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Pick Up A Classic For 3000 Or Less


So far we’ve given you ideas for classics for a bargain £1,000 and a frugal £2,000.

 

Now, we’re starting to get more serious, with classics that you can bag for £3,000 or under.

 

It’s still a fairly small amount of money, but it should mean you’ll have little problem finding yourself a classic car that you should be able to drive away without thinking too much about what needs doing to it. Here we offer a few options – both mainstream and a little more obscure.

 

As always, before you buy make sure you check the history, get a full MOT and have an expert assess your potential purchase.

 

Fiat 500

 

A seminal post-war car that got Italy back on the move with cheap, nimble, stylish transport, good ones cost a lot more than £3,000. But that doesn't mean that you can't get one for our budget here, with decent runners available for that sub-£3k sum. They might need a bit of love, but it is possible to find one.

 

 

Produced between 1957 and 1975, the original Fiat 500 measured less than three metres and had a tiny, air-cooled, 500cc engine. It's rightly considered the first city car, at home on Italy's tight streets and easy to park.

 

The 500 was an incredible success, with not far short of 4,000,000 produced over its lifetime - and it's one of the most chic classics that money can buy today.

 

Ford Fiesta

 

Another little city car, which began life a slightly unbelievable 40 years ago, in 1976, the Fiesta was also born at a time when frugal transport, against the backdrop of a global oil crisis, was popular. It came initially with a 0.9-litre engine and was sold mostly in Europe, only being available in Ford's native USA for the first few years of its life. Indeed, it was conceived in 1972, just as two similar cars - the Fiat 127 and Renault 5 - were launched.

 

 

It also went up against another car that was set to last for decades, the VW Polo, along with the likes of the Austin Metro. Sure to bring back childhood memories for many, it continues to be sold in name today and remains one of the UK's best-selling cars.

 

With plenty on the market at less than £3,000, it's an ideal starter classic - simple to maintain and not without practicality.

 

Hillman Minx

 

The Hillman Minx was actually sold between 1932 and 1970, but for your £3,000 we're looking at later versions from the 1960s. From the mid-1950s until the mid-1960s the Minx was a huge seller, with the final version launched in 1967. It was generally found in saloon and estate forms.

 

 

A larger version, the Super Minx, was also offered, along with a shorter car called the Husky and even a van derivative. As a classic piece of British motoring, the Minx is one to look for if you want a car from a bygone era for your budget.

 

Land Rover

 

A timely mention for the old Landie, as the final version has just rolled off the production line after nearly 70 years in production. One of the hardest-working, most versatile and well-loved British vehicles of all time, it is credited as being the original 4x4. That said, it was inspired by the wartime American Willy's Jeep and, since its inception in 1947, it has been sold in a huge number of variants and has been used by the military, emergency services and explorers around every terrain known to man.

 

 

Mint versions will cost you much more than the £3,000 we've got to spend here, but you can pick up a workhorse with a bit of character for around that amount.

 

Now that new ones are a thing of the past, the values of Land Rovers are only heading upwards.

 

Mercedes-Benz 240 W123

 

Seriously, are there many cooler cars than this? This is one of the most memorable Mercedes-Benz styles and shapes. It looks solid as a rock - and there are plenty still going around the world. The W123 was built between 1976 and 1985 and more than 2.6 million were made.

 

 

Most of them were four-door saloons, but just under 200,000 estates were made, along with a shade under 100,000 coupes. And even the much rarer estate can be found for under £3,000. At the time the W123 was the most successful Merc of all time and models can be found with engines ranging from 2 litres to 3 litres.

 

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