Top 10 Exotic Cars Primed for Appreciation
1 – Manual Transmission Late Lamborghini Murcielagos
We have established just how rare these cars are. All Murcielagos are rare and are good investments due to the rarity (4,099 units total). These are even better. Manual gearboxes are going the way of the Dodo bird and these will be prized by collectors very soon. Obviously I drank the Kool Aid on this one and picked up an 08 Stick LP640 which is one of very few 2007-09 Manual Murcis in the US. There are several factors that make cars likely to appreciate. One of the biggest ones is having the 16 year old kids that fell in love with them finally be able to afford them. The Murci came out when I was just learning to drive and no other car can ever be that cool again. I just love them.
2 – Spyker C8s
With total sales of just over 300 units, these cars are perfect. They are mechanically simple, gorgeous, have unique attributes, cool doors, and the company did a lot of great marketing. I love these cars. They are unlikely to come up with terrible maintenance issues, have Audi derived power plants, and some of the best coachwork of any modern exotic. We all know that there are older cars from the 60’s and 70’s that are good investments but it is really cool have to more modern cars that you can enjoy driving that still offer a great upside. Anything that says Spyker (other than a Saab) is a fantastic idea right now. Their latest market re-entry game plan is apparently electric cars but we will have to see how those do. Regardless, the stainless details, exposed gear linkage, and bespoke interiors are just downright awesome.
3 – Ferrari 550 and 575 with Manual Gearboxes
Following the manual transmission trend, these are great cars to buy right now. It will cost you $10-20k more than it would have a year ago and that is the right time to get in. The upswing is in full swing. For me, there is not a more classic modern GT Ferrari. They were sufficiently un-loved initially to meet the criteria for long term collector cars. Parts prices have come down a bit on cars like these, 355’s, and 360’s to make ownership a bit more palatable. Belt changes loom, buttons get sticky, and dashes shrink but the appreciation will more than cover those running costs.
4 – Porsche 996 GT2 & GT3
Ultra pure and sufficiently rare. You will have already missed the boat on the 07+ 997 cars so look at their predecessors. The NA GT3 is awesome, simple, and perfect. The GT2 was the start of an era. Both lines are continuing in all markets and the incentive to create vertical collections will continue to build. Porsche built 2,313 GT3’s. They only sold 303 US Spec GT2 cars between 02 and 05. It could be well argued that a manual 2wd Porsche is just about as perfect as driving can get. Buy the most stock car you can find and keep it that way.
5 – Mercedes McLaren SLR Coupes and Roadsters
They just built 1400 of these cars and they have some hypercar tech that usually requires an extra digit to buy. They are fast, relatively easy to work on, albeit with some very stupid parts pricing. It was a stupid enough idea and they sold poorly enough initially that they are primed to become a cult classic down the road. Great doors and McLaren is stumbling through brand development in an increasingly effective manner. That will help these continue to rise. The SLR is one of the few modern exotics with a true automatic gearbox that precludes it from the liabilities of sequential manuals. As fewer people consider sticks for brand new cars, this is a great feather in its cap.
6 – Lotus Exiges
These are un-repeatable road cars. Not many safety features, track focused, uncomfortable, and mechanically simple. Reports estimate that between 06-12 there were only 1,063 cars brought to the US. Many have been tracked mercilessly and had miles piled on them. Either buy the cheapest one you can lay your hands on or the nicest one at whatever money it takes. You will own either very well. They have Land Rover Defender-itis.
7 – Aston Martin DBS & V12 Vantage
A 2009 Casino Royale Gray DBS Stick Coupe is on my bucket list of cars. Fantastic cars, one of the best exhaust notes ever, and you get to say your last name first. They only built 1,000 manual DBS’s for the entire world. The V12 Vantage is the modern muscle car – biggest engine in their smallest car. Worldwide production of the 2010-12 manual cars was just 1,196. Great cars to drive and sufficiently rare to go up soon. No crazy looming maintenance problems and it was driven by the best Bond we have had.
8 – Ferrari 355 Challenge Cars
The 95s are already street legal. The rest will be within the next 5-10 years when they are 25 years old. It is too late for even the super wealthy to hop on the 288/F40/F50/Enzo/LaFerrari bandwagon. As people build collections of the special end of run V8 Ferraris they will want 348 Serie Speciales, 355 Challenge Cars or Fioranos, 360 Challenge Stradales, 430 Scuderias or 16M’s, and 458 Speciales or Speciale As. There are only 12 stick 355 Fioranos and they are all convertibles. It would probably take $150-250k to get one today. The Challenge car is a great alternative for less than $100k. The Challenge package (either as a 1995 dealer retrofit or factory install) dealt with the exhaust manifold and suspension time bomb liabilities that plagued that generation of the mid engine V8 “self indulgent weiner” Ferrari. These are truly cool.
9 – Nice H1 Hummers
With an increasing precedent for expensive SUV’s (Cayenne Turbo S, Range Rover Autobiography, Lamborghini URUS, etc) the market for these ridiculous cars will remain strong. Many are rusty, rough, and un-cared for. Find a nice one, keep it that way, and wait for the 4th of July parade invites.
10 – Ferrari 458 Coupes and Spiders
Just kidding. With the 488 coming out the most recent latest/greatest mid engine V8 Ferrari just got rich cliche is going to tank. If you have one, sell it or just wait for the next cash for clunker’s promotion to cover the up fronts on a tax aided Nissan Leaf lease. They built over 20,000 of these and while they may be special to drive, they will not be favorable to collect. Nothing to see here.