A few years ago (probably just 2 years) would have bought you a very useable and nice to look at Elan +2 for ?10,000, now the ballpark is ?12,500 for the same car. For that money I would expect a reasonably original car that won't require any major work in the next 2 - 5 years. Thats a 25% increase when the government will tell us inflation is less than 4%. Top classic cars are starting to make big money at the moment, thats Ferrari Dino's (were 60 - 80 k now 120- 160k) Aston Martin DB's4 & 5 (were 125 - 150k now 190 - 250k) even Lotus Elite type 14's are making 70 -90 k for average examples when they were struggling for 30 - 50 a couple of years ago. The reasons for the increases are complicated and nothing to do with the desirability of classic cars and more to do with tax breaks and benefits for the hedge funds of the better off.
My point is that classic car values are fickle and shouldnt be taken into account unlesss you are buying to invest. Are you buying because you want one or are you buying because you want to invest your money in something other than a cash ISA? John Clegg rightly points out that these cars are more of a hobby or an obsession than a practical proposition.
My highly modified and much admired +2 Zetec has a real world market value of ?18 - ?20 thousand pounds if I chose to sell it in the next few weeks or months, to build one from scratch would cost you ?35 thousand. To properly and correctly rebuild a standard car from scratch wil cost you a similar amount of money. A modified car if it is part of a desirable marque will always hold a good value, if the +2 becomes undesirable then so will the modified cars... cest le vie .... as the French say!
You want to know if a modified car will hold it's value; I would ask how do you personally measure value? Do you measure things like an accountant? or do you have an artists eye for beauty and proportion?
In other words "Do you know the price of everything and the value of nothing" OR " Do you know what you like and have sense of proportion in all things"
Buy a new Lotus or any new sportscar and watch the residuals drop year on year, buy a classic .... any classic maybe a modified one from a recognised and popular marque and your money will be as safe as it can be with anything automotive.
remember "Originality is everything, unless you want to go faster or get better reliability or you just want to piss off the Purists"
BTW my +2 Was original for the first 3 years of my ownership and has been modified for the last 3, I know the best of both worlds and love them both. I had an absolutely mint and properly built Lotus Twincam engine that was an absolute joy, some would say that I was seduced by the darkside of Darth Zetec with his promise of 200bhp and 180lb ft of torque, I only know that I have the best alternative to a Lotus Elise this side of heaven. Make your choice....enjoy!
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I would say yes! With a round trip of 10miles and a plan B (Bike) its possible.
I use to use my Ginetta G15 as everyday transport with no problems. Well when I say no problems , you may have to whip the engine in and out in a weekend, or go and get spares urgently half way accross the country but its all possible!
Remember all things are possible in an infinite universe!
Go for it!
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