Motor Show 1993: Is that old car a bargain or a burden?: James May provides a guide to some of the more popular classic cars that can be picked up for less than pounds 5,000

YOU HAVE probably bought an old car before, but that was because you were skint, although there was a time at the end of the Eighties when you bought an old car because you were rich or, thought it might make you rich. Before the boom there was a sufficient supply of old - but still interesting - machinery that the ordinary old-car buff could buy for reasonable money and tinker with to the total disinterest of everyone else.

Then, the word 'classic' seemed to be reappraised, and cars that would previously have been advertised in the local paper as 'runner or spares' were sitting pretty in the back of specialist car magazines as 'restoration projects' under a quadrupled asking price.

Now that the boom has passed, it is possible to see that it did some good, generating interest in a lot of old cars, especially from the late 1950s, the 1960s and, to a lesser extent the early 1970s.

It is still possible to spend a fortune on a rare old car, but the new breed of classics means that you can become accepted in the retro set for well under pounds 5,000.

A few tips on buying a classic. Decide what you want and then join the owners' club. These clubs are an invaluable source of advice and spares, and you will recoup your membership investment by taking advantage of one of their special insurance deals. If possible, take an expert along when viewing, and finally, be prepared to haggle.

Morris Minor (1956-1970) Saloon pounds 2,000, Convertible pounds 3,000, Traveller pounds 1,800.

Charming interior features include leather upholstery in older examples, a dearth of instruments and a mesmerising winking light on the end of the indicator stalk.

Club: Morris Minor Owners' Club, 127-129 Green Lane, Derby DE1 1RZ.

Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite (1958-1961) pounds 3,500

Lightness and simplicity of design allowed a top speed of over 80mph from just 43bhp.

Club: Austin Healey Club, 4 Saxby Street, Leicester LE2 0ND.

Ford Consul MkII (1956-1962) Saloon pounds 1,700, Convertible pounds 4,000

American-influenced styling embodies American handling characteristics.

Club: Ford Consul MkII , Zypher & Zodiac Club, 16 Berkshire Way, Mitcham, Surrey CR4 1QT.

Armstrong-Siddeley Star Saphire Saloon (1958-1960) pounds 5,000

Slab-sided and dignified, it looks 10 years older than it really is and most people will think it's a Rolls-Royce.

Club: Armstrong-Siddeley Owners' Club, 57 Berberry Close, Bournville, Birmingham B30 1TB.

MGB (1964-1974), MGBGT (1965-1974) pounds 3,000- pounds 5,000 plus

Mechanical simplicity translates into raw and entertaining driving experience.

Club: MG Owners' Club, 2/4 Station Road, Swavesey, Cambs.

Triumph Herald/Vitesse Convertible (1961-1971) pounds 1,800- pounds 3,000

Has four seats and Meccano-style chassis-based construction, so infinitely reparable. Most have been.

Club: Triumph Sports Six Club, Main Street, Lubenham, Market Harborough, Leics LE16 9TF.

Daimler V8 Saloon (1963-1968) pounds 5,000

Quicker than the Jag and much cheaper. You won't get a perfect one for this money and that's probably only the beginning.

Club: Daimler and Lanchester Owners' Club, FREEPOST, The Manor House, Trewyn, Abergavenny, Gwent NP7 5BR.

Lotus Europa 1 (1966-1969) pounds 4,000

Outrageously styled glass fibre body doesn't rust, but sadly the chassis is of plain old steel and probably has. Notoriously troublesome but Tara King had an orange one in the Avengers. Not many left.

Club: Club Lotus, PO Box 8, Dereham, Norfolk NR19 1TF.

Ford Capri MkI 3000GT (1969-1974) pounds 2,750

If the idea of a Capri still seems horribly naff, remember that this was the Vauxhall Calibra of its day, only then we'd never had it before. Club: Ford Capri Club International, Field House, Redditch, Worcs B98 0AN.

Reliant Scimitar GTE SE5 (1968-1975) pounds 3,000

Rust-proof plastic body, sturdy Ford V6, quirky interior and it has four wheels.

Club: Scimitar Drivers' Club International, 12 West Drive, Caldecote, Cambridge CB3 7NY.

Triumph Stag (1970-1977) pounds 5,000

Had something of a reputation for being a lemon owing to problems with the V8, which is wonderful when it works. Hardtop is a safer but cowardly option, and you won't get an immaculate one at this price.

Club: Stag Owners' Club, 16 Denewood Close, Watford, Herts WD1 3SZ.

Jaguar XJ-S (1975-1981) pounds 5,000

Glorious engine, stupendously complex, gets more expensive to run the cheaper it becomes to buy.

Club: Jaguar Drivers' Club, 18 Stuart Street, Luton, Beds LU1 2SL.

Brooks are holding an auction of classic cars at the Motor Show on 28 October. For details, telephone 071 228 8000.

Suggested Topics
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
News
news
News
i100
Travel
Fair trade: the idea of honesty boxes relies on people paying their way
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
News
people
Sport
Antoine Griezmann has started two of France’s four games so far
sport
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, SC Clear

£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary