MGF and Mazda MX-5 values rise in summer rush

► Classic fans are spending on cars instead of holidays
► Open-top roadsters from the 1990s winning in the boom
► Long-term rises likely to be far more modest
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MGF: now solidly in demand

MGF: now solidly in demand

Classic fans who would’ve ploughed their hard-earned cash into holidays, but have been put off by the COVID-19 outbreak, are turning to small sports car instead for their summer kicks.

That’s helping sports cars like the MGF and Mazda MX-5 to sell for stronger-than-anticipated prices at the latest spate of classic auctions, market experts have pointed out.

Chris Holmes, chief executive of South Western Vehicle Auctions, said: ‘We had two MX-5s in our last sale, one with a reserve of £3200 that made a premium-exclusive £4300, and another in average condition fetched £1200. ‘They are good value, as are Mercedes-Benz SLKs and BMW Z3s. We didn’t have any MGFs in this sale but they are always popular and usually make between £1000 and £4000.’

Traditional classics rising more slowly than moderns

Mazda MX-5: a brilliant sports car, now appreciating

Mazda MX-5: a brilliant sports car, now appreciating

Price experts have pointed to the fact that while demand for sports cars traditionally fluctuates between the seasons, with year-on-year demand for models like the MGB, Triumph TR models and Austin-Healey’s 3000 remaining consistent, the lower prices and more modern technology of 1990s roadsters like the MGF and MX-5 have helped to drive demand from a younger market, particularly those with disposable cash that would have gone into holidays and days out this summer.

Tim Gascoigne, auction manger of Barons Auctions, says: ‘They are both great little cars that offer a lot of fun for not a lot of money. As a cheap convertible to use as a toy for the weekend then you can’t really do much better. I wouldn’t say that either is a full-on classic yet, and I would put both in the modern classic bracket, although early MX-5s aren’t too far away.

‘With regard to value there are so many around values aren’t likely to change dramatically, the only exception being low-mileage and exceptional examples of the early MX-5s, which are definitely gaining in value at the moment.’

Charterhouse’s Richard Bromell said that the sheer number of them on the market mean that any longer-term value increases will likely be modest, but as a result they offer a lot of value. He said: ‘To the purist the MGF could feel more familiar (but with cylinder head gasket concerns) while the MX-5 has appealing Japanese reliability.

 ‘So whichever way you look at these popular cars, they are here to stay as long as enthusiasts continue to enjoy them (which I am sure they will), although they will probably stay in their own camps, loyal to their favourite brand.’ Richard Barnett 

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