The Dow closed out 2014 at just under 18,000 points. As of this writing, it’s above 17,000 points. Not terribly impressive. Our five cars positively smoked the Dow and are all a heck of a lot more fun to own than a few hundred shares of Google:
- 1976 Ferrari 308 GTB: Cars of the 1970s and 1980 are hot as an exhaust manifold at the moment. The Magnum P.I. Ferrari, the 308, has experienced a gigantic year-over-year gain, particularly the rare first-year fiberglass coupe. In late 2014, they were trading for under $100,000. They’ve doubled since then.
- 1992 Porsche 911 Turbo S Coupe: In a June 2012 article, we asked why Porsche 911 Turbos were still reasonably priced. They seemed to have everything going for them: a giant whale tail spoiler, almost comical rear fender flares, massive performance (albeit with equally massive turbo lag) and an air of danger to them. Back then they were around $35,000-$45,000. A few years after we wrote that, all air-cooled 911 Turbos finally took off. But the year-over-year appreciation king is the rare Type 964 Turbo S, up an astonishing 525 percent in a year.
- 1984 Ferrari Testarossa: Crockett and Tubbs drove a white Testarossa in Michael Mann’s iconic 1980s cop show, “Miami Vice.” The pre-teens who ate that stuff up 30 years ago are now flush with cash, and guess what they want? Just a year ago, these were 60 grand all day long. Now they’re more like $110,000, easily trouncing the stock market for the same period of time.
- 1974 Lamborghini Countach: Once again, it’s the dorm room poster cars that are posting the biggest gains. The outlandish, scissor-door Countach has been on a tear for several years. It’s only now showing signs of leveling off after a one-year gain of almost a half-million dollars—$1.2 million last year, to $1.6 million this year.
- 1988 BMW M3: The first generation M3 (E30 in BMW-speak) was a mean, edgy, fat-fendered, bespoilered thing. Harking back to the first Motorsports car, the 3.0 CSL “Batmobile,” it’s simply irresistible to the newest generation of collectors. Cars that a year ago could be bought for around $45,000 are now closer to $70,000 with no end in sight to the upward valuation trajectory.