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Classic cars to buy in 2016

Even if you ignore the idea of buying as an investment, waiting any longer to buy one of these cars will only cost you more money. Enjoy now!

During 2015, there was a marked shift in interest towards more modern machinery from the 1980s and 1990s, driven mainly by changing fashions, and a rise in values for older more traditional classic cars. That doesn’t mean that every older classic car has become out of reach for mere mortals. We’ve picked out a selection of tempting buys, which we feel still offer excellent value and enjoyment.

Here are our picks for 2016: 

Ford Mustang
From £15,000
The ubiquitous American pony car is no longer a cheap old banger thanks largely to its great success in Historic racing where, with tuning and a good set-up, it is capable of embarrassing most Italian exotics. Back in 1964 the ’Stang instantly became one of Ford’s most successful launches and it’s easy to see why. Stylist John Najjar created the quintessential American car and even the name was a hit, conjuring up images of Mustang fighter planes, or wild mustangs galloping across the open prairie. Of these first-generation cars the early fastbacks are prized by racers but the notchback or convertibles are still available at reasonable cost (mostly in the US) and you can buy every single piece of a Mustang brand new by mail order.

Take a look at Ford Mustangs for sale in the classifieds

Bentley Continental GT
From £28,000
This muscular GT has been in production for 13 years and, now that footballers have moved on to other things, the first generation makes an extremely attractive proposition. It was the first Bentley produced entirely under Volkswagen management and has proved to be tough and reliable, with a 550bhp 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine enabling it to hit 60mph in 4.8 seconds, with a top speed over 180mph. There are luxurious Mulliner versions, a flashy convertible, even a 621bhp Supersport and, if you can wait a few more years, the best one to go for is the V8. All brought to you by those crazy engineers responsible for the insane Bugatti Veyron, and it costs about the price of a set of Veyron tyres and service!

Find the best Bentley Continental GTs, browse the classifieds and read the buying guide here
It was not so long ago that a Ferrari Daytona was priced at around £150,000. Today a good Daytona is worth about £700,000 and, as always, a good Ghibli commands about half the value of the Ferrari. The Ghibli is powered by a lusty quad-cam V8 of 4.7 and later 4.9 litres, pushing out 300 and 330bhp respectively. OK, so it’s not a V12 (and concedes 20bhp to the European-spec Daytona), but the beautifully sonorous V8 gives the Ghibli a top whack of 170mph if you are brave enough. The back axle is live but well located and the cost of spares and maintenance is less than for the Ferrari. With only 1170 coupés and 125 spiders built, the Ghibli is the rarer beast.

Browse the classifieds for a Maserati Ghibli for sale here
Jensen Interceptor
(Image: Matthew Howell)

Jensen Interceptor (1968-1973)
From £25,000
With an exotic coupé body designed by Carrozzeria Touring, this handbuilt British bruiser is still a fabulous-looking machine with that signature wrap-around glass tailgate and chiselled lines. With massive Chrysler V8 engines (first a 6.3-litre, then a gargantuan 7.2) the Jensen offers Aston-busting performance, even if it was built by a West Bromwich truckmaker. As with the Bristol, the American V8 can be built to any spec. A GT that’s losing its wide-boy image and deserves to be better appreciated – even if Sir Cliff Richard used to own one.

Take a look at Jensen Interceptors for sale in the classifieds
From £10,000
The beautiful, aerodynamic and futuristic Citroën DS was launched to a stunned world in 1955. Styled by Flaminio Bertoni and engineered by André Lefèbvre, the DS revolutionised ride quality, handling and braking thanks to its Hydropneumatic suspension and braking system. It was quirky, eccentric and brilliant, and Citroën sold around three million over 25 years, so it was a remarkable success. As well as numerous accolades over the decades, there was a special Citroën DS display as the centrepoint of last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed Cartier Style et Luxe, arranged by uber-aesthete, collector and dealer Lukas Hüni. The DS has arrived.

Tempted? Browse the classifieds for a Citroen DS

Jaguar XJ-S
From £8000
You know it’s true: every gentleman should experience a front-mounted V12 at some point in his lifetime. Most V12s are rare and expensive but Jaguar’s venerable XJ-S (XJS from ’92) need not be. Replacing the exquisite E-type was always going to be difficult and, when the XJ-S was launched with its bigger, angular bodywork and those rear buttresses, Jaguar enthusiasts groaned. Well, some 115,000 were manufactured over a 20-year period, making this one of the most successful Jaguar models. An XJ-S is more aerodynamic than the legendary E and certainly more refined when fitted with the silky 5.3-litre V12 engine. Early examples are becoming hard to find but the later convertibles with the 300bhp V12 are delicious. If you’re a cheapskate, the 4.0-litre straight-six is more sensible, if less glorious.
From £10,000
Led by the rise of the Stratos, Flaminia Zagato, Aurelia B20GT and B24 Spider, Lancia prices have recently taken off. But one of the best examples of the marque is the diminutive Fulvia. With two-cam V4 engines, front-wheel drive and all-wheel disc brakes, the Fulvia was a revelation when launched. The best is the early Series I, made until 1969 when Fiat took over and cheapened the engineering. Early cars have ally doors, bonnet and bootlid and power ranges from 70bhp to 101bhp for the 1300cc cars and 132bhp for the rally-winning 1600cc HF hot rods. The model you want is the still-affordable 1960s 92bhp 1.3S: delicate, beautifully made and a giant-killer on the road. If you are flush, the 101bhp 1.3 HF is a jewel.

Find your dream Lancia Fulvia for sale in the classifieds

Range Rover P38
From £5000
Now that Range Rover Classics are rare and pricey, how about looking at the later P38A? For about five grand you get a lot of comfort and off-road ability, and the Rangie’s looks are ageing well. There were problems with the Hevac ECU, so it’s worth having that checked or replaced, and the air suspension can play up but aftermarket compressors and air springs are now available to reduce the cost of overhaul. Get one in dark green or dark blue and you can arrive at any smart shoot in style. But fit a tow bar: you will probably have to pull some of the modern soft-roaders out of the mud…
From £8000
It’s amazing, the power of a badge. This Lotus from Luton is an excellent sports car with a humdrum Griffin motif on its grille (or Opel’s blitzstrahl in Europe). Based on Lotus’s innovative extruded aluminium chassis technology, the VX220 uses a reliable 145bhp, 2.2-litre naturally aspirated four driving the rear wheels through a five-speed gearbox. It weighs only 870kg so performance is sharp, with 0-60mph in just 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 135mph; and handling, with precise, unassisted steering, is superb. The arrival of the 197bhp turbo turned everything up to the max – it’s a better car than a Lotus Elise.

Browse the classifieds for a Vauxhall VX220

BMW 3.0 CS
From £20,000
The lairy BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile has come strongly into fashion and is popular as a Historic racer but you need to have 
a certain confidence to be comfortable with its overt nature. The more elegant version is the beautifully styled (E9) 2800CS, with its fabled straight-six. With only 170bhp the 2800 was no road rocket but you would never drive a beautiful cruiser like that anyway. The problem was ameliorated with the introduction of the 3.0CS and CSi. With the larger 2986cc capacity, the injected six produces 200bhp, not much less than the admittedly lighter CSL. An underrated and classy Grand Tourer.

Browse the classifieds for a BMW CS

From £16,000
MG sports cars offer good, honest motoring fun and can be tweaked and tuned to any spec you choose, from concours to competition. But if you want to add some smooth grunt and chassis composure, the 185bhp MG RV8 is the one. Its Rover V8 is a peach and the RV8 features a modified British Motor Heritage bodyshell with upgraded suspension, five-speed gearbox and vented front disc brakes. Weighing around 1100kg, the RV8 can hit 60mph in six seconds and has a top speed of 135mph. So it’s plenty fast enough, the upgraded styling now looks good and it has an affable nature. Only 2000 were built, with most going to Japan but quite a few having returned since.

Take a look at the MG RV8s for sale in the classifieds

Porsche 996 Turbo
From £35,000
As you are no doubt aware, classic Porsche 911 prices have gone ballistic over the last three years. But there is one model that has not joined in: the unloved 996. When it was launched, purists didn’t much like the obvious sharing of componentry with the lesser Boxster and it became apparent that Porsche’s new water-cooled flat-six had, er, issues – it might explode, thanks 
to an intermediate shaft-bearing problem. Porsche denied everything. Nevertheless, the 420bhp 996 Turbo launched in 2000 was different. Yes, the front still looked like a couple of fried eggs but it got fatter rear arches, four-wheel drive and the fabulous, tough, reliable Metzger engine (though still water-cooled), bred out of the GT1 Le Mans racer’s: 0-60mph in 4.0 seconds, a top speed of 190mph… and peace of mind!

Browse the classifieds for your ideal Porsche 996 Turbo here
From £30,000
Everybody wants a Bristol 411 but we prefer the preceding 410. Well, ‘everybody’ is not true, as most people really don’t ‘get’ Bristols. They are very much an acquired taste because they are the least showy classic cars in the world. Bet there’s not one Bristol in 
Las Vegas! The 410 has the superb Chrysler 5.2-litre V8 engine mated to an auto ’box and looks like a discreet Morris Oxford. Until you put your foot down – then it takes off with a muffled woofle. Only 82 of these cars were handbuilt, so they are difficult to find. The engine is no worry because it can be replaced with a ‘crate’ unit and Bristol Cars can restore or update the 410 so that it will blow the doors off most of its contemporaries. Not that anyone will notice…

BMW M3 E90
From £15,000
Let’s face it, the BMW M3 coupé is hardly the most subtle car around. Yet the more restrained, practical four-door saloon is different. With that lovely 4.0-litre V8 motor pushing out 414bhp and mated to a manual six-speed gearbox, the family man’s M3 is a real Q-car. And its dynamics are anything but boring. It will smack 60mph in 4.5sec and rush up to a controlled 155mph, while offering comfortable rear seats for passengers who are feeling brave. It’s just as fast and entertaining as the nouveau riche coupé; buy one in a discreet colour and have all the M badges removed.
Words: Robert Coucher

Porsche 996 Classifieds

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