In 2010, Südwestbank launched a classic car index to compare the performance of South German classic cars with other forms of investment. The index includes 20 classics built by Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, BMW and Opel, with the bank reporting that demand for historic vehicles remains high. Here, we reveal the performance of 16 of the classics, highlighting the increase in values since 2005.
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL (W113)
As the bank points out, past performance is not a reliable indicator of future trends, but with a valuation of €56,000 (£50,000), the value of Mercedes-Benz 230 SL ‘Pagoda’ has increased by 119.61 percent since 2005.
Mercedes-Benz 280 SL (R107)
Interestingly, the German leading index DAX has risen by 148.09 percent since 2005, but the Südwestbank classic car index gained 453.98 percent in the same period. Today, a Mercedes-Benz 280 SL is worth €22,500 (£20,000) – an increase of 136.84 percent since 2005.
Mercedes-Benz 250 CE
Jens Berner, classic car expert at Südwestbank, said: “From a return point of view, the purchase of a classic car only makes sense from a price of around 100,000 euros. So the experts of the Südwestbank advise investing in classic cars only as a mixture of the total assets.” The 250 CE is worth €12,500 (£11,000) – an increase of 151 percent.
The Porsche 944 is one of just two cars in the classic car index to be worth less than €10,000, according to Südwestbank. That said, at €9,850 (£8,700), the 944 is still worth 181.43 percent more today than it was in 2005.
BMW Isetta 250
The calculation is based on an evaluation of the price data of the specialist car magazine Motor Klassik. The little BMW Isetta 250 is worth €14,800 (£13,000) today, an increase of 196 percent. Not bad for a microcar.
Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL (W116)
In relative terms, the mighty 6.9-litre Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL remains a bargain, with an index price of €14,900 (£13,000). That’s a small price to pay for what was, at its unveiling in 1974, one of the most advanced vehicles on the planet.
Mercedes-Benz 190 SL (W121)
Values of the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL are hovering around the magic €100,000 mark quoted by Südwestbank as being worthy of an investment. Today, you’ll pay around €99,500 (£88,000), which is 201.52 percent more than you’d have paid in 2005.
Porsche 356 C
We should point out the realities of relying on a classic car to provide a decent return on your investment. Because while you can sit back and watch your stocks and shares make a mint (or not), keeping a classic car in good condition requires time, effort and cash. So while a Porsche 356 C might be worth 215.91 percent more than the price you paid in 2005, you would have splashed out on insurance, maintenance and fuel.
Opel Kadett C GT/E
There’s also the stark reality that the bottom could fall out of the classic car market. It’s happened before and it could happen again. Meanwhile, cars like the Opel Kadett GT/E are riding on a crest of nostalgia, with modern buyers reliving their youth courtesy of the cars driven by their parents. A €12,100 (£11,000) valuation represents a 222.67 percent growth.
Porsche 911 SC 3.0
You also need the money to invest in the car, the expertise required to buy the right one, and somewhere to store the car. You’ll make the most money if the mileage is kept low. The Porsche 911 SC 3.0 from 1977 to 1980 is worth €35,500 (£31,000) – an increase of 222.73 percent.
Opel Manta B GT/E
The cheapest vehicle in the classic car index also happens to be one of the coolest. The second-generation Manta GT/E was Opel’s answer to the Ford Capri, and it’s worth around €8,650 (£7,700) in Germany. That’s an increase of 284.44 percent. Manta, Manta, Manta!
BMW 635 CSI
If we could ‘do a Cher’ and turn back time, we’d definitely go back to 2005 to buy the following five cars. The value of a BMW 653 CSI has increased by 330.59 percent to €18,300 (£16,000) …
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL
While you’ll pay a massive €966,000 (£850,000) for the iconic Mercedes-Benz 300 SL – an increase of 360 percent. At such a high price, is there room for further growth?
But while you’ll require around a million euros to secure some ‘gullwing’ action, the BMW 2002 is a tad more affordable. Furthermore, with an increase of 395 percent, the return on investment is actually better than the 300 SL.
Like fast Fords and Peugeot 205 GTIs, the values of classic Porsche 911s have been on the rise for a while, but a 740.63 percent increase for the 911 (1964 to 1967) is eye-watering all the same.
If you bought a BMW 507 in 2005, give yourself a pat on the back and treat yourself to a nice holiday in Bavaria. Values are up 812.70 percent since 2005, with a 507 costing around €1,725,000 (£1,500,000) in 2019.