MARKET WATCH, April 2017

Jaguar XK120 fortunes are changing

Buyers are increasingly favouring purity over practicality with Jaguar XKs. For a long time the greater legroom of the XK140 and the more cossetting roof arrangement of the drophead coupé have kept this model at the top of the XK value tree because buyers were seeking them out for usability, particularly with touring in mind.

But the old world order is changing, with the purer lines and more delicate detailing – particularly the slim quarter bumpers of the 120 compared to the Armco-like arrangement on the 140 – attracting a premium. XK120 roadsters now start at £52k for a decent example and you can pay £78-110k for the best. Drophead coupés are now £50, 75 and 105k in equivalent condition. That’s a jump of 10 and 11 per cent respectively, a sign that these models are enjoying a surge in collectability. Buy soon now if you’ve always fancied one.

New buyers for old Porsche 924s

Younger enthusiasts are recognizing the 924 for what it is, a fine-handling and easy-to-own slice of Seventies chic, waking up a long-dormant market for them. So far that’s had a greater impact on the number of cars finding buyers via the classifieds than it has on prices, so you can still find great examples for £2250-3000.

So if you thought that a 924 would always hang around at a low price, waiting for you to get around to buying one, you might want to make you move sooner rather than later.

Price guide winners and losers

The Price Guide Quarterly update in the latest issue of Classic Cars magazine reveals 254 movers. The top ten climbers, each having grown by more than 30%, range from the BMW 2002 Cabriolet up 33% to £15-20k in top condition, to the Maserati Khamsin, up 56% to £100-140k for the best.

The latest fallers look far less drastic, with the Ferrari 365 GTS/4 having dropped 6.7% to £1.85-2.1m, and Jaguar XK140 drophead coupé down 4.2% to £85-115k. So none of a losers are large enough to make recent buyers despondent, and neither do they throw up any significant bargains for buyers. What they reaffirm is that there is a gentle market correction applying to some makes and models, particularly those that have seen strong gains in recent years. All signs of a rational market then – far more healthy than boom and bust cycles.

Buy a Berkeley

With the fad for microcars driving up prices for most, the dashing range of sports cars offered by Berkeley look good value at the moment.

According to the detailed buying guide in the latest issue of Classic Cars magazine, you can find decent examples of the early SA322 model, propelled by a 15bhp Anzani twin-cylinder engine, for around £5k, with the best more like £8k. They’re fun to drive, but for real pace you might prefer the later B95 and 105 models, which packed 692cc Royal Enfield Super Meteor or Constellation engines with 40 or 50bhp. In a car weighing just 400kg! You get all of that extra go for £7.5k, rising to £12.5k for the sharpest examples.

Armed with our buying guide to help steer you round some of the tricky parts shortages and the more expensive problems, you can be sure that there’s a Berkeley guaranteed to put a smile on your face every time you pluck it from the garage.

We want this

With exceptional late air-cooled Porsche 911s making headline figures at auctions – by those I mean low-mileage, fully-historied examples of the most extreme performance models – the first water-cooled Turbos look good value.

The 2003 example that we test in the latest issue of Classic Cars is up for £60k, which is at the upper end of the price spectrum for these. But when you discover that it’s only done just over 28,000 miles from new and is fresh from restoration by Porsche Centre West London as part of the annual Porsche dealership restoration competition, it seems good value. Oh, and I didn’t mention that it gives you 400bhp to play with.

If you’re happy to buy one with 50-70k on the odometer, prices are more like £40-50k. That’s tremendous performance for the money, with the added reassurance that the Turbo used a variant of the tough Mezger-designed flat six, which is free from the notorious intermediate shaft bearing and cylinder wall failures that can afflict the mainstream watercooled flat sixes.