Porsche 968 Tiptronic, £12,950: Our survey of quick classics for reasonable money begins with the Porsche 968. Launched in 1992 and phased out just three years later, it was destined to be a sort of 944 S3, but in the end Porsche’s engineers replaced so many of the 944’s parts that the company decided to give the model a completely new name. In any case, although it was a two-door coupé like the 944, the 968 looked different enough to deserve one.
Like the Cayenne of 2002, the new model also helped keep Porsche afloat, albeit not to quite the same degree. Unfortunately, it didn’t sell as well as the company might have liked – around 12,750 found homes – but today that means survivors are rare and ones in good condition rarer still. Naturally, sellers have woken up to this and prices are rising but you can still pick up a sound one for decent money – one such as our spot, a 1993-reg with only 67,000 miles. It’s a private-sale car, which is good since the owner can be quizzed directly about its history and maintenance.
On that point, it has, they say, a full service history supported by a wallet bulging with invoices. In addition, it has new brakes (pads, discs and calipers, no less), and a new cambelt, fuel pump and DME relay. It sits on four new tyres wrapped around the original and unmarked (read: refurbished) Cup alloys. “The Tiptronic gearbox makes for a very relaxing drive or switch to manual for a more spirited drive,” says the owner, invitingly.
Our used car buyer’s guide to the Porsche 968 emphasises the problems with these cars but that’s its job. Don’t let it put you off, because this example looks promising.
Mini Cooper JCW, £6995: Quick classics don’t come much sweeter than a Mini Cooper John Cooper Works. We found a 2007-reg, one of the first R56-generation models, with 69,000 miles and a full service history. It’s loaded with what were expensive optional extras, too.