Market Watch: saloons on fire

Price bulletin, 3 November 2021.

Classic Cars magazine

by Phil Bell |

Nearly half of this month’s price guide climbers are saloons, most of those in sporting form. They include the Triumph Dolomite Sprint, long overshadowed by Ford Escorts and others.

Our latest table of Price Guide Movers On The Up shows a 4.2% lift, giving a price spread of £1.4k to £10k, depending on condition. To underline the point, Historics Auctioneers has just sold the car above for £19k. If you’re thinking that result and our top price represents a contradiction, let me explain. The Historics example may have been brown but beyond its concours award-winning condition, it also boasted a fat history file and had covered just 55,700 miles. Such cars live on a plane above mere perfection of condition and they’re pretty much unrepeatable opportunities. That won’t stop a wave of dreamers from assuming that their shiny but high-mileage, unhistoried examples are suddenly worth double – cue a wave of cars hitting the classifieds and auction sites with prices/reserves that our markets expert Russ Smith would describe as kite flying.

The cooler response of the classic market to the Triumph compared to Escorts MkI and MkII is understandable. Despite the Triumph’s 16-valve, single-overhead-cam, two-litre engine and competition achievements – a drivers’ and a manufacturers’ title in the British Saloon Car Championship and occasional flashes of brilliance in rallying – it never achieved the all-conquering results of Ford. And its character is less clearly defined. Despite its performance, the levels of trim, comfort and refinement made it feel more of a swift executive saloon than a race track/rally stage refugee, and the market tends to get more excited about the latter these days.

Well, who would you rather be, Roger Clark or Alan Partridge?

Price Guide Movers On The Up is part of 16 regular pages of market tips, analysis and buying advice in the latest issue of Classic Cars.

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