Spend a few moments on Auto Trader and you’re guaranteed to stumble across Ferraris, McLarens and Lamborghinis with telephone number price tags. But for this gallery we’re after the less obvious cars that have rocketed in value over recent years.
If you keep an eye on the auction circuit, these might come as no surprise. But stay tuned for some eye-watering price tags. As usual, inclusion does not represent an endorsement on our part.
- Britain’s top 10 best-selling used cars
- BMW M3 CSL review: Retro Road Test
- The top 20 Retro Road Tests of the year
Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Landaulet: £2,500,000
A Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Landaulet will come pre-loaded with more than just service history. When you can list the likes of Saddam Hussein, Nicolae Ceausescu, Pol Pot and Ferdinand Marcos on the list of former owners you soon realise that a Grosser’s history will be more chequered than most.
Only 59 were built, and this one happened to be owned by Josip Broz Tito, the former president of Yugoslavia. The six-door ‘Presidential Landaulet’ is on for sale for a cool £2.5m. Know any corrupt dictators who’d be happy to lend you the cash?
Porsche 911 2.7 RS Touring: £995,000
If you bought a Porsche 911 2.7 RS Touring in 2004, pour yourself a celebratory drink and give yourself a pat on the back. Three years ago, it was revealed that an RS Touring was worth £65,000 in 2004, upwards of £200,000 in 2011 and half a million plus in 2014.
Today, a million pounds isn’t out of the question, as demonstrated by this sublime 1973 example. A comprehensive restoration by Porsche means that this RS Touring is arguably better than new. You’d be afraid to drive it…
Land Rover Defender: £77,500
Land Rover marked the final year of Defender production with a trio of limited edition models, including the lavishly-appointed Autobiography. It was about as far removed from the 1948 original as it’s possible to get, including the £61,845 price tag. Yes, that’s sixty-two-grand for a Defender.
Only 100 were built, one of which is now on sale for £77,500. We miss the Defender, but not that much.
Volkswagen Golf GTI Convertible: £13,500
Compromised GTI or the best of both worlds? Whatever your opinion, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better Volkswagen Golf GTI Convertible.
This 1985 example has covered a mere 20,139 miles and is on sale for a cool £13,500. More appealing than an Eos? We think so.
Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500: £109,925
The Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 is a rare beast, with only 500 ever made. This, along with the RS badge, gives it elite status in the world of fast Fords, and values are only going one way.
But even with this context, we’re struggling to come to terms with the fact that there’s one for sale for a price tag in excess of £100k. Not bad, especially when you consider the car originally cost £19,950.
Vauxhall Lotus Carlton: £99,999
When Vauxhall went hunting BMW M5, the result was spectacular. Unfavourable headlines in the Daily Mail gave the Vauxhall Lotus Carlton instant notoriety and propelled the 176mph family car to iconic status quicker than you could say “fastest production saloon in the world.”
How much do you want to own one? Enough to drop a pound short of £100,000 on a 19,000-miler?
BMW M3 E30 Convertible: £64,990
What’s more 80s than a ‘Brilliantrot’ E30 BMW M3? A ‘Brilliantrot’ E30 BMW M3 Convertible, of course. While the roof mechanism and chassis strengthening will only serve to dilute the performance, we can’t help but love the look of this thing.
This is a late example, built in 1991, and it has covered a mere 28,000 miles in 26 years. If Miami Vice was filmed in Bavaria, this would have been the choice of ‘Sonny’ Crockett. Wunderbar.
Toyota Corolla AE86: £34,990
Toyota has sold more than 44 million Corollas since its introduction in 1966, but few, if any, are as highly regarded as the AE86. This rear-wheel drive legend is a hero of drifting circles and prices remain high.
But this high? This comes as a shock and probably means that we need to remove another car from the achievable dream garage.
Ford Fiesta XR2: £29,995
This Fiesta XR2 must be one of the best in the country, but it has a price tag to match. The XR2 arrived in 1981 and was the first Fiesta to top 100mph.
We suspect the dealer is testing the market with the £29,995 price tag, as the description includes ‘price on application’. Lovely thing.
Ford Escort RS Turbo: £28,990
Not to be confused with the series two model, the original Ford Escort RS Turbo was a proper homologation special. Princess Diana liked the car so much, she convinced Ford to build a black one just for her.
If you think £29k is a lot to ask for a front-wheel-drive Escort, remember that one sold at auction in 2015 for £60,108. Admittedly, it had mere 5,568 miles on the clock, but these things tend to influence the entire market.
MG Metro Turbo: £19,995
Yep, a £20k Metro. In fairness, it’s a super-rare MG Metro Turbo with 7,000 miles on the clock and we doubt you’ll be able to find a better one. It’s worth it for the red seat belts alone.
Porsche 924 Turbo: £19,995
The 924 Turbo was introduced in 1979 and was designed to sit between the regular 924 and 911 in the Porsche model range. Visually, the Turbo is set apart from other 924 models by the various air intakes and black rear spoiler. Note the ‘Pasha’ interior, which looks like a chequered flag on acid.
Mazda RX-7: £19,968
Is this a lot of money for a Mazda RX-7 FD? We’re not so sure, especially given the fact that far too many have been modified in the name of ‘Fast and Furious’. A UK-supplied example of one of the world’s most beautiful cars – that has to be worth £20k, right?
Vauxhall Astra GTE: £17,775
In fairness, this one-owner, 43,203-mile Mk2 Vauxhall Astra GTE looks to be in minty-fresh condition, but that’s still a jaw-dropping price tag. On the plus side, it probably escaped a joyride on the Blackbird Leys estate.
Peugeot 205 GTI: £17,000
Along with fast Fords, the Peugeot 205 GTI is probably the most high profile example of the boom in classic car prices. This one-owner car has a mere 52,100 miles on the clock and is on sale for £17,000.
Mercedes-Benz 230 CE: £16,000
The W123 Coupe offered all the quality and robustness of the saloon in a more elegant and alluring suit. The advert doesn’t give much away, but this 1985 230 CE is up for £16,000.
Toyota Land Cruiser: £14,995
The J60 was the Toyota Land Cruiser for the 1980s, and this 1982 example appears to have survived in excellent shape. Power is sourced from a six-cylinder 4.0-litre diesel engine, which has been nicely run-in at 96,200 miles. We’d take this over a brand new RAV4 every day of the week.
Alfa Romeo 75: £13,950
When was the last time you saw an Alfa Romeo 75, let alone one in such great condition? This 1988 example comes with the all-important 3.0-litre V6 engine and has covered a mere 50,080 miles. Yours for the price of an entry-level MiTo.
Honda CRX: £11,000
If you think £11,000 is a lot to ask for the undoubtedly brilliant Honda CRX, the same dealer is – or was – selling another example for £16,500. This 1.6i-16 model is the pick of the CRX range and in its day it had the potential to give a European hot hatch a bloody nose.
Toyota Corolla: £8,995
We conclude with a £9k Toyota Corolla of 1983 vintage. It’s a survivor, which makes it the Destiny’s Child of the Japanese classic car world.