25 May 2011

Top 10 British cars to buy right now

  1. 1968-2006 Morgan Plus 8 — An aluminum V-8 in a car similar to an MG TF is a recipe for big fun and the Moggie delivers. Recently out of production and always in demand, there’s nowhere to go but up. $35,000-$65,000
  2. 1978-79 TVR 3000S roadster — A bit obscure, but this car really has it all, great looks, a sophisticated tube chassis and plenty of power via a 2.9-liter Ford V-6. Low production numbers mean a potentially long search, but this is one vehicle that’s bound to appreciate in the long run. $16,000-$20,000
  3. 1967-74 Lotus Elan +2 — One of if not the only case of the 2+2 coupe being prettier than the roadster, the Elan +2 may well be the prettiest collector car you can buy for under $25,000. Rare, from a storied marque, quick and very attractive make for a good proposition for future appreciation. $15,000-$22,000
  4. 1977-80 Lotus Esprit S1-S2 — Another Lotus, this one the wedge icon Esprit by Giorgetto Giugiaro. Good enough for 007 to use in several outings, Esprits are the supercar bargain and not likely to stay cheap forever. $12,000-$15,000
  5. 1995-2004 Aston Martin DB7 — The DB7 sits on the cusp between used car and collectible — it’s finished depreciating and nearly anything Aston Martin has been hot in the collector car market of late. Hold time may be a bit longer, but it seems a relative certainty for collectability. Opt for a manual transmission coupe. $26,000-$60,000
  6. 1989-2000 Aston Martin Virage — The DB7’s predecessor was a hand-built car in the tradition of the David Brown-era cars. It’s big, brawny and fast and stands out as undervalued among Astons and supercars in general. Like the DB7, a manual transmission coupe is the way to go. $35,000-$70,000
  7. Triumph TR8 — Sub-$15,000 V-8 roadsters are thin on the ground these days. While the wedge styling of the TR8 is a bit polarizing and quality control issues were legendary, survivors have been sorted out and can be quite entertaining. $9,000-$15,000
  8. Jensen Interceptor — A British interior complete with Connolly leather and a polished walnut dash, Italian styling by Vignale and a Chrysler 440 V-8 can only be a Jensen Interceptor. They’re worth twice in the UK what they’re bringing now in the U.S. This situation won’t last indefinitely. Buy one right now. $15,000-$25,000
  9. Alvis TD/TF21 — Relatively unknown in the U.S., the Alvis TS21 has the same upper-crust British look as a Rolls or a Bentley, but with available ZF 5-speed gearboxes and wire wheels, is much more sporting. They’re generally priced at about half of what you’d think to look at them. $25,000-$50,000
  10. Jaguar E-type SIII — Some people compare the SIII E-type to the 1970s version of Elizabeth Taylor. Still, the complex V-12 SIII has its merits. Anything else with a V-12 in front, wire wheels and a manual transmission will set you back more than $600,000. Prices have been on the rise lately. $25,000-$65,000


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