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How to buy a budget Eighties hot hatch

  1. Sunday’s fact-rich, highbrow series opener saw Jeremy, Richard and James buying incredibly cheap, incredibly Eighties hot hatches to demonstrate that they’re better than modern ones.

    Despite falling a little short in, er, every single way, the boys did manage to prove that a fully functioning icon from the decade taste forgot only costs a grand. Around £17,570 cheaper than the Seat Ibiza Cupra they were up against.

    And if news of such bargains elicited a mild fizz about the root, we’ve done some internet trawling to give your modestly packed wallet inspiration. They’re each around a grand, most have been, um, tastefully modified, and at least four look like the reason HPI checks exist.

    Please note: Top Gear takes no responsibility for any financial woes/crashes/embarrassment suffered as a result of perusing this gallery.

  2. Vauxhall Nova 1.4 Luxe

    Billed as needing just a ‘few bits finishing’, the seller reassures us that this late, Max Power-era example ‘drives sound.’

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  3. Vauxhall Nova GSI

    Despite being listed as a 2005 Renault Clio Expression, the seller promises that this is, in fact, a Vauxhall Nova GSI complete with a 2.0-litre ‘Red Top’ conversion. The observant among you will have noticed that some body panels are missing. And that it’s white inside but blue outside. On the plus side, it’s only £950.

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  4. Vauxhall Nova 1.3S

    Reassuringly, this 1.3-litre (with an aftermarket Weber carburettor fitted) is registered as a 1.0-litre. As per protocol, it has a K&N air filter, blue interior lights, and a set of lowering springs included in the sale.

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  5. Volkswagen Golf GTI

    VW recently announced that German engineers grow wings whenever a ‘Dub passes the 100,000 mile mark. What’ll shoot out of an unsuspecting Wolfsberg employee as a result of this example’s 185,000 miles is a terrifying prospect.

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  6. Volkswagen Golf 1.3

    It’s not a GTi, but the owner has taken the trouble of upgrading this Golf’s seats to VW Corrado leather, adding extra ventilation for the sizzling 1.3-litre 8-valve engine, and removing most of the suspension.

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  7. Volkswagen Golf GTi

    A bit of respite now. OK, so it’s £7,000 over budget, but this is what a Mk2 Golf GTi should look like…

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  8. Ford XR2i

    Beyond the obvious suspension modifications, this example looks pretty original apart from the purple paint job. The seller describes the bodywork as solid but notes “has add welding in past but ant every old ford lol”. Quite.

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  9. Ford XR2i

    It’s a later model, but this MkIII XR2i’s unrelenting aftermarket ice-white detailing and lack of numberplate caught our attention. Beware, though - despite appearing to be a much loved example, the seller warns that the sunroof has been cut out by a previous owner and welded up, “which has make it ripple.”

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  10. Ford Fiesta SI

    This powerful contraceptive is a Fiesta SI four-door converted to look like a van with an XR2i body kit. The engine’s done a piffling 173,500 miles, and it’s got the requisite equipment for towing a caravan. Phwoar.

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    Now watch Jeremy, Richard and James’ hottest hot hatch test

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