£500,000+

Classic Cars (UK) - - The Hot 30 -

>Fer­rari 365GTB/4 Day­tona TIPPED BY DANIEL DONOVAN

Daniel Donovan thinks now is a good time to buy a Fer­rari 365GTB/4 Day­tona. ‘Hav­ing peaked 18 months ago at £800k-£900k and now at £600k£700k, they rep­re­sent good value for money in the cur­rent mar­ket. Prices were hiked when ev­ery­one had to have one, so it’s a good time to in­vest. Putting aside val­ues, it’d have to be one of the very rare cars built for just one year with the Plex­i­glass panel over the head­lamps, before it had to be changed to com­ply with US fed­eral rules. How­ever, it was Plex­i­glass cars that ran at Le Mans and that con­tinue to be as­so­ci­ated with GT rac­ers, so it’s worth stretch­ing that lit­tle bit ex­tra for one if you can.’

With its 325bhp quad-cam 4.4-litre V12 up front, the Day­tona is a se­ri­ous piece of GT kit, all wrapped up in an in­tox­i­cat­ing Six­ties sil­hou­ette – one that should never go out of fash­ion. ‘I’ve done a lot of miles in them,’ says Donovan. ‘It’s a real beast of a car. That said, you could do 1000 miles in one and, while you’d be a bit tired when you got out, you’d have a smile on your face the whole time.’

Again match­ing num­bers are key – so check that the car is what it pur­ports to be – as is reg­u­lar and care­ful main­te­nance and ev­i­dence of, and re­ceipts for, any restora­tion work.

‘Ev­ery time you climb in it, you’ll feel like Tim Mcin­tire in The Gum­ball Rally.’

>Mclaren F1 TIPPED BY JOHN MAY­HEAD

If money were no ob­ject, why would you buy an F1? May­head looks at it the other way around. ‘Why would any true mo­tor­ing en­thu­si­ast not want to own one? This isn’t the prod­uct of a money-is-no-ob­ject ex­er­cise in­tended to show in­dus­trial dom­i­nance like the Bu­gatti Vey­ron, but the cre­ation of an au­to­mo­tive de­sign ge­nius at the top of his game. Gor­don Murray’s con­cept, in­cor­po­rat­ing so much of Mclaren’s F1 tech­nol­ogy, didn’t just cre­ate a car that led the pack – it left ev­ery­thing else a decade be­hind, and did so with a body as beau­ti­ful as it is ut­terly ef­fec­tive as a driv­ing ma­chine. This is the Su­per­ma­rine Spit­fire of the au­to­mo­tive world.’

‘The big price dif­fer­en­tia­tor is the spec with which it left the fac­tory. The 64 stan­dard road cars are the most ‘af­ford­able’ at £7.7m-£10.7m; the five Lm-spec cars are worth sig­nif­i­cantly more (£10m-£12.75m). F1 GTRS are his­tory-de­pen­dent, with sig­nif­i­cant prove­nance worth proper money. I know of one in­sured for £18m.’

He says there is very lit­tle to be wary of, if buy­ing one. ‘As Rowan Atkin­son F1 showed, even ac­ci­dent dam­age doesn’t re­ally af­fect their val­ues if re­paired by the fac­tory. Mclaren looks af­ter the ser­vic­ing, and while it’s not cheap, that’s un­likely to be an is­sue if you’re an F1 owner. Most have the ben­e­fit of celebrity own­er­ship along the way, too. The best bit about own­ing one is ac­cess. Tell the or­gan­iser of any show, con­cours or tour that you’re bring­ing your F1 and you’ll be treated like roy­alty.’

>Porsche 911 RSR TIPPED BY WILL SMITH

‘Okay, we’re into real dream ter­ri­tory here,’ says Will Smith. ‘For me, this is the epit­ome of a true racing car. It was raced by the

fac­tory and also by pri­va­teers, and mas­sively out­per­formed its ri­vals in pe­riod com­pe­ti­tion; BMW’S CSL is iconic, but for me the RSR is mo­tor sport in its purest form. Any­one could buy one in pe­riod, race at Le Mans and be a hero; it had such reli­a­bil­ity and drive­abil­ity, and even now can be hooned around, revving to 9000rpm with that crazy howl and the per­fect flat-six Porsche wail. Speak to any works driver of the pe­riod and they’ll tell you it’s the most bal­anced, most ver­sa­tile, most com­plete ma­chine there is.’

Prices vary wildly, with in­di­vid­ual his­to­ries be­ing crit­i­cal to a car’s value, and that makes de­tailed re­search of a car’s past key. Smith be­lieves it doesn’t mat­ter whether it’s in 2.8- or 3.0-litre form, but he does of­fer one caveat. ‘They went on to evolve in many forms, but for me it’d have to be a nat­u­rally as­pi­rated ex­am­ple. Own­ing an RSR gains you en­try to the world’s most pres­ti­gious con­cours events, as well as ev­ery historic race and rally of im­por­tance for its era. Noth­ing could be bet­ter than com­pet­ing in the Tour Auto in an RSR. While on the road most peo­ple will

>Lam­borgh­ini Coun­tach LP400 TIPPED BY EMANUELE COLLO

Just like the Porsche 2.7 RS, LP400 prices went up a lot and have now come down a bit. ‘It’s your op­por­tu­nity to buy one of the all-time su­per­car icons at a price that, in the long term, can be con­sid­ered “cheap”,’ states Emanuele Collo. ‘The last one at auc­tion made ap­prox­i­mately £700k, but I know of others that have sold pri­vately for sig­nif­i­cantly more – that’s a big dis­count, and in a con­sid­er­ably short pe­riod.’

Avoid bad restora­tions, while check­ing for rust and ac­ci­dents as well. ‘A few LP400S were up­dated to a later spec­i­fi­ca­tion and then re­con­verted to early spec when prices went up. Watch out for those cars, and if you do come across one then check ex­actly how the process was car­ried out.’

For Collo it’s the LP400’S pu­rity of line that sets it out as the one to have. ‘To me it’s the Seventies su­per­car and that Ber­ton­estyled body re­mains ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic to look at. The early cars are also the ones that drive best, thanks to the nar­rower – cer­tainly com­pared to the later An­niver­sary mod­els and their like – tyres. For me, ei­ther you buy an early Coun­tach, or you don’t. Com­pared to the Miura it’s cheap, and in terms of Lam­borgh­ini his­tory it is al­most as im­por­tant. If you talk to Lam­borgh­ini peo­ple that worked in the fac­tory, it’s the Coun­tach and Marzal, much more than the Muira, that are the “real things” and changed per­cep­tions of Lam­borgh­ini.’

‘Most peo­ple will think it’s a replica – but you’ll be driv­ing it, so who cares’

‘The very best ex­am­ples of al­most any model have seen big in­creases – but you should buy what you like, and par­tic­u­larly what you like driv­ing’

>The ver­dict

All our ex­perts agree that, al­though it’s smart to choose cars that will look af­ter you fi­nan­cially, you should buy what you like and par­tic­u­larly what you like driv­ing. With that in mind, our six ‘class win­ners’ – and in­deed this year’s en­tire Hot 30 – was cho­sen by them to re­flect just that.

The Fiat 124 Spi­der re­minds us that an ex­quis­ite clas­sic road­ster experience can be had for a fairly small out­lay, while up in the land of Maserati, Fer­rari and As­ton Martin, cars that ap­peared fe­ro­ciously ex­pen­sive sev­eral years ago can now be viewed as rel­a­tive bar­gains when com­pared to their peak prices.

Which would I snap up? It’d be a Fiat 1224 Spi­der and BMW M635CSI combo, or if the lot­tery came in, Fiat and Fer­rari 550 Maranello. Ei­ther pair­ing ticks all my boxes. The good news is that it’s now a buyer’s mar­ket. ‘That’s def­i­nitely the case, un­less you have some­thing dif­fer­ent or keenly priced,’ says Emanuele Collo. ‘For some cars, you’ll al­ways find 25 or so ex­am­ples for sale, and their own­ers need to be prag­matic.’

The clas­sic car world also re­mains de­cid­edly buoy­ant. ‘The whole in­dus­try is get­ting big­ger,’ says Will Smith. ‘I’m see­ing more and more first-timers com­ing to auc­tions, want­ing to own a clas­sic car and experience the life­style that goes along with that.’

Money of course will al­ways re­main a fac­tor, so a fi­nal piece of buy­ing ad­vice comes from John May­head. ‘The Hagerty Price trends have shown that the big­gest value in­creases in the last year have come from the very best ex­am­ples of al­most any model.’ So happy hunt­ing, and choose care­fully out there.

Only 64 Mclaren F1 road cars were made – but more peo­ple have the de­sire and means to own one, which will al­ways keep up­ward pres­sure on prices

think it’s a replica – but you’ll be driv­ing it, so who cares. RSRS are al­ways, al­ways go­ing to be sought af­ter.’

Once you whittle down a buoy­ant mar­ket to 30 fi­nan­cially sen­si­ble prospects, sub­jec­tiv­ity takes over – and Ross would pair the Fiat 124 Spi­der’s frol­icky thrills with the hori­zon-reel­ing abil­i­ties of ei­ther the BMW M635CSI or Fer­rari 550 Maranello

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