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ISSUE 294: The Classic Car Buyer office is a room full of car enthusiasts, and as such is often home to some healthy automotive debate. This week’s dose came when I proposed an entirely hypothetical predicament, whereby each staff member was forced to own just one classic car as their only method of transport. Presented with an imaginary budget of £10,000, an interesting cross section of tastes and priorities was revealed as we each whittled down what we needed most from a car. First up, editor Chris Hope. Opting for a Ford Sierra XR3i, Chris cited the car’s space for four people and luggage, alongside the potential for fun on B-roads and on occasional track days. Similarly, staff writer Jon Burgess plumped for another bastion of practical performance, a GC8-model Subaru Impreza Wagon with money to spare for performance and reliability upgrades, or an MGZT-T 260 estate for a similar blend of space and pace. Deputy editor Jack Grover asked for refinement, practicality and sheer desirability in the form of an Audi 100 quattro Avant – suave, well-mannered and suitably brisk. Editor of sister title Retro Cars, John-Joe Vollans, broke the trend for practicality with his left-field choice of an ‘Eighties Lotus Esprit Turbo; two seats and a good compromise between comfort and sportiness.Taking this small sample of enthusiast views, a general need for space – both for passengers and goods – is paramount in a do-it-all classic. Indeed, in my first few weeks of running an exceedingly small Suzuki as my everyday transport, I’ve already been caught out by a lack of useable storage. Like John-Joe in his hypothetical Esprit, however, I’m happy to find ways around the problem – even if trips to B&Q are probably not feasible. The second trend that can be observed in this highly scientific exercise is that a fairly high level of performance is a requirement of all those involved. While Jack’s Audi may not match Jon’s Impreza for straight line punch, it certainly wouldn’t hang around; similarly, Chris’s XR3i could hardly be described as slow. I don’t think any larger sample of enthusiasts would differ from this trend – power and speed are enduringly attractive, regardless of a car’s intended everyday use. While there is an undeniable appeal in owning a little bit of everything from the automotive spectrum (as many do), there is something to be said for having just one, solid consummate all-rounder. It is encouraging that even for a group of discerning and slightly spoilt motoring journalists, there exist classics that offer up a seemingly perfect compromise – and for a reasonable price too. What would you choose as your sub-£10,000, do-everything classic? I’d love to hear your thoughts. In the meantime, enjoy the issue!

James Howe
Editorial assistant