Monday, 8 November 2021
As the world goes digital, we salute a large bunch of analogue classics that we'll miss in the brave new world:
The F430 is one of the most evocative supercars of recent years and is the last of the manual mid-engined Ferraris, giving it instant collector status. Only 10% of F430s were sold with a proper manual gearbox and used examples start at £100,000, rather more than the ‘electro-hydraulic’ F1 version.
The MX-5 might lack the power and performance of some roadsters, but few come close to matching it for raw driving appeal. The MX-5 will go down in history as one of the greatest sportscars ever. First-gen models are starting to appreciate in value but bargains can be had on the Mk2, with prices starting at around £1,800.
The Lotus Elise was an instant classic the moment it came out. In a world of cosseted luxury the Elise stuck to the guiding principle for which Lotus was renowned: lightness. Cars don’t get any more analogue and as a result the Elise is highly sought after. Prices start from £16,000 – and they’re only going to go one way.
Every Caterham model ticks the analogue box in a big way. The word simple doesn’t do it justice. There really is nothing more than a couple of seats, a manual gearbox and engines of varying degrees of power up front. Prices are fairly reasonable at £14,500 for a used model to give you ten-tenths motoring at its finest.
Buoyed by Subaru’s WRC success, the first and second generation Impreza WRX STis were big hits among fans with turbo charged engines, four-wheel drive and rally-esque styling cues. Noisy, fast, and a lot of fun, prices for the hardcore STi versions start at £10,000 in the classifieds.
Any 911 is worth seeking out. Despite becoming more digital in recent years they are still hugely involving. Prices have been rocketing for older models while special 911s like the 964 RS are outrageously expensive. We’d be looking at a 996 or 997 from around £20,000, but for those who could quadruple their investment a 997 GT3 is within reach. The 997 GT3 was the last of the manuals and is hugely desirable as a result.
Audi’s first bona fide supercar had all the ingredients for success. A choice of a V8 or V10 engine, an open-gate six-speed manual as standard and an interior that made the R8 really easy to live with. Even now, 14 years on, it’s a car that gets a lot of attention. These days, you can pick up a first-gen R8 for around £30,000 – and every journey is an event.
Every M3 is an intoxicating car to drive but an E46 or an E90 with a manual gearbox makes a strong case for itself as a car to buy now and keep for the future. Right now, prices are reasonably affordable. The six-cylinder E46 starts at £10,500 while the V8 E90 begins at £15,000 and is available as a coupe or a saloon.