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Classic Car Best Buys

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					How about a credible classic as a second car, runabout or something to kick-start the
hobby off… and all for under a thousand pounds? The classic car enthusiasts at
Sureterm Direct came up with this list that they thought might start you dreaming.

Hillman Avenger
Why buy - It's a stylish, low cost runabout that does the job as good as any rival and is
a lot cheaper than most. Miles better than the old Minx and Hunter, there's a wide
range of two or four-door saloons and roomy estates, plus GT and luxury GLS
offshoots.

Best bits - Lively performance (especially 1600 and all GT's) and good, clean
handling mark this Hillman out as one if the better saloons of the 70's, and this goes
for the trim levels too, especially the GL and GLS.

Best buys - GTs and GLS models, 1500GL, and some good special editions.

Spares and Support - Bearable but you will need to look far and wide. Club support
better than most thanks to the official Association of clubs.

Triumph TR7
Why buy - The TR7 is a misunderstood and overlooked TR and yet it's as
accomplished as any of the earlier icons and far more sophisticated, especially its
suspension. There's a good number around going cheap and can only rise in value.

Best bits - The TR7 drives much better than it looks with TR6 pace, far better
handling and good refinement, especially the coupe. There are loads of cheap and
effective upgrades to refine the car further.

Best buys - Nice coupe or a pretty average convertible if you can get one in the
budget but the latter are rare.

Spares and Support - The former is pretty good - club support to usual TR standards
and there are TR7 specialists now sprouting up, some are even remanufacturing bits.

Jaguar XJ40
Why buy - There can't be a cheaper more accessible way to own a classic car and
while the XK40 has been derided, it's now starting to gain respect. It has all the good
points of the old XJ6 but in a more modern package. Loads around, it's a great ‘first
step' Jaguar.

Best bits - The XJ is a genuine Jag with sublime handling and a cosseting ride that's
even better than the old S3. The pace and grace is there while top models come with
everything, especially Daimlers.
Best buys - Always on condition and avoid the 2.9, or leather-less models

Spares and Support - No real worries plus there's a good spread of specialists to
contain costs. Club support not as good as older jaguars, but it's improving by the
month.

MG Montego
Why buy - If you're after a modern sporty saloon with a raffish charm for general
duties, then the MG Montego wins. It's the new age Magnette in every way and you'd
be pressed to pay £1000 for even the best example. And it's a car we can see
creeping up in value and respect.

Best bits - The Montego wears the MG badge with ease care of good performance
(towering in Turbo form), and pleasing civility. It's a very roomy saloon that was well
equipped for its era and tasteful

Best buys - A nice well looked after 2.0Efi
Spares and Support - Not as good as ‘trad' MGs but not too bad. Usual array of MG
clubs ensure that strong support will always be there.

Porsche 924
Why buy - There's no cheaper, sleep-easier way to get into pukka porche ownership -
despite the 924's image! VW/Audi parts ensure inexpensive running and although the
924 is no supercar, the performance is nothing to grumble over either. Dead reliable
and lots around going cheap, but values are intensifying.

Best bits - Nice packaging with great weight distribution makes the 924 a fine driver's
car. Pace just adequate on early models but pretty rapid on 944-powered 924S. Hatch
provides day to day versatility or they make good cheap racers.

Best buys - Anything honest and original, but five-speeders or later 924S best.

Spares and Support - WV/Audi parts means few probs (beetle bits too) and plenty of
scrappers around for spares. Good club and specialist support.

Vauxhall Chevette
Why buy - If you're after old school economy fun that's simple to keep and fun to
drive, then the Chevette is for you. With its Viva engine married to an Opel Kadett
chassis it goes a treat plus there's shed loads you can do to improve it.

Best bits - Rear wheel drive, the chevette is a classic handler while the Viva 1256cc
engine is fairly peppy. Handily-sized, the Vauxhall feels small next to a new
supermini. Simple mechanics couldn't be easier to service.
Best buys - Condition counts above all else, but go for hatch or estate models
launched in 1975 as a hatch with saloons and estates for '76. Top GLS model and hot
16-valve HS and rally bred HSR join range by '78. Various specials, such as E and ES,
and 1980s facelifts before axe in '84.

Spares and Support - Most mechanical parts are obtainable but body panels are not, so
it's autojumble time! Club support generally okay, but will never be Ford good.

Ford Capri MK2/MK3
Why buy - Despite being 40 in 2009, Capris are still promising and the less popular
Mk2/Mk3 hatchbacks are still cheap. Hatchback versatility, decent drive with easy
spares and mods make the Ford a practical proposition and we reckon prices will rise
soon.

Best bits - Rear wheel drive, lively 1.6/2.0 Pinto engines and huge potential for
modernising, Capris are sensible second car classics. Easy to drive, fairly refined and
neatly trimmed in top Ghia forms.

Best buys - Condition counts most here but go for 2.0 in GL, LS or Cabaret trim if
you can.

Spares and Support
Being a Ford the oily bits are very easy to source and repair while body panels seem
fairly available. As expected, there's very strong club/aftermarket support.

BMW 3 Series
Why buy - It was the yuppie's transport 25 years ago and now the 80s 3 series is fast
becoming a classic - specially the quick ones. Sturdy, classy and with classic rear
wheel drive handling, these cars are highly practical and useable and simple enough to
maintain at home.

Best bits - Cleanly styled, this BMW has timeless good looks. Sport versions are
worth hunting down and the estates, through tiny, are handy holdalls.

Best buys - Anything original and cared for; 320i, 325i, 318iS especially.
Spares and Support - Well served by independents and general aftermarket (so
cheapish spares) with strong support from a variety of BMW and tuning clubs in UK
and Europe.

Author, Ross Hinton is an experienced web content contributor. He helps owners find
out more about classic car insurance at .

				
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posted:1/16/2011
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