>Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona TIPPED BY DANIEL DONOVAN
Daniel Donovan thinks now is a good time to buy a Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona. ‘Having peaked 18 months ago at £800k-£900k and now at £600k£700k, they represent good value for money in the current market. Prices were hiked when everyone had to have one, so it’s a good time to invest. Putting aside values, it’d have to be one of the very rare cars built for just one year with the Plexiglass panel over the headlamps, before it had to be changed to comply with US federal rules. However, it was Plexiglass cars that ran at Le Mans and that continue to be associated with GT racers, so it’s worth stretching that little bit extra for one if you can.’
With its 325bhp quad-cam 4.4-litre V12 up front, the Daytona is a serious piece of GT kit, all wrapped up in an intoxicating Sixties silhouette – one that should never go out of fashion. ‘I’ve done a lot of miles in them,’ says Donovan. ‘It’s a real beast of a car. That said, you could do 1000 miles in one and, while you’d be a bit tired when you got out, you’d have a smile on your face the whole time.’
Again matching numbers are key – so check that the car is what it purports to be – as is regular and careful maintenance and evidence of, and receipts for, any restoration work.
‘Every time you climb in it, you’ll feel like Tim Mcintire in The Gumball Rally.’
>Mclaren F1 TIPPED BY JOHN MAYHEAD
If money were no object, why would you buy an F1? Mayhead looks at it the other way around. ‘Why would any true motoring enthusiast not want to own one? This isn’t the product of a money-is-no-object exercise intended to show industrial dominance like the Bugatti Veyron, but the creation of an automotive design genius at the top of his game. Gordon Murray’s concept, incorporating so much of Mclaren’s F1 technology, didn’t just create a car that led the pack – it left everything else a decade behind, and did so with a body as beautiful as it is utterly effective as a driving machine. This is the Supermarine Spitfire of the automotive world.’
‘The big price differentiator is the spec with which it left the factory. The 64 standard road cars are the most ‘affordable’ at £7.7m-£10.7m; the five Lm-spec cars are worth significantly more (£10m-£12.75m). F1 GTRS are history-dependent, with significant provenance worth proper money. I know of one insured for £18m.’
He says there is very little to be wary of, if buying one. ‘As Rowan Atkinson F1 showed, even accident damage doesn’t really affect their values if repaired by the factory. Mclaren looks after the servicing, and while it’s not cheap, that’s unlikely to be an issue if you’re an F1 owner. Most have the benefit of celebrity ownership along the way, too. The best bit about owning one is access. Tell the organiser of any show, concours or tour that you’re bringing your F1 and you’ll be treated like royalty.’
>Porsche 911 RSR TIPPED BY WILL SMITH
‘Okay, we’re into real dream territory here,’ says Will Smith. ‘For me, this is the epitome of a true racing car. It was raced by the
factory and also by privateers, and massively outperformed its rivals in period competition; BMW’S CSL is iconic, but for me the RSR is motor sport in its purest form. Anyone could buy one in period, race at Le Mans and be a hero; it had such reliability and driveability, and even now can be hooned around, revving to 9000rpm with that crazy howl and the perfect flat-six Porsche wail. Speak to any works driver of the period and they’ll tell you it’s the most balanced, most versatile, most complete machine there is.’
Prices vary wildly, with individual histories being critical to a car’s value, and that makes detailed research of a car’s past key. Smith believes it doesn’t matter whether it’s in 2.8- or 3.0-litre form, but he does offer one caveat. ‘They went on to evolve in many forms, but for me it’d have to be a naturally aspirated example. Owning an RSR gains you entry to the world’s most prestigious concours events, as well as every historic race and rally of importance for its era. Nothing could be better than competing in the Tour Auto in an RSR. While on the road most people will
>Lamborghini Countach LP400 TIPPED BY EMANUELE COLLO
Just like the Porsche 2.7 RS, LP400 prices went up a lot and have now come down a bit. ‘It’s your opportunity to buy one of the all-time supercar icons at a price that, in the long term, can be considered “cheap”,’ states Emanuele Collo. ‘The last one at auction made approximately £700k, but I know of others that have sold privately for significantly more – that’s a big discount, and in a considerably short period.’
Avoid bad restorations, while checking for rust and accidents as well. ‘A few LP400S were updated to a later specification and then reconverted to early spec when prices went up. Watch out for those cars, and if you do come across one then check exactly how the process was carried out.’
For Collo it’s the LP400’S purity of line that sets it out as the one to have. ‘To me it’s the Seventies supercar and that Bertonestyled body remains absolutely fantastic to look at. The early cars are also the ones that drive best, thanks to the narrower – certainly compared to the later Anniversary models and their like – tyres. For me, either you buy an early Countach, or you don’t. Compared to the Miura it’s cheap, and in terms of Lamborghini history it is almost as important. If you talk to Lamborghini people that worked in the factory, it’s the Countach and Marzal, much more than the Muira, that are the “real things” and changed perceptions of Lamborghini.’
‘Most people will think it’s a replica – but you’ll be driving it, so who cares’
‘The very best examples of almost any model have seen big increases – but you should buy what you like, and particularly what you like driving’
All our experts agree that, although it’s smart to choose cars that will look after you financially, you should buy what you like and particularly what you like driving. With that in mind, our six ‘class winners’ – and indeed this year’s entire Hot 30 – was chosen by them to reflect just that.
The Fiat 124 Spider reminds us that an exquisite classic roadster experience can be had for a fairly small outlay, while up in the land of Maserati, Ferrari and Aston Martin, cars that appeared ferociously expensive several years ago can now be viewed as relative bargains when compared to their peak prices.
Which would I snap up? It’d be a Fiat 1224 Spider and BMW M635CSI combo, or if the lottery came in, Fiat and Ferrari 550 Maranello. Either pairing ticks all my boxes. The good news is that it’s now a buyer’s market. ‘That’s definitely the case, unless you have something different or keenly priced,’ says Emanuele Collo. ‘For some cars, you’ll always find 25 or so examples for sale, and their owners need to be pragmatic.’
The classic car world also remains decidedly buoyant. ‘The whole industry is getting bigger,’ says Will Smith. ‘I’m seeing more and more first-timers coming to auctions, wanting to own a classic car and experience the lifestyle that goes along with that.’
Money of course will always remain a factor, so a final piece of buying advice comes from John Mayhead. ‘The Hagerty Price trends have shown that the biggest value increases in the last year have come from the very best examples of almost any model.’ So happy hunting, and choose carefully out there.
think it’s a replica – but you’ll be driving it, so who cares. RSRS are always, always going to be sought after.’
Only 64 Mclaren F1 road cars were made – but more people have the desire and means to own one, which will always keep upward pressure on prices
Once you whittle down a buoyant market to 30 financially sensible prospects, subjectivity takes over – and Ross would pair the Fiat 124 Spider’s frolicky thrills with the horizon-reeling abilities of either the BMW M635CSI or Ferrari 550 Maranello