The classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

The classic cars you should have bought 21 years agoHindsight is a wonderful thing. A little like Cher but without the makeup, we wish we could turn back time to snap up and store away the future classics of yesterday. This thought was triggered by the discovery of a newspaper cutting from August 1995, which listed the values of old cars then and a prediction for the turn of the millennium. It makes for strangely compelling reading.

Raising expectationsThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

The feature, which appeared in the Daily Mail, was based on data from Birmingham’s Aston University and looked at how depreciation, design and charisma could combine to “lift future value above expectations”. You’ll be amazed at how little some cars were worth in 1995 and how much they could be worth today. We’ve used the Hagerty classic car valuation tool for today’s valuations, with values based on excellent examples.

1982 Alfa Romeo Alfasud SprintThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £2,213. 2000 forecast: £4,052. 2016 value: £8,800

Take the Alfa Romeo Alfasud Sprint. Back in 1995, you’d have paid around £2,213 for a good, clean 1982 example, but Dr. Robert Tinsley of Aston University predicted an increase of around £1,800 by the year 2000.

1981 Alfa Romeo AlfettaThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £1,110. 2000 forecast: £1,247. 2016 value: £5,900

The forecast for the Alfa Romeo Alfetta 2000 may have been a touch pessimistic. You could buy a 14-year-old Alfetta for little more than a ‘bag of sand’ in 1995, but today you’d need to part with around £6,000.

1981 Aston Martin LagondaThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £17,609. 2000 forecast: £35,528. 2016 value: £41,200

You don’t need the appliance of science to predict an increase in the value of an Aston Martin, but oh – for the chance to buy a wedge-tastic Lagonda for £17k! In 1995, you could have snapped up a Lagonda for the price of an entry-level Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but today, you’d need to fork out £40,000.

1983 Aston Martin V8The classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £27,855. 2000 forecast: £41,522. 2016 value: £80,600

It’s a similar story for the Aston Martin V8. In 1995 you could choose to spend circa £28,000 on a brand new TVR Chimaera or a 12-year-old AM V8. Fast forward 21 years and if you opted for the latter, you could be sat on an £80,000 fortune. As for a 1995 TVR, around £12,000 would be closer to the mark.

1981 Audi QuattroThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £5,960. 2000 forecast: £10,468. 2016 value: £18,600

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past year, you’ll know that 1980s cars – and in particular, performance models – are hot property right now. We think Aston University got its forecast spot-on, because an Audi Quattro worth £5,960 in 1995 would be worth around £18,600 in 2016. Note, this figure is based on an early left-hand-drive model. You’ll pay considerably more for a late 20-valve car.

1981 BMW 635 CSIThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £7,236. 2000 forecast: £14,636. 2016 value: £8,300

Dr. Tinsley, who originally prepared the data for Maxim magazine, had high hopes for the BMW 635 CSI, predicting it would be worth twice as much by the year 2000. The fact that it’s priced around £8,300 in 2016 suggests that, while the car has risen in value, it’s not the gold mine predicted.

1979 Citroen CX PallasThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £1,500. 2000 forecast: £1,662. 2016 value: £4,500 (estimated)

In truth, you might be able to buy a Citroen CX Pallas for £1,500 in 2016, but it’ll need a considerable amount of work to bring it up to concours standard. The article was predicting a tiny increase in value, perhaps noting the fact that big French cars are a hard-sell in the UK. With DS and SM values heading north, the CX could be the next big thing.

1981 De Tomaso DeauvilleThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £5,476. 2000 forecast: £8,462. 2016 value: £24,300

In 2016, your biggest challenge might be finding a De Tomaso Deauville, rather than the £24,300 you’ll need to secure a mint example. To think you could buy one for less than the price of a Fiat Panda in 1995.

1982 Ferrari 400iThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £20,109. 2000 forecast: £34,535. 2016 value: £41,500

The 400i isn’t the most desirable car Ferrari has ever built, which might help to explain why the price you’ll pay today is just £7,000 more than the forecast for the year 2000. Should have bought that De Tomaso.

1984 Ferrari Mondial QVThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £19,495. 2000 forecast: £42,136. 2016 value: £29,300

No, sorry Dr. Tinsley, you got this one wrong. Even in an age when the values of 70s and 80s classics are going through the roof, a Ferrari Mondial QV is still worth less than £30,000. You’d have been better off buying a mint Peugeot 205 GTi and dragging that out of storage.

1987 Ferrari TestarossaThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £43,818. 2000 forecast: £45,977.  2016 value: £133,800

We suspect the boffins at Aston University never watched an episode of Miami Vice or had a poster of a Testarossa on their bedroom wall. The days of an affordable Ferrari Testarossa are long gone. To provide some context, the 1995 value is roughly half the price you’d have paid for a brand new Ferrari F355 Berlinetta with a couple of options.

1983 Fiat X1/9The classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £4,104. 2000 forecast: £8,406. 2016 value: £6,300

It’s fair to say the X1/9 hasn’t appreciated at quite the same rate as a Ferrari, but if you’re after a pocket-size Ferrari on the cheap, the little Fiat is a good start. Amazing to think that production of the Marcello Gandini-designed sports car began in 1972 and very nearly made it into the 90s.

1977 Ford Capri 1600 GLThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £1,155. 2000 forecast: £1,309. 2016 value: £6,000 (estimate)

In 1995, it was a real struggle to sell a four-cylinder Capri, with even the six-cylinder versions unlikely to attract much attention beyond enthusiast circles. This explains the modest forecast for the 1600 GL. You’ll pay a fair amount more for a Mk2 today, although Hagerty’s £30,000 valuation for a 280 Brooklands makes for grim reading for anyone who sold one before they became hot property.

1981 Ford Escort XR3iThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £1,534. 2000 forecast: £2,112. 2016 value: £5,000 (estimate)

The Ford Escort XR3i isn’t listed on the Hagerty valuation tool, but £5,000 is a rough estimate for a good example. Like the Capri, the XR3i wasn’t blessed with the best image in the mid 90s, which explains the low cost and pessimistic forecast. Storing one away in 1995 won’t have generated a fortune, but now could be the time to think about selling.

1987 Lamborghini CountachThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £66,036. 2000 forecast: £120,000. 2016 value: £255,000

In 1995, a Lamborghini Diablo would have set you back around £144,000 – a price that could get you not one but two Countach LP500S QVs. Right now, that Countach is probably worth a cool quarter of a million.

1984 Lamborghini JalpaThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £25,001. 2000 forecast: £69,967. 2016 value: £69,400

The Jalpa isn’t as iconic as the Countach, and values reflect this, but it’s rather uncanny that Aston University’s forecast for 2000 is almost exactly the same as today’s Hagerty valuation. The Jalpa was the Countach’s more affordable sibling and only 410 were built.

1981 Lotus EclatThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £6,715. 2000 forecast: £10,748. 2016 value: £6,500

Well would you look at that: today’s valuation for the Lotus Eclat is actually less than the price you’d have paid in 1995, proving that not all future classics are a sound investment.

1984 Lotus EspritThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £10,643. 2000 forecast: £20,300. 2016 value: £20,000

There’s slightly better news for Lotus Esprit owners, although the ‘double your money’ forecast was well wide of the mark. In fact, the 2016 valuation is less than the 2000 forecast.

1982 Maserati KhamsinThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £16,255. 2000 forecast: £29,226. 2016 value: £98,200

Another Marcello Gandini masterpiece and another Italian gem that has rocketed in value. The 4.9-litre V8 Maserati Khamsin was launched at the 1973 Paris Motor Show, with 435 units built before production ceased in 1982. In 1995 it could have been yours for little more than the price of a Fiat Tipo 16v. Today, it’s nudging £100,000.

1981 Porsche 911 TurboThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £20,536. 2000 forecast: £33,062. 2016 value: £45,400

Looking back, the £20,536 being asked for a 1981 Porsche 911 Turbo in 1995 was an absolute steal, not least because a new one would have cost in excess of £91,000. That same car today is worth more than double. Dare we suggest that price is likely to continue heading north?

1982 Porsche 924 TurboThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £7,214. 2000 forecast: £12,092. 2016 value: £10,500

Finally, Porsche 924 prices are on the up, but not at the brisk rate predicted in 1995. An excellent 924 Turbo will set you back around £10,000, which is £2,000 more than the 2000 forecast. Of course, the one you really want is the 924 Carrera GT – a snip at around £47,000 – £60,500.

1975 Range RoverThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £2,891. 2000 forecast: £3,836. 2016 value: £34,800

Not even the brains at Aston University would have predicted the demand for the Range Rover Classic. Back in 1995, the Classic was being sold alongside its replacement – the P38A, but early models weren’t exactly in demand. Little surprise then that the 2000 forecast was so low. Oh to be able to find a 1975 Classic for £2,891…

1975 Triumph Dolomite SprintThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1975 value: £2,837. 2000 forecast: £5,388. 2016 value: £6,000

Based on these figures, the Triumph Dolomite Sprint hasn’t exactly rocked the classic car world. But it’s rather refreshing to find such a credible and desirable classic available for such a relatively low price. Will the same be true in another 21 years?

1984 TVR 350iThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £9,906. 2000 forecast: £19,009. 2016 value: £8,000 (estimate)

The TVR 350i was essentially a Tasmin powered by a 3.5-litre Rover V8 engine, although it doesn’t appear to be as desirable as Aston University predicted. Indeed, though a £19,009 valuation was forecast for 2000, you can now pick up a 350i for less than the 1995 value.

1979 Volkswagen Golf GTIThe classic cars you should have bought 21 years ago

1995 value: £2,500. 2000 forecast: £4,165. 2016 value: £13,300

In 1995, the memory of the Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTi was still fresh in the mind, not least because the then-current Golf GTI was a more lacklustre affair. If you bought a Golf GTI on the strength of the Daily Mail article, we applaud you, especially if you still own the same car.

Has an unhealthy obsession with cars of the 80s and 90s. Doesn’t really do supercars. Not a huge fan of sports cars. But loves the undervalued and the underwhelming.

Is probably a bit strange.

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