2015’s Biggest Winners in the Collector Car Market

Source: Ferrari

Source: Ferrari

Last week, we put together a list of the five classics that depreciated the most over 2015, which did wonders in restoring our hopes that we’ll someday have a classic car to dote on in our garage. Today, we’re bringing you the other side of the equation, which if you’re anything like us, will likely reinforce every nihilistic inclination you’ve ever had about life.

It’s no secret that the classic car market has gone off the deep end over the last few years, and while the usual suspects of pre-war classics and mid-century Ferraris ensure that a new sales record gets broken at virtually every big auction, a new generation of collectors is also entering the market, and it’s driving the prices of once-overlooked (read: affordable) classics into the stratosphere too.

Thanks to Hagerty, the classic car insurance powerhouse and collector car market watchdog, we have a list of the five classic cars that saw the highest jump in value over the past 12 months. It may not be the list you’d expect, but if your dream car happened to make the list, we suggest going out and buying a lottery ticket tonight. You’re going to need it.

5. 1990-2001 Lamborghini Diablo

Source: Lamborghini

Source: Lamborghini

Despite the near-constant state of turmoil Lamborghini went through during Diablo production (it was bought and sold three times in the ’90s), the company succeeded in building one of the most outrageous and memorable supercars of the era. With a 200-plus mile per hour top speed and optional all-wheel drive after 1993, the Diablo could back up its arrest-me looks with insane amounts of power. As the latest generation of ultra-wealthy collectors grew up with Diablo posters on their walls, the ’90s supercar saw a 65% spike in value this year.

4. 1975-1985 Ferrari 308 GTS/GTB

Source: Ferrari

Source: Ferrari

Just a few years ago, the 308 was dismissed as the ostentatious car from Magnum P.I. that could get trounced by a Kia Sedona minivan on the track. On the other hand, it was a mid-engined, V12-powered, gated manual Ferrari that could be had in the mid-$30,000 range. But its camp value and Malaise Era shortcomings are generally overlooked today, and as a result, the 308 is now largely out of reach for working-class gearheads, and firmly in the grasp of deep-pocketed collectors. It’s 69% more valuable today than it was in 2014.

3. 1984-1996 Ferrari Testarossa/512 TR/F512 M

Source: Ferrari

Source: Ferrari

Despite decades in the wilderness as far as collectors are concerned, insane appreciation is nothing new to the Testarossa. Introduced in 1984, the car’s star turn on Miami Vice helped make it one of the hottest cars in the world. And since its debut coincided with the first great collector car bubble, dealers were selling the $90,000 car for upwards of $150,000 — and buyers were paying it. By the late ’90s, however, the ’80s-fantastic lines of the car were enough to keep most collectors away, and prices bottomed out hard. While you probably could’ve bought the nicest Testarossa in the world for under $75K a decade ago, expect to spend well into six figures today. If you’re already a Testarossa owner, 2015 was your big year; values rose 98% over the last 12 months.

2. 2004-2009 Aston Martin DB9

Source: Aston Martin

Source: Aston Martin

While the 308 and Testrossa have been steadily transitioning from used exotic to bona-fide classics for some time now, the early DB9s are hitting the collector market far earlier than expected. As the DB9 enters its final year after an impressive 12-year production run, ’04-’09 models saw a whopping 141% increase in 2015, meaning that its time at the bottom of the depreciation curve is already long over.

1. 1974-1977 Porsche 911

Source: Porsche

Source: Porsche

In the early 2000s, tired but running mid-’70s non-turbo 911s could be found for under $10,000. In fact, many of these cars wouldn’t have drawn a second glance from serious collectors. With their big 5 mile per hour impact bumpers and emissions controls that limited the flat-six to 165 horsepower (160 in California cars), they weren’t as pretty, as fast, or as desirable as the earlier long-nose cars, and as a result, could often be found wearing body kits to make them look like newer, more desirable 911 models. But if you bought a clean, original, Malaise-Era runner back then and kept it in good shape, congratulations, you’re an investment genius. Proving once and for all that air-cooled 911s are no longer attainable by peasants like us, the once unloved ’74-’77 911s saw a mind-bending 154% increase in value.

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Like classics? It’s always Throwback Thursday somewhere.

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