2.5   $40,955 [6]  M3 3.0   $15,970 [11]  M3 3.2   $22,125 [27]
M3 E46   2001-04   $34,680 [33]  M5   1990-94   $22,665 [6]
Z3 1.9/2.0    $13,930 [47]  Z3 2.8/3.0   $17,950 [20]

>> Search BMWs for sale

 

*****

Citroen 1949-2003

Citroen has always been seen as a quirky brand in Australia and recently sold cars depreciate faster than a dropped pie. It is therefore possible to find very good Xantias at less than the price of a motor scooter or a 10-year-old C5 for 10 percent of its new price. Contrast that with the rudimentary 2CV that can exceed $20,000 or the now-scarce DS19 at similar money. The DS Pallas is costly to restore and top cars justify values above $35,000. Scarce Safari wagons are huge inside and excellent examples have exceeded $30,000. The 1970s CX2400 offers sufficient quirk to keep the purists happy and is half the price of a DS23.

2CV   $15,710 [9]  DS21/23   $19,815 [8]  CX 2200/2400   $14,600 [5]
Xantia   $2410 [9]  C5 2001-04   $5045 [19]

>> Search Citroens for sale

 

*****

Daimler 1961-2003

The most interesting of 1960s Daimlers are rarely seen but if you own an SP250 sports model feel happy because good ones are headed for $50,000. The Compact V8 sedan – bodied as per Jaguar’s Mk 2 – and the 4.2-litre Sovereign can both reach $20,000, with the scarce manual V8-250 approaching $30,000. Six-cylinder XJ sedans built from 1969 to 1993 can be found in excellent condition below $10,000. Early V12s are now rare and can exceed $15,000, with two-door Sovereigns beyond $20,000. X308 models, including a supercharged V8, were the last Daimlers sold here and remain above $20,000.

2.5 V8   1962-69   $18,755 [11]  Sovereign   1966-69   $18,080 [6]
Sovereign   1970-86   $8150 [12]  Sovereign   1987-93   $6820 [12]
Sovereign   1994-99   $19,275 [8]

>> Search Daimlers for sale

 

*****

Ferrari 1967-90

We might need to find a more palatable term than "whore’s drawers", but that pretty accurately describes the up-and-down movement in 246 Dino values since the late 1980s. Prices following the 1987 market ‘crash’ moved rapidly from $40,000 to $200,000, then fell back to $100,000. They rose steadily during the early Noughties, but recently bounded from $200,000 to $300,000+. Feeling lucky? Also on the move is the 12-cylinder Testa Rossa; most are recent imports but attractive to enthusiasts with $130,000 to spend. Below $100,000, the choices include the 308GT/GTS for $65-80,000 or the newer 328GTS for $90,000. Cheap Ferraris include the Mondial and Dino GT4, and just $40,000 will buy a V12-engined 400i. 

246 GT Dino   $320,000 [2]  400I   $37,335 [5]  308GTB/GTSi   $76,615 [7]
328GTS   $86,980 [6]  Testa Rossa   1987-90   $141,140 [7]

Ferrari 1991-2002

A revamped line of mid-engined V8 models commenced by the 348 is attracting increased numbers of buyers, and stocks of Australian-delivered cars have been bolstered by RHD cars from Asia and the UK. British F355 Spider soft-tops sell there for $70-80,000, but freight, tax, compliance and various people’s profit margins take them to around $150,000 over here.

Later 360 versions are seen as ‘softer’ than the 355 and normally sell for $20,000 less. Front-engined 550 and 575 Maranellos will also usually be recent RHD imports with local compliance. Buyers who prefer the 550’s traditional manual transmission to the 575’s paddles will also save some money.

348TB   $84,700 [4]  F355 Coupe   $118,080 [8]  F355 Spider   $146,940 [9]
360 Coupe   $106,265 [12] 360 Spider   $127,330 [7]  550M/575M   $146,430 [9]

>> Search Ferraris for sale

 

*****

Fiat 1955-83

A welcome feature of this year’s Euro-Brit survey was the reappearance of several Fiat 125s. These in their day were exceptionally good 1.6-litre sports sedans, and survivors at $4500-7000 deserve a look. 124 Coupes from the early 1970s sell at around $10,000 – be cautious of rust – and big 130 models can be found for less than $20,000. The mid-engined X1/9 has lost its way and excellent examples remain below $10,000. Star performer among early Fiats is the twin-cylinder 500; most sell at around $15,000 and a rare Giardiniera wagon was offered above $20,000. 

500 Nuova   1956-71   $17,200 [6]  124 Coupe   1968-76   $9660 [7]
125 Sedan   $5700 [5]  X1/9   1978-83   $6885 [12]  130 Coupe   $18,150 [3]

>> Search Fiats for sale

 

*****

Ford 1956-89

Australia grew up in a lather of Brit-designed Fords, but their numbers dwindled vand prices are climbing. Basic Cortinas that not long ago cost less than $5000 are now above $10,000 and GT versions get beyond $20,000. Better value is the V6-engined Capri, which a few years back were worth $30,000 but are now 30 percent down. Four-cylinder Capris are fun and worth less than a Cortina. Best value and with potential for growth are Mk 1 Escorts; 1.3-litre four-door models are the most common and getting $8000 in tidy condition, while two-doors are becoming scarce and commanding significantly more. $8000 also buys a nice Mk 2 Zephyr, with the big-fin Mk 3 often topping $10,000.

Cortina Mk 1-2   $12,400 [18]  Cortina GT Mk 1-2   $22,500 [2]
Escort Mk 1   $4935 [7]  Capri 1600GT    $9770 [6]
Capri V6 GT   $19,500 [7]  Zephyr   1956-63   $8730 [11]

>> Search Fords for sale

 

*****

Hillman/Humber 1948-72

Declining sales of these dependable Rootes Group brands is a symptom of older-car irrelevance. The numbers of people whose families owned Hillmans or knew someone who had a Humber are dwindling and values struggle as a consequence. Not even the mention of a Hillman Hunter’s surprise victory in the 1968 London-Sydney Marathon sparks much interest. One bright spot is the quantity and quality of Humber Vogues [aka Hillman Super Minx] in the market at solid values. Not so the larger Super Snipes, which seldom make $6000 and are typically below $3000. Hunters, especially the Australia-only GT and 660 models, are scarce, but you can find earlier Minx models at $3500-5000.

Minx   1949-67   $4350 [15]  Hunter   $2095 [3]  Vogue   $5530 [7]
Super Snipe   1958-67   $4295 [12]

>> Search Hillmans for sale

 

*****

Jaguar Saloons 1951-69

Starring in a local TV drama won’t have hurt the prospects of early Jaguar saloons one bit, so get in while you can still buy a Place To Call Home Mk 5 for less than $30,000. If a Monte Carlo Rally winner is more your style, Mk 7-9 models are cheaper than the earlier cars [a tidy Seven made $24,000 at auction] and also quicker. Mk 10 and 420G saloons have made gains, but are unlikely to  recoup anywhere near the money spent by owner/restorers. ‘Compact’ Mk 1-2 and S-Type/420 models have held their values for several years, but don’t look ready just yet to follow E-Types in their price surge. 

Mk 4-5   $25,655 [13]  Mk 7-9   $17,785 [7]
Mk 2 2.4/3.4 Litre   $21,565 [9]  Mk 2 3.8   $28,955 [10]
S-Type/420   $16,045 [11]  Mk 10/420G   $15,415 [12]

Jaguar XJ/XK/S-Type 1969-2002

Other Jags cost more and have competition credibility, but early XJs are the best performing and handling of the pre-1990s models. They also remain exceptionally cheap; usable Series 2 and 3 cars are worth $5000 and restored Series 1s perhaps $15,000. V12 conversions now sell for less than authentic 4.2s. Two-door XJCs cost $20,000+ and have a shot at collector prominence. XJ40 models, even the later 4.0-litre versions, are struggling to justify their existence and many have been scrapped. The same is happening to mid-1990s X300s and the later S-Type. These in many instances have slipped below $10,000, though the supercharged XJR and S-Type R maintain enthusiast appeal.

XJ6 Ser 1 $6015 [12]  XJ6 Ser 2-3 $6125 [27]  Sovereign Ser 2-3 $11,200 [19]
XJ6 1987-93 $4465 [19]  XJ6 1994-97 $11,015 [28]
XJ8 1997-2000 $14,780 [35]  S-Type V8 1998-2002 $11,580 [29]

Jaguar XJS/XK8 1976-2002

Early XJS coupes looked to be on the endangered species list, but recent offerings have included excellent pre-1983 cars at close to $20,000. Later fuel-injected coupes are worth around $15,000 – a long way shy of the $35,000 still being realised by excellent convertibles. Mid-1980s Cabriolets look a little ungainly, but offer open-top enjoyment for $20,000.

Watch for rust and signs of leaking roof panels. Early higher-kilometre XK8 coupes are also headed into the $20,000 bracket, but excellent convertibles remain above $40,000. Given that XKRs cost $200,000+ new in 1998, excellent used coupes at $40,000 offer very good buying.  

XJS Coupe 1976-81 $12,750 [11]  XJS HE 1982-92 $15,610 [28]
XJS Cabriolet $20,045 [12]  XJS Convertible $29,995 [5]
XK8 Coupe 1997-02 $36,300 [10]  XK8 Convertible 1997-02 $41,580 [6]
XKR Coupe 1997-02 $44,990 [6]

Jaguar Sports 1949-75

Those who have observed the market for E-Types during the past 30 years will be rolling their eyes and thinking, here we go again. Several times since 1988, the market has attempted to push Roadsters towards $150,000, only to have them fall back below $100K. This time the push has been fuelled by an extraordinary 1966 Roadster sold at a US auction for almost $500,000.

Older XK models are sustaining the gains made during the Nougties and it is feasible to pay $120-150,000 for excellent 140 and 150 Roadsters. Open-top XK120s and XK140 and 150 Coupes offer fair value at $70-95,000.

XK120/150 Coupe $80,495 [9]  XK Drophead/Roadster $126,125 [4]
E-Type Coupe $86,530 [19]  E-Type Roadster $122,085 [10]
E-Type V12 Coupe $65,340 [10]  E-Type V12 Roadster $122,390 [10]

>> Search Jaguars for sale

 

*****

Land Rover 1951-2002

If somewhere in the shed you have a 1950s Land-Rover in restorable order, best drag it out and remove the cobwebs. Very early Series 1s can reach $25,000 and even an ordinary Series 2 in running order is now worth more than $5000. Fitting Holden motors to all but really early ones is acceptable as a means of keeping a tired Landie running. In 1972, Australia saw its first Range Rover and 4WDing changed. Those early 3.5-litre two-doors are now difficult to find and a really good one can be worth $15,000. If you yearn for affordable luxury, spend $12,000 on a late-1990s HSE.

Series I-II   $7285 [10]  Series III   $6985 [17]  Range Rover   1972-84   $8225 [8]
Range Rover   1985-96   $6600 [34]  Range Rover/HSE   1997-02   $11,510 [26]

>> Search Land Rovers for sale

 

*****

Lotus 1963-2003

Lotus sports cars are generally sleek, quick and scarce, so why do they cost less than a bulgy sedan like your aunt drove back in the 1960s? The world loves the Lotus-Cortina and they were raced in their day by a galaxy of Formula One stars, but it is difficult to see $70,000 in them unless a car has detailed competition history. A really good S3-S4 Elan DHC is unlikely to cost more than $45,000 and, for family motoring with some flair, $30,000 will buy an Elan +2. Track heroes might prefer an Elise or the bare-bones Seven; both at $30-40,000.

Elan/Plus 2   1964-73   $26,200 [5]  Europa   $24,720 [6]
Esprit Turbo   1982-96   $33,245 [4] Cortina   $56,500 [5]
Elise   1998-2002   $39,725 [7]

>> Search Lotus cars for sale

 

*****

Maserati 1962-2003

Maserati’s local representatives have spent the best part of 20 years building a decent platform for a brand with a very chequered past. Recent cars are a huge improvement on those from the 1980s and there are more available as well. Resale values still aren’t in the same realm as Ferrari, with the exception of the twin-turbo Shamal. Only 369 were made and that helps justify $100,000 prices. Older Biturbos are very cheap, and even open-top Spyders only make $15-20,000. Heading to the 1960s-70s, you may find a Mistral, Bora or Ghibli at around $100,000. The front-engined Indy at $60,000 is also worthy.

Merak/Indy Coupe   $52,020 [6]  Biturbo   $11,280 [5]
Biturbo Spyder   $17,000 [3]  3200GT   1999-2002   $42,725 [10]
Quattroporte   1994-98   $22,580 [5]  Shamal   $101,000 [3]

>> Search Maserati cars for sale

*****

Mercedes-Benz Sedan 1959-2002

So many pre-1967 Mercedes-Benz sedans were made that the hundreds wrecked by producers of action films hasn’t dented availability. Very good ‘roundie’ and ‘finny’ sedans now cost at least $15,000 and you will pay double that for a scarce air-bagged 300SE or a 1960s Hardtop. The 250/280SE shape changed only a little in almost 20 years and values for 1960s cars are rising. Long-wheelbase V8s can be costly to maintain and many have gone to the wreckers due to relatively minor failures. The 450SEL 6.9 is ‘king’ and worth up to $25,000, but a good 420 or 560SEL is half that price.

220S/SE   1955-67   $19,215 [17]  250-280SE   1966-84   $8900 [37]
380/420SEL   1981-90   $7385 [37]  350/450SEL   $8695 [15]
560SEL   $11,500 [7]  C43   $27,585 [5]

Mercedes-Benz SL 1963-2002

Big news for Euro-Brit enthusiasts is the surge being enjoyed by several types of Mercedes-Benz SL sports cars. Slow it might be, but the 1.9-litre 190SL has bounded past $100,000 – thank the influence of the big 300SL for that – and now we see top-quality 230-280SL models doing the same. Also holding on strongly is the 560SL, which ten years ago rarely reached $60,000 but now can get close to $80,000. That cannot be said for the R129 500SL that appeared in 1990. As these cars age and demand costly maintenance, prices have plunged. Perhaps it would be preferable to spend your $20,000 on an exceptionally good SLK230.

190SL $129,990 [1]  230/250/280SL $87,630 [15]
350/380/450SL $23,165 [41]  560SL $67,880 [5] 
500SL R129 $24,260
[23] SLK230 1997-00 $16,890 [32]

Mercedes-Benz Coupe 1962-2002

With the exception of pre-1973 cars and in particular those with V8 engines, Mercedes coupes have been struggling for survival, let alone to hold their value. These are complex cars and the prices realised during the past 10 years have declined in response to repair cost fears. Hopefully some will be preserved. Those keen to own an older Benz might consider a 300CE-24, the V8-engined 450SLC or perhaps a 380/420 Coupe. For everyday transport, a CLK230 or 320 offers style plus outstanding value. For sheer opulence, though, track down a 1990s CL500 at $35-40,000. 
 
220-280SE Coupe   $40,330 [9]  350/450SLC   $13,715 [32]
300CE/24V   1988-92   $11,500 [9]  380/420SEC   1983-90   $8530 [18]
CL500   1996-98   $36,260 [14] CLK230/320   1997-02   $13,700 [34]

>> Search Mercedes-Benz cars for sale

 

*****

MG Sports 1946-73

MG Y Tourers are rare, but a high proportion of the 877 cars made seem to have come to Australia and continue to command prices close to $20,000. Next on the list of affordable early MGs is the two-seat TD with vintage-era styling and typical prices below $25,000. TC and TF MGs will generally cost more than $30,000 – some close to $50,000 – with the later, more aerodynamic MGA headed in the same direction. Grouped here as well is the 1960s Midget that replaced the Austin-Healey Sprite in 1967 and was sold in Australia until 1973. Later overseas versions had ugly rubber bumpers and Triumph engines. 

TC    $32,495 [9]  TD   $23,925 [7]  TF   $37,120 [8]  MGA   $30,550 [17]
Midget   1967-73   $14,195 [10]  Y Tourer   $20,370 [5]

MGB/RV8/MG F 1963-2002

MGBs of all varieties remain popular and values are stable. The average for a pre-1974 chrome-bumper Roadster has remained for years in the $14-17,000 range, with GT Hatchbacks cheaper than the open car. Australians aren’t attracted to the ‘rubber-nose’ B that only sold overseas and remains 25 percent cheaper than a local roadster. We also never saw the 3-litre MGC as new cars and these remain scarce. However, we have plenty of ex-Japan RV8s, which mostly remain above $30,000. Mechanical traumas suffered by the MG F contribute to low values. Later TF120-160 variants are worth a look.

MGB/GT   1962-73   $16,735 [103]  MGB/GT   1974-81   $12,670 [33]
MGC   $22,415 [6] RV8   $33,955 [17]  MG F   1997-2002   $12,225 [57]

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*****

Morris Minor/Oxford/1100

Aussies bought an awful lot of Morris Minors during the 1950s and thousands have survived. That’s due in large part to excellent parts availability and the car’s simplicity. Sedans, sometimes with later Japanese engines, cost $6000-8000 and you can get a rare Tourer convertible for less than $12,000. There are also cute utes at similar money to sedans. The bigger Oxford, which came in two designs between 1949 and 1958, has found increased popularity and asking prices are up dramatically. Parts for the front-wheel-drive 1100 aren’t easy to find and these very significant cars remain cheap.

Minor Sedan   $6760 [61]  Minor Tourer   1949-54   $10,890 [7]
Minor Tourer   1955-71   $14,000 [3]  Oxford   1949-58   $10,790 [6]
1100   $3990 [7]

Morris Mini/Cooper S/Moke

Fifty-five years after its arrival, the Mini is as popular as ever and values for even a basic 850 have topped $10,000. If you are in the market for a real rarity, keep an eye out for the locally modified 850 Sports. 998cc Coopers weren’t huge sellers when new, but survivors maintain decent prices. However, the twin-tank 1275cc Cooper S is the car to own. Mark 2 versions have bounded ahead of the Mk 1 and most now cost more than $20,000. Get expert advice to ensure that what you are buying is genuine. Early small-wheel Mini Mokes are also popular and some make $25,000.

Mini 850   $10,915 [9]  Cooper   $15,660 [6]  Cooper S Mk 1   $19,400 [8]
Cooper S Mk 2   $27,925 [7]  Moke   1966-71   $17,000 [2]

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*****

Peugeot 1961-96

In years past, Peugeots enjoyed a following among people who wanted to cruise at high speeds over lousy Australian roads in great comfort. More recent Peugeots don’t enjoy the same reputation for unbreakable durability. Nor do they have much of a future in the collector market. Older 404 and 504 sedans remain relatively cheap and even excellent examples rarely cost more than $7000. For something fun, if a little fragile, the 205GTi is worth a look and also check out the later 306 Cabriolet at just $5000. For real carrying capacity, the few surviving 504 or 505 Familiale wagons cost $1000-2500 more than sedans.

404   $4250 [3]  504   $4270 [11]  505   $3015 [9]  205GTi   $10,500 [3]
306 Cabrio   $4870 [12]

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*****

Porsche 356/911/930 1954-2002

If you own a pre-1975 Porsche, then life is rosy. If you want one, the quest for funds will need to be a lot more intense than a few years ago. 356 models are up substantially, in line with European prices; $100,000 is now possible for an excellent 356A coupe and $150,000 for a Cabrio. Early 911s are holding their gains and it is feasible to pay $100,000+ for an exceptional Australian-spec 911E or 2.4S. Turbo-engined 911s and 930s have the potential for strong appreciation, so owning an excellent, genuine car right now is worthwhile. For frequent use, a water-cooled 996 at $40-55,000 offers good buying.

356 Coupe   $82,375 [8]  911 Coupe   1966-73   $70,535 [10]
911 Coupe   1974-89   $39,475 [54]  996 Carrera   1998-2002   $44,165 [29]
930 Turbo   1978-88   $77,065 [19]

Porsche 928/944/Boxster 1977-2002

Porsche tried for years to kill off the rear-engined 911 and eventually had to settle for a mid-engined alternative. The Boxster is just about the best sports car you can buy on a limited budget and $20,000 will fund a decent early model. That money also buys the more spacious 944 Cabriolet or an excellent 944 Turbo. The later 968 in similar condition normally costs $30,000+.

A 4.7-litre 928S or the 5.0-litre S4 are relatively cheap, but an engine problem can quickly add $20,000 to the ownership bill. 924s have made some gains, but remain the cheapest car you can buy with a Porsche badge.

924   $8000 [7]  944 Coupe   $9965 [18]  944 Turbo   $20,340 [7]
944 Cabrio   $17,925 [7]  928S   1982-89   $19,165 [37]  Boxster 2.7   $24,740 [58]

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*****

Rolls-Royce 1955-96

New in 1979, a Silver Shadow II cost $109,500 while its replacement Silver Spirit hit the showroom in 1986 at a tax-heavy $230,000, but today less than $10,000 separates the two.

Spirits and Spurs built during the mid-1990s jump significantly, and cars with ultra-low kilometres have been seen at more than $80,000. Corniche Convertibles from the 1970s-80s can cost $100,000, with two-door Saloons half that price. Traditional Silver Clouds begin below $40,000 for ‘work needed’ SC1 and SC2 models, and top out at more than $90,000 for a concours-quality Cloud 3. Two-door S3 Mulliner saloons are very scarce here and may cost more than $120,000. 

Silver Cloud $63,250 [8]  Silver Shadow 1966-80 $23,025 [23]
Corniche Conv. 1971-82 $78,230 [7]  Silver Spirit/Spur 1981-89 $31,730 [29]
Silver Spirit/Spur 1990-96 $78,035 [4]

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*****

Rover 1951-2001

P4 ‘Auntie’ Rovers that date back to 1952 are strong, well-built and still very affordable. So are 3 Litre and 3.5 V8 models from the 1960s, only the chop-top 3.5 Coupe offering the prospect of exceeding $20,000. In 1968, the V8 engine was slotted into the P6 [2000] body shell to make a spirited sports sedan. However, 3500s rarely make more than $10,000. The wedge-shaped SD1 was a disaster when new and, even in excellent condition, is hard to sell for any more than $5000. Revamping the ‘round nose’ Mini made some money for Rover during the 1990s, but used values are too high.

P4 1951-63   $5260 [11]  3 Litre Sedan/Coupe   $8995 [13]
3.5 Sedan/Coupe   $15,475 [6]  P5B 3500 V8   $5745 [13]
SD1/Vanden Plas   $2945 [7]  Mini   $16,670 [5]

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*****

Triumph 1954-80

A vigorous owners club makes light work of finding Triumph sports cars and then providing a program of events where new owners can enjoy their cars. Going right back to the 1950s, TR models were viewed as a challenge to drive – a bit more ‘macho’ than MGs or Sunbeams – and that belief contributes to relatively strong pricing. Wedge-look TR8s didn’t sell here new and offer fun for under $20,000. Among the sedans, early Mark 1 versions of the 2000 are super-scarce, but only the wire-wheeled MD and fuel-injected PI top $10,000. 2500TC and 2500S models are value at less than $5000 and Stag prices continue to deteriorate. 
 
Spitfire $11,650 [12]  TR2/3/3A $32,250 [4]  TR4/4A $24,000 [14]
TR6 PI $29,450 [18]  Stag $12,450 [28]  2000/2500 Sedan $3475 [18]

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*****

Vauxhall 1952-67

People who demanded their cars be British helped keep the Vauxhall brand viable in Australia for years after Holden’s arrival. PA versions, especially the better-equipped Cresta, are the most expensive Vauxhalls of the 1950s-60s era, but don’t overlook the later PB. They came with more gear than an EH Holden, plus a 3.3-litre engine, and good Crestas cost less than $6000. The four-cylinder Victor was popular as family transport during the 1960s, and prices are only now starting to rise. For more of a traditional Vauxhall experience, the 1950s E Series in six-cylinder [Velox] or four-cylinder [Wyvern] form costs $5000-7000. 

Wyvern/Velox   1952-57   $5650 [6]  Velox/Cresta   1959-62   $5940 [4]
Velox/Cresta   1963-65   $4560 [5]  Victor/VX490   1961-66   $4765 [4]

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*****

Volkswagen Beetle/Kombi 1954-80

Australians love old Volkswagens and clubs cater to every model from ‘split-window’ Beetles to the latest GTI. Beetles of all ages are still reasonably easy to find, with pre-1957 oval-window cars making double the money of later models. 1600 Superbugs are the most practical for regular use. The prices of early split-screen Kombi or Microbus models went mad a few years back and these still cost twice the price of a later 1970s equivalent. Bonus if you find one with an original camper conversion. 1980s Caravelle people-movers offer more space and comfort than a Tarago and $10,000 for a good one is money well spent.

1954-57 Beetle   $13,790 [8]  1958-67 Beetle   $12,630 [23]
1968-76 Beetle   $7560 [39]  Kombi   1958-67   $40,385 [15]
Kombi   1968-81   $18,135 [47]  Transporter   1982-90   $9975 [11]

Volkswagen Type 3/Karmann-Ghia/Golf

Volkswagen shocked the market in 1961 with its ‘family-sized’ 1500 and again in 1965 with the slick Fastback. These cars are now gaining value, especially fuel-injected TLE Fastbacks that routinely exceed $10,000. The sleek Karmann-Ghia coupe has been a favourite for decades and excellent cars are worth $25,000. Not so appreciated is the 1990s Karmann-bodied Golf convertible that today hits the market at less than $5000. Later 4th-generation soft-tops are around $7000. 1.8-litre GTi Golfs generate minimal interest, but the 2.8-litre VR6 is worth a look for performance in a compact hatch.

1500 Type 3   $6960 [5]  1600 Type 3   $8595 [15]  K-G T1 Coupe   $21,200 [10]
Golf Cabrio   1990-96   $4990 [9]  Golf VR6   $4965 [9]

>> Search Volkswagen cars for sale

 

*****

Volvo 1958-2002

Volvo used to be the haven of cardigan-draped hat-wearers, or so the jokes went, but their cars were distinctive. Today’s Volvos are too mundane to be noticed, leading some people to gravitate towards the older versions. Many 120 Series sedans are more than 50 years old, yet still competent, and you can buy a nice 122S sedan for $10,000. Similar money will fund a 242GT from the 1970s, but be quick as prices are rising. For distinctive looks combined with load space, the 1800ES costs around $20,000. The turbo-engined T5 is down to $5000, with the rapid 850R less than $10,000.

122S   $9315 [6]  242GT   $11,275 [4]  1800/1800E   $31,755 [4]
1800ES   $21,865 [4]  850 T5/R   $5785 [9] C70 Convertible   1999-02   $7055 [14]

>> Search Volvo cars for sale 

 

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