Ever since the global banking crisis more than a decade ago, investors around the world have been scouring alternative investment opportunities, looking for places to put their money where they could earn a healthy, and often fast reward. For several years, classic cars became the choice of many, with large numbers of speculators ploughing their investment into rare, iconic cars and pushing their values to new heights.
That appetite for investment in classic cars has subsided in recent years but the appeal to enthusiasts who see cars as more than just somewhere to put their money remains strong.
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That change in buyer has resulted in a change in the type of classics that are in high demand and with that in mind we spoke to experts from online classic car auction house The Market for their tips on the classics to watch this year, ranging from ever-popular icons to more modern models.
Launched in 1983, the Peugeot 205 was a stylish and worthy replacement of the Peugeot 104, which soon joined the 80s hot hatch revolution which gave us the boxy yet handsome, 205 GTi. Sales in December 2020 show an average price of almost £12,500 with some models even fetching nearly £18,000. With the increasing demand for popular hot hatches of the 80s, models sold over the last few months have seen a steady rise for this plucky French motor.
A beautiful piece of Italian motoring, the Ferrari F355 was a welcome return to form after the poorly received 348. As the last of the hand-built and truly analogue Ferraris, the F355 is regarded as a true prize that blends the strong performance and comfortable handling that its fans had cried out for, with many labelling the F355 as the best Ferrari ever made. The value of these Italian sports cars peaked in 2016 with some sales even reaching £120,000, but soon dropped back. However, a new enthusiast-led appreciation of the model means that in recent months prices have begun to rise again, nearing £85,000 at the end of 2020.
The Jaguar E-Type has reigned as one of the most iconic cars of the late 1960s. A true representation of British motoring, the E-Type is a sought-after vehicle with many enthusiasts wanting to add one to their collections. Values have gradually dipped in the last few years as attention has moved to newer, modern classics. However, after a huge rise in 2011 for the car's 50th anniversary, there appears to be another resurgence for the E-Type’s 60th anniversary. Sales in December 2020 reached an average of £84,000 with some even hitting £125,000 and edging closer to £130,000 in recent months.
First hitting the market in 1980, the Audi Quattro proved popular as a new buy thanks to the excellent traction and handling provided by its pioneering four-wheel-drive system, bolstered by its rallying success. The market trends for the Quattro in December 2020, saw sales as low as £22,000 but exceptionally well-presented examples reaching almost £50,000. A renewed interest has resulted in a spike in recent months has seen some of the premium German vehicles selling for well over £80,000.
Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz R107 300SL is a prime piece of German motoring history, having had a production run of 18 years spanning the 1970s and 1980s. A sporting grand tourer, the car was a popular choice that sported a luxury interior housed by a boxy yet elegant frame.