“You built a time machine? Out of a DeLorean?” exclaimed Marty McFly. An unusual choice indeed, but perhaps not as unusual as what we would have gone for.
Had we bumped our head on the loo and been hit with the inspiration to create the Flux Capacitor, it would not have found its way into John DeLorean’s automotive brainchild. No, we would have fitted it to a car transporter. Admittedly we’d have to do some tinkering, as we’ve yet to see Scania’s finest do 88mph, but whatever. A car transporter would be our time machine.
But what’s that got to do with anything? Well, read on and you’ll see. We live for exploiting the £2,000 as much as is humanly possible. That said, there are cars we missed, or cars we had and then let go too soon. Cars that while once worthless, are now worth thousands and thousands. As this first look at missing the boat for all things Ford will show…
The Ford Zodiac…
This one still hurts. That picture up there? Yeah, that’s OUR old Zodiac. Of all the cars we have ever had, this is the one that still gets a wobble from our bottom lip when we think of it. In fact, we have a huge custom print of it hanging on the wall in our lounge. True fact.
But this is Not 2 Grand, not Changing Rooms, so that’s enough of that. The Zodiac is here because just a few short years ago they were worth hardly anything. We paid £500 for ours and then we swapped it for a Capri and bought it back a few years later for £1,500. It was no minter, but even so, it’d be a five grand car today. A mint one can nudge £17k.
Zodiacs were a real late bloomer, or a ‘just for the Ford guys’ kind of car. Now though, they’ve permeated the wider classic car world, so now there is no such thing as a cheap one. We were so very foolish to sell ours. But hey, at least it lives on.
The Ford Escort RS Turbo…
There was a time when you couldn’t give these away. The insurance was too much, the image of owning one was too crass, the rust was too all-consuming, nobody wanted them. And that’s a shame, because the Escort RS Turbo was an astounding car. The 132bhp 1.6 turbocharged engine made it a weapon. It was also the first front-wheel drive car to be fitted with a limited-slip differential, meaning you could use all 132 of your horses.
The got stolen though, lots. They got crashed. The got modified by people with absolutely no taste but altogether too much money. They just got ruined, basically. But like a fine wine, age was the RS Turbo’s friend. The forty-somethings started buying them, reliving their youth with their mid-life disposable income. And the prices went skyward. By how much? That white one above? That sold at auction for £60,000. Bloody hell.
The Ford Capri…
Another Ford we’ve had many of (our 1976 3.0S was without a doubt our favourite) and another Ford that follows the trend of being ‘all that’ to being completely unwanted to then being the cream of the crop.
When the first Capri rolled off the production line it was was billed as ‘the car you always promised yourself’. It was the European Mustang. A car for the man of the time that would impress his friends and woo the ladies. But then it all came to a crashing end in the ’80s when the car-buying public decided it wanted practicality rather than coupe looks. So the Capri fell by the wayside. Those that were kept on the road usually had their lives cut short by rust, which would eat a Capri from every angle. That or they were put in a ditch during some ‘spirited’ driving.
Now though, like the RS Turbo, we want to relive our youth. But that comes with a price. A rough Capri used to be pennies, now it’s thousands. A tidy one is well into four figures. A mint one, like the 280 above, that’ll be £90,000. Madness.
The Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth…
Okay, so this one only very briefly dipped its toe into the sub-£2k waters, but dip it did, so it counts. We were offered one in 2001 for £1,500 and it even had an MOT. It was probably supplied by Stevie Wonder Motors, but what else would you expect?
The Sapphire RS Cosworth was never quite as cool as its three-door brother, despite boasting the same, or in the case of the 4×4, better mechanicals. As such, it became the go-to car to rip the engine from in the name of transplanting it into another car. Usually a base-spec three-door Sierra, just to add insult to injury.
Then of course there was the rust issue that plagued all Fords of this era. However, the thing that really drove the value down was the spiralling insurance costs that arose from them being so thief friendly. Now though, that’s not a worry. A classic policy will cover you for not much dosh. Sadly the same can’t be said for the car, expect to pay £20k for a nice one.
The Ford Cortina…
Now, it’s no secret the Mk1 and Mk2 Cortinas are big money. Thanks to the Lotus link, they always have been. Then Gene Hunt came along and made everyone want a Mk3, so that went skywards. The Mk4 and 5 though, well, they never really registered high on the desirability scale. To be honest, we never thought they would. We had a 2.0GL estate and while it was a perfectly competent car, it wasn’t anything remarkable.
But remarkable or not, they have done that old Ford thing and gone through the roof. You might still be able to get a snotter for under £2,000, but given how much they love to rot (the rear ends can sort of fall out due to rust) that wouldn’t be advisable unless you need to top up your MIG tan. If you want a nice one, you’re going to be looking at £5,000 if you’re lucky, though it’s easy to spend twice that. And for what? A boring old sales-rep Ford. Who would have thought it?
Maybe now is the time to start buying up all the Mk1 Mondeos?