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The Classic Car Bargains Of 2017


It’s a brand new year and, as we look to shake off the January blues, we’re all looking forward to the year ahead.

That might be a holiday, or planning an experience that you’ve never done before.

Or, we wager if you’re reading this, it could well be that classic car purchase that you’ve always dreamed off. But we’re realistic – most people have a budget and will want to get as much car for as little money as possible.

So we’ve had a scout around to see what the classic car bargains of 2017 might be – including some cars that we reckon will become bona fide classics this year.

Check out our classic cars for sale section to find yours.

Citroen XM

Launched in 1989 as the replacement for the CX, the Citroen XM has lots of French quirkiness and typifies the brand. And it’s rapidly becoming a collectors’ item.

The latest edition of the Big Citroen at the time, the XM inherited a loyal customer base, though it didn’t enjoy the same commercial success of its predecessors, the aforementioned CX and the iconic DS.

Power came in the form of several engines, from a 2.0L to a meaty 3.0L V6 and it had typical Citroen innovations as well, being most famous for its hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension, which saw the rear of the car rise when the engine was switched on.

It only sold 330,000 over 11 years, which is a drop in the ocean for a French manufacturer that usually measures these things in the millions.

Today they can be had for as little as £500, although good examples are already fetching £4,000.

Saab 900 Turbo

Another quirky classic that could be a good place to put your money this year. The Saab 900 was a compact luxury car built from 1978 until 1998 in two versions.

Produced in saloon form with two or four doors and as a hatchback with three or five, there was also a soft-top version. It’s the 900 Turbo that has become the one to have, featuring engine outputs of up to 160hp.

Much like the Citroen above, the 900 had a few unusual features that distinguished it from other cars.

The engine was installed ‘backwards’, with power fed through the crank at the front of the car, while the transmission bolted onto the bottom of the engine to form the oil pan.

Prices now range wildly, from as little as £2,500 to as much as £15,000.

Audi TT

Given that it’s still being made and is a very well-put-together modern sports car, it might be hard to believe that the Audi TT is nearly 20 years old.

Launched in the autumn of 1998 as a 2+2 coupe and a year later as a two-seater drop-top, it was based on the same platform as the Mk4 Golf, Audi A3 and Skoda Octavia.

It had a bit of a rocky start, with early press coverage for the wrong reasons thanks to a few high-speed accidents caused by abrupt lane changes or sharp turns, leading to recalls of the car.

In truth the issue was only apparent at very high speeds – more than 110mph – and so didn’t affect most people outside of Germany’s speed-limit-free Autobahns and it didn’t do the car’s reputation too much harm.

The first generation car won awards and lasted until 2006.

Now it’s a good way to get into modern classic car ownership, with prices of around £2,000 to £3,000 that are only set to rise in the coming years.

MG ZS

One of the few good parts of MG-Rover’s horrific demise in the early 2000s, the MG ZS was an underrated gem. Based on the ageing Rover 400/45, it was produced from 2001 until the British car maker’s death in 2005.

It came with either a fairly standard 1.8 petrol or a far more interesting 2.5 V6. Needless to say this is the one you want, not least because the 1.8 was prone to major failures.

The V6, meanwhile, had a lovely throaty note to it and hit 60mph in a tidy 7.3 seconds, leaving hot hatch owners stunned when it came to the Traffic Light Grand Prix.

Despite being based on a far-from-modern car, the V6 ZS received decent press reviews, for both its 175bhp engine and its steering, handling and suspension.

If you want a powerful sports saloon at a bargain price, you can easily pick one up now for less than £1,000.

Porsche 944

Visually very different from the ‘classic’ Porsche shape, the 944 has nonetheless gained a worthy place in the sports car firm’s history.

Built from 1982 until 1991, it was front-engined and rear-wheel-drive, making for excellent weight distribution, and could be had as either a coupe or a cabriolet.

Power came from a selection of both naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines, ranging in size from 2.5L to 3.0L, with outputs of between 160 and 250ps.

So, there was a 944 for those more interested in style than performance as well as one for the drivers.

The 944 was actually planned to last longer, into the 1990s, but it eventually ended up being replaced by the 968 rather than being updated.

In all more than 163,000 were produced and it was Porsche’s most successful car up until that point in time. Values are rising rapidly, with cars on the market from £2,000 for a project car to £20,000 for a minter.

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