April 21, 2024

Which iconic 80s hot hatch is likely to make you the most money? JOHN MAYHEAD has the answers

A hot hatchback in the seventies and eighties was the vehicle of choice for boy racers on a budget who couldn’t quite stretch to a full-blooded sports car.

But fast-forward forty years and these models are now being scrambled over by some of the most demanding and ruthless vehicle collectors.

That’s because the values of this category and era of car is accelerating faster than a Mk2 Golf GTI leaving a McDonalds car park on a Friday night in 1982.

But which of the hot hatches from this remarkable generation have gone up in value most in the last five years alone? Classic car valuations guru John Mayhead, editor of the Hagerty UK Price Guide, has the answer… 

Which seventies and eighties era hot hatches have risen in value most in the last 5 years? John Mayhead, classic car price specialist at Hagerty, can tell you the answer…

John says: These cars are the ones that every car enthusiast who grew up in the 1970s and 80s wanted. 

The racing versions were everywhere, rallying through forests or dicing together in BTCC races, and these were those we saw on the roads. 

Many were thrashed, crashed or stolen; finding one today that has survived in excellent original condition is difficult, but those that have made it are now very, very collectable. 

And it’s the Fast Fords that are still in the lead when it comes to classic values of hot hatches… but only just. 

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This 1985 Escort RS Turbo S1 isn’t any normal Fast Ford. It was driven by Princess Diana and in August 2022 set a new record when it was sold at auction for a whopping £650,000
Of all the Fast Fords, the one that has shot up in value most in recent years is the 1980s Sierra RS Cosworth. The limited-run RS500 Cosworth now commands prices above £100k when good examples head to auction
One of the more attainable Fast Fords from this era is the Fiesta XR2, but even these are increasing in value at some rate

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The most recent Hagerty Price Guide shows that average values of 1970s and ‘80s performance Fords rose by 31.9 per cent in the past five years, just beating Renault into second place.

John Mayhead, editor of the Hagerty UK Price Guide

The team here at Hagerty grouped the hot hatches, then tracked the average value over the past five years. 

Values of the fast Fords – the Escort RS, XR3 and Turbo models, Fiesta XR2 and RS, and Sierra XR4 and RS Cosworth – maintained the lead over their rivals despite values flattening over the past 12 months.

Renault (5 Turbo and Clio Williams) came a close second with 28.9 per cent, with Audi (Ur Quattro) just drifting into third place with 27.6 per cent. 

Volkswagen (Golf GTI and Rallye) increased 19.7 per cent and Peugeot (205 GTi, CTi and Rallye) rose by 5.2 per cent.

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Included in Hagerty’s deep-dive into the changing values of hot hatches from the 1970s and 1980s is the Renault 5 Turbo – another road car born out of a manufacturer’s desire to go Group B racing. Hot hatch Renault prices are up on average almost 30% in the last 5 years
Representing Audi for this generation of hot hatchback is the Quattro. Values of this era Audis are up 27.6% in the last 5 years, Hagerty says
Volkswagen Golf GTIs are surging in value of late, especially if you can get your hands on a prime example of the Mk1 version (pictured)
Peugeot hot hatch values (namely the 205 GTi pictured)  have increased the least in the last 5 years, but did start from a high point back in 2019

The in-house Hagerty analysts decided to ignore homologation versions such as the Sierra RS500, 205 T16, Renault 5 Turbo and Sport Quattro to avoid these ultra-valuable versions dominating the list.

But then we decided we wanted to know how these vehicles had performed over the last five years, so we’ve plotted these separately. 

In percentage terms, the Ford is still top, with the Sierra RS500 increasing nearly 67 per cent since 2019, with a big rise at the end of 2022.

This was pushed even higher at the start of 2023, when a low-mileage example went for close to £600,000. However, we deem this to be an outlier

The Fast Ford sold for an unfathomable figure! This 1987 Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 obliterated all previous world records early last year when it sold for a staggering £596,250
One of the limited run Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 homologation special road cars is due to go under the hammer over the weekend

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It’s not surprising that the Fords have dominated the list, given the popularity for performance models of the brand in the UK. 

READ MORE: Classic car experts say these models will soar in value in 2024 – from the 80s Ford Escort RS Turbo to the budget-friendly Honda S2000 

For those who grew up in the 1980s, these were the ultimate aspirational road cars, and today they are extremely collectable, especially if they have survived in good original condition. 

The Audi Quattro is another very popular car here due to its rallying success, but the big rise in value of this model had already happened by 2019. 

The French cars are interesting: both performance Renaults and Peugeots tend to gain much higher values when sold in their home country than they do here. 

For example, a Renault 5 GT Turbo was sold by French auction house Aguttes in April 2022 for €41,660 (£35,500), more than double the Hagerty Price Guide average at the time of £15,500.

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