Investment vehicles may not always deliver results
At least with valuable cars you can still enjoy driving them
Electronic Vehicles (EVs) may be the future for road transport in this era of climate emergency but there are thousands of loyal petrolheads who yearn to own a classic car. Perhaps inspired by the 1959 Jaguar Mark Two driven through an idealised Oxford by Inspector Morse.
Are they a realistic investment proposition though and can you make a profit? Possibly, but most people who are collectors in this field are the buy-and-hold types.
In this they resemble art collectors who love to see amazing objects d’art in their private space and only part with them on death because they can’t take them with them.
It’s possible for a skilled mechanic or engineer who has a garage equipped with metal cutting and turning equipment to buy a decrepit gem or two at an auction, then lovingly restore one to its former glory over the course of a year … or three.
That’s not quite the same thing as already being in possession of the equivalent of your own car showroom and parking your latest classic acquisition alongside your other five or six showpiece vehicles.
Such a scenario, of course, is way outside the territory most of us occupy and is best left to multi-millionaires. And who cares if they make a profit or not?
Stepping down to a more modest level, there is plenty of demand for a whole range of elderly cars that our grandparents would have regarded as commonplace. Old Volkswagens, for example, are in fair demand.
A national newspaper noted not so long ago that Google searches for elderly Porche 911s run at around 60,000 a month – even though Porche produced its 1,000,000th model back in 2017.
Buy one of these, polish it back up to a high gloss and you could make a few thousand if you can bear to part with it.
Does that make it an investment asset class? Probably not. For that, you must look at classic cars whose starting price is in the region of six to seven figures.
This is where you find the more obscure, elderly brands, such as the Hispano-Suiza, along with well-known high-end brands such as Rolls-Royce, Jaguar and Bentley.
As a fun fact, the most expensive Bentley ever sold was a 1932 “Blower”, which fetched just over $7 million at an auction in 2012.