The best and most envied used cars from UK factories
Thereâ€™s nothing better than a beefy slice of good old fashioned British brawn for many people. Forget performance cars or fragile Italian supermodels: homegrown is sometimes the only way to go, particularly if youâ€™ve a long-lived dream to chase.
If youâ€™re lying awake at night deciding which British car to dream about for when your lottery numbers come up, here are some suggestions. Who knows, you might be able to realise some of them today, even without crossing your fingers waiting for the sixth ball to come out.
Letâ€™s start with the British supercar brand of the moment â€“ Aston Martin. The reborn firm has designs on challenging Ferrari, so nowâ€™s probably a good time to get your foot on the ladder with a 2005-on V8 Vantage, the best-selling Aston ever. Pick one up from around Â£27,000.
Itâ€™s a surprisingly solid thing for a hand-built British sports car, although you might be best avoiding the first-off-the-line cars. Generally, they are dependable, but all suffer from niggles, particularly if theyâ€™re not used that often and the battery runs flat. As with any Ferrari, weâ€™d budget a decent four-figure sum for annual maintenance costs.
You used to be able to get a 1970s Silver Shadow II for Â£10,000. Thatâ€™s now doubled. The Â£10k car today is the 1980s Silver Spirit, which replaced rounded headlights and detailing with a much squarer-set look. Nowâ€™s the time to get a good one, though: it wonâ€™t be long before priced go the Shadow IIâ€™s way.
If you came of age in the 1990s, youâ€™re probably still hankering dreams of owning a TVR, even though you know theyâ€™re fragile and expansive to fix. We donâ€™t blame you â€“ and although the reputation isnâ€™t entirely undeserved, the cars are still probably more reliable than you think. Thereâ€™s your in.
The cheapest TVRs are the Rover V8-engiend Chimera: take a 1997-on car from Â£10,000. If you want something more modern, try a Tuscan, which was made from 1999 to 2006. This has TVRâ€™s own straight-six engine, and although it was problematic when new, specialists have honed it into a dependable thing today. Pay from around Â£30,000.
Then there are the minnows. Most British sports cars are hand-built in low numbers, but some really are sold in tiny volumes. Take Morgan: it still makes its cars partly from wood, for heavenâ€™s sake (although the chassis have actually been dependable steel for years). A 4/4 will cost you from around Â£20,000, but for some, only a V8-engined Plus 8 will do. Theyâ€™ll pay accordingly: prices are double those for the 4/4â€¦
We canâ€™t mention British sports cars without referencing James Bond. Over the years, heâ€™s had all sorts of Aston Martins and Jaguars: letâ€™s not mention his bizarre dalliance with BMW (Bond, in a Z3? Really?).
One of the most iconic modern Bond cars is the Aston Martin Vanquish, used in Die Another Day. The carâ€™s as iconic as the film, and gets more gorgeous with every passing year. It may well cost from Â£80,000, but it wonâ€™t be long before prices hit six figures.