Imagine you're an owner of granny’s old shopper and sold it to a fresh-faced college student for next to nothing. You later learn that “old faithful” has made the latest list of classic cars and is now selling for a fortune at the auctioneers. Heart-breaking, yes, but a lesson in how quickly vehicle classes bump up from junk status to classic car.
A Classic Car in your Backyard
In the UK we’ve been blessed with an array of heritage vehicles that have been designed and manufactured locally, and shipped across the world.
Not only does it mean we have first dibs at a relatively and potentially lower price, but we’re also privy to some of the most obscure and hard to find classic cars around. Just think, one of tomorrow’s newly ordained classics could very well be gathering rust in your backyard right now!
We’ve compiled a top ten list of what may very well be future classics and, while some are hard to find, many could still be circulating at your local autojumble.
#1 Ford Focus ST170
Good luck finding an unmodified, tip-top-running (electrically-speaking), version of this modern (soon-to-be) classic. It’s predecessor, the Escort, is a very well-known family car and the Focus ST170 has continued in that tradition.
Stark differences between the two are the Focus’ performance and output versus the more modest and economic Escort. With rising pricing lately, there’s been a greater demand in Europe for collectors to get their hands on the ST170 and experience the charm and performance first-hand.
Expect to pay: £1,000 - £2,000
#2 Rover MGF
With a well-known tagline as one of the most overlooked and affordable best-value sports cars, it’s easy to see why the MFG is poised to be a future classic.
Locally manufactured, LDV, Morris, Land Rover and Austin-Rover famously scavenged the Leyland parts bin to contribute in resurrecting a production car worthy of praise. Often compared to the Mazda MX-5 from 1989, the MGF, after being in development hell for years launched in 1995 at the Geneva Motor Show. It’s popular for matching exceptional performance (for the ‘90s) with a modest price point.
Oh, and it’s also well-known for being Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham’s ride of choice at one stage – do with that what you will.
Expect to pay: £1,000 - £3,500
#3 Fiat Coupe 20V Turbo
No doubt you’ve seen a ton of these around before. French manufactured Fiat joins its contemporary Renault as the only imports on our list of top-notch future classics. While a fantastic car, there’s not too much we need to say about the sleek 20V Turbo except ... it’s fast!
Performance was very much the order of the day here for Fiat, and the 20V Turbo may very easily join the annuls of classic car stardom as one of the more powerful and moderately-priced modern classics. Current or potential owners will do well to be weary of its affinity to rust.
Expect to pay: Upwards of £1,400
#4 Jaguar XJ6 Series 1-3
The XJ6 stands apart from other modern Jag types as one of its most classy saloons over the past 40 years. A belter then and now, the XJ6 series is a refined and stylish entry to the Jag catalogue.
Around since the late 1960’s, this luxurious V12, 4.2L screams elegance not only regarding the body, but also in the interior and under the hood - the complete triple threat. If you’re lucky you can pick this one up for a steal – but be warned, a savvy seller could twist your arm if they’ve made sure to not let the wheel arches, scuttle and interior gain any wear and tear over the years.
Expect to pay: £5,500 - £20,000
#5 VW Golf MK2 GTI
Perhaps one of the more popular and easily recognised cars on the list – the MK2 GTI set the standard for the slew of modern VW “super performance” Golf models out there today.
The MK2 GTI was also the car of choice for many youngsters starting out with their first "performance car" at a more moderate price point. If you’ve managed to hold on to your University mover and shaker, there’s good news coming your way as this one is touted to be a classic by both sellers and collectors alike. Even better news is that there's no shortage of parts or stock when buying from the right dealers.
The performance-focused GTI, if well-maintained, is most certainly a future classic and should be well worth your while for a resale in the next few years. So, hold on tight.
Expect to pay: Upwards of £6,000
#6 MG ZT V8
A very difficult find, with parts that may be very hard to come by, the ZT V8 may be a typical car – well-known and definitely seen around town – but that’s what makes it so hard to find.
The difficulty lies in acquiring one that’s in pristine condition. Many pre-owned models suffer from wear and tear, and many are plagued with high mileage. A great car to add to your collections list but being that the ZT with its robust V8 engine was such a popular model, collectors will find it extremely hard to locate one in great shape.
Expect to pay: £7,000 - £12,000
#7 Renault Clio Williams
Good luck trying to find an unmodified version of this sporty hatchback. Even more luck trying to find a Clio with low or moderate mileage! So popular is/was this French hatch that it was a firm favourite both locally and globally entering the range as a well-priced sporty saloon.
You'd recognise it best when drenched in decals and whizzing around the track as a popular stock car saloon racer.
Expect to pay: £7,500 - £15,000
#8 Audi RS6 C5 Avant
An interesting entry from the team at Audi. This model tried to match performance with family space and economy. With a modest price range considering its performance, the Audi RS6 has been compared to the Porsche 911 at a fraction of the price tag.
Easily my favourite car on this list, the RS6 is so synonymous with power it’s a staple resident around most underground street races … to date. The slower gearbox and suspension have seen many collectors modify this beast of a car, so yet again, getting one that’s stock standard may be difficult. A very classy and luxurious interior finish shows that the RS6 was built to last, with no skimping on quality.
Expect to pay: £8,000 - £15,000
#9 Jaguar XJS V12
Another Jaguar entry to the list, and another convertible. The XJS V12 is perhaps the most important entry to the list by virtue only of the incredible V12 engine – arguably the most exquisite Jaguar engine ever manufactured.
With that said, the engine is often prone to head gasket failure, and whether you’re an owner or a collector looking to buy, this issue either has or will crop up if putting this Jag model through its paces. Either way, the XJS V12 deserves its spot on the list by aligning a fine build aesthetic, sleek interior and powerful performance index – all the makings of a future classic.
Expect to pay: Upwards of £9,000
#10 Aston Martin DB7 V12
Not to be outdone by Jaguar – the iconic Aston Martin DB7 deserves an entry to our list of future classics as well. Another powerful V12 engine, the DB7 marries style and sophistication with raw power in this model.
Better known as the “Bond-mobile” the DB5 cemented the Aston Martin name in history when James Bond first tore up the Scottish Highlands in an epic car chase complete with spy gadgets and fantastical motoring wizardry.
Since then, every young person who’s ever watched James Bond and the immortalised Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger or Thunderball has wanted to get their hands on one. The DB7 would further entrench this fascination with its blistering V12 under the hood.
A higher price point here might deter potential buyers, but remember, as a future classic this price is only likely to soar in time. As an owner or seller, maintenance on the DB7 is extremely costly as you well know but consider it an investment if you’re planning to resell in the coming years.
Expect to pay: Upwards of £20,000
Don't know where to start? Motoring Classics can lend a hand
Parts and restoration is the name of our game, and that of our sister store British Motoring Heritage. Whether selling or collecting, get in touch with us around:
- Which classic car dealerships we recommend
- How to care for or store your classic car
- How to get your classic car in tip-top shape for the next UK motor show
If full-scale restoration is on the cards, or you’d like to revive your classic car collectible – you know who to get in touch with. Explore our full range of spares and parts or reach out to us for a bespoke project.