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A look into the world of classic cars

PUBLISHED: 15:59 07 September 2016 | UPDATED: 15:59 07 September 2016

1941 roadster

1941 roadster


When it comes to top level vintage collectables - few things can beat the perfect car. Carol Burns finds out more...

Ask anyone for their dream car and you are likely to get surprising detail – whether it’s a 1980s classic 911 Porsche, Lamborghini Countach, red Ferrari Testarossa, James Bond’s 1960s Aston Martin DB5 (of course) or my own personal favourite the Hillman Imp, seriously.

So it’s fair to say there are few collectables that traverse the gamut from kitsch vintage to multi-million pound classic so easily as the car – but the not-so-simple automobile is probably among the most widely collected, especially by those who don’t consider themselves antique people.

There are vintage cars that people love to drive – the VW camper van and his little brother the VW Beetle have remained top of the hipster scoreboard for decades – so much so that VW brought them back in a modern form. Volkswagen has a great record in creating future collectables – the Golf GTI Mark 1 is already fetching anything from a few thousand to five figures. Then there’s the Mini - this lovely little car that shouts its British-ness has its own owner’s club. There are regular meets where Minis are lined up as far as the eye can see and owners will flash their lights at each other whenever they meet.

Such is the appetite for classic cars that there is a whole industry devoted to predicting future classic cars - those in the know tip the much-loved Ford Capri to become a future collectable – buy one now for £2,000-10,000 and who knows what it will be worth in a decade or two. The original Audi TT is also considered a design classic but can still be bought for just a few thousand pounds. And it goes without saying that anything with the leaping panther on its bonnet is sure to be a good investment – I’ve found an E-Type 1965 Jaguar for £245,000 for my Christmas list. Of course the Hillman Imp is still on my list (I am not alone - see and incidentally now sells for up to £15,000.

At the other end of the scale there are the very old, the very rare – and the very sporty. Rarity combined with demand as always dominates price and as with all antiques, provenance plays its role. The Aston Martin used in the James Bond films will always fetch more than any other that rolled off the factory floor that day.

So how much can a classic car cost? The most expensive car ever sold is thought to be a Ferrari 250 GTO, which sold for £32million in 2013 (a private sale). In most multi-million pound classic car lists you’ll see Ferrari – often its 1960s models -as well as old Mercedes Benz, Bugattis and Lamborghinis (lovely to think this ultimate luxury car make came out of a tractor manufacturing company). Classic luxury cars like Rolls Royce – every bride’s favourite - are still quite affordable. Pick up a 1920s Roller for £30,000 up to the classic turn of the century Silver Ghost which goes for more than £1million.

Appetite whetted? Head to the Quest channel’s Chasing Classic Cars – following classic car chasers with millions to spend and Wheelers Dealers, the slightly cheaper British version.


Chewton Glen to Thruxton in a Ferrari California T - This month, Mark Whitchurch travels from the lap of luxury to laps of exhilaration as he journeys in a Ferrari California T between Chewton Glen and Thruxton race track

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