£500,000

Classic Cars (UK) - - The Hot 30 -

>Lancia Flaminia Sport Za­gato TIPPED BY EMANUELE COLLO

‘It’s as good-look­ing as a Fer­rari 250SWB,’ says Emanuele Collo. ‘It’s fast, ca­pa­ble and ex­cit­ing. It has the en­gi­neer­ing her­itage of Lancia, the ex­tra­or­di­nary style of Za­gato, and an en­gine with plenty of torque that is tuned to give real per­for­mance, So it has ev­ery im­por­tant in­gre­di­ent, per­haps with the ex­cep­tion of much rac­ing his­tory – but it’s not £5m, it’s less than a tenth of that.’

Lancia launched the Flaminia in 1956, with three sep­a­rate coupé ver­sions pop­ping up at once in 1959 – a sen­si­ble, el­e­gant Fa­rina four-seater, a lower, quad-head­lamp Tour­ing GT and Za­gato’s Sport. With its dou­ble-bub­ble roof, large bon­net bulge and near­fast­back side pro­file, it al­ways looked spe­cial. Some of the ear­li­est cars had fared-in head­lamps un­der Per­spex cov­ers, but this look soon changed to the un­cov­ered lamps of the car in our pic­tures. In 1964, the en­gine grew from 2.5 to 2.8 litres as the Sport be­came the Su­per Sport, and the looks changed again, with fared-in lamps within a teardrop-shaped cowl. The tail was al­tered from the Sport’s slip­pery ta­per to a more chopped off Kamm-style shape.

‘The Su­per Sport may have the larger en­gine, but it’s not as valu­able as the Sport,’ says Collo. ‘It’s very Ital­ian play­boy-es­que; more showy than the Sport with a dif­fer­ent in­te­rior in­clud­ing wood ve­neer on the dash­board.’

But are any Flaminias get­ting close to our £500k mark? Collo says all are motoring in the right di­rec­tion. ‘The early cov­ered-light cars are the least com­mon with just 99 made and they’re prob­a­bly the most valu­able – the best would be more than £400k now. The other Sports – about 350 made – can get to £350k, with the 150 Su­per Sports per­haps £50k-£100k less in equiv­a­lent con­di­tion.’

‘Park this car next to any Fer­rari 250 or As­ton Martin and it will hold its own’

The pro­duc­tion to­tals may sound daunt­ingly small, but there al­ways seems to be a choice of cars for sale; in­deed the 1963 car pic­tured is of­fered now by Green­side Cars in Nor­folk.

One rea­son may be the spate of re­cent Flaminia Za­gato restora­tions – at long last, pa­tient own­ers have felt able to in­vest in the spe­cial­ist re­build the cars de­serve in the knowl­edge that the fin­ished value will not be dwarfed by the cost of the work. That ex­pen­di­ture, in turn, can drive up what sellers are will­ing to ac­cept be­fore they part with the car. There’s a flip side – buy­ers can be more de­mand­ing too, as Collo points out.

‘With cars that have risen to these prices, buy­ers will care a lot more about de­tails than they once did. Is ev­ery­thing ab­so­lutely cor­rect – the right en­gine, the right seats and so on? What is the qual­ity of the restora­tion? It’s where an ex­pert in­spec­tion pays off.’

If the Alfa Ju­nior GT owner need have no shame park­ing his pretty coupé next to a Flaminia Za­gato, the Flaminia Za­gato owner can look higher still.

‘You could park this car next to any Fer­rari 250 or As­ton Martin and it would hold its own,’ says Collo. ‘They’ll al­ways be ap­pre­ci­ated by those in the know.’

>Fer­rari 365 GTB/4 Day­tona TIPPED BY MAARTEN TEN HOLDER

Here’s an­other re­cent mar­ket cor­rec­tion, rather like the DB5. The Day­tona looked a per­fect tar­get for spec­u­la­tors five years ago, on an ap­par­ently un­stop­pable mis­sion to sur­pass £1m. But the pic­ture has changed a lot since the sum­mer of 2015 when they peaked at £800k-900k. By last sum­mer they looked tempt­ing at £600k-700k but prices have con­tin­ued to soften, at least tem­po­rar­ily.

‘The mar­ket is ready for a slower, longer, stead­ier rise,’ says Maarten ten Holder. ‘Cars such as the Day­tona have been part of a cor­rec­tion at the top but after this pause I think they’re ready to grow in value again. You might not get the best of the best for our £500k bud­get, but within that fig­ure there will be ven­dors out there will­ing to part with good cars with the right his­tory.’

Aim for cars with match­ing num­bers and lengthy trails of bills for up­keep from Fer­rari spe­cial­ists. That’s more to en­sure the car’s ap­peal to its next buyer than it is to avoid bad ex­am­ples – there are in­creas­ingly few of those – and there might be rel­a­tive bargains among cars in colours other than Rosso.

‘It takes a lit­tle nerve to buy a car whose value has been soft­en­ing,’ says ten Holder, ‘so buy one for that fab­u­lous driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and the thrill of see­ing it in your garage. It will go up in value, but whether that’s in six months or 18 months is hard to say.’

>As­ton Martin DB5 TIPPED BY TIM SCHOFIELD

Can you re­ally buy a DB5 for half a mil­lion or less, with­out ex­pect­ing a project? In a word, yes.

‘You’re not go­ing to get a per­fect Bond-looka­like car in Sil­ver Birch for this money, but the ham­mer price for the four DB5S

‘It takes a lit­tle nerve to buy a car whose value has been soft­en­ing’

we’ve sold in the last year has been less than £500k,’ says Tim Schofield. ‘It’s where we are now for a good if not amaz­ing ex­am­ple and it will get you into a us­able DB5.’

It’s un­doubt­edly the case that DB5S have un­der­gone a bit of a cor­rec­tion in the last few years, but even that pic­ture is more com­pli­cated than a sim­ple drop-back in val­ues for the less-thancon­cours cars, says Schofield.

‘There’s now a pre­mium of per­haps 40%-50% for a Van­tage,’ he says. ‘That gap is much wider than it used to be but there are only 65 of them out of 1021 DB5S in to­tal in­clud­ing the drop­heads, and they are in a dif­fer­ent league for value. A non-van­tage DB5 saloon is still a won­der­ful thing – it will turn heads wher­ever it goes, it makes a good fam­ily clas­sic thanks to back seats for kids and they de­fine an era. Plus James Bond still drives one, which helps.’

Very few DB5S were sold with au­to­matic ’boxes and many of those have since been con­verted to man­ual, which won’t hurt

val­ues. Colour choice might, though. Says Schofield, ‘Sil­ver Birch is the ob­vi­ous re­spray but the mar­ket is head­ing back to orig­i­nal­ity. As long as the orig­i­nal colour isn’t too hor­rid!’

>Fiat 8V Su­per­sonic TIPPED BY JUSTIN BANKS

Once again Justin Banks picks out un­der-ap­pre­ci­ated ex­ot­ica, only this time we’ve moved from glam­orous grand tour­ers into some­thing closer to fine art.

‘The Su­per­sonic is Ghia’s rare and rather crazy coach­built body penned by Savonuzzi. I think it’s the most in­cred­i­ble, most amaz­ing trans­la­tion from a sketch to re­al­ity that’s ever hap­pened. It’s in a dif­fer­ent cat­e­gory even to coach­built Fifties Fer­raris be­cause we’re into the realm of the car as art.’

Only 15 of these rolling sculp­tures were pro­duced on Fiat’s un­typ­i­cally ex­cit­ing 8V (Otto Vu) model in 1953 and 1954. They’re the most star­tling of the 114 8Vs sold, though bod­ies by Vig­nale, Za­gato, Pin­in­fa­rina and Fiat’s own coach­works pro­vide al­ter­na­tives to this jet-age fan­tasy.

‘Val­ues are a bit ar­bi­trary,’ says Banks. ‘I’ll ad­mit you wouldn’t get a Peb­ble Beach win­ner for our £500k bud­get but I hold out a hope that you could find one that hadn’t been through a money-no-ob­ject restora­tion and so might be within bud­get.’

Ver­sions of Ghia’s Su­per­sonic bod­ies ap­peared on other chas­sis, but none suited it quite like the 8V. Try­ing to vi­su­alise a fu­ture for the val­ues of such cars is akin to pre­dict­ing the art mar­ket, but Banks has one other point to make, ‘With a car like this you are buy­ing an in­di­vid­ual, unique ob­ject. Ev­ery one will be slightly dif­fer­ent even from the oth­ers sup­pos­edly with the same coach­work. That’s what gen­uine rar­ity gives you – it’s a step ahead of own­ing just an­other ex­am­ple of a fa­mous model.’

>In­victa 4.5 litre S-type Low Chas­sis Tourer TIPPED BY ED­WARD BRIDGER-STILLE

‘A glo­ri­ous open sports car, beau­ti­fully built and won­der­fully en­gi­neered,’ says Bridger-stille. ‘It’s an of­ten-over­looked con­tender for long-dis­tance tour­ing as well as a com­fort­able fourseater with power to spare from its 4.5-litre Mead­ows en­gine. They feel faster, more ex­cit­ing and more planted than some of the much big­ger names in Thir­ties tour­ing cars.’

The S-type emerged from the In­victa works in Cob­ham, Sur­rey with lit­tle com­pany ku­dos to rely on, but re­ceived a ter­rific boost in 1931 when Don­ald Healey set off from Sta­vanger in Nor­way for the Monte Carlo Rally and won the event out­right.

‘With around 75 built it is a credit to the qual­ity of work­man­ship that 63 of them sur­vive,’ says Bridger-stille. ‘They come to the open mar­ket rarely be­cause most sell within the club, so it’s hard to be sure of val­ues. They’ve ex­ceeded £500k at auc­tion but if you could get one for less – pos­si­bly with a non-orig­i­nal body – you’ll do well. If you can get into In­victa own­er­ship you’ll se­cretly be hugely proud and never lose money.’

In­victa’s 4.5-litre S-type Low Chas­sis Tourer of­fers ev­ery­thing you could want in a Thir­ties sports car and will never lose money

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