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Spotting A Future Classic

By raccars Published

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This summer a Ferrari 250 GTO made £22,843,633 at auction - a fair profit upon its original price! A GTO is a fairly predictable choice as a classic and is far out of the reach of the average car buyer, but there are ways to spot a potential future classic with a more prosaic price tag. If you would like to invest in something at an affordable price now, that could return a decent profit in the future, consider the following points.

Beauty

The most desirable cars are usually - not always - the most beautiful. Although beauty is, of course, a subjective term and there are a number of quirky rather than traditionally good looking vehicles with enthusiastic fan clubs, go for majority rules here and aim for something considered traditionally beautiful.

Rarity

When demand outstrips supply, prices tend to go up. Make sure what you're looking at is exclusivity though rather than simply a case of few decent examples of a particular model being available because poor build quality means they've all rotted away. In the example of the GTO given earlier, other Ferraris are equally beautiful and in many cases offer a better drive, but the GTO offers exclusivity instead. Similarly, the Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 is as rare as hen's teeth, which has pushed prices way up, even though it's not exactly beautiful.

Driving dynamics

Not all classics are fun to drive - the Citroen DS 19, for example, is a case of style over substance. However, technical proficiency and an entertaining drive can overcome other shortcomings. The Peugeot 205 GTi for example, one of the best hot hatches of the Eighties, has a growing profile on the classics scene mostly because it's so much fun to drive.

Usability

It's all very well for your future classic to sit on the driveway looking pretty, but if you want it to gain any real value, it has to be usable. That's not to say you should be driving it on your daily commute but make sure the car is in good condition and can get itself to shows or other events where potential buyers could be impressed.

If you can tick all these boxes, look also at whether the car was technically significant, as innovative construction methods can add value, as can an impressive sporting heritage. Don't be too democratic either - a prestigious badge on the nose is no guarantee of profit making but it can attract collectors.

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