Future Classics – Part 2
Following on from our recent blog post on Future Classic cars we have put together a further list of different models that we think also stand a better chance than most at one day becoming a sought-after future classic car. It may not be an exact science and in an unpredictable world it is difficult to say how car prices in the future will behave, but hopefully the following list may give you food for thought.
Land Rover Defender
There aren’t many SUV’s that instantly come to mind when you think of classic cars. The original Range Rover, Series 1 and 2 Land Rovers, the original Toyota Land Cruiser are the main ones that would be considered to be classic SUV’s. The strength of the Land Rover brand and its cult following ensure that the Defender is always a popular choice of classic vehicle, and this applies right up to the most recent versions of the ‘original’ model.
Discontinued in 2016 in its ‘original’ form, the Defender prices have remained high and in great demand. Whilst some have been modified or enhanced by the many customisation companies, finding a low mileage original example is something that already sees a price more than double the list cost. The introduction of the ‘new’ Defender in 2020 did nothing to dampen enthusiasm or prices for this iconic model, if anything it only made the bond of fans for the original car to be made even stronger.
Unusually for a classic or future classic, the Defender isn’t stylish or rare, with over 2 million being built over a 69-year period, with many of those are still going strong to this day. Starting from £25k for a reasonably low mileage example and rising to £90k for a delivery mileage late ‘Heritage’ edition, the original Defender is the perfect example of a car with a price that continues to remain strong.
Even Suzuki could not have predicted the furore for the Jimny in recent years. With its rugged styling and utilitarian approach, the demand and desirability came from nowhere, especially when replacing a nondescript and bland previous generation. But a reasonable list price and low production numbers (being in production for just 2 years thanks to strict CO2 emissions in the European market) meant that demand outstripped supply and many sold for over list price.
The boxy looks of a small Jeep or even a Mercedes G-wagon combined with its simplicity and affordability meant that the popularity of the car currently shows no sign of diminishing. Despite being just a few years old, the fourth generation of Jimny is already creating quite the following, and as such, we wouldn’t be surprised if this small SUV is one to watch a few years down the line. Prices for a low mileage example start at around £20k and rise to over £30k for a delivery mileage example, the latter sure to be a rare find in a few years time.
Audi A1 Quattro
Audi’s premium small hatchback took a lot of people by surprise with its popularity when it was launched just 12 years ago. Despite its diminutive size, it managed to retain its luxury feel to the interior and as such became competition for BMW’s premium hatchback, the MINI.
As is the way with Audi, it was only a matter of time before they did a more powerful version, and in 2012 they released the limited run Audi A1 Quattro, of which just 19 came to the UK (333 worldwide). With its famed quattro four-wheel drive system, 2.0 litre turbocharged engine producing 252bhp and aggressive rally inspired styling, the A1 Quattro can offer driving thrills equal to cars costing many times more.
The rarity and exclusivity are almost sure to make the A1 Quattro a future classic, even if finding one for sale is a task in the first place. An example with 38k miles sold in 2020 on auction website Collecting Cars for an impressive £33,500, and values have been rising steadily since then.
Ford Focus RS
Despite being a version of one of the most popular cars on sale in recent years, the Focus RS has always been one of the most desirable hot hatchbacks on the market. With four-wheel drive and 300 to 350bhp on offer, the fast Ford offers everything a hot hatch should, speed, useability, practicality and affordability.
Demand for low mileage examples over the last 12 months have taken everyone by surprise, with record prices being achieved at the latest Silverstone Auctions sale as explained in our recent blog post RECORD BREAKING SILVERSTONE AUCTION. Delivery mileage examples of a 2018 model are selling for £60,000 plus, limited edition models like the RS500 are £60k-£75k, one at the aforementioned auction sold for a whisker under £100k.
£20k-£25k will find you a low mileage example of these pocket rockets, while the Heritage and RS500 models are commanding prices of £60k and over. They may be only 3-4 years old but the demand for the Focus RS seems to be gathering momentum and a particularly clean example might just continue to appreciate further.
Audi RS4 (B7)
Before the RS4 and RS6 became the synonym for the definitive powerful estate car, they used to also offer them as a saloon. The 2005 Audi RS4 (B7) saloon car was dominated by the naturally aspirated 4.2 litre V8 engine under the bonnet. Derived from the four-time Le Mans winning Audi R8 race car, and then later used in the road going R8, the engine was a masterpiece and the perfect match to the aggressive bulging appearance of the super saloon.
The B7 RS4 was how a fast saloon car should be done. Impressively fast, four-wheel drive reassurance for all conditions, a throaty V8 soundtrack, space for the whole family and their luggage, and the desirability to turn heads in the street. More rare than an M3 saloon and less lairy than the equivalent C63 AMG, the RS4 didn’t sell in big numbers and that is why it looks like a better bet for future classic status as a result. Higher mileage models can be found for a little under £20k, whilst a good condition low mileage car is currently mid £30k.
The Quattroporte name has been around since the early 1960’s is the brand’s flagship luxury V8 saloon car. The fifth generation arrived in 2003 with a new platform and 4.2 litre V8 engine as well as a sumptuous interior of the finest Italian leather and wood. Offering a more stylish alternative to its competitors, the free-revving V8 and cool Maserati brand became the connoisseur’s choice of large luxury saloon.
Selling less than 700 cars a year on average across Europe for the 10 years the fifth-generation car was in production means that the Quattroporte remains a rare car on the road. With a few limited editions and the highly sought-after GTS model being the most desirable across the range prices can vary, but find yourself a low mileage example of theses and you could be looking at a future classic sensible investment. Prices currently stand at just £10k for a higher mileage example, rising to £40k for the rare GTS.
Japanese (JDM) Cars
Mazda RX-7 (FD)
The Japanese JDM market has shown some of the biggest growth in the future classic car market over the past few years. Low mileage unmodified examples of some of the most iconic 1990’s Japanese cars have sold for very high prices in recent auctions and show no sign of slowing down. At a recent RM Sotheby’s auction a 2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec II Nür sold for an incredible £224k and a 2002 Mazda RX-7 Spirit R Type-A also sold for a huge £105k. A lot of money for cars just 20 years old and although limited editions themselves, not the single or even double figures you’d expect for that type of money.
But it is the second of those cars that we are most intrigued about and see the extra possibility for future classic status. With a 1.3 twin-turbo rotary engine and sports car styling, the RX-7 is more under the radar than the Skyline and therefore could be a possibility to purchase a good example for less money. The key to making sure you could maximise any investment is to find an original example, and as JDM cars are popular with car modifiers, it could be a difficult search.
Currently on the market there are just 4 cars for sale, all at roughly £30k asking prices and 3 out of the 4 are modified. It might be a wait to find the right one, but once you do the results speak for themselves. Special edition models will command the highest prices but may also offer the greatest returns, things like automatic transmission on the base model (a rare option) or ones with the R2 performance package (just 450 models) are things to look out for.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo generated cult following from its success on the World Rally Championship stage. Fierce competitions with the Subaru Impreza on gravel, mud, tarmac and snow in all four corners of the world gave both cars legendary status, with fans firmly in one camp or the other. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo went through ten iterations throughout its lifetime and each version with its own range of special editions to match.
As with the RX-7 above, the key to knowing which versions would stand the best chance at becoming an appreciating classic is originality. Special edition variants are of course going to be more sought after, but a low mileage original un-fettled example is the key to future classic status.
Around £12k will get you a higher mileage Evo VII or VIII but many at this price range will have been modified in some way. £70k-£80k is around the price for a rare late Evo X FQ-440 SST model (440 standing for bhp) with just 40 made, or an earlier Evo VI but something like a sought after Tommi Makinen Edition, highly desirable and essential in original condition.
In the recent Silverstone Auction sale, a world record £72,000 was paid for a 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII MR FQ-400, a rare 1 of 100 example in pristine condition despite its 55k miles covered. Just showing the value of current JDM cars in original condition, regardless of the seemingly higher mileage than you’d expect.
Ones To Watch
Jaguar XE Project 8
Occasionally car manufacturers seem to have a crazy moment where their sense of logic and reasoning go out of the window, and they create a specific car just because they wanted to. Think the Renault Sport Spyder, or again from Renault, the Clio V6. Jaguar had such a moment with the outlandish XE Project 8.
Designed to be their fastest saloon ever, they fitted their 5.0 supercharged V8 engine under the bonnet, adjustable racing suspension set up, optional removal of the rear seats to replace them with a roll cage, extreme bodywork and a huge rear wing for good measure. The result is 592bhp of track ready touring car that (at the time) was the quickest saloon car ever to lap the fearsome Nürburgring.
With a limited production run of just 300 cars and a hefty price tag of £150,000, the extreme XE is a very rare car. There are currently just 5 on the market priced between £120k and £160k, but with the rarity factor and the fact that most currently haven’t covered many miles, it might be a good time to get in early before the demand rises in the future.
Mercedes Benz SLS AMG
The SLS AMG was a symbolic nod to the iconic 300 SL from the 1960’s. The long bonnet, rear biased two-seater cabin, gills behind the front wheel arch and of course those legendary gullwing doors created a 21st century version with a snarling AMG 6.2 litre V8 soundtrack. Being the first car solely designed and built from scratch by AMG it was a bold move to revive a piece of motoring history.
The SLS AMG had the power and acceleration of a supercar but was defined as more of a luxury grand tourer with a sportier set up than an out and out track machine. Despite this it didn’t stop AMG creating a more track focussed edition in the much sought after SLS Black Series, and the model being used as the Formula 1 safety car from 2010-2014.
The SLS AMG was not a limit numbers car, however it is still quite a rare vehicle with just 250 of the coupes being sold in the UK and 70 of the roadster. Manage to find a rare Black Series though, limited to 300 worldwide and with just 15 sold in the UK, and you will find that prices are already well above the list price when new. Limited editions such as the Black Series or the Final Edition will obviously command the highest prices, the singular Final Edition currently for sale is over £400k and a Black Series with less than 1,000 miles covered was recently listed for £750k.
Have We Missed Any?
The used car market is a difficult one to predict in advance, even more so when it comes to appreciating future classics. The demand for some models that may not be particularly rare or interesting sometimes seems to defy reasonable logic, however it is that demand that will always be the driving force behind the prices. Cars built in smaller numbers or with certain provenance will always be the ones to watch, however, originality is the key to ensuring your predicted future classic stands the best chance at one day becoming as sought after as today’s classic cars.
Future Classic Car Finance
If you are looking at purchasing any of the above vehicles, our expert team have over 17 years’ experience in sourcing tailored car finance products, including these models mentioned above. Whatever type of car you’re looking for, you can get in touch with us either by calling 0800 012 6666 or clicking here.
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