Cars have been objects of desire for over a century now. When you think about it, everybody loves them. Owning a car signifies the freedom to cover large distances, but also to show your taste in things. People often choose cars on style alone, just to show the world what type of person they are. Then, you have car enthusiasts of all types, that deep share love for cars. Some want a fast vehicle, while others want a classic car that will differentiate them from others.
With all that said, owning a car can be very expensive in the long run. That is unless you own an automobile that gains popularity over time. These so-called classic cars become more expensive every single day and might actually make you money. Today, over one century after the first modern car touched the road in Germany, the number of classic cars is pretty significant. Most of them are super-rare automobiles from over half a century ago, but some were originally designed to be budget-friendly.
Spotting a classic vehicle when it is new is not an easy task. Sure, you might think that every Ferrari today will increase in value over time, but that’s not the case. Most sports cars, even from manufacturers like Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Aston Martin, tend to depreciate every single day. A small number of them succeed in becoming collectibles, but what are they? Let’s try to answer that question by seeing which cars from the past are classics today.
What Cars Will Be Classics in the Future?
That is a question that doesn’t have a straight answer. One might assume which car is going to be a collectible in the future, but you can never know for sure. That said, there are some things that a certain car should meet to become cars with the best investment potential.
To understand what a timeless design is, let’s have a look at the Jaguar E-Type. The British sports car is widely considered to be the most beautiful car ever made. What makes the design of this car timeless is the overall simplicity. There is nothing extravagant about how this car looks – it has only a few lines that meet each other. That simplicity leads to one of the best proportions of any car made in the last century.
However, some classics achieve timeless design precisely with extravagance. The Lamborghini Countach is a great example of that – it screams and shouts from every angle. The looks of this Italian classic are rather complex.
Overall, though, any car that pushes the boundaries in terms of design has a great chance of becoming a collectible. Of course, as far is it looks good – some automobiles push the boundaries, but in a bad way.
Rare Cars or Rare Versions of Some Models
Automobiles that aren’t manufactured in high numbers have a very high chance of becoming exotics. As far as production numbers go, rare cars are considered those that were produced in numbers smaller than 1000. Okay, I picked that number freely, but you get the idea. Just remember, the rarer the product, the more desirable it is.
Even some versions of popular cars that manufacturers produced in small batches might become collectibles in the future. A great example of that is the 1967 Shelby GT500 that reached a price of $2.2 million at an auction. The “normal” version of the Ford Mustang isn’t nearly as popular.
Loved by Enthusiasts
If there is a car that the enthusiast community loves, chances are it will become a collectible in the future. A great example here is the Honda S2000. The Japanese roadster is still considered a blast to drive today and started to increase in value in recent years.
Driving enthusiasts mostly care about vehicles that provide raw experience behind the wheel. Things like naturally-aspirated engines, RWD and less driving aids are high on the list, but not always required. Still, if a vehicle feels good behind the steering wheel, chances are it will become a collectible. The Porsche 911 GT3 is a prime example of that. It is a naturally-aspirated RWD version of the 911. On paper, it is slower than the 911 Turbo, but enthusiasts like the driving experience more, because of its racing heritage and limited production.
Older versions of BMW M3 and M5 are also highly sought-after today, thanks to the raw driving experience they provide.
Used in Pop Culture
If some vehicles appeared in a movie or music video, there is a chance they will become a collectible. However, this only refers to the model that appears on the screen, not other similar models. Also, if a celebrity drove the car, it will only increase in value over time. However, these automobiles are also very expensive to buy in the first place, which certainly doesn’t help.
Nonetheless, some models became popular because they appeared in movies. For example, the Toyota Supra MK4 model became hugely popular after it appeared in the Fast & Furious movie franchise. Of course, the Supra also has other appreciated qualities, like reliability and 1,000+ horsepower capability on a pretty-stock car for example.
Reliable Sports Cars
Yes, the Supra is mainly popular thanks to its reliability today. Sure, the Fast & Furious franchise might have started the Supra craze, but the reliable engine made the Japanese sports car a true star. Other vehicles from that era that are reliable, like the Nissan R34 Skyline GTR, are also very popular today.
That said, reliable passenger cars won’t do the cut. Models like Corolla or Civic might be very reliable, but they are produced in large numbers and considered a necessity. Apart from reliability, a car must also be desirable to be a collectible. The Supra and Skyline are both things at once.
What is the Best Car to Buy as an Investment?
Today, the automotive industry makes its biggest change since its beginnings. Almost every manufacturer is moving from internal combustion engines to electric engines. In the next decade, almost every new car will have some form of electrification. In 2050, chances are no new car will use gasoline as a propulsion method. This is a great opportunity for classic car buyers. Modern cars that have internal combustion engines will certainly become collectibles in the future, simply because using gasoline will be seen as an exotic form of energy.
That said, the car in question must still satisfy all the categories above. Just buying an internal combustion engine passenger vehicle is not enough. It still stands that the model should be rare, loved by enthusiasts, has a timeless design, and reliable mechanics.
Several modern automobiles that certainly fall into that category are:
- Ferrari 458 Speciale: a “special” version of the 458. It has a screaming, naturally-aspirated 4.5-liter engine in the front and lightened chassis for an improved driving experience.
- Lexus LF-A: the only Lexus supercar. It is known for its naturally-aspirated 4.8-liter V10 that is widely considered as one of the best engines ever. It needs only 0.6 seconds to achieve an engine speed of 9000 rpm. Oh, and it also sounds like an old F1 car, something that future buyers will also appreciate.
- Porsche 911 GT3: raw driving experience from Porche. The previously mentioned GT3 has all the ingredients to become a future classic — racing heritage, rear-wheel-drive, naturally-aspirated engine that turns to 9000 rpm, and slick-shifting manual transmission.
- Mercedes-Benz SLS: an homage to the 300 SL Gullwing. The SLS might be slower even than some supercars from its time, but its Gull-wing doors and timeless design are enough to push its price into the stratosphere.
- BMW M4 GTS: a track-focused version of the M4. If rare versions of past M3’s increase in value, one should expect that this one will too. The M4 GTS is a rare and raw sports coupe that will entice enthusiasts in the years to come.
These models are prime examples of collectibles and should give you a general idea of how to spot one.
Nonetheless, if you have other suggestions about future classic cars, feel free to throw them in the comment section below!
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