MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: Great Vehicles From Around the World to Bring to NZ
Posted on February 10, 2015
If you’re looking to invest in a vehicles – or even if you’re looking for the latest in collectible cars, there are some surprisingly recent makes and models to consider.
For sure, if you’ve got a spare million or so you can go completely top-of-the-range, and if cars with history is your thing, then the price tag can climb into the stratosphere as this 52-year-old Ferrari proved when it went under the hammer for more than $US34 million.
But there’s a world of different vehicles out there which might just make you a good investment – as well as looking and feeling good in the meantime.
1987 Buick GNX
The “Grand National to end all Grand Nationals” was limited to a run of only 547 vehicles – but the company lavished attention on those cars by teaming up with McLaren Performance Technologies/ASC and producing a car capable of a quarter-mile in 13.2secs at 104mph and 0-60mph in 4.3secs. Cash-wise the GNX was on the high end in 1987 at $US29,290 but guides now have them estimated anywhere between $US50,000 and $90,000 with online auction houses listing some around the $US100,000 mark.
2005-06 Ford GT
Originally built to pay homage to the classic GT40 racing Fords of the 1960s and with a nod or two in the direction of classic Mustangs and Thunderbirds. Right from the off there was heaps of demand for the GT and because only 4038 were ever built that demand has continued to soar, thanks in no small part to supercar speeds and performance (0-60mph in 3.5secs, a quarter-mile in 11.2secs at 131.2mph and an electronically limited top speed of 205 mph). Original pricing was around $US140,000 but this modern-day classic already commands tags around the $US220,000 mark and is set to continue to rise.
2004-06 Porsche Carrera GT
This supercar was picked by Sports Car International as top car for the 2000s and number eight on its all-time list. With such cred, there’s bound to be a bit of a hefty price tag involved – something which isn’t helped by the fact that the German manufacturer ended the run of 1500 intended vehicles early when they’d reach the slightly odd number of 1270. The development of the Carrera GT involves planning for Le Mans racers and work with the Footwork Formula One team, which possibly goes some way to explaining the phenomenal performance (0-60mph in 3.5secs and 0-100mph in 6.8secs) and the initial eye-watering retail price of $US440,000. At the moment that price hasn’t shifted so far, but with so few models around and such high praise for the Porsche modelling and engine, that’s bound to head upwards.
2004-06 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited
So the usual thing that happens when you buy a new car is you immediately knock a whole heap of cash off its value simply by driving it off the lot. This is pretty much how it goes for the majority of Jeeps too while you spend even more cash making it more powerful and adding a few more perks to help with the off-roading. From 2003, the Rubicon gave you bigger axles capable of far, far greater towing ability, lower gearing and perks such as larger mud tyres and a disconnecting swaybar – then in 2004 the Unlimited gave you heaps more room inside combining for a package which has held much of its $US25,000 price tag and looks set to hold firm.
1986-91 VW Vanagon Camper Syncro
There’s nothing better than having a collectible you can take out on the open road and show off. Yes, there is. A collectible you can take out on the open road and stay in. These were known as the Transporter or Caravelle in Europe, the Microbus in South Africa and the Vanagon in North and South America. The main reason for their success at the time was their excellent four-wheel drive and ultra-low first gear which made them perfect for reaching just about anywhere – their success nowadays is down to VW enthusiasts turning them into a modern-day VW campervan and customising them with seriously top-class interiors and powerful engines. By the end of production, they held a price tag of more than US$26,000 and although you might be able to pick up one needing work for half that now, there are plenty of modified versions well over the US$35,000 mark.
1993-97 Land Rover Defender 90 and 110
The old, dependable Land Rover has its roots in the British Army and seems more at home slogging around the muck and grime of a hill farm than on the open road. But in 1993, Land Rover took a limited run of 500 four-door Defender 110s to the US – and bizarrely they were all white. Not really what you need to get the cows in for milking, but they must have known what they were up to. At the time they cost US$39,900 but in the States that has since shot up. For the next four years, the 110 was replaced by the 90 and, for the last year, it had a metal hardtop “wagon” body style and automatic transmission – all of these have risen from their original tag of $43,995.
1987-1992 Ferrari F40
Question: How do you double your money in 30 years? Answer: Well if you didn’t inherit the family villa in Auckland, you could have made much the same cash by investing the best part of US$300,000 on an F40. The trick was to realise that this would be the final model that Enzo Ferrari would approve before his death and then notice that its phenomenal Kevlar and carbon-fibre bodywork would make it the first street-legal car to break 200mph. 1311 vehicles were made with price tags reported up to a whopping US$1.6million. Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson reckons it to be the “greatest supercar the world has ever seen” as well as one of the most beautiful cars ever made.