31 July 2014

Future Collectors: Five cars to buy now

Most 5- to 10-year-old cars are just used cars, destined to head steadily to the bottom of their depreciation curve as an intermediate stop on the way to their ultimate destination— the local pick-and-pull lot. Here are five used cars that might follow a different path — appreciation and a cushy spot in the Garage Mahal of a collector:

  1. 2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP coupe: Pontiac’s demise during GM’s bankruptcy was a sad story, and the loss of this fantastic sports car made it all the more bitter. The Solstice roadster was an attractive car that suffered from terminal packaging problems. The Solstice coupe was drop-dead gorgeous and far more practical. Just 1,200 were built before GM did the equivalent of burning, pillaging and sowing salt in the field—they killed Pontiac, offed the Solstice and closed the Delaware plant in which it was built. Used coupes with normal miles have barely depreciated and low mileage cars are already appreciating.

    [Related Article: Top 5 Coolest Cars At The 2014 New York Auto Show]

  2. 2006 Chrysler Crossfire SRT6: The 2006 Crossfire SRT6 is undoubtedly the greatest lovechild of the affair between Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz in the early 2000s. While the standard Crossfire coupe and convertible where offered from 2004-2008, the SRT6 was only available in showrooms in 2005, and as a factory special order in 2006. This Chrysler/Benz mashup was essentially a Mercedes-Benz SLK32 AMG redressed as a hardtop coupe with breakneck performance, featuring a handcrafted AMG supercharged V-6 laying down 330 hp to the rear wheels. Hindsight is always 20/20, and the only regrettable decision in development of the car was to only offer the AMG signature automatic transmission, making it the only model in the Crossfire lineup not offered with a 5-speed manual. Fewer than 1,500 were produced, making this model quite rare.

  3. 2005-2011 Lotus Elise: While the Lotus Elise’s last model year technically was 2011, they still are being produced as a stop-gap model until the 3rd generation model is released. Unfortunately, the Elise lost its smart airbag exemption stateside, meaning that the only Lotus available in North America is the all-too-luxurious Evora — it even has air-conditioning and power steering as standard equipment. On a Lotus! For those who still want to enjoy the ever-so-Spartan Elise, consider looking to the used car market. However, buyers might want to be wary of HPDE and track cars, as these have probably seen quite a bit of abuse — Elises with salvage titles are prevalent.

  4. 1999-2009 Honda S2000: Possibly the best enthusiast car produced under the Honda badge in the past decade, the S2000 served as a fitting tribute to the S-series roadsters of the 1960s. With its aggressive styling, a high-revving 4-cylinder engine producing 237 hp, an ultra-low center of gravity, and 50/50 weight distribution, an unmolested S2000 is bound to be a future collector car. However, due to the affordability of the S2000, many have suffered a cruel and all-too-usual punishment at the hands of the “Fast and Furious” generation. Serious collectors should look for the rarer Club Racer model, which saw limited production in 2007 only.

    [Related Article: Boomer vs. Gen Xer Cars]

  5. 2012/2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302: This special edition of Ford’s ever-popular Mustang saw the return of the late ’60s and early ’70s Trans Am legend, the Boss 302. The Boss got its original name in the late ’60s when it was a skunk works project at Ford. Whenever asked what they were working on, members of the team simply responded “the boss’s car,” and the nomenclature stuck. The new generation features a retuned 5.0, putting out an additional 32 hp, and enough track day goodies to make any racing enthusiast giddy at even the slightest thought of it. In addition to the standard Boss, an additional Laguna Seca variant is available. The LS is a further upgrade with racecar parts, including a rear cross brace, and is limited to only 750 units per year. The Boss 302 was only produced for its scheduled two-year run, with just 4,000 models made each year, ensuring future collectability.

19 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Gene Ohio August 4, 2014 at 19:54
    The Crossfire was a good idea but looks like it was designed by a committee. Great bones...skin not so good.
  • 2
    David United States August 6, 2014 at 15:33
    The SRT6 Roadster is the real rare beauty of the litter. 928 made worldwide, probable no more than 700 left.
  • 3
    suzanne perot US October 25, 2014 at 22:20
    There may be only 700 Crossfire SRT6s left but I like the design of the Coupe Limited. The spoiler looks like something on a Porsche on the Coupe Limited. As for power, where do you use all that horsepower? My Crossfire has plenty of horses. It's a 2005 and I would not trade it for a 'hard to find parts for' SRT6 or a convertible...money ain't everything. Mine is a head turner wherever I go I get questions about it and people love the car.
  • 4
    widowmakings2000 USA November 3, 2014 at 19:17
    The only real cars here are the S2K, Lotus, and Mustang. The other two are and always will be junk, the reason you don't see them is that they're always in the shop being repaired. Oh, and the CR S2000 was only made in 2008 and 2009. Do your research before you type your babble.... You obviously did a quick internet search and live off the word of others.
  • 5
    Kevin Hyatt Mansfield PA March 3, 2015 at 22:53
    Thanks for setting the article writer straight on the S2000 CR Edition. I have an unmolested 2002 AP1 S2000 with 33K on the clock. IMO, these cars were underpriced new, so Honda could make a point, and they will eventually become a high dollar collectable. None the less, there is nothing in the 2 liter class of sports car that comes close to an S2000. Again, Honda showed the world why they manufacture the best engines and beautiful chassis to stick them in.
  • 6
    Kevin Hyatt Mansfield PA March 4, 2015 at 23:10
    Thanks for setting the article writer straight on the S2000 CR Edition. I have an unmolested 2002 AP1 S2000 with 33K on the clock. IMO, these cars were underpriced new, so Honda could make a point, and they will eventually become a high dollar collectable. None the less, there is nothing in the 2 liter class of sports car that comes close to an S2000. Again, Honda showed the world why they manufacture the best engines and beautiful chassis to stick them in.
  • 7
    John Michigan May 23, 2015 at 19:18
    The Honda S2000 has all the ingredients. It is a modern, pure sports car with no disappointments. Looks, styling, handling, fun to drive, and to top it off, an awesome drive-train that fits the car perfectly. I don't expect these cars to remain under the radar for much longer.
  • 8
    Brent Parry Antioch CA May 29, 2015 at 21:18
    I have a 2008 Chrysler Crossfire Limited Coupe in pristine condition and I plan to keep it that way. Ther were substantially fewer made in 2008 than the SRT-6 in 2005. Also, later models are generally credited with continued improvements in the later years although there is no information to that effect.
  • 9
    tony usa June 23, 2015 at 19:06
    s2000. even if it bottoms out in price, it's worth having and keeping. It is a livable sports car. Reliable, efficient, and dedicated to the "sport" portion of sports car. The fact that Honda charged a reasonable price for the car when new, will IMHO keep values on the low side until far into the future. One might as well pick one up and enjoy it now, and use the little Honda for its intended purpose.
  • 10
    keith Wohlwend seattle wa July 10, 2015 at 22:59
    I have owned many performance cars and motorcycles since the late 60's. My keeper is my S2000 2003, which I purchased new. It now has 27,000 mi on it. This is as good as it gets. I grew up on high revving honda motorcycles. Even my dad still likes the Honda feel better than his 2015 Corvette roadster with twice the power. The S2000 is as close to a four wheeled motorcycle as it gets.
  • 11
    Nicki North Georgia August 13, 2015 at 18:18
    Not a car guy.. but I am taking possession of my father's 2005 Crossfire Convertible. Always garaged.. 15K original miles. Guess this little lady should hang on to it huh? :)
  • 12
    Mike Houston, Texas September 27, 2015 at 04:27
    Leave it to an idiot to argue with Hagerty over what a collectible car is worth, widowmakings2000. The SRT-6 Chrysler Crossfire is a hand built AMG high performance coupe with 350 horse power. The supercharged engine can be tuned to 500 horsepower easily, The SRT suspension is aggressive, and not for the faint of heart. It was best in class for all around track times, and it will definitely see appreciation in years to come. The rarity of this body style built exclusively for Mercedes while owning Chrysler makes it the only Chrysler badged car which is entirely a Mercedes Benz, Before dissing this ride, take one for a spin. you will come away an AMG lover for sure.
  • 13
    Jose Indiana December 4, 2015 at 14:33
    I am a proud owner of a 2005 Lotus Elise. I can't go anywhere without people wanting to talk to me about the car. Yes many kids are modifying them. I have kept mine original. People have offered me more than what I paid for it. So yes I believe it will appreciate over time as these original 2005 federal additions become rare.
  • 14
    Sam Texas January 14, 2016 at 10:16
    I have an srt6 with under 15k miles. I wanted to keep it so badly because you're right, you can't buy something this fast anywhere near this cheap. Stereo is also incredible and so are the Italian leather seats. Nobody should say anything nasty about this car. It is art. Unfortunately I won't live to see it collectable so I have to sell.
  • 15
    Rick The Villages, FL July 18, 2016 at 13:14
    I have a 2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP, the car is spotless. It has 9,614 miles on it, never out in the rain, I even polish the underside of the car. It's 10 model years old now, values all over the place. Do you think the value will increase , or should I let it go ?
  • 16
    jason nj August 18, 2016 at 15:42
    2007 solstice gxp is good .. had one but I let it go. replaced it with 2009 gxp coupe. that's a hot car.. its not the fastest but people break there neck to look at it when I drive buy... its only going to go up in price..
  • 17
    Timothy Dunigan Marion County, WV September 10, 2016 at 19:56
    I bought a new red 2008 S2000 in Florida. I drove by it every day for 9 months until I walked in and bought it (cash). I told my wife that it was going to be a classic. Bought it for a song (you wouldn't believe the price that I paid)! It has 6,200 miles on it, never been driven in the rain. I keep it garaged and covered. Obviously, it is not a daily driver. I told my wife that if I should die, to hang on to it for 10 or so years and she can get whatever she wants. Thanks for the Haggerty quote. I use USAA (retired submarine driver) and will probably shift it to Haggerty. Since I live in WV, the car is a ball on the hills and curves. I'm driving an Audi Q3 Prestige (2016) as my daily driver. I will never part with this car. And, if you own one and want top $, DON'T modify it or put goofy aftermarket body kits and wings and so forth if you want to make a good profit. Collectors want original, non-molested models. Mine still looks as if it just came off the showroom floor, and I intend to keep it that way. But when I drive it, I DRIVE it. Hard! It loves it. It is a great car and already a classic.
  • 18
    James Oahu, Hawaii December 7, 2016 at 17:09
    I bought my 2003 formula red s2000 new off the showroom floor 13 years ago. Yesterday I turned 11,003 miles. Never rained on, garage kept. All original except custom sound system with high-end speakers and built in powered sub in trunk. A few OEM parts added (titanium shift knob, rear wing, front spoiler, etc.). Absolute cherry car. Whenever I take it out for a fun drive, it always turns heads and get thumbs up. I have a lot of cars, but this is my favorite to drive.
  • 19
    Brian Granby, Mo February 27, 2017 at 20:39
    I was told by several people in the car business that my 99 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP will be a collector. It is in mint condition. Is this true because I am not one to want to keep a car unless it might be some kind of collector someday.

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