Pretty much anything dubbed a supercar becomes collectible eventually. Like other cars, however, values go through considerable ups and downs. Prices fluctuate as time goes on, tastes change, or the next big thing drops at the Geneva Motor Show.
While there’s no such thing as a cheap supercar, there comes a time when prices bottom out and get low as they ever reasonably can be expected to. That’s, of course, the best time for those with deep enough pockets to swoop in and bide their time. Of the iconic, world-famous supercars below, a few have an uncertain future. Still, most look like they aren’t going to get any cheaper and are even showing signs that of appreciating in value.
The quintessential analog supercar, the Ferrari F40, has seen a sharp decrease in the number of insurance quotes since its peak in 2014. Values also generally declined after their peak in 2016. That said, values saw a significant 4.5-percent increase in the last few months, and the last example to sell at auction was a condition #2 (Excellent) car that sold well above condition #1 (Concours) values. Since Ferraris have always been a go-to choice for the most serious collectors and because the F40 is one of the company’s more significant road cars, it seems like a good long-term buy from a value perspective despite recent volatility. Values right now are at about a 20-percent discount from 2016, and the recent increase suggests it’s a good time to buy.
Like a lot of Porsches, the Carrera GT got a whole lot more expensive a few years ago. Average values went from $375,000 in 2013 to nearly $700,000 by the beginning of 2016. Things then took a step back, and insurance quote activity has been on the decline since their peak in 2014. Still values are once again creeping up in 1 to 2 percent increments every few months. As one of the last true supercars available with a manual transmission, and as a halo model for Porsche, the Carrera GT’s long-term collectability is pretty much a guarantee. Paint colors make a big difference in value, so a low-mileage non-silver looks like a good buy right now.
BMW’s first M car (and only true mid-engine supercar) has seen buyer interest grow considerably over the past year, although recent values tell a slightly different story. Since jumping by 350 percent from 2010–16, average values decreased by 11 percent. A 2-percent increase in the last three months suggests that the decline is over, but there appears to be a difference in expectations between buyers and sellers at the moment with three of the last four BMW M1s offered at auction going home unsold. The metrics seem to be a mixed bag on this one, so the best bet may be to wait and see what the market does before buying or selling.
In terms of buyer interest, the hallowed 959 hit its peak in 2013, and things have been steady since with around half a dozen examples quoted per year. As for values, it depends on the submodel. Collectors at just about any price point are naturally more attracted to the top-spec models, and for the 959, the Sport model continues to grow, with #3-condition (Good) average values increasing 29 percent over the last two years. The base Komfort models, meanwhile, are actually down 3 percent over the same time period. The last three Komforts offered at auction have all sold near their expected value, so it’s probably safe to say that prices have stabilized. It seems safe to buy in.
Just two Enzos have been offered for sale so far this year. One at Amelia Island had just 1600 miles and was rated at condition #2+, but it sold for 22-percent less than our expected value, and one in Scottsdale hammered not sold at $400,000 below its low estimate. The number of quotes has dropped off consistently since 2010, as well. Despite what looks like a step back in the market for these cars, it’s a halo model that was rather significant. It’s also named after the company’s founder, and that has to count for something, so longer term prospects for the Enzo will likely be better. We’ll have to wait and see.
McLaren’s entry into the triumvirate of hybrid hypercars peaked in terms of values during 2016 as some of the last new ones were being delivered. Numerous P1s sold well at auction, but as of 2018 the novelty seems to have worn off a bit and prices have started to slide. With the introduction of McLaren’s 720S, which offers almost as much performance for much less money, not as much attention is on the P1. Since McLaren’s road cars generally lack the pedigree of Porsche and Ferrari (and since the P1 was not as much of a game changer as the earlier F1), its long-term prospects are uncertain.
As was the case with the McLaren P1, interest in the LaFerrari peaked around 2016 when all the new ones had been delivered. Prices shot to roughly double the MSRP and they’ve remained steady since. The introduction of the LaFerrari Aperta hasn’t appeared to affect the values of the coupes, and with the next wave of hypercars the LaFerrari isn’t likely to appreciate much. But a top-of-the-range Ferrari is always a safe bet from a collectibility standpoint.
The McLaren P1, LaFerrari, and Porsche 918 had some surprising similarities in terms of design, and they’ve followed common paths in the market as well. Interest in the 918 also peaked in 2016, and the first one offered at public auction sold at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale for $1.76M, about double its MSRP. Eight more 918s then came to auction and sold for similar money, but so far during 2018 the five 918s sold at auction have sold for $1.3M–$1.5M. Since Porsches have such a massive following, collectibility in the future looks more certain than for the McLaren P1, so now may be a good time to buy.
When it comes to collectibility and values, the best of the best do, well, the best. The McLaren F1 is rightly called the Ferrari 250 GTO of its generation— it has the same qualities of extreme rarity and world-conquering performance in its day. There’s almost no wrong way to buy one of these cars. Even Rowan Atkinson’s twice-crashed example sold for over $12M and McLaren offers superb factory support for F1 owners. A McLaren technician will fly to your home to fix a broken one.
Average values have increased by 150 percent over the last five years, but unlike many of the cars on this list there haven’t been any dips. Over the past year alone, F1 values have risen 14 percent. For those who can afford one, they’re never likely to be cheaper than they are now.