Classic Cars (UK) - - The Hot 30 -


This is not like an E-type or a Pagoda Mercedes, it’s a more left­field choice,’ says Emanuele Collo. ‘It’s one for the con­nois­seur, and you can think about it in var­i­ous terms – it’s Ital­ian; it has a great Fer­rari en­gine shared with mod­els that are now val­ued much higher – the 206 and 246 Dino GTS and the Lancia Stratos; it’s a beau­ti­ful shape; and it’s a gen­uine ex­otic. When you search for other Ital­ian spi­ders from the Six­ties you won’t find many at this price level.’

Val­ues for the Fiat Dino used to be one of the more puz­zling fea­tures of the clas­sic car scene. Look a price guide from 15 years ago and you’ll find a Con­di­tion 1 Coupé at £9k and a Spi­der at £18k… at a time when prices for other ex­ot­ica of a com­pa­ra­ble age were al­ready in a dif­fer­ent ball­park. Both mod­els are worth five times as much now, per­haps even more for the Spi­der – its beauty con­tin­ues to en­cour­age in­vestors and en­thu­si­asts.

But does Collo re­ally think it can con­tinue to rise? ‘Yes – if it weren’t a Fiat it would al­ready be more. The bod­ies were de­signed and built at Pin­in­fa­rina and the en­gine is Fer­rari, of course, and makes a won­der­ful sound. The chas­sis is not shared with any­thing else. Call it a Pin­in­fa­rina Dino Spi­der and it would never have dropped to such a low value.’

The Dino Spi­der’s pro­duc­tion his­tory, like that of its Ber­toneb­uilt coupé brother, falls into two gen­er­a­tions. Both started with an all-alu­minium, four-cam V6, orig­i­nally cre­ated as a Fer­rari For­mula Two en­gine, and the main rea­son the Dino ex­isted was to help ho­molo­gate the power unit for com­pe­ti­tion. The gear­box in these first 1966-69 Di­nos is Fiat’s own and the rear sus­pen­sion is by live axle and leaf springs, but when the 2400 ar­rived in 1969, an iron-en­gine block, a ZF dog-leg ’box and in­de­pen­dent rear sus­pen­sion al­tered the driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘Prices will con­tinue to rise – if it weren’t a Fiat it would al­ready be worth more’

‘It’s dif­fi­cult to say which is more valu­able,’ says Collo. ‘The 2400 Spi­der is more pow­er­ful and much rarer with only 420 built ver­sus 1163 Spi­der 2000s, but it’s also a lit­tle heav­ier and you could say the early car has the pu­rity. In the end, you have to buy on his­tory and con­di­tion – and on which you en­joy more on the road.’

Dino Spi­ders have long since shaken off their sta­tus of low-value ex­ot­ica main­tained on a shoe­string, but it’s im­por­tant to en­sure the legacy of that pe­riod in their lives holds no nasty sur­prises.

Collo sug­gests ex­pert as­sis­tance. ‘In­vest in a pro­fes­sional in­spec­tion and re­mem­ber to make your search as wide as pos­si­ble. Both cars were avail­able new in the UK but none was made in right-hand drive, so if you might as well look in Italy or else­where for a re­ally good, rust-free car with a great his­tory. Be pre­pared to break our bud­get to get the very best, though.’

Cars like that get snapped up and im­ported – the one in our pho­tos orig­i­nated in Bres­cia and is now for sale with Green­side Cars in Nor­folk.

>Alpine Re­nault A110 1600 SC TIPPED BY JUSTIN BANKS

The Alpine A110 is mak­ing a re­peat ap­pear­ance in the Hot 30 – it was picked in 2016 for the ‘up to £75k’ cat­e­gory. It wasn’t Justin Banks who chose it on that oc­ca­sion, so it’s clearly a car fan­cied by more than one ex­pert.

‘Alpine has been re­launched as a brand since then, and the new car uses the same A110 name. It’s been in­cred­i­bly well re­ceived and that can only have a pos­i­tive ef­fect on the orig­i­nal.’

Ah, but which orig­i­nal? The A110 was built in a be­wil­der­ing va­ri­ety of ver­sions – not just in France, but also in Spain, Mex­ico, Brazil and Bul­garia. Luck­ily, Banks is very clear about this.

‘It has to be Dieppe-built. It’s rel­a­tively easy to check; you get the chas­sis num­ber and you do your home­work. The 1600 is worth more than the 1300, and the 1100 and 950-en­gined cars are a bit of a no-no un­less you need a bar­gain-base­ment en­try. But the po­ten­tial for in­vest­ment and the great­est driv­ing thrills come from the ver­sions with the larger Gor­dini en­gines – the 1600SC from 1975 to ’73 is the nicest.’

After es­tab­lish­ing an A110 is what it claims to be, the next con­cern is the ex­tent of the changes made after com­pe­ti­tion­re­lated in­juries, which many carry.

‘A bit of bruis­ing is OK – it’s a badge of hon­our for an A110,’ ex­plains Banks, ‘and a cor­rect but non-orig­i­nal en­gine is for­giv­able. You’ll have to pay £100k for a sorted 1600 in Alpine blue now, maybe £80k for a good 1300S.’

>Jaguar XK120 road­ster TIPPED BY TIM SCHOFIELD

‘The XK120 has been strug­gling to break £100k con­sis­tently in re­cent times – and I can’t re­ally un­der­stand why that should be,’ pon­ders Schofield. ‘In my opin­ion a spat­ted, early XK120 is ac­tu­ally pret­tier than an E-type road­ster, not least be­cause it’s a car that was al­ways de­signed to be open.’

It’s pos­si­ble that sup­ply and de­mand is­sues have kept prices in favour of the buyer, as XKS con­tinue to re­turn from the USA and Aus­trala­sia ei­ther as projects or fin­ished cars. The im­age is cer­tainly more ‘old car’ than that of the E-type, but the XK’S achieve­ments way back in the For­ties are part of its ap­peal.

‘It was such a reve­la­tion when it was new,’ says Schofield. ‘For a British man­u­fac­turer to come up with a sleek, low sports car with a dou­ble-over­head cam straight-six when most peo­ple were still strug­gling on with pre-war side­valve en­gines was an amaz­ing thing. As was the 120mph per­for­mance – they still feel fast and hairy if you drive one near its lim­its.’

They are a less well-tamed, civilised ex­pe­ri­ence than the later XKS, which is all part of XK120’S ap­peal, al­though that might have also have had the ef­fect of hold­ing back ap­pre­ci­a­tion.

‘Sparsely-equipped in­side and still re­tained the clas­sic 911 shape’

‘Later XKS have been grow­ing in value – I reckon about 10 per cent a year for the XK150S, for ex­am­ple. XK120S are due to rise; at less than £100k they look un­der­priced,’ main­tains Schofield.

Gen­uine right-hand drive cars at­tract a pre­mium, but a good con­ver­sion on a Us-im­port is a valid choice. The 180bhp SE sta­tus adds maybe 10-15 per cent. The first 240 ex­am­ples with alu­minium bod­ies are in a very dif­fer­ent league – think £250k plus.


‘Very much des­tined to be a mod­ern clas­sic, the Fer­rari 599 is some­thing of a dream car,’ says Hal­stead. ‘You’ve got what’s es­sen­tially the 6.0-litre V12 Enzo en­gine in a car that’s un­de­ni­ably gor­geous with mind­blow­ing per­for­mance – 0-60mph in 3.2sec and 200mph-plus. It’s no sur­prise that it picked up Car of the Year awards from EVO and Top Gear in 2006.’

It’s the suc­ces­sor to an im­pres­sive mod­ern dy­nasty of fron­tengined, two-seat Fer­rari GTS, re­plac­ing the 575 which in turn up­dated the 550 Maranello. Like the 550, Hal­stead ex­pects the 599 to bounce back strongly from post-pro­duc­tion de­pre­ci­a­tion.

‘Three years ago you could pick one up for as lit­tle as £70k, but now you’ll need £100k to se­cure a nice ex­am­ple with around 40,000 miles on the clock. I think it’s the per­fect car to en­joy, with­out putting on too many miles, with the po­ten­tial for a healthy in­crease in value in a rel­a­tively short amount of time. And it’s still half the price it cost new – as well as be­ing less than you’d have to pay for a good 550!’

Hal­stead rec­om­mends check­ing the con­sum­able items – tyres and clutch (a £5000 fix) par­tic­u­larly, for which you’ll need a plug-in ses­sion with a spe­cial­ist.

‘Just 30 cars were pro­duced with man­ual trans­mis­sion and as the last ever V12-pow­ered Fer­raris with a man­ual gear­box, they com­mand a crazy pre­mium – one sold at auc­tion in the States for $500,000. But don’t be put off by the six-speed F1 pad­dleshift – it shifts with­out lag in a star­tling 100 mil­lisec­onds.’


‘This was the last proper man’s Porsche,’ says Bridger-stille. ‘It’s sparsely-equipped in­side and still re­tained the clas­sic 911 shape be­fore the whole thing be­came rather soft­ened. Per­for­mance is very shouty and, if you’re not care­ful, it re­minds you of your lim­i­ta­tions. With a lit­tle ex­pe­ri­ence, how­ever, you can wring its neck and have the ride of your life.’

Any­one doubt­ing the raw-boned driver ap­peal of Porsche’s first blown 911 has never been in one – that sud­den on-rush­ing power de­liv­ery still feels vol­canic, even if peak power (260bhp in the first 3.0-litre cars) wouldn’t frighten a 2018 hot hatch. What’s less cer­tain is why they’re not more highly val­ued. As all older and most younger 911s con­tinue to rise, the 930 had a jump some years ago from £35k to £60-70k, then stag­nated with only per­fect early cars or rare ‘Son­der­wun­sch’ spe­cials hit­ting six fig­ures.

‘Now they’re creep­ing up again,’ says Bridger-stille, ‘and more are knock­ing on £100k. Don’t get one that’s been messed with, just find a stan­dard car with an en­gine re­build some­where in its his­tory from a good spe­cial­ist. Try to weed out those with any re­paired crash dam­age and bear in mind a colour change, in­te­rior change or an en­gine change shouldn’t make a dif­fer­ence to val­ues, but it does. The last 3.3-litre cars from 1989 with a five-speed ’box are the nicest to drive – and you will drive it, won’t you?’

Strangely, 930 val­ues have lagged be­hind both younger and older 911s. But now they’re creep­ing up again

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