AA Buyer's Guide: which cars might be future classics?
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
The majority of us would love to make some extra money, and wise investments of collectible items often pay huge dividends.
Whether it’s due to nostalgia, performance or style, cars can sometimes appreciate over time. So, with no way of looking into the future, even in a DeLorean, we’ve decided to take a look at current cars that may increase in value years down the line.
As we’ve seen in the past, even every day cars - particularly those with a cult following – can sometimes become collectable.
Take examples like the classic Mini and Volkswagen Beetle; if you asked the owners of these cars back in the 1960s and 1970s if their cars would become collectable decades down the line, they’d probably have laughed in your face.
In 2016, there was a fine example of a 1974 Volkswagen Beetle with just 90km on the clock that went to auction in Denmark and sold for €38,250 (NZ$67,000).
Investing in more limited or special versions of new vehicles can help. Take the current Ford Fiesta ST, for example. Ford’s ST models have always possessed spice. The latest model has a very serious mechanical limited-slip differential (LSD), which optimises cornering traction for spirited driving and it can be purchased new from a rather reasonable $35,490.
It’s a practical option but still has flair with a 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, which delivers a healthy 147kW of power and 290Nm of torque. It’s a great daily driver vehicle and could well end up increasing in value down the line.
Always remember to keep things like brochures and receipts, to help add value when it reaches classic status and it’s time to sell.
A good used example of a potential classic is the stunning Alfa Romeo 147 GTA. Nowadays, a hot hatch is normally powered by a four-cylinder turbocharged engine. The Alfa Romeo 147 GTA – produced between 2002-05 - bucks this trend with a gorgeous 3.2-litre V6 under its bonnet.
If you do consider this aging model, make sure it’s well serviced and the cambelt has been recently changed, so you can get on with the pleasure of driving it.
Fast and fun
An interesting new model with appreciation potential is the Toyota GR Supra - an exciting car from an otherwise quite conservative brand.
The Supra has a classic elongated nose and short-cabin silhouette. Its bold stance is enhanced by a short wheelbase, wide track and fat tyres. It also has the classic 3.0-litre straight six engine with 500Nm of torque delivered to the rear wheels.
The two-seat cockpit and “double bubble” roof pays tribute to Toyota’s first sports car - the 2000 GT, which is currently a highly desirable and collectable car in its own right.
In the used market, there are still a lot of performance options, like the 2002-12 Mazda RX-8, which was the successor to the collectible RX-7. Prices for the RX-8 are currently very low.
The RX-8 is powered by a rotary Wankel engine. The original Renesis 13B-MSP had a capacity of just 1.3l, but it packed a punch at 142kW.
It’s a front-mid engined rear-drive car in a four-door, four-seater configuration and has a near 50:50 front-rear weight distribution. It also has some other intriguing features, like the rear-hinged rear doors.
The forward-thinking BMW i8 ended its product life cycle recently after an impressive six-year run, selling over 2000 units.
It possesses an enviable fuel consumption of just 1.8l/100km Combined. The sporty i8 was BMW’s first ever plug-in hybrid, and it paved the way for its broad range of plug-in hybrid models available today.
At the same time, the BMW i8 developed into the world's most successful electrified sports car.
Don’t buy a lemon
When buying a used car, we always recommend booking a pre-purchase vehicle inspection to help give you peace of mind, and to avoid major mechanical issues further down the line.
AA members can book pre purchase vehicle inspections for $169 (a saving of $20). Book online here.