The value, demand, and popularity of collectible cars are growing over time. Whether you put one together yourself piece by piece, restored something needing love, or just bought it in pristine condition, you can enjoy the status and exhilaration that come with driving a collectible classic down the road on a sunny afternoon. Knowing the most-desired collectible cars can help you start or even improve your collection.
The preferences and tastes of car collectors will vary by generation and even individual, but there are some makes and models enjoying higher levels of collectibility this year than most others:
- Suzuki Samurai (1985-1995): When it first came out, the Samurai quickly developed an unwanted reputation for rollovers. Yet, modern collectors love how well it can off-road. This was a predecessor model to contemporary Suzuki Jimny’s that many American collectors consider to be forbidden fruit. The average price of these is still barely over five digits, but you’re also going to have a hard time finding one the longer you wait.
- Mercedez-Benz 230L (1963-1967): W113-generation models of the 230SL enjoyed 2.3-liter inline-6 mechanics that gave drivers 170 hp. However, it was the iconic “Pagoda” roof that really made these cars get attention. Mercedes made around 50,000 Pagodas in the late 1960s, and subsequent 250 and 280 models featured even more engine power. However, the 230SL is what brings you the best value. One in great condition should cost under $85,000.
- Porsche 968 (1992-1995): This one was the final version of the earlier 924 and 944 Porsche models. It used a similar underlying platform with updates for the new decade. That included exposed headlights and an inline-4 engine with 3 liters and 236 hp. A driving test at the time listed the 968 as going from 0 up to 60 mph in just under 6 seconds. Production ended in 1995 when less than 13,000 were sold. That means they’re rare today, with the average price closing in on $40,000 and rising.
- Cadillac DeVille (1965-1970): Collectors in previous years have been known to look past this particular Cadillac era and instead focus on the tail-finned models of the 1950s. Things are changing, however, as average values of this age DeVilles rose by double digits in the last year. You can find one listed in great condition for under $30,000, but you’ll also spend a lot on fuel if you drive it much.
- Tesla Roadster Sport (2008-2012): This is the one that launched the entire Tesla brand. Later Sport forms of this car rocked 248 hp, meaning they could go from 0 to 60 mph in just under 4 seconds. The Sport form had even more speed and acceleration than previous Roadsters while also ironing out early bugs. If you find one today in great condition, expect to pay up to six digits.
- Land Rover Defender (1983-1997): A newer version is in production, yet the original model of the Land Rover defender enjoys a lot of popularity given its rugged simplicity and truly classic design. Land Rover enthusiasts call North American-spec models NAS models, and they’re fairly rare. Production in the United Kingdom lasted until 2016, but United States sales stopped in 1997. The price for an original NAS model might go over six figures in the current market. However, using the 25-year rule means you can import older models of the Euro-spec Defenders. Those average less than $65,000.
- Pontiac GTO (1966-1967): Ask most muscle car enthusiasts what started it all, and they might point to the 1964 model Pontiac GTOs. However, the 1966 models that followed that one up featured bolder styling and design. This was the last year for the original V-8 featuring 389 cubic inches of size and the “Tri-Power” of three-times two-barrel carburetors. The average price for one of these is just over six digits but likely to go up.
The digital age has made the collectible car market a national marketplace. You can buy collectible cars from anywhere in the country and have them shipped to you. If you decide to sell one, you can also have it shipped to practically any place. You can even ship a car across the country if you need to, even to remote locations such as Alaska and Hawaii.
Prices will depend on the distance and the kind of carrier you choose. Longer distances will cost you more overall, and it can take up to two weeks to get a car across the country in the continental United States.
Open carriers where the vehicles are exposed to the elements might be what you’re used to seeing pull into local dealerships with fresh inventory. However, closed carriers are also an option, and they can offer more protection for classic vehicles that have attained collectible status.
Gold is a precious metal and commodity that many investors love because its value tends to rise over time. Interestingly, as Motorious points out, the value of collectible cars is going up faster than prices of gold!
It’s impossible to know for sure that collectible car values will keep going up in the future, or by how much. However, it seems to be very likely that their price tags will continue to rise, which means any collectible car you own could be something to enjoy while you have it and then possibly be something to profit from when you decide to part with it. Investing in classic cars might not wind up being any different than stocking up on some real estate, wine, or cryptocurrency.
Whatever kind of collectible cars you enjoy, make sure you take care of them. You’ll benefit while you own them because they’ll stay enjoyable and reliable. You’ll also benefit again when you decide to let them move on to the next collector because they will maintain and probably even grow in value over time.