The biggest market fallers revealed
Eighties supercars and homologation specials fell the hardest in a continuing trend of correction after prices became over-hyped. Long-term owners shouldn’t be too distraught, with the latest round of price erosion falling between 5.8% and 6.6%, depending on model.
The top five fallers in the chart of price guide winners and losers in the current issue of Classic Cars is covered by Ferrari Testarossa and 512 TR, Porsche 959 and Peugeot 205 T16. And Alfa 6C 1750 Gran Sport Zagato. So in the case of that Eighties poster child, the Testarossa, only the best now make £100k, with the rest worth £37.5-75k, depending on condition.
Unsurprisingly, the rest of the fallers chart includes a couple of Porsche 911s and more Ferraris, but Bentleys and an Aston Martin also make an appearance.
Land Rover Series 2s play catchup
Increased collectability of Series 1s is dragging Series 2s in their wake. It wasn’t so long ago that £27k was the preserve of Series 1s in top condition, with up to £40k being paid for the earlier 80 inch wheelbase cars built from 1948-53.
Now we’re starting to see some examples of the Series 2 and 2a make £27k as the earlier cars are pushed ever higher.
It’s a pattern we’ve seen elsewhere – when the market decided that the Jaguar E-type was most desirable in its original Series 1 3.8-litre form, all of the money chased those, until they became so expensive that many E-type fanciers had to look at the next best thing – a later model.
But successive model don’t always follow the same pattern. Witness Ford Capri MkIII 280 Brooklands model being worth 30% more than the MkI 3000GT. Sometimes the last of the line, most highly refined and specified model retains its premium long after its departed the secondhand car classifieds and slipped into classic status.
We want this low-mileage Bentley Turbo R
When we spotted this ex-Sheik, 32,000-mile Turbo R for sale we had to drive and appraise it. It was sold new to Sheik Maktoum of Dubai for use in London, covering 16,000 miles over 12 years before the next owner took it on, adding a further 16,000 and a lot more receipts to the service history folder.
The largely unmarked condition inside and out matches the low mileage and we’re told that a carburettor rebuild has cured the reluctance to rev smoothly that we experienced on the day of our test. Other than a thump from the suspension it drove as these cars should – with a remarkable combination of refinement, urge and ability to tackle corners. The R stands for roadholding, transforming the handling of the Turbo model that it’s based on.
Its £18k asking price is at the top of our Price Guide, so seems about right given the condition, mileage and service history.
This Turbo R is one of four cars for sale that we test in the current issue of Classic Cars.
Should you buy a bargain Triumph Herald or Vitesse?
Usable cars can be found for £3k, but is that a false economy? That buys you tidy Herald, perhaps restored with a mix of parts from various models, so could provide years of inexpensive and stylish classic motoring.
For the more desirable Herald convertible or coupé in good condition you need to find another £2-7k and Vitesse in equivalent condition are more like £6.5-12.5k. If only the best will do, be prepared to spend £10k and £15k on a Herald or Vitesse respectively.
While parts availability is still good for maintaining these cars, and much of it inexpensive, restoration parts such as body panels are becoming hard to find and therefore expensive. Because demand has fallen, the aftermarket can no longer justify making more.
So the tidy and inexpensive Herald or Vitesse still makes sense as a bargain classic to drive and enjoy, but if you want perfection you’re better off spending what it takes to buy a superb car in the first place. To find out how, read the detailed buying guide in the current issue of Classic Cars.
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