>Fiat Dino Spider TIPPED BY EMANUELE COLLO
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.
>Ferrari 599GTB TIPPED BY STEPHEN HALSTEAD
‘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.’
>Porsche 911/930 Turbo TIPPED BY EDWARD BRIDGER-STILLE
‘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