As with fishing, when it comes to investing there’s always the tale of the one that got away. Those, like so many of us, who have seen their portfolios has flounder over the past year, will probably take no consolation in knowing that a surprising number of vintage-car investments beat the market—and did so handily—during 2022.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index may have dropped by 19.4% last year, but the statisticians at the collectible-car website Classic.com have identified a sizable list of desirable up-and-comers that appreciated in value by as much as 88% over the same period, based on auction data. While these include some of the usual sports car suspects from the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche, the list also includes many affordable and appreciating pickup trucks and SUVs for those looking to get some skin in the game without breaking the bank.
Among the most noteworthy vintage rides shooting up in value is the GMC Typhoon from the 1992 and 1993 model years. It borrowed the familiar muscle car formula from the 1960’s and 1970’s and fitted a turbocharged 4.3-liter V6 engine with 280 horsepower into a midsize two-door Jimmy SUV. It accelerated like no other people-mover of its era, able to reach 60 mph in a little over five seconds. Worth $21,262 last January it was estimated to be worth an average $33,734 by year’s end, which represents a healthy 59% jump in value.
The Typhoon’s pickup truck equivalent, the GMC Syclone from 1991 and 1992 likewise appears on the list, and it’s realized a 30% bump over the past year, gaining in value from $32,580 to $42,377.
Thise of a certain age may remember the two-door, two-seat Buick Reatta luxury coupe and convertible that debuted for the 1988 model year. Built at its own “craft center” in Lansing, MI, it’s noteworthy as being the first mass-produced vehicle to use a touch-screen display, and remains an affordable up-and-comer. Classic.com says 1998-1991 Reattas can be found, on average, selling for $10,903, which represents a 30% increase in value over the prior 12 months.
The hottest vintage rides from 2022 also includes a full-electric vehicle, the original Tesla Roadster, which was based on the Lotus Elise and produced between 2008 and 2012. A 375-volt electric motor produced the equivalent of 248 horsepower with up to a 244-mile range, which was unheard of at the time. Its vintage value increased by 26% last year from $86,950 to $109,050.
The most affordable, and in many ways unlikely, example on the rapid-appreciating vintage-car list is the redoubtable Chrysler TC by Maserati that was sold from 1989-1991. Built in partnership between the two automakers on both continents, it was essentially a two-door Chrysler coupe with a removable hardtop that proved to be too expensive to be profitable, especially given its low sales volume. A top-notch example is worth $7,482, which represents a 26% jump in value over the past year.
The biggest gainer dollar-wise last year was the already pricey Porsche Carrera GT from 2004-2006, which escaladed in value by a whopping $483,680 to break the seven-figure mark at $1,375,561.
But perhaps the biggest oddball among Classic.com’s list of the biggest gainers is the infamous Amphicar at 40th place. Debuting in 1961, this was a this was a tiny German-built car engineered to double as a watercraft. One could simply drive into a body of water and keep on going, thanks to dual outboard propellers. During his presidency, Lyndon B. Johnson kept one at his Texas ranch, and as the story goes, loved to spook visitors by taking them for a ride in the Amphicar and pretending to lose control of the vehicle, veering off precipitously (or so the passenger thought) into a lake on the property.
We’re counting down the 40 collectible cars Classic.com identifies as increasing the most in value during 2022, noting the percentage of growth and both beginning and year-end values. You can find the complete list of 100 big gainers here.
As with stock picks, those who perform due diligence, can predict future trends, and/or are just plain lucky, can find true gems among generations of models, many of which may have since succumbed to depreciation and have been relegated to the scrap heap. One can assume that in-demand older vehicles that have been well-preserved or painstakingly restored will bring the most cash in a private sale or at a vintage vehicle auction, with low-mileage models, limited production variants, and those having a unique provenance likely to bring the highest rates of return.
Best Vintage Car Investments For 2022
- Land Rover Defender 110 Hard Top, 1990-2016: +88% ($32,825-$61,791)
- Maybach 57, 2003-2012: +78% ($54,093-$96,093)
- Mercedes-Benz E350, 2006-2009: +61% ($9,789-$15,723)
- GMC Typhoon, 1992-1993: +59% ($21,261-$33,734)
- Toyota 4Runner, 2003-2009: +56% ($11,453-$17,918)
- Porsche Carrera GT, 2004-2006; +54% ($891,881-$1,375,561)
- Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition, 1989-1991: +51% ($292,612-$442,061)
- BMW M6 Convertible, 2007-2010: +49% ($27,362-$40,736)
- Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4, 1997-1999: +49% ($27,392-$40,736)
- Toyota Land Cruiser, 2008-2021: +48% ($26,802-$39,834)
- Honda 2000, 2007-2009: +48% ($52,581-$77,795)
- Land Rover Series II, 1958-1961: +48% ($21,988-$32,485)
- Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, 2011-2015: +47% ($28,154-$41,469)
- Acura Integra Type R, 1997-2001: +39% ($31,833-$44,101)
- Porsche Cayenne S, 2003-2006: +38% ($12,710-$17,491)
- Ferrari 512, 1991-1996: +37% ($175,367-$239,610)
- Porsche 911 GT2, 2001-2004: +37% ($138,881-$189,045)
- Cadillac Eldorado, 1992-2002: +37% ($6,337-$8,653)
- Land Rover 90 Wagon, 1984-1990: +35% ($30,179-$40,765)
- Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Targa, 1990-1994: +34% ($59,542-$79,795)
- Mercedes-Benz S600, 2001-2006: +34% ($12,293-$16,429)
- Mercedes Benz 300SD, 1980-1985: +34% ($12,293-$16,429)
- Ferrari F40, 1987-1992: +33% ($1,662,171-$1,213,759)
- BMW 528e, 1983-1988: +33% ($9,022-$11,972)
- Volkswagen GTI, 2013-2020: +31% ($20,411-$26,824)
- Buick Reatta, 1988-1991: +30% ($8,363-$10,903)
- GMC Syclone, 1991-1992: +30% ($32,850-$42,377)
- Porsche 911 Turbo, 1993-1994: +30% ($238,461-$310,043)
- Lexis SC430, 2001-2010: +30% ($17,096-$22,147)
- Chevrolet Corvette C2, 1963: +29% ($134,527-$173,845)
- Ferrari 360 Modena, 1999-2004: +29% ($92,898-$119,874)
- BMW M5, 2007-2010: +28% ($30,734-$39,339)
- Nissan 300ZX, 1984-1989: +28% ($9,721-$12,422)
- Shelby Cobra 427: +26% ($178,115-$225,250)
- Mercedes-Benz AMG G63: +26% ($96,505-$121,869)
- Renault Clio Williams, 1993-1997: ($24,758-$31,197)
- Volvo S60 R, 2004-2007: ($9,834-$11,823)
- Tesla Roadster, 2008-2012: ($86,590-$109,052)
- Chrysler TC by Maserati, 1989-1991: ($5,951-$7,482)
- Amphicar: +26% ($66,055-$82,905)
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