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5 British Sports Cars going cheap!
Buy 'em now while you can!

Published 7/5/2000

When shopping to find cars for our clients, it has always been our goal to find vehicles which not only meet their needs and desires but also (when it comes time to sell), allow them get their investment back at worst, and at best, make them a little on top. Isn't that what we all want from our classics?

As I sat down to write this; I wasn't really sure how I was going to begin. The one thing I knew, I wanted to tell you, was that of late I have noticed that there are some great classics sports cars in America going cheap! I mean REALLY CHEAP, particularly foreign Sports Cars and Coupes.
I am not talking about restoration projects here, but 'really nice' to 'excellent' condition cars that are being overlooked by the masses and therefore being sold CHEAP!

Let me give you some examples:

Jaguars - The price of certain Jaguars have been dropping
to more realistic levels of late. For example, two years ago you couldn't have bought an XK 120/140/150 DHC or Roadster 'basket case' for less than about $17,000, now you can get a very decent 'driver' for $15-18k and 'really nice' example for mid twenties!

XKE's still seem to be popular especially since the prices settled down this last year or so. Now $20k buys you a great roadster, and 27k a show car! However, it's the XKE Coupes that are absolute 'steals'. We recently found one for a client. A one owner, 58,000 mile, fully documented 1968 XKE Coupe in excellent shape for $15,000! One owner from 1968!

Other Jags are also becoming desirable, the MKII of course, and examples can still be found cheap, (by US standards, but not such a great deal if you are looking to export). Also watch out for the Series 1 and III XJ saloons, especially the late Series I V12, and the 1987 Series III Vanden Plas.You can still buy excellent examples of these cars for much less than $10,000! Drive one, and you'll know why Jaguar owners revere the Marque so much - power, performance, comfort and sexy as all hell! I predict that when Jaguar (a.k.a. Ford) start winning Formula 1 races, and they will (especially with F1 now at Indianapolis), even the XJS and lovely XJ Coupe could see their day soon. If you've ever fancied a Jag, get one now while you can still afford to!

Austin-Healey - The price of these cars has gone through the roof lately, We recently found an excellent BJ8 for a client that cost him $26,000 (and that was a deal!) If you want a late well restored car, it'll set you back about $30,000 or even more! Bloody ridiculous in my mind, they are great cars and all, and in their class along with MG, Triumphs, and Alfa etc, they reign supreme, but something isn't right when you pay more for an Austin-Healey than you would an XK Jaguar. The prices will fall, so if you've got one to sell, get rid of it quick! If on the other hand you REALLY want to buy an Austin-Healey NOW, look at the earlier cars, particularly the 100-4 and 100-6, these cars are relatively cheap, with excellent examples available for $20,000 or less.

Morgan - These cars epitomizes English classic roadsters of days on by, (you can read about the one I own here). They are hand-built beauties with the comfort of a skateboard, but they never cease to thrill! Your knuckles will turn white as you clench the big four spoke steering wheel tightly, throwing the car into a curve after curve with the throttle pedal firmly planted hard against the firewall! Due to low production numbers and waiting lists for new cars, used examples have always held their prices well. Little has changed in Malvern, England where they are made, until this year that is. Amidst much fanfare, Morgan has launched a new car - the Aero 8, and although it's an amazing piece of workmanship in its own right, it is very different to the four wheel Morgan they've been building for the past 50 years. Now as far as we know from the factory, there are no immediate plans to stop building the traditional Morgan, they have however, announced plans to discontinue the 4-cylinder model. So who knows, if sales of the new car take off (as initial interest suggests they will) perhaps they will cease production of the old style car all together, which would make the original survivors even more valuable. You can buy a good, restored Morgan +4 for around $20,000 right now, and for about $5,000 more, a +8. Get a restored car, enjoy it and hang onto it for a couple of years, I believe your investment will pay off handsomely.

Jensen-Healey - These roadsters were built for just a couple of year's back in the early 70's. They just reached the magic 25-year-old status and I think they will soon begin to be appreciated for what they are - a great British Marque, backed by two great names, 'Healey' (as in Austin-Healey), and Colin Chapman of 'Lotus' (who developed the 16 valve slant-four engine). Jensen made cars for more than 50 years before shutting up shop in the late eighties. Excellent examples of these cars can be bought in the States for paltry $7000! Find a good well-restored example and hang on to it. Also, while I am talking about Jensen, keep an eye on the 'Interceptor' too, an Anglo-American Hybrid that used the massive 7.0 litre Chrysler motor, expensive to run, but cheap to buy, with mint cars selling for $12-15,000! Even the ultra-rare convertibles can be bought for the low $20's!

Panther - Here's a name you don't see every day, but it's British. This small car company had a checkered history, but managed to produce some interesting, if unusual cars. The one I particularly think is worth taking a look at is the 'Kalista'. This is the Aluminum-clad tube-chassis version of the cheaper and fiberglass-bodied 'Lima'. Although technically not that old, (about 20 years) I have a sneaking suspicion that these cars will become very collectible over the next few years, (the Jaguar based J72 already is) in part due to their rarity, but also because of their distinctiveness. They are quite a 'practical classic', especial the US cars that used the 2.3-liter Ford Mustang engine. Take a look at one next chance you get, and see if you agree. Nice examples can be bought for around $14,000 with better cars fetching a little more.

5 more cars worth looking at:

Alfa Romeo

Maserati Vignale

Fiat 124

Lotus Elan

Aston Martin V8



If you are ready to begin your search for your cheap Classic sports car, check out the Classic Cars listed for sale privately. You find a list of the key Online sites here!
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