Market Finds: Classic British Roadsters for Every Budget (Really)

Classic British Roadsters for Every Budget (Really)

By Petrolicious Productions
November 12, 2014
16 comments

Last week we featured classic British roadsters for every budget and, rightfully so, drew some ire for the lack of less expensive options. So this week, we’ve limited all the featured cars for sale to a more realistic budget. We can’t all procure a 1961 Jaguar E-type, but if we could we’d probably just park it in the living room anyway. Then we’d go out and buy a British Roadster we could actually drive. Gather your scally cap, brake clean, SAE wrenches, and rags to put in the boot of one of these classic British roadsters available now for under $15,000.

The car: 1976 Triumph Spitfire

Price: $5,600

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Seller’s Info: Click here

You don’t need to be a millionaire to own a car designed by Giovanni Michelotti, you just need $5,600. The Spitfire was mothballed until British Leyland acquired Triumph and discovered the prototype under a dust sheet. This 1500 has had extensive repairs in the past few hundred miles including a new top and tires. And this Spit comes with the optional overdrive transmission.

The car: 1969 MG B

Price: $15,000

Location: Granby, Quebec, Canada

Seller’s Info: Click here

The mass-produced MGB was built from 1962 to 1980 in Abingdon, England. It was available as a roadster or a 2+2 coupe. The B has always been a great entry-level roadster. This Mark II chrome bumper MGB is red on black with a manual transmission. The owner lists the car as in “Mint” condition. 

The car: 1989 Jaguar XJS

Price: $14,300

Location: Stratton, Vermont, USA

Seller’s Info: Click here

Chances are you’ve found yourself browsing classifieds late at night. You stumble upon a V12 XJS and you click on it. From what you’ve heard, a V12 Jaguar isn’t a prudent acquisition but that doesn’t stop the inner teenager from dreaming. The XJS ownership can be a great experience if the car has been well-maintained. We can’t speak for this car, but it has low mileage and looks like it’s been cared after (if only superficially). It’s equipped with updated wheels and a spoiler.

The car: 1967 Sunbeam Alpine Series V

Price: $8,995

Location: Abilene, Texas, USA

Seller’s Info: Click here

Often forgotten, Sunbeams are one of the oldest names in British Motorcars. The Series Five was the last model in the Alpine line. The body and power train are underwhelming but the driving experience is unmistakably British and beautiful. This original Sunbeam comes with the factory metal top and recently underwent a carburetor service. The seller advertises the price as negotiable.

The car: 1961 Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite

Price: $12,900

Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Seller’s Info: Click here

 The Mark 1 Sprite is known as the Bugeye Sprite in the US and the Frogeye Sprite in the UK. It came with a 43 HP engine capable of reaching 60 mph in 20.5 seconds. Despite its lack of performance, these Sprites have a rich racing heritage and can be seen at most classic racing events. This Bugeye has been owned by the same person for the past 40 years. The car has been well maintained and has a recent paint job.

If you know of a great, stylish car for sale and would like us to feature it, please let us know!

Petrolicious makes no claim as to the accuracy of the information contained in the car’s original listing, nor will it be held responsible for any errors in said information. If you’re interested in any of these cars, do your homework and research extensively before you buy.

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Jason Wright
Jason Wright
7 years ago

Nice article guys.

I am lucky enough to own one of Abingdon’s finest………a 69 MGB GT. I was born in Abingdon and lived there until I was 33, so I am completely biased. It’s a great car, very reliable, comfortable and very usable even in today’s traffic. I also own a 77 Porsche 911 and I can honestly say that I prefer the driving style of the MG. It has a great quick gear box and has lots of potential for the weekend mechanic to make some nice upgrades to it.

On the top of the wish list is an MGC Sebring replica, now that would make a great feature for Petrolicious!?;)

BlackBayJonesy
BlackBayJonesy
7 years ago

Huzzah! Finally a Triumph Spitfire 1500 in the pages of Petrolicious! God Save The Queen!

Matt Duquette
Matt Duquette
7 years ago

gotta agree with the others down here, the TR6 has gotta make the list, i also am a TR6 owner so i am a little bias. but its just a great car, and the parts are pretty reasonable as well, which makes it that much more attractive when looking for a a cool brit roadster

Will
Will
7 years ago

Bravo Petrolicious for taking our previous comments seriously. These are excellent examples of more affordable British roadsters. All of these fine British automobiles are easy to own and maintain, although the XJS is in a different category in terms of overall affordability. I also concur that the TR6 should be added to this list. Just for the record, I own a TR6, have owned an MGB-GT and several Alfa’s. My experience with such cars has been nothing but positive. Thanks again Petrolicious for creating this site for all the people like me.

Bikerbilly
Bikerbilly
7 years ago

This list is not complete without the TR6, but good on you for making a more affordable “budget” list.

Thomas
Thomas
7 years ago

Thanks Petrolicious for listening to your readers. That’s what I was talking about last week. These cars are in an “affordable” price range and with the cute bugeye, one of my all time favorite cars is among them 🙂

Lachlan.W
Lachlan.W
7 years ago

Great to see you’re listening to your readers Petrolicious!
Would love to see more of these ‘properly’ affordable or whatever you choose to name them Market Finds posts,
though somehow I struggle to envisage the cars that would fill a ‘classic mid engined italians for under 15k’ I’d love
to see some of these posts designer specific? ‘classic Giugiaro designed cars for under 15k’ (maybe less) VW scirocco
and similar!

Yoav Gilad
Yoav Gilad
7 years ago
Reply to  Lachlan.W

Some pretty good ideas! Thanks!

Lachlan.W
Lachlan.W
7 years ago
Reply to  Yoav Gilad

Mk1 Golf/Scirocco
GTV6
(maybe) Lamborghini Merak
Lotus Esprit
and of course the ‘very’ affordable BMW M1

Sté Phane
Sté Phane
7 years ago
Reply to  Lachlan.W

“though somehow I struggle to envisage the cars that would fill a ‘classic mid engined italians for under 15k’ I’d love”

The Fiat X1/9 and Lancia Montecarlo would fit.

Josh
Josh
7 years ago

Thanks Petrolicious these cars are great! I liked the last bunch as well but I can actually own these ones, and do!

TJ Martin
TJ Martin
7 years ago

OK . Granted . The initial cost of entry is now somewhat reasonable for a lot if not most folks . But the ugly reality still remains that once purchased these joyous cute and fuzzy little gems will turn into gremlins of the worst kind at the first available opportunity and in the long run cost you … as my Brit buddies and associates would say .. a bloody godawful fortune in repair bills .. rust mitigation .. parts [ which for all are becoming harder to find by the minute ] etc .

So .. I’ll still contend that the ONLY reasonable priced British roadster truly for every budget from cradle to grave is in fact … Japanese ! Of course I’m talking about the Mazda MX5/Miata . Which used can be had for a song and a dance . Can be modified to suit any budget or desires [ including quite a few brilliant Ford V8 conversions as well as multiple suspension upgrades etc etc ] … and is guaranteed … unlike any of its British or Italian competitors / predecessors … not to bite you square on the buttocks within the first six months of ownership

And speaking of biting you on the ____ . A Jaguar XJS ? Seriously ? The very epitome of British automotive sadomasochism

[ full discloser ; I have never nor will ever own an MX5 and in truth I love most British iron . But in truth the facts must be told if one is to go into a British car of any vintage , type or brand with Eyes Wide Open . Seeing has how ‘ passion ‘ and ‘delusion ‘ should never go together in the same sentence nor be considered interchangeable with one another ]

Josh
Josh
7 years ago
Reply to  TJ Martin

3 out of 5 of these cars you can practically buy 100\% brand new parts for. In fact the only part I can’t seem to find brand new for my MGB is the parking brake. That being said I brought my MGB back to life 4 years ago when I was 16 and have been driving it ever since with minimal problems. Easy to restore, easy to work on. Thanks Petrolicious!

Josh
Josh
7 years ago
Reply to  TJ Martin

This post is about British cars, not Japanese. Just like the last post. turns out a actually own a British car and it is extremely reliable. Ironically my 1967 Barracuda broke down on me four times more then my MGB, so does that mean the Slant Six is a fragile little glass engine that nobody should own? Nope. And again, to me at least, half the fun of British cars is working on them. most car guys don’t mind actually working on their cars.

Clayton Merchant
Clayton Merchant
7 years ago
Reply to  TJ Martin

Here we go again….TJ Martin, do you believe any of the refuse that you constantly drone on about on this site? I’ve sat by and watched your posts looking for something constructive that might indicate that you have an affinity for any type or make of auto, but all you ever seem to bring is vitriol for every make and nationality, not to mention the people who choose to participate in most of the events that are highlighted on Petrolicious. In case you didn’t see the title of this article, it was “Classic British Roadsters For Every Budget (Really). To then go on and extol alleged virtues of a Japanese car that you’ve never owned and likely know nothing about shows not only disdain but ignorance.
I’ve seen your posts where you trash “Lucas, the Prince of Darkness” and try to dissuade anyone from ever owning a “godawful British gremlin of the worst kind.” Again, I have to question your experience having owned any of them. As I’ve stated on here before, as a LONG time owner of numerous British sports cars, any electrical problems I’ve ever encountered are always the result of bad grounds or a bodged job by a DPO. They are no more maintenance intensive than any other car and once straightened out, are just as reliable as any other.
You seem to have a good deal of automotive knowledge, it would be nice if you were to put that to use adding something constructive to these conversations.
Buying any old collector vehicle is always going to come,caveat emptor, regardless of nationality. It is incumbent on every buyer to educate themselves and know what they are getting into before pulling the trigger. If everyone on this site listened to your advice, this website would cease to exist, we would divest ourselves of our cars and take up yoga, I guess.
Perhaps you could give us your list of the top 5 or 10 cars that you have owned and list the reasons why those cars were perfection on wheels.
I’ll wait with bated breath for your superior knowledge to be passed on to us mere mortals.

Brompty
Brompty
7 years ago
Reply to  TJ Martin

I think you may need to check your facts on the MX5. These cars – in the best British tradition – rust from the inside out. The first the unsuspecting owner knows about this is when rust appears on the sills and wings. At which point the car may be a write off as there is nothing actually solid to weld on to.
As for parts: here in England you can actually have a brand new MG made from easily available parts starting with a full Heritage body. So I suspect that the parts may be rare where you are, but for the average Petrolicious fan (Petrolista?) not difficult at all.