Despite age and rust, some cars will just keep on going long after their second, third and fourth owners have forgotten about them. Here are five gems which bring a new meaning to reliability.
1 - Mercedes-Benz W123 (1976-1984)
For many, the archetypal Mercedes is the W123, its square-edged styling being a common sight across the world. More than 2.5 million were produced in four-door saloon, estate and coupé form.
In the UK, it was the tough 200/230 four-cylinder petrol models that dominated sales. The cars were tough but not especially fast, even in six-cylinder form.
Today, the condition of a W123 is more of an indicator of its value than its engine or trim. However, coupés and estates do command a premium.
You’re unlikely to find anything usable for under £2000 these days while exceptional cars will be ten times that. Expensive, true, but there are few classic cars less likely to leave you stranded.
2 - Volvo 200 Series (1974-1993)
Based on the previous generation 140, the 200 combined a host of innovative safety features with robust mechanicals. The four-pot engines need only minimal service attention and, compared with its contemporaries, the model has proved to be extremely rust resistant.
The 200 remained in production until 1993, but earlier models, with less electrical kit and no catalytic converters, are the most trouble-free. In terms of usability, the estate version still offers huge space and practicality, and prices reflect that. Scruffy examples may turn up for around £1000 but more cosseted cars can cost upwards of £3000.