Obviously not the actual Touring Cars, but the Road Cars they are based on…
We are blessed to some degree in the UK for having a very cheap second hand car market.
Now clearly we aren’t going to find an E30 M3 or a Ford Sierra Cosworth for under £10K, mainly due down to the crazy Classic Car Market, however we have picked out 12 Road Cars that their Touring Car counterparts were based on……
BMW E36 318is
One of our favourite super-tourers – You will be hard pressed to find a 318is Saloon, however there are still a few coupes kicking about, the car famously involved in the Cleland vs Soper Silverstone incident and driven by Colin McRae at Knockhill.
Decent examples seem to go from between £3K to £7K, our ideal choice would be a 318is Saloon if you can find one, failing that a 318is Sport Coupe, you only have to look at the prices of E30’s to see this as being a great place to put your money.
Most E36’s have rusted away or been turned into track cars, the 318is isn’t the fastest car in the world, but is a great drive with a revvy 16v engine.
The legendary Volvo 850R, in recent years the prices on these have gone through the roof!
We probably all look back at the one used by James May in Top Gear’s Africa Special and wince.
They have achieved something of a cult status and the 1994 TWR Estate will certainly live on in Motorsport History.
There are a few kicking around, quite alot seem to be Automatics, we would want a manual preferably in Black with the 7 Spoke Alloy Wheels.
Prices are around the £10K mark and we can only see them going up!
VAUXHALL CAVALIER 2.0 TURBO 4X4
Now there is a reason there are not many Vauxhall Cavaliers left…. no one wanted them!
Most have been scrapped and for such a mass produced car, there really are very few left.
They say time is the greatest healer, and when you look back now at this 90’s Repmobile it actually is quite a handsome car, but that says alot more about modern car design than it does anything else.
We recall an absolutely mint condition white Cavalier GSI going for about £17K at Silverstone Auctions.
Our pick of the bunch? A white Cavalier 2.0 Turbo 4×4, yes the Touring Car wasn’t turbo charged or four wheel drive, but its the one we would go for.
Base Spec Salesman models are available for about £2K if that’s what you’re after, more sportier models such as the Turbo 4×4 seem to be around the £8-£10K price mark.
If we ever get one, we will have to get a sticker for the bumper saying “The man’s an animal!”
FORD MONDEO ST200
The Ford Mondeo, the car that Nigel Mansell had a few incidents with and took the costs of the Super-Tourers to a whole new level!
The ST200 was the talk of the playground in the 1990’s, not very fast by the standards of today, but a reminder of how Ford used to make some seriously cool cars!
With a tuned 202bhp V6 Engine, Recaro Seats and Sports Suspension, if your dad had one of these or the ST24 you were the cool kid at school back in the day!
Examples now vary from £5K to £10K, again surely these will only go up in value?
Our choice would be a Blue ST200, with the 17″ 14 Spoke Alloys.
VW CC 2.0TSI
The VW CC went into a well earned retirement at the end of 2020, to be replaced by the Cupra.
At the end of the cars career it didn’t cover itself in glory but provided a low cost seat for many an up and coming Touring Car Driver.
Now, the Road Car really is a stylish and well equipped car and for £8-£10K you can get yourself in a 200+ bhp 2013 VW CC.
A great all rounder for the person that wants a hint of BTCC in their daily driver.
BMW E90 320SI
Scroll through any of the BMW Facebook Groups and this car gets quite a bit of hate.
We think it’s brilliant, yes it only has 170bhp, but the thrill of this car is in the handling and the engine that will willingly rev to 7300RPM.
The E90 320si is a true homologation special, with carbon fiber bits on the engine that was hand built in the same factory as the BMW F1 Engines.
Only 500 came to the UK and by all accounts it’s a really fun car to drive.
We have seen these for sale for as little as £2K and decent examples seem to be around the £5K price tag.
Another great daily driver, where you can pretend to be Colin Turkington on the weekends!
HONDA CIVIC TYPE R
The performance of the earlier Honda Civics is nothing compared to the brand new Civic Type R, but the road car that was the basis for Matt Neal’s Championship Winning Car in 2011 is quite a handsome thing.
They represent great value for money as well.
For a couple of grand over the £10K budget, you can get a Mugen tuned version, or for just under budget you could get your hands on a “Championship White” Edition featuring an impressive spoiler and a trick LSD.
Or you can get a “Vanilla” low mileage 2009 Type R GT for about £6K.
Now, we hope this doesn’t get us as much flack as when we suggested a BMW 320d would make a good track car!
But we think the MG6 deserves a mention, lets be honest, if it hadn’t raced in the BTCC who would have heard of it? I know, on the rare occasion I see one on the road, I immediately think of Jason Plato and give it a wide berth (better to be safe than sorry).
Pinnacle of performance they are not, but depreciation has been very hard on these.
This means we found a 2015 model, with 66k on the clock, for £4.5K! Featuring heated leather seats, sat nav, sunroof and parking sensors.
If you don’t care about the badge these are a bargain and famous for only one thing… Racing in the BTCC.
VAUXHALL INSIGNIA VXR
We are bending the rules a bit here as the Vauxhall Insignia we chose is the 2.8L Turbo V6. We did consider the Vectra but for looks alone the Insignia cinched it.
Decent examples are around for well under £10K and they pack 321bhp putting them on par with their German RIvals.
The Insignias Touring Car career wasn’t great, but we have the upmost admiration for John Thorne remortgaging his house to follow his dreams.
Interesting fact, John Thorne appeared on Channel 4’s “Come Dine with Me” and won!
Anyway the Insignia a left field alternative to an Audi S4 or BMW 335i, with a tenuous link to the BTCC, but since the days of Homologation Specials are far behind us most Modern Touring Cars fit into this category.
The F21 125i – BMW’s rival to the VW Golf GTI.
A rare buyers choice at the time, as BMW were heavily pushing good lease deals on the M135i, this car is a real hidden gem.
The engine noise is a bit naff but that is easily fixed with an aftermarket back box.
In the real world with 215bhp and 310nm of torque it’s all the car you need, the lighter front end makes it a much better drive over the M135i in our opinion.
The Touring Car has enjoyed much success particuarly in the hands of Colin Turkington, Rob Collard, Andrew Jordan and Andy Priaulx
Our choice would be a Manual 3 Door Version, with Alcantara Seats, Harman Kardon and an M Performance Exhaust.
3 Door and 5 Door versions are readily available for the £10K price mark.
The styling is not to our taste, but the Infiniti Q50 offers huge value for money on the second hand market.
Now Infiniti don’t sell cars in the UK anymore, but we are sure your local Nissan Dealer will look after you, we just did not realise until researching for this article how cheap these are.
Now most of them are Diesels but we found one 2014 Hybrid 3.5V V6 for sale for £9,495, packing an impressive 360bhp, yes the Touring Car doesn’t have a V6 and the model we found has just north of 100k on the clock, but what a bargain (on the face of it)
Probably more motorway cruiser than racecar, but still chuck some Laser Tools Stickers on and away you go!
FORD FOCUS ST-2
Another car, that in researching this, we didn’t realise had got so easily affordable (depreciation shock horror)!
The Ford Focus ST-2 most remembered for being liveried in the iconic Red and Yellow Shredded Wheat Colours and piloted by the likes of Tom Chilton, Andrew Jordan, Rory Butcher, Mat Jackson, Fabrizio Giovanardi and Sam Tordoff.
These cars still look new and have more than enough performance.
Our choice would be an ST-2 in Yellow, perfect for stickering up in the Shredded Wheat livery for when we are allowed back to Le Mans!
So there you have it 12 Touring Cars for Under £10K.
Our personal choice? If we were buying for the weekends as an investment the Ford Mondeo ST200 as a daily driver the BMW 125i.
So how did we do? Do you agree with our choices?
Let us know on our Facebook comments.