We’re all too used to seeing exotic classics pass through equally exotic auction halls for hundreds of thousands of pounds. But you don’t need the bank balance of a Russian billionaire to be able to invest in the classic car scene. Anglia Car Auctions in Norfolk regularly holds a classic car sale with a wide range of eclectic classic and retro cars that can be bought for pocket money.
Its next classic car auction takes place on Saturday 17th June. We’ve been to Kings Lynn for a sneak peek at some of the ‘exotics’ going under the hammer.
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1987 Ford Capri Laser
Estimate: £2,500 – £3,000
If you’re looking for a classic car investment, a Ford badge is a generally an excellent start. But, by the time this Capri came along in 1987, the hype around Ford’s rear-drive coupe would have been dying down and, dare we say it, it was seen as being a bit ‘past it’. The naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre engine powering this Laser wasn’t anything to shout about, either.
Today, however, the aggressive-looking Mk3 Capri looks the business. To us, the £2,500 – £3,000 guide price seems a bit conservative, especially as it’s MOTed until May 2018 and boasts a fairly clean MOT history.
1989 Fiat Panda 4×4
Estimate: £2,500 – £3,000
The Fiat Panda 4×4 was launched in 1983 as an affordable go-anywhere hatchback, using an Austrian-sourced drivetrain and an ultra-low first gear to help out in tricky conditions. Popular in mountainous regions, the Panda 4×4 proved to be extremely capable in snow and mud – taking an entirely different approach to traditional 4x4s such as Jeeps and Land Rovers.
This quirky example has been dry stored since 2001, apparently – which explains why it appears to be in remarkable condition. It’s recently passed an MOT with an advisory for the underneath being covered in underseal. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – the previous owner could simply have been trying to prevent rot – but it’ll be worth having a poke around underneath before bidding to make sure it’s not hiding any nasty surprises.
1989 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit
Estimate: £5,000 – £6,000
Anglia Car Auctions never fails to deliver some temptingly cheap (and potentially ruinous) Rolls-Royces and Bentleys, and this upcoming sale is no exception. The second-generation Silver Spirit arrived in 1989, with its groundbreaking Automatic Ride Control adaptive dampers, along with fuel injection and ABS.
With an estimate as low as £5,000, this Silver Spirit is being sold by AA Gill’s widow, Nicola Formby, referred to affectionately as ‘The Blonde’ by Gill. It was the critic’s personal car, owned by him since 2011 and is now being sold following his death in December. With a respected owner on the V5, it could be a solid investment – and even if it’s not, it’ll be a lovely thing to have parked in your garage.
1972 Triumph TR6
Estimate: £15,000 – £17,000
The Triumph TR6 was much more ‘of its time’ than its predecessor when it arrived in 1968. In reality, it wasn’t much different to the TR5 (even the 2.5-litre straight-six engine remained the same), but its Karmann-influenced ‘squared off’ appearance gained it many fans. We’re sure this bright yellow example still attracts many admiring glances today – and, while its £15,000 lower estimate might sound quite a lot, a search of the classifieds suggest it could go for a good chunk more.
1988 Nissan 300ZX
Estimate: £4,500 – £5,000
Nissan’s Z-Car for the 80s was unusual in that it was powered by the firm’s first mass-produced V6, unlike the straight-six of earlier models. But this wasn’t exciting enough for most buyers, who were tempted by the likes of the (much cheaper) Porsche 944. The Porsche was a more rewarding drive, and is likely to be a better investment today. But, for around £5,000, this 300ZX could be a good buy on novelty factor alone.
1983 Talbot Matra Rancho
Estimate: no reserve
A faux off-roader with trendy 4×4 looks but a powertrain more suited to urban use? What a bonkers idea – one that’ll never catch on. Oh…
Inspired by the Range Rover, the Rancho was much cheaper to buy and run. This example has covered less than 35,000 miles and features a wheelchair conversion and factory-fit search lamps. With no reserve, it could be the bargain of the sale.
1992 Honda Beat
Estimate: £5,250 – £6,250
The Honda Beat was a quirky Kei car, designed to take advantage of Japanese tax rules which favour tiny cars with small-capacity engines. Power comes from an eager 656cc naturally-aspirated three-cylinder engine, producing just 64hp. Top speed is limited to 84mph, but its low weight and tiny dimensions mean the Beat is a surprising delight on British B-roads.
Much rarer than the stodgier Mazda MX-5, the Beat’s novelty factor means it could make more than its £5,250 lower estimate. We’d be a little cautious of its short MOT, but Anglia Car Auctions says its engine was rebuilt 5,000 miles ago and it sounds to have plenty of history.
2000 Rover Mini Classic Cooper Sport 500
Estimate: £17,000 – £21,000
Looking for the ultimate classic Mini? This Classic Cooper Sport 500, one of the final 500 to ever be produced, could be it. It features a silver roof, silver bonnet stripes and even silver seats to set it apart as something special, along with a custom plaque on the dash and a decal on the side identifying it as number 86 out of 500. Spending close to £20,000 on a Mini might seem a little mad, but it could be a solid investment.
1964 Austin A40 Farina
Estimate: £4,000 – £6,000
This 1964 Austin A40 Farina is a personal favourite of ours, hence its inclusion here. A replacement for the ageing A35, the A40 Farina was a modern-looking car when it was launched in 1958. This example is a Mk2 model, which arrived in 1961 and gained such luxuries as hydraulic brakes and, a year later, a more powerful 1,098cc version of the ever dependable A-Series engine. Its £4,000-6,000 estimate represents its seemingly superb condition, and it could make a very dependable classic car for pootling around the countryside and visiting the odd classic car show.
1994 Porsche 968 Cabriolet
Estimate: £11,000 – £13,000
There was a time when front-engined Porsches could be had for pennies, but the likes of the 944 and its replacement, the 968, are steadily increasing in price. For most, the 968 Cabriolet remains one of the least desirable Porsches ever sold, but that means it could be a bargain for those who don’t get a sniffy about a four-cylinder engine and rag-top roof.
This particular example sounds likes it’s had an easy life, with lots of service history and a clean MOT history. We reckon it could prove to be a bargain at ACA’s June sale.
1984 Citroen Mehari
Estimate: £9,000 – £12,000
The back-to-basics Citroen Mehari is more at home at French beach resorts than here in Blighty, which is why we don’t see many of them on UK shores. It shares underpinnings with the 2CV, but is stripped of all but the most essential features. Even the bodywork is made from corrugated plastic sheets, while the doors and soft-top roof can be removed for the full stripped-down look.
The seller of this example was apparently intending to take it to his holiday home in Marrakech, but struggled to register it in Morocco. That partly explains how it ended up in Norfolk, we guess…
1989 Ford Escort XR3i Cabriolet
While the Escort XR3i’s 106hp would be laughable in hot hatch terms today, back in the 80s it was enough to make it a serious competitor for the legendary Peugeot 205 GTi. While chopping the roof off added a degree of scuttle shake, it was loved by yuppies after wind-in-the-hair motoring. This gold example looks relatively discreet in fast Ford terms, but will it ever be worth a fortune?
1993 TVR Chimaera 450
Estimate: £7,750 – £9,750
The 450 is seen by many as being the best compromise between performance and usability, sitting between the 400 and 500 in the Chimaera range. Admittedly, a TVR picked up from auction takes a certain degree of courage (or should that be stupidity?), but with a lower estimate of £7,750 this looks to be well-priced to us. It’s got full service history since it was registered new in 1993, so could be a good buy. Just do your research first.
1997 Renault Sport Spider
Estimate: £22,500 – £25,500
The Spider was launched in 1996 as a hardcore road car to promote the Renault Sport brand and was intended to rival the Lotus Elise. It boasted an aluminium chassis combined with plastic composite bodywork for a 930kg kerbweight, along with a 150hp four-cylinder engine located in the middle of the car.
It sold in tiny numbers in the UK, and finding one today that hasn’t been thrashed is a challenge. This example being sold at Anglia has covered just 5,000 miles, which is promising – but give it a good inspection to make sure it’s not led a hard life on track. Its £22,500 to £25,500 estimate is close to its original £25,950 price tag in 1997 – and it’s only likely to go up.
1977 Land Rover Series III
Estimate: £7,000 – £9,000
Hype around the Land Rover Defender and its ancestors doesn’t seem to have died down since the last Defender was produced at Solihull in January 2016 – partly explaining the £7,000 to £9,000 estimate for this lowly Series III. The guide price might also have been nudged up due to its appearance on BBC crime series The Coroner. Or maybe not.
1989 Peugeot 205 GTI
Estimate: £3,500 – £4,000
Probably the most acclaimed 80s hot hatch, tidy examples of the 205 GTI often reach insane amounts of money when they go under the hammer. With around 160,000 miles on the clock and a total-loss insurance claim in its history, it’s fair to assume this example perhaps isn’t one of the best. Still, it’s a way into 205 GTI ownership for less than £4,000 – and is powered by the more desirable 1.9-litre engine.
1977 Triumph Stag
Estimate: £8,000 – £10,000
The Triumph Stag suffered a poor reputation for reliability and build quality in its day. Rather than simply using the popular Rover V8, the firm designed a bespoke V8 for the Stag – and it was rubbish. Plagued by cooling issues, many owners have now swapped the Triumph V8 for a Rover V8. This example appears to boast its original engine, but more than £3,000 was apparently spent last year bringing the car up to scratch.
If you’re tempted (and with its gorgeous Italian looks, who wouldn’t be?), we’d give the Stag a thorough look over for rust (British Leyland rustproofing was never the best) and find out exactly what work has been carried out. If you’re lucky, it might have had a new engine…
1974 Morris 1800 S ‘Wedge’
Estimate: £4,500 – £5,500
When the British Leyland ‘Wedge’ arrived in the mid 70s, it received a more positive reception than you might imagine today. Its awkward looks were overlooked by an enthusiastic press – unlike the related Allegro launched a few years earlier – and some even went as far as saying it would save British Leyland.
This is a very early example – indeed, the first off the production line, claims the seller. Sold before the Princess badge was introduced, it was apparently sold to a British Leyland employee as ‘soiled goods’ with the relevant staff discount. Expected to make around £5,000, this could be your chance to own a piece of British Leyland history many would rather forget about.
1987 Austin Montego
Estimate: no reserve
Talking of British Leyland history… The Montego was a front-wheel-drive replacement for the Morris Ital and Austin Ambassador, launched in 1984 as a rival to the fleet-favourite Ford Sierra and Vauxhall Cavalier. Like the closely-related Maestro, the Montego was seen as out-of-date by the time it arrived in 1984. Add to this a reputation for unreliability (shocker, we know), and the Montego wasn’t quite the success the firm hoped it would be.
Today, the Montego is a rare sight on UK roads, although a thriving club and social scene helps make sure they’ll never die out completely. This 1987 1.6L has apparently covered less than 38,000 miles and is offered without a reserve.
1976 Ferrari Dino 308 GT4
Estimate: £39,000 – £45,000
First registered in May 1976, this will be one of the first 308 GT4s to actually be badged as a Ferrari. Before then, the controversial car was simply badged as a Dino, named after Enzo Ferrari’s son but lacking the cachet of the prancing horse. Even when it was new the styling divided opinion – along with its new-at-the-time mid-engined V8 layout.
Like all Ferraris, prices are firming up – but with an estimate of £39,000 to £45,000, the GT4 is still relatively affordable. There sounds to be plenty of history with the car, as well as details of a full restoration.
2001 Peugeot 306 GTi-6
Estimate: £4,750 – £5,750
As French hot hatches go, the Peugeot 306 GTi-6 remains fairly underrated and can be picked up for less than a grand – if you don’t mind a slightly ropey one. This example being auctioned at Anglia is far from a ropey one, however, as evidenced by its toppy £4,750-£5,750 guide price. It looks good, showing 62,000 miles on the clock and boasting a full service history. But would you spend around £5,000 on an old Peugeot 306?
1989 Honda Accord Aerodeck
Estimate: £3,000 – £4,000
Have you heard? Eighties Hondas are cool – especially in shooting brake ‘Aerodeck’ form, as seen here. But more than £3,000 for an old Accord? It might help that this example has covered just 19,076 miles over its 28-year lifespan, with one owner from new, and seemingly has the history (and condition) to back up the mileage. Its MOT history suggests it was in storage between 2012 and today, but it’s been given a fresh ticket and is ready to go.
1951 Morris Minor Convertible
Estimate: £4,000 – £5,000
No classic car auction is complete without a Morris Minor. This 1951 example is an early one with the ‘cheese grater’ grille and split windscreen. It’s not clear whether it was a convertible when new; although a soft-top version was offered from the factory, many aftermarket conversions of varying quality followed.
The Moggy Minor makes a great starter classic thanks to its popularity (and therefore support network), and its £4,000-£5,000 guide price is as the lower end of the scale. Beware, this could reflect the condition it’s in – so take someone who knows what they’re looking for if you’re tempted to bid.
1991 Jaguar XJR-S
Estimate: £11,000 – £13,000
We’ll end with a rarity: a Jaguar XJR-S from 1991. Based on the E-Type-replacing XJS, the XJR-S was produced by Jaguar’s performance arm (co-owned by TWR), JaguarSport. By the time this example was produced in 1991, power came from a 6.0-litre V12 engine producing 318hp.
Any kind of V12 Jag is a brave second-hand purchase. We’d suggest doing your research, but a stash of service history (including a bill for £1,844 from 2015) suggests this XJR-S might not drain your wallet too badly. That’s unless you want to drive it anywhere, in which case its double-figure-if-you’re-lucky fuel consumption might be a smidge painful.