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Best Affordable British Sports Cars

Updated on June 13, 2010
Triumph Spitfire
Triumph Spitfire

Many people would love the opportunity to own a British sports car but not everybody can afford to go out and buy a new Lotus or Morgan. The good news is that you don't have to be rich to enjoy your own British sports car, as long as you don't mind having one that is a little older. Here are some great affordable British sports cars.

MG Midget
MG Midget
  • MG MGB Manufactured from 1962 to 1980

MG made this vehicle for many years and the majority of them ended up in the U.S. They feature a 1.8L in line four engine and manual transmissions. Roadster and 2 + 2 Coupes were made. Due the the numbers of them brought to this country parts are easy to find and not prohibitively expensive. These cars handle really well but acceleration is not the best. A good value to get into a British Sports Car. Not as collectible as an MGA but more desirable than a Midget. Interior is room is better than most similar cars of the time. Good drivable cars usually go for $3500 - $7500.

  • Triumph Spitfire Manufactured from 1962 to 1981

these cars were developed to compete against Sprites and Midgets in the market, and in comparison to those cars I feel it is superior. However when compared to the similarly sized MGB I think the MG is a better car. These started life with a 1.1L in line four and and ended with a 1.5 L in line four. Parts are fairly to find easy for these. There were many complaints about the handling due to the rear suspension design, this was pretty much resolved with the Mark 4 generation starting in 1970. $2000 to $4000 will get you a drivable car.

  • MG Midget Manufactured from 1961 to 1979

These were the entry level MG Convertible. Early ones lacked a top that was permanently attached to the body, roll up windows, or even door handles and locks. They later ones are much more usable as daily driver. At the beginning they were almost identical to the Austin-Healey Sprite. The first models used a 948cc 46hp A series engine, slightly different from the one made famous in the original Mini. The last models used the same engine as the Triumph Spitfire. These cars are vary small and not too comfortable for taller people. One of the bright spots of these cars is parts availability, many parts are being reproduced. A little more than 225,000 of these little cars were made, making them one of the most common cars on this list. I have seen complete project cars sell for less than $500 and decent drivers usually hover around $2500 - $4500 depending on the market you are in.

  • Sunbeam Alpine Series 1-5 Manufactured 1959-1968

There weren't many of these cars made but they are still fairly cheap, especially compared to their Ford V8 powered brother, the Sunbeam Tiger. Production began with a 1494cc straight four and ended with a 1725cc with various upgrades and improvements between the two. These cars look really good and have similar body lines to an early Ford Thunderbird. Interior comfort on these are decent but not as good as the MBG. Production ended shortly after Rootes Group was taken over by Chrysler, with a little under 70,000 units produced in total. $ 3500 - $7500 will get you a decent example.

  • Ford Capri MK1 Manufactured 1969-1974

These cars are fastback coupes made by Ford of Europe in England. They were officially imported into the U.S. in small numbers. The 1969-70 models had a very underpowered small four cylinder but the 1971-1974 models had the 2.0L out of the Pinto. The pinto had a bad reputation but time has proven it a good power plant and there are many performance upgrades available for it. Many of these cars were repowered early on in their lives because they were generally much cheaper than mustangs. I have even seen a Ford 427 shoe horned into one of these things. They are not all that common but $5k should bring home a nice one. 

Sunbeam Alpine
Sunbeam Alpine
Ford Capri
Ford Capri


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    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Some very nice cars here. I once owned a Triumph Spitfire and loved it to drive. Nippy and nimble with a better than average ride. Great car hub, thanks.