Classic Car Buyers Guides

Buying a classic car can be a daunting task as well as an expensive one if you get it wrong. With that, we've put together a series of buying guides to help you find your perfect vehicle.

BMW 840

Following the demise of the 6 Series the announcement of the BMW 8 Series (or E31 model) at the 1989 Frankfurt Motor Show was welcomed by fans of the brand. Loaded with kit and featuring technology such as multiplex wiring, the first mod...

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Caterham 7

Starting life as the Lotus 7, the history of the Caterham goes back more than forty years. The company had started in the 1960s when it was a distributor for the Lotus model, but in 1973 the owner, Graham Nearns, purchased the rights to ...

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Ford Fiesta XR2

Fast Fords have a cult following amongst enthusiasts, and in 1981 they were treated to the Ford Fiesta XR2. The small hatchback upon which it was based had been launched five years earlier, and was already extremely popular, but for the ...

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Jensen Interceptor Mk 3

Launched at the Earls Court Motor Show in October 1966, the Jensen Interceptor was a beguiling mix of Italian styling and American engines. Designed by coachbuilder, Touring of Milan, the early cars were built by Vignale before being shi...

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Porsche 911 2.7 Targa

The introduction of the 2.7 model in 1974 was a significant change for the popular sports car, as not only did it get a larger engine but also the addition of the ‘impact bumpers’. The latter were required to meet strict American regula...

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Range Rover P38a

Replacing the original and much-loved Range Rover was never going to be easy, but in September 1994 that task fell to the P38a. Not everyone admired the styling – some people rather unkindly compared it to the London taxi of the time – a...

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Rover P5B

Adored by British Royalty and Prime Ministers alike, the Rover P5 mixed luxury with a stately appearance. Available in saloon and coupe forms, it was launched with a six-cylinder engine at the 1958 Earls Court Motor Show, but the car we’...

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BMW 635CSi

Designed by the talented Paul Bracq, the shark-nosed BMW 6 Series (the E24 as it was known) was launched in 1976. Two years later the 635CSi joined the range, powered by a 3.5-litre engine and featuring larger spoilers and plenty of luxu...

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BMW 2002 Tii

Developed from the 1600 saloon, BMW launched the 2002 (the ‘02’ indicated two doors) in 1968 and it proved an instant hit with buyers after a practical sporting saloon combined with quality engineering. A second generation model was prod...

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Jaguar Mk 2

Loved by fictional detectives and racing drivers alike the Jaguar Mk2 is a proper British sports saloon that retains plenty of appeal today. Launched in 1959, it featured more curvaceous styling than the Mk 1 along with a revised front e...

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Mazda MX-5

The idea for Mazda’s two-seater sports car had first been raised as far back as 1979, but it wasn’t until January 1984 that work started on developing what would become the world’s best-selling roadster. The Mazda MX-5 debuted at the Chi...

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MGA

After the vintage look of the T-Series MGs, the ‘A’ ushered in a more modern style although it still retained a separate chassis (the last MG to do so). Launched in 1955, it was also the first appearance of the B-Series engine which woul...

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Peugeot 205GTI

The 1980s was the decade of the hot hatchback. Launched in April 1984, the Peugeot 205 GTI added sporting exterior touches to the pretty Gerard Welter-designed bodywork and featured a revvy 1.6-litre, all-aluminium ‘XU’ engine. With 105b...

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Porsche 924

Launched in 1976 as a replacement for the 914, the Porsche 924 was actually assembled by VW/Audi at its Neckarsulm plant. Going on sale in the UK in 1977, a 2.0-litre engine that was derived from the Audi 100 (not a VW van as many would ...

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Porsche 928

The Porsche 928 was actually intended by the company as a replacement for the rear-engine 911, which would certainly have upset the enthusiasts. Luckily, Porsche changed their minds and the impressive grand tourer would stay in productio...

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Range Rover Vogue SE

It’s amazing to think that the legendary Range Rover is more than forty years old. Overseen by engineering supremo, Charles Spencer King, it was launched in September 1970 as a more comfortable alternative to the Land Rover. It was still...

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Triumph Spitfire 1500

‘Project Bomb’ as it was known was launched as the Triumph Spit re at the 1962 Earls Court Motor Show. The Triumph Herald underpinnings were clad in stylish Michelotti-designed bodywork, and the car proved immediately popular with buyer...

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Triumph TR6

The TR range of Triumphs reaches all the way back to 1953 with the introduction of the TR2, but September 1968 saw the arrival of the TR6. Going on sale the following year, Triumph chose Karmann to carry out a budget re-design of the TR...

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Fiat 500

Conceived as a cheap and economical way of getting Italians off scooters and onto four wheels, the tiny Fiat 500 (or ‘Cinquecento’) arrived in 1957. Less than ten feet long, it was designed by Dante Giacosa and powered by small two-cylin...

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Land Rover 90

The iconic Land Rover has finally gone out of production, having been introduced in 1948. The car here, the 90, arrived in 1984 effectively replacing the Series 3 although it benefitted from revised front end styling and mechanical chang...

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Mercedes-Benz 230E

A replacement for Mercedes’ W114/5 model, the W123 as it was known appeared on the market in 1976. Initially available in saloon form only, it was joined by a stylish ‘CE’ coupe in 1977 and an estate model a year later. It was intended t...

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Audi TT Mk 1

If ever a car was set to become an instant modern classic it was the Audi TT, a model that wowed buyers at its launch in September 1998. Unveiled three years previously as a design concept, the final model kept the Bauhaus-inspired styli...

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Ferrari 308 GT4

Even now there are people that say this isn’t a ‘proper’ Ferrari, but ignore them as this stylish coupe very much deserves the Prancing Horse badge. Introduced at the 1973 Paris Motor Show, the GT4 was designed by Bertone – rather than t...

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Isetta 300

Go back all the way to the 1950s and one way for motorists to save money was by buying a bubble car. Quirky they may have been but they gained a big following thanks to their simple construction and low running costs, and in 1955 BMW got...

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Jaguar E-Type Series 3

The term ‘iconic’ is often over-used when it comes to cars, but it surely applies to the Jaguar E-Type. When the original was launched in 1961, Enzo Ferrari was said to have called it the most beautiful car in the world and it’s been a h...

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Jaguar XJ-C

Jaguar’s XJ was already a fine luxury saloon, but if you wanted an extra helping of style you had to wait until April 1975 when the company launched the pretty two-door coupe. Although the Series II saloon had been launched a couple of y...

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MGB GT

One of the most popular and best-loved classics of all time, and arriving three years after the MGB (itself a replacement for the more old-fashioned MGA) the BGT was launched at the 1965 Earls Court Motor Show and quickly gained a reputa...

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Range Rover Mk 3 (L322)

Developed by BMW and the first Range Rover to replace the separate chassis with a monocoque body shell, the third generation model (codenamed L322) arrived in February 2002. Still supremely capable off road, its styling was more reminisc...

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Porsche 911 (993) Targa

The wonderful Porsche 911 had already been on sale for fifty years by the time the ‘993’ version arrived in late 1993. More smoothly styled than the outgoing ‘964’ generation, the new look was the work of British designer, Tony Hatter. B...

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Volkswagen Brazilian Bay Window

Production of the much-loved Bay Window might have ended in Europe, but that wasn’t the end of the story. In fact, until 2013 some 35,000 were still being built every year in Brazil with the model representing something of a mix of Split...

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Porsche Boxster S (986)

The Porsche Boxster went on sale in October 1996 and is widely credited with being the model that saved the company. With finances in a bad way, a smaller and cheaper sports car was needed that would slot below the legendary 911 and attr...

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Volkswagen Beetle

Iconic is a much over-used word when it comes to cars, but the Volkswagen Beetle – the original ‘People’s Car’ – surely qualifies for such a term. Initially the brainchild of Adolf Hitler, it was designed and built by the legendary Ferdi...

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Volkswagen Type 2 Split Screen

With Beetle production underway, the company turned their attention to a vehicle that would shape a generation. The Volkswagen Type 2 arrived in 1950, it’s unique design featuring a split front windscreen that earned it the name ‘Splitti...

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BMW M5 (E39)

The first BMW M5 arrived back in 1984, and was based on the then-current E28 5-Series. Fourteen years later the company launched the E39 model, a muscular four-door sports saloon powered by a 400bhp V8 engine. Driving the rear wheels thr...

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Volkswagen Type 25

By 1980, the legendary van had become the Volkswagen T3 (also known as the T25). Larger, and squarer in design, it had lost the cool-factor associated with its predecessors but would still prove popular. It started out with air-cooled fo...

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Volkswagen T5

Essentially an evolution of the VW T4, the Volkswagen T5 arrived on the market in 2003. Staying in production until 2015, buyers could choose from various body styles including panel van, camper, and people carrier, all of which brought ...

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Volkswagen T4

1990 saw the introduction of the Volkswagen T4, ensuring the long-running range of T-series models were much more up to date. Rear engines had disappeared, the T4 featuring front-mounted engines and front-wheel drive, surrounded by a str...

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Morgan Plus 4

It might look old fashioned but a Morgan is a very special car indeed, and one that has a huge enthusiast following across the world. The factory in Malvern, England has been building these unique cars for more than 100 years with buyers...

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Ford Capri Laser

Originally launched back in 1969 and marketed with the slogan ‘The car you always promised yourself’, the Ford Capri was Britain’s answer to the Mustang. It soon proved hugely popular with buyers wanting style on a sensible budget, and i...

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Lotus Elise Series 2

Lotus founder, Colin Chapman, was famous for his philosophy of ‘simplify then add lightness’ and the Lotus Elise certainly embodies that. Launched in 1996, the new car took a minimalist approach to performance motoring, and was construct...

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Triumph Stag

Launched in 1970, the Triumph Stag was designed by famous Italian stylist, Giovanni Michelotti. Initially, Stag was just a code name used during development but was soon adopted for the finished car, but while sales were ultimately disap...

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Citroen 2CV

The 2CV – or Deux Chevaux – is one of the world’s best loved classics with more than 5 million built before sales ended in 1990. Produced in a number of countries across the world, it was even made in Slough, England for a time. The car ...

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Audi Quattro

Known by enthusiasts as the ‘Ur-Quattro’ (for original), the coupe made its debut at the 1980 Geneva Motor Show and would go on to dominate world rallying in the hands of drivers such as Hannu Mikkola and Michelle Mouton (the first woman...

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TVR Cerbera

TVRs have always been about style and performance, and the Cerbera that was launched in 1996 was hugely impressive on both counts. It had been unveiled at the London Motor Show three years earlier, and the sleekly futuristic styling – bo...

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Porsche 944 Turbo

The Porsche 944 had been launched in 1982 and sat between the 924 and powerful 928 in the firm’s range. With muscular styling and superb handling, it proved a hit with buyers but those wanting greater performance had to wait until 1985 a...

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Jaguar XK8

Similar in style and purpose to the Aston Martin DB7, the Jaguar XK8 was launched at the 1996 Geneva Motor Show where it wowed crowds with its sleek looks and powerful engine. Featuring a modi ed Jaguar XJS platform, the 4.0-litre AJ26 V...

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BMW Z1

Thanks to unusual styling and rather eye-catching sliding doors, the quirky BMW Z1 certainly drew plenty of attention when it was launched at the 1987 Frankfurt Motor Show. Featuring a galvanised steel chassis and plastic panels that cou...

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Bentley Mulsanne Turbo

Essentially the Bentley version of the Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit, the Mulsanne was very re ned and impressively opulent inside but sales were disappointingly slow. To address that, the company decided a faster version was called for and ...

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Alfa Romeo Spider Series 2

For anyone after a stylish two-seater convertible, the Alfa Romeo Spider should be high on the wish list. The pretty Pininfarina looks first appeared on the boat-tail ‘Duetto’ model back in 1966, and fitted with a punchy twin-cam engine ...

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Austin Mini – 1959 to 1967

Few cars are as famous as the Mini, and it’s one that needs little in the way of introduction. Launched in 1959, the design was the work of Alec Issigonis and it was to revolutionise the world of family motoring. Just ten feet in length ...

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Volkswagen Type 2 Bay Window

Bigger and heavier than the original, the development of the Volkswagen Type 2 became the ‘Bay Window’ model. Losing the split screen front end, it arrived in 1968 and benefitted from a number of improvements including independent rear s...

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Morris Minor 1000 Traveller

Code-named ‘Project Mosquito’ and designed by the man behind the Mini, Alec Issigonis, the Morris Minor was launched in 1948. By 1961 it had become the first British car to sell 1000,000 examples and the ‘Moggie’ has remained hugely popu...

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Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 Cosworth

When Mercedes-Benz decided they wanted to go racing in the German touring car series, they turned to the compact 190 model as the basis. The car they used was the Mercedes-Benz 190 2.3-16 Cosworth which went on sale in September 1984, fe...

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Mercedes-Benz SLK (R170)

Folding hard tops weren’t a new innovation, but the Mercedes-Benz SLK re-ignited interest in a big way and the design was soon copied by a number of mainstream car makers. Code-named the R170 model, the new two seater was launched at the...

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Aston Martin DB7

Thanks to gorgeous styling and proper grand touring ability, the DB7 was a big hit with fans of the Aston brand. Launched in 1994 the car was designed by Ian Callum and based on (much revised) Jaguar XJS underpinnings, and was initially ...

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Lancia Delta HF Integrale

Lancia already had a four-wheel drive, turbocharged Delta model in their range but the launch of the Integrale in November 1987 would take things a step further. Intended to achieve success in world rallying, the new model certainly look...

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