21st January 2020

GTs: when four is better than two

Fast two-door, four-seaters represent an opportunity. A more svelte, sporting and stylish version of their four-door brethren, or an ungainly version of the two-seater model? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and very much depends on the specific object of your desires. On offer for the discerning buyer is a world of exclusivity and rare blend of looks and practicality for the classic car enthusiast whose family still talks to them and therefore needs rear seats. Sometimes, four is better than two.

The Rolls Royce Camargue, for example, was the world’s most expensive production car at launch in 1975 and received at least 30 years of negative press before finding a following and seeing values rise. This is despite the Silver Shadow and two-door Corniche, on which it was based, being held in high esteem. The Bentley T Series, the company’s first monocoque, was deemed to also perfectly suit the two-door grand tourer lines. The Camargue’s looks may have split opinion, to say the least, but if you wanted the ultimate in continent-crossing luxury then it represented a very smart buy for many years and was an undeniably head-turning package.

Others to have suffered at the hands of false expectation and a perceived spurning of its manufacturer’s traditional values are the Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2 and 400 series cars. For some, four seats and the option of an automatic gearbox represented an opportunity for a broader range of buyers to enjoy the delights of prancing horse ownership. For others, they were more dancing donkey. Once available for Mondeo money, both have grown in popularity and are deservedly recognised as under-rated GTs with glorious powerplants to complement their added practicality.

It’s a similar story in E-Type circles, although Jaguar as a brand is more complicated. E-Type popularity and values are very much Series and options dependent, with the 2+2 for years struggling to find love despite offering the perks of E-Type ownership with the added bonus of having room for the children or particularly large hats. With the iconic straight-six or V12 options, what’s not to like?

Why is Jaguar more complicated? Because of the great XJ-C/XJ6 debate. A good XJ-C’s price tag will likely be at least four-times that of its four-door sibling, despite the saloon’s design being considered to be one of the greatest of its type. In the eyes of the enthusiast, this is very much a four-door saloon that works just as well with two fewer doors and added GT nomenclature. Despite opinions often being split, values most certainly are not.

For the dedicated GT, from Europe’s Mustang, the Capri, to Stuttgart’s transaxle offerings such as the mighty 928, things are more clear cut. Values of each bottomed out at around the same sort of time and are both now heading in the same direction.

What are your views? Whether it’s two’s company and four’s a crowd, or the more’s the merrier, we’d love to read what you think in the comments below.