Older boy racers have moved from their heyday’s McDonalds car parks to auction houses to get their hands on hot hatches that take them back to their youth.
That’s the suggestion of classic car insurer Hagerty, who says nostalgic collectors are hard at work getting hold of unimpeded performance cars they drove or craved in the past – and some models are only a decade old.
The news comes after the sale of a limited-edition 2010 Ford Focus RS500 from last month.
It went under the hammer alongside more traditional classics, including pre-war Bentleys and collectible Jaguars, with the winning bidder paying £ 56,560 for the Fast Ford – a surprising 60 percent more than a powerful new-build family car.
Hot hatch boom: Classic car experts say performance hatchbacks like this Ford Focus RS500 have gone through the roof in recent years
Historics classic Windsorview Lakes car auction offered the ten year old Ford Focus, which only had 22,000 miles on the clock.
It was one of only 101 Focus RS500s delivered in the UK, and the model – with a blistering 345 hp, 2.5 liter engine, 19 inch alloys and moody black matte wrap as standard – was a phenomenal success when launched in 2010 , when all worldwide production of 500 cars was sold out within 12 hours of its launch.
However, the stratospheric appreciation of this fast Ford is not an isolated one: car valuation experts Hagerty have followed hot hatchback prices as they have soared in recent years.
This 2010 Ford Focus RS500 was sold last month at Historics’ Windsorview Lakes Classic Car Auction for £ 56,560
The prize the winning bidder paid was 60% higher than the limited-edition Fast Ford award from a decade ago. In 2010 it cost £ 35,750
Despite being a small run of just 101 British cars, the increase in value of a Ford Focus is still quite remarkable.
And it seems British drivers just can’t get enough of their small performance cars, not even back to the original: the Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk I.
The VW Golf GTI was a phenomenon when it was unveiled in late 1976, with a 108-horsepower 1.6-liter engine pushing the car to 60 mph in nine seconds.
Since launching to legendary status some 44 years ago, values have skyrocketed in the past five years, the insurer says.
Hagerty’s price guide says prices have nearly doubled from £ 14,200 in July 2015 to £ 28,100 today.
The demand for hot hatches dates back to the original – the Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk1, which was launched in 1976
Clean and very low mileage from the first version of the Golf GTI is sold at auction for prices around £ 30,000
Hagerty follows the values of hot hatches, including the VW, Peugeot and Renault trio that are most coveted
And it is not only the Gulf that is generating enormous interest.
In the mid-1980s, there was one pocket rocket that everyone wanted: the Peugeot 205 GTI, launched in 1984.
Compact, lightweight and with a rally-ready 1.6-liter engine with 104 hp, they were the cars with petrol heads from the 80s and 90s.
A more powerful 1.6-liter engine and a top-of-the-pile 130bhp 1.9-liter version followed the early models – fans remain divided as to whether the 1.6 or 1.9 is best to this day.
Hagerty values of the best examples have nearly tripled from £ 10,400 in 2015 to £ 27,000 today, and in recent years, two have been sold in mint condition in France, each with a hue of less than € 50,000.
The Renault 5 GT Turbo – from the same period – has gone through a similar trajectory, rising from £ 11,000 to £ 24,600 in the past three years.
In the 1990s, the Renault Clio Williams was the hot hatch of the moment, and with its 2.0-liter engine pushing it to a top speed of 134mph, there wasn’t much that could catch it for its £ 13,275 on the road price.
Now Hagerty says you need over £ 25,000 to buy a top sample.
Other smaller engine sports hatchbacks are also starting to attract the buyer’s preference – some of which you might not have expected to get so much interest.
For example, a 1989 Vauxhall Nova SR sold online for £ 11,000 last month, and in 2017 an example of its souped-up homologation brother, the Nova Sport, sold for a whopping £ 65,900.
The Peugeot 205 GTi is another hot hatch that is in high demand from nostalgic petrol heads
Competition condition Renault 5 GT Turbo’s are very collectible
Some cars that you don’t expect to spark such interest are now selling at an incredible cost, including Vauxhall Novas
So why do these powerful hatchbacks sell so well?
Hagerty thinks it’s a combination of factors and, according to their rating head, Brian Rabold, this is the emergence of a new generation of classic cars with more appeal to ’80s kids than a’ 60s convertible.
He said, “The car enthusiasts who longed for them in the ’80s and’ 90s now have the money to buy up the heroes of their youth.
“They are also really practical classics: there is room for passengers, they are much easier to drive than some older cars and they still offer a very exciting ride.
“We now insure them on classic policies, which are also much cheaper than standard car covers. What is there not to love? “
If you can’t afford £ 25,000 for one of these mighty machines, Hagerty says there are other cars that can be just as much fun for less: an ‘excellent’ example of the Mk 1 Ford Fiesta XR2 is currently rated in their guide to £ 9,900.
“It’s a great car,” says Rabold. “In addition, we see the values of the first generation models rise faster than those of later models, which means that prices can rise.”
Hagerty says fans of the Max Power and the original Fast and Furious generation – from the mid-1990s to early 2000s – should consider getting your childhood motor icons as these are the models that are ripe to appreciate in value.
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