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Top 10 Best Classic Car Investments in 2023
January 10, 2021
With dwindling interest rates, volatile pound fears over Brexit impact, the impact of COVID-19 and subsequently of the Ukraine war, in 2023 people are looking for alternative investment opportunities, beyond the traditional stock market, and classic cars represent one of that potential alternative investment areas.
Our classic car experts are suggesting that one of the best investments that many of us, given the uncertain times (COVID, Ukraine war, Inflation, etc) may not have considered in 2023 – classic cars!
Indeed, years before the COVID tragedy hit, Jens Berner, a vintage car expert, suggested that for people with more than one million Euros in liquid assets, investing in vintage classic cars can return an impressive yield with value stability.
In fact, it seems that nowadays (2023, at the moment of this writing) the best classic car investment choices have the potential to offer a higher return than property, shares, and many other investments.
As an additional bonus, in addition to considering what is the best classic car to buy for investment in and beyond 2023, you get the joy out of owning and driving a beautiful classic car.
The War in Ukraine and Its Impact on the Classic Car Market
2023 continues to be a year of significant upheaval. What should have been 12 months dedicated to recovering from what may have been the worst of the pandemic has birthed an unprecedented tragedy.
On February 24th, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine at the cusp of its admittance into the North American Treaty Organisation (NATO). This was a major escalation in the Russo-Ukrainian War that has been ongoing since 2014.
Global efforts to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine have not been much of a deterrence to Russia’s invading army. Despite the unpopularity of the move among UN members, Russian president Vladimir Putin has mandated the nation’s military forces continue their advance on Ukraine.
Ukrainians have doubled down on their opposition, and thanks to assistance from its allies, they have been able to hold their own and even push back against Russian invaders.
It should be noted that this blog does not hope to predict what may come of the conflict. We are discussing the best classic cars for investment in 2023 and only cars, bearing in mind that whatever economic downturn the industry suffers pales in comparison to the loss of human life on the ground in Ukraine.
With this established, let us delve into what the Russo-Ukrainian War means for classic car investments in 2022 – 2023.
Predictions for Classic Car Investments During Wartime
Since you are reading this blog, you are likely curious. Some predictions made by Hagerty Insider, a company that specializes in covering car collector’s analytics, were sourced to help elucidate what issues investors and collectors of classic cars are up against as a result of the fighting.
The broad scale of economic slowdowns has significantly contributed to rising gas prices. This spike is due to the sanctions put in place upon various Russian imports, including oil, by many countries such as the United States.
Inflation, as a direct result of these economic sanctions, is soaring, according to experts on the subject. Moreover, it is unlikely this trend will cease any time soon, either.
Additionally, international transportation, which the pandemic had already strained, has not had enough time to recuperate its losses and may not yet find a reprieve.
As Western European nations gear up for what could become a widespread conflict, shipping vintage cars falls to the wayside in terms of priority. At this time, people may even feel guilty about ordering or investing in vintage cars.
Best Classic Car Values in 2023 (Russo-Ukrainian War Era)
Be aware that most people, both in the US and UK, favour the economic sanctions placed on Russia despite the inflated gas prices.
Your vintage investment vehicles may be more expensive to drive this summer. Still, it is generally agreed upon that this is preferable to the active support of a return to the conqueror’s agenda showcased by the Russian government.
While it may hinder collectors from purchasing classic German Porsches and Mercedes, brands like Cadillac and Tesla will see a surge of interest from their American connoisseurs. Therefore, local buying, selling, and trading may take the spotlight for 2023.
If you are a fan of classic cars like ‘66-’67 Pontiac GTO (retailing at $74,000) or the ‘65-’70 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (priced around $35,200), then 2023 may very well be your year!
Check out online sales, attend some silent auctions, or ride the wave of the contactless era that has transformed the market following the pandemic. Remember to stay safe and adhere to CDC guidelines as news about the BA.5 variant breaks, and be on the lookout for information regarding the Ukrainian front.
Being knowledgeable at a time like this is the best thing you can do to be both a responsible investor and a responsible human when looking for the best classic cars to buy in 2023.
Why Invest in Classic Cars in 2023?
Car investments are slowly appreciatting right now, and prices are still lowas we advance in 2023 due to the post Covid-19 crisis. Investment prices in classic cars will likely increase later in 2023, as the economy boosts back up, though, of course, we cannot factor in the impact of the Ukraine war and economical instability.
However, experts argue that classic cars investment is one of the fastest-growing markets in 2023. Knight Franklin did a study in 2020 that showed a 3.29% increase in classic car sales in just four months, which is enormous, especially during a pandemic.
Future car investments are everywhere. Porsche is one of the most valuable investments for the coming year, as well as Ferrari. However, classic and vintage Ferraris are pretty costly investments, reaching the millions at times.
Here are the best classic cars to buy for investment in 2023
1. Mercedes SL
Years Produced: 1980-2001
Moving into 2023, The Mercedes SL cars in the 1980-2001 time range are one of the best classic cars to buy as an investment.
As sports cars, these are hot in demand, super comfortable to drive, and a vintage classic. Mercedes is a big brand name, and in terms of classic cars with the best investment potential, the Mercedes SL is hard to beat.
This car has been on the market for over 60 years, making it one of the oldest loved classics on the market. Prices for this investment classic car have been on the rise for a while and will likely continue to spike as time goes on beyond 2023.
2. Alfa Romeo Spider
Years Produced: 1966-1982
The Alfa Romeo Spider classic models have been one of the best cars to invest in 2022 and are looking to continue that trend into 2023.
The car has a sleek vintage style with Italian influence and is truly enjoyable to drive and own. The 1970 and 1973 versions of this car currently sell from $17,000 to $37,000, making them a couple of the most popular and best classic cars to buy for investment in 2023.
The 1973 Alfa Romeo Spider is especially promising, with a massive spike in sales in the last five years. I
3. Toyota MR2
Years Produced: 1984-1989
The Toyota MR2 was one of the best recent car investments, making it an excellent choice for 2023 and beyond. Due to its low investment cost and increasing price trends, you can put a small amount of money down and rake in the big bucks later.
This Toyota model has been one of our favorites for a while, with independent front and rear suspension, a five-speed transmission, and smooth driving abilities. The MR2 has a dedicated following and is one of the few collector cars that are sure to get snatched up as soon as it hits the market.
4. Porsche 911 and 924
Years Produced: 1965-2021
The Porsche 911 was the highest-selling classic Porsche of December 2021, and it’s only rising into 2023. Car gurus have seen this car’s price rising steadily throughout the years. It was especially one of the best investment cars in 2021.
Not only that but, as of 2023, most classic Porsche models make for the best classic car investments due to the mark’s wide range of Porsche models on the market.
The classic Porsche 924 is also one of our favorite cars that appreciate in value due to its lower investment price, around $10,000.
If you’re looking to invest in vintage cars, we suggest the Porsche 911 from 1965-1980 or the Porsche 924 from 1975-1988. Both make excellent investment classic vehicles for 2023.
Some ideas on Best classic car investments in 2023
After deciding to invest in classic and vintage cars, the question is, which are the best vintage and classic cars to buy for investment in 2023, beyond the few models we presented above? Some research on the subject can give you an idea of the most appreciating cars.
Without further ado, here is a list of the 10 classic cars that may increase in value and which we believe make excellent vintage or classic cars to buy as an investment in 2023. As an added bonus, these are also great cars to drive should you want to use them day to day.
And, after reading our thoughts on the best classic cars for investment, you may also want to read our comprehensive articles on the most expensive items ever sold on auction for assets like fine wine collections, most expensive jewelry ever sold, expensive Cartier jewelry, luxury handbags, classic cars, diamonds , most expensive watches ever sold and art.
1. Alfa Romeo Spider
One classic car that has been tipped by many experts in the industry as one of the best 2023 investment cars to buy is the Alfa Romeo Spider.
A successor to Giulia and Giulietta, the Spider first reached production lines from 1966 through to 1982. With a sleek Italian style and chassis that handles like a dream, the Spider is one of the classic cars that will appreciate over the years.
It is also a great buy if you are looking for something which you can drive and enjoy, which, as we said, is an added benefit of investing in classic cars.
2. Jaguar XJ-S
Although the Jaguar XJ-S never really lived up to its E-Type cousin – with comparisons being made from the moment it drove off the production line – people are now cottoning on to the fact that this is an extremely desirable tourer and one of the best classic cars for investment in 2023.
Manufactured from 1975 to 1996, the XJ-S is available as a coupe or convertible. The market is now waking up to the worth of this capable and reliable car and it is proving to be one of the best 2023 classic cars to buy for investment on the market.
Every bit of the luxury cruiser and powered by a smooth V12 engine, a well-serviced XJ-S is expected to be one of the best vintage cars and will likely increase in value over the coming years.
3. Triumph Stag
The Triumph Stag (1970 – 1977) was originally best known for its appalling reliability reputation.
However, the reliability problems are relatively easily fixed nowadays and by now most of the initial problems with the engine – cracked gaskets and poor cooling – have already been resolved on the models currently in circulation.
Being the car of choice for James Bond in ‘Diamonds are Forever’, less than 26,000 Stags were built. Powered by a powerful 3-litre V8 engine, the four-seat convertible model is bound to increase in value and has been tipped as one of the best vintage classic cars to buy as an investment in 2023.
As well as being an excellent classic car investment, you also get the joy of driving the Michelotti styled classic, feeling like Bond himself as you feel the wind in your hair.
4. BMW E24 6 Series
The BMW E24 (1976 – 1989) was the first generation of BMW’s series 6 tourers. With excellent performance, keen dynamics, and sharp steering, the luxury saloon was both stylish and brilliant to drive.
With a selection of six-cylinder engines, the BMW E24 is a great purchase if you are looking for a trustworthy workhorse to drive on a daily basis with the added benefit of being a sound investment in 2023 and beyond.
BMWs continue to be one of the most recognizable investment cars on the market in 2022, and they continue to produce high-end, quality vehicles. Parts should be easy to come by for the E24 should they be needed. You can enjoy the appreciating value of your investment while relishing the reliability and great build you would expect from BMW.
5. Ford Escort RS2000
Forget investing in gold or property. Ford cars are rapidly becoming the vintage car investment of choice when looking for a decent return on your money beyond 2023.
When considering which classic car to invest in, a Ford should feature high on your 2023 shortlist. Immensely fun to drive and instantly recognizable, the Ford Escort RS2000 Mk1 (1971 – 1973) tends to be rarer due to its age, but it is the Mk2 that seems to be the most appreciating car from the RS2000 range.
Not so long ago, Mk2 Escorts were two-a-penny. Rust and low values took a heavy toll on the number of cars in circulation. However, in a very short space of time, the Ford Escort RS2000 Mk2 investment in these classic cars has soared exponentially, with demand far outstripping supply.
Any car with the famous Cosworth engine is predicted to be one of the most appreciating cars in the coming years. With 10,000 punchy two-door saloons manufactured, they are not the rarest of cars, which makes picking one up slightly easier.
Be sure to choose one that has its original RS parts, making the Ford Escort RS2000 one of the best cars to buy for investment in 2023.
6. Toyota MR2
With an affordable investment price tag and sleek styling, the Toyota MR2 sports car encompasses everything we loved about 80s cars, making it an instant classic.
Manufactured from 1984 – 1989, the MR2 was extremely popular due to Toyota’s excellent reliability and engineering record.
With independent front and rear suspension, a twin-cam engine, and five-speed transmission, the sports car was a smooth ride and handled beautifully.
With the iconic pop-up headlights, the Toyota MR2 has made the 2023 list of the best classic cars to invest in due to its dedicated following. A rust-free 125bhp AW11 model looks to be one of the most appreciating cars in the range.
7. Porsche 924
When looking for the best classic car to buy as an investment in 2023, you can’t go far wrong with the iconic Porsche 924. Rolling off the production line from 1975 onwards, the 924 was always considered one of the lower-quality Porsches.
However, in recent years it has become the unsung hero in the illustrious history of the manufacturer, and the 924 is rapidly becoming one of the classic cars that will increase in investment value the most out of the Porsche portfolio.
Despite early criticism of the 924, by 1988 some 150,000 were built. They are currently relatively cheap to get hold of due to the number still in circulation. However, prices are steadily rising, making it an ideal investment car to buy in 2023.
The more powerful Turbo or S models are the more expensive cars from the range, but are also two of the best investment cars as prices look set to continue to rise going into 2023.
8. Volvo 1800 ES
Although the Volvo brand may not initially strike you as a brand that produced classic cars to invest in 2023, the 1800 ES is no ordinary Volvo.
After shooting to fame as Roger Moore’s car in ‘The Saint’, the 1800 ES is an evocative and attractive 60s sports car.
With all the reliability you would expect from Volvo, the classic coupe is currently one of the best-kept investment secrets in the classic car world. With its light controls, torquey engine, and good safety rating, the 1800 ES is great for day-to-day use as well as being one of the best classic cars to buy for investment in 2023.
As you would expect from Volvo, the car just runs and runs with little need in the way of replacement parts in comparison to other cars on the list.
9. Ford Capri
Another Ford to make the list of the top 10 classic cars to buy as an investment in 2023 is the Mk1 Ford Capri. Instantly recognizable, the punchy coupe was always destined to become a desirable classic car.
As one of the most appreciating cars at the moment, get in quick if you are looking to buy one of these as a 2023 investment. Particularly desirable models are the 280 Brooklands and the 2.8i Special, both of which are expected to be the classic cars that will increase in value the most in the coming years, well beyond 2023.
The Mk2 Capris are also highly desirable. If you can get your hands on the Mk2 1300, you are sure to have one of the best classic car investments on the market at the moment.
However, with only eight 1.3L models on the road (as of 2017), they have become so rare you would have to be extremely lucky to get your hands on one.
10. MG MGA
Last but by no means least, another vintage car you may want to invest in 2023 is the MG MGA, which rolled off the production line between 1955 and 1962. At its peak in 2017, this was one of the most appreciating cars, with the value of some models jumping by a staggering 47% that year.
Over 101,000 of these English classics had rolled off the production line by 1962. However, most were exported, leaving just 5,900 on the market in the UK.
Both the convertible and coupe versions of the car have proven to be excellent cars to buy for investment in 2023, steadily increasing in value over the past decade.
Although the MGA is not one of the fastest classic sports cars released, its light steering, lively performance, and sleek, beautiful appearance make it a joy to own and drive in addition to being an excellent 2023 investment.
11. Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTI
One of the cheaper options on this list, unlikely to set you back more than £6,000, this is a bit of a no-brainer.
The Golf GTI was the second model in the popular VW Golf range, introduced as a ‘sport’ version of the highly practical Golf Mk1. First released in 1975, it was one of the first cars to successfully blend fun and practicality, and was regarded by many as the ultimate hot hatch.
At the current market rate, this slice of automobile history is a snip and will only increase in value. A must-buy car for investment in 2023, and a very likely classic in the future.
12. Mk 1 Audi TT
A relatively recent car introduced to the market in 1998, and becoming a ubiquitous sight on the roads of North America and Europe in the early noughties, the Audi TT is an investment for 2023, with a sight on ROI for the future.
Unlike many of the other entries on this list, the TT is not regarded as a classic car just yet. However, its unique design aesthetic is sure to be of interest to collectors in decades to come, once it becomes a less common sight on the roads.
Typically priced between £2,000 and £8,000, this car won’t break the bank, but be prepared to hold onto it for a few years before reaping the rewards of your 2023 investment.
13. Ford Capri
Introduced in the late 60s, and phased out in the late 80s, the Ford Capri was one of the American car manufacturer’s most desirable cars.
In 2023, the Ford Capri is a pretty appealing prospect for dealers and investors in cars; it’s already regarded as a classic car by many, but the sale price of it hasn’t been driven through the roof just yet. Don’t expect it to remain in this sweet spot for too long though, prices have risen noticeably in the past 18 months.
You should be able to pick one up for £10,000 or less but keep it in good condition and you could benefit in the future.
14. DeLorean DMC-12
If you grew up in the 80s, chances are you remember this car as the speedy time machine from the hit movie series Back to the Future. It’s this association with the wildly popular film franchise more than anything else that makes DeLorean such a classic.
If you want to add one of these cars to your investment collection, you’re going to have to pay upwards of £15,000, possibly as much as £60,000.
Beyond 2023, this car investment will be worth it though; less than 10,000 units were ever made, and production was halted in 1983. These cars are becoming harder and harder to find, at an ever-increasing cost. Get your hands on one now, and who knows how much it could be worth in 20 years.
15. Porsche 911 Turbo (930 Generation)
The Porsche 911 Turbo, 930 Generation – or the Porsche 930 to those in the know – is well on its way to becoming a classic car to buy for investment in 2023.
First introduced to the market in 1975, and discontinued in 1989, it was the fastest German road car of its era. No mean feat, considering the considerable automotive expertise to be found in Germany.
Prices vary wildly, not least because there are numerous different iterations of these cars that were sold during its 14 year run, but you should expect to pay at least £20,000, and even then you’re looking at a model to fix up.
This was an expensive car when it was new, and in 2023, its growing status as a classic car is driving prices up for investment purpuses; you could be facing prices upwards of £80,000 to get hold of one.
However, good condition Porsche 930s are almost certain to be going under the hammer at high-end auctions in two or three decades’ time. You also get a beautiful Porsche to ride around in while you wait for its value to increase. It’s a win-win.
Which vintage cars hold their value best for investment purpuses?
The words “vintage car” and “investment” are creeping up more and more often in the classic car world, as our team of London pawnbrokers can testify.
As 2023 modern cars get bigger, uglier, and more complex, the relative simplicity and undeniable beauty of classics become even more appealing to buy for investment. But, money spent on the purchase price is never guaranteed when you decide you want to sell – so which classic cars will keep your investment money the safest?
The old standards
There are certain classics that have always been desirable.
In the world of classic Jaguar, for example, you have the venerable E-Type. The very earliest E-Types, the S1, especially with the flat floor, have always been the most desirable to collectors and investors. As such, prices vary anywhere from £130,000 for higher mileage models, to upwards of £250,000 for low-mile cars and concourse restorations. Take this example from August, 2018.
Classic Porsches too offer reliable car investments in 2023 – any Porsches that can draw a connection to motorsport always command a considerable premium.
For example, the 1971 Porsche Carrera RS recently began to nudge 7 figures in value. Though Porsche isn’t just about the 911; the 356 is another iconic model that rarely lowers in price.
Classic Ferraris vary dramatically in price, but the sheer name recognition of the brand means they’re almost always going to be desirable to buy for investment.
Good condition Testarossas, for example, average anywhere from £110,000 to £160,000 in right-hand drive.
The 512M, which followed the Testarossa and improved on many aspects, often reaches over £200,000. True classic Ferrari cars, however, continue to be expensive investments in 2023 – bargain on £250,000 at least for a 250 GT in reasonable condition, and upwards of £1.5 million for a 275 GTS.
The world of classic Mercedes shows a similar disparity, with certain models showing consistency in their pricing, while others keep growing.
Many argue the 300SL is the quintessential classic car to invest in, and still fast to this day – prices reflect this, seeming stable around the £900,000 – £1.3 million mark.
Mercedes-Benz cars from their “pre-War” period, when many truly beautiful cars were made, are also consistently desirable.
On the other hand, the R107 SL series has seen marked growth over the last several years as its subtle styling and reliable mechanics become more widely appreciated for classic car investment opportunities in 2023.
What keeps car investment value stable?
Certain classic cars enjoy a period of rapid growth in value, followed by a comparative dip in investment value and interest. Others seem to have always been held at a certain value, and while they haven’t necessarily appreciated they haven’t lost money either.
The classic Aston Martin DB5 is an example of a car gradually losing investment value as of 2023. The DB5 enjoyed a period of consistent appreciation over a number of years. But, values have begun to fluctuate gradually. The DB5 was regularly for sale for £750,000 and above, however, a browse of a classifieds website has shown several examples closer to £500,000.
To continue with Aston Martin as an example of a car that has consistently remained around the same investment value, take the V8 Vantage. Values of the V8 Vantage have regularly remained around the £200,000 to £300,000 mark, with a special exception of the last-of-the-line “X-Pack” models commanding more of a premium. The prices rarely seem to climb, but they haven’t fallen either.
There are many things that affect the value of a car for investment on a long-term basis. One of which is how culturally relevant it is. The Aston Martin DB5, for example, will always be thought of as the James Bond car (even though in the books Bond favored a Bentley).
If you considered investing in vintage and classic cars in 2023, The Lamborghini Muira is another example – the first ten minutes of the Italian Job cemented the Muira’s place in cultural history. Combine that with it being arguably the first ‘supercar’, and in 2023, the investment value of Muiras is reliably in the £1 – £1.5 million region, rising even more for particularly rare examples.
It follows, then, that when a car becomes culturally significant, such as a classic Bugatti, its value is often far more secure than other cars which rise and fall in investment value as fashions change.
When you’re choosing the vintage car to invest in 2023, it’s a good idea to choose a car you’re fairly confident a lot of people will recognize. This broadens the appeal when it comes time to sell.
How do you keep a car valuable?
Whether you are a 2023 classic car owner or a vintage car investor, there’s no doubt you’re subject to market whim when it comes to the value of your pride and joy – sometimes values slip for seemingly no reason.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you’re completely out of control when it comes to keeping your car as valuable as possible…there are several things you may do to protect the best classic car investment you may have made in 2023.
The best thing you can do for your car’s value is to keep it in the best possible condition you can. Apply the same stringent standards you used when buying the car, and put yourself in the place of a potential buyer. Would you have paid your asking price for your car, in its current condition? If the answer is no, you can’t reasonably expect to sell your car for a profit, or to at least break even.
Excellent mechanical condition is essential if you’re going to get the best ROI on your classic car. Your car needs to be able to start “on the button” unless you intend specifically to sell it as a project.
As time goes on, consider sympathetic mechanical upgrades to keep the vehicle working as reliably as possible. This may include an upgraded radiator, cooling, and depending on the car, maybe an electronic ignition system. Money spent on improving your brakes is also never wasted.
Exterior and interior condition are also highly important, but a bit more complex to get right.
The factor that drives the highest investment prices on the collector market is originality. It stands to reason that cars are only original once, and the more time and owners that pass, the greater the odds of somebody making major alterations that can’t be reversed. Adding seatbelts and subtle air-conditioning isn’t likely to deter most buyers, but there is certainly a market appeal for the most originality possible.
As a quick sum up of some of teh best investment cars in 2023, you can also watch our video below:
Be realistic when considering your choice of the best classic car to buy for investment in 2023
It’s important that you invest in the right vintage car for you. Before placing your best classic car investment in 2023, spend some time thinking about how you’re going to use the vehicle, aside from the obvious considerations about your budget and storage options.
If, for example, you want a car to drive regularly, you should avoid low-mileage cars. Low-mileage cars are worth more, and every mile you put on them is money you’re taking off the asking price at the other end of your ownership.
Also, keep in mind that money spent on your classic car purchase is just the beginning of your 2023 investment. Cars take maintenance to keep running, and this is certainly true of classics. The rarer and more exotic the classic, the higher your maintenance bills are going to be, which you’ll have to factor into your ultimate asking price to determine any profit.
It’s a sound strategy when you’ve decided on the car you want to buy as an investment to do some homework. See what the maintenance is actually going to be like, and make contact with the owners if you can. See if there are any common problem points you might have to be aware of.
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