7 CARS TO BUY BEFORE THEY ARE OUT OF REACH #6 May Surprise You
It has been said that cars are not investments, and in most cases this is true. One cannot simply walk into the local dealership, select a vehicle, sign up for the payment plan and drive home in their new ride expecting a future ROI. Yet, there are some cases and rare instances when the right car, with the right hype and history can grow up to be a valuable asset. Take the early Chevrolet Corvette Stingray’s or mid ‘80s Porsche 911 Turbos. These vehicles have laid waste to many of the major financial indices over a comparable time frame. In some cases, vehicles purchased for a few thousand dollars are now worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. As values for many “Classic Cars” continue to rise as the younger, and most nostalgic generations are beginning to get their hands on them, there are still a few that you can purchase for reasonable dollar amounts and enjoy for years to come. Best of all, you can justify to your significant other that you are simply “investing” while earning some ManScore points for watching over a piece of automotive history.
Austin Mini Cooper S (1963-1967)
If you’re a fan of The Italian Job, make sure you get your hands on one of these awesome little cars before they are no longer a steal. The 1960s Minis have always been a classic and are widely appreciated by nearly every self-respecting gearhead. They’re as perfectly British as James Bond, The Queen and bad teeth. Concourse examples of the Mini Cooper S can be purchased for well north of $50,000 so we’d suggest one that is slightly less than perfect or perhaps a “non-S” version wearing that Iconic “British Racing Green.”
Hargarty’s Valuation: $25,600-$38,500
Porsche 914 2.0 (1973-1976)
Figures like 0-62 miles per hour in 10.5 seconds or 100 horsepower @ 5000RPMs may seem laughable these days, but let me assure you; they were just as laughable in the early ‘70s when compared to some of the happenings in Detroit. The difference between the Porsche 914 (VW-Porsche 914 in Europe) and those Detroit hot rods, is that the 914 can actually be driven around a corner and not just in a straight line. Weighing in at 2,024 pounds and sporting nearly perfect weight distribution--thanks to the cars mid-engine design--the 914 just begs to be driven like a go cart. To this day, it is still a popular choice for autocross enthusiasts, and it is one of the last truly affordable Porsche classics from this era. 911s and 356s continue to command well north of six-figures, and the 912’s worth is even climbing over $50,000. The 914 can be had--in most cases--for less than $20k. Make no mistake, 914 values are continuing to rise, but the vehicle still gives you the opportunity to invest in a Sunday morning coffee getter that will almost certainly appreciate.
Hargarty’s Valuation: $14,300-$24,200
Mazda RX-7 Series (1978-2002)
Mazda RX-7s are cool. The engine is called a Wankel for Christ-sake and Vin Diesel drove one that shot flames out of its back-side in the iconic 2001 movie, The Fast and The Furious. Best of all, they’re still affordable. RX-7 FCs and FDs are the most iconic with the FC being an ‘80s wedge car and the FD being a movie star. The incredibly simplistic rotary-wankel power plants rev to completely ridiculous numbers but are often unreliable. Apex seal failures are a common issue leading to the trashing of an engine, but a good mechanic can build one in an afternoon. They’re underappreciated and will likely rise in value in the not too distant future. However, if you plan on driving them often, plan on spending some days in the garage as well.
Hargarty’s Valuation: $5,400-$10,200
Ford Bronco (1966-1977)
What’s with all these sports cars? We love old Ford Broncos and all of the nostalgia that goes a long with them. It’s a man’s classic, made of the beefy, masculine proportions that embody a square with wheels. Hell, it probably has a penis. There’s so much love for these things that Ford might build a new one in the near future. For around $20k, you can find a pristine one and be the man of the block ready for a summer road trip to the early ‘70s. Make sure you bring plenty of flannel, a pair of wrangler jeans and maybe a football.
Hargarty’s Valuation: $17,000-$28,000
VW GTI MKII 16v (1990-1992)
Of all the Cars on this list, the VW GTI is the only one that is still in production. You could argue that so is the Mini, but those aren’t British anymore as they are now made by BMW in Germany, following a very long gap in production. The GTI is still made by the mighty Volkswagen with some recent models even featuring the Wolfsburg crest. The MKII GTI is perfectly German, square and utilitarian. Interior ergonomics are beautifully simplistic and the Fuel Injected, 16 valve four-banger is a masterpiece of an engine that marked the beginning of modern VW engines. The MKII is remarkably simplistic; no traction control or fancy turbochargers to get in the way of the raw driving experience that will transport you back to your hooligan years.
Hargarty’s Valuation: $4,500-$7,100
Honda Insight (2000-2006)
Maybe this isn’t surprising as the car is gaining quite the cult following and is already out of reach to the many. If you ask me what I mean “by out of reach” in an article about vehicles that are attainable, I’d say it’s out of reach to those who aren’t particularly wealthy in the IQ department. To have an Insight as your classic car, you will likely need to be an aerospace engineer with a masters in electrical engineering and enough money to support the vehicle’s insatiable appetite for Nickle Metal Hydride Batteries. The first Insight was the first production hybrid car in the market and featured a 3 cylinder power plant with early stop/start technology and an electric motor mounted to the crankshaft. NiMH batteries were placed behind the seats and a manual transmission was standard with optional air conditioning. It has a drag coefficient of 0.25 thanks to its futuristic styling. While it’s not as in-your-face manly as the Ford Bronco, owning a piece of automotive history will certainly earn you some ManScore points and is a safe bet for a valuable collector's item down the line.
Hargarty’s Valuation: ???
BMW 2002 (1968-1976)
This little Bimmer took the world by storm, and is largely responsible for the success and reputation that BMW has for making fun and sporty cars. While the current 3 series is so far removed from the 2002 (from a technology standpoint), its influence is hard to deny. Nice examples of 2002s can be had from the high teens and low 20s with excellent examples of desirable versions like the Tii and Alpina can exceed $30,000 with ease. 2002 Tii Turbo’s are in the unobtainium league with the Porsche 914 six. Buy one NOW as these cars will be completely out of sight once the millennials get their student loans paid off.
Hargarty’s Valuation: $12,800-$21,900