5 great cars that will potentially become future classics
Porsche 911 (996) Turbo, Turbo S and Carrera 4S
Arguably the best-loved version of the least-loved 911, the first water-cooled 911 Turbo. Popular condemnation of the 996 centres on its flat six’s fragility, but the Turbo’s 414bhp and Turbo S 444bhp motor is much more solid – and potent. While also the Carrera 4S wide rear-end, used in 993 Turbos, makes it a desirable machine.
Lotus Esprit 1993-2004
You would be wise to approach any ageing Lotus with trepidation. After all, this is a brand historically not associated with rigid quality control or bulletproof engineering. But you would need to swallow only a fairly small brave pill before buying a Series 4 Esprit. Better to drive than past iterations, thanks to power steering, anti-lock brakes and a reconfigured cabin, it’s still a supercar that you can use daily. Most valuable ones are obviously no other than the 3.5L twin-turbo V8 version.
Mercedes-Benz E-class Estate W124 1985-1996
The W124 was rated as the best used car in the world in 2008 by AUTOCAR and that would still be true today if values hadn’t risen substantially in the 12 intervening years. A starting price of around £3500 means this swank tank is nudging true classic status, but its characteristic indestructibility sets it up for continued daily service.
FIAT Panda 4x4 1983-2003
Is there any stronger proof of ‘bigger isn’t always better’? The Panda’s tiny 965cc engine puffs out just 48bhp, but its Steyr-Puch 4x4 system makes it unstoppable off road. It has become one of the most fashionable modern classics going, but rust has plagued them in the UK, so consider looking in Cyprus or Italy.
BENTLEY TURBO R and RT 1985-1997
Even if the new Flying Spur is the most impressive Bentley in recent memory, it remains largely unattainable for most, courtesy of its £170,000 price. So let’s set our sights on the straight-edged Turbo R, produced from 1985 to 1999 and available today from just £10,000.
That’s right: you can bag this 2.5-tonne luxury behemoth for the price of a used Ford Fiesta, and the acres of sumptuous leather and burbling 6.75-litre V8 are unlikely to leave you feeling short-changed. Too good to be true? Not quite, but abandon all hope of bargain motoring. Now, talking about the Turbo RT, that requires deep pockets, with starting prices of £35,000.