VIEWS: 6 PAGES: 3 POSTED ON: 1/16/2011
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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