From Abarth to ZT, British Car Auctions suggest some classics for the future

Filed under: Classic News |
Car depreciation, like death and taxes, seems unavoidable. From the highest priced luxury marques, to the mass market family saloons, most new cars lose part of their value the minute they’re driven off the dealer forecourt and continue to depreciate as they get older. But which of today’s models might become valuable collectors cars in the future? British Car Auctions (BCA) suggests some affordable future classics you can buy today: “If you want a car that has a good chance of gaining classic status in the years ahead – plus the premium values that go hand in hand with that – then there are some interesting options available to used car buyers”, explained Tim Naylor, PR Manager, BCA. “Second guessing future trends is never an exact science – after all who would have thought the 1980s would get fashionable again? Certainly in the collectors car market, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Rarity does not necessarily make for desirability, nor does an exclusive and limited model run and high ‘list price’ necessarily mean a car will be worth more in years to come.” BCA’s Top Five Future Classics of the last decade ■MINI- Always desirable, with early MINI One models continuing to hold their price well, selling for around £3,500 to £4,000 even at 100K mileages. Demand will be highest for the Convertible editions, while the Clubman and new Countryman models are also likely to carve themselves a decent niche in the market. ■VW Beetle – Another car designed to look retro, and with production due to stop soon, now could be the time to buy. Early saloons are affordable between £3,000 and £4,000. However even the earliest cabriolets remain expensive at £7,000 to £8,000 at a sensible mileage. ■Citroen C3 Pluriel - In terms of current value for money – around £2,000 for the earliest models at 60,00 miles - the Citroen C3 Plurielis a modern supermini with retro sensibilities. It is also a convertible or a 'pick-up' with the rear seats folded – a combination of useability and quirkiness that seems set to grant it collectable status. ■Mazda RX8 – Now very affordable and quirky enough, with its rotary engine and suicide doors, to get classic status in the years ahead. Currently around £3,000 for an early model at 50,000 miles. ■Vauxhall Omega V6 - these ceased production in 2003, but around £2,000 should buy a well-preserved late example at 70,000 miles, although a top-spec 2003-registered 3.2 V6 Elite will be nearer £3,000. Two-seater sports cars are always a good bet for future classic status, according to BCA. The Mazda MX5 ‘re-introduced’ the traditional 2-seat Sports Roadster to the mainstream and early examples are now relatively cheap to buy. Alternatively, the Honda S2000, which is fairly limited in terms of supply, could well hold its value in the years ahead if bought sensibly and well-maintained. The fact that there is an already active collectors club is also a good sign. The even scarcer Lotus Elise would also be a stronger contender as a future classic and even early models hold their value well. Although not having the same cachet as the Lotus marque, the otherwise similar Vauxhall VX220 is significantly less expensive for a car of comparable age, mileage and condition. MG-Rover’s long-term ‘classic’ legacy is difficult to judge so soon after its demise, but BCA believes the MG-F and TF models will appreciate and are unlikely to get much cheaper than they currently are – a well-preserved MG-F can be brought for under £1,000, while a MG-TF can be found for around £2,500. Of the saloons, the Rover 75 V8 is probably the pick of the bunch as it is powered by the Mustang 4.6 litre V8 engine and has a revised deep front grille that sets it apart from the 4-cylinder and V6 versions – pay around £4,000 for a late-2004 model at 80,000 miles. The MG version – the ZT 260 SE 2004 model-year – is nearer £8,000, but will probably be the choice of the purists. Of the many current production models available, the Fiat 500 combines a classic shape with contemporary design and engineering as well as any. Because it’s still relatively new to the market it is comparatively expensive as a used car, but it has many attributes that may well see it gaining classic status in the years ahead. According to Naylor, there will always be a demand for the limited, high-specification performance editions of mainstream models. He added “Cars such as the RS-badged Fords, Fiat Abarth, Renault-Sport, BMW-M series, WRX Subaru and VW R32 models should maintain their value well into the future, providing they are kept in good condition. “Our Top Five Future Classics is just a taster for used car buyers – there will be many other models that will gain future classic status” concluded Tim Naylor. “But the key for anyone hoping to preserve value in their used car is to keep it well-maintained and serviced, ideally with the supplying franchised dealer. A fully stamped service book will typically add several hundred pounds to a car's value at three to five years old.”Tags: