Modern Classics
Maxim|March - April 2020
A look at investing in the cars you once dreamed about and hung on your bedroom walls
Duncan Quinn

“Thirty to 40 years is roughly the time it takes for a 15-year-old with a poster of a car on his wall to go through school, get a career, maybe start a family, and eventually have enough time and disposable income to buy a collector car— the one he or she lusted after as a teen.” Eric Minoff, a Senior Specialist at Bonhams auction house and Head of Sale at the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance is telling us why the “modern classics” of the 1980’s and ’90s have been shooting up in value of late. Savvy investors who aren’t already in on the game are taking note.

The roll call of these dream cars, whose value has been increasing over the past decade or so following (for the most part) years of depreciation and decline, includes the Lamborghini Countach and Diablo, Ferrari Testarossa and F40, Jaguar XJ220, Vector W8, Porsche 959, Bugatti EB 110 and McLaren F1, among others. And while some are worth more than others according to their rarity, even the value of cars produced in series for several years such as the Testarossa and the Countach—which in fact originally debuted in 1974 yet has become the quintessential ‘80s exotic—are benefiting from the bedroom poster syndrome. Its successor, the Diablo, equally bonkers and mind-blowing, finally appeared in 1990.

In 1992 Jaguar produced the XJ220 which at 220 mph, was, albeit briefly, the fastest production car on Earth, and carried an appropriately hefty price tag. A carpet firm in Cardiff, Wales, were so convinced that buying and holding the supercar was the best investment ever, that they bricked one up under the staircase in their shop in 1993. Unfortunately they went bankrupt ten years later and liquidators auctioned it offfor a mere $190,000. Had they been able to hold on to it until 2019, it would have been worth more like $439,000—the price fetched for a Le Mans Blue example at the Silverstone Auctions’ Heythrop Classic Car Sale and Sale of British Marques.

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