Classic Cars Have Been The Best Investments?
Have you ever seriously considered spending your hard-won cash on a Lamborghini? If you’ve devoted hours to imagining the roar of the engine, the rush of adrenaline through your veins as you hit the accelerator and the feel of the gearstick beneath your fingertips, then now might be the perfect time to turn your dreams into reality.
Why? Well, although George Osborne recently used the idea as an example of how not to spend your money, it seems that the Chancellor might be a little out of touch with the classic car market: actually, splashing your cash on a vintage motor could be one of the most savvy financial investments you’ll ever make.
The classic car market is booming, with the value of the most notable makes and models soaring. Over the course of just five years, the E-Type Jaguar has tripled in value, and this is not an isolated phenomenon.
So what’s driving this boom? Classic car enthusiasts who’ve seen the value of their collection soar might have gold investors to thank. Those who’ve traditionally sunk money into the volatile asset are now turning away from it, as inflation has wiped out bank deposits and negatively impacted traditional stock markets such as this.
As a result, the value of classics has boomed. The Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI) has reported an average rise in value of around 15 per cent year on year for their index of collectible Ferraris since 1980.
So, now for the fun part: here are the five classics that have benefitted the most from the recent boom.
#5 Porsche 911S
Price in 2009: £34,750
Price now: £100,000
Percentage increase: 188%
Understeer is safe and highly desirable for the average driver, but oversteer is what makes driving fun – and the original Porsche 911S had it in abundance.
Released to sate the appetite of Porsche purists and curb the backlash against the redesigned suspension of the average 911 and 912 models, the 911S (‘S’ for ‘super’) also upped the horsepower from 148 to 180, and added vented brake discs and strengthened suspension struts to create the fastest and most powerful 911 variant that the world had ever seen. When it was on form and approaching its 7,000 RPM redline, it drove like nothing else.
#4 Lagonda 2.6L
Prince in 2009: £30,000
Price now: £88,000
Percentage increase: 193 per cent
With its softly curved, gleaming lines, shining chrome and halo of lights, the Lagonda 2.6L was both an aesthetic and a mechanical delight. The vehicle was one of the most significant cars built in the immediate post-war era, and was the first to be assembled by Lagonda following the devastation and disruption of the tragic era.
The brainchild of David Brown, the owner of Aston Martin and Lagonda, its design and engineering was terribly advanced for the time, featuring independent all-round suspension and a double overhead cam six designed by none other than W.O. Bentley.
#3 Ford Cortina Lotus
Prince in 2009: £20,000
Price now: £60,000
Percentage increase: 200 per cent
The Lotus Cortina was, without a doubt, one of the most sensational machines of the 60s. Conceived by Colin Chapman, a master of road car design, it married the 150bhp twin-cam found in the Lotus Elan and Europa with the lightweight Cortina bodyshell created by Ford to produce a truly legendary saloon car. The lighter, more agile cars, featuring the original A-frame rear axle location, are the most desirable today, but the trademark white body with green side flashes is sought after in all of its many forms and incarnations.
#2 Ferrari 330 GT
Price in 2009: £55,000
Price now: £175,000
Percentage increase: 218 per cent
Introduced as a replacement for the commercially successful and much adored 250 GTE, the Ferrari 330 GT was an aesthetically-pleasing four-seater with an extra litre of engine capacity and vastly improved performance.
It was also the first Ferrari to exceed 1,000 units. The top speed was 10mph faster than its predecessor, and despite initially unfavourable comments on its appearance, these were soon remedied by the replacement of the car’s twin headlamp arrangement with a more attractive single alternative. With smooth, round bodylines, a design courtesy of the famed design house of Pininfarina and 300bhp, it remains one of the best cars ever produced by Ferrari.
#1 Jaguar E-Type
Price in 2009: £30,000
Price now: £120,000
Percentage increase: 300 per cent
The Jaguar E-Type is, and will forever be, one of the most iconic and sought-after cars ever to come out of Britain. Frequently lauded as one of the most beautiful vehicles ever made, most famously by Enzo Ferrari, it needs little in the way of an introduction.
The E-Type exploded onto the automotive landscape in 1961, and has retained its premier position there ever since. Fast enough to send supercar manufacturers of the day running back to their drawing boards, it is responsible for completely redefining the way we view sports cars, even now.
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