Top 5 Modern Classics To Watch in 2024
The classic car market is a difficult one to predict at the best of times. Cars that you would expect to be appreciating in value due to the way they look or the desirability when they were new can quite easily be falling in value. Whilst cars that were comparatively cheap and sold in their thousands not that long ago can command high prices and see their values skyrocket.
Even those that know the market inside out and build their collections based upon the sole reason to see their value rise, can easily be caught out and not see the potential of a certain model coming. But get it right, and you could see your investment appreciate and potentially create a valuable collection from a few shrewd purchases.
What Happened In 2023?
Many people think that owning a classic car is a constant appreciating asset and that it doesn’t fluctuate as much as the used car market. However, according to industry experts and classic car insurance specialists, Hagerty, in their industry renowned Price Guide, just 29 percent of models in the guide rose in value during 2023. Quite a dramatic difference to the 86 percent it was during 2022 and despite 2021 being largely affected by Covid, even that year it was 48 percent.
The Cost-of-Living crisis combined with interest rate increases meant many people looked to sell some of the less precious cars in their collection to focus on their most desirable cars. Not only that but in order to sell the cars quicker they would be happier to accept a lower price than they usually would, meaning the higher prices they would usually hold out for were less of a requirement.
What Is Changing?
The classic car market is seeing significant change with the types of buyers looking to add cars to their collection. Traditionally when you think of a classic car purchaser, especially at a car auction, it might bring up an image of a middle aged or retired man looking to purchase a 1950’s or 1960’s sports car to use on sunny days or to tinker with in the garage.
These days the classic car buyer is getting younger and looking to purchase cars that remind them of their youth. Cars from the 1980’s and right up to the 2010’s are becoming more and more popular and commanding higher prices than you would imagine. This also means that unfortunately the buyers of pre-war and vintage cars are becoming more and more rare, so values of some of the older classics are seeing values drop quite dramatically since the demand is falling.
Not just that, but the percentage of buyers from the Baby Boomer generation (1946-1964) is on the decline whilst the Gen X buyers (1965-1980) are at their peak earning capacity. This means that whilst they have money in their pockets and their children are starting to leave home, they have more disposable income and a space or two in their garage for that classic car they have always aspired to own.
This means it isn’t only vintage cars that are affected. Iconic models such as the Lamborghini 400 GT 2+2 are of the previous generation and not as in demand as the Countach, Diablo or even the Murcielago by the new buyers in the market. As a result that car’s values dropped the most during 2023 for a single model, a not inconsiderable 19% in the past 12 months alone.
So Who Is Winning?
The increase in popularity and demand for cars that are from the 1980’s to 2010’s eras means that brands not usually associated with the traditional classic car scene are seeing their values rise quite dramatically. Manufacturers such as Subaru saw values skyrocket during 2023 for the right models, the Impreza being the main one. Many rare and sought after models of the road going rally icon are seeing dramatic price rises, the 2000 Subaru Impreza Turbo saw a 161% increase in values for the year. In August last year, Oracle Finance partners Iconic Auctioneers sold a 1998 Subaru Impreza 22B, once owned by rallying legend Colin McRae, sell for just short of £500,000.
Another brand seeing a huge rise in values are Ford, and in particular the iconic ‘Fast Fords’ that defined a generation of performance cars. Partners Iconic Auctioneers have over the past 12 months set record prices for a Ford Sierra RS Cosworth, a Sierra Cosworth RS 500 at a scarcely believable £600,000, a Sapphire RS Cosworth, an Escort Cosworth, a Focus RS500, a Focus RS and not entirely a ‘fast’ Ford, but also a Mk1 Transit Van.
So What About 2024?
So for those looking to find the ‘next big thing’ in the classic car market, what are the expected ones to watch for 2024. Following information from classic car insurance experts Hagerty and their Price Guide, what are the top 5 cars that look like they will increase in value over the next 12 months and which specific models are the ones to look out for.
Here is our rundown of the Top 5 Modern Classic Vehicles To Watch in 2024:
1986 Ford Escort RS Turbo
Seeing the high prices commanded for Fast Fords from the Sierra to the 90’s Escort to the Focus means the Ford market is particularly buoyant right now, and that looks set to continue. The ‘Cosworth’ models in the Escort and the Sierra and the ‘RS’ Focus models get the majority of the headlines, but the Escort RS Turbo of the mid-1980’s is a hidden gem of a car.
Its popularity at the time was more than Ford themselves could have ever imagined, yet that hasn’t stopped it from becoming quite a rare sight today. The bargain prices that pre-owned Escort RS Turbo models once changed hands for show that no one would have expected this model to become a collector’s item some 30 years later. To find a low mileage example that has retained as much originality as possible is a rare occurrence indeed, yet if you can find a good one you can pretty much guarantee you won’t be able to haggle too much over the price.
The fact that one sold at partners Iconic Auctioneers’ sale, then Silverstone Auctions, way back in 2015 for £60,000 was a sign of things to come for the Fast Ford popularity surge, something that has only gathered more and more momentum. In fact a 2022 Iconic Auctioneers sale saw a certain Black Escort RS Turbo once owned by Princess Diana sell for an unbelievable sum of over £720,000. Not that you should expect prices to rise that much, but it just shows the potential of finding the right car with just the right provenance.
Hagerty say the price range for this mid-1980’s hero amongst motoring Britain to be currently around £8,000 for a fair condition vehicle, to mid £30,000 for a concours condition example. A more than sensible purchase if you can find the right example for the right price.
2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 (997.2)
A bit of an obvious choice when it comes to appreciating modern classics, but with good reason. The Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 is widely considered as one of the greatest 911’s of all time, and as such, one of the greatest sports cars of all time. The recipe could not be simpler, but it is the way that the 997 GT3 RS 4.0 puts it all together that makes it just that bit better, even than other 911’s.
With a lighter weight of just over 1300kg, an exceptional naturally aspirated 4.0-litre flat-six engine producing almost 500bhp, a 6-speed manual gearbox and the feel of hydraulic rather than electrically assisted steering, the GT3 RS made the drive just that bit more special. Using parts from the more expensive and more powerful GT2 RS and the RSR racing cars meant that the engineering was exceptional and around a racetrack little could beat the GT3 RS for speed and enjoyment.
As with most Porsche models, specification is key to ensuring you have the right model at the right price, however the GT3 RS 4.0 is sure to be desirable in most configurations. The fastidious nature of most Porsche owners mean you should be safe to assume they have been very looked after over their lifetime, however it always pays to be overcautious when looking to purchase something so highly tuned and performance minded.
Only 600 were made making the job of finding one just that bit more difficult, then there’s the job of actually persuading its current keeper to part with such an iconic piece of machinery. Hagerty currently value the 997.2 GT3 RS 4.0 at a not inexpensive £290,000 to £560,000 depending on its condition. It may not be the cheapest, but you can always rely on an iconic Porsche to remind you of why you paid so much for it.
2009 Honda S2000
The Honda S2000 was a return by the brand to the perfect recipe for a sports car., and a 50th birthday present to itself. Space for 2 seats, a manual gearbox, rear wheel drive, the option to put the roof down when the weather is favourable and a front mounted rev-happy naturally aspirated engine.
What an engine it was too. Using a four-cylinder naturally aspirated V-TEC engine, it used technology from their racing engines to allow the engine to rev to almost 9,000rpm and seen through a digital tachometer, and offered 237bhp (later 247bhp).
The S2000 is arguably one of Japan’s greatest ever looking roadsters both inside and out and offered sports car thrills for not a lot of expenditure. That free-revving engine means that performance was best when all of the range was exploited, whilst the fantastic manual gearbox meant you could keep it there as long as you liked.
For those looking to enjoy the roadster lifestyle at a slower pace, the simple yet effective convertible roof lowered almost as fast as the car drove from 0-62mph. It was a very viable option at a time when there was the Porsche Boxster, BMW Z3, Mercedes Benz SLK and the Audi TT to choose from, showing how highly regarded the little Honda was and still is.
Currently valuations form Hagerty place the Honda S2000 from £11,500 for a fair condition example to over £22,000 for a low mileage pristine car. If those are the current prices, you can bet that those looking for something to enjoy when the weather warms up a bit will drive the prices up quite nicely in time for Summer.
2003 TVR Cerbera
Owning a TVR showed the world that you had made a very brave purchase indeed. Whether it was a later model with outlandish styling, ferocious power and no room for creature comforts or modern driving aids, or an older model that you needed a mechanic’s knowledge in order to keep the car running and had a full arsenal of spares with you at any one time. The company sadly no longer produces cars however they are famed for the analogue driving experience and no holds barred approach to producing a car.
One of the most iconic models in their illustrious history was the Cerbera. An intoxicating blend of a big powerful V8, stunning styling both inside and out, and a light weight of less than 1,200kg. The performance from the engine was up to 440bhp and very impressive, only matched by the roaring sound that it also produced. A very capable sports car with a balanced chassis, the Cerbera was also a very comfortable and rode particularly well aided by the lack of mass.
There was always a sense that TVR’s cars were not quite finished when they left the factory, later models were much better, however dedicated owners have largely remedied this by replacing known faults and improving where necessary. Despite this they retain a certain British charm and you cannot deny its capability and the fact that it still looks as good today as when it was new.
Valuation experts Hagerty value a condition in fair condition and reasonable mileage in the region of £27,000, whilst an immaculate example with low miles can easily be upwards of £40,000. Special models such as the Speed Six or Speed Eight are the ones to look for, whilst the pioneering ‘Cascade’ flip paint examples are the most sought after.
1972 Maserati Indy
The Maserati Indy was always going to be a lesser know grand tourer when it was competing with the Ferrari Daytona of the same era. Similar in style in a number of ways, yet slightly more understated and sharper, the Indy was Maserati’s celebration of winning the Indy 500 30 years previously.
The styling oozes sophistication and is unmistakably a late 1960’s to early 1970’s creation, from the pop-up headlights to the interior blend of leather and the finest woods. Luxuriously appointed and filled with many creature comforts from an adjustable steering column to tinted electric windows and, in later models, hydraulic power braking thanks to new owners Citroen.
Over the years the engine size and power grew from 256bhp from a 4.2-litre V8 to 316bhp from a 4.9-litre V8 meaning the Indy was certainly no slouch no matter which version you were driving. The luxury and refinement, helped by the latest technology (at the time) from parent company Citroen, meant the car was a desirable prospect and sold more than 1,100 examples in total.
Lesser desirable as a model than the Ghibli of the same era, prices had dropped for the Indy so now offer great value for money for a 1970’s grand tourer that exceeds style and sophistication in abundance. Hagerty value the rarer 4.7-litre model at between £39,000 and £69,000 from fair to concours condition and considering prices pre-pandemic were at over £80,000, see no reason why they won’t get back to that level quite soon.
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