all-glass-and-upholstery-classic-carIn 1980, an ounce of gold was worth about $500. Today, an ounce of gold sells for just under $1,800. Compare that appreciation with these five restored cars sold in 1980:

  • Ferarri Dino 246GT – cost under $15K, now worth approximately $240K
  • Ferarri 365 TB/4 Daytona – sold for $32K, now worth about $400K
  • Aston Martin DB5 Saloon – cost less than $16K, now worth more than $480K
  • Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 – sold for $15K, now worth $320K
  • Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing – sold for about $40K, now worth as much as $800K

With profits of ten or twenty times the original price, this seems like a good investment, although the classic car market can be fickle. Most serious car collectors like Jay Leno or Ralph Lauren, who each have millions invested in classic automobiles, will tell you they’re not in it as a for-profit investment. They do it because they love cars and can afford to indulge in this form of “passion investment.”

Buying a classic car can be a tricky business, so it’s important to do one’s homework and know what to look for. If buying for investment purposes, it’s important to consider all expense factors beyond initial price, including insurance, maintenance and storage. Classic cars that have all original equipment are more valuable than those that have been modified, although finding parts for older cars can sometimes be difficult. This is especially true for rare vehicles that had limited production runs.

Classic car sales represent a three billion dollar a year industry, and there’s money to be made with the right car at the right time. A 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, which sold in 1971 for $59,000, was resold in 2010 for more than $30 million. Here’s a list of a few choices of affordable cars that should at least double or triple in value in the next 20 years:

    • 1960s Volvo P1800/P1800S – cost is between $10K-$15K
    • 1973 Porsche 911 GT3 RS with the 997 chassis – priced at between $100K-$130K
    • 1962-66 Jensen C-V8, one of the fastest production cars of its time, sells today for between $32K-$40K. Since only 500 were  produced, parts are difficult to find
    • 1997-1999 Bentley Turbo RT, which sells today for one-tenth of its original price. Available for between $24K-$40K.
    • 1971-73 Triumph Stag MK1 – typically priced between $8K-$16K


For information on how to and where to restore your classic car visit