Today’s cool cars, tomorrow’s collectibles

Some of the sportiest rides on the road may warrant a ‘buy and hold’ investment strategy

By Jim Gorzelany
CTW Features

The collectible car market continues to remain strong, with affluent baby boomers in particular looking to rekindle their youth behind the wheels of muscle cars they yearned for back in the day.

How else can one explain the skyhigh transaction prices for vintage vehicles sold by the Marengo, Ill.- based Mecum Auctions at an event held this winter in Kissimmee, Fla.: A 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda commanded $320,000, while a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback was snapped up for $417,000 and a 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 roadster went under the hammer for a whopping $735,000.

Which vehicles might future generations covet as dearly? The valuation experts at Hagerty Insurance, a Traverse City, Mich.-based agency that specializes in coverage for vintage transportation, recently released its annual “Hot List” of current models, ranging in price from around $25,000 to $100,000, that are likely to be in great demand among tomorrow’s classic-car buffs. “This year’s Hot List is comprised of vehicles from a wide variety of market segments and manufacturers, but they all share one thing in common — a certain ‘cool’ factor that will be remembered by car enthusiasts for many years to come,” says McKeel Hagerty, president and CEO of Hagerty Insurance. “Well-preserved examples will be sought after well beyond their contemporary peers have been used up and recycled.”

Of course predicting the future is a daunting challenge at best. Today’s young drivers don’t tend to be as car crazy as were their parents and grandparents back when they were coming of age and dreaming of owning their first Mustangs or Corvettes. Future motorists with a far “greener” bent may wonder why such fuelswilling dinosaurs were allowed to roam the highways at all, making them more curiosities than collectibles. On the other hand, at some point when most cars drive themselves, these throwbacks to what might be considered a golden age of motoring could well be highly valued for their sheer audacity.

Here’s a list of the model-year 2013 rides that might command big bucks among car-crazed collectors in the decades to come:

 SRT Viper. Redesigned for 2013, the new Viper is as impractical as it ever was, packing a massive 8.4-liter V10 engine that generates a scenery-blurring 640 horsepower and 600 smoking pound-feet of torque.

 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible 427. Chevy calls this “the fastest, most-capable convertible in Corvette’s history,” with its 505- horsepower small-block V8 engine. Choose one with the white-over-blue 60th Anniversary package for maximum collector appeal.

 Audi RS5. The hot-rodded version of Audi’s A5 coupe and cabriolet ups the ante with a 4.2-liter 414-horsepower V8 engine.

 Porsche Cayman S. Redesigned this year, the 911’s smaller sibling delivers similarly breathtaking performance at a more affordable price.

 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Escalating fuel economy mandates could mean the end for fuel-swilling V8s and keep hot performers like the 580-horsepower ZL1 in demand among enthusiasts for generations to come.

 Tesla Model S. Although this hot new electric-powered sedan looks futuristic today, it might seem dated rather quickly as EV technology progresses, but its 0 to 60 mph time of around five seconds may help keep it an invaluable asset among future collectors.

 MINI John Cooper Works GP. Hailed as “the fastest MINI ever built,” sales of this high-performance coupe are limited to 500 units, which helps ensure its exclusivity.

 2013 Subaru BRZ. This newfor 2013 model takes Subaru into new territory as a maker of inexpensive sports cars.

 Volkswagen GTI. One of the original “pocket rockets” dating back to the 1980s, the GTI endures as the liveliest-performing version of the VW Golf.

 Ford Focus ST. Ford’s popular compact adds a high-performance version that puts 252 horsepower to the pavement and rides on a sporttuned suspension.

© CTW Features