Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Best 10 car investment opportunities for 2010

In their current issue Octane proposed "The Smart Buys of 2010". There list includes the following ten cars that they expect to rise in value: Ferrari 550, Porsche 911 Turbo, Aston Martin DB7, Jaguar Mk1 3.4, Jaguar E-Type S1/S2 FHC, Lotus Elan, Aston Martin V8 Zagato, Aston Martin V8 Virage, Ferrari 308 GT/4 and Mercedes-Benz SL (R107). While I do agree with some of these cars as good candidates to gain in value, I think the list is very "UK focused" and misses a couple of exciting investment opportunities. So here's my list as an alternative:

(1) BMW M3 (E30) - great car for everyday and exciting track cars for the special occasions, not too many were built and there's lots of racing pedigree
(2) Porsche 924 Carrera GT - I wrote about this car before, it's clearly undervalued, was produced in very little numbers and has more racing pedigree than any Ferrari since the GTO
(3) Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS - I consider these cars as still undervalued especially in comparison with some of the 12 cylinders. These cars are great to drive and less expensive to own than the bigger cars and the design is just magnificent
(4) Mercedes SL (R07) - great classics, were built over 17 years, the last ones are not only reliable but also inexpensive to own. They are not rare in comparison, but they even have catalyst converters and therefore can be driven even in protective cities
(5) Alfa-Romeo GTV 6 - again an instant classic with an unbelievable soundtrack. Not that expensive to buy, but some money is needed for maintenance. Many have disappeared appreciating the value of the remaining cars.
(6) Lotus Esprit S2, S2.2, S3 - great and fairly revolutionary shape in the 70ies, thanks to Giugiaro. S2.2 very rare, but even S2 and S3 reached small numbers in comparison to other classics. Inexpensive to own if it's a well sorted one.
(7) BMW M1 - as close to a race car as you can get. It was developed to win in racing, the road going sportscar was sort of a by-product, less than 500 cars produced make it very rare. Prices are climbing quickly though. A few years ago I was offered a M1 for less than € 50'000, now they are twice to three times this price level
(8) TVR 3000M/Taimar/3000 S - easy to own and maintain british sportscar, low number produced, especially in LHD. You can't go wrong if you buy a well sorted one
(9) Lotus Elite - less popular than the ever loved Lotus Elan, but actually much more nimble, exclusive and much closer to racing than its successor. The Elite competed in Le Mans successfully and the road car was fairly close to what the guys were using there. Prices are not too much higher than for good Elans but you get a Climax engine and lots of engineering ideas from Colin Chapman. Not a car for everybody though. But the shape is just exquisite, especially for a car of its size
(10) Aston Martin DB7 - okay, I had to take one of these onto the list. Not that it's really a great car in terms of technology and engineering, but the design is so much better than most alternatives you can buy for the same money that it's worth being considered.

So, that's the list, and of course there are many that could be added. And remember: if bought only for making money, probably none of them will bring enough interests due to all the cost that come with owning an exclusive car. But if you include your passion and pleasure in the equation, then you can forget oil, gold, platinum or any other investment ....


lupoch said...

Great list, and most would be quite affordable. The M1 is off-the-range, though... In this price category I'd also consider the Audi Sport Quattro, Lancia Rally 037, Lancia Stratos or BB512.
And if you really want an Alfa in the top 10, I'd rather take a Montreal

Bruno von Rotz said...

good point with the Montreal. It actually suffers from the same issues as the GTV6 and is a highlight along similar aspects as well, i.e. the V8 engine (from the 33 Stradale) and the design that I do like. I haven't followed the value, but I think it's one of these cars where maintenance costs totally outpace the value enhancement potential.
The 037 and Stratos are great cars, clearly, but quite over valued already I think. And the Sport Quattro I never really liked, it's just too short ;-)

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