FU­TURE CLAS­SICS

Which cars are worth col­lect­ing?

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

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.

BU­GATTI VEY­RON

HOLDEN MONARO

FIAT 500

MAZDA MX-5

FORD CO­BRA

FO­CUS RS

VW BEETLE

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