Experts predict classic cars are set to rise in value in the near future, potentially making them a good investment. The prices of certain collectible models are likely to soar, according to the Bull Market report.
The annual market update is compiled by Hagerty UK’s classic car boffins, who are experts in their field. It’s powered by data collected for the Hagerty Price Guide, based on thousands of insurance policies and quotes to spot trends in the enthusiasts’ used car market.
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While recognised classic cars, such as Bentleys and Mercedes-Benz, feature prominently in the list, you may be surprised to learn less costly vehicles, such as the Ford Fiesta Mk1, could increase significantly in value.
We’ve compiled a list of five classic cars which experts think have the potential to rise in value. Read on to find out if you could be sitting on a nice nest egg!
1. Ford Fiesta Mk1
News that Ford intends on discontinuing the Fiesta from June 2023 appears to have made existing models more collectible. After Ford announced production of the evergreen small car was to end, prices started creeping up on the used car market, especially for the Mk1 model.
Produced between 1977 and 1983, the first generation basic model was available new for £1,856 when first released. In the late 20th century, before the model was old enough to be collectible, you could pick up a second-hand one for a couple of hundred pounds.
As the early models became rarer, the price started to increase. During the 2010s, the average price of the Fiesta 1.1 Popular Plus was £3,625. Today, it has risen by 19% to £4,325. Experts predict the price will rise rapidly now it’s public knowledge that production is to cease in a couple of months.
Rarer models, such as the 1981 Ford Fiesta Mk1 Bravo special edition, fetch even higher prices. In January 2023, the BBC Top Gear website reported this model could fetch as much as £8,000 at auction.
2. Citroen BX
The Citroen BX was manufactured between 1982 and 1994 and competed with the Ford Sierra to attract families looking for a large and reasonably priced car. Launched under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, more than 2.3 million of the French cars were sold during the 12 years it was produced.
The 1.4-litre basic car arrived in the UK around a year after it was launched in France. It had a seventies-style square shape, in complete contrast to its British rival, which featured sleek, smooth lines by the ’80s.
The BX wasn’t an immediate success in Britain, although a facelift in 1986 made it more appealing, especially the GTi and turbodiesel variants.
The average price of a BX today is around £2,125, but the Bull Market report expects this to rise more quickly in the near future. High-profile auctions are pushing the prices higher, such as the sale of the ultra-rare 1987 Group B BX 4 TC that sold for £66,800 at an Artcurial auction in July 2022.
3. Triumph Spitfire
The Triumph Spitfire was in production from 1962 until 1980. It is one of the few 1960s British sports cars that has remained constantly popular. Spare parts are readily available to keep enthusiasts’ cherished cars on the road.
When the model was launched, it was mass-produced and wasn’t too costly. Spitfire prices have increased by 27% over the past two years alone. The early cars in good condition fetch the best prices at auction, selling for around £28,000, according to Hagerty’s guide.
The two-seater roadster is one of the most popular classic cars still on the road. Baby Boomers account for 47% of today’s Triumph Spitfire owners. This is the biggest single group of classic car owners across all models, according to Hagerty.
The experts say it’s a “stable investment”, with the Triumph sports car still providing a great driving experience, despite being 60 years old. It is relatively simple and cheap to maintain, so classic car collectors believe the next generation of owners will find it equally appealing.
4. Bentley Turbo R
The Bentley Turbo R was launched in 1985, following the high-end car manufacturer’s decades-long battle against its nearest rival, Rolls-Royce. Bentley adopted a new strategy by turbocharging its 6.75-litre V8 engine to improve its performance.
Speed tests of the Bentley Turbo R limousine in 1987 revealed it could go from 0-60mph in seven seconds, with a top speed of 143mph. No other car could touch it at the time and it became a popular executive luxury car.
Production ended in 1997 and the value has been creeping up ever since. They are one of the newer classic cars. The average price at auction is £15,400. The highest price to date was £16,800 during a period the experts described as a “post-Covid spending spree”.
There are signs the market is picking up, as there were 44 sold at auction in 2021 and 57 in 2022, showing a growing demand for this turbocharged limo.
5. Mercedes-Benz SL500 R129
Produced between 1989 and 2001, the Mercedes-Benz SL500 R129 is an iconic car, with a design that dates back to the 1950s. The modern R129 generation was one of the coolest cars of the 1990s. They were a favourite among smart-suited businessmen, who would have a brick-sized mobile phone on the dashboard for further prestige!
The V8-powered SL500 engine was cheaper to run than the V12, which is probably why the SL500 R129 is regaining popularity and becoming a classic car today. Hagerty estimates the model will increase in value by around 20% over the next two years.
Because it was produced until the early 21st century, there’s still a plentiful supply, but as it becomes rarer, the value will increase. With an attractive mix of old-school styling and relatively modern ergonomics, they’re comfortable even on longer road trips.
In 2021, the average price was £14,550. This has now increased by 20% to £17,475 and a similar increase is predicted by 2025.
If you’re a petrolhead who’s enjoying driving your classic car round, rather than hiding it in storage, you could be sitting on quite a lot of cash.
In today’s troubled economic climate, some owners are considering taking out a logbook loan secured against their vintage car – it will remain in your care and you can carry on driving and admiring your classic vehicle while paying off the loan. This could be a useful solution for people who are struggling to borrow money from a traditional lender, such as the bank.
Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyhelper.org.uk.