A Renault R5 Alpine at the Retromobile show in Paris

The madness of the 80s blows through the world of classic cars

Large series models from the 80s are highly sought after by fans of vintage cars, often representing a gateway to the world of collecting.

Cars with a collection gray card, “young timers”, nearly 9 million vintage cars make the heyday of enthusiasts and collectors in France, according to the French Federation of Vintage Vehicles (FFVE). And as in all markets, some properties are more prominent. While the Retromobile show is being held in Paris from February 1 to 5, which models are currently the most popular with old-timer enthusiasts?

From the 70s to the 90s

Apart from the locomotives of the sector – Porsche, Ferrari, Mercedes among others – the models that have been on the rise in recent months smell good of the 80s. “The collection is generational, confides Benjamin Arnaud, sales director of RM Sotheby’s France. A person born in the 70s dreamed of a Ferrari from the 80s as a child. Naturally, we will look for the models that marked us in our childhood”.

If according to the FFVE, the average age of owners of old cars is 59 years old, those in their thirties and forties are turning more and more to the models of the 80s from mass-produced manufacturers. And overflow largely towards vehicles from the 70s but also from the 90s.

The big acceleration in prices of the last decade has notably brought many buyers back to these more recent and especially mass-produced models. “A Citroën Ami 6, an Ami 8 can be sold in good condition for 30,000 euros, continues Benjamin Arnaud. Conversely, pre-war vehicles like the Traction are not in a rising market, vehicles are exchanged at 10, 15,000 euros”.

Ford Escort RS Cosworth, R5 Alpine

In these mass-produced models at still affordable prices, some cars will be more interesting for a collector, such as the first editions, the luxury or sports versions. “Those that have had few owners, the fewest possible kilometers are the cars that stand out”, explains Matthieu Lamoure, director of Artcurial Motorcars.

In its sale organized at Rétromobile, the auction house thus offers a Ford Escort RS Cosworth from 1995, valued between 50,000 and 80,000 euros or a Citroën GSA (a model much less known than a CX or a DS) with only 3334 kilometers , estimated between 15,000 and 20,000 euros. “It is in incredible condition, in all its maintenance books, which makes it stand out,” continues Matthieu Lamoure.

A Renault R5 Alpine at the Retromobile show in Paris
A Renault R5 Alpine at the Retromobile show in Paris © ERIC PIERMONT / AFP

The return to the front of the stage of certain brands or certain models in recent years has also given a little boost to older vehicles in the collection. If it was already well rated, the A110 and more broadly the other Alpine models have fully benefited from the return of the brand since 2017 according to Benjamin Arnaud. “The comeback is extraordinary, a real tribute with the 24 Hours, Formula 1, it’s a real positive breath”, continues the expert.

At a more affordable price, the R5 has also returned to grace, in particular following its updating by Renault in a future modernized and electric version. The first versions in pop colors and vinyl interior or the R5 Alpine are thus models that interest fans of the small car of the 80s.

Pauline Ducamp

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