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10 DB or E-Type Alternatives

10 DB or E-Type Alternatives Published: 12th Oct 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

10 DB or E-Type Alternatives
10 DB or E-Type Alternatives
10 DB or E-Type Alternatives
10 DB or E-Type Alternatives
10 DB or E-Type Alternatives
10 DB or E-Type Alternatives
10 DB or E-Type Alternatives
10 DB or E-Type Alternatives
10 DB or E-Type Alternatives
10 DB or E-Type Alternatives
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If a DB or E-type are out of your price band, here’s some excellent alternatives – starting from under £5000!

Aston Martin Virage

Last of the traditional models

Astons don’t come any cheaper than the vexed Virage, Aston’s poorly developed replacement for the antique DBS on which the car was still based. The car only came good once the revamped Vantage replaced it and prices reflect this. But if you’re after an affordable genuine old school Aston that last of the hurrahs, then an early Virage may well fit the bill, being slightly roomier and rarer than a DB7 into the bargain. Relatively inexpensive in Aston terms although repair bills usually come DB5-sized…

Mercedes SL Pagoda

Shooting star

Classics don’t come more timelessly elegant than the Pagoda Mercedes, at home in any setting and capable of crossing continents without breaking into a sweat. Now much more valuable than the R107 SL that succeeded it, Pagoda values are on a trajectory that few could have foreseen just a couple of years ago. Despite its two-seater convertible configuration, the SL is not really a sports car – it’s more suited to cruising yet the car’s excellent grip, handling, seating, brakes and fuel economy went down pretty well with Autocar.

If you’ve taken your eye off the Pagoda ball over the past couple of years you’ll be amazed at how far and how fast values have climbed and you’ll now need at least £50,000 to secure an example that isn’t a liability. Perfect examples can breach the £120,000 barrier but that sounds almost cheap when compared to usual DB and E-types. Be wary of temptingly cheap cars as the SL’s monocoque can corrode badly and it’s common to find a car with a rusty structure that looks quite presentable…

Jensen Interceptor

Midland marvel

Interceptor suffered much the same stigma as the XJ-S but that’s changed over past couple of years and this once cheap-as-chips supercar is enjoying the respect it always fully deserved. The Birmingham Ferrari is not only a fine GT but one of the simplest supercars to own thanks to its old school make up which includes lusty, if thirsty, Chrysler V8 engines (the earlier 6.3 considered most thoroughbred plus some were manual). Sports hatch design makes for practicality plus there’s an odd looking and rare coupé. With good specialist support, the time to buy is now before prices really start to soar but there’s a lot of dross around so beware. And don’t buy the novel but complex 4x4 FF unless you really want one.

Jaguar XK8

Today’s E-Type?

If nothing else, the XK8 looks like a Jaguar and should seal the deal for many. Then, there’s the XK8’s amazing value with prices at auctions for less than £4000. But spend the most you can on a good car – say £8-10 grand – and you’ll have a modern classic to enjoy rather than fret over. Besides, compared to the DB7 which we feature below, which uses the same DNA, the XK8 remains a brilliant bargain at any price. Why, because Astons sell for double the price yet, are not the demonstrably superior alternatives, certainly not when compared to the superb supercharged XKRs.

Jaguar XJS

Life begins at 40?

How many times have classic pundits (including us!) predicted a rise in Jaguar XJ-S values and appreciation and got it wrong? We’ve lost count but – finally – they all may well be right as 40 years since its controversial launch XJS values are on the march. This XJ12-based GT was never intended to replace the E-type as a sports car and those odd looks are now starting to appear quite classical. Most favoured are post ’91 cars with their revised looks. V12s are magnificent but the AJ6-engined models are easier to own, quick enough and surprisingly frugal. Forget the old rumours – a good well sorted XJS is a joy to drive. Thing is, there’s a lot of rubbish out there ready to trip up those wearing rose-tinted goggles…

Aston Martin DB7

Is this your last chance to own an Aston?

Aston’s prices defy gravity so you need to strike while the iron’s hot. So whether or not the DB7 is indeed just a Jag in drag is not the point. True, this Aston was heavily based upon the XJ-S (as is the XK8) but the Tom Walkinshaw Racing-developed DB7 is as different as chalk and cheese to them and that Le Mans winning TWR outfit gives the Aston a sense of racing heritage. Because most steer towards the V12, the original supercharged six (which specialists feel is the more thoroughbred) is great value (for an Aston) at around £25,000 – though you can easily pay double this for a top model. With its great looks, the DB7 is not only attainable – but also the modern equivalent of the DB4?

BMW 3 Series

No, not that one…

We’re not talking about the car that was prime mover of the Yuppie brigade, as well as the start of the ghastly ‘Beemer’ moniker, but a cultured coupé that epitomised what BMW really stood for back then. The 3.0s, is every bit as sporting, and a darn sight more sophisticated, than the majority of other 60’s and 70’s GTs around and remain a choice for the purist who appreciates fine engineering as much as a prestigious badge. Later racing-bred CSLs saw the model at its zenith especially the ultra rare ‘batmobile’ homologation specials which can now command £200,000! Luckily, lesser models sell for as little as a quarter of this but prices are only heading one way…

Ferrari 365-400-412

Better than you’ve been told!

A direct rival to our best of British ‘Clash’ this traditional front-engined Ferrari V12 certainly is a bit of an in-between choice, being more a svelte GT than out-and-out sports car like others in the Ferrari fold. You can pick one up for under £30,000 with the earlier 365s holding a slight premium – and projects start from under 10 grand if you’re feeling brave. Strike it lucky however and you’ll own a magnificent GT that eats up the miles in a way its major rivals can’t. With a big V12 up front (a whopping 5-litres on the 412) and traditional rear-wheel drive layout, this big and bulky Ferrari handles more like a sports car thanks to its Koni suspension making it feel far tauter than, say, a Jag XJ-S or E-type. A good many came with a GM-sourced three-speed automatic but don’t worry, shelf-shifting suit’s this Ferrari’s family credentials better than you’d expect. A vastly underrated Ferrari going cheap but experts predict this will change so buy a good one while you can.

Bentley Continental

A class apart

Much more than simply a coupé version of the meaty but majestic Mulsanne Turbo saloon, the Continental is a worthy modern alternative to, say an Aston DBS or Virage yet just as classical, thanks to its 1960’s-inspired Shadow-based underpinnings that have their work cut out to contain more than 400bhp! That famous V8 (335bhp in base turbo tune) goes like an Aston, especially the brawnier 420bhp S and T offshoots, yet thanks to its Mulsanne underpinnings, maintenance costs aren’t especially horrendous, unlike the later VW based WAG favourite GT. You won’t be surprised to know that they have completely different characters and buying bases – guess who’s the most cultured though…?

Aston Martin DBS

Need persuading?

Longest serving DB was the DBS which, despite its fine looks, always followed in the tyre tracks of the ‘Connery classic’ even though it’s a far more rounded GT and a more planted one thanks to its De Dion rear suspension first worn by the Lagonda Rapide four-door. Admittedly, the original six-cylinder version wasn’t exactly supercar quick due in no small part to the size and bulk of this beautiful bulldog Brit (and positively sluggish in auto form) but the V8, once the fuel injection was ditched, mellowed into a fine, fast GT. No longer the absurdly cheap buy they once were, but you’re still looking at cars half the price of an earlier – and let’s be honest here – inferior DB. Who needs further persuading?

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