Jim Jaeger's 1962 Ferrari 330 LM at Amelia Island
Aspiring car collectors take heed, as we have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that collector cars can be legitimate investments, but the bad news is that the Cosworth Vega or original Mazda RX-7 parked in your driveway doesn’t fall into the serious collector-car investment category.
As with racing, making money in the collector car hobby generally requires you to start with a large sum of money. Ferrari GTOs, like the 1962 Ferrari 330 LM / GTO seen above
, command truly staggering prices at auction, with historically significant cars selling for as much as $30 million.
If that’s too rich for your bank account, Autoweek
says that the Shelby Daytona Cobra coupe
also makes a worthy investment. Designed to compete against the Ferrari GTOs, only six were built, and all six survive today. That exclusive pedigree puts current prices in the $10 million range, with original drivetrain cars worth more than restored examples.
If you’re looking to go further down market, consider a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing
, which is considered a required purchase for any serious car collection. Prices vary widely based on a car’s rarity and history, but one alloy-bodied example recently sold for $3.5 million.
The financial advice was delivered by a panel of experts at the recent Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. While there is no such thing as a sure automotive investment, certain automobiles have gained more value in recent years than Apple stock. The Ferrari GTO, for example, has appreciated by 100-percent over the past five years.
In general, cars with global appeal and documented racing histories do well, especially if they were built in limited quantities. An original Mazda Miata
might meet the first two criteria, but the sheer number built means that the car isn’t likely to be worth serious money in the future.
Perhaps the best advice delivered by the Amelia Island panel was this: buy any collector car for enjoyment first, and consider any appreciation in value as an added benefit. Other investments may be safer, but in the words of McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty Insurance, “you can’t take your stock portfolio out for a nice weekend cruise.”