A classic car is a unique investment opportunity. The nostalgia and exceptional driving experience are undeniable drawcards too. You’ll almost always turn heads as you coast down the street in a Ford’s classic Thunderbird or an MG TB Midget. But not all classic cars improve their value as the years slip by. Some vintage cars have dropped as much as 70% of their value in recent years. Still, other, newer models, are predicted to gain value rather than lose it. We’ve listed our top ten favourite classic cars despite their value.
Classic cars that appreciate
MG TB Midget
The TB Midget is one of the hardest cars to get your hands on – just 379 of them were made back in 1939. It had a smaller yet more powerful engine than its predecessor, the MG TA Roadster. It could be this that gets it invited to so many historic motorsport events. The parts are fairly easy to come by and the mechanics are simple too.
This little car sold for £222 in the UK way back when it was new, in 2013 a good condition model went for £31,900. Prices continue to go up for this little midget, in 2021 it cost a cool £47,250 in the classic car sales to take one home.
Porsche 911 Targa
Most models of Porsche tend to hold their value, if not increase it thanks to the tight control they keep on the number of cars produced. However, of all the sports models from the Boxter, to the Carreras and Caymans, and onto the Targa, it’s the Targa that takes the prize when it comes to appreciating in value.
The unusual semi-convertible design with a partially removable front roof section was often thought to be a bit of an odd model. More recently, however, it’s been gaining a following, which translates to higher asking prices. A reconditioned and kitted out 1973 model can fetch as much as £120,000 and prices are expected to continue climbing with the years.
Aston Martin DB5 1964
If you’re looking for a vintage car with movie star credentials, it’s hard to go past the Aston Martin DB5. The iconic 60s looks and links to the James Bond Goldfinger movie are sure to turn heads no matter where you take her. She has luxury, sophistication and a healthy engine that can get you from 0 – 60mph in 8 seconds. An early model will set you back just shy of £1,000,000. Take care of her and it’s more than likely you’ll get that back and with a cherry on top when it comes time to sell.
Vintage cars that have depreciated
First released in 1955, Ford’s Thunderbird was an instant hit as an upscale convertible. Developed for a new automotive customer, the personal luxury car came to be known as the T-Bird. Introduced as a two-seater convertible, the popular motor was reconfigured in subsequent releases as a four-seater hardtop coupe, a four-seater convertible and even a six-seater hardtop coupe. The final release returned to the T-Bird roots as a two-seater convertible.
Built for comfort and convenience, handling and performance weren’t as strong as other convertibles available in the same era. The first generation models are the most sought after. In 2018, a T-bird would set you back around £30,000. Today you can pick one up from classic car dealer Hagerty, for around the same price as a new hatch; just £21,150.
Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera
Porsche could well be one of the most recognisable motors on the road. The top-notch engineering, distinct design and powerful yet precise handling of these cars make them stand out. The Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo was a one-of-a-kind sports car when released in 1975.
Sadly, the turbo was unpredictable and it wasn’t so easy to drive. Despite this, it held its value better than most other motors. In part, this was due to the limited number produced by Porsche and the power that meant it could outshine the Corvettes and Ferraris also on the market back then. Back in 2018, you’d need to find £86,600 to become the proud owner. These days, you can pick up a 911 Turbo Carrera from a classic car dealer for around £85,000.
Named the “most beautiful car ever made” by Enzo Ferrari, the Jaguar E-type stunned audiences at Geneva’s 1961 Motor Show. Clearly inspired by aeroplanes, sleek lines, rear-wheel-drive and a gutsy 4.2-litre engine meant this car could go from 0 – 60mph in under 7 seconds. It fast became a favourite with Hollywood stars such as Bridget Bardot and Steve McQueen making it an iconic 60’s sportscar.
In 2018, the Series 1 Jaguar E-Type would have set you back a hefty £90,000. In today’s market, you could pick one up in the classic car auctions for around £75,000
Not quite vintage wheels expected to gain value
Ford Fiesta ST200
A limited-edition car and expected to hold or even go up in value, the Fiesta ST200 was released in 2016. The best of all the Mk6s, this hot hatch has been climbing in price since production stopped. There are less than 900 on UK roads today, and rarity will only help to push the price up.
Being that it’s a Fiesta, parts are fairly simple to come by and you should be able to pick one up for somewhere around the £15,000 mark. Make sure you do your due diligence though, being a hot hatch, some have been well and truly put through their paces.
Mini Cooper R50
The relaunch of the Mini got mixed reviews back in 2001 and even today, not all classic car lovers are taken with the updated version. That said, the Mini is still fun to drive with sharp handling and an instantly recognisable shape. The R50, built from 2001 to 2006, is becoming collectable. Hagerty vintage car valuers are seeing good prices and a 92% sell-through success rate.
Renault Clio Williams
Another hot hatch that was introduced to British roads in recent history is the Clio Williams by Renault. It’s picked up a following in recent years and even the famous collector of antiques and oddities, Drew Pritchard, car lover and Salvage Hunter, picked one up to restore and add to his collection.
Produced in limited numbers and already exceeding average prices with mileage over 100,000, this is one motor to keep if you already have one. If not, get your hands on it if you fancy investing in classic cars.
VW T25 Camper
Volkswagen’s campervans are instantly recognisable and, thanks to the last two years of enforced staycationing, an unexpected investment. The bay window and split-screen campers are the ones collecting the biggest prices.
The T25 was introduced in 1979 and although she’s not beautiful, she is exceedingly functional. Better handling, crash protection and earlier versions with air-cooled engines make these desirable investments and holiday solutions. Expect to pay upwards of £12,000 for a well-conditioned van that’s ready to roll.