When you are on the car lot, cunning salesmen will tell you how the car you are looking at is an investment when you balk at the price tag. Anybody who has ever driven off in a new car know that as investments go, a car hardly qualifies as a good one. If it is any kind of investment, it is most certainly a bad one. There are cars however that appreciate in value and finding one is not as hard or as price restrictive as you might think.
Finding the right car based on popularity and scarcity is a skill not unlike picking the best undervalued stock on Wall St. The following appreciating cars can be grouped into two categories. The first are those that can be found for under $20,000 that could soar in price. The other group represents a select few of the traditional classic cars that have seen a boom in price over the last five years.
The Frugal Collector
Acura Integra Type-R
The Acura Integra R’s low production numbers, loud colors, and fun performance make it quite the catch, if you can locate a tasteful example even better. Unfortunately, those are tough to find with the immense popularity of the Integra R among DIY tuners. Though it was front wheel drive, the 195-horsepower Integra behaved like a Supra-lite.
Pontiac Trans Am Turbo
Pontiac deserved the boot after the GM realignment during the bailout and Great Recession. Cars like a 20th anniversary edition Trans AM GTA Turbo is Exhibit A. One sold on eBay for just over $12,000, and its value is expected to increase with time, as only 1,555 of the 301-horsepower, 3.8-liter turbocharged-six powered cars were produced.
In addition to the Trans Am, during Pontiac’s last breath in 2008, they introduced the G8. Night and day from its amazingly average G6, the G8 looked like a BMW on performance enhancing drugs and was fun to drive.
Chevrolet Corvette, C4 Generation (1984-1996)
Chevy sold more over 350,000 of these white knuckle sports cars. With so many now flooding the used car market prices are near their bottom. A good Corvette is going for $8,000 with one’s that require more work around $5,000. Any of the C4s are great buys, both because of the performance you get for the dollar, and the iconic brand of the Corvette that will continue to keep prices climbing. All being equal, opt for the convertible.
For Deeper Pockets
Porsche 911S (1967-1973)
The early 911 was the fastest variant that could be found, and it has seen an amazing increase in value over the last few years. In 2009, one could be found for a little over $40,000 which is chump-change compared to the nearly $120,000 today. If it was cool enough for Steve McQueen, it is cool enough for your collection.
Lamborghini Countach LP400 (1974-1976)
This iconic Lambo is not a bad investments whatsoever, growing from about $191,000 to well over $450,000 in value in only five years. Many of us would kill for an IRA or 401k that could produce half of that appreciation in a decade much less five years. Versions of this iconic car were made until 1990, but it is the early models that are worth the most.
Lamborghini Diablo (1990-2001)
Not ready to shell out close to a half million dollars for the Countach, no worries, Lamborghini has a younger cousin that could be one of the next in the line to skyrocket to those prices. The Diablo has risen in value from just over $60,000 to nearly $100,000 since 2009 with room to grow. Over the years it came in many different versions, including the Diablo GT and Diablo VT Roadster. It was the first Lamborghini to be able to go more than 200 mph.
Ford Shelby GT500 (1967)
No list of classic cars would be complete without the 67 Shelby GT500. It is the iconic American muscle of the 60’s and as such the demand will never diminish for these works of art. You may not reap the same financial rewards as those above but with the Shelby that is ok since you’ll likely not want to sell it anyway.
The author, Brian Levesque, is a car enthusiast who loves finding and refurbishing the best cars that he can get his hands on. For expert body work he can’t do himself however, he highly recommends turning to linearautomotive.com. You can learn more about Brian on Google+.