MARKET WATCH, December, week 1

Sporting Ford Escorts fly

1. escort.jpg

Hot Ford Escort MkIs are among the top climbers this month, led by the GT and Sport models up 32% since our last update. That brings rough project cars up to £3250, good, usable cars to £6k and the best to £12-16.5k, depending on how perfect they are.

The Twin Cam and its RS1600 have risen less in percentage terms, but the absolute numbers are bigger. The Lotus-powered originals are up 10%, to £22.5k, £30k and £42.5-55k respectively, while its Belt-Driven A-series-powered successor is up 11% to £25k, £32.5k and £47.5-62k respectively.

It’s a market-defying performance from these hot Escorts, but values didn’t move a great deal during the boom of recent years that saw cars like Porsche 911s and Ferrari 308/328s zoom. Now they’re playing catch up. To find more market analysis and details of the latest market climbers and fallers, check out the latest issue

Alfetta GTVs join the party

2. GTV.jpg

Four- and six-cylinder Alfa GTVs have surged in price, with the cheaper GTV2000s up a hefty 28%, bringing the entry point for rough examples to £1750, good usable cars to £4000 and the best sitting between £9k and £12.5k.

The 2.5-litre V6 engine was late to the GTV party, arriving in 1981, so couldn’t be had with the earlier, purer styling, but that alloy V6 engine was certainly worth the wait. Prices for these are up 18%, starting at £2250 for rough ones, £5750 for somethign tidy that you’d actually want to drive and £13-20k for really good cars.

So they’ve both moved plenty, but remain good value compared to many of the alternatives. To find more market analysis and details of the latest market climbers and fallers, check out the latest issue

We want this Mercedes 280SL

3. mercedes.jpg

This rare manual 280SL is hard to fault, but then it should be at £142.5k. It’s had a comprehensive restoration back in 2014, evidenced by more than 500 photos. Storage since then has allowed some fittings to lose some of their restoration-fresh lustre, but we could only find minor imperfections when we completed our road test and evaluation for the latest issue of Classic Cars.

Most of the restoration work, including the the Silver Grey paint, has been done to factory-correct specification, though the original MB-Tex trim has been upgraded to leather. Received wisdom says that the more common Mercedes automatic transmissions are much nicer devices that the manuals, but this one shifted well enough on our test and gives the car a desirable edge of rarity. The Mercedes 280SL is one of four cars for sale tested in the latest issue