The Enthusiasts’ Guide to Buying a Classic British Sports Car, cover

The Enthusiasts’ Guide to Buying a Classic British Sports Car

Few books are truly definitive; The Enthusiasts' Guide to Buying a Classic British Sports Car is such a book. Peter Hingston's research has produced a much needed bible.

Peter Hingston has brought together the information and guidance that the buyer of a classic British sports car needs to make an informed purchase.

It guides the buyer and points out when they should seek expert support when examining a classic car.

How To Buy a Classic Sports Car - Main Steps

The first section of the book explains how to work through the five main steps to be followed once the decision to buy a classic car has been taken. It gives background considerations for:

  • Choosing Model to Buy
  • Searching for Cars
  • Checking Likely Cars – this is extended further in the 100 Point Checklist section
  • Buying a Car
  • After the Sale

If there is a slight weakness in this book is that role of the internet is only touched upon; however it is a minor point and does not detract from the value of The Enthusiasts’ Guide to Buying a Classic British Sports Car.

Essential Information on Car Data

This brief section explains the data provided in the main body of the books and in particular how the classification of pricing is to be interpreted.

A-Z of Classic British Sports Cars (post 1945)

The main section of The Enthusiasts’ Guide to Buying a Classic British Sports Car sets out a brief history of each marque and its models. It covers the period from 1945 to 1982. This is based on the generally accepted definition of a classic car as any model more than twenty-five years old. The Guide describes the development of each model and the main changes made during its production. For each model the book highlights any particular weaknesses or other points a buyer should check – these work with the checklist at the back of the book.

The coverage is extensive as it covers many manufacturers with very limited production histories; it includes some very esoteric types. The book is comprehensively illustrated in black and white including pictures of many rare models.

Other Models

For completeness there is a short section that fills in a few gaps such as sports-racing or rare models in a manufacturer’s history that are specifically excluded from the main body of The Guide. The coverage of these models is much the same as for models in the main body.

Hundred Point Vehicle Checklist Guide

The other main section and a key part of The Guide is the hundred point vehicle checklist. It takes the buyer through a structured inspection of any vehicle being considered. It is thorough as it covers all the main areas that need checking:

  • Paperwork
  • External: bodywork, wheels, tyres etc.
  • Internal: trim, corrosion etc.
  • Engine Compartment: basic external engines and cooling systems checks for example.
  • System Checks: steering, engine, electrical and brakes
  • Underside: rust, leaks, exhaust, suspension
  • Test Drive: a comprehensive set of checks to make.
  • Post-Drive

This section is supported by thirty-four important Tips many relating to safety whilst conducting an examination.

The book would probably be worth buying for this section alone as it applies to any car purchase even relatively modern models.

Clubs and Contacts

There is an extensive list of owner’s clubs and contacts. It should be borne that the names of individuals will change with time so the web site addresses provided will be a good starting point for the names of current contacts.


The length of the acknowledgements chapter of this book is testament to the depth of research and validation of the contents that took place. It includes, pretty well, all the owner's clubs for featured marques and many other experts were consulted in the preparation of this book.

It is a valuable reference for any enthusiast with an interest in British sports cars. It will save its purchase price if it enables the reader to avoid one mistake when buying a car. Above all is it is a complete history of the classic British sports car and will appeal to its fans the world over.

Any car enthusiast will dip into The Enthusiasts’ Guide to Buying a Classic British Sports Car frequently and not just when buying. This is one of those rare books for which there is no real alternative.

The Enthusiasts’ Guide to Buying a Classic British Sports Car (ISBN: 978-0-906555-25-5) by Peter Hingston is a large format hardback and is published by Hingston Publishing at £22.95.


As part of the buying process the reader may wish to conside:


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