The work car from our past is now a highly collectable collector’s item – Rob Hull looks at five examples from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s that have recently sold for stellar sums
To live up to the hot-hatch bill, a car must combine the practical attributes of a family car, a souped-up engine and dazzling handling.
Hot hatchbacks have evolved from humble high-performance cars for the masses to high-end collectibles for the lucky few, with recent sales highlighting the tremendous rise in values for this engine genre.
The boom in demand for these types of engines is due in part to the success of a new breed of online-only auction companies dedicated to modern classics to collect and offering engines a new way to change hands.
One of them, Collecting Cars, will be provided I with details of five hot hatches it’s sold for astounding numbers over the past 18 months.
Alongside similar platforms like The Market and Car and Classic, the site offers collectors an easier and more frequent way to get their hands on existing and future classic engines.
However, as access to desirable engines has increased, so have prices.
Classic car specialist Hagerty recently completed an in-depth research into timed online auctions and found evidence that they are inflating the values of attainable collector vehicles.
John Mayhead, editor of the company’s Price Guide, narrates I: “When we looked at our data from the largest platform we track – Bring-A-Trailer in the US – our team found that there is a real increase in value of about 8 percent.”
That could be one reason why these five hot hatch examples have been selling for considerable sums in the UK over the last year or so.
Sold by CC for: £84,000 in September 2021
Record fee paid at auction: £106,275 in 2019
A highly original and well presented example of the quirky 80’s Renault 5 Turbo 2 Hot Hatch went on the virtual block with Collecting Cars in September and sold for a whopping £84,000.
With just 27,194 km (nearly 16,900 miles) on the clock, it is a treasured example of this generation’s legendary road-going Group B rally machine.
The most paid for a Turbo ‘2’ in the US in 2019 was when a bidder paid $136,000 (around £106,275 at the time) for a low-mileage example offered at a Bring-A-Trailer event.
Sold by CC for: £70,000 in July 2020
Record price paid at auction: £122,400 in 2017
Fast Fords nicknamed Cosworth from earlier eras are big bucks across the board these days, with the Sierra RS500 Cosworth – once a working-class achievement hero – now being a real collector’s item.
Collecting Cars sold this 1987 version with just 23,122 miles from new for £70,000 just over a year ago.
That’s impressive, although some examples have broken the six-figure mark in recent years, with one selling for £122,400 in 2017. However, Hagerty says average values for this particular engine are just under £50,000.
Sold by CC for: £77,000 in June 2021
Record price paid at auction: £218,250 in 2021
The Lancia Delta Integrale Evo II is considered one of the greatest homologation specialists. Lancia’s last road rally car, which would form the basis of the competition model still dominating the World Rally Championship at the end of the Delta run.
This ‘Bleu Lagos’ car is one of only 215 in the world and when it was sold this summer represented a rare opportunity to acquire a coveted modern classic that is almost guaranteed to increase in value in the future.
Even with 50,500 miles on the clock and – as with all examples – left-hand drive (although it was registered as a UK car in 2013) it sold for a whopping £77,000 – that’s around £17,000 more than the average for these cars, according to the Hagerty Price Guide ( £60,575). A 1995 Edizione Finale example with just 3,355 miles on the clock was sold by Silverstone Auctions in May this year for a world record £218,250.
Sold by CC for: £73,000 in October 2021