Words by Raj Hunjan
As 2016 draws to a close we can take a look back at how the year has fared in the classic and sportscar market. Large political changes in the UK, Europe and more recently in the US, have rocked the investment world. Sterling has taken a tumble which has distorted the international trade of desirable cars. If you are in the UK with a globally recognised collectible car, then chances are it has risen in value in sterling terms.
I’ve focussed on nine cars that we identified two years ago as being cars to watch and aim to buy. One of those has experienced a startling 90% increase in value over that period, it is the Ford Escort RS Cosworth. Fast Fords have always had appeal, but in the last few years it seems that more collectors are jumping on the RS Cosworth bandwagon and buying the greatest, low mileage examples when they become available. My own view is that the majority of these new entrants actually have the more exotic and expensive cars sitting in their collection and are now exploring Ford and other marques hot hatch offerings from the past.
In second place comes the BMW M3 E30, the original and some say the best of the bunch. It modern terms it is underpowered and simple, but for many who adore classic cars, these aren’t negatives. The motorsport history of the car, winning countless touring car championships in the 80’s and 90’s have sealed the E30 M3’s place amongst the greatest cars of all time.
The third most high performing car over the period will come as no surprise to many, it is a Porsche 911 derivative, this time the all weather supercar from the late 90’s, the 993 generation Turbo. Prices have risen a staggering 63%. This is from a relatively high price, the 933 Turbo has always been sought after but now it seems even more want to experience it for themselves.
Take a look and see the rest of our picks, there is a variety of cars and all (bar one) have risen in value. The one to pay close attention to may actually be the only faller over the period, the E92 M3, prices are now at their most enticing ever, so if you do seek out a low mileage, limited edition of it, chances are when we look back in another two years it will have performed handsomely.
Aston Martin Vanquish
The Vanquish is a handbuilt masterpiece in the best tradition of Aston Martin. It is an understated and timeless design. The Vanquish is regarded by many as one of the most beautiful cars of all time. We featured it back in October 2014 and a ’04 23,000 mile Aston Martin Vanquish would have cost £70,000. Now, a similar car will cost £78,000. This represents an 11% increase.
Ford Escort RS Cosworth
The Escort RS Cosworth has a huge following among Ford enthusiasts and is a recognised cult car. The RS Cosworth is also a great handling all wheel drive sportscar. It has a clear motorsport link from competing in the WRC. We featured it back in October 2014 and a ’93 88,000 mile Ford Escort RS Cosworth would have cost £21,000. Now, a similar car will cost £40,000. This represents a 90% increase.
The B7 Audi RS4 has a sonorous V8 which is a gem of an engine. The RS4 is one of the last manual transmission super saloons. It is regarded by many as the pinnacle in RS lineage, before electronics took over. We featured it back in October 2014 and a ’07 34,500 mile Audi RS4 would have cost £23,000. Now, a similar car will cost £29,000. This represents a 26% increase.
Porsche 930 Turbo
The original Porsche 911 Turbo that started it all. The 911 Turbo is still a key part of the current 911
model lineup. Like many great sportscars it was derived from homologation rules giving it that special link with motorsport. We featured it back in November 2014 and a ’84 39,000 mile Porsche 930 Turbo would have cost £75,000. Now, a similar car will cost £90,000. This represents a 20% increase.
Porsche 964 Turbo
A slightly more refined and developed version of the original 930 Turbo without loss of the essence. Low build numbers compared to more modern 911 Turbos. Cult status among movie buffs for it’s role in ‘Bad Boys’. We featured it back in November 2014 and a ’91 29,700 mile Porsche 964 Turbo would have cost £100,000. Now, a similar car will cost £120,000. This represents a 20% increase.
Porsche 993 Turbo
The most developed air cooled 911 Turbo, the engineering and development that went into this model was unprecedented. The body styling is regarded by many as the perfect blend of modern and classic 911. We featured it back in November 2014 and a ’96 42,500 mile Porsche 993 Turbo would have cost £80,000. Now, a similar car will cost £130,000. This represents a 63% increase.
BMW M3 E30
The original BMW M3, the one that started it all. Simple design and subtle enhancements make this an iconic car. Motorsport success right from the outset in touring car championships across Europe. We featured it back in December 2014 and a ’88 49,000 mile BMW M3 E30 would have cost £30,000. Now, a similar car will cost £55,000. This represents a 83% increase.
BMW M3 E46
The E46 M3 is arguably the most usable M3 ever. The design and styling features are timeless. Unique bodywork sets it apart from lesser 3-series models. It is the perfect blend between old and new world performance car technology. We featured it back in December 2014 and a ’88 55,000 mile BMW M3 E46 would have cost £13,750. Now, a similar car will cost £16,000. This represents a 16% increase.
BMW M3 E92
The last naturally aspirated M3. The 4.0 litre V8 is a BMW M masterpiece not too dissimilar the V10 from the E60 M5. Carbon fibre roof and unique body panels clearly distinguish the M3 from other 3-series models, it is a standalone model. We featured it back in December 2014 and a ’10 47,000 mile BMW M3 E92 would have cost £28,000. Now, a similar car will cost £20,000. This represents a 29% decrease.
Looking forward to 2017 and beyond, I think more affordable modern icons from the mid nineties will start to rise in value dramatically. People are willing to pay high prices for most hot hatches. I’d especially recommend first and second generation Golf GTIs, the Peugeot 205 GTI, the Renault Clio Williams and the Ford Escort XR3i. Be careful though, they must be in really exceptional condition with a solid history file to verify the provenance.
I can see the prices for exceptional low mileage sportscars growing the fastest of all next year, 2016 has shown us that when there is uncertainty, the very best are still sought out. German marques like Porsche and BMW will continue to rise the most, followed by Italian marques such as Lamborghini and Ferrari. Don’t ignore affordable Alfa’s either, it seems that 60’s to 80’s cars like the 1300 GT Junior are in high demand.
Modern, limited edition hypercars such as the Ferrari LaFerrari and McLaren P1 are still well above their original list prices, nothing will change this. I also believe that hot new supercars, especially limited run models will command significant premiums from those collectors that want to either guarantee a car from the outset or jump the queue.
In summary, the majority of collectors want limited production cars from the best manufacturers. They also want the very best examples of icon cars, so low-mileage, full history and choice specifications. Where there are still opportunities for price gains, Lotus and Aston Martin’s remain good value. Models such as the Exige and V8 Vantage are likely to appreciate in the near future. For those that are seeking a German car, take a look at Mercedes-Benz AMG range and Porsche 911 997 models, as these will certainly see significant gains.