Buying a classic car can be a good investment – in some cases it offers better returns over the long term than art, property, and even gold.
However, the financial gain depends on the selection of the right model, which has the potential to increase in value.
Fortunately, there’s now a new annual market update to let the petrol heads know which cars have a ton of predicted future demand.
It’s called the Bull Market Report, and it’s a list compiled by classic car coffins and insurance experts at Hagerty. The company has been reporting for the US market since 2017, but has – for the first time this year – compiled a list of future four-wheeled winners in the UK.
Here are the top 10 cars Hagerty identified as ripe for appreciation from 2021. The value information is based on models in “excellent” condition – examples that are almost entirely original, have excellent mechanical shape, and have excellent paintwork.
1. Aston Martin DB7
2020 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 31,580
2019 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 37,680
12-month change in value: – £ 6,100 (-16.2%)
For those looking for the best mix of skill and value, a nice, clean Aston Martin DB7 Vantage is probably the best of the range, say Hagerty experts
The average Hagerty Price Guide value for average DB7 in “Excellent” condition has decreased from £ 37,680 in 2019 to £ 31,580 today
Volante versions of the DB7 are elegant, but wobble more than the coupe.
2002 Aston Martin DB7 Vantage specifications
Engine: V12, 5935 cc
Transmission: 5-speed automatic, RWD
Power: 435 hp at 6000 rpm
Weight: 1875 kg
The ultimate DB7 (aside from the limited edition Zagatos) was the discontinued GT model, which has been optimized in almost every area from engine performance to chassis tuning, but is rare and expensive.
For those looking for the best mix of skill and value, a nice, clean Vantage is probably best of all.
It may seem strange to start with a car that has depreciated in value over the past 12 months: The Hagerty Price Guide’s average “excellent” value across the DB7 range has dropped from £ 37,680 in 2019 to £ 31,580 today.
But it’s an Aston Martin, and as we know, that company’s fortunes rise and fall like waves on a particularly choppy sea. Surely Aston Martin will jump back and – as so often in the past – a certain secret agent can help.
With increasing age and increasing kilometers of cars, well-preserved examples should be in greater demand. Prior to this year the values were relatively stable at around £ 37,000. Now maybe the time to buy while prices are low.
2. Ferrari 328
2020 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 80,650
2019 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 82,300
12-month change in value: – £ 1,650 (-2%)
The 328 is considered to be one of the last true analog Ferraris. For this reason alone, experts in the collector’s car field have called it one that will definitely increase in value
Only 130 RHD models of the 328 were made, so they are a rare beast in the UK. Prices have fallen over the past year but have now flattened out
The beautiful 1980s Ferrari is surprisingly rare in the UK with only 130 right-hand drive models sold.
Given the car’s 267 horsepower at 7,000 rpm, you can poke fun at the thought of a Ferrari that offers no more power than a modern hot hatch – especially when the legacy of the 328, the F8 Tributo, offers over 700 horsepower supplies its rear wheels.
1988 Ferrari 328 GTS specifications
Engine: V8, 3185 cc
Transmission: 5-speed manual transmission, RWD
Power: 267 hp at 7000 rpm
Weight: 1325 kg
Keep in mind, however, that the 328 is a sports car that dates back to the analog age before computer models, aluminum or carbon structures, carbon-ceramic brakes, anti-lock brakes (except the last one in production), and electronic stability brakes were used.
It is considered one of the last true analog Ferraris that will help bring future values to the point.
Ferrari 328 values soared in the first half of the 2010s: Haggery’s peak value for the car was around £ 30,000 in 2012, but by 2016 the “excellent” condition value peaked at just over £ 100,000.
It has decreased annually since then as the feeding frenzy for more modern classic Ferraris subsided. So why buy now?
Well, from 2016 to 2019 the levels dropped to around 11 percent per year, but last year that level dropped to just 2 percent.
It has all the hallmarks of a successful classic: a legendary manufacturer, a rarity, and the 1980s look that is so appealing to Generation X buyers.
3. Ford Focus (Mk1)
2020 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 1,400
2019 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 1,300
12-month change in value: + £ 100 (+ 7.7%)
According to Hagerty, collectors shouldn’t overlook the extraordinary sedans, station wagons, and hatchbacks of the modern era – and that includes the humble first-generation Ford Focus
The focus values are currently low. Even a class rated “Excellent” can be bought for around £ 1,400, fair for a lot less
According to Hagerty, collectors shouldn’t overlook the extraordinary salons, estates, and hatchbacks that brought people to their offices, took children to school, and transported families on vacation – and in some cases, millions.
2003 Ford Focus 1.6i 16v Zetec specs
Engine: 4-cylinder, 1596 cc
Transmission: 5-speed manual transmission, FWD
Power: 98 hp at 6000 rpm
Weight: 1171 kg
That includes the humble Ford Focus.
Although hundreds of thousands have been sold in the UK, really beautiful specimens that have been well cared for and show no signs of rust or neglect require significantly more dedication to find them.
But hold on – and not just because it’s so good value for money.
This is the car from a time when Ford was returning to the top of its game. In one of the most competitive industries, the focus is on a case study of corporate wake-up calls.
The focus scores are low: even an “excellent” example can be bought for around £ 1,400, fair ones for a lot less.
Experts say that this is a very small chunk of automotive history and could even qualify you for entry to the Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional 2021 – also known as the Concours De l’Ordinaire.
4. Jaguar Mark II
2020 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 27,700
2019 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 21,700
12-month change in value: + £ 6,000 (+ 27.6%)
The temptation is to do the best: an early Jaguar MkII 3.8 liter car with a manual overdrive gearbox. But the 3.4-liter is the one that Hagerty marks as the first choice
With the Jaguar E-Type, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2021, it will undoubtedly pay special attention to the brand in the next year. And the MkII could really benefit from the additional demand
The Jaguar Mk II was arguably the car that should have been its predecessor.
1967 Jaguar Mark II specifications
Engine: Straight 6 cylinder, 3442cc
Transmission: 3-speed automatic, RWD
Power: 210 hp at 5500 rpm
Weight: 1499 kg
While it was actually just a major facelift of the Mark I (originally referred to as the Jaguar 2.4L and 3.4L), it featured a larger glass house, new grille, and modern interior design, but it continued the potential of the design free and turned it into a humble success into a sensation.
The temptation is to give the best: an early 3.8 liter car with a manual overdrive transmission – and there is no question that all other things they must have are the same. But the 3.4-liter is the one Hagerty makes a first choice if you enjoy ownership and want to increase competitive value.
The Jaguar Mark II undoubtedly has a classic cult status: it has been collected and appreciated since the day it was first sold.
However, the values have been relatively constant in recent years and did not fluctuate as much as with its prettier sibling, the E-Type.
The values have already risen by almost a third this year, but Hagerty believes that the Mark II still has growth potential. With the 60th birthday of the E-Type in 2021, attention will be drawn to the brand. If you want a good Mark II, now may be the time to buy it.
5. Land Rover Discovery (Series 1)
2020 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 9,800
2019 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 8,500
12-month change in value: + £ 1300 (+ 15.3%)
The values of classic Range Rovers in two- and four-door configurations have skyrocketed over the past five years, and Hagerty says it is time the Series I Land Rover Discovery followed suit
Hagty’s target price for “excellent” condition is £ 9,800 – but it is said that this is likely to be revised upwards soon
The original Discovery is much more than just a cheap classic Land Rover.
1991 Land Rover Discovery I specifications
Engine: V8, 3532 cc
Transmission: 5-speed manual transmission, 4WD
Power: 150 hp at 4750 rpm
Weight: 1.925 kg
The Discovery was a very different proposition than the Defender when it arrived in the late 1990s – and even the Range Rover, with which it shared a chassis, all-wheel drive system, and doors.
It was supposed to be more affordable and useful than the Rangie, but it was way ahead of the agricultural defender in terms of comfort and road manners.
Many see it as the lucky medium in the Land Rover lineup. And if they’re well cared for with few signs of rust, they can handle high mileage.
The values of classic Range Rovers in two- and four-door configurations have skyrocketed over the past five years, and Hagerty says it is time the Series I Land Rover Discovery followed suit.
Until recently, even the best could be bought for a few thousand, but in the past few months exceptional examples have done a lot more: Classic Cart Auctions sold one for £ 12,320 in June.
Hagty’s target price for “excellent” condition is £ 9,800 – but it is said that this is likely to be revised upwards soon.
How Hagerty selects its first-class classic cars
The Hagerty Bull Market List is an annual compilation of vintage and vintage cars designed to provide the owner with a comfortable driving experience while predicting which makes and models could be bought without fear of losing money.
However, the list is not tailored for investors.
Instead, it is aimed at people who want to find, buy, and drive a vehicle they love.
To produce the report, Hagerty analyzed both market valuation data and insurance offers and policies, looking for indicators that could suggest that a car is increasing in value and becoming increasingly popular with drivers.
The UK Hagerty Price Guide also tracks auction sales and private sales results to ensure drivers are fully informed of the value of a classic or modern classic.
A fundamental difference to the Hagerty Bull Market is that experts for classic vehicles look back on the selection from the previous year and compare the forecast values of the cars with the actual values a year later.
These values are based on vehicles that are in “excellent” condition – which is well-maintained vehicles that are in their original order – but not necessarily on vehicles that are in a Concours condition that is are flawless examples with extremely low mileage.
Previously, the humble Toyota MR2 – one of the cheapest cars – was the top performer in the US, growing by an average of 30 percent. From the 2018 list, it was the BMW M3 that saw an average increase of 20 percent.
For the first Hagerty UK Bull Market List 2021, the selection of cars highlighted by Hagerty is wide and varied, which means there should be a car to suit most tastes.
John Mayhead, Head of Hagerty UK Valuations said, “The Hagerty valuation team tracks many thousands of cars each year, but these are really great.
‘It’s a wonderfully diverse list that has cars that are accessible to many enthusiasts.
“While changes in the value of a classic car are a long way off for enthusiasts, these cars may offer the opportunity to offset some of their running costs as they increase in value as predicted.”
6. Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
2020 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 166,500
2019 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 167,000
12-month change in value: – £ 500 (-0.2%)
According to Hagerty, the SLS AMG is a strikingly beautiful ship for an extraordinary 6.2 liter V8 engine with one of the best engine soundtracks you have ever seen
Starting in September, the offer prices have risen: the convertible by 2.3 percent and the coupe by 2.5 percent
The SLS marked the beginning of AMG’s development from a specification to an independent Mercedes sub-brand.
2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series specifications
Engine: V8, 6208cc
Transmission: 7-speed double clutch automatic, RWD
Power: 622 hp at 8000 rpm
Weight: 1550 kg
The 6.2-liter V8 with 563 hp, which was completely developed by Mercedes, is considered to be the most powerful naturally aspirated engine in production at the time.
According to Hagerty, the SLS AMG is a “strikingly beautiful ship for this extraordinary V8 engine”.
When the battery power takes over and we look back on the most beautiful moments of combustion, this will be one of them. Especially when we switch to almost silent cars, which is a stark contrast to the SLS’s epic soundtrack.
As with most modern performance cars, the values tend to go down initially, and according to statistics from Auto Trader, the quoted prices for both body styles fell every month until recently compared to 12 months earlier.
As of September 2020, however, the asking prices have risen: the convertible by 2.3 percent and the coupé by 2.5 percent.
Values range from around £ 100,000 up to £ 600,000 for the rare Black Series. As Mercedes prepares for the era of electrification, the SLS could be a “gasoline-era flood brand,” the panel of experts said.
7. Mini Cooper
2020 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 24,100
2019 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 24,100
12-month change in value: No change
The Mini Cooper celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2021, which is likely to have an impact on the values of this popular classic
The values of all variants of the Mark I Austin / Morris Mini Cooper have risen in recent years, but have stabilized over the past 12 months, according to the new Hagerty Bull Market report
John Cooper would have had a lot of thoughts when he tried to convince a deeply skeptical Alec Issigonis that his still new Mini could be as successful on the rally stage and on the racetrack as bringing customers into showrooms.
1961 Mini Cooper specifications
Engine: 4-cylinder, 997 cc
Transmission: 4-speed manual transmission, FWD
Power: 55 hp at 6000 rpm
Weight: 584 kg
But starting a relationship that would remain key to the Mini-Offering nearly 60 years later probably wasn’t one of them.
Issigonis resisted, but his bosses at BMC could see that a warmed-up Mini bearing the name of the current Formula 1 world champion would be a powerful force in the showroom.
And so began in 1961 the decade-long history of the original Mini Cooper, which went through three generations of Mini, five different engines, Standard and S versions until the car was made into a movie star, a fashion accessory and a competitive spirit – child with three rally Monte Carlo wins the highlights of its success in motorsport.
The values of all variants of the Mark I Austin / Morris Mini Cooper have risen in recent years, but Hagerty believes they have the potential to rise again in 2021 thanks to the car celebrating its 60th birthday.
The first 997cc model seems a bit underrated given the prices for its later bigger engine brothers.
With just 1,000 copies, the early Mark I Mini Cooper 997 is a very collectable classic.
8. Porsche 944 S2
2020 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 17,550
2019 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 16,650
12-month change in value: + £ 900 (+ 5.4%)
Like all the best sports cars, the Porsche 944 was forged in motorsport. However, it has taken a while for collectors to appreciate a non-911 Porsche. Until now…
Hagty’s choice is the naturally aspirated S2. The 3.0-liter S2 is more drivable than the turbo, but has only 10 hp less and increased in value for a short time in 2016
Like all the best sports cars, the Porsche 944 was forged in motorsport.
1991 Porsche 944 S2 specifications
Engine: 4-cylinder, 2990 cc
Transmission: 5-speed manual transmission, RWD
Power: 208 hp at 5800 rpm
Weight: 1310 kg
It is a further development of the 924, but with a more powerful 2.5-liter in-line four-cylinder, which first competed in the 1981 24 Hours of Le Mans in the form of the 924 GTP LM endurance racing driver. It finished seventh overall and won its class.
By 1982 the street version shown here was brought onto the market with a weakened version of the same engine.
There are currently only a few thousand examples, which are often considered new people’s classics.
Hagty’s choice is the naturally aspirated S2. The 3.0-liter S2 is more drivable than the turbo, but has only 10 hp less and increased in value for a short time in 2016. After a quick correction, it has steadily gained in value since then.
Now enthusiasts see the best examples that are selling more than the top Hagerty price guides: safe sign values are always moving. The classic car insurer says its average appraisal will rise from £ 17,550.
9. Renault 5 GT Turbo
2020 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 12,900
2019 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 9,300
12-month change in value: + £ 3,600 (+ 38.7%)
With hot hatches from the 1980s quickly becoming the modern classic cars, there is plenty to choose from. But the Renault 5 GT Turbo is often overlooked
With the looks of the Renault 5, arches on display and 115hp on tap, its current value is £ 12,900. It’s been estimated in the past 12 months
The history of this Renault 5 began in 1980 at the height of the most exciting and dangerous rally era.
1990 Renault 5 GT Turbo specifications
Engine: 4-Cyclinder, 1397 cc, with turbocharger
Transmission: 5-speed manual transmission, FWD
Power: 120 hp at 5750 rpm
Weight: 853 kg
The original 5 Turbo was a box-shaped, ventilated monster and had its 1.4 liter engine mounted behind the driver where it sent 158 horsepower to the rear wheels. Rally cars like the one in which Jean Ragnotti won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1981 produced more than double that.
When the rally changed forever with the arrival of Group B in 1982, Renault took the more conventional approach of adding a Garrett turbocharger to its front-engined, front-wheel drive Renault 5 road car.
With hot hatches of this generation that are currently becoming the modern classic cars, there is plenty to choose from.
The values of popular models – notably the Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk I, the Peugeot 205 GTI, and the Ford Escort XR3i – have increased, but the Renault 5 GT Turbo is still relatively readily available.
With the looks of the Renault 5, arches on display, and 115 horsepower on tap, its current value of £ 12,900, although significantly higher than 12 months ago, still looks like it has significant climbing potential.
10, Toyota MR2 (Mk3)
2020 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 4,100
2019 ‘excellent’ condition value: £ 3,650
12-month change in value: + £ 450 (12.3%)
According to Hagerty, the third-generation Toyota MR2 is a cheaper weekend toy than a Mazda MX-5 or Porsche Boxster in just about every way
Hagerty Price Guide’s “excellent” condition valued us at just £ 4,100. The classic car coffins say the roadster from Japan is undervalued at these prices
Hagerty pundits are puzzled as to why the latest Toyota MR2 has not gained greater respect in the auto enthusiast community.
2006 Toyota MR2 specifications
Engine: 4-cylinder, 1794 cc
Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission, RWD
Power: 138 hp at 5750 rpm
Weight: 1,030 kg
Also known by the code name W30, it has a mid-engine, high speed, rear wheel drive, light weight, and is inexpensive to buy and operate.
In short, it’s a cheaper weekend toy than a Mazda MX-5 or a Porsche Boxster in just about every way.
Perhaps the only thing the third generation MR2 struggles to deliver is a useful amount of storage space. Provided you can stash enough of your belongings in the cubes behind the sleek but supportive seats for a happy weekend away, it makes one of the most rewarding chassis for remarkably little money.
Even a rare undisturbed example with the six-speed gearbox will only get you a few thousand pounds back.
Not only does it have Toyota’s rugged mechanics, but it also has leather or Alcantara options that make the interior a bad place to be.
Hagerty Price Guide’s “excellent” condition valued us at just £ 4,100. The classic car coffins say the roadster from Japan is undervalued at these prices.
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