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Can you recommend a classic car for a 17-year-old driver?

I am just about to come into my final year before my GCSEs, after which I will be entering VI Form and hopefully be learning how to drive as I am September-born. I live about 25 miles away from the school itself in Southampton, and I would like to own a good first classic car, as no modern cars with the addition of expensive pieces of plastic and excessive safety features take my eye. The main reason for a classic is the availability of spare parts, owners clubs and also the endless books of advice and easy maintenance and tuneability.

I’ve had a look at some classic cars already (Triumph Dolomite Sprint, Ford Capri, Ford Cortina, Mini) but I have reached a unified stuck end, to which my father pointed me to you, who I have read most weekends on in the DT! I would like to know if you recommend any classic cars that are reliable, good-looking and easy to tune. I’m willing to spend up to about £1750-£1900 on the car itself, so hopefully your assistance would be dearly needed!

Asked on 12 January 2012 by TC, Salisbury

Answered by Honest John
First of all you can forget tuning anything otherwise you will be facing insurance premiums of £10,000 or more a year. The best way in is probably a Morris Minor. There's a huge club giving excellent advice, organising big club events, and all the bits you could ever need.

Alternatively a Triumph Herald, if you can find one that isn't rotted out. Austin A35s have gone dear because of their potential for historic racing. First check with classic car insurers such as to find out if they will take a 17-year-old on an agreed value limited mileage classic car policy.
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