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What's a good starter classic on a tight budget?

I have wanted to dip my toe into the classic car scene for a long time. I have a budget of £500 to £800 to get a starter car. I am open to anything so can you suggest a good model to start with? I've always liked Ford. Citroen and Renault but am thinking a Japanese car might be a safer bet?

Asked on 5 August 2019 by Geordie76

Answered by Keith Moody
When it comes to classics, you should get whatever car you fancy... and can afford. The term 'starter classic' gets used a lot. As a working definition, it normally means something isn't too expensive, is fairly reliable, has good parts supply and owners club support, plus enough events to get you into the scene. Of course, all these terms are relative. A starter classic to one person might be an Austin 7 for use on sunny summer days, while another person might see a starter classic as a Mk2 Volkswagen Golf that they can commute in. Japanese classics of the 1980s and 1990s are definitely creeping up in value - although mainly at the performance end of the market. At the, ahem, 'budget' end of the spectrum there is a glorious amount of chod for you to sample - Datsun Cherry, Honda Prelude, Toyota Corolla ... take your pick. You will find, however, that parts supply can be a bit of a challenge and rust-proofing of this era of any car wasn't brilliant. One thing that's really important to get right is mindset - it would be sweet if your car ran every day all day without fail, but in reality it's going to need some TLC. So budget for parts and regular maintenance. You might find your decision guided by the garages you have locally (if you're next door to a Citroen specialist then fill your boots with a BX) and how you plan to use your car (a two-seater MGTF isn't the easiest thing to move house with). Whatever you do, have fun.
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