Jaguar E-Type
Guides 18 Apr 2024

Classic Cars, Conservative Costs

Whilst many motoring enthusiasts have aspirations to one day own the classic car of their dreams, many think that it means a potential nightmare of a cost in order to achieve it. Cars that were perhaps posters on their bedroom walls, were driven by their idols or celebrities when they were younger, or were a favourite of or owned by their parents at one point.

A classic car isn’t a practical purchase, it is an investment, a treat or something to enjoy at weekends when the summer weather allows. Yet it is surprising how many iconic and legendary vehicles are available for the price of a reasonable new electric car. Something we already took a quick look at in our ‘Your Dream Car Or A Luxury EV’ post if you missed it.

So, in the latest of our articles featuring a budget of £60,000, which aspirational or dream classic cars can you purchase for the same price. Keep reading to take a look at our Classic Cars, Conservative Costs guide:

Jaguar E-Type

The Jaguar E-Type can be found at the top of most people’s wish list when it comes to owning their dream classic car. A sports car that famously received the ultimate accolade of being called ‘the most beautiful car in the world’ by Enzo Ferrari himself and he wasn’t wrong. The curvaceous bodywork, shiny chrome trim and wire wheels, and the sporty soundtrack from the exhausts make it the perfect classic car combination.

Classic Cars, Conservative Costs - Jaguar E-Type
Image courtesy of Jaguar

In its day it was owned by celebrities, rock stars and racing drivers alike and its appeal was almost as big as the people driving it. In over 60 years it hasn’t changed much, a Jaguar E-Type, whether in coupe or convertible form, turns heads wherever it goes. For your £60,000 budget there are just under 100 listed on popular automotive marketplace Car & Classic. Ranging from early 1964 convertibles in fantastic condition to later mid-1970’s V12’s requiring a bit of TLC, the range suits not just a variety of budgets, but also those with a range of mechanical and restoration skill sets. One thing is for sure, driving through a town watching people point or take pictures, or enjoying a country B-road drive on a summer’s day, you won’t fail to see the appeal of the iconic Jaguar sports car.

Porsche 911

If the Jaguar isn’t at the very top of your list, chances are the Porsche 911 might be instead. With a history longer than most, the iconic Porsche model is arguably the most iconic sports car of them all. Whilst most classic cars can only be found venturing out of their cocooned luxury when the weather is at its driest, a Porsche 911 will keep on going day in day out. The reliability and on road performance ensure that the model has long been a favourite amongst collectors. Its popularity and desirability also ensure that Porsche values remain some of the strongest on the market, with many classic or future classic models seeing their values rise quite quickly over a short space of time.

Classic Cars, Conservative Costs - Porsche 930 Turbo
Image courtesy of Iconic Auctioneers

Whilst the earliest of models and the much sought after higher performance versions of the 911 will long be out of reach with £60,000 to spend, there are still some fantastic examples to be found. If you’re looking for the earliest example possible for your money, an early 1970’s 911 T or Targa S is easily possible and in good condition for its age. If prestige and rarity is more your thing however a low mileage single owner mid-1980’s ‘whale tail’ 3.2 Carrera Sport can be found on Car & Classic, or even a late 1970’s 3.0 SC in rare ‘sportomatic’ clutch-less manual guise. With over 330 to choose from, you’re sure to find at least a few examples of whatever era 911 you desire.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

If American Muscle is more your classic car thing, the Chevrolet Corvette C2 Stingray is the perfect way to cruise in effortless style. In its day the C2 Stingray was the coolest car you could buy, helped by being the car of choice for a group of people more famous than celebrities and more revered than rock stars, NASA astronauts. An endorsement of that magnitude, together with its curvaceous lines and burbling V8 engines took the Corvette to new heights of popularity and desirability. Even today its retro styling looks effortlessly chic and is the epitome of 1960’s muscle car aesthetic.

Classic Cars, Conservative Costs - Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Image courtesy of RM Sothebys

Though a right-hand drive C2 Corvette might be out of the question, unless it has been converted by a specialist company, it doesn’t mean that you should be put off the iconic American sports car. On looks alone, the coupe or the convertible are equally as stylish and desirable too. Other than the looks, the sound of the famous V8 big block engine, made even more pronounced by the possibility of side exit exhausts, is an addictive part of the era for sure. At time of writing there were 49 examples of Corvette for sale on Car & Classic within budget, from mid-1960’s C2 Stingray models to early 2000 and even a couple of 2010 models depending on your preference.

Citroen SM

The Citroen SM was one of the greatest cars to come out of France. Undoubtedly stylish on a whole new level, luxurious and comfortable, powered by Maserati engines and sophisticated well beyond its years. It was aimed at combining grand touring luxury with sports car power and handling, provided by the legendary hydropneumatic suspension of Citroen models at the time. As well as this, its svelte shape was not just style over substance and ensured the SM was the most aerodynamic car in its class. It also ensured it was also the fastest front-wheel drive car ever at that time with a top speed of 140mph.

Classic Cars, Conservative Costs - Citroen SM
Image courtesy of RM Sothebys

Most of the SM’s that remain will have been well maintained and looked after over the years, the complexity and sophistication of its suspension and other mechanicals mean that they needed constant checking to ensure they worked effectively. Due to its iconic status and its stylish appeal, there were just 5 examples within budget on Car & Classic at time of writing. They may be a rare sight on the road and it may require a bit more looking after than some other classic cars, but the fact that it would turn heads wherever it goes would mean it was money well spent.

Ford Mustang

This year marks 60 years since the Ford Mustang was released at one of the biggest car launches ever at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. The grandest exhibition at the event, a huge marketing programme and the fact you could sit in the new car on a half mile ride designed by Walt Disney meant that it was an instant hit. Ford originally intended to sell 100,000 examples in the first year, yet they sold four times that amount, in the first 18 months they had made and sold over 1 million. After 7 generations and 10 million cars sold, the Mustang is a motoring icon and the definitive American sports car.

Ford Mustang Fastback
Image courtesy of Iconic Auctioneers

At time of writing there were 90 examples of Ford Mustang listed on Car & Classic for your £60,000 but that includes models right up to a late 2023 model. Thanks to the fact the Mustang has always had an appeal as a reasonably priced sports car, and the fact that they sold so many, your budget will stretch to some of the very early models. A 1965 Coupe or Fastback are well within range, even ones in fantastic condition should be around the £40,000 mark. For your maximum budget you can expect to find an immaculate late 1960’s model in facelift form with low mileage and the larger V8 engine, or perhaps a later 2nd generation Mach 1 example, maybe even a Shelby tuned version. One thing is for sure that for appeal and retro cool, you’ll be hard pushed to find something better for your money.

Mercedes Benz SL

As with a lot of sought after classic cars, the appeal and values of the Mercedes Benz SL have seen a dramatic rise in the past couple of decades. Originally designed as an attractive, luxurious and more affordable alternative to the gullwing doored 300 SL, the first SL shared much of the styling, mechanicals and engineering for a fraction of the price. Now in its seventh generation, the SL has always remained one of the most stylish and comfortable ways to enjoy coupe or convertible motoring, and the appeal of older generations is only growing over time.

Mercedes Benz SL (W113)

The original 190 SL may be out of range, however despite considerable increases in value, you may still find a few second generation W113 SL models within budget. In total there were 324 SL’s listed on Car & Classic at time of writing, ranging from the incredibly stylish 1964 ‘Pagoda’ to a thoroughly modern 2020 model. Values of the first 2 generations are constantly on the rise with many now in excess of £100,000, the third generation from the 1980’s has risen steadily in recent years and can mostly be found for between £20,000 and £40,000. This generation is also by far the most abundant in terms of those found for sale. The 1990’s iteration is when the AMG editions were introduced for those looking for a bit more power, but understandably any generation of SL is a great place to be sat on a sunny drive through the countryside.

BMW 635 CSi

The original 6-Series from BMW was one of the most stylish ways to be seen when it was launched in 1976. From the mid 1970’s to the late 1980’s, the E24 showed that you could get a luxurious grand touring coupe that didn’t break the bank and could also show a few sports cars a thing or two about handling too. With the exceptional E12 5-Series as a base, and later the E28, the handsome coupe was most desirable in 635 CSi form. With over 200bhp, deeper bumpers, aerodynamic changes and a close ratio 5-speed manual gearbox, the CSi was the driver’s choice and the definitive luxury coupe of its day.

BMW 635 CSi
Image courtesy of BMW

With £60,000 to spend you can afford to be picky when it comes to finding a 635CSi. Whilst a reasonable mileage, good condition example may be found for half that amount, at the top of the budget you will get low mileage immaculate cars that have been fastidiously maintained over its lifetime. With 33 examples listed on Car & Classic at time of writing within budget, there was even a highly sought after and difficult to find Alpina fettled B9 example with £5k still to spare. The E24 635 CSi remains as stylish and retro enough to be considered a future classic, yet modern enough that it may come with more creature comforts and everyday usability than other classic cars at the same price point.

Ferrari/Dino 308

You can’t consider classic cars to purchase at this price point without suggesting at least one from the long line of desirable Ferrari models. Whilst there are a number of more modern models that these days can be found for less than £60,000, perhaps the most notable classic within budget is the Ferrari/Dino 308 from the mid-1970’s to 1980’s. What began as the Dino 308 GT4 was the first production Ferrari to feature the rear mid-engine V8 configuration that was their staple for so many years following. It was also the first to have bodywork designed by Bertone rather than Pininfarina, shown by its angular appearance of other Bertone models such as the Lancia Stratos or Lamborghini Urraco. For the successive Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS, Ferrari returned to Pininfarina who created the iconic more rounded ‘Magnum, P.I.’ era model.

Ferrari 308 GTB
Image courtesy of Ferrari

A used Ferrari is never going to be a common car, demonstrated in just the 11 models within budget found listed on Car & Classic at time of writing. These include both Bertone and later Pininfarina styled models and offer a less expensive way to experience the classic prancing horse magic. As you would expect from Ferrari, none of the examples have done excessive miles, they all look in fantastic condition and are sure to look great in your garage. The only decision you need to make is do you want 1970’s retro angular styling, or the chance to pretend you are Magnum, P.I.

Land Rover Series I

Not your conventional idea of a classic ‘car’ but undoubtedly a bona fide classic and one of the most iconic vehicles in the history of motoring. The Land Rover Series I is where the legend began and the very source of the Land Rover story. The original Defender before it became the Defender, a Series I was the ultimate 4×4 before a 4×4 was even a genre. To sit in or to drive on the road it is as utilitarian as they come, yet as capable off road as you will find. Now 75 years after it was introduced, a Series I Land Rover is highly sought after and desirable as a usable classic vehicle or an addition to any car collection.

Land Rover Series I
Image courtesy of Land Rover

Despite its age and rarity there are a surprising number of Series I examples available on the market. Car & Classic had just under 50 examples available at £60,000 or under, ranging form very early 1949 examples in fully restored or fantastic condition, to much later 1960 models, some with only around 10k miles on the clock. Obviously, there are a large number of ‘barn finds’ or restoration project examples that can be found considerably under budget, but the affordability of those ready to use or simply to admire in your collection is great to see. For those looking to use their Series I, don’t expect anything in the way of luxury, equipment, or refinement, but that definitely won’t stop it from putting a smile on your face or those who see you driving past in it.

Mini Cooper

When Alec Issigonis created the original Mini as a cheap, affordable and very cleverly packaged car for the masses, he wouldn’t have imagined that 60 years later it would be found on a list of potential classic cars to buy for up to £60,000. The revolutionary transverse engine and front wheel drive layout meant that 80% of the car’s floorplan was for passengers and luggage, inspiring a whole generation of small city cars. It may have been designed for cheap motoring, fuel economy and clever space saving, but its light weight and spritely engines meant it performed and handled remarkably well. From its originality of early models to its appeal as a racing car, rally car and star of The Italian Job, the Mini has one of the biggest classic car followings of them all.

Mini Cooper S
Image courtesy of Iconic Auctioneers

Though £60,000 might be a lot to spend on a Mini, its desirability and collectability, especially for very early models in great condition, means that prices even at that level are seemingly constantly appreciating. Though some early examples in ‘project’ condition can be found for a fraction of the budget, fully restored and exceptionally low mileage examples from the early 1960’s can easily be found towards the top end. Perhaps if you are looking for investment potential, an early model that needs a little bit of work for less of a purchase price might be a great way to go, and potentially much cheaper to restore than a lot of other classic cars.


Classic Car Finance

At Oracle Car Finance we have your new car funding sorted, no matter which kind it is or what age it may be. Our team of Account Managers are experts in finding funding for classic cars and use our panel of specialist lenders to help you to find the perfect package, bespoke to you and your circumstances. Our team are always on hand should you have any questions about arranging car finance and your dedicated Account Manager is ready to take your call today. Not only that, but our knowledge of the car market means we can offer advice regarding residual values or offer you a free valuation on your current car.

With over 2,200 Trustpilot reviews and a overall rating of 5 out of 5, and as four-time consecutive award winners of the Best Specialist Car Finance Provider award from 2020 through to 2023, you too can find out why thousands of people trust us time and time again to find a smarter, tailored funding solution when looking for your next dream car.

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