MARKET WATCH January week 3

Jaguar XJS convertibles leap

1.xjs .jpg

Late 4-litre cars are among the top 50 climbers in the latest Classic Cars magazine Price Guide Update, and the coupés have also moved up. Under Ford ownership, quality improved and the new facelifted XJS for 1991 could be ordered with a 4-litre version of the AJ6 engine. The convertible arrived a year later and both would survive until 1996 when they were replaced by the XK8.

Convertibles have jumped 36% since our last update, bringing prices for rough examples to £3.75k, usable examples to £6.25k and excellent cars are now £11-19k. Coupés have followed, but more slowly, rising 11% to £1.6k, £3.5k and £7-11k in equivalent condition. For a long time, these late models were the most-prized XJSs for their superior build and level of development, until the collectability of the increasingly rare pre-HE models of the late Seventies usurped them. Now they’re fighting back. To find more market analysis and details of the latest market climbers and fallers, check out the latest issue

Porsche 911 flatnoses lose their shine

2. porsche.jpg

The flatnose premium is starting to wear off 911 Turbos. For the Eighties customer who found the standard 911 Turbo too sober, and the new breed of 911 collector who found them too numerous, the special order flatnose held a significant premium – up to 60%. The plunging front winglines, bespoilered bumper and vented rear wings emulated the fearsome 935 race cars but lost some of the classic 911 character.

Recent auction no-sales reveal a standoff between vendors’ now outdated sense of flatnose premium and buyers’ willingness to pay it. We’re waiting for more sales, or no-sales before we judge the long-term influence on values. To find more market analysis and details of the latest market climbers and fallers, check out the latest issue

We want this Alfa GTV

3 copy. alfa.jpg

Alfetta-based coupés have gone some way to narrowing the gap to their 105-series predecessors but they’re still great value. This 1981 two-litre example is showing just 31,000 miles and is up for £13.5k, fresh from a specialist full service. On our test the condition inside and out, and the way it drove seemed consistent with the indicated mileage and the detailed maintenance (with bills for £3700 since 2015) that it’s had over recent years. Lefthand drive might limit its UK appeal, but it’s perfect for cantering across Europe. To find more market analysis and details of the latest market climbers and fallers, check out the latest issue

Buy a Mercedes SEC?

The days of fine examples at bargain prices may be gone, but it’s still possible to find good value with some expert guidance. A combination of Mercedes durability and well-funded early maintenance meant that good, inexpensive examples of these handsome power cruisers didn’t see hard to find. But as the C126 fell down the food chain shoestring ownership took its toll, leaving the market awash with moneypit examples to trap the unwary.

That said, good examples of the smaller-engined models, particularly those built before the 1985 facelift, can be found for less than £10k, though £9-12k is safer hunting ground. As you’ll read in the Mercedes SEC buying guide in the latest issue of Classic Cars, the price ceiling for superb 420s and 500s rises to £20k, with the best pushing on towards £30k, particularly for the top of the line 560SEC. Our buying guide will help you check whether that SEC in your sights is as good as it looks. To find more market analysis and details of the latest market climbers and fallers, check out the latest issue