AutoClassics narrows down the listings to our three top affordable Italians from the upcoming Historics at Brooklands auction. It’s harder than you’d think…

Few petrolheads can deny possessing a soft spot for a classic Italian motor – and a good-looking Italian classic that’s selling for an affordable sum makes for a highly attractive proposition. It can, however, be tricky to find a vehicle that balances strong condition with affordability. Thankfully there’s a plentiful supply of just such cars at the upcoming Historics auction.

From pre-war innovation to the cheeky flash of a pop-up headlamp, there’s something for everyone at Brooklands on Saturday September 22. With Italians being added to the online listings virtually every day, we here at AutoClassics are struggling to choose just one. However, we have at least narrowed it down to our favourite three – we think…

Other great Italian classics!

2001 Maserati 3200 GT

Estimate: £10,000-£14,000

Top 3 affordable Italian classics at Historics at Brooklands

Powered by an evocative twin-turbo 3.2-litre V8 and finished in rare green Verde Mexico paint, this 2001 Maserati 3200 GT is the most modern of the Italian offerings in the Historics auction. However, thanks to curvaceous lines courtesy of Giorgetto Giugiaro – the designer who penned the stunning Ghibli, Bora and Merak models – as well as an astonishing 0-60mph sprint time of 4.9 seconds, this luxury grand tourer has ‘future classic’ written all over it.

Being the first model to truly flaunt LED technology within its ‘boomerang’ taillights, the 3200 GT boasts a design edge that’ll keep fact fans as happy as those who simply enjoy an unashamedly beautiful Italian car.

This right-hand-drive UK model’s indulgent interior features leather trim, a striking green carpet, gold clock and Briarwood trim to ensure the experience is as special inside as it is out. The 3200 GT has benefitted from over £11,000 being spent by the vendor, mainly on fitting replacement brake lines, suspension arms, anti-roll bar drop links, ABS ECU, clutch, cambelt and four Pirelli tyres.

Further restorative work was contracted out to marque specialist Maserati Shed, including upgrading the throttle bodies to contactless. Supplied with a tool kit, comprehensive history file, V5C and two keys, this 3200 GT is raring to go.

1938 Lancia Aprilia Lusso

Estimate: £13,000-£16,000

Top 3 affordable Italian classics at Historics at Brooklands

May we introduce this charming Lancia Aprilia Lusso from 1938 – perhaps the most modest of our Italian selection? It’s also one of the cheapest listings here – but don’t let that fool you into thinking this charming little motorcar doesn’t merit your attention.

The Aprilia was the last car to be masterminded by marque founder Vincenzo Lancia, and beneath the shining silver finish lays a wealth of engineering brilliance. Powered by a 1352cc V4 that delivered 48bhp, the model became renowned for its superb handling, notable economy of 30mpg and several innovative features including a steel monocoque construction, four pillarless doors, four-wheel independent suspension and powerful hydraulic drum brakes. The car proved such a success that it was manufactured right up until 1950 – despite the fact that much of its design was of pre-war origin.

This particular Aprilia Lusso has had seven former owners, and a retired nurse was still using it as daily transport in Edinburgh throughout the 1980s. Bought in 2008 after sitting in storage for several decades, the Lancia was treated to a comprehensive restoration. A good proportion of bodywork was repaired, before the car was given SRL rust prevention prior to fresh paint, a red leather interior and a grey roof lining.

Now running on a 12-volt electrical system courtesy of marque specialist Omicron Engineering, in 2015 the Aprilia gained new carpets and cabin trim as well as fresh tyres and rubber seals around the windows and doors. Having successfully attended the RAC Consistency trials in 2015 and 2016, there’s now no stopping this little Lusso.

1987 Ferrari 412

Estimate: £45,000-£50,000

Top 3 affordable Italian classics at Historics at Brooklands

You may have guessed that a Ferrari would make it into our featured line-up, but it’s somewhat unlikely that you pictured a rare 412 from 1987. Sharing the same but slightly evolved body, chassis and engine as the 365 GT4 2+2 and 400 models, the 412 is a largely forgotten but prime example of the angular lines, bold five-spoke wheels and pop-up headlamps that Ferrari, like many others, had adopted in the 1980s.

Produced only in limited numbers, the 412 has attracted a relatively restricted group of enthusiasts who can wholeheartedly appreciate the soulful song of the 340bhp V12 up front, as well as this continental cruiser’s elegant lines, smartly tailored interior and generous boot space.

This particular Ferrari is one of 61 right-hand-drive 412 models imported to the UK and fitted with a three-speed automatic gearbox. Having received the care and attention of Keys Motorsport Silverstone Ltd in recent years, it’s gained a fresh coat of dark blue paint and redressed magnolia leather trim as well as new head gaskets and fuel injectors.

In the past seven years, less than 1000 miles have been added to the odometer, with a detailed historical file available to confirm the vehicle’s mileage and modern-day refurbishment. To complete an already appealing package, this 412 also comes with a V5C and a fresh MoT certificate.

You can view the full auction listings here.