The herd mentality has taken hold in the classic car market to some extent. A large number of people get the same idea at the same time and before you know it, values for a certain car have jumped 20 percent or more. It just happened with the Porsche 930 Turbo and the Ferrari 308. Here are some cars you would do well to consider sooner rather than later:
- Porsche 996 Turbo: As we predicted three years ago, every flavor of air-cooled 911 Turbo is hot and getting hotter by the day. The 930s, 964 and 993 Turbos of the world are all six-figure cars for the right examples — it’s time to pivot and look at the air-cooled cars, we think. The 996 series has been tarred by the fear of intermediate shaft bearing failures that can take out an engine with no warning. But the Turbo used a different design and it’s bulletproof. Amazingly, these cars (which are closely related to the million-dollar 959 under the skin) can be had with low miles in the mid-30s. This is where the smart under-$100K Porsche money is quietly going now.
- Lamborghini Diablo: With the Countach soaring in value in 2014, how far behind can the Diablo be? A more fully sorted car than the Countach that still sports some outrageous styling (and the famous scissor doors) courtesy of the great Marcello Gandini, the time to get one of these for under a $100 grand may be rapidly passing.
- Third Generation Mazda RX-7: Japanese collectibles, particularly of the rare Japanese Domestic Market or “JDM” stripe, are rapidly appearing on the radar of collectors. The third-generation RX-7 was sold in the U.S. for just three model years, but it made quite a name for itself in that time. With a lightweight chassis, twin-turbocharged rotary engine and drop-dead gorgeous looks, the few really nice survivors are quietly escalating in value.
- Jaguar XJS: The XJS had the unenviable task of following up the E-Type, and it was treated rudely by the press as a result. Almost 40 years after its debut, it’s now viewed as a handsome and impressive GT with the added cachet of a V-12 under the hood. Clean convertibles are starting to appreciate rapidly but the real sleepers here are the few 3.6-liter manual transmission cars that snuck into the U.S. The XJS is now the most frequently shown car in the Jaguar Club of North America, so in that sense, it’s finally emerged from the shadow of the E-Type. There are two tiers of XJS prices right now — sellers who have gotten the message and sellers who haven’t. Snap up one of the good cars remaining on the market at the old price while you can.
- 1970-73 Datsun 240Z: It’s mystifying to us that there are still good 240Zs to be had for under $20,000. With the Toyota 2000GT now solidly a member of the million-dollar club, nearly everyone is priced out of that market. We’re not saying that’s in the cards for the 240 (there were after all fewer than 400 2000 GTs produced versus almost 170,000 240Zs), but with the rare twin-cam JDM 240Z variants now probably over $200,000, look for the supply of good, cheap 240s to finally dry up this year. Buy now as this Japanese Bullet Train is leaving the station as we write this.