Deflating and depressing- two words that come to mind when we hear car stories in which owner’s have missed out on keeping or purchasing a car that heavily appreciated in value over the years. Almost every collector car enthusiast has one of these stories. It usually starts with; “In the early 80’s I coulda […]
Deflating and depressing- two words that come to mind when we hear car stories in which owner’s have missed out on keeping or purchasing a car that heavily appreciated in value over the years. Almost every collector car enthusiast has one of these stories. It usually starts with; “In the early 80’s I coulda bought one of those Ferraris for (Insert low price here)…” and ends with a sigh, combined with a regretful shake of the head from both parties involved in the conversation. Being in the car hobby on a daily basis, we hear these stories quite often and now they are even more prevalent as different cars become more valuable across the board. What are we to do in order to prevent these tantalizing stories from turning into reoccurring nightmares? How can we strategically combine our tastes for cars and at the same time, realize value where others are not currently seeing it so that we are not condemned to telling this story of missed opportunity? The only way is to examine some examples that we feel have not yet reached their peak values. That is the exact topic of this week’s blog post. Let the esoteric, jargon filled car talk begin…
-1993 to 1998 Toyota Supra-
Commonly referred to as the MK IV Supra, boasting approximately 320 horsepower (twin-turbo charged version) mated to a 6-speed manual or a 4-speed auto transmission. It was available in twin-turbo charged and non-turbo charged form with the turbo charged, 6-speed manual configuration being the most coveted. With approximately 4,038 twin-turbo, 6-speed examples produced, (who knows how many low mileage, unmodified examples still exist) the Supra in its most desirable configuration is a relatively low production car for Toyota. Our personal favorite is a 1998 twin-turbo, 6-speed, of which, only 279 have been produced as the final production year for Supras in North America. If you are lucky, you may still be able to source a good, unmodified example.
The Supra defined an era of Japanese success in the sports car world. It remains engrained in the minds of Millennials and Generation Xers alike, cementing its holy grail status with the next generation car collectors after being featured in the blockbuster hit, Fast and the Furious, driven by the late Paul Walker. Its icon shape and the seemingly endless ability to squeeze massive amounts of horse power from its inline 6-cylinder 2JZ motor, the Supra was always a target for tuners all over the globe. Many examples have been given the tuner treatment; aftermarket wheels, bigger turbos, body kits, etc. making it extremely difficult to find an unmolested, low mileage example. As a general rule of thumb, investment quality examples are always the best original cars with the lowest amount of mileage possible which certainly applies to the collectability of the Supra going forward. With good original, 6-Speed, twin-turbo charged examples already experiencing price hikes, trading anywhere from $60,000 to as high as $100,000, the opportunity to “get in” before prices go completely berserk still presents itself. Once Millennials generate the disposable income to relive their dreams of high-speed, NOS-filled drag racing for pink slips, we suspect values will take a healthy uptick.
-1995 BMW M3 Lightweight-
What happens when racers pressure BMW corporate big wigs to build a homologation e36 M3 to compete against Porsche 911s? The company known for producing the ultimate driving machine delivers the BMW M3 Lightweight. With approximately 125 cars built, the Lightweight is the most rare variant of the e36 line. They came with aluminum doors, no air conditioning, radio or sunroof, cloth seats, and carbon fiber interior trim pieces. All Lightweights were sent from the factory to PTG Racing (Famous M3 racing team based in Virginia) for final prep, which included application of the distinctive BMW motorsport flag decals and the inclusion of special “goodies” in the trunk. PTG provided these “goodies,” known as; GT parts that consisted of, dual pick up oil pan/pump, larger GT spoiler, front splitter, underside X-brace, and a few other go-fast parts much like the Ferrari 355 Challenge cars. Ironically, BMW wrote each owner a letter stating that, if the customer were to install these GT parts, it would void the factory warranty. What a tease!
A few years ago, these homologation specials could be had for under $30,000 until the collector car community woke up to the fact that it is a homologation car with limited production numbers for under $30,000 and prices began to climb. Many cars have been raced hard and put away neglected making it difficult to find a clean, original example with low mileage. Expect to pay in excess of $100,000 for a sub 25,000 mile car. The writing is on the wall for these cars to become serious collector items in the years to come. It will only take one low mileage car going through a high-end auction for prices to realize their full potential.
2001-2002 BMW M Coupe-
Known for its unique shape and often dubbed the “clown shoe,” this BMW powerhouse is more fitting as the shoe to Stephen King’s terrifying Pennywise character in IT; the hit novel turned blockbuster movie about a human eating clown. With the 333hp 3.2L engine transplanted from the e46 M3, these short wheel base cars can be a handful in the corners but surprisingly well-balanced in typical BMW fashion. We have had ours at multiple track days and can attest to its phenomenal, but scary, driving capabilities. Unfortunately, ours is a driver quality car with a rebuilt title so appreciation is almost completely out of question though we would never sell it anyway! The amount of fun per the cost is just incomparable. Take a look at our director of media, Nick Zabrecky, on-track at Pocono Raceway with our S54 M Coupe-
Just 678 S54 M Coupes were produced for the US market (1,112 total) making these exceedingly rare with the performance to boot. These analogue, performance based BMW’s produced in limited numbers will only continue to gain in value as the years go on especially if you can find one in interesting colors with the sunroof delete option. In the current market, expect to pay around $45,000 for a car with reasonable miles finished in common colors. As with any modern collectable, these vary in price depending on miles. We envision these cars being worth six figures someday, so if you have one, hold on to it, and if you do not have one, buy one.
1992-1994 Jaguar XJ220-
Jaguar’s infamous supercar blunder. A combination of bad timing, empty promises, and external factors that overshadowed the XJ220’s true performance feats. Debuting the XJ220 concept in 1988, Jaguar initially promised a V12, 4-wheel drive supercar. It was so well received that approximately 1500 deposits of £50,000 were collected shortly there after. Stringent engineering specifications and regulations deemed the V12 option impossible. As a result, Jaguar proceeded to produce a 3.5L twin-turbocharged V6 instead, after deposits had already been received, in what seemed like a classic application of the bait-and-switch tactic. Adding insult to injury, the collector car market (and economic market in general) had collapsed in the early 1990’s while Jaguar was filling orders. This dreadful combination caused a mass retraction of orders with some deposits being returned, and others kept by Jaguar, which resulted in a rash of lawsuits by option holders, suing Jaguar so they did not have to go through with the purchase of the car. Litigation proceedings took so long that a hand full of cars have finally been sold to their first owners as of a couple years ago!
All external factors aside, the XJ220 was, and still is, an amazing piece of machinery. A top speed of 217 mph and over 500 horsepower (more horsepower than the Porsche 959 and Ferrari F40) all enclosed in a gorgeously shaped and aerodynamically efficient aluminum body. After the dust settled, only 271 XJ220’s were produced making it more rare than the Ferrari F40 and Porsche 959! So why are XJ220’s worth $450,000 for an exceedingly perfect and low mileage car when the F40 or 959 equivalent is well over $1,000,000? Maybe it is the lack of additional cylinders, or the external drama surrounding the car, or perhaps it is that Jaguar simply does not have the same cache as Ferrari or Porsche. Whatever the case may be, this massive price gap compared to its other supercar counterparts cannot possibly be a sustainable trend. No one has a crystal ball but one day, these will be million dollar cars.
For purposes of full disclosure, the above cars have all seen a bump in price due to the collector car market craze of the past 7 years but we argue that the price increases experienced, are minimal compared to the potential down the road. These are also cars we happen to really like as driving enthusiasts. There are also a few other cars we would suggest buying or holding on to but you will just have to ask! Get in touch with one of our specialists for more as we assist in getting one step closer to eradicating car regret! Follow us for daily posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with the handle- @LBILimited and #CLAIMYOURCLASSIC