MARKET WATCH, August 2017

JAGUAR E-TYPE 2+2S HOTTING UP

Demand for good Jaguar E-type 2+2s has pushed prices up 45% over the past two years, despite them being the least coveted variants. Until recently, high values and high-quality restorations have been largely reserved for the better-proportioned two-seater coupés and roadsters, but the child-friendly 2+2s are playing catchup.

Excellent examples of Series 1s are more than £37k and the very best can make £55k, though that's still a fraction of the professional rebuild cost. Series 3 V12s are a little cheaper at £33 and 50k respectively, while the Series 1.5 and Series 2s are £32-47k in equivalent condition.

Beware that these have been entry level E-types for so long that few have enjoyed comprehensive maintenance or restoration, so their recent jump in values is bound to attract superficial makeovers in pursuit of a quick profit.

ROVER P5B VALUES SURGE

With prices up by more than 30% this year, the Rover P5B Coupé has shrugged off its old 'poor man's Rolls-Royce' epithet – you can buy a Silver Shadow for less. Top condition examples can now make £20k or more, with usable examples starting around £9k.

Despite the thrust of that ex-Buick, all-aluminium V8, performance is ample rather than sporting, but these have always been cars in which to make dignified progress. If you want saloon racer heroics, the Jaguar Mk2 3.8 is the weapon of choice.

Of course, modern four door coupés are all the rage now, but anyone seeking the classic alternative has little choice. If you're not set on the rakish lower roofline of the coupé, the V8 saloon is much better value, with usable examples starting at around £5k, rising to £13k for the best. Because of the propensity of these cars to demand hideously expensive restoration costs, your money is much better spent up front on an excellent example

PRICE WINNERS AND LOSERS

The Honda S800 is one of ten models to have jumped in value by more than 30%, with convertibles up 37% and the coupés up 50%. For the 66 models highlighted for growth in the latest issue of Classic Cars magazine, figures ranged from 5% for the VW Beetle Cabriolet to a chart-topping 54% for the Pininfarina Spider, the model built by the coachbuilder after production of the 124 Spiders transferred from Fiat.

Fortunately for buyers, what goes up, occasionally comes down again. After a surge in prices, Mercedes 450 SEL 6.9s have slipped 7.5%, and models as diverse as the MGF, Porsche 911 Carrera RS (993 generation) and Ferrari 250 Tour de France have all dropped by more than 4%.

For a full list of this month's winners and losers, with price details, see the current issue of Classic Cars magazine.

BUY A FIAT 124 SPIDER

Values of the desirable slim-bumpered Fiat 124 Spiders, built from 1966-75, are up 45%, meaning the very best can command £24k, with excellent examples following up at £18k and usable cars at £10k. Even project cars are £3.5k. All of the publicity around the new Mazda MX-5-based Fiat 124 Spider seems to have created more demand for the classic original.

The impact bumper cars built from 1975 have seen slighter greater gains of 48%, but inevitable trail in absolute terms. Prices in equivalent condition range from £2.5-18.5k.

The price moves have encouraged a flow of imports, artfully smartened up to deceive the unwary buyer, especially those who assume that the Fiat badge guarantees cheap restoration costs. As the detailed buying guide reveals in the current issue of Classic Cars, you need to go in armed with essential knowledge of what the expensive problems are, and how to spot them. With that covered, these are rewarding cars to own and drive. See you on the road this summer!

WE WANT THIS

With their grunty four-cylinder engines and light weight, the sidescreen Triumph TRs are huge fun to drive. This TR3A has the optional 2138cc engine and can pull 100mph, but with those cut-down doors and the buzz of the exhaust, even 70mph feels like 100. This 1960 example, which we test in the current issue of Classic Cars, has been skillfully restored from a US import but retains the lefthand drive steering – handy if you fancy weekend jaunts or touring holidays in Europe, or if you ever wish to sell it there.

Despite the superb condition – it's little used since the restoration – this TR3A is priced keenly at £26k. It's one of four car for sale that we test in the current issue, including an Aston Martin DB7 Vantage Volante, Mini Cooper S and Triumph TR5. Tempting.