Most low-rent petrolheads, including the scruffy ensemble we find hunched over the classifieds at MotorPunk HQ, all wish that they could predict which affordable modern classics of today are likely to become the wise investments and auction money-spinners of the future … or at least offer some fun cost-free motoring adventures for the next decade or so as these budget P&Js slowly appreciate. If only there were a way to compare an eclectic bunch of Cool, Quick or Quirky sub-£1k snotters from 2006 with similarly priced fare on the forecourts of today.

Well car fans, I have a cunning idea! Let us consider the granddaddy of all banger rallies, and the primordial soup from which a fledgling MotorPunk Magazine crawled in the late Noughties: The 2006 Scumball Rally. back in the day entrants were expected to buy for under a bag-o-sand something that had been “sporty” in its day for a transcontinental jolly from Donington in the Midlands to the infamous MotorPunk mecca of the Nurburgring in deepest, darkest Deutschland; a round trip of about 1,000 miles all in, packed with blokey high jinks and raising a few quid for deserving charities along the way.

What modern classics, capable of a spirited lap of the Green Hell, would now be of reach should a 10th-anniversary Scumball reunion happen? Which Cool, Quick or Quirky motors of today have finally haemorrhaged enough value to be in a Scumball 2024 if anyone was brave enough to organise it?


Porsche 924

I fear the days of cheap water-pumping pork are coming to an end; at least two Porsche 924, and another couple of ropey 944, made the rally between 2006 and 2008. Try find something with an MoT that’s in reasonable shape to tackle the Scumball nowadays! The 924 and 944 might be appreciating slowly but are still, in our opinion, massively overlooked as modern classics. However, values of the Turbo versions are now booming; cooking versions are likely to follow suit. A canny investment.


Golf GTi mk2

Yes, the odd 8v five-door rust bucket does appear on eBay, but in the early Scumballs we saw several tidy and desirable 16v three-door GTI (and a couple in the best colour too: Oak Green) make the trip. The Mk2 now has almost the same cult kudos of the Mk1, and we might say the same of a tidy Corrado too. Prices are on the up … apart from this one which had to burnt to the ground after this incident.

Oak Green Mk2 Golf GTI

Alfa 75

OK, so it only managed one year out of three due to Italian electrical gremlins (or Folletto as they say in Turin) and was replaced at the last hour with a dreary Nissan Primera GTi in an automotive leap-from-one-extreme-to-another. These lovely 80s oddities were thin on the ground in 2006; sadly, by 2016 all but a handful of highly-prized examples will have dissolved back into the earth from where they once came.

Alfa 75



Here’s the good news, and we hope you will help us find more examples of suitable sub £1k motors to add to this list in the coming months.

Renaultsport Clio 172

Hard to see these Froggy pocket rockets appreciating much in value but they are a hell of a hoot to drive, fairly safe and are plentiful on eBay.

Clio 172

Seat Leon Cupra

For around the same price as a leggy Golf GTI Turbo, you can now snap up its ugly Spanish cousin. I never liked its styling (I always thought the back looked like Marvin the Paranoid Android) but it was actually a far sportier drive than the wobbly old Mk4 Golf, and had an extra 30bhp to boot.



Only one MX-5 was ever brought on the Scumball because they couldn’t be found for less than a grand 10 years ago; today there are about 40 in that price bracket on eBay alone! Rich, my co-editor ‘claims’ he paid £999 for his ratty Scumball-spec 1.6 Mk1 in 2006, a car that he still owns to this day, but we still have our doubts (a handwritten receipt is not proof Rich!). Cracking value today, but original non-mucked-about-with cars are now getting quite scarce. Buying and cherishing a good early Mk1 is better than money in the bank we reckon, and a lot more fun … not that any of us at MotorPunk HQ can really say, from first-hand experience, that we know what a healthy bank balance is. But, we do all own an MX-5!


Sadly, the Scumball only ran for three years before artistic differences split the band of organisers, who all went on to successful solo careers in insurance and telecommunications. In that time about £35k, or thereabouts, was raised for good causes but, sadly, a good number of modern classics did meet untimely scrappages due to crashes, catastrophic engine failures, firework damage, prawn-related sabotage and ruined paintwork from poorly applied/removed rally stickers. But what have we missed? What cars do you think we should add to the lists above? We’d love to see your views in the comments below.



About The Author

Darryl can usually be found up to his elbows in some unloved piece of BL detritus when he isn’t snapping and scribbling for various print magazines or producing the book on road tripping or tally-ho adventurers. As an occasional presenter on CBS's Carfection YouTube channel, his other hobbies include vintage Scalextrics, ‘60s Bang & Olufsen and dabbling in grassroots motorsport.

8 Responses

  1. Rich Duisberg
    Rich Duisberg

    I think we need more big, fat on-its-last-legs Jaguars on banger rallies. Where do I sign up?

    • Mark M

      Time for another Scumball I think. I still have a green E36 328i. Not the original one but a fair replica. Worth even less now.
      Or at least, that’s what potential buyers from Pistonheads would have believe.

  2. Mark M

    Can we do this again please?

    The world has changed and we are all probably passed it but surely to God it is worth getting the bans back together?


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