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Classic cars outpace traditional investments

By raccars Published

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It's been clear for some time now that classic cars are more than just an indulgence. In fact some can make better investments than property or shares.

Recent research suggests that classic cars can provide a return of up to 28 per cent over a year, compared to coins at 10 per cent, watches at 4 per cent and wine at 3 per cent. The last 12 months have seen market growth of 8 per cent for classic cars and an astonishing 179 per cent in the last decade, meaning a far better return than anything the FTSE 100 has to offer. If you're looking for a more interesting investment opportunity than stocks and shares, here's where to put your money.

Fiat 500 - £5,000

An original Sixties Fiat 500 may be a little scruffy but offers bags of retro charm and cultural significance. The market hasn't quite caught up to the original 500's potential as yet so bargains can still be found. With some gentle restoration you should be able to double your investment and with the car's 60th anniversary coming up in 2017, public interest should aid your cause.

Alfa Romeo spider - £10,000

Since its spectacular appearance the 1967 film 'The Graduate' with Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, the Alfa Spider has been a byword for Italian elegance. It's one of the most entertaining classic roadsters you can buy. A Seventies left hand drive model which is showing its age could go for about £15,000 in a few years’ time, given a bit of TLC. Really good Spiders are fetching upwards of £30,000 at the moment.

BMW M3 CS E46 - £10,000-£30,000

This modern classic is plentiful on the used market but for investment purposes you need to look for a special edition. An M3 CSL with a carbon roof, for example, can reach £50,000, so start your search there - it has a few performance upgrades including a manual transmission. These have already been gaining serious value in the last few months so you'll be lucky to find anything under £20,000.

Porsche 993 - £30,000-£50,000

This was the last air cooled 911 and epitomises the style and engaging performance which has made this model the most popular sports car in the world. The 993 looks amazing and feels wonderful to drive, with a rather retro handling feel. You won't be able to resist taking it out on the road but bear in mind that as you add miles you reduce value. An investment of about £45,000 in a Carrera 2 now could bring you back over £50,000 in three years. Stick with manual transmission coupe versions.

Mercedes SL W113 Pagoda - £50,000-£70,000

Mercedes at its best, the SL has always been a hit among classic car fans, which means that they are getting very expensive, reaching £100,000 or more for well restored, low mileage examples. Spend £70,000 on a good automatic 280SL Convertible and you could make 5-10% within a few years.

Jaguar E-Type Series 1 FHC RHD - £70,000-£90,000

The classic car of all classic cars, the E-Type is unfailingly sleek and beautiful and drives as well as it looks. You will struggle to find a closed headlamp version of the Series 1 fixed head coupe in right hand drive for less than £100,000 as values have rocketed over the last few years. If you can get hold of an early, low mileage model in good condition you should have no trouble selling it for a six figure sum in a few years' time.

Ferrari 360 Spider - £90,000 plus

For serious collectors only, the 360 is probably the next Ferrari to start commanding mega-money. It's not as pretty as the earlier 355, which has helped to keep prices down. For investment purposes, aim for a manual transmission model in Spider convertible format. A good one could earn you 10% within a few years.

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