What, exactly, defines a “collector's car” isn't necessarily dictated by the people who make cars, but rather, by the fancies and foibles of the people who buy them: the collectors themselves.
And one look at the trends that won the day at the recent Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance will tell you that change is abound. Millennials and Gen-Xers with checkbooks in hand are coming to shake up the coveted car game. And their tastes are the biggest hint toward what constitutes a “future classic” — aka a car that will be in huge demand a decade or two from now. So we caught up with Andy Reid, East Coast editor of ClassicCars.com, to get some insight into what that the forecast looks like. Here are the twelve sleepers he says will soon be worth a pretty penny.
Porsche 924, 944, 944s
“There was this funny thing at Amelia. The 924. It didn’t belong there. But they’ve been moving up in price from $25,000 to $46,000, yet you can still get so many on Craigslist for $10,000. You can easily find a nice one with 50,000 miles on it for $6,000-$10,000, but not for long.”
Aston Martin DB7
“The 2000-2003 Aston Martin DB7, in a 6-cylinder and 12-cylinder. You can buy one now for $30,000 or less if you shop hard. But they’re certainly going to go for more money soon. They made 6,000 in total. At the end of the day, it’s an Aston Martin for just $30,000. Not bad.”
“It came in a coupe or a convertible in 6-cylinder or 12-cylinder. They used to be all crappy. The crappy ones were $2,500 and the good ones were $5,000. All that is left are the crappy ones. But a good find is just $10,000. When they finalized production, they were a solid competitor with the Mercedes SL and the Porsche 928. They’re very interesting, but quietly so. And they’re going to be popular pieces, but quietly so.”
Porsche 912-8 and 928s
“When the 911s caught fire and got really expensive, the alternatives followed suit, like the 9128 and the 928 S. You can still buy them for under $20,000. It’s a better build quality than a Ferrari for sure. I think the nice ones will be $50,000 all day. But that window is going to happen soon and it’s going to be small.”
Alfa Romeo GTV6
“The 1981-1986 Alfa Romeo GTV 6 is perpetually $4,500-$4,600. I bought a good one for $6,500 and [then sold it] for $20,000. And a year ago, one sold on BringATrailer for $19,000. It’s a fine rate for a nice driver car. A competitor to the 944, it’s a really good ride. I drove mine to Monterey and back and it didn’t miss a beat. You can’t argue with a V6 Italian GT for that cost.”
“The Alfa Spider already took off. But the Fiat I’m currently looking at is original and going for $12,000, which is crazy. The dirty little secret the Alfa guys won’t tell you is that the Fiat is a better car in almost every way. They look nice, the top is nicer and the bumpers do better. Alfa just tacked on their car bumpers. You see some Fiats at auction going for $22,000. It’s an anomaly for now, but not for long. I mean, they’re never going to be worth $100,000. But they’ll be $38,000 for a really nice car.”
“The 1969-1982 Corvette C3. I’ve always liked them, but there was this gold-chained mullet-head stigma around ‘em. I have clients that have paid heavy money for C3 Corvettes lately. Big clients, too — Pebble Beach people. The desirable ones like the ZR1 and the L88 are going to run from $250,000 to a mill. But everything else struggles. They’re all between $25,000 and $35,000 for originals. And there’s no other car except Ferrari where the number is the beginning and the end of it.
The best years are 1969-1972, of course. A really nice one can be found for $24,000. And because they’re from the '60s and '70s, they’re still high performance. They’re a steal and they’re beautiful. At the end of the day, it’s a Chevy. The body doesn’t rust and any service place can fix it. They’re losing that stigma now and even Ferragamo wearers are buying ‘em.”
“We had an M6 go for $104,500. That’s the most anyone has paid for them I think. I can buy six for that on Craigslist. This is ahead of the curve, but it’s not nuts to think it’s going to be a trend. M6s are definitely going to heat up soon.”
“The most interesting thing about the BMW Roadster is how they built it. It was a handmade car. And they’re a volume manufacturer — they’re not Morgan — so it’s a tricky thing to pull off. They’ll go for $500,000 at some point, because they’re not making other handmade models. It’ll never be worth less than you paid for it. And it’s proper fast, a well-built car with cool instrument and it looks cool as hell.”