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Home The Market UK’s unexceptional vintage vehicles showing exceptional increase in value

UK’s unexceptional vintage vehicles showing exceptional increase in value

Rarity and nostalgia causing prices to increase, says Hagerty UK

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It was a headline obviously designed to draw attention:

Austin Allegro outperforms Jaguar E-Type and Ferrari 308

Wait, what! In what possible aspect might a meager Austin Allegro, a small British car produced from 1973 to 1982, possibly outperform a sleek Jaguar E-Type or an exotic Ferrari 308?

Simple, according to Hagerty’s UK Price Guide. 

“Once everyday cars are now rising at a rapid rate year on year,” Hagerty UK reports, noting as examples that the 1965-1970 Triumph 1300 has increased in value by 20.4 percent and the 1973-1982 Austin Allegro by 13.6 percent in the past year. 

Meanwhile, the E-type Series III has risen by only 8.2 percent and the 308 GTB by just 7 percent during the same period.

Hagerty apparently timed this latest announcement to help build interest in its annual Festival of the Unexceptional, a showcase for forgotten vehicles scheduled for July 30 at Grimsthrope Castle in Lincolnshire.

“Ordinary, everyday cars – affectionately known as ‘unexceptional’ cars – that were once the backbone of Britain are now proving so sought-after that many are rising in value faster than versions of the Jaguar E-Type,” Hagerty UK reported. 

“The latest data from the Hagerty Price Guide reveals everyday cars have enjoyed a bumper year of growth, with values rising as much as 20 per cent year on year.

Triumph 1300

Models including the Ford Cortina, Renault 4, Hillman Imp, Austin Princess, and the infamous Allegro have posted the biggest increases in value, so far this year, posting increases in value of between 4.4 and 20.4 per cent for the top 10 performers, at a time when precious few bank savings accounts better a return of 1 per cent. 

“They’re joined by other strong performers that are household names, with the Ford Fiesta, Austin Metro and Vauxhall Cavalier just some of the humble family cars that have become desirable to their fans.

With a healthy rise in value, these cars often offset any associated running and maintenance costs, making them a surprisingly sound investment.

Renault 4

“For car enthusiasts, these unexceptional classics represent an affordable as well as enjoyable route to owning a special car. The majority identified in the list of top 20 risers cost no more than £4,000 but are on the up.”

“These everyday cars are becoming increasingly rare,” explained John Mayhead, Hagerty’s head of UK collector car intelligence. “For decades the vast majority were unloved workhorses that would eventually be sold for scrap at best. 

“Now, with rarity on their side and nostalgia tugging at the heartstrings, enthusiasts are snapping up the remaining examples, sometimes because of an emotional connection and sometimes perhaps because they feel a duty to preserve them for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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