Which cars are worth collecting?
SHOULD you sell that old bomb or hang on to it, restore it and maybe make some money in a few years? It’s a question many car owners face.
While few motoring fans make money on cars, a successful classic car fanatic once told me he became a collector simply by never selling anything.
But what is an old bomb and what is a future classic?
The classics fetching good money at auction in Australia these days are muscle cars.
That’s probably because the people who can afford them are now near retirement and they were the cars they dreamed of in their youth in the 1970s.
Therefore, tomorrow’s classics could be the cars the next generation will value.
So does that mean early WRXs and other rice burners will be collector cars, or will Aussie-built cars remain top value?
British Car Auctions recently named the British version of the Aussie-built Holden Commodore, the Vauxhall Omega V6, as one of five current-model future classics.
Among the others are three new retro models — Mini, Fiat 500 and the VW Beetle.
The BCA says convertible models of these will be highly desirable as
The last Monaro was bought by many collectors and put away in garages
well as the new Mini Clubman wagon and coming Mini Countryman SUV.
Others listed by the BCA include the affordable and quirky Mazda RX8, with its rotary engine and suicide doors, the even quirkier Citroen C3 Pluriel, and the now-defunct Honda S2000 sportscar.
The BCA reckons two-seater sportscars such as the Mazda MX5 are always a good bet for future classic status as well as specialedition cars such as RS-badged Fords, Fiat Abarth, Renault-Sport, BMW-M series, WRX Subaru and VW R32 models.
In Australia, Shannons Insurance state business development manager Phil Ross says many collectors are putting a variety of cars in their garages ‘‘for a rainy day’’.
‘‘If we look at the reasons why some cars become more collectable than others, I can say without a doubt it’s the low numbers manufactured combined with the general popularity of that car at some point,’’ he says.
‘‘If you take Aussie muscle cars we know they made only low numbers of Phase 1, 2, and 3 GT Falcons.
‘‘Team that with the fact that it won Bathurst, means it has real street cred, rather than a Brock Lada. They made only a handful and noone really wants one and they aren’t worth much.
‘‘So I guess that adds up to being not collectable except in the eyes of maybe a Brock collector. I noticed one of these at the Brock museum, so Peter Champion may think it’s a collector car.’’
Supercars are also high on the list for collectors, but sadly beyond the reach of most car lovers.
Ross believes the $ 3 million Bugatti Veyron is a ‘‘dead certainty’’ to become a classic, along with other supercars made in small numbers such as the McLaren and GT1 Porsche road-going versions.
‘‘In Australia, we have seen the rerelease of the GT Falcon Cobra and many people put them away in the garage,’’ he says.
‘‘I think they will be a collector car when they’re 30 years old, so it’s a future classic.
‘‘Also the last Monaro was bought by many collectors and put away in garages.
‘‘We know this because we insured them on laid-up cover.
‘‘They were not even registered and that type of policy does not cover road use.’’
So has the value of the Monaro increased?
‘‘Yes and no,’’ Ross says. ‘‘ Some have been sold for more than they were purchased but history tells us the real gains don’t happen until it’s about 30 years old.’’
Ross has been at Shannons for 10 years and has always been interested in cars, having raced a 1966 Mustang coupe at one stage and owning about 30 cars such as Monaro V8s, ‘‘Yank tanks’’ and small sports cars.
‘‘I’ve been able to advise a lot of people about what to buy before the market went up and some have done well with the resale but we don’t really have an expert at Shannons that has all the answers,’’ he says.
Shannons reports that classic Japanese cars are becoming hot among collectors. They include early model Mazda RX7s (series 1 1979-80) and the last model (series 6 1992-95), the Australian-released 1992 R32 Nissan Skyline and Mazda RX2 and RX3.