By on March 25, 2013

Get any group of car enthusiasts together and they’ll eventually start arguing about which recent models will increase in value over the next twenty years. I don’t think it’s actually possible for assembled gearheads not to discuss this topic, usually somewhere in between stories about past speeding tickets and bashing the Toyota Corolla.

As a result, “investment” cars have been covered quite a bit. But here’s an interesting variation: which cars won’t increase in value? Of course, the easy answer is “most of them.” But more specifically, which recent cars are people holding on to, hoping for a value increase that just won’t come?

These are my predictions, and – as always – I soon expect to hear just how wrong I am.

Buick Grand National

We can all agree the Grand National is an unbelievably cool car. Debuting at a time when the size of an average Buick was outdone solely by the thickness of its owners’ glasses, the Grand National went like a Corvette despite possessing the aerodynamics of a file cabinet.

But here’s the problem: Buick built 30,000 Grand Nationals and sold each one to a casual collector who expected it to shoot up in value “someday.” Owners would bring guests to the house, show them the Grand National and loudly announce: “This is Junior’s college fund.” As a result, every single Grand National is currently parked in a climate-controlled garage with zero miles and a laminated window sticker. With so many examples built and so many of those in perfect shape, don’t expect to see values jump.

E28 BMW M5

I’ve noticed a growing trend among E28 M5 owners to price their cars as if they were Silicon Valley homes during the waning days of the Clinton administration. Seriously: there is one on AutoTrader.com near me that has 194,000 miles and a $20,000 asking price. I write this having not actually verified its continued presence on AutoTrader because, let’s be honest, it’s still there.

E28 M5 owners are convinced that their cars will soon appreciate like the E30 M3. Unfortunately, they’ve forgotten that the E30 M3 was the lightweight sports car that began an era, while the E28 M5 was a vaguely sporty sedan with really long shift throws. My suggestion to E28 M5 owners: enjoy your cars, because they’re amazing. But stay out of the $20,000 price range.

Ferrari 308/328

One day, I might have to eat these words. But right now, it’s hard to imagine 308 and 328 values staying anywhere but exactly where they are.

The 308 and 328 are very cool cars that look like they’re doing 200 miles per hour even when they’re sitting still. But they don’t quite have the guts to back up the styling. In fact, with its 240 horsepower, the 308 could barely crest 150 mph, let alone 200. The 328 was a bit meatier, but that doesn’t matter much in today’s world of Camrys that do 0-to-60 in six seconds.

Sure, performance isn’t everything. The Dino, for example, could barely outrun an old MG – but its values are now creeping into Daytona territory. Very true. But while there are 2,500 Dinos in this world, Ferrari built more than 12,000 308s and another 7,000 328s. The huge production numbers virtually ensure they will always remain a used car, and not a collector car.

2002-2005 Ford Thunderbird

I sincerely hope that no one bought the ’02-’05 Thunderbird as an investment. But if you did, you’ll have a rude awakening when it comes time to sell and you discover the T-Bird is worth only a little more than the Lincoln LS on which it’s based.

Like the Prowler below, the eleventh-gen Thunderbird is a case of an automaker trying too hard. Of course, it worked out for Ford: they sold every unit, and early ones were probably very profitable. But the Thunderbird’s biggest market was old people nostalgic for old Thunderbirds. Young people never latched on, which doesn’t bode well for its future as a collectible car.

Any “Indy Pace Car” Edition

I have a confession to make: I love Indy Pace Car Editions. Seriously. Yes, even that purple Corvette with the yellow wheels.

But unfortunately for people who own them, I’m basically one of one. Most people see Indy Pace Car Editions for precisely what they are: a manufacturer eeking out a few extra sales by taking a normal car and adding stickers. And, sometimes, yellow wheels.

As a result, don’t ever buy an Indy Pace Car Edition as an investment. Unless, of course, it actually paced Indy. Which it never did.

Plymouth Prowler

When the Plymouth Superbird came out all those years ago, no one ever expected its values to go anywhere. As the famous story goes, it was actually highly unpopular, which isn’t hard to believe considering its rear wing looked like an industrial-strength staple, possibly created by Paul Bunyan.

The problem with the Prowler is that it’s the exact opposite. It’s trying too hard to be cool, which virtually ensures that it will end up in the history books as gloriously uncool. The fact that its V6 came from the Dodge Intrepid and its center stack from the Chrysler parts bin only seals the deal: the Prowler will never climb in value. Even if you have the little trailer.

Porsche 997 Speedster

Before the 997 model, every single 911 Speedster was priced from the factory like a slightly more expensive 911. People bought them, stored them in inflatable bubbles, and watched values soar.

This time, Porsche wanted that value jump for itself – and they priced the 997 Speedster accordingly. For $204,000, you got unique wheels, a distinctive windshield, a weird top and a slight horsepower bump over the regular 997 Carrera S – which, by the way, was half the price. Values entered free-fall before the cars even sold out.

Of course, 997 Speedster values will, one day, climb again. But it will be many years – and a lot of inflation – before they ever return to the $200,000 mark.

So, tell me: am I wrong? Did I miss anything? What cars do you think are being stored in dirt-free controlled garages by owners who have unrealistic expectations about future values?

Doug DeMuro operates PlaysWithCars.com. He’s owned an E63 AMG wagon, road-tripped across the US in a Lotus without air conditioning, and posted a six-minute lap time on the Circuit de Monaco in a rented Ford Fiesta. One year after becoming Porsche Cars North America’s youngest manager, he quit to become a writer. His parents are very disappointed.

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194 Comments on “Don’t Invest In These “Investment” Cars...”


  • avatar
    danio3834

    I definitely disagree on the Grand National. While there are no shortage of clean examples, when someone has in their mind they WANT and Grand National, they don’t seem to care what price they pay and willingly shell out. These routinely trade well above their original MSRP.

    An extreme case is the GNX, where clean examples now routinely trade well north of 50k.

    • 0 avatar

      The question, however, is: will they go UP? With soooo many clean ones out there (and 30,000 built!), it’s hard to believe these are heading skyward.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I think the question is already answered, they’ve already gone up. Future prices are likely to follow the rest of the collector market that trend with the economy. So I would predict unless the economy tanks again, the values will continue to trend upward on these.

        Chevrolet built 243,000 1969 Camaros, but these cars remain some of the most sought after and values have continually increased. Even clean, original 6 cyl and 307 cars can fetch stupid money in some cases.

        • 0 avatar
          FuzzyPlushroom

          The thing about the Camaro – and a lot of pony and muscle cars of its era – was that they were either used up or deemed to be too thirsty through the downsizing of the late ’70s. By the time they started becoming desirable in the ’90s, when the boomer generation wanted them back, most of them were gone. On the contrary, Grand Nationals (and GNXes in particular) are cool, always have been, so they just don’t get scrapped unless they’re quite violently wrecked.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            ’69 Camaro prices are not high because their supply disappeared, but because of the universally popular demand. Just like the Grand National.

            Tri five Chevys are the same. One of the most common cars sold in their day, and still one of the most common cars you see at shows, yet are some of the highest priced cars of the era in their varying forms.

            As we’ve seen time and time again, rarity doesn’t necessarily correlate to collectibility. Some cars are rare for a reason and remain unloved. Of course on the flip side, rare versions of otherwise collectible cars are gold mines (fuelie ’57 Chevs, COPO Camaros, Hemi Cudas).

          • 0 avatar
            toxicroach

            Danio— Everyone has heard of the Camaro. Maybe I’m just really dumb, but I’d never heard of the Grand National until this article. My wife’s response when I asked her if she ever heard of a Buick Grand National— “Is that a car?”.

            The car has also been apparently only been in the hands of collectors, which doesn’t bode well for nostalgia buyers (there are none). Also, since the Grand Nation sold for 30k in 1987 (cite: wikipedia), if it’s selling for $50000 today, it’s actually lost about 10000 in value (inflation adjusted). Would have been much better stuffing that money into a CD.

            People once paid ridiculous prices for Beanie Babies. My rule of thumb, which is based on nothing but my own opinion, is that if they’re using collectibility to move units when it’s new, it never going to be really collectible.

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            @toxic – I wouldn’t say you are dumb, but you are probably young, or you maybe just aren’t into domestic muscle cars. Anyone who was into cars in the 80s and 90s should know what a Grand National is, and they are still relevant and popular at parking lot car shows today.

            And regular Grand Nationals are not only in the hands of collectors, you see them driven a lot, drag raced, modded, etc. Only the fabled GNX was collector fodder from day one and yes they are very rare. But you are right, the GNX was $30k, and now at $50k hasn’t gone “up” in value. IIRC, the regular Grand National wasn’t nearly as expensive and today is not terribly expensive, unless you are trying to get a really perfect and/or low mileage one.

            But if you are in your 40s and never heard of a Grand National then you just dropped a few points in your car guy status! :)

          • 0 avatar
            toxicroach

            Well I’m 32, and I’m not remotely in the car guy scene, but my point is that the Camaro actually has universal appeal. People of all ages have seen them and think they are cool. Few outside of the immediate muscle car scene knows or cares about the Grand National, which to my eyes looks like my Grandpa would have driven during the first Bush administration. A 69 Camaro, on the other hand, looks awesome.

            Lots of things are rare; they only become goldmines if lots of (rich) people have the irrational desire to own it. An obscure Buick that reminds no one of being a teenager, with nearly all 30000 of them in mint condition— it just doesn’t have the juice to be a real collector item. Those things are going to be turning up at estate sales on a regular basis for the next thirty years. The rarity/popularity ratio is too weak.

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            Well if your not remotely into the car guy scene and your 32 then of course you haven’t heard of the GN. That’s a car guys car, it’s fast as hell and bad ass looking. Historically a universally appealing car like a Camaro is not always the most valuable in the end. Classic Camaros are generally not even very expensive unless its a really special model. But some of the most valuable classics look like something my grandfather drove. Look at the value of a 1987 Camaro or even Corvette compared to an ’87 GN. No one wants the first two now but back tHen everyone wanted one.

            But in the end I agree with you, I don’t see them hitting collector car status. And it turns out my wife never heard of a Grand National either, but she used to have an ’86 Monte Carlo SS!

          • 0 avatar
            joeya3

            Here is the skinny on Grand Nationals- there may be some truth to people hording them however they certainly are going up in value see haggerty – If you want rare though find a TTYPE – they were the fastest domestic production vehicle in the USA in 1986 and are more rare then the GN. ( may 1986 hot rod mag) I own a 1986 TTYPE WH1 which there are only 470 and change made – these cars are bad and will go up in value.

      • 0 avatar
        Lt.BrunoStachel

        Your assuming all 30K are clean,low mile examples. These cars were stupid cheap back in 87. Yes even the GNX when compared to other one off halo cars.Just about all of them had their wheels driven off or were modded to death. If your looking at a low mile, all original show room minty fresh example than expect to pay big money. Due to attrition I’d say maybe 5-10% of that 30k number fall into the collectable catagory. But I’d agree with you that anybody banking on anything with four wheels is still an idiot.

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        The GN and the GNX were always regarded as collector cars in some way. There always seem to be a decent supply of GNs in excellent shape with low miles. It won’t be until the supply of good ones is low that the value really takes off. By inflation a perfect GN or GNX has barely kept up, and that’s if you didn’t drive it. The only drive to buy a GNX is collector status, anyone can turn a GN into a GNX lookalike that runs faster in a spare afternoon.

        Doug this dovetails with a “Indy Pace Car” you forgot…the 1989 Turbo Trans Am, a GTA fitted with essentially an updated old GNX drivetrain. Those have maintained value typical to the turbo Buick cars, with 1555 built, better than most other Indy Pace Car editions.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      What exactly is the difference with the GNX? Was it a trim package? Limited production?

      • 0 avatar
        gessvt

        I know they had 276 HP versus 245 for the GN. 547 built. They had fender flares to house 16″ BBS style wheels, a torque arm that made the car squat before launching, a neat Stewart-Warner gauge cluster, and a few other items I’m forgetting.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Thanks. Didn’t realize they were that rare.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Yep, they were upfitted by ASC McLaren. Very much sought after.

            I remember years ago when Jonny Lieberman scoffed that I dared to compare the Buick 3800 to an RB26 when it came to legendary 6 cylinders. The GNX is why that comparison is more than valid.

          • 0 avatar
            Power6

            The Buick 3.8 V6 is interesting because it really is not that special of a block, 2 bolt mains, cast pistons and rods, there is not really any magic block and heads are the same turbo and NA. Yet there have been a fair number of stock block GNs (i.e. never cracked the motor open) running 400-500hp. They say it is the low revving nature, they don’t make much power over 5k RPM

            I don’t think it is the overbuilt monster that the RB26DETT or 2JZ-GTE is.

        • 0 avatar
          gearhead77

          I want to say that the horsepower on the GNX was an estimated amount, the real amount being north of 300. They also had a ton of torque to make the filing cabinet go. I always thought the Regal had the best lines of the BOP family of two doors. But I’m biased because..

          My first car was an 81 Regal without a turbo. I’d love to have a GN let alone a GNX as a high performance homage to my first ride.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            It seems in the late 80′s and early 90′s it was a bit vogue to understate HP numbers. Various conspiracy theories abound, mostly around making insurance more affordable.

            The Ford Probe in both the NA and forced induction versions were largely considered under rated (especially the boosted version) as one example.

            HP on a dyno is so incredibly subjective anyway. It’s only one point of data. The old formula for weight, gearing, where the power gets to the ground (FWD, RWD and AWD) and then looking at the 1/4 mile time is a pretty darn solid way to get HP numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      jaydez

      The GNX had an MSRP of $29,900 in 1987. Adjusted for inflation, the car would need to sell for at least $61,000 in 2013 to BREAK EVEN.

      At $50k, you lost money

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        A car that even remotely keeps up with inflation as opposed to a value that craters and stays there could be considered an investment or collector car.

        Heck, even most paper investments barely hope to keep up with inflation these days.

        • 0 avatar
          dtremit

          If it’s an investment, it has to be compared against other investments — not other cars. If you’d put $29,900 in an S&P index fund in 1987, you’d have $185k today.

          I think you could make the case for a collector car, but the point there isn’t making money.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Right, the key to collector cars is to buy them right so you don’t lose your ass on them. As long term investments go, I agree they’re generally pretty poor.

            Making money on cars is done in the short term, rarely the long term.

    • 0 avatar
      lowsodium

      And keep in mind a few of them have been modded to all heck and torn up at the track.

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    I do agree with almost everything. Not so sure about the E28 M5. It’s a pure analogue car, built with German craftsmanship/quality and it has a wonderful motorsport derived naturally aspirated straight six, which has dissapeared from M-car lineup.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Yea, that and the Prowler were definite headscratchers for me. An E28 is like the size of a modern Corolla, with the horsepower of a Camry and the layout of an FR-S. They are beautiful cars and I imagine thrilling + enganging to drive.

    • 0 avatar
      wumpus

      The problem is everything you mentioned is all about driving the thing (except that Camrys can pass you at will). Not so much about if the latest 1% wants to spend their inheritance on a E28 M5 (which is the only way the price is going to be driven up).

      Also figure how much you have to drive and maintain the thing just to keep in running. Then even if the thing has already depreciated as much as it was going to, how long before it is “discovered”? The thing about investments is you want them to steadily increase (or at least increase a predictable amount over *some* fixed amount of time). Collectibles just sit around until they are *hot* and you better flip them then.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Besides the Grand National, I couldn’t give a hoot about any of the cars mentioned.

    Like a broken record, I just don’t see anything after 1973 with fixed windows that were previously honest-to-goodness pillarless hardtops being worth anything commanding collectable-worthy cash. The “soul” just isn’t there, let alone the horsepower. Of course, I’m speaking of the mid-sizers of the era.

    I’m certain others don’t feel that way, and can readily name collectable contenders in the vein of the Buick above.

    I do like the Buick Reatta…

    Early 1970′s Camaros – yes.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The Reatta is a surprising one. Clean low mile convertibles can trade for 15-20k. If you bought one 10-15 years ago, they can do well as an investment. My father bought his 20k mile orignal ’91 Malibu Blue convertible about 10 years ago, and I’ve recently witnessed similar cars sell at auction for roughly 3x what he paid for his.

      If you bought one new, you’ll still be waiting a while as they stickered for over 40k.

  • avatar
    Maxseven

    Agreed all around, except for the E28. The M5 of yore was the defining specimen and springboard for so many more iterations of the “roomy,” businessman’s performance eurosport sedan. So it does have a story behind it, and it looks way-cool – so I’m betting against your prediction on this one.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    -Any early-mid 90′s Impala SS. Their owners think too highly of their purple police cars.

    -Later years of the SVX, occasionally you’ll see a very low miles example with some sky-high price tag.

    -The BMW 850i.

    -Last year or so of the ElDorado.

    -Last year or so of the Riviera.

    -Malaisey late 70s Cadillac coupes.

    -B-body Fleetwoods. (Sort of. They’re worth something but not usually what they ask.)

    • 0 avatar

      The ’94-’96 Impala SS definitely should’ve been on my list.

      • 0 avatar
        cargogh

        I took an old stove to the recycler a few months ago. An Impala SS was parked close to the big magnet crane with some fluorescent orange on the back fender. Nice original wheels, good glass. I asked about it. Couldn’t buy it. Owner drove it in to be crushed. Oh.

        My parents friends saved 1000′s of bicentennial quarters. I was 13 then and told them they’d never be worth more than $0.25. “They are only making them for one year,” they said. Years later I read over where 3/4 billion of them have been hoarded by folks thinking the same thing.

      • 0 avatar
        autojim

        At least here in Houston, there are far more ’94-’96 Impala SSes than probably left the factory. There’s at least 3 shops that regularly convert Caprices to Impala SSes, which are typically then dub’ed (but not donked).

        I don’t know (mostly because I really just don’t care) if there’s any way (VIN? Body/Trim code?) to differentiate an SS from a regular Caprice, but there you go: there are probably more now than GM made then. Kind of like the ’68-’71 Chevelle SS or any pre-’71 GTO.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Yes, of course there is a VIN method to decoding which are real SS’s.

          • 0 avatar
            luvmyv8

            I’m not sure what the VIN code of an Impala SS is, but I can tell you this. In the trunk of the car is a sticker that lists all the RPO’s and codes of what the car is (Impala/ Caprice) and if you see this code- ’9C1′, you don’t have a legit Impala. The ’9C1′ is a police package Caprice.

            Many people have cloned retired police cruisers into Impalas, as Caprices are usually cheaper and easier to obtain then an Impala SS. I actually would rather have a 9C1 over an Impala, but that’s just me.

            Other tip offs to a cloned SS would be a ‘Certified’ speedometer (police Caprice only), green silicon radiator hoses (again cop car only) and most obvious a less plush interior and options deleted that would be standard in an Impala but useless to a police car.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            The later ones with the floor shifter are pretty easy to spot. The parts are expensive to convert a non floor shift to floor shift and most of the clones skip it. Personally I always thought the Roadmaster was the B body to have. You get the LT1 with those pillow topped old school GM seats. You don’t get all the attention from the cops. That or a police wagon is where its at. Where it’s not is the L03 TBI 305 equipped 92 I owned.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      -Any early-mid 90′s Impala SS.

      I agree on this. Owners of clean ones with under 100k miles tend to believe their day has come and list them well above 10k, when IMO they’re realistically 5-6k cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “Any early-mid 90′s Impala SS. Their owners think too highly of their purple police cars.”

      I HATE those “Roachmobiles” Could never understand their appeal. Ugly, bloated beyond belief. It can’t be just because they’re RWD, could it? Why? It’s too big to be a contender in anything to me.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        As every day cars, they’re fantastic. Roomy, powerful, get decent fuel mileage, and parts are cheap. The last of the GM b-bodies had a great rep for reliability. If you were into them, the Imp SS was the one to have.

        • 0 avatar
          ranwhenparked

          Yeah, the last B-body had the best ride quality I’ve ever experienced. Just a really comfortable car to stretch out and relax on long journeys.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          Having owned a couple, I wonder where this decent fuel mileage you speak of is at. The little 4.3 was better than the 305, but both were right up there with my Land Cruiser mileage wise.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I do love the Buick Riviera family–it’s what first got me interested in automobiles. But I laugh when I find 1999 Buick Riviera “Silver Arrow” models (the last 200 Rivieras ever made) priced stratospherically high at $10-$15K. Maybe in another twenty years will you rightfully be able to ask that much, but that last Riviera is a car that appeals to a very limited number of people.

      Personal luxury coupes in general aren’t really going to appreciate…

    • 0 avatar
      toplessFC3Sman

      Most of the BMW 850i’s seem relatively affordable for what they are & their condition, and while the owner usually mentions the uniqueness of them, I don’t see them being treated as “investments”

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I disagree. Just check ebay (I did just now) and you’ll see the <100k miles examples are sky high, including one they're asking $57K for.

        The beaters with 130K+ are indeed reasonable.

        • 0 avatar
          Thinkin...

          Corey – you must be looking at the 850CSi. Big difference – the CSi models are relatively rare and fetch top dollar. (And cost the same to maintain.) When it comes to the 8-series, the CSi is the only one that collectors and self-professed “BMW people” want. The 840 and 850 versions are downright affordable, and make a compelling case for themselves. All the style at about 20% of the cost. Because let’s face it, you don’t buy an 8er to drive in anger.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Limited edition muscle trucks. They’re hardy collected yet beat on, daily driven and thoroughly modified.

  • avatar
    gessvt

    About 10 years ago, there seemed to be plenty of Grand Nationals in the $9K – $12K range, but they were beat to death, with peeling paint, sagging headliners, rust, wobbly doors and worse. A similar vintage T-Type was the better deal.

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    +1 on the Prowler. Marginal when new, worse today. A friend’s grandson has one that he keeps telling me is increasing in value. Of course, his has 100K miles and has been in two major accidents. When I showed him better cars on ebay for a lot less than he thought, he wasn’t happy.

    • 0 avatar
      highrpm

      I had a friend that was trying to unload his old Porsche 911SC some yeara ago. He thought that the car was worth much more than he could ever sell it for realistically.

      I showed him a few examples that were listed for sale, at about half of his personal appraisal of his own 911SC. He got mad at me and wouldn’t talk about this topic for months.

      The following year he actually tried to sell the car and offered it up at his inflated price. Two years after that, he sold the car at close to actual market price.

  • avatar
    7th Frog

    I work with a guy who has a 2,000-something Pontiac Grand Am 4 door in good shape. He seriously wants to garage it because he thinks it will be worth something someday because Pontiac got the ax.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I’d add pretty much any RWD Volvo, most people that buy them to sell for profits or as beaters end up keeping them, like me.

    I can’t disagree with anything on this list if I’m honest, but I can see the Prowler being worth more in the future from how distinct it was, I dunno, I thought they were pretty cool until I read about their Interprid engine.

    I honestly wouldn’t invest in any of todays retro cars, its a fad that’ll be long dead soon and we’ll look back and laugh with “Remember when carmakers started re using their old designs”?
    Same goes for most of todays overly “trendy” cars like the Juke, they age by the minute.

    Also, that 997 Speedster is one of the reasons why I have little respect for Porsche these days.

  • avatar
    Waterview

    Probably a matter of personal preference (I don’t like it), but the 1996 Corvette Grand Sport’s seem to inspire high asking prices for low mileage examples. Not sure the white center stripe and the red fender stripes add much performance, but people seem to be proud of those things. Wonder if they’re really selling or sitting?

  • avatar
    alexndr333

    Will the Chevy SSR become a high-priced collectible? There aren’t that many of them and those on the road do seem to be well-cared for.
    But, they are driven by older Boomers and I’m not sure who the future buyers will be.

  • avatar
    mcs

    How about this 2007 Monte Carlo SS with 60k miles for $19,999?
    http://goo.gl/43pmM

    If you don’t want the “enhancements”, there’s another one for $50k.

  • avatar
    highrpm

    I’ve always wondered about the Acura NSX. For such a groundbreaking car, its values pretty much settled in around $20-30k. I wonder if it will appreciate. Very very few old Japanese cars attain collector car prices in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Glad to hear that highrpm, as that is a car on the bucket list.

    • 0 avatar

      Took it off the list at the last second. Totally agree: the NSX is going nowhere. This is proven by the fact that the Supra and RX-7 of the same era are increasing and leaving the NSX behind.

      • 0 avatar
        chrishs2000

        The difference is that I don’t think anyone has ever or will ever buy an NSX as a “collector car”, unlike the other vehicles on your list. Most have a lot of miles on them, which is a testament to how liveable and reliable they car.

        I can see a completely unmodified, completely stock NSX appreciating slightly. Not crazy collector car appreciation like the Supra TT or RX-7, but an inflationary pace. Same thing with unmodified S2000′s and 300ZX TT’s. There were so many made, but so many were completely wrecked by tuners. I don’t follow 300ZX values very closely, but within the S2K community there is a definite upward trend in values of unmodified, low mileage examples. $20-25k asking prices are starting to pop up for 2000-2003 S2000 with under 20k miles and no modifications. Pretty good for a $30k Japanese car to only depreciate ~30% in 10 years.

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          I don’t think any of those cars are hitting “collector status”. You may be seeing some uptick in value for the 300-TT, but I think that is just a combination of very few original models being available in decent shape, and guys who grew up wanting one are finally hitting an age they can afford one. But that market is not going to grow, outside of a 10-yr age spread no one older or younger is dying to drive an old Nissan. I don’t see the same happening to the RX7 even now, no idea where you guys are seeing “crazy appreciation”. Most FD RX’s I see are on lifts in Mazda dealers garages, or have long ago had an LSx swap. Sure occasionally you will see someone with a mint low mileage original one that is trying to get crazy money on eBay, but it is definitely not the norm. A 91 CRX Si recently sold on eBay for $14k. That was great, but it certainly doesn’t mean that the CRX is suddenly collectible. One guy with more money than brains finally found his dream CRX and got it. I bet there are maybe 3 other guys like him out there, and thats the market. Ditto the S2000, for every guy trying to get $20k for one, I can find a dozen or more that are not selling at $12k. And even then, those prices are only there because Honda hasn’t made anything better since then, so there is still a lot of appeal to the “last good Honda”.

          Another thing everyone here needs to remember, asking prices have NOTHING to do with value. When you see a trend in actual selling price, like at auctions or ebay or whatever, then you can start talking about value. Just because some guys have the gall to ask $25k for their car doesn’t mean its worth anywhere near that.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Spot on. There is always a crazy-money market for that preserved in aspic 5k mile museum piece example of anything. Crazy money collectible is when basket case restoration projects go for 5x what they cost new. Chances are no car on this list will ever get there. I love e28 M5s as much as the next BMW owner, but they are never going to be worth more than they cost new adjusted for inflation for an average example.

          • 0 avatar
            chrishs2000

            Go on s2ki.com and you’ll see that the asking prices for these low mileage, untouched examples are being met pretty quickly.

            There’s a big difference between an 80k mile $14k S2000 and a 10k mile S2000. For those who feel that they have to have a low mileage original car, they will pay for that difference. That’s my definition of collector status anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            I stand corrected… in 5 minutes of casual searching I found several S2Ks with very low mileage going for mid-$20s, so apparently this is a sweet time to be selling an S2K and a bad time to buy one. I was going on my experience of a year or so ago when I briefly considered trading our MR2 for an S2K and they were definitely more common and less expensive.

          • 0 avatar
            duffman13

            I know I’m a week late, but I’ll take the S2000 question, as I’ve bought 2 in the last 2 years.

            They are appreciating. I bought my first one last February for $10.2k, a 2000 with 89k on it. I spun on black ice and wrecked it in mid February this year, and insurance paid out in the mid-$13s; the car had 103k on the odo when it was wrecked.

            I just replaced the AP1 with a 2004 with 78k that needed a new top but was otherwise mint for $13.9k. With the new top, I wouldn’t hesitate lo list it at $18k and fully believe I would get at least $16.5k for the car if I wanted to sell it.

            Low mileage examples are getting low 20s for AP1s and high 20s for AP2s. CR models with low mileage will still go in the low to mid 30s.

            As it has been said, check the vehicles for sale section on S2ki to see.

    • 0 avatar
      wagic

      “Very very few old Japanese cars attain collector car prices in the US.”

      Not sure about that. Look into some 1980′s Toyota cars and trucks and vans (and I’m not talking Landcruisers) going for crazy money.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        Ok, so aside from the Skyline that they didn’t even sell in the US, name three 80′s Japanese cars that are going for “crazy money” and then tell us what crazy money is. And what vans??

        • 0 avatar
          wagic

          4×4 hiace vans (cab-over). Hilux 4×4 trucks. Over 10k for these if clean and not butchered.

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            So $10k is crazy money? And those were not sold in the US, is that $10k USD?

            There is a kid down the street from me with a full on Marty McFly Toyota 4×4 that his dad gave him, excellent condition, looks just like the one in Back to the Future. I remarked on it one day, he said he paid $4k for it. Isn’t that the same as the Hilux in Europe?

            I guess I can see $10k if it is showroom condition with low miles, but as I said above, once you sell one to the 3 guys in the US who actually want one and have that kind of money to blow on it, good luck selling another one. That is not “collectible” status, that’s just dumb luck in not having driven your car for 20-30 yrs and then found someone else who likes it. Nostalgia is only worth so much.

            Got any cars on your list or just 2 obscure Japanese trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Hilux was sold in North America?

          • 0 avatar
            wagic

            OK, maybe “crazy” wasn’t the best term. You must have deep pockets. “crazy in my opinion”. How’s that? Two times or more what they stickered for in the ’80′s to me is crazy. As far as car, what ellom said – AE86.

            I was using Hilux to generalize toyota trucks of the 80s in North America since they didn’t give them a moniker like “tacoma” until the 90s.

            Nostalgia is only worth so much? What do you mean? I’d estimate that’s as good a reason why the 60′s muscle cars are as collectible as they are as any.

            I wouldn’t call the ’80s toyota trucks obscure. They were ubiquitous in the western states.

            I was leaving the Landcruiser out because I thought it was obvious. But it seems you don’t believe usdm Japanese vehicles can be collectible. Take a look at what fj40 and fj45′s go for on ebay.

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            Land cruiser, Skyline, 240Z, sure they held some value. But not crazy money like a 69 Charger. The hilux, or any other 80s Japanese vehicles… No way. You might find 3 guys in the country willing to shell out $10k for one in literally showroom condition. Then you will find 1000 of them in really nice shape for $3-4k like my neighbor did. And in the end you paid $5k for a truck in 1980 then parked it for 30yrs to sell it for $10k? That’s not even keeping up with inflation.

            You don’t need deep pockets you just need to not be so picky. Try the same logic with a 69 Charger… Even rusted shells cost 3x their original sticker price.

      • 0 avatar
        ellomdian

        While the actual sum is not crazy, the percentage appreciation of AE86′s (Corolla) is frightening.

        Thought about buying one for fun 2-3 years ago, spent 20 mins at about 2 dozen around the country in various states of repair, decided it was easier to get a root canal than to get “fair market value” from someone selling a cartoon icon :p

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        The trucks are in a different realm as anything Toyota with a solid front axle is desirable among wheelers. What was the original 86…a Celica? Those seem to be desirable as are the last of the Supras. A friend of mine paid more than I would have thought for one of the last gen Celica GT-S’s recently. Also, as a former Miata guy I can tell you the special edition first gen cars (the race oriented versions with the stock Bilstiens and what not, not so much the loaded out M editions) fetch decent money. Would have thought the Mazdaspeed Miata would have been in the bunch, but fun as it was it wasn’t quite there.

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          The original AE86 is the Corolla GTS, not the Celica. They have a bit of value to them still, but I have seen more than a few advertised around $4k-ish. I imagine a really nice original example would be much higher if it even exists. But the appeal to the AE86 isn’t originality but how much you can modify on it, so maybe I am wrong.

          I can verify though that a last-gen Celica GTS is nearly impossible to find in good condition with low miles. So if your friend really wanted one then yes he would have to spend a lot. Same with the MR2 Spyder, they seem to be holding steady at pretty high values, much higher than an equivalent Miata, even though the Miata is arguably the better car.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            Decent Miatas are a dime a dozen and the first gen is getting to be like a 65 Mustang…you can restore it if you have a functioning door handle. My 80 series Land Cruisers have been inching up but not enough to offset the cost of care and feeding for it.

  • avatar
    Alex L. Dykes

    You burst my bubble. I wanted a prowler in such a bad way in 2000. I bought an LHS instead. Go figure.

  • avatar

    For the last 20 or so years, steel-bodied Ferrari 308 GTB/GTSs have been priced thusly: $20-25k for a ratty one, $30-35k for a nice one, $40-45k for a really really nice one. There are some outliers, of course, but for the most part, that is and has been the market as far as I’ve been able to tell.

    For the last 20 or so years, 308 owners have been telling me that their cars are ridiculously undervalued and are sure to go up significantly any minute now. After all, it’s an iconic car (true) and most other pre-1985 Ferraris have gone up significantly over that time (also true).

    But I keep looking at this market every now and then, because I’d kinda like to have one of these eventually, and it keeps telling me the same thing.

    • 0 avatar
      wumpus

      Driving a ferrari without worrying about depreciation? What is the problem again? –other than maintenance, of course.

      Just don’t try commuting or getting groceries with it.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve65

        The $20k beaters still require $10k engine-out servicing at 30k mile intervals. That’s what keeps me from seriously trying to get into one. That and the fact that it’s functionally impossible to find one for sale that isn’t red with tan leather interior.

  • avatar
    beefmalone

    There is one Pace Car that has held its value and continues to increase in value. The ’89 Turbo Trans Am. Only a little over 1500 made but you can still find them in all conditions. The nice, low mileage ones still bring over $20k.

    • 0 avatar
      autojim

      The ’89 Turbo Trans Am actually combines two of the features from this list: the Grand National *and* the Indy Pace Car Edition. :D

      There are still a few people who autocross them in F Stock, though the ’11-up Mustang GT pretty much wound up dominating the class.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        You, and DeMero, are forgetting the ’79 Mustang GT IPC. It being the first Fox body and the first to offer the 2.3L Turbo with four-speed manual transmission or the 302 V8 with either the manual or three-speed automatic transmission. The three actual Pace Cars were fitted with a T-roof, which anyone who has lived through the ’80s can tell you was De Rigueur for the decade’s sports cars. It was the first of a 15 year line of a very popular body style and brought the Mustang back from the glue factory.

        I’ve seen one of the three originals at our Mustang club and it’s owner can easily fetch over $20K for it in the pristine condition its in.

        • 0 avatar
          autojim

          One of the 3 that were actually used to pace the race? Yeah, collectible. One of the few thousand replicas? Not so much. They’re a stone bitch to restore properly, mostly because the special Recaro seat fabric isn’t available anymore except through custom mill runs.

          And they were terrible cars. The V8s weren’t the ’82 302HO, they were something like all of 150 hp. And the 2.3L turbo with the draw-through carb was gastly to keep running right. Add in metric TRX wheels (you can get tires through Coker Tire now, but prepare to pay through the nose for them), and they were the complete package of Malaise Era horribleness with the seeds of a good car present (update one with later Fox/SN95 bits to make it work better and you’ll destroy what little value it might have as original).

          My little brother had one as his first car, with the 2.3. We picked it up for a song, got it back into some semblance of order (my uncle found some NOS seat fabric somewhere he never would say), and it got driven right up until the point where someone turn left in front of my brother and wrote the car off with what I’d consider only minor damage. It just wasn’t that good of a car.

  • avatar
    Easton

    I’m glad you stayed away form the Pontiac G6 coupe. I’m sitting on that puppy to get me through retirement.

    (BTW, this was complete sarcasm, lest somebody think I’m brain dead)

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I hope it has the awful huge factory spoiler with integrated CHMSL!

      • 0 avatar
        Easton

        I think years ago Pontiac must have been forced to hire one of the boss’ drug addict, schizo, lunatic kids on the design team who had some uncontrollable urge to always throw some kind of God-awful-looking spoiler, body kit, or hood scoop somewhere onto every car late in the design process.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Let’s add the Ford SVT Raptor and Pontiac G8 GXP to that list.

    • 0 avatar
      chrishs2000

      The G8 GXP is an interesting one. Very limited production and relatively huge appeal. Go look at asking prices for them. I did, because I want one, and was horrified.

      Of course, they’ll probably all fall apart before they can attain any real value anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Interestingly, G8 GTs and GXPs have held their value well. Hardly collectors yet, but like a good stock, buy a good one when the value hits rock bottom.

        Clean ’04-’06 GTOs have upticked in value in the last couple years from a low point in ’08-’09. They may not be done depreciating yet, but if you bought one in ’09 at the bottom of the market, you’d have some extra cash if you sold now.

        Even now if you found a nice lowish mile ’05 GTO and bought it for a good deal, say 10-12k and parked it, you won’t be in a bad spot in 10 years or so.

        • 0 avatar
          Land Ark

          The problem with the GTOs is that it is harder to find one with high miles than it is to find one with less than 10k miles. When I was shopping last year I nearly bought on with less than 8,000 miles. I chickened out and kept shopping only to find dozens of others sub 10k.
          The only hope I have for the one I bought with 38k (and drive) is that so many people could afford them when they were cheap that they “modded” them and ones like my mostly stock one will be hard to find.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Disagree. Only 1,829 GXPs built – a stunning number of them have been wrapped around phone poles already. It was the first manual anything from Pontiac worth a flip in — forever. A four model year old example with 50K miles will easily sell for $30K to $33K today with buyers lined up to snap them up. Every now and then a dealer gets a hold of one and I’ve seen pricing as low as $26K – rarity.

      To the somewhat snark about them falling apart, they are rated well on the True Delta reports and Consumer Reports has the V6 version on their recommended list.

      The driveline is pretty much bullet proof (Tremec 6060, detuned Corvette derived LS3 and Corvette/CTS-V rear end and gearing. The biggest dangers are front suspension woes (similar to BMW 3 and 5 series) and wrapping one around a phone pole. Body part prices are INSANE. It is stunning when you see pics of “totals” because immediate impression would be, that is not a total.

      It’s also worth noting that many people bought the GXPs discounted, say $35K to $37K. Say you paid on the high end $37K (sticker was $40K loaded). Lets say you sold tomorrow on the low end of $30K with average miles of say 48K to 60K on the odo. You got massive value out of four years of ownership.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I agree with you to a point. Right now is not the time to buy a GXP as an investment. Someone who bought one new would be waiting a long long time to get any kind of appreciation from original investment. Wait a few years when they hit that rock bottom sweet spot of price stagnation, then buy buy buy.

      • 0 avatar
        outback_ute

        Re the totaled issue, I dare say that a lot has to do with the one-piece body side panel and some pretty onerous factory rebuild requirements

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    Cars in general are a poor investment, whenever I hear a person bought a collector car to make money years down the road, my knee jerk reaction is they better hope Social Security is still around when they retire.

    I think 99 times out of a 100, it’s an excuse they give to the wife so a guy can have the car he wants.

    The last era I can really remember where someone would have done really well buying and sitting on a car was the mid nineties where classic musclecars were going for nothing and in less than a decade you had six figure Mopars thanks to Barrett Jackson. But even that bubble has largely popped.

    Whenever I buy a car based on emotion, I never try to fool myself that it’s going to make me money.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Agreed. The entire notion of a car increasing in value runs utterly contrary to my every instinct. Rather, once in a blue moon there is an anomaly where a car maintains its value, but as far as making money–well, you know what they say about fools and their money…

    • 0 avatar
      Yeah_right

      I’m with you.

      If my kids and their friends are any guide, then no car will ever cause them to reach for their wallet to get out the “crazy money.” For them, it’s just a tool, an expense. Hell, not even a fine example of a Chevelle SS does anything for them. I’ve failed as a parent.

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      A good investment is relative in the car world; some price has to be placed on the entertainment value of the car over the ownership period. You’ll almost always do better by investing in stocks and bonds but stocks and bonds aren’t much fun to drive around on the weekend!

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Definitely, buying collector or “investment” cars is more about not losing your ass on them like most other cars. Having fun without spending a lot of money is ideal.

    • 0 avatar

      +1. This rule applies to lots of “investments” outside of stocks/bonds/real estate. It is said you should only buy art that appeals to you and not as an investment (looking at you, the late Mr. Kinkade). In the same vein, I was once told by a car expert that the only kind of “collector” car most people should consider is something like a classic early Mustang or Camaro since a) you can drive them on the highway if you want; b) you can get parts and insurance pretty easily; c) they are not complex to repair; and d) you can get rid of them for at least what you paid when you get tired of them since people always want them. I am thinking of buying a recent Mustang GT myself as a practical driver and not from a value appreciation standpoint but the siren song of a nice ’68 V8 Fastback is hard to resist. (Ah, just checked: a 68 Mustang went for around $3000 then, which would work out to $20,300 today. A Condition 2 car is worth around $28,000 on the market so while you wouldn’t have lost anything nobody is going to get excited about a gain of 0.8% per year!)

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        I have been looking at the same thing, but here is something to consider: a really nice 2005+ Mustang GT will cost you close to $20k still. The 68 fastback is crazy high right now, but a 69-70 fastback that is not a Boss will go for similar money to the 2005+. Only one is likely to not fall much below that and could actually rise in value.

  • avatar
    RatherhaveaBuick

    Your Grand National theory has already been proven wrong. Just hit up Craigslist.

    But as far as GM goes, we can’t forget the collectible appeal of the Reatta or the Roadmaster wagons. Impala SS, Pontiac G8, GMC Typhoon/Syclone, Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo (86-92), Chevy SSR/HHR SS (ew), Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky…

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      No he is proved right…Google “Westegg inflation calculator” the GN was ~17k car new, you’d need to get mid 30s just to break even. Though looking at the Sy/Ty prices, looks like they are in the toilet it is buy time!!

      The most expensive GN on EBay completed listings is 21k right now, 14k miles original. Not the lowest mileage there is better but that is not even close to an investment. $17k in S&P index 1987 to now, you’d have $73k.

      Owning a “collector car” sucks if you like driving cars. My buddy had a mint white Typhoon drove it around town a bit what a blast, but don’t bend a rim or scratch the body kit because you can’t buy those parts anymore. Sold it for $500 more than he paid yay.

      The Reatta now is an interesting one, it reminds us that some of the most legendary “collector cars” start out as something few wanted the first time. I’d like a Reatta coupe myself.

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      I checked on Ebay for completed items. There’s one outlier that sold for $66000 (it had 850 miles), the rest are between 5-15. $66 is barely more than the 30k it cost in 87, after inflation. Since he didn’t have a whole lot of fun driving 850 miles in 25 years, gonna rate that an overall bomb financially.

      Car collecting, to my untrained eye, looks a lot like antiques and poker. If you don’t know who the sucker is, it’s you.

  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    I’m a Porsche fanatic and I never knew they offered a 997 Speedster. The 1989 and early 90′s (964) Speedsters have held their prices very well.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    Pretty much any car that people bought new with the expectation for it to increase in value is not likely to actually go up. My personal favorite is the Shelby “special edition” Mustangs like the GT350. People basically paid $10k extra to have the Shelby name on a car along with some FRP upgrades that anyone could buy for any Mustang.

    The only recent example I can think of with built-in collectible value is the Ford GT, and even those seem to be holding steady at $150k or so.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Ten, 15 years ago, I had a thing for Buicks, specifically the 69, 70, 71 GS models with a 455 Stage I. Mmm, I thought. A long forgotten GM muscle car, values multiples behind its more popular stablemates from Pontiac and Chevrolet and Olds. Why, for 10 grand, I can go “fast with class.”

    I didn’t. Checking prices today, I shudda.

    Then, about eight years ago, I had a thing for AMC Javelins. 68, 69, 70 (before they went with the 2nd-gen swooped fenders and extra long hood). Mmm, I thought, for under 10 grand, I can get the Donahue or GoPack optioned Jav for far less than comparable Mustang, Camaro, and even AMX models.

    I didn’t. Checking prices today, I shudda.

    So who knows? Maybe none of the car’s on today’s list will reach “collector” status. Maybe all will. I just say, as men of a certain age reach the stage of car appreciation they can dabble a bit — get what you like. If you think it’s cool, it’s cool. If you’ve got an inclination to save an old car from the crusher, do it. Who cares if it makes you rich. It only matters if it makes you happy.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I hear you on those two examples. I never would have thought the Buick muscle cars whould have some up the way Mopars have. Then again, no one thought Mopars would explode in value the way they have.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Truth. Buy it. Drive it.

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      And look at what Apple stock was 15 years ago. Under $5 a share, so about 10,000% rate of return versus today. Looking back, that’s higher on my “regret list”.

      It’s easy to look back at prices and think you missed out, but most people that play in this hobby lose money. I know if I were masochistic enough to add up all the receipts, I’d be in the hole. But it’s still a lot less than the depreciation of a new car when it drives off the lot.

      I say buy the car you want and use other money to invest in, you’ll be a lot happier. I’ve yet to see someone really get rich from trying to outsmart the collector car market.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Prices reflect the costs associated with each car. Over time, you have to sweeten the deal for someone to part with their baby after the thousands of dollars they’ve dumped in maintenance and storage fees after the Mrs. makes them take it out of the 2 car garage and into a storage unit.

      Those guys are still losing their rear ends when they part with their toys and so will you if and when you’re ready for the same mistake (of parting with the car).

      • 0 avatar
        Domestic Hearse

        Exactly. The fraction of car collectors who break even, or shockingly, make a profit on their car is equal to your odds of winning the lottery.

        I’ve been sorting my old car out for over four years, a little here, a little there. Some things I can do, most performed by the $pecialist. Ouch.

        If I sell it now, I’ll be in the hole several thousand. But I knew that going in.

        But here’s the deal, that flat six burble on a downshift to 3rd, the wind-up to 6000 rpm, the don’t-you-dare-lift cornering thrill, the hot oil and old leather smells — all this makes me happy. Very, very happy.

        If you want to make a return on your money, do your research, put your money in a reputable fund which matches your risk tolerance, and let it ride long-term. It ain’t sexy. It ain’t exciting. And that’s why you put some money aside for the old car — just to keep life interesting and your hands dirty.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    No one figured Hemi ‘Cuda convertibles would fetch up to a million dollars so nothing like that will ever happen again. At least with nothing made since, but there’s just too many speculators in the game now.

    You can still have some fun in the market and make a little bit of cash while owning some cool rides, but no more Winning Lotto Tickets on wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      Hemi-Cuda convertibles are that really rare combination that lent itself to eventually becoming the Holy Grail of collectable cars. Although well styled and eye-catching (esp with High Impact paint), they were ungodly expensive when new (in every way, be it initial purchase price, gas, or insurance), yet still horrid to drive.

      So, they didn’t sell well in the first place. Then, when someone did buy one, on the rare occasion that they devoted all the high maintenance to keep it running, there was still the high probability that the high-strung engine would crap, anyway. Even with a more reliable, easier to maintain replacement engine, an E-body convertible just isn’t much fun to drive.

      All of this meant that most Hemi-Cuda convertibles were unwittingly stored for decades. Now, because of their rarity, original ones fetch deep into seven figures. But it still took nearly half a century.

      In that regard, there is similar Hemi-Cuda-like potential with vehicles like the GT500 or ZL1 Camaro convertibles. But it’s still going to take a long time for that big pay-off, particularly as speculators run the production numbers up.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        There’s no telling if the value of a bubble wrapped, brand new convertible ZL1 Camaro or GT500 will take off into the astronomical. I’d buy one and drive the frakin’ ballz off of it without a care and possibly restore it when I’m an old coot, if the value is there.

        Here’s how I would go about it though. Pull out/remove/store the fancy stock interior and replace with aftermarket or GT salvaged parts. The seats, carpet, headliner, visors, seat belts, console etc, but leave the dash (unless you’re hellbent). These exact parts are going to be an absolute bitch to find and buy decades from now. Reproduction parts are never quite the same when they’re available.

        I’d buy factory duplicates of any special body trim and store the original wheels. I was able to buy and put away fresh dealer NOS headlights, markers and bi-plane spoiler for my SVO back when the dealer still stocked them. These parts are extremely scarce now and nobody is re-popping them. I’m hording them for the resto.

        I didn’t get my SVO new (early ’90s), but the seats and wheels were in great shape so I pulled them and have been beating on the poor SVO with GT and other donor parts ever since.

  • avatar
    Sky_Render

    I would totally rock one of those T-birds as a daily-driver.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Forgive me if I’m under the impression that automobiles make poor retirement funds. Hardly anyone knows what’ll be popular or collectible in the future. Who knows if the gimmicky, proprietary electronics in today’s vehicles will even be operational or salvageable decades from now?

    Besides, I wouldn’t want to buy the car of my dreams just to have it sitting in a heated garage somewhere; I’d want to enjoy it on the road…

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      Google the words “Singapore sky garage apartments”. That is how I want my cars to be parked: as a conversation piece and artwork viewable from my living room.

      BTW, I’m glad I’m not the only one who appreciated the last generation Riviera.

      • 0 avatar
        Towncar

        Thumbs up on the last-gen Riv! I think they might be worth something someday, but probably not in the lifetime of anybody reading this.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I hope so. If Buick ever does a new Riv this may help the older’s ones value.

          • 0 avatar
            gearhead77

            It took me a while, but I came to appreciate the last Riv too. In light of everything sitting on Buick dealers lots at the time, it was impressive. Maybe if the Northstar or “Shortstar” had made it in, the Riv might have been a bit more desirable. And the build quality..

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            It is surprising to me that the Riv went with an updated 3.8L V6 (optionally supercharged), while its platform mate, the Oldsmobile Aurora, had the Northstar.

            But they did do a one-off Northstar-powered Riviera concept in 1998: http://www.autoblog.com/2009/10/28/ebay-find-of-the-day-northstar-powered-1998-buick-riviera-proto/

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      The electronics work just fine in my 1984 Lincoln Continental….

      last I time I checked in October.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    While a fan of the 308/328 Ferraris, they are relatively common (for a Ferrari) and there do seem to be a lot of really low mileage examples out there. This is likely due to operating costs and owners actually afraid to drive them because something expensive might break. On the other hand, if you can afford the upkeep, they are great looking iconic cars and you certainly won’t see heavy depreciation.

    The cars that seem to defy logic are Porsche 911s. Early 911Ss are now six-figure cars at auctions (even ugly colors and targas). 911SC and Carrera (1979-1989) models have seemingly risen in value about 50% in the last four years. These are certainly iconic, well built, usable, and fun cars, but they aren’t rare, they aren’t particularly beautiful, and they aren’t even particularly fast compared to today’s cars. I had a 1994 Carrera and it was a good car but what’s driving these prices?

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      What’s driving 911 prices up??

      Easy… the crap that Porsche is putting out these days. I love the GT3, but short of winning the lottery I would never aspire to own one. Nothing else in the Porsche showroom remotely interests me, they are all just rich guys (and trophy wives) toys to impress their freinds.

      I would much rather have a nice older 911, a “real” Porsche.

  • avatar
    wagic

    Chevrolet SSR. For all the reasons the author gave for the Prowler.

  • avatar
    ott

    I’m surprised that The Altar of Panther, AKA TTAC, forgot to include the Mercury Marauder! Or is that destined to actually be a sound financial investment?

  • avatar
    LuciferV8

    The golden rule of collectible items is this:

    Nothing originally labeled as a “collectible” or “collector’s edition” item is ever actually going to become collectible.

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    Alot of people keep telling me the Boss 302 I just bought is going to be valuable but I’m skeptical at best. Most guys who bought these think they will be collector’s items so I just dont see it happening for that reason. It may hold its value better than GT, but I dont think it will ever be worth more than I paid for it.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      “Cars in general make for lousy investments” So very true. Drive em and have some fun.
      Collectors by and large love original, and correct. So if your planning on any modifications,make sure you keep the original parts,and be able to reverse the process.

      One of my cars is a 2008 Deluxe Premium 6cyl auto, Mustang Convertible. They made a Zillion of them. If the top goes down, the price goes up. So that fact is slowing my deprecation,a bit. Insurance premiums are why 6 cyl Mustangs are very popular with the young crowd. There is an after market of mods for every part of that Mustang. Every year that goes by there is less, and less unmodified Mustangs
      I’m not under any illusion that my Mustang will ever be worth big bucks. However, I feel I will reach a value plateau. Simply by the laws of attrition.
      Maybe not?

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        Historically 6-cyl Mustangs have never been worth much. And 1990s Mustang convertibles that are not GTs are generally selling for around $3-4k even in the best of shape, which is about the same as a Mustang hardtop. Even on the GT, convertibles are more common and worth less, I don’t think the old adage about the top going down holds true these days simply because everyone restored old convertibles and now hardtops are less common. Insurance costs are not much of a factor on old cars, and insurance costs are not why they sell more, they sell more because the 6-cyl is $10k less than the GT. Finally, young people will not want your 2008 Mustang because it doesn’t have iPhone connectivity or Twitter or anything else they care about.

        So will you plateau? Yes, but probably around $5k tops.

    • 0 avatar
      autojim

      The ’12/’13 Boss 302 Laguna Secas *might* have some future collector status simply because of their rarity, but I don’t think the standard ones will appreciate nearly as well. Just too many of them compared to the ’69/’70 originals.

      Of course, when you have dealers like one I talked to here who was playing two customers off each other in bidding war to get an LS, with the “winner” dropping $18K over sticker for the “privilege” of mothballing it (still with all the shipping covers, etc. on it) in a warehouse somewhere in Houston while he works in the offshore oil/gas industry in West Africa for a while, the cost of recovery is going to be pretty high.

      I tried to buy the thing so I could drive the living shit out of it, on the track and on the street. But the dealer wasn’t having any of that crazy talk.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    I got that voice of Rick Harrison in my head as he explains to some dissappointed guy/girl that their “antique” one of a kind rare widget is actually not that old, not that rare and only worth 10% of what they thought. I mean, we all read stories of the guy that bought the old trunk and found a rare coin in it or the picture at the yard sale was actually worth millions…but, that’s why it’s news, it’s a rare event, it just doesn’t happen to you pal get over it and invest in your 401K.
    I did see one show where this guy bought an old Camaro rusting in a field and paid waaaaaay too much, it was a COPO and he smelled money! After spending about 75K (i think) he was offered about 50 something at an auction. I hope he breaks even one day.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @Junebug…Restoration is a labor of love. If you have all the tools,and the shop,and the know how, and the right car,you MIGHT break even. Maybe even make 10 percent, if the market is good.
    If you have to pay somebody,your going to lose your shirt.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      I had an uncle that lost his butt when a Barrett Jackson tent got blown down in a storm on a ’57 Chevy. He paid someone and was aiming to break even, then the lack of good insurance yielded 100% loss.

      Restoration should have the aim of enjoyment for the owner, either in driving or showing the vehicle. Plus it’s cheaper than visiting the shrink.

  • avatar
    Marko

    Don’t invest in a Doninvest Assol.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I was looking up prices on the maligned, terrible selling Chevrolet SSR (and answer to a question no one asked) for $h1t$ and giggles and I was stunned to see that 9 year old used examples were selling for $20K plus.

    I can’t see anyone putting down that kind of Cheddar.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Made in Lansing Craft center. Those things are beyond strange, the early examples not even being able to lay down rubber. They’ll hold value just because they’re such and oddity. I worked at a dealer when these were being made and they were rare as hen’s teeth. They would get the same wash-boy oogling the WS6′s would. I suspect 1/5 of them got put in storage shortly after purchase.

  • avatar

    So the question is “what cars are pretty good, but unlikely to get (50,75,100k adjusted for inflation) some time in the future, despite the claims of some?”

    …because in a lot of ways there’s already a “collectible” tier when we start talking about mid-teens to low $20ks classic cars that are in good shape. Price equivalent Scouts and Jeepsters against early Broncos and you’ll see what a price premium they carry, despite an 11 year production run and no shortage of parts. That makes them more valuable, but not museum/plastic bag grade.

    I say anything semi-new that’s been one-upped by the following generation.

    4 years ago I was lusting after used GT500s, but it’s hard to consider them all that special against the current Boss or even a nicely equipped GT. See also: first and likely 2nd gen CTS-V and C5 Corvettes.

    If “the evil gubmint” comes and takes all our horsepower away (just 2-3 years away…for the last 30 years), that generation will be the collectible ones.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    I disagree about the Thunderbird. My ex-girl friend’s mother had one and whenever we had the top down, people would compliment it. Any halo car has some sort of value to it.

    All cars in general are a terrible investment. The worst investments usually pan out to be the most therapudic so long as you go into it with your eyes wide open.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      Also, sales were pretty terrible once the first year waitlist was satisfied. So there’s a fairly small pool of them out there — 60-70k built total. They may not appreciate wildly, but they’ll certainly do better than the LS — which will be all but forgotten in another five years.

    • 0 avatar
      Sinistermisterman

      Up here in crazy Canuck land, Vancouverites are pricing pretty much any 02-05 T’bird at around $20k, with the pampered examples going for more than that. I guess it depends on the market too. Vancouver BC and the surrounding area has a lot of people with a lot money. Mid to lower end cars tend to command fairly average prices, but upper end vehicles and limited runs like the ‘new’ Thunderbird are attracting silly prices.

  • avatar
    SixDucks

    I have close ties to the collector car business, and I would have to say this editorial is pretty sound. The quandary is that in order to be a valuable special interest automobile, the vehicle has to be rare and desirable. Therein lies the rub. Most desireable cars were not rare, and undesireable cars can be quite rare. In the case of a Grand National or most any sort of Mustang, they are quite desireable but clean examples are nowhere near rare. A ’64 Chevelle 2 door station wagon with a 230 6 cylinder is very rare, but who wants one?

  • avatar
    Yeah_right

    Come on. You had to throw in the Ferrari? I’ve wanted one of those since I was old enough to grow a mustache. Without it, Magnum PI would have been just another dumb detective show, like Miami Vice without the Daytona.

    • 0 avatar
      RatherhaveaBuick

      Whoa Whoa Whoa…

      First of all, the “Daytona” used in the first 2 seasons of Miami Vice was actually a C3 Corvette with a re-done body kit made to look like a Daytona. Check out the interior in any of the episodes and its just a regular Stingray inside.

      The white Testarossa used later on was given to the producers because someone at Ferrari was so disgusted that they were actually using a spruced up Vette instead of a real Daytona. And even then, some of the crazier stunts were done using a Detomaso Pantera dressed up as a Testarossa, because they didn’t want to risk damaging one of the 2 that Ferrari USA gave to them. Look it up.

      Aaaaaaannnndd I gotta say even though it was before my time, Miami Vice is one of the greatest shows ever….

      But yea, Magnum P.I. sucked.

      Testarossa > 308

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I’m going to have to go with the Cadillac Allante and Chrysler TC by Maserati. They don’t look special and they aren’t.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    That’s it in a nutshell: Undesirable cars are the rare ones. In 1972, Plymouth Superbirds were being converted back to “normal” Road Runners so the dealers could sell them. The things were so highly-avoided that new cars were starting to develop rust sitting on the new car lot.

    Hemi Cuda convertibles are rare because they were temperamental, relatively slow (compared to much cheaper cars), expensive in purchase price, insurance and gasoline costs; and handled and drove poorly and rusted quickly.

    Other cars are rare because they were a piece of sh!t that quickly turned to rust if driven normally, or sucked gas, or disintegrated under normal driving.

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    With regards to Ferraris, Not all of them are collectible in the truest sense and the really expensive ones are merely trophys for Sheiks and Oligarchs.
    I was watching a rerun of Dream car Garage and the host mentioned the F40 and the fact that they are Not gaining in price in the real world,so if you buy one , do not pay too much but get in it and drive the wheels off it.
    I am sure this applies to a lot of collector cars I see advertised.
    And to top this off, many people do not seem to understand that car cannot and must not just sit there. As with any machine it will soon decay from lack of use .

  • avatar
    ajla

    But what about the Lesabre Grand National?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    What is considered collectable by today’s boomers will not be as desirable to Generations Y and X. A tricked out Civic or Eclipse will be more desirable to Y and X when they become middle age. Also there is more cost to keeping an old car and truck. Every vehicle requires maintenance even those that are not run on a regular basis. You also need to store old vehicles and keep them out of the elements. If you just want to enjoy an old car or truck then that is one thing, but just holding onto it because it might go up in value is a poor investment. The odds are that you will spend much more on the car or truck than you will ever get back and even with inflation there are other investments that will yield greater payback over a shorter period of time. Does anyone want a Chevy Vega? Vegas are rare too.

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Jaeger

      For reasons I can’t really articulate, I actually would like an unmolested Vega in the collection, but I’ve only found modified souped-up ones. But then I’d also like to have a Trabant, so I can’t claim to be sane.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      If such a market develops than the sought out Eclipse or Civic will be the unmolested AWD twin turbos or the original Civic SI that some grandmother purchased new because she liked the pretty blue color and had no idea what was under the hood that you find at an estate sale. Mods don’t age well, even good ones. Look at a show car from around 1995.

  • avatar
    Noble713

    Here’s one for you: 1989 Nissan R32 GT-R.

    Next year they hit 25 years old, making them eligible for importation to the US as classic cars. We’ve already seen a mild uptick in prices here in Japan, but I think this is unsustainable because:

    1. The cars are old and most of them are beat up.
    2. Importing them to the states isn’t cheap.
    3. The US economy still sucks, which means:
    4. The target market of 18-35 year old ricers/former ricers either can’t afford to own/maintain an old Japanese sports car because they don’t have jobs, or will just buy a better-performing more modern vehicle (used R35 GT-R, used C6 Corvette, something German, etc…)

    Right now they are the Yen equivalent of $7k (for beaters) to $15k-20k (clean stock or tastefully modded). $15-20k buys a *LOT* of used sports car in the US auto market. So if you are planning to buy an 89 GT-R to “flip it” in the states for big bucks in the future think again (IMO).

  • avatar
    raph

    Doug, you forgot to include the 07-09 GT500 for much the same reasons that the Grand National has not appreciated in value, even worse some of these ru… I mean buyers paid hefty surcharges on them (as much as 20-30k over sticker).

    A GT500 retains its value pretty good (they seem to go for around 30k in my area used) but I suspect the previous generation supercharged Cobra will be the real modern collectible Mustang, it was fortunate on three counts that dealers didn’t gouge buyers to much, a lot of them got into the hands of racers (be it street, drag or otherwise) and because a lot of them made it into the hands of enthusiast they have been wrecking them and converting them into full on race cars quickly dwindling the supply of good supercharged Cobras, same with the Boss which may or may not surpass the Cobra in value.

    As for the GT500, well they will be in garages carefully tended by graying old men hoping to still cash in on Shelby’s name.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      What plagues the GT500 is it’s production numbers. They max out the financial planning volume each year then have to throttle it for the collectors’ sake. It’s a shame Shelby couldn’t hang on long enough to sign some of the anniversary year production that’s coming up.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    To follow up what Jeff S. said, you have to figure out what Gen X and Y will remember with nostalgia and be willing to pay for. I was born in ’76, and when I think about the cars my parents owned when I was young, I think back a little fondly on our ’71 Ford Galaxy and the LTD II my dad could never keep running…I don’t look back fondly at all on the ’82 Celebrity or the ’82 Skylark. I think ’82 was just a bad year for cars. Out of all the cars they owned in my lifetime, the one I wish we still had was the ’87 Accord with the pop up headlights. The teenage hottie that lived next door drove a Prelude with the same front end. I’d like to have either car now, and you very rarely see them. They were good, when a lot of cars weren’t, and affordable, so they got used up in service. I think that someday people might be willing to pony up for clean examples.

    I also think in a few years, when the V8 is something only well heeled German car enthusiasts and HD truck owners get to buy, that some of the cars with bigger engines from the 2000′s might start to get some interest. You can bet you’d want to own a current 5.0 Mustang if Ford went all turbo 4′s and 6′s (no matter how amazing the Ecoboost 6 is).

  • avatar
    djoelt1

    Great topic.

    I think there are several key things that make certain cars collectible. First, they need to be attractive and have nicely made details. That is, there need to be things to look at that are pretty, whimsical, highly funtional, or all three. Road runner hood. E30 M3 engine, wing, body. Then, there needs to be something interesting about the manufacturer that make people want to follow its story. Maybe its a boutique manufacturer, or maybe the car was created in secert such as GM muscle cars. Rarity is a factor. A measure of performance helps – not relative to today but relative to the time. A first in something – GM’s small block in the 50′s Chevy’s and a new clean look. Outrageousness, such as fins. A special technology, either a breakthrough, a first, or the first combination of new things. There’s probably something mysterious about the car at the time it was built, fables, race performance, something.

    E28 M5 – it’s pretty, nice details, but it has no racing heritage. Interesting manufacturer, but other than the individual throttle bodies in the engine, there’s nothing special there except rarity. The E30 M3, however, has almost everything above in spades. Hemi Cuda, yes. Buick Grand National – some things, but not pretty, no interesting details, from a generally disliked manufacturer. Anything from the last 30 years is weak on details, weak on new, weak on provenance, etc. Honda S2000 – yes, 120 HP per liter and a high redline. Nothing else.

    Personally, I have a 1995 BMW M3 Lightweight which I bought used. It’s got some interesting things and the manufacturer has a great story. Will be reach 100k, 200k etc? No way. Maybe it’s worth what I bought it for in 2001 despite adding 65k miles to date. It’s just too similar to other BMW’s and, frankly, other cars that largely have blended into an aerodynamic bubble land.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    This list is pretty much spot on, but for every car on that list, there’s someone out there waiting to buy one in showroom condition and will pay top dollar for it.

    My first car was a 1988 Honda Prelude Si and if I ever find a good example of one, I’m buying it and will pay top dollar for it if I have to.

    Cars are terrible investments, but to enthusiasts, they bring a joy that you can’t get from many hobbies. My beater is a 94 Ford Taurus SHO MTX with 104k miles and not many people know about these cars, but man does that Yamaha V6 make me happy when I’m givin’ her the business.

    Oh yea, add the Taurus SHO to the list.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Love me some first gen SHO’s, but these are another “fast” car from back in the day that time has left behind as some pretty mundane stuff will leave it behind now. I’d still own one though…the few I have driven were great and the prettiest underhood view this side of an old school Ferrari.

  • avatar
    highrpm

    The point that a certain age of folks will care for a certain vintage of car will make a big difference for the cars listed above, and collector cars in general.

    Take the Model T as an example. The folks that are really interested in these cars are long gone or dying off. Younger folks don’t want these cars. Hence the low prices for cars like these.

    Take a look at cars from the 40s. The generation of folks that like these cars is also getting too old to care for them. Younger folks don’t want the cars. Low demand means low prices.

    I believe that the muscle cars will follow this trend over the next 20 years. When the boomer crowd starts getting too old to maintain these cars, who will buy them? Today’s teenagers could care less about some old carbureted “muscle car” that could barely outrun a V6 Camry.

    My point is that there is a price curve for nearly all of the collectible vehicles. They will go up if they every attain collector status by a certain age group of folks, but then they will fall as the collectors start to die off.

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      +1 to this. Why did people buy all those PT Cruisers and, to a much lesser extent, the Chevy HHR? Those cars appealed to people who had cars(or parents had cars) with similar styling to the PT Cruiser. How many times did you see someone driving one who was under 50+(now 60+)that wasn’t their parents or grandparents? If GM had brought out the HHR when Chrysler did the PT Cruiser, not many years later, it might have sold better. Might.

      I can appreciate the brass cars, the Packards, Duesenburgs (the museum is worth the trip if you’re in Indianapolis) and the stuff from the 50′s,60′s,etc. But those aren’t the cars of my youth and I won’t pay BMW 5 series money for one. If I can afford a BMW 5 series, I’m buying one of those or whatever.

      I can’t imagine an 88 Mustang GT convertible ever being a 40k car, even with no miles, even in 20 years. It’s just not in my mind to think of those cars like that. Would I like one? Sure, that was a car I grew up with, I sat in one in the showroom while my Dad was checking out Rangers. I’d rather have the LX without the cladding or cheese grater tailights. I’d buy one tomorrow if I could find one, for about 6k if it was really nice.

      Same with a Miata up to 1997,,etc. But buying one with the hopes of it becoming collectible? Nah, I just want to have fun with it. it would be nice to hit the jackpot, but I say the same thing about the lottery

      My Dad had a 55 Chevy project that he bought (along with another chassis, lots of spare parts,etc.) in the mid 80′s. It stayed a bunch of spare parts and a complete but only rolling chassis. He sold it last year for about what he paid for it, but not adjusted for inflation. He never expected to make money, just wanted his first car back.

  • avatar
    packard

    One factor keeping the price of 308/328 down may be the cost of maintenance. The engine must be removed for major service at a cost of approx. $8K.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    I’m sure as people smash up and mod the hell out of cars like the GN, they will go up in value, especially 20 years from now when few are left in existence. Just don’t expect that 15-20K car you bought to go up in value to 40-50K in that time period.

    Oh and the last time I checked on Ebay, a next to zero mile example with the window sticker and carpets still covered in plastic sold for nearly 40 grand!

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    There’s something fundamentally wrong with the whole idea of buying a car as an investment. It’s essentially letting other people tell you what kind of car to like.

    Buy what YOU like and DRIVE IT.

    Cars are a bad way to spend money, and that’s coming from a guy who falls asleep to visions of exotic intake systems and cam drives. So just accept that they depreciate and have a good time with them, and when they die, they die.

    I remember seeing an eBay ad for a GNX in Miami a few years ago. I don’t remember the asking price, but it was most of a hundred grand.

    Apparently, the guy had bought the car new and immediately garaged it. Took it out once a month to keep the seals from disintegrating. If I remember correctly, the original tires had dry-rotted off the car and had been replaced.

    Forget drifting or high-rpm neutral drops – THAT’S abuse. Buying a hot vehicle and never really running it.

    What the hell is wrong with some people?

    Dude, get that thing out of the garage and go wreck the transmission so you have an excuse to swap in a proper manual.

    If the concours people have a heart attack, that’s their problem.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I’ve had both types of cars, the abusive fun cars, and the garage it save for later types. Both have their unique kinds of enjoyment.

      I suppose you don’t understand the Star Wars figure, or stamp collectors either.

      STAMPS ARE FOR MAILING. JUST LICK IT AND MAIL IT.

  • avatar
    replica

    1988-1991 CRX Si. A low mileage one goes for a bit of cash. Also a clean title 1999-2000 Civic Si is waaay overpriced.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Unless you own a time machine (a real one, not a Delorean) and can go back to like 1975 and scoop up a bunch of parked muscle then I think you would be better buying mortgage backed derivatives in most cases.

    Also, for most of the “Best and Brightest” here a car purchase involves some degree of emotion, especially a vintage one that is not designed simply as an appliance. Emotion and investing typically ends badly.

  • avatar
    geigs

    Here’s one I don’t get: 1963-91 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. There are some people that seem to make a very good income flipping these.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Each generation will want the car that they had in their youth or the car that they wanted but never got. How many guys in their 20s and 30s are driving around in late model retro Challengers, Camaros, and Mustangs. Once the baby boomers pass there will be less interest in these muscle cars. The key is to buy what you like and enjoy it and if it happens to go up in value great, but don’t count on it being your retirement fund.

  • avatar
    monkeyodeath

    The problem with the M5 is that its engine is a $10k affair to rebuild.

    It’s also not that unique of a car concept. The E30 M3 holds value because few cars made since have its attributes of light weight and racecar handling.

    On the other hand, there are plenty of roomy, comfortable, blisteringly fast sedans out there that are faster, more comfortable, and better-looking than the M5 and don’t have unobtanium engines under the hood.

  • avatar
    corntrollio

    So you’re saying I should take the shrink wrap off my Saab 9-4x in my heated garage?

  • avatar
    corntrollio

    Clean low mileage Grand National:

    www dot northstateauto dot com/web/3107/vehicle/6073065/1987-Buick-Grand%20National

    What I’m wondering is who was crazy enough to trade in a clean low mileage Grand National. They must have gotten severely hosed on the trade-in.


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