MARKET WATCH, October week 3

BMW M635 CSi takes a dip

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The overheated modern classic sector is showing more signs of cooling off in the £20-50k range, once you discount those auction-headline results for cars with tiny mileage, perfect originality and service history from new. Because that’s not what most of us buys – there just aren’t enough to go round – so we shop for cars that have worn their substantial mileages well, and/or have enjoyed well-executed remedial works along the way.

So the sort of M635 CSi you’re likely to find for sale out there has taken a 14% tumble since our last update, with prices now starting at £7500 for something in rough condition and the good stuff beginning around £14k. The best is now in the £20-27.5k range and I expect the gap between the best and worst to widen significantly as it becomes more of a buyer’s market. Why buy a money pit when for a fraction of the restoration cost you can buy something near-perfect?

To find more market analysis and details of the latest market climbers and fallers, check out the latest issue

Citroën BX GTi hots up

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Despite increased prices, these Marcello Gandini-styled, growing family-sized hot hatches are still a good buy. Although survivors are much rarer than the iconic Peugeot 205 GTI they’re unlikely to ever challenge them for value supremacy, but as buyers choose to pluck them from obscurity they’re likely to keep on moving.

So we’ve seen prices up by 40% since our last Price Guide update, making those project cars £550 and usable examples more like £1000. That still makes the best examples make a lot of sense at £2.25-3.5k, depending on how perfect, though scarcity of the best on the market may make a viable fixer-upper your only option if you’re in a hurry to buy. It’s easy to see the best making £5k before too long.

To find more market analysis and details of the latest market climbers and fallers, check out the latest issue

We want this Alvis RD21 drophead coupé

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This drophead coupé has had lots spent on it, drives well and wears a flattering colour combination to suit its elegant good looks. So we had to take a closer look. It’s up for £75k, which fell into perspective when we discovered that it has benefitted from £41k of work, including body and paint, wiring, new chrome and more.

On our test drive it performed faultlessly with slick changes through the three-speed automatic gearbox, and the work appeared to have been done to a good standard, though there’s more to be done for the perfectionist owner.

You’ll find more details in the latest issue, where the Alvis is one of four cars for sale tested and evaluated.

Citroën 2CVs are moving up

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Prices are up, problems can be well hidden, so paying the right sum for the right car is vital.

Yes, there’s more at stake these days when buying a 2CV. Time was when they were cheap enough to take a punt on, but even tatty drivers can cost £3-6k and the best restored examples can be £15k.

It’s easy to be charmed into buying a scruffy patina car in the belief that all it needs is new and easy-to-replace exterior panels. The real challenges lie much deeper, particularly in areas like the bulkhead and chassis. Those easily replaced wings and doors also allow vendors to dress up project car as one already restored.

The buying guide in our latest issue will take the gamble out of buying one of these French charmers. You can buy a copy here.