View Full Version : Undervalued and overlooked

07-30-2004, 11:40 AM
Another thread on a Jensen Healey on eBay has started me thinking. It is agreed that the J-H is an absolute bargain considering its pedigree and design, and I was thinking of what other British cars could be considered in the same light. I would nominate the Triumph Stag as being another overlooked classic. Overvalued? I would certainly nominate the Mini........even common or garden varieties are being priced into five figures, for average cars at best. Any other suggestions for both undervalued and overvalued LBCs?

Super 7
07-30-2004, 01:50 PM
I'm a fan of English Fords. They are reliable practical and fun to drive. I have autocrossed my '68 Cortina GT fairly extensively, and it has never been beaten by a Triumph or MG, except for once by a rotary powered spitfire. At the Portland ABFM autocross, one of my favorites to run, it has never finished below 4th place in the Mini's either. Mark I Cortina GT's are beginning to get expensive, although there are so few decent ones changing hands that prices are difficult to judge. Top dollar for a MK II GT is around $5000.00

Super 7
07-30-2004, 02:11 PM
I am very fond of the Austin America MG 1100 cars. It is kind of a shame that so many have given up their major parts to upgrade Mini's.

I particularly like the Vanden Plas Princess version, except for the automatic. I think I know where a nice one is, and might try to buy it for my daughter's first car. I wish it wasn't right hand drive.

07-30-2004, 02:20 PM
Paul, if you buy the Austin for your daughter, you would convert it to LH drive, wouldn't you?
RH drive is a bear here in the states. I drove a RH drive Bugeye when I lived in Tucson, and it was a nightmare., (And I had a ton of RH drive experience.)

07-30-2004, 02:23 PM
I agree with Steve on the Stag being underappreciated - I'm not sure they're undervalued because I don't see enough for sale to form an opinion.

Other undervalued (if not overlooked) cars - mostly all Triumphs. I think the Spitfire & GT-6 are not given their due as usable street cars & remain undervalued even though they're loved by many people. Ditto the TR8. It seems everyone who likes them already owns one.

My nomination for the current champs of overlooked LBC's are the Elva Courier and the Morris Minor. Minors are drivable, tunable, and practical. Couriers are light and I have a weakness for fiberglass English cars.

There are several cars I think are "overappreciated" and overpriced but wouldn't dare list them. I think most folks would agree that, unless you're simply a collector or investor, value is only part of the equation anyway.

07-30-2004, 02:50 PM
Jeff, I drive a '53 YB around LA and I think it's far more fun than a LHD car. In fact, I've been looking for a RHD BGT as a daily driver! The only problem I run into with the YB is drive-through windows. It's difficult to stretch across the car although the look on the window person's face when I pull up is almost worth the hassle!

There is no practical reason to drive a RHD car in the US, but I like it because it's different and fun.

07-30-2004, 03:40 PM
As far as undervalued cars, I'd have to say the 1500 Midget (like my racer). They can be bought for under $1000 (USD) and often just have simple problems. Being newer, they usually have less rust than older Spridgets and they are easy to "backdate" to chrome bumpers for the "classic look".

Also, as stated above, Spitfires can still be gotten pretty cheaply.

And, if the "door stop" styling and tin-top doesn't bother you, TR7coupes can be a real good deal (assuming the head isn't warped like a banana).

The 2-seat, Austalian-built, fwd Mercury Capri are sold at give-away prices around here (I think these were only sold in the US and Oz). Nothing to look at, but a real two-seater drop-top with a bullet-proof Mazda engine.

The problem (and alternate) nowdays is "the M word". A decent high-mileage Miata M1 can be bought for $3500 in my area.

07-30-2004, 04:53 PM
TR7 convertible has to be the most undervalued/overlooked sports car. TR4 is also a great bargain. MGAs recently skyrocketed, but for many years was very much a bargain and overlooked.

Jaguar XKE 2+2s are certainly a bargain, since they can be had for a fraction of the cost of a regular coupe or convertible -- or the later Series III convertibles, which are built on the same platform.

Jensen Interceptor Coupes are very overlooked and undervalued, especially since they have big block Chrysler 440 engines, which are usually worth as much as the amount people pay for the cars.

Up until recently Land Rovers were undervalued. A big push has brought the values up on the early vehicles as of late.

Jensen Healeys are undervalued, but their engines are so finicky -- and the big rubber bumper is a little ungainly.

07-30-2004, 09:25 PM
Undervalued... I think most of you probably know my answer /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif Of course a British saloon (or a European/import sedan), say a Morris Oxford, Triumph 2000, Rover 2000, the list could go on.

Some of them can be very sporting, and the ones that aren't quite as sporting can be fun in their own way. I wouldn't personally pay much more than $4K for the average British saloon car over here, and most of my friends who are into them would say the same thing. The market demand for them over here is low and probably always will be, you'll probably never lose your shirt on re-sale, you probably won't make any money on one either as I believe most examples will never gain significant value on this side of the pond. Oh yeah... one other plus side? You can fit the whole family in it :thumbsup:

Just passed by a nice looking late-1960's Toyota Crown today (at a local repair shop), probably not for sale, had current plates on it and looked like it was in current use...

Overvalued... can't think of one at this time

07-31-2004, 12:22 AM
Most definately the Rovers.....The 2000,s and 3500,s are vastly undervalued. The 2000,s were better engineered than most all cars when introduced and more powerful than most any other Brit sedan ....Car and Driver reported and I quote " if every car on the road was as good as this one, they could raise every speed limit in the country 15 miles per hour "......." absolutely the best sedan that has ever been presented on the pages of this magazine " ......" Driving the 2000TC is so good that it should be reserved for people of taste, breeding and documented automotive enthusiasm" The seats in the cars are beyond reproach for comfort.......OR get the 3500 with a 5 speed.....THEY got it so right, most <font color="blue"> </font> every other Brit car wants to use its engine......Rover got it right yet because most owners neglected their inboard rear brakes, tappet settings and rustproofing these car are overlooked........Get a Rover before everyone catches on and the price goes way up.......BMW .....The ultimate driving machine ...........My rear end.....My Rover 2000TC is /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/driving.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/canpatriot.GIF

07-31-2004, 12:34 AM
I would not disagree......in fact I was thinking of mentioning the P6 Rovers. I used to own a 1972 3500S, with the manual transmission and boy was that a nice car! Trouble was, the rust had eaten away at the rear driver's side suspension mounting, and it gave way on me. Couldn't afford to get it fixed, but I saved up and with the money I bought an XJ12.

But I digress. The Rover P6, be it a 2000, 2000TC, 2200, or 3500, is a wonderful car, very advanced for its time, roomy, comfortable, quick, and handles very well indeed. I would own another in a heartbeat, but be warned, the outer panels (even the roof) are bolt-on, and it is easy to hide a rust-box under beautiful panels. I know that the hard way. Great cars. Another Rover you should get if you can? The P5B, saloon or coupe. 3.5 litre V8, like a country club on wheels......oh mama!

Geo Hahn
07-31-2004, 08:36 PM
...There are several cars I think are "overappreciated" and overpriced but wouldn't dare list them...

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I'll dare list one -- since it is what I drive. I dearly love my TR3A but find the $$$ these change hands for to be on the high side given that you can find a comparable TR4 for less than 1/2 the price.

I drive both and can only conclude it is the classic (funky) styling and the allure(!?) of side curtains that make the '3 more in demand.

08-01-2004, 01:39 AM
I agree that the TR4 is undervalued. The TR3 seems to be correctly valued in relation to its contemporaries. You can get a driver for $5,500 or $6,000 and a really nice one for $12,000. That's what a mid-market collector car brings (Camaro, Mustang, smallblock C3 Corvette, MGA, Porsche 911 etc...)

08-02-2004, 12:31 PM
Well, I've gotta admit that since the introduction of the MINI, the price of real Minis has gone thru the roof. Cars that you could've bought for $5-6,000 four or five years ago are now priced at $8-10,000. I'm lucky I got mine when I did.

In undervalued cars, I've always been attracted to the Morris Minor......kinda underpowered and quirky, but cute as a bug's ear.

For anybody who agrees with me, there's a Minor Convertable for sale here in the Twin Cities of Mini-Sota:

FOR SALE: 1958 Morris Minor Convertable. New top, new electrical, new brakes. Dual carb 948cc engine runs great! Body good, not restored. A good daily driver and very dependable. Car is located in the Twin Cities. $3000 or best offer. Contact Tom at 952-935-3161 or by Email at: TOOLMAKERPROUT@aol.com .

I haven't seen this car, and I don't know the guy selling it, but if anybody here is really serious about buying it, I could go and check it out and take some pix for you.

racing girl
08-02-2004, 01:08 PM
"Undervalued and overlooked" would most definitely apply to the Hillman Imp and the Sunbeam Stilletto. I see Imps in good condition in the owners mag going for just a few hundred pounds, some even say "free to a good home", they don't come much cheaper than that! Fully built up race cars for less than $3000, heck, the engine would set you back more than that!

In a similar vein, and yes I'm biased, I will also nominate the G15, they can be picked up really cheaply in the UK, but conversely, over here in the US we were offered $12,000 on the spot at a car show!, probably the rarity value kicking in. And, yes, the guy was serious... when we told him it absolutely wasn't for sale he offered $15,000! That's at least twice the value of a UK car.

RG /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/england.gif

08-02-2004, 01:29 PM
I have noticed that cars in the UK go for far less money than here in the US.....even Minis are reasonable still. Now, if only there were an economical way of getting them from there to here.............

08-02-2004, 02:09 PM
Now, if only there were an economical way of getting them from there to here.............

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Steve, we should have all chipped in and bought the aircraft carrier that was on eBay awhile back. We could have made a killing on transportation! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

08-02-2004, 02:11 PM
if only there were an economical way of getting them from there to here.............

Forget the aircraft carrier! We should hire those clever Cuban guys mentioned a while back:

https://www.britishcarforum.com/ubbthread...=true#Post49390 (https://www.britishcarforum.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&amp;Board=UBB9&amp;Number=49390&amp;Searchp age=1&amp;Main=49387&amp;Words=cuba&amp;topic=&amp;Search=true#Pos t49390)


08-02-2004, 09:14 PM
I have noticed that cars in the UK go for far less money than here in the US.....even Minis are reasonable still. Now, if only there were an economical way of getting them from there to here.............

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It really depends on the car. In the case of the Mini, Cortina or other mass-produced car that was always available in the UK, but not in the US, absolutely true.

But if you look in Thoroughbred and Classic Car or Classic and Sports Car (or any of the great British collector car publications,) you'll see that the mainstream British sports and special interest cars go for much more than in America. MGB, MGA, TR2-TR6, Lotus etc.. all tend to be more expensive, because most of the production came here and stayed here.

For many years it was big business to buy a TR or early MG and throw it into a container and send it back to England. I know guys who would buy $10,000 worth of rusty and mediocre runners and get $20,000 for them from British buyers.

The market isn't so out of whack anymore, but still there's an interesting difference.

08-03-2004, 12:42 AM
I have seen prices for even the rubber bumper MGBs edging up there lately in the UK, but they are, admittedly, for excellent examples. I tend to monitor Practical Classics magazine's classifieds, but I also check my (old) local newspaper's classifieds section, which sometimes makes for interesting reading! I was really referring to the Rovers, Triumph saloons and Minis and such like though. Good point about where most of the production ended up, I hadn't really thought about that much.

Super 7
08-04-2004, 10:53 PM
I love to look at UK classifieds in Classic and Sportscar, Practical classics, etc. The 105speed.com website has some beautiful modified Anglias. Check out the "Your Cars" section.

From what I have seen in some of the magazines though, a lot of cars there (in the UK) are restored from hulks that would be unworthy parts cars here. I would love to buy one, but I'm afraid to. Repaired rust has a to return I prefer no rust.

I'm thinking of going over later this year and having a look around at some used cars though. MK I &amp; 2 Escorts, and maybe Anglia's.

08-05-2004, 12:10 AM
My first car was the Anglia 105E.....the base model. In fact, had I known how comparatively rare it was I might have been more tempted to keep it. Admittedly there are some cars that have been resored from hulks as you rightly put it. In the UK they are referred to as "sheds" (as in the garden variety). There are, however, many cars that were looked after from day one, and have remained rust free, so not all is doom and gloom. Good luck with your hunt for Escorts and Anglias, there are a fair number around still, although the hot Escorts such as the Mexicos and RS2000s are rather expensive, and watch out for fakes.

08-05-2004, 12:46 PM
I've had my heart set on a classic mini, but not at these prices. The minor is a nice alternative, but harder to find.

One added value of the UK cars is the MOT. It is pretty amazing that we do not have something like it in the States. Some states do different types of inspections, but to my knowledge, none are as rigorous as the MOTs (well, I'm assuming that MOTs are pretty picky judging by the UK classic car mags).

08-05-2004, 02:02 PM
Most remaining MkII Escorts have been cut up for use in Locost projects. Apparently Cortinas are a rare sight now too as their front hubs are favored in many kit cars.

For undervalved I'd have to say the Reliant Scimitar goes pretty cheap over in the UK (with only a handful here the market is too hard to judge). You would think that they would hold value well being fiberglass with no body rot concerns, prestige of being hand built and owned by royaltly - most notably Princess Anne. Also the rugged and common Ford mechnicals should be another plus point. And with the hatch they are practical too. Only over heating issues and quality woes on the mid years are black marks yet the prices range from free to very little.

08-05-2004, 04:06 PM
Here's a really good resource for older Fords in the UK


You would probably find that most of the Escorts and Cortinas that have been cannibalised for parts as you describe are going to be the average to rough veriety. British Fords are weell catered for by several clubs, and the enthusiasts really do take care of their cars. Good comment about the Scimitar, though I am not really up on the prices over there, must do some research there. Ford Capris are cheap in the UK, and they share the Cortina's oily bits to a large extent, there being only a couple of exceptions. They really weren't that bad.

08-05-2004, 04:20 PM
I cannot help thinking that some of the cars in this thread were dreadful when new, and since then they have got old. That may make them rare, but that's a good thing - don't want too many of them around!
I was going to name those that are really best forgotten and overlooked, but realising that might upset some, I'm omitting those mentioned in this thread.
How about these for British Cars I wish I'd never come across?

Austin Allegro
Morris Ital
Metropolitan (well it was British built)
Standard 8
Ford Popular 100E
Vauxhall Victor Mk1
Vauxhall Cresta (of any type)
Vauxhall Viva
Come to think of it, just about every Vauxhall from 1950 to 1980 or so!
Straight-6 Fords (Zephyr, Zodiac)
Metro of any persuasion
Bond Bug
Reliant Robin

08-05-2004, 04:30 PM
You could be right.......In any event, I would agree completely about the llegro and the Ital. Don't forget the Marina too!! I drove many Allegros, and I was not impressed. Another one.....the Maxi, especially in its early days. Terrible! I always thought that the 1800cc Vauxhall Magnum and the droop snoot Firenzas were okay, but then I never got to drive any of them. I always felt that the Escort was a nicer product than either the Allegro or the Marina. And speaking of horrors......the BL wedge Princesses. Awful. I would be rather intrigued by your opinions of some of the cars mentioned. I would agree that age does not a classic make, but also that we don't need to upset anyone /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif Maybe start a new thread.......forgotten and best overlooked? Keep in mind though, a lot of the cars that you mention were not available over here.

08-05-2004, 04:58 PM
forgotten and best overlooked? How about a Triumph Acclaim?


08-05-2004, 09:39 PM
Oh, certainly yes. The Acclaim was certainly not the high water mark of Triumph. Another good car that is overlooked in the UK is the Triumph 1300 and the 1300TC. Very nice little cars, luxurious, decent performance, front wheel drive. They never came to the USA did they? How about Canada?

08-05-2004, 11:52 PM

08-06-2004, 10:23 AM
Another one that should be overlooked......Hillman Avenger!!

08-06-2004, 03:43 PM
I've got some literature on the BMC1800 (Woolsey I think)sedan. Not much, just something I picked up in a used book store to read. I had never seen one. Late '60's I believe.

tony barnhill
08-06-2004, 11:28 PM
We love our MG1100..when she was in bhigh school ,our daughter &amp; her friends loved driving it

08-07-2004, 12:25 AM
I also got a Humber Hauk MKVI owner's handbook.

08-07-2004, 05:24 PM
My dad used to have an Austin (BMC) 1800. He reckons it was the best car he's ever had (by the standards of the day). My dad never could afford new cars and the 1800 was three or four years old when he got . The only trouble he ever had with it was when the hydrlastic suspension blew out. I remember the incident well, it sounded like some had shot out a rear wheel with a shotgun at point blank range. The only other (typically BMC) problem with the car was bodywork corrosion, but he liked the car so much he had the bodywork fixed up and a full respray! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/england.gif

Super 7
08-11-2004, 01:32 PM
My folks had a couple Vauxhalls in California in the 60's. They had pretty good service out of them. My dad worked in the body shop at a GM dealership and the dealer had to take them in trade because they had sold them. We got the second because my mother wrecked the first one. They were a little ungainly looking with baby Oldsmobile styling on a short tall body. I remember having to clean the interior, and I know it was made of higher grade materials than my English Fords inside.

Here is a cool link to some Anglias https://105speed.com/default.asp?id=44
The neat thing about the Fords is that the bolt pattern on the block is the same from a 1000 cc Anglia to a 2 liter Zetec including Lotus twincam, Cosworth BD and Y series, the 2 liter SOHC that came in Capri, etc. It means that there are a lot of engine options and a few transmission options in the family for the person who enjoys that sort of thing.

08-12-2004, 02:36 PM
Now that it has been discussed on the Lotus forum, I must nominate the Elan +2. Beautiful cars.

08-12-2004, 02:45 PM
The Leyland P76 (https://www.austin-rover.co.uk/index.htm?p76storyf.htm) is by most accounts a very nice and not worthy of its lousy reputation. The coupe version (https://www.austin-rover.co.uk/index.htm?p76force7f.htm) would have been quite exciting if ever produced - kinda like Dodge Charger.

Mark Beiser
08-13-2004, 11:25 PM
We love our MG1100..when she was in bhigh school ,our daughter &amp; her friends loved driving it

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Isn't that the one she used more like an amusment park ride than a car? Trying to tip it over on turns and all.... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jester.gif

08-16-2004, 10:56 AM
There was a real nice Princess at UML Summer Part last weekend, although I think it was sold.

08-16-2004, 03:55 PM
Most undervalued cars?.......In the UK I would say Triumph 2000 and Rover P6's. Good solid cars with adequate performance for today's traffic conditions.
A lot of other 60's "big" saloons were destroyed in "banger racing", (Steve can translate), the examples that are left have mostly been restored and are in the hands of enthusiasts.
Also undervalued are any common British Sports car with the exception of Healey's and Etypes. Others you can pick up fairly cheaply.
There is not a great market in the UK for cars we love amongst the younger set, they can by an MX5(Miata)for £3K which won't break down and looks good, they are all after Evo's or other Japanese "Fast and Furious" cars anyway. This is why most original British "non-collector" cars are cheap.



08-16-2004, 04:26 PM
Most undervalued cars?.......In the UK I would say Triumph 2000 and Rover P6's. Good solid cars with adequate performance for today's traffic conditions.
A lot of other 60's "big" saloons were destroyed in "banger racing", (Steve can translate), the examples that are left have mostly been restored and are in the hands of enthusiasts.
Also undervalued are any common British Sports car with the exception of Healey's and Etypes. Others you can pick up fairly cheaply.
There is not a great market in the UK for cars we love amongst the younger set, they can by an MX5(Miata)for £3K which won't break down and looks good, they are all after Evo's or other Japanese "Fast and Furious" cars anyway. This is why most original British "non-collector" cars are cheap.



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Hmmmmmm, could be an opportunity there, run across to the UK, buy a container load of early, unloved orphan cheap classic cars, ship 'em over, sell at a profit. If only it were that simple. Sherlock, stop drooling on your keyboard!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Good to see you back Alan, hope your health and temper are good. How was LeMans? Enquiring minds want to know.

08-16-2004, 05:31 PM
Hi Steve....
Health is good, temper is as bad as ever and Le Mans was fabulous.....You get the container I'll get the cars!....
Incidently...Bruce Reynolds (Great Train Robber) Healey has just come into the shop for a spruce up prior to sale. Black Mk I with black hardtop, genuine low milage, laid up for some considerable time (Lol)......(especially tuned with triple carbs etc), anticipated Sale price ....wait for it £45K.



08-16-2004, 05:59 PM
Wow, strong money. But considering what Pat Moss' rally Healey went for at auction recently (£175,000 which translates into roughly $325,000) such a price for a car with such interesting history should not come as too much of a surprise. I think that the Moss Healey will tow prices for regular cars up higher, just as a knock-on effect.

Okay, containers, where's me Yellow Pages?

Simon TR4a
08-18-2004, 10:45 AM
Got to agree with Sherlock, Beejay 7 and Rovernut that English saloons can be very nice cars. I like many of the 60's cars as people were driving these in my teenage years, Cortinas and the BMC Landcrab, Rovers and Triumph 2000s for a bit more class.
After the London to Sydney Marathon I liked the good looking Hillman Hunter and the Rootes Groups upmarket Humber Sceptre version (usually with a vinyl roof).
In sports cars I nominate the Sunbeam Alpine, a much more roomy and comfortable car than my TR4, though not much power, a great deal for an attractive car.

Jim Weatherford
08-19-2004, 04:32 PM
"Undervalued and overlooked" would most definitely apply to the... Jensen Healey. The production in round numbers for the four years was 10,500 (I'm not talking GT's), today there are only approximately 1,500 registered and running cars (from the Jensen Healey Preservation Society web site) Because so few of the JH’s are on the road, it is a blast to have everyone look at it and ask… is that a Jag? or worse… is that a kit car or a Cobra? Duh, why yes it is… LOL

The Jensen Healey marquise has won the SCCA National Title three (3) times, 1974 &amp; '75 and again in 1995, one class down. That is a racing pedigree for sure. I know my 1973 Jensen Healey Mk.I (Vin#13046) is a real runner, fast and well behaved. I have opened some Miata drivers eyes and ears too.

You can find below average drivers from $3,500.USD, very nice and sorted cars for $6,000.USD, and fine show quality in the $14,000.USD range. As usual, you have to know what you are purchasing. I can’t imagine that kind of “bang for your buck” on anything else.

Interestingly, my car has a manufacturing date of March 7, 1973 and sold originally in Anaheim, CA. My birthday is March 7, 1947, and I live in Orange, CA right next to Anaheim, CA.

08-20-2004, 06:57 PM
I have given this some considerable thought,.... it's most every car I own. Not to mention my opinions.

08-26-2004, 01:33 PM
Another one that should be overlooked......Hillman Avenger!!

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Or its American cousin, the Plymouth Cricket.