So far we’ve taken you through our guide to classic cars you can buy for budgets from £1,000 to £20,000.
In between we’ve also looked at £2,000, £3,000, £5,000 and £10,000. In this penultimate part of the series we’re up to £25,000 – serious money for most people.
At this money there’s so much choice it could be bewildering unless you’ve got a particular motor in mind. If you haven’t, here we offer just a few possibilities. For lots more, visit our for sale section.
As always, before you buy make sure you check the history, get a full MOT and have an expert assess your potential purchase.
This one from Norfolk’s finest is probably one of Lotus’ best-known cars among the wider populous.
Car fans will know, of course, that Lotus produced some crackers in the 1960s, such as the Elan, all sticking to founder Colin Chapman’s ‘add lightness’ philosophy. It would probably be argued that the Esprit moved away from that, being as it was altogether chunkier.
Launched in 1976, it lasted until 2004, with nearly 11,000 made. Aside from adorning teenagers’ bedroom walls, the Esprit found fame as a fictional submarine car in the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.
Five generations were made in all – we’d argue that the earlier cars are the prettiest, even if the later ones are probably more well-recognised.
From a golden era of British sports car manufacturing, the TR4 was built by Triumph from 1961 to 1965.
It was based on previous TR sports cars – excellent example of which can also be had in this price bracket – but had a more modern body, styled by Italian Giovanni Michelotti.
It was a successful car, which more than 40,000 built in those four years, with its rugged image proving a hit with buyers.
Its body style saw the end of the cutaway door design of its predecessors and an angular rear end meant that it had a decent-sized boot for a sports car, all adding to its appeal.
A giant of automotive history, the Porsche 911 is still going strong today, having been in production since 1963.
In that time visually it has maintained its distinctive shape largely – born of course from the original 1930s VW Beetle design – although it has seen many variants and innovations in its 50-plus year life.
The German legend had air-cooled engines right up until 1998 and for this budget it’s probably 1980s and 1990s cars that are within reach.
Indeed, it is thought that around 150,000 cars built between 1964 and 1989 are still on the road, so there’s plenty of opportunity to find a good one, especially with £25,000 to spend. As driver’s cars go there are few, most would argue, better than the 911.
Ford Model T
Yes, really – if you want a legendary car, how about this for size?
Although cars had already been around for a good couple of decades before the Ford Model T came along in 1908, it is the car credited with bringing affordable, mass-produced, motoring to the masses.
Henry Ford pioneered manufacturing techniques that continually brought the cost of the car down and he mobilised America in the process. Ford famously said that customers could have ‘any colour as long as it’s black’, but the Model T wasn’t actually available in black until 1913, instead it could be had in grey, green, blue and red.
The Model T was sold, practically unchanged, until 1927 and, in that time, more than 16.5 million were bought. And, while they’re pretty rare these days, they can be found on the market for this money or less.
Nissan S30/Datsun 240Z
The beginning of a dynasty of ‘Z’ cars from Nissan, the S30, sold in some markets as the Datsun 240Z, was a two-seat coupe produced from 1969 to 1978.
In the UK it wasn’t good news for home-grown cars – it was priced within a few hundred pounds of the MGB, for example, and was an altogether more modern and better-built car. That made it a big success, particularly in America, where imports from Britain and Germany had been the big sellers until then.
The car was, indeed, part of a watershed time for Japanese manufacturing, which was beginning to make serious headway on the global stage having recovered from the devastation of World War Two.
It was the start of something very big indeed.