MARKET WATCH March 2018

Aston V8 projects in vogue

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After decades festering in barns and garages, deemed uneconomical to repair, restoration project Aston Martin V8s are being dragged blinking into the daylight and snapped up by hungry buyers. Even though they're still uneconomical to repair.

With top examples selling for £80-120k, and specialist restorations costing £100-200k, sometimes more, a £30k barn find makes no financial sense. The fact that buyers are prepared to pay more – the most recent examples went for £48k and £66k – show how these commanding Seventies and Eighties grand tourers are stirring passions previously reserved for their six-cylinder ancestors.

The latest Price Guide Movers update in the current issue of the magazine reveals numbers up 20%, so if one remains at the top of your classic dreams, now's the time to find one. But unless you relish the challenge of saving a derelict one, your money will go a lot further buying a really good one in the first place.

Porsche 356 slips back

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Few makes saw such rapid price gains as Porsche and Ferrari in the general classic car market boom of recent years, but 356s, particularly the more numerous B- and C-generation models, have recently dropped 10%, which on top of the general price slide of rear-engined Porsches has taken values back to 2015 levels.

That means that rough B roadsters can now be found from £46k, with good examples anywhere from £67-105k, depending on condition, and the best for £135k. Even the coveted pre-A cars built from 1951-55 are down 5% as the Porsche market accepts the new realism.

So far we'd call it a healthy readjustment.

We want this Jaguar E-type

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This 1969 Jaguar E-type roadster is one of four classics for sale that we evaluate in the latest issue of Classic Cars, and it stood up to scrutiny very well. It's an ex-Florida car, converted to righthand drive and restored after coming back to the UK. Most E-types here are ex-USA because most went there new, and the climate in many, but not all, States was more car-friendly than our damp and seasonally salty island.

Reassuringly, the restoration was completed four years ago – plenty of time for any shortcomings to reveal themselves – but this example still looks excellent and drives with the supple and purposeful stride that an E-type should.

Although the heat has gone out of the E-type market for now, prices don't appear to have suffered much either, based on the data we track for our quarterly price guide, so this example seems good value, particularly compared to an equivalent roadster in 3.8-litre covered-headlight Series 1 guise. Those may be prettier, but the Series 2 drives better and was still one of the best-looking cars of its age.