Ten iconic cars of the Seventies to enhance any collection
Ferrari Dino 246 GT
The Ferrari Dino 246 GT is hardly the newest investment tip – since early 2014, experts have been talking about the rocketing value of the baby Ferrari. But this year has seen prices rise even higher and Dinos are plentiful at the season-opening sales of 2015. So the long-undervalued Ferrari remains hotly favoured by experts – and famously one of the last curvy Italian sports cars before the advent of the wedge.
Although the Jensen Interceptor is often seen as an archetypal Seventies coupé, it was actually developed in the mid-1960s. But the third series, 7-litre V8 version from 1971 is ideal for our list. And don’t overlook the trend-setting Jensen FF with all-wheel drive, a car that’s now in demand for everyday use and as a relatively affordable investment for potential long-term gain.
Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7
Arguably the most coveted 911 was a child of the 1970s. The Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 was one of this year’s most sought-after classics, and the model has been changing hands at record prices of more than a million euros. Market experts see the upward trend continuing.
Bertone designer Marcello Gandini managed to square the circle in 1971, with the Lamborghini Countach, and the futuristic wedge with its scissor doors should be remembered as the archetype of razor-sharp Seventies styling. For the purist, the first series of 1974 is a coveted and highly traded collectors' item. Finding a well-preserved Countach is not an easy task, as many have dubious histories.
The Lotus Esprit is one of those Seventies-styled sports cars that hasn’t yet been fully discovered by the market. Even at the major auctions, it’s not easy to find an example of the British wedge. Is that the fault of the not-always-reliable technology that lies beneath the wonderful rectilinear Giugiaro body? Maybe – but anyone with an adventurous spirit who isn’t afraid of potentially costly repairs could be onto a winner. As with the Countach, you’d ideally stick to the first series.
BMW 3.0 CSL
The BMW 3.0 CSL is one of those younger Bavarian classics likely to cause a stir in years to come. Developed in collaboration with Alpina as a homologation model for the the 1971 competition cars, it embodies the sporty elegance and sheer driving pleasure with which BMW made its name. In particular, the 1973-1975 ‘Batmobile’ is unlikely to be missing from any decent Seventies collection of the future.
Ah yes, a style icon of the Sixties seems to have crept into our selection: true, the first Alpine A110 appeared in 1962, but the last models didn’t leave the factory until 1977. And in any case, the Alpine’s biggest claims to fame came in the early Seventies, with victories in the 1971 Monte Carlo Rally and the first World Rally Championship, in 1973.
Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV
Americans, above all, loved the 1971 2-litre version of the Alfa Romeo GTV. Owners of the Alfa Romeo 2000 could happily anticipate an interior in blue corduroy or leather, tinted windows all around, air-conditioning, a sunroof and alloy wheels. Today, we often see the ‘Bertone’ on the road – where the sophistication and affordable entry price make the sports coupé an ideal choice for young collectors with a penchant for Italian refinement.
Developed by Giotto Bizzarrini, the Iso Grifo also has its roots in the 1960s. From 1970, however, the coupé gained a fresh look, with the newly fashionable pop-up headlights. But what made a particular impression was the engine: a V8 of either 5.8 or 7.0 litres. This meant a hugely powerful car that could reach (in theory…) 300km/h. The big block engine took so much cooling that the Series II Grifo boasted a dramatic air scoop on the bonnet. Not exactly elegant, but extremely effective – and to this day a real eye-catcher!
With so much talk about the famous open SL series, it’s easy to forget the less glamorous, but just as charismatic sports coupé, the Mercedes-Benz SLC. Presented in Paris in 1971, the Gran Turismo was offered in all conceivable variants and the model remained almost unchanged until 1981. Currently, the SLC is relatively inexpensive to buy. We’d opt for a coupé in a typical Seventies colour, such as baby blue metallic, perhaps?
Photos: RM Auctions, Bonhams, Classic Driver dealers