These modern classics are worth holding onto.
Defining a future classic isn't necessarily straightforward unless you can afford cars built by Ferrari and McLaren. For example, if it wasn’t for the first Fast and Furious movie a Toyota Supra Turbo with low miles and an automatic transmission probably wouldn't have become an $80,000 car or more. By all accounts, in its day the Supra was appreciated in reviews but wasn’t recognized as something that would achieve legendary status. On the flip side, we currently have a used car market sodden with C5 and C6 Corvettes purchased by people that went to great lengths to keep them as fresh as possible thinking they would be collectible later. Sure, ZR1 and special editions are worth more but if you want a garage kept and well waxed 20+ year-beefy Corvette with few miles travelled then you’re not going to pay much at the moment. Yet, we can say with a some confidence that modern Shelby Mustangs will hold their value for a long time and then start to appreciate.
What we’re bearing in mind with this list is that we’re on the cusp of an automotive shift, and that shift is towards hybrid electric drivetrains for performance cars. The current generations could easily turn out to be the last of the pure petrol-engined cars and, in twenty to thirty years time, we’ll still remember how raw these cars were from a driving enthusiast's perspective.
So, with all that in mind, and knowing this isn't a science, these are the current cars we think could be worth picking up and holding onto right now.
Type R cars have a strong history of becoming collectors cars and icons for enthusiasts. The current Civic Type R is the first one to land in the US and is still being marked up by dealers, but if you get your hands on one then you have the best enthusiast's Civic to date and something that goes toe-to-toe with more expensive all-wheel drive hot hatches. We have little doubt that well-kept versions will hold their value well for quite a while then unmodified versions will start rising in value.
If you can lay your hands on one, the Demon is a no brainer. It’s limited, there’s no 2019 version, and its a legitimate piece of 840 horsepower lunacy for the road as well as the drag strip. It’s as if Dodge decided to build a collectors car that would ensure their name will be spoken for decades to come in reverential terms. They wouldn’t be that cynical though, right?
Available for the first time in the US, the Audi RS3 is a little car with one hell of a lot bite. The 2.5-liter turbocharged 5-cylinder engine making 400 horsepower should hold a lot of interest down the line, particularly if option boxes ticked include things like ceramic brakes. Audi isn’t traditionally a name you see commanding long term value without going to the extremes, but the RS3 is a special little something.
The Camaro ZL1 is a monster already, but for maximum attention from the bowling shirts at Barrett-Jackson in 20 years time then the 1LE "Extreme Track Package” is the way to go. A 650-horsepower supercharged V8 will always be exciting and we believe the current Camaro styling will prove to be timeless.
We’re currently in the generation where Porsche finally gave the Boxster the horsepower it deserved, but we suspect it’ll be the Cayman Coupe that trumps the Boxster in the long term with its styling. There’s also a solid argument for the 718 models to be the best bang for your buck when it comes to Porsche right now, and the Cayman will stealth its way into being a valuable collectible as a result of that reputation later as well as its looks.
It has one hell of a price tag but if you can afford it, then it’s as close you’ll come to a sure thing. It’s American, innovative, fast as stink, and as dedicated to smoking Ferraris as the original GT40. It doesn’t come with a V8, but the twin-turbo V6 Ford is making will go down as one of the all-time greats as people really do realize there is a replacement for displacement now.
Porsches don’t have to have GT in the name to be something special and, if you want a little word to the wise, the 2018 911 Carrera T is the pick of the bunch before the next generation starts to wind up. The Carrera S is more powerful but the Carrera T is lighter and if you pick up the rear-seat delete and fix backed bucket seat options then it gets a little more hardcore. It’s the less obvious 911 option for the long term, but Porsche nerds with money won’t have forgotten when they hit the auction blocks down the road.
Lexus dropped a beautiful bomb with the LC 500. It’s not just a head turner, but also a legitimate 478-horsepower V8 luxury coupe. How well the big grill will hold up over time is hard to call, but the curvy styling should get it past that as well as it’s naturally aspirated 5.0-liter power plant. The fact that Lexus doesn’t often dish out both performance and luxury at this level very often should make it quite the collector’s piece in years to come.
The 86 is affordable, it’s light, has a naturally aspirated engine, comes with a manual, has inspired handling, and looks great. To us, this is a recipe for future greatness as the Toyota 86 is as authentic as you can get as a drivers car. When manuals are dead and everything has electric motors, we suspect this will be a hugely sought after car, and rightly so. There’s an argument that the Scion or Subaru badged versions will also be up there, but the heritage of the 86 designation should put Toyota’s badge out in front.
When it comes to changing the game with trucks, Ford has quite the track record. However, it took a special kind of genius to decide the F-150 should also be something you could race in the Baja 100 straight from the factory. The second generation got lighter, a 450-horsepower twin-turbo Ecoboost V6 and aggressive styling. The current Raptor is the definition of a badass truck, and America will remember this one for a long, long, time.
The E46 M3 CSL set a benchmark, and if anything is going to come close to that specialness in modern form, it’ll likely be the M3 CS. A relentless twin-turbo straight six and all of the performance engineering goodness BMW’s M Division could pour into it, numbers were also limited to ensure it's not something you’ll see every day, if at all. It’s as close to faultless an M3 special edition has been for some time, and that should ensure its future value.
In the intro we kind of ragged on older Corvettes being bought and stored, but given the situation and just how good the current Corvette is, then you might not have to go ZR1 to have a long term investment. The Grand Sport with its naturally aspirated 460 horsepower is the definition of what a Corvette has always aimed to be - an adversary to the supercar at a realistic price. It truly is with sharp track handling and outrageous grip matched to a 0-60 mph time of 3.6 seconds, and if you add some well-chosen options it should hold its own on the auction blocks as one of America's finest.
We suspect this one will be an auction monster down the road in any of its trim levels. Not only does it evoke classic Mercedes sports cars of old with its long hood and slicked back cockpit, but it’s got a dose of AMG twin-turbo V8 brutality under the hood that will surely become legendary. As far as modern classics go, the Mercedes-AMG GT ticks all of the boxes.