With two grand in your pocket the classic car market really starts to open up.
While with only £1,000 to spend you might have to constrain yourself to more recent cars or projects, double that amount should just about see you on the road in something with a real vintage to it.
Here we offer what we think are a few good options.
But, as always, before you buy make sure you check the history, get a full MOT and have an expert assess your potential purchase to avoid your bargain classic turning into an expensive money pit.
You might think that the good old Morris Minor is a bit too classic to be picked up for a couple of thousand, but you’d be wrong. A quintessential British car, it dates back to 1948, when it made its debut at the Earls Court Motor Show in London.
The design team was led by Alec Issigonis – before he went on to design the Mini – and the Minor went on to sell more than 1.3 million between 1948 and 1972. And that’s probably one of the reasons why you can still pick one up for not a lot of cash, as there are still plenty around. The Minor was built as a two-door saloon and convertible, as well as a wood-framed estate, named the Traveller, a panel van and pick-up.
A proper classic car in many ways.
For those looking for a bit of Frenchness, the Peugeot 205 is already a bona fide classic in the eyes of many.
Launched a slightly unbelievable 33 years ago, in 1983, over its lifetime it was offered in many variants, with engines from as small as 954cc up to 1,905cc. For many people it has been their first car and it has a special place in people’s hearts.
There are still a good number around and the 205 makes a nice little starter classic. The one for the petrolheads, of course, is the GTI, launched in 1984. It’s a legend of a hot hatch, but you will be incredibly lucky to find one in this price range that isn’t a basket case.
The 205 was produced until 1998 and sold a whopping 5.3 million units.
For those keen on a modern classic Japanese sports car, the Toyota MR2 won’t see you wrong. It has all of the attributes of a proper sports car – two seats, an engine in the middle and rear-wheel-drive. Indeed, the name MR2 basically stands for mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, two-seater.
It’s small, light, and lots of fun. It was launched in 1984 and sold until 2007 in its various forms. For your £2,000 you’re probably looking at an example from the 1990s.
A word of warning, though. Like many Japanese cars, the MR2 has been a favourite of the modifiers, so check out your potential purchase thoroughly to make sure that it hasn’t been over-molested from the original spec.
Once the bank robbers’ getaway car of choice, you might not think that you’d be able to get your hands on this luxury barge for such little cash, but you can. The XJ was launched in 1968 and the first series was produced until 1973. The second series, produced from 1973-79, or the third series, from 1979-92, is probably where you’re likely to find yourself a deal.
The XJ6, obviously enough, features a straight-six engine, while the XJ12 had the meaty V12. It’s the XJ6 that’s most likely to fall into the two grand bracket, but whichever you end up with will have that British caddish luxury in spades.
The classic XJ shape was still coming out of the factories into the 2000s and the car still exists in name, although the current version bears little resemblance.
The MGB is often seen as a great way into classic car ownership and for good reason. The archetypal British sports car, the MGB was meant to be fun and cheap when it was new and it still is. Roadster and GT versions were produced and it’s the roadsters that, thanks to being far more common, are often seen for £2,000 or less.
While the GT V8 is the sought-after version, these days you’ll be lucky to get one for much under £10,000. So, for the bargain hunter, it’s the 1800cc roadster.
Built between 1962 and 1980, a total of 523,836 were built of all variants and it’ll be mid-1970s onwards that are still to be found at the lower end of the price range.