Our classic buying tips for 2023: The second episode with four cars up to 50,000 euros names the strengths and weaknesses of the Bentley Continental GT, Ford Escort RS Cosworth, Land Rover Series III and VW Karmann Ghia.
In our "Bull market list", i.e. those cars that our evaluation partner Classic-Analytics believes will increase in value, are real guys for 2023. Not run-of-the-mill cars, but cars for connoisseurs. The second of three episodes names four classics that cost less than 50,000 euros.
Bentley Continental GT
A new Bentley Continental GT cost around 180,000 euros. Today, a well-kept example – and you should only buy one like this – is worth around 32,200 euros. The previous owner paid most of the bill. If he treated him well, you will not notice a few tens of thousands of kilometers. Bentley has equipped the Continental GT so valuable and carefully processed that it should easily last a few decades. Your biggest concern will be paying the huge fuel bills - consumption is between 11.6 and 25.3 liters per 100 kilometers, the tank holds 90 liters - and digesting the workshop bills.
After all, the inspection intervals are generous at 32,000 kilometers. The twelve-cylinder biturbo has hardly any weak points apart from stationary damage, defective ignition coils and rarely clogged coolers. The biggest enemy of the body are improper repairs after bumps, accidents or attempted break-ins. You should only buy copies that have a full service history. Specialized dealers in Great Britain offer some spare parts cheaper than the Bentley workshop.
Ford Escort RS Cosworth
The last of 7,145 Ford Escort RS Cosworth was auctioned at collectingcars.com in early November 2022 for 53,700 euros. The price for this special specimen, which Karmann built after the end of the actual series production and later belonged to the head of the British Ford department Special Vehicle Engineering (SVE), shows in which direction the prices for the rare homologation hot hatch are going: after above. The Escort with Sierra Cosworth technology is also a pleasure to drive: the longitudinally installed turbo four-cylinder delivers 220, which the all-wheel drive distributes slightly rear-heavy and the huge wing (can be canceled from 1996) keeps the load on the ground in fast corners.
Rust, accidents and tuning are the three biggest problems of the Escort RS Cosworth. Parts can be found in England, where the fancier scene for the wing escort is larger. Bitter for Lancia Integrale fanboys: the Ford won a comparison test in auto motor und sport because it accelerated better, drove faster slalom and consumed less than its Italian competitor.There was praise for the chassis, criticism was given to the response delay of the large turbocharger. But for 6.2 from zero to 100 km/h, even a current Golf GTI has to be well fed in order not to be left behind.
Land Rover Series III 109 V8
The Land Rover Series III built from 1971 to 1984 is the last version of the series before the Defender. Like the IIA, Series III have headlights in the fenders, and the mirrors are now mounted on the doors instead of the front fenders. The grille and dashboard are made of plastic. Good when driving: The transmission is now fully synchronized as standard. A very robust 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine was usually installed, alternatively a diesel, which struggles a bit with the Land Rover with 63 hp. The 3.5-liter V8 is superior and rare. With low compression, it only achieves 91 hp, but it delivers decent torque and, above all, good running characteristics.
Rust, especially on the rear cross member, is more common. The condition of the chassis decides whether a restoration is worthwhile or not. Contact corrosion can occur between the supporting steel frame and the aluminum panels of the body. Interested parties should primarily pay attention to the bottom edges of the doors and the door window frames. The four-speed gearbox, the differentials and the engines lose oil. Sometimes the synchronization wears out, then gears jump out.
Karmann Ghia Coupé
A liter of premium petrol costs 70 Pfenning, the Federal Republic of Germany becomes a member of NATO and the millionth Volkswagen rolls off the assembly line in Wolfsburg on August 5th. It's a gold painted beetle. Production of the Karmann Ghia begins in the same month. The Type 14 shares the same engine, chassis and brakes as the VW 1200. The translation of the gearbox corresponds to the export Beetle. A standard stabilizer on the front axle reduces body roll. Its wider and flatter body makes the coupé designed by Ghia look like a sports car; a promise that the 30 hp of the 1.2-liter boxer engine in the rear can only keep to a limited extent. The factory specifies the sprint from zero to 100 km/33 seconds. The top speed is 118 km/h – six more than the Beetle.
The fully welded body of the Karmann Ghia contains many cavities and no preservation ex works. Restoring them requires just as much effort and skill as with a Porsche 356 - an effort that not everyone undertakes. In addition, original parts are expensive. A first look should be at the gap dimensions and beads, a second at the wheel arches, the spare wheel well and the sills. The drive is easier to repair: the boxer engine tends to overheat on the third cylinder, loses oil with age or needs new heating bulbs. Scruffy front axle bodies are no small thing.Finally, the chrome and interior should be checked for condition and completeness - replacements can be difficult and expensive to obtain.
Classic Analytics sees two youngtimers and two vintage cars at the forefront in terms of value development for 2023. The Bentley Continental GT has been bobbing at around 30,000 euros for years and has probably lost most of its value. Maintaining, repairing and refueling the luxurious and fast twelve-cylinder coupe remained expensive.
In the nineties, the Ford Escort RS Cosworth inspired everyone who was interested in the World Rally Championship or fast cars. The fans from back then now have the money to buy the dream of their youth. strike!
Land Rover Series III are cheaper than Defender, but less comfortable. Many find a Karmann Ghia beautiful – to look at, not to drive. The first series up to 1959 is the most beautiful - and slowest. Both are enthusiasts' cars.