MARKET WATCH, October week 1

Jaguar XJ-S manuals leap

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It’s one of four Jaguars to make a move in the latest issue’s roundup of the biggest 73 market winners and losers. While there’s always a ready market for superb, low-mileage and historied XJ-Ss, it’s the pre-HE models built before 1981 that are catching the eye of collectors for their earlier purity – yes, you read that correctly, the car that was controversial at launch in 1975 – and particularly the 352 manual versions.

Most XJ-S enthusiasts will argue that these cosseting grand tourers suit the more popular automatic gearbox, and there’s so much power and torque from that 5.3-litre V12 that they do have a point. But that ignores the age-old market prejudice in favour of a manual transmission on any car with performance claims.

So it’s no surprise to see these models up 92% since our last update, making project cars £4k, tidy, usable examples £8.5k and the smartest cars anywhere from £17.5k to £25k depending on condition. To find more market analysis and details of the latest market climbers and fallers, check out the latest issue

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

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As we predicted in our Aston Martins to Buy Now feature in the September 2015 issue, these twin-supercharged Nineties bruisers have hotted up. Since our last price update, prices have jumped 56% for the 550bhp Vantage models, making £125k the entry price for something usable but needing – inevitably expensive – work. The best cars are now £185k to £250k.

The 600bhp V600 has moved even faster, up 63% to a £165k entry price, with the best now costing £240k to £325k. The reason? Apart from the fact that their Seventies/Eighties predecessors have soared is the fact that these were the last Astons that were completely hand built and in small numbers. And their once-controversial styling no longer looks too modern thanks to what came afterwards. To find more market analysis and details of the latest market climbers and fallers, check out the latest issue.

We want this Lamborghini Countach

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This 1987 5000QV has had lots of money spent on it – £30k since it was imported into the UK from America in 2016. Some of that involved replacing US-spec items like the side marker lights with European equivalents. A combination of the workmanship and its near-35,000 miles means that it drove just as it should on our test drive and stood up well to scrutiny, aside from some minor evidence of wear.

The dealer is asking £289k and its lefthand drive layout either makes it perfect for that dream road trip over the Alps and down to Italy, or to sell into Europe when you’re done having your fun with that 5.2-litre quad cam V12 and show-stopping scissor doors. But would you ever tire of it? To see our full report on this and three other cars for sale tested, check out the latest issue