Fellow MotorPunk Dr Octane gets in a lather about these cars. Being old, he can remember when you could pick up any of these cars for the price of a bag of fish and chips with scratchings. Small tub of mushy peas. Easy with the vinegar. Thanks. When our photographer, Rad, returned from a day at Donington we were immersed in his pics. Cars we always wanted, could once afford, but have now brap-brapped over the horizon into richer hands than ours. Still, it’s great to see them being exercised and not just carcooned away. Let’s start with an Escort Cosworth, MK2 Escort and what I think is a Vauxhall Magnum, charging up the old hairpin on Donington’s historic loop. £10k gets you a Magnum with an interesting engine conversion and I’d have that over a MK2 Escort.

OK so perhaps the RS200 was always silly money (and they’re a quarter of a million quid, now), Lotus Cortinas are too, but who could ever have guessed the Focus RS would be so popular? There was a diesel estate as fleet hack here for a while quite recently, we’re so old we don’t identify any Focus as being collectible yet. Maybe that’s why we’ve missed the boat, again, and while I’m floundering with nautical metaphors, check the list on the MK1 Escort below. The co-driver is almost man overboard!

Reading through old copies of AutoSport (thanks, Aidan) it seems that the Audi Quattro was a bit of a flop when it first entered rallying. Reliability issues, mainly. Very quickly, though, it established itself as a world beater and was a poster car for us all. Ashes to Ashes kindly bumped up the price of roadcars but out of all the road-going versions of the rally cars here they seem the best value for money. £20k or thereabouts seems to be the going rate.

I’m sure I’ve seen this tango’d 911 being slung around a track somewhere before, but the location escapes me. Price? Forget it. Just bask in the aroma of cooked rubber as some lucky bleeder gets to enjoy himself.

Gilburn Invader? Nope, Clan Crusader? Nope. The red thing below had us scratching our heads but the correct answer to “what is it?” is GTM Coupe, inspired by the Ferrari Dino, based on a Mini and clad in plastic by a firm in Stockport. Anyway, it went like stink. Who would have thought that the K11 Micra could be so much fun? The Hillman Avenger doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, quicker than it’s rival (the Ford Escort Mexico) it did 0-60 in 9.2 seconds but the 1.5 litre engine drank fuel like a thirsty thing. Here is is drinking some more;

There doesn’t seem to be many surviving Renault 5s and we all know why; Chinese takeaway packaging quality, lairy performance and a low price used meant so many were ruined. A bone-fide racer is worth lots and deservedly so, although we’re a bit unsure of the identity and spec of the car in the paddock below. Looks French but those are UK plates. If you know the car, drop us a line, we’re intrigued!

Dr O is a staunch Golf Gti fan. By staunch I mean mind-numbingly tedious. A straw poll in the office favours the Frenchie Gti, particularly because they drive so well. Like these, for example;

As Jimmy Cricket used to say; There’s more. A Sierra Cosworth (I crashed one, once), Toyota Corolla (one crashed into me, once) and a 1979 Toyota Celica.

Evo, innit. A car we ought to love more but thanks in part to someone leaving theirs to idle outside the office a little too often, droning on when we’re trying to chat bob, we can take or leave Mitsubishi’s popular rally winner. Even a very very fast passenger lap in an Evo X (pronounced ‘Ex’, just to annoy the owner) around Spa didn’t get us engaged. Evo prices seem to range from 85p to a Million Yen, there’s no doubting their performance or pedigree and we’re sure they’ll be classics someday. Just not for us. Sorry. If you fancy an cheap Evo, click here.

Modern Japs don’t quite do it for us but older models, like this magnificent Datsun 240Z, certainly do. This is a minty, low mileage example, and we must thank the owner for sharing it with us MotorPunks. These seem to be £15k and upwards.

Classic cars as an investment is often a touchy subject, we’d rather see cars driven than detailed (that’s in our manifesto, actually) but it does make sense to buy and enjoy something sporty that is appreciating in value. I doubt you’d lose money on any of these cars over, say, a 5-10 year period but they’re no longer Fish and Chips money to buy. The interesting debate centres around what’s next. Evos? Imprezas? As Japs dominated rallying in Nineties perhaps it’s time to track down a straight Subaru, and a pickled egg, while you can.

Words; Duisberg. Pics; Rad.

About The Author

Rich Duisberg

Rich Duisberg* has had work published in Classic & Sportscar, Practical Performance Car, Modern Mini, Banzai, MogMag, Evo, GT Porsche, Complete Kit Car, Absolute Lotus, Alternative Cars, Classic Retro Modern, and elsewhere. Rich often appears on CBS’s XCAR and Carfection channels, and Motors TV, plus JayEmm on Cars, enthusing about historic motoring. His latest book (find his work on Amazon) was described by SniffPetrol as "hilarious", although he was also threatened with legal action by elderly DJ Tim Westwood. In his Midlands man cave is a 1972 Fiat 500, a Lotus Elise, a BMW barge and a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike. Previous machines of interest include an Mk1 MX5 (owned for 14 years!), an Alfa GTV6, a Porsche 968 and a Sinclair C5. The Metro (right) was bought for an experiment, and abandoned in Africa. "I am not getting in a car with him" -  said Le Mans winner, Derek Bell. *A nom-de-plume inspired by the BBC's League of Gentlemen.

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