HEDG­ING FU­TURES

Daryl Lee se­lects some new un­der-the-radar cars you can buy to­day that have the po­ten­tial to be auc­tion stars in the near fu­ture.

Robb Report (Malaysia) - - Money & In­vest­ments -

In the past cou­ple of years, prices of clas­sic cars, and even mod­ern clas­sics have gone through the prover­bial roof. While most of these trans­ac­tions took place be­tween pri­vate sell­ers and buy­ers, 2017 also saw some big sales at auc­tion.

A quick search will throw up cars like 993-gen­er­a­tion Porsche 911 GT2 that sold for £1.8 mil­lion (S$3.3 mil­lion). While that Porsche is from some two decades ago, even more mod­ern ex­am­ples can switch hands for sev­eral times the price they were bought for. A Lamborghini Reven­ton Coupe went for US$1.3 mil­lion (S$ 1.7 mil­lion), a Fer­rari SA Aperta for US$1.49 mil­lion and de­spite pro­duc­tion not hav­ing started yet, a La­fer­rari Aperta was sold for US$10 mil­lion.

Those cars are out of reach to most sim­ply be­cause they rarely come up for sale. In light of that, I have se­lected some rel­a­tively eas­ily at­tain­able (non- lim­ited pro­duc­tion), un­der-the-radar cars that may well be­come the stars of a Peb­ble Beach Con­cours d’el­e­gance in 2038.

CAs­ton Martin V12 Van­tage

an you get past the wonky Ford-era switchgear and the clunky sin­gle-clutch au­to­mated man­ual gear­box? It’s a fair bit to ask, but I can as­sure you, the big­gest en­gine As­ton Martin makes lurk­ing in the small­est car it pro­duces is well worth the price of ad­mis­sion. Its nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 5.9-litre V12 de­vel­ops a ti­tanic 565bhp and is com­plete overkill for a car that’s just shy of 4.4m long. You only have to pop its bon­net to see how lu­di­crous a car the V12 Van­tage is. The mo­tor dom­i­nates the en­gine bay, with hardly any wasted space, and I can only imag­ine work­ing on it is a me­chanic’s worst night­mare. While its myr­iad idio­syn­cra­sies are the se­cret to its charm, they are com­pletely un­nec­es­sary (from a busi­ness stand­point) and an ex­er­cise in sheer ex­cess. Adding to its, shall we say, niche ap­peal is how that mighty V12 pow­er­plant is no longer in pro­duc­tion, and if my crys­tal ball is right, will never be made again. global.as­ton­martin.com

IBMW 1 Se­ries M Coupe

must con­fess to not be­ing too en­am­oured of the 1 Se­ries M Coupe when it made its de­but. Not only was it sad­dled with a clunky name, it was a parts bin spe­cial of the high­est or­der. It used a three-litre tur­bocharged en­gine from a Z4 sdrive35 and most of the run­ning gear from the M3 of the day. Even more shock­ing was its twitchy han­dling ow­ing to the short wheel­base and brutish, low-end punch of the en­gine, mak­ing it feel like a blunt in­stru­ment, as op­posed to the scalpel pre­ci­sion so typ­i­cal of M cars. Well, it did at least come with a six-speed man­ual gear­box, the only trans­mis­sion choice on of­fer, which did ap­pease the purist in me some­what. That, and how it was made in ex­tremely small num­bers. Ex­act fig­ures are dif­fi­cult to ver­ify, but as pro­duc­tion lasted for just 15 months, ex­pect pro­duc­tion num­bers to be cor­re­spond­ingly tiny.

The mar­ket for the red­hot Latin fire­brands from Maranello is red-hot right now, and con­se­quently, prices are un­re­al­is­tic, to put it char­i­ta­bly.

But fear not, be­cause there are plenty of good ex­am­ples of the Fer­rari 458 Italia, to be had for very rea­son­able prices on the used car mar­ket.

Don’t let its rel­a­tive lack of rar­ity fool you, how­ever, be­cause the 458 is ar­guably the finest mi­dengined Fer­rari of the mod­ern era.

Af­ter the beauty and bril­liance of the 355, Maranello had the ut­terly for­get­table 360 and 430, though Fer­rari fi­nally got it right with the 458.

How­ever, I didn’t think so at the time, mostly down to the 458’ s slitty, vet­i­cally- ori­ented head­lights, triple tailpipes and the con­trol stalks func­tions (sig­nals, wipers) re­lo­cated to the steer­ing wheel.

But where it counts, the 458 de­fies be­lief. Its seat­ing po­si­tion is per­fect, with great all-round vis­i­bil­ity and its steer­ing fin­ger­tip­light, yet laser ac­cu­rate.

And the best part? It feels as good be­ing driven at 30km/hr and at 300km/hr, the truest mark of a great car. auto.fer­rari.com

There was, un­der­stand­ably, high hopes when Mclaren an­nounced the MP4- 12C, a car that would later have its name short­ened to 12C. It was, af­ter all, the first “true” Mclaren road car since the le­gendary F1 was launched some two decades prior (no, the SLR doesn’t count, since it was a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Mercedes- Benz). Those hopes fiz­zled a lit­tle when early testers de­clared it in­cred­i­bly com­posed but a lit­tle too clin­i­cal, and early pro­duc­tion mod­els were plagued by elec­tron­ics grem­lins. Mclaren, to its credit, did sort those is­sues out, adding a more char­ac­ter­ful tone to the 592bhp 3.8-litre twin­turbo V8 and made sure the sat- nav, when it felt like work­ing, didn’t lead you to Tim­buktu. All the bet­ter to let its bril­liant chas­sis shine. Built around a car­bon fi­bre tub, the 12C was re­mark­ably stiff, with rock solid con­trol and yet – this is the best part – still re­mained ex­tremely com­fort­able enough for daily use. It’s ev­ery iota the ev­ery­day su­per­car, a con­cept the Porsche 911 Turbo pi­o­neered in the late 1970s. And hav­ing been pro­duced for only three short years be­fore be­ing su­per­seded by the odd­look­ing 650S, its rar­ity down the road is as­sured. cars. mclaren.com

If the SLS doesn’t fetch huge prices at auc­tion in the years to come, I’m go­ing to eat my hat. Let’s go over the ways – it’s the first car to be de­vel­oped en­tirely in-house by AMG on its first alu­minium chas­sis, those dra­matic gull­wing doors and what would later turn out to be the last out­ing of the car­maker’s epic 6.2-litre nat­u­rally as­pi­rated V8.

Mercedes-benz SLS AMG

Yes, its in­te­rior may not be much to write home about, given how it’s a smat­ter­ing of bits from the Daim­ler Group’s ex­pan­sive parts bin, but I con­tend if you’re star­ing too hard at the cen­tre con­sole, you’re do­ing it wrong.

Its en­gine is just divine, blessed with sledge­ham­mer per­for­mance and it has a throaty sound­track that could bring tears to the eyes of an­gels. Pro­duc­tion lasted from 2010 to 2014.

When you con­sider how its suc­ces­sor, the Mercedes-amg GT was not a patch on the SLS, you will see how it’s shap­ing up to be a fu­ture win­ner. Prices for the SLS are now ex­tremely rea­son­able too, so get your­self one be­fore prices in­evitably go through the roof. www. mercedes- amg.com Δ

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