Which Classic Car to Invest in 2018

Thinking of investing in a classic car? When faced with some different options, making the right one can seem daunting. Read our breakdown of these important factors and help yourself make an informed decision, on both current and future classic motors.

How to invest in a classic car

At Towergate, we’d like to think we know a thing or two about classic cars – enough to provide classic car insurance. Investing in classic cars has made something of a resurgence in recent years but with so many options, where does one begin with navigating the tricky waters of finding the right car. The best investments can be categorised in three broad areas: (1) the right brand, (2) limited editions and (3) an illustrious history.

Which car brands are the best investments?

A Jaguar E Type V12 Roadster Series III (1971) can go for up to £165,000 in the right condition.

With returns of up to 257 per cent on some classic cars, it is easy to have pound signs in the eyes and just rush into buying the nearest classic car to you. But it is important to realise that this kind of increase won’t apply to every brand of car out there An Austin Maestro isn’t going to rocket to £70,000 in the next five years, for example.

This kind of massive surge in price is usually only reserved for certain brands and the right kind of cars from those manufacturers. You’ll need to head to high-end stuff from the likes of Maserati, Bentley, Aston Martin and Jaguar in order to make a serious profit. For example, a 1974 Jaguar E Type Series 3 V12 Roadster going for £165,000 is almost certain to make a profit on the amount invested.

Limited editions

There are only eight 1957 Ferrari 250 GT 14-Louver Berlinetta cars still on the road - out of an original nine

It’s fairly simple logic that buying cars that had a limited production run will eventually pay off. Take the 1957 Ferrari 250 GT 14-Louver Berlinetta, for example. With just eight examples left on the road (out of nine built) one sold for more than £5.6 million when it was auctioned in August last year. Look out for limited edition versions of cars, too.




Iconic classic cars

A 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula One racing single-seater went for a record-breaking £19m in 2013

Some cars just happen to have a fantastic story attached to them. For instance, the Aston Martin DB5 will forever associated with James Bond and the Mini Cooper S with The Italian Job (and Michael Caine, maybe) – links with film and TV are likely to push the value up even higher. But it’s not just the silver screen that helps. A car used in motorsport is also likely to get a high price at auction - in 2013, the Swiss Grand Prix winning 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula One racing single seater hit a record breaking £19,601,500. A little history can definitely go a long, long way!

With any investment, there are risks but by looking out for these pointers, you could be on the road to a healthy profit on your investment. Cashing in on the right brand, keeping an eye out on limited editions of popular cars and getting to grips with a potentially illustrious history can help you make the right investment.

 

Future Classic Cars to Buy Now

How do you spot that future classic? Some cars may look ordinary to you today, but wait a few years and they could be making you thousands of pounds, if you can bear to let them go.

Lego and classic cars both great investments, Towergate

With classic cars the right models(ranging from iconic or rare cars, to everyday classics like Morris Minors), have been increasing in value for a while now but you do need to be a little wary about what you’re choosing. Consider how much it may cost to maintain, (much like Lego you kind of get the feel you need to keep them in the box) and do your research to see which models will see a return on investment in years to come.

If you’re passionate about classic cars but worried about reliability, it’s worth looking at future classics which may be more dependable and starting to appreciate in value. Though these cars haven't hit iconic status yet, there are several reasons why they might be an ideal investment.

  • They are more affordable now than the current classics because they haven’t yet had that spike in popularity

  • They are usually modern enough that you can still use and maintain them with more easy than older vehicles

  • If you wait long enough and keep an eye on trends, the return on your initial investment stands to be pretty juicy

How to Spot a Future Classic

With a little help from a new website called Patina. Patina aims to be the universal platform for digital vehicle history. What the team at Patina have been doing over the past few years, is collecting data and statistically analysing their findings. They use the advertised car prices as a means of determining price trends month on month and year on year. Patina’s Price Trends page, explains the how what and when of how they collect and analyse their data. The team at Patina are more than helpful too; if you don’t think the results seem right, you can speak with one of their panel of experts directly to determine the information you need.

Our Predictions

We work closely with Footman James who provide classic car insurance. We asked their team of experts which cars they will be keeping an eye on as future classic cars for 2017. Then we rummaged through Patina to find price trends to see if the team’s predictions were heading in the right direction. Here’s their list of future classics to watch this year-

 

Why the Aston Martin DB7 is a future classic-

  • Ian Callum's iconic design melded the contemporary grand tourer with Aston’s heritage. The lines hark back to the already classic, earlier DB cars.

  • Underneath it’s really a modified Jaguar XJS from when both companies had Ford as their parent manufacturer.

  • The range extended through to 12 cylinder engine pushing out 420bhp.

  • The DB7 transformed Aston Martin from bespoke car manufacturer to one of the world’s best-known luxury brands winning many brand awards.

  • Who wouldn't want a DB7 on their drive?

 

Why the Ferrari 456 is a future classic-

  • Pininfarina designed the Ferrari 456 delivering the world’s then fastest production four seater.

  • The shapely body covers a car that’s more practical than might be imagined, it has classic Ferrari gated gear change and the last of the marque to have pop up headlights.

  • Forget the Ferrari after shave and find a low mileage low owner 456 - it’s one of the hidden gems of the Ferrari range.

 

Why the Renault 5 Gen 2 is a future classic-

  • The last of the cute cars! Like the Beatles, Fiat 500s and Minis before them, we expect the Renault 5 to take off too.

  • The first generation model is starting to indicate it’s no exception to the trend.

  • The second generation Renault 5 or Supercinq used a conventional transverse drivetrain so it's a little easier to live with.

  • And yes, it will look cool on the Kings Road.

 

Why the Lotus Elise is a future classic-

  • It’s a really pretty car.

  • The Lotus Elise was the renaissance car for Lotus returning the marque to what they do best.

  • Pure driving with no distractions – no abs, no power steering, no power assisted brakes. It even has wind up windows.

  • A lightweight extruded aluminium chassis and composite body puts the technology where it needs to be.

  • Colin Chapman would have been proud.

 

Why the Volkswagen Golf MK2 is a future classic-

  • With the original Golf GTI changing hands for serious money it’s time to take a look at the Mk 2.

  • Great performance and handling in a practical hatchback body made it the best GTI of its day and such good news today.

  • Just make sure it’s original and hasn’t been chipped, lowered or messed with.

  • Classy and classless.

Insurance for your Classic Car

If you do decide on purchasing any of these fantastic vehicles it’s important to consider your insurance carefully. What you don’t want is for an accident to happen and your insurer not understand the true value of your car. Most regular car insurers will insure a car at market value - its current market value at the time off loss.

At Towergate and Footman James however, we can create a policy based on agreed value. This means we’ll look at the market value but also take into consideration aspects such as concourse awards, history of the vehicle and prestige (e.g. first off the production line, special edition etc.). This means your policy will be based around a more accurate value of your vehicle so you can be comfortable you’ll be covered should the worst happen.

As we've discussed in this article, many classics are appreciating in value. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the value of your vehicle and if it increases with in a year, make sure you update your policy accordingly to avoid being under insured.

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