Three British sports cars to buy, sell, or hold


Despite their famous rain and gray skies, the Brits love their sports cars. So do Americans. For many years, we snatched them up as fast as the UK could build them. And today there are thousands of British sports cars on the collector car market to choose from, and there is one for every budget.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2017/11/07/british-sports-cars-to-buy-sell-hold


I don’t understand why TVRs haven’t escalated in value. Except for the V8 cars, despite their rarity & cool styling, they have remained little more than a curiosity.


The issue with the lotus is that tall people need not apply. 5’8" will be comfortable 5’10" a touch tight and 6’ and above forget about it Every body says they are so great but not if they don’t fit !


Collector car values are a function of current and expected future demand and no one knows where the latter is going to any reliable degree. I have owned various E-types, as well as other Jags, over the last 35 years. For the last 20, since these cars began pricing as art rather than sporting transport, the S1 has brought a substantial premium, because of its pure styling, over the S2 and S3. But prices of the S2 and S3 have been coupled to S1 values, as substitutes, and have been roughly equal because of their offsetting pros and cons. The S3 is a much better performing car but some don’t care for the longer wheel base, although it makes for a superior highway car, and the V12 engine remains intimidating to those who don’t know better (in carburetted form it’s actually much more reliable and easier to maintain than an XK). So I find it very odd that the writer lumps the S2 in with the S1 as the “desirable” early cars while arguing the S3 will now, for the first time ever, decouple its pricing relative to the S1 and stagnate in value?! Is the author suggesting S1 prices will also stagnate? At some point, any reasonable attempt to forecast future values of these cars should come down to the relative merits of the cars, among aficionados of the marque who actually buy and sell them, rather than short-term price trends. Just like with stocks, long-term value is determined by fundamentals, not technicals. In the mean time, this article serves to provide noise for potential S3 buyers to beat motivated sellers down on price.


The recent article dunning the Jaguar SIII disturbed me. As an owner of one, I don’t understand why it’s treated as an E-type step-child. This car is a GREAT road car. It’s comfortable, easy to drive – and it’s reliable! The v-12 performs beautifully. I’m a 72 year old woman who loves beautiful performance cars, but arthritis and some nerve damage were holding me back. I fell for the E-type in 1962, but I can no longer drive the SI or SII. Hooray for the SIII! Mine has an automatic transmission, and power assisted steering and brakes. That’s all good, especially on mountain roads. At car shows, people were impressed with those features in a high performance -and beautiful - sports car. Even an RM representative extolled the virtues of the SIII.
So please, tell the curmudgeons that this Jaguar should be acquired, not dumped. Perhaps they should actually get out and drive one?


@sljones @golfgreen1945 Thank you for your comments and insight on SIII E-Types, as it’s always good to hear from someone who is familiar with the ownership/driving experience! We don’t mean to denigrate the cars at all or to decouple them (in the valuation sense) from the earlier E-Types, we are only commenting on what our market data for these cars is telling us. SIII E-Types no doubt have PLENTY of advantages over the six-cylinder cars, but that doesn’t always translate to value in this hobby. Prices for E-Types on the whole have flattened a bit, which isn’t particularly surprising given the huge run up in prices they experienced over the previous few years, but SIII cars just haven’t done as well when looking at the auction transactions, private sales activity, insurance and insurance quote activity data that Hagerty collects. Of course, things may be different in the longer term.


I recognize that the superior driveability of the S3 won’t necessarily translate into pricing. As I said, all E-types are understandably priced today more as art than sporting transport. And the overwhelming preference for the S1, on a purely artistic basis, is well known among Jag aficionados. But in all my years on the E-type scene, I’ve never witnessed any such preference for the S2 over the S3, or vice versa. And while I don’t question your data, I do question the ability of anyone to look at short-terms trends in aggregated data, from thin markets, and make any sort of reliable forecast of future values, especially if the data appear to be at odds with a well-established long-term relative value relationship, such as the historically equivalent pricing of S2 and S3 E-types. But the bigger issue here is when an authority with the stature of Hagerty weighs in on something like this, it tends to create a self-fulfilling prophecy in pricing, at least in the short-term. IMO, Hagerty should stick to estimating current values and stay away from the forecasting of future values. The interaction of collectors in the market will determine those future values in time.