We all love money. It’s great, you can buy things with it. Things like cheese, or ornamental otters. You know, the really important stuff. The thing is, money – as our parents will always happily remind us – does not grow on trees. Despite being, technically, made from trees.Or at least it was. We now how those silly plastic notes with see-through bits – what’s that all about? Sorry.
Hit daytime TV show and home of the musical pun, Homes Under The Hammer (we miss you, Lucy) would have you believe property is is the only way to invest money and have it turn into more money. NONSENSE, we say. You can do it with cars, too. The motors of our youth are now rocketing up in value, so now is the time to buy.
But what, exactly, should you buy and hide away for a few years? Worry not, we have some suggestions…
The Vauxhall Calibra…
No, really. We love the Calibra. We’ve owned one, and we’ve waxed lyrical about why you should buy one in a separate post. And if our tireless trawling of eBay is anything to learn from, we’re bang on the money. People have taken a look around and realised that all the Calibras have gone. Either victims of rust, or lampposts, the numbers are dwindling. As such, the price for a good one is going up.
It was a truly handsome car, ahead of its 1989 release in both looks and drive, it was a car from a time when Vauxhall was bold and brave, not French and closing all its dealerships. Get a 2.0 16-valve and you’d have a riot. Get a 4×4 Turbo and you’d have scary-fast riot. Until the transfer case blew.
The Calibra was, and still is a good car. And one we promise will only go up in value.
The Peugeot 106 GTi…
Forget your Saxos (though they’re going up in value, too, so maybe don’t forget them), the 106 GTi is where it’s at. Small, basic, French but with a chassis to die for and a 1.6 16v engine that is at its happiest when the throttle is pinned. And because it’s about as big as hamster’s testicle, you only need to be going 8mph to have fun. This is a great, great pocket rocket.
But much like most cars of this era, they’re all but gone. Many fell victim of Lexus rear lights, budget suspension and DAT PUMPING BASS, and consequently ended up in scrap yards or wrapped around trees. The ones that survived are now piquing the interest of those in the know.
The stripped-out, steel wheeled Rallye versions are going for big bucks already. The GTi will follow. Trust us.
The BMW E39 Sport…
And the Sport bit is important, because that’s the best bit. This might just be us, but we adore the Sport. It took an already good car and just made it, well, perfect in our eyes. Okay, so the 520i Sport was a bit slow, but a 530i with a manual ‘box? Bliss. The 50/50 weight distribution, the consequent handling, the noise. Just… wonderful.
But as with any old BMW they soon fell from grace and ended up in the hands of those who didn’t care for them as they should, and as such, they got tired and baggy and broken and ruined. And that’s a crying shame because the E39 Sport is motoring perfection. The body changed are perfect, the seats and interior wonderful to be cocooned by, and you can get them in estate version. Handy.
You can still just about get one for under two grand that has history and that has been loved. And you should. Keep looking after an E39 Sport and it will look after you, guaranteed.
The Porsche 924…
If you say 924 only to be greeted by someone saying it has a van engine, punch them in the throat. Yes, the 2.0 in some 924 can be traced back to a van, but so can the YBT in a Sierra Cosworth, and you don’t see Gary from Dagenham complaining, do you?
The Porsche 924 was ahead of its time. It was released when the world wasn’t willing to accept Porsche could make anything other than the 911, and that’s a shame, because the the 924 was a sweet, characterful little car that, while not blistering, was fun and engaging to drive. It had pop-up lights, too, and we all know that they are the international symbol for cool.
These are already on the climb, and you’re not going to get a minter for two grand, but you can get something that’s road legal and ready to drive. Spend some time and money getting it perfect and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.
The Ford Focus ST170…
This is another we have already spoken about, but really, can you blame us? The Ford Focus ST170 was an astounding bit of kit. From a time when Ford started to build cars properly again, it was a solid, handsome machine. The 2.0 engine was, and still is, plucky and keen to be thrashed and the chassis with that class-leading independent rear suspension was a surefire ticket to joy.
Again, this is one of those cars that suffered at the hands of the Max Power generation. Search for a solid, original one though, and you’ll be glad you did. With loads of kit like leather, air con, CD and more, it’s still a modern place to be. And because it’s a Focus, it’s brilliantly practical, too. Hell, there’s even a (admittedly very rare) estate version.
This is the car that brought the ST badge into the limelight, and soon prices are going to reflect that.