Reader David asked me the other day which era his next bargain coupé should come from. The problem is that our choice is being restricted every day, because the coupé is one of those body shapes that’s going out of fashion, even if us enthusiasts rather appreciate its style and sporting substance. So which decade did it best? 

I do have a huge soft spot for the 1990s, as the coupés were interesting and well built. At this point, I should promote the Fiat Coupé, but instead I’ve gone all weird and been taken by the Ford Probe. In particular, a 1997 2.5-litre example I found, because it has been owned by the same bloke for 19 years and is in spectacular original condition. That makes the £3950 asking price rather reasonable.

It offers 17in alloy wheels, wider (235-section) tyres, a cold-air induction kit, high-performance HT leads, a stainless-steel exhaust back box, an LED brake light in the rear centre panel and US-spec GT decals. Nothing that’s not reversible, and apparently there are lots of spares. 

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Alternatively, I uncovered a Probe that arrived at the start of the new millennium. Using the 24v 2.5-litre engine, it’s yours for £1495. It has done 108,000 miles, but it’s one of those clean and solid used cars that you can get from a dealer with a warranty and a year’s MOT. It has two previous owners, which also explains why its condition is decent. Leather, good tyres and some reassurance on the paperwork front make this the perfect used buy. 

Now let’s move to the 2000s, when there was the underrated and rather overlooked Renault Mégane Coupé. It had unusual dumpy styling and is set up for comfort and practicality rather than track-day fun. Also, this 2009 car is a 1.9-litre diesel, so it will easily hit 50mpg. A two-owner example, it’s yours for only £2495.