Top 4 Fords to buy before it’s too late!
Ford prices are on the up and show little sign of stopping. Here’s four models from the upcoming Morris Leslie auction that you’ll want to snap up before market prices push them out of reach
Has it got a blue oval on the front? Does it run? Is pre-1990? Chances are, if you listened to the bodywork, not only would you hear it rusting but also heed the sound of money in the bank.
Ford prices have gone wild over the past five years, with the likes of Escort MkIIs and Sierra Cosworths breaching the same price bracket usually reserved for high-end Jaguars and Italian supercars. Not long ago, a low-mileage Escort RS2000 sold for nearly £100k. That could buy you a house, or a full-time security team for 365 days. Chances are, with theft rates also enjoying an all-time high, your newly purchased Ford may well need it.
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What was once a rusted banger residing up to the headlamps in a grassy field is now viewed as a prime investment. Even the bog-standard Sierra commands a hefty premium. Basically, if your name isn’t Lloyds JP McBarclays, if your dream Ford heads under that auction hammer and isn’t an Escort MkV, you can dream on.
But don’t panic! It’s not all over yet. There are still deals to be found out there, but you’ll need to be fast. Prices show little sign of slowing. Here are four prime examples picked from Morris Leslie’s upcoming classic auction that are still within grasp for those of us without access to an unlimited credit card.
Capri values have skyrocketed in recent years, no longer the cheap run around for those hell bent on tearing tyres to shreds, but rather the prime collectors’ item – if you can find a good one. Although more than 1.5 million examples found homes straight off the production line, as most rusted away with fortitude or found themselves broadsided by hedges, trees or other motorists, we are left to fight over the survivors. And, boy, are they popular.
Even the most down-at-heel specimen can find itself at the centre of a fraught bidding war, with genuine enthusiasts priced out of proceedings on most occasions. Not to say there aren’t bargains to be had, but you’ll need to be quick. With no sign of let-off on the financial stakes, it won’t be long before Ford's Capri joins the likes of Jaguar’s E-type and the Aston Martin DB5 on the pedestal.
Enjoying automotive immortality through the likes of The Professionals and Brannigan, the show scene is filled with examples of all calibre. From the most original to the best restored and most modified, ask any Capri owner why they’ve fallen in love with theirs and you’ll be fast tracked to acquiring your own.
Prices differ depending on age, but if budget can only stretch so far, try and find yourself a healthy MkII or MkIII. Besides providing more power, they are far easier to live with when compared to the ground-breaking first generation.
Ok. We’ll admit it, the Ford Orion presents itself with all the desirability of a Chinese burn. Yet it’s still an important part of the Ford’s home-grown UK stable. Once the common second-choice for those seeking a useful saloon with the dependable blue oval, the Orion has disappeared into the ether, now residing in numbers more commonly associated with endangered species.
Don’t let the humdrum appearance fool you, however. The sprightly getup and agreeably chunky lines make for a complete retro package, and in the right form can be surprisingly fast.
Launched in September 1983, slated to plug the gap left by the Cortina, conservative Ford buyers lapped the Orion’s benefits up – offering more legroom and a larger boot when compared to the then-new (and highly controversial) Sierra.
While they were far less popular in the eyes of those seeking bodykits and instant cult status, the Orion was in fact a more sensible option than its XR3i brethren, not to mention the Sierra and Escort relatives. The 1.6-litre, at least, shared the XR3i’s engine and offered similar performance and handling minus the insurance tag destined to ransack your bank account.
It wasn’t quite as admired by criminals in comparison to the XR3i, Escort or Sierra, either – far less likely to be nicked or looted for the contents within. This is still the standing in modern times. While any ‘old-school’ Ford makes for a prime target with thieves, the Orion appears to be at the bottom of their agenda.
So, after a fast Ford with chuckable handling hiding beneath unassuming bodywork? Seek yourself a 1.6-litre Orion. We do warn you, however; they are seldom seen and the search may take a while...
This is the guv’. Most punters see that aggressive, blocky front end and picture the east-end of London during the mid-1970s. Careering through empty industrial estates and an immeasurable number of cardboard boxes – usually in pursuit of a Jaguar S-type, John Thaw and Dennis Waterman showcased the Consul GT, and later the Granada, to maximum effect in gritty police drama The Sweeney.
If they weren’t cruising around Hammersmith in search of villains, they were usually powersliding out of the dirt or yanking on the handbrake to perform the mother of all handbrake turns. It was automotive pornography with a storyline, usually involving sex, murder and levels of violence never before seen on TV.
It is because of this association that nostalgia reigns supreme upon a good one landing on the open market. Now scarcer than a good programme on ITV 2, mainly due to banger racers picking healthy ones off one-by-one, prices have been fluctuating for years. That is all set to change, however.
Almost like a pincer movement, as those seeking Fords from the 1980s are priced out of range and those hunting pre-1970s rarities assume all hope is lost in finding a cost-effective project, Ford’s 1970s saloons appear to be the new target. The early Granada coupé draws particular interest.
Keep going! There's one last cracker to go...
Tarnished by a connection with a certain boy wizard, the Ford Anglia deserves recognition on its own merits. Popular for its distinctive tally-ho/yee-haw styling, the driving mannerisms still hold up today when it boils down to daily use. You don’t need to yield sheer bravery when plunging into ownership, either; as parts supply is healthy and DIY maintenance can be undertaken by even the most novice of enthusiasts.
It’s not fast and it’s 1959 origins may appear rudimentary, but that’s not the point. Yet, here rests its problem. Although popular with those of a modified persuasion and capable of nifty handling alongside a surprising level of sophistication from the eager overhead-valve engine, the humble Anglia is often overlooked by those hunting down a classic Ford.
Some instantly dismiss it due to age, while others incorrectly assume prices are already stratospheric. In fact, you can pick up a solid Ford Anglia, whether in saloon or estate form, for less than £5k.
What do you get for the money? More heritage than a Ford Escort, better durability than a Ford RS2000 and cheaper running costs than almost anything else on the market. Just be prepared for comparison to Harry Potter.
Photography by Gillian Carmoodie