The phrase 'race on Sunday, sell on Monday' is arguably more relevant in the British Touring Car Championship than any other racing series.
Thanks to depreciation, you can now bag a road-going production version of a BTCC hero for less than the price of a 10-year-old Ford Focus. Here's our top five recommendations to live out your BTCC fantasy:
1 - Alfa Romeo 155 Q4 (1992)
Back in the early 1990s, works team Alfa Corse was bossing the British Touring Car Championship with Italian Gabriele Tarquini at the helm of the Alfa Romeo 155 TS. The 155 TS road car was powered by a normally aspirated 2.0-litre Twin Spark 145bhp motor.
However, for just over £8k you can bag a range-topping 155 Q4 in mint condition with only 35,000 miles showing. The Q4 has a 47/53 front/rear weight distribution, four-wheel drive, a 2.0-litre turbo engine with 188bhp and a 0-62mph time of 7.0sec. It’s a 20-year-old Alfa, so look out for electrical problems and flimsy dashboards.
2 - Ford Mondeo ST200 (2000)
The 2000 BTCC season was the last of the much-loved Super Touring era. Ford dominated the year, with the Prodrive-backed Mondeo and factory drivers Alain Menu, Anthony Reid and Rickard Rydell finishing first, second and third overall in the championship.
Ford's Mondeo ST200 is a rare beast now. Equipped with a 202bhp 2.5-litre V6 and capable of 0-62mph in 7.7sec and a top speed of 151mph, it’s an ideal touring car replica.
We found a 2000-plate example that's covered 121,000 miles, and is taxed and tested, for £1295. Biggest problem is finding one, as most have been consigned to the scrapyards or have a ridiculously high mileage.
3 - Nissan Primera GT (1999)
BTCC aficionados will get misty-eyed at the memory of this late-1990s family saloon being expertly piloted to the 1999 drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships by team-mates Laurent Aiello and David Leslie.
The standard car is powered by a 2.0-litre twin-cam motor with 148bhp and they’re remarkably cheap these days — if you can find one.
Our meticulous scan of the classifieds found a 2001 model with 78k miles showing and a full service history for £1500. Not bad for a saloon capable of 0-62mph in 8.0sec.
4 - Honda Integra Type R (2002)
A left-field choice, given that the Honda Integra Type R had its BTCC success after the adored Super Touring era and when the championship was arguably in decline. Don’t let that detract you from buying one, though.
The Integra Type R is one of the sweetest-handling front-wheel-drive cars ever made and in ‘DC5’ form (from 2002 to 2006) they’re properly quick.
Weighing only 1266kg and with a high-revving 217bhp 2.0-litre normally aspirated motor, it cracks 0-62mph in 7.1sec. However, DC5 Integra Type Rs are Japanese imports only and a clean example will set you back around £7000.
5 - Volvo S40 T4 (1998)
Rickard Rydell: that’s usually the first name BTCC fans think of when a Volvo S40 is mentioned. For good reason, too, because during the BTCC’s heyday in 1998, the Swede beat fierce competition from the likes of Yvan Müller in his factory Audi A4 to take the title.