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Classic car owners lose thousands in scrappage scheme


Posted on 18-11-2014

Classic car owners have potentially written off tens of thousands of pounds along with their vehicles in the government’s scrappage scheme of 2009.

The scheme, which saw nearly 400,000 cars crushed in return for a £2,000 deposit against a new car, was devised to help the UK’s faltering motor industry in the depths of the so-called Great Recession – while ridding our roads of polluting older cars at the same time.

But the list of cars released by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills reveals that many bona fide classics with values well in excess of £2,000 for an example in average condition.

And given that every scrapped car had to be in possession of a valid MoT certificate to qualify, it’s reasonable to assume the cars were free of corrosion or major faults.

Among the owners short-changed in the scrappage carnage were the once-proud keepers of a Jaguar XJ-S V12, a Porsche 928 and a Chevrolet Corvette.

Gerry Bucke, general manager of specialist classic car insurance broker, said that among the run-of-the-mill cars scrapped were some real gems.

“Quite a few of these cars were almost certainly already worth more than £2,000 and a great many more would only have appreciated in value in the years to come with some tender loving care,” he added.

“Some of the cars discarded were very rare, like the Talbot Samba Cabriolet and the Capri 3000 Ghia, modern classics that may one day belong in a museum not a scrapyard. To those of us who love classic cars, you could almost weep reading through the list.”

In just the six examples below gleaned from the government’s spreadsheet, classic owners could have lost out to the tune of £36,000 – who knows how much more potential cash ended up in the crushing machine.

Chevrolet Corvette – Real Value £6,000

A name dripping with style, class and speed – not to mention the motoring dreams of generations of kids – the Corvette is a true automotive icon.

The scrappage list is frustratingly unclear about what model of Corvette we’ve lost to the tip, but for our own sanity we’ve had to assume that it was a less-loved 80s specimen or modern variant, rather than a beautiful 50s convertible.

Prices for top-drawer, early 50s examples can attract valuations of over £75,000 – and the thought of one of those leaving this world for a £2,000 discount on a new i10 brings a tear to the eye.

Jaguar XJ-S V12 – Real Value £5,000

Though lacking the glamour and raw sex appeal of its E-type brother, few cars did more for British motoring than the XJ-S, bringing untold fortune to Jaguar over its 20-year production cycle. Hundreds of thousands of models, in all shapes, sizes and trims were available, and even the oldest and least desirable of those still fetches a respectable £5,000.

 Away from regular road-car production, the XJ-S saw more than it’s share of racing worldwide, competing in the Trans Am series, both the European and Australian Touring Car Championships and the fabled Cannonball Run to name but a few. We can say for certain that we’d rather stick with a 70s Jag than send one of these icons to the grave.

Lancia Fulvia CP RY S3 – Real Value £5,000

The Coupé was the Fulvia to own back in the mid-60s. Popularity cemented by sleek, stylish bodywork, affordable pricing and engineering perfected over years of Lancia design meant that nearly 140,000 of these classics rolled off the production line before work stopped in ’76.

Other models were produced, and the HF in particular enjoyed success in the racing scene thanks to increased bhp, but the exceptional handling of the Fulvia made every variant a joy to drive. Killer looks and an overall feeling of sheer 60s stylishness meant many Fulvias survived, and one can be picked up for a reasonable £5,000 today.

Morgan 4/4 – Real Value £8,000

Just over 5,000 4/4s were made between 1936 and ’81 in three different iterations, and we all desperately hope that the one on this list was one of the later ones. It’s rare that we hope to see a sporty 80s number sent to the tip, but the early demise of a pre-war British classic would be a genuine tragedy.

Hitting on design evolution perfection early on, the 4/4’s looks barely changed across its history, with only minor modernising tweaks going on under the bonnet. Even examples which barely scrape through their MOT are still worth upwards of £8,000 today, and you really have to wonder what could possibly push someone to scrap one of these works of art for a mere £2,000.

Porsche 928 – Real Value £7,000

Mid-way through an unending line of 911s came the 928 and its variants, the S and S2. Setting out to replace the 911, the 928 fell just short of its designers’ dreams – though due more to its predecessor’s enduring greatness than any of its own failings.

Powerful, well engineered and a fully rounded sports-GT classic, the 928 was more than a match for the 911 in any real world or track situation. The 928’s ongoing success was sadly cut short in the early 80s by management changes at Porsche that saw a change of tack back towards pushing the 911.

Despite ultimately playing second string to its older brother, quite why anyone would hand over this late-70s Porsche for a tiny discount is beyond us.

Triumph Stag – Real Value £5,000

Quick off the mark, elegantly styled and ultimately a little flawed, the Stag ticks all the boxes of what we expect from a mid-70s sports coupé. Four seats, a gutsy V-8 and a guttural growl from the exhaust combined to make the Stag a nippy, not overly spacious, family runaround, with enough grit to tear up and down the nation’s fledgling motorways when needed.

Initially plagued by reliability issues, reports suggest that all models that made it out of the 80s only managed it thanks to rebuilding by specialists. This newfound reliability, combined with its classic looks and sounds, mean that even half-decent examples regularly go for over £5,000.


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