Remember those cars, the wheels that elicited little more than a shrug when they first rolled onto the road? The cars that matured like fine wines and became some of the most iconic designs of their respective generations? And, most importantly, those cars you wish you’d bought at the time, before they soared out of their ugly duckling phases and into auction houses and car collections the world over?
Well, thanks to 4 Star Classics – curators and purveyors of premium classic and sports cars – you can get ahead of the curve, and buy some of the best soon-to-be icons available today. Start your wallets, gents – it’s time to invest in a classic.
Mercedes 190E 2.5-16 Cosworth
The 190E Cosworth was one of the great Touring Car icons of the Eighties, competing alongside the BMW E30 M3 and Ford Sierra RS Cosworth. With values of the last two having shot up in recent years, it seems only right that the Mercedes should follow suit. With its roots firmly tied in motorsport the ‘dogleg’ manual is the one to have (not the auto), both for drivability and investment purposes.
Audi B5 RS4
With the unbeatable combo of a twin-turbocharged 2.7-litre V6, a manual gearbox and four-wheel drive, this was Audi’s first incarnation of the incredible RS4 Avant. It followed on from the limited production RS2, and with just 400 right-hand drive examples produced the B5 RS4 is almost as rare.
Jaguar XJS V12
The XJS is an excellent period cruiser and the V12 will always be the one to have, whether it’s a 5.3 or the rare 6-litre. For years these cars have gone under the radar with many rotting away completely. They were built in large numbers but the opportunity to find low mileage, rust-free examples is increasingly difficult as prices for such cars are steadily creeping up. Coupe or Convertible, you’re on to a winner.
Renault Clio Williams
Eighties and Nineties hot hatches are definitely on the move, and the Clio Williams is an understated hero that has yet to see the explosive surge in price of the 205 GTi. Respected motoring journalists have consistently rated the Williams as one of the very best hot hatches ever made, regardless of era. Its unique specification and relatively limited production run mean it’s a rare site on today’s roads.
BMW E30 3-Series
It wasn’t long ago that decent retro Bimmer could be picked up for a few hundred quid, but times are changing and boxy Eighties cars are more in vogue than ever. From our perspective any E30 should be a great investment but low mileage and good provenance are key. The M3 is now unobtainable for many, but regular cabriolets and coupes can still be bought well. Bigger engines are usually more desirable and Sport variants will always command a premium.
4 Star Classics
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