- The car was featured in a show or movie
One of the most well-known examples of a car that was popularized by a movie is the DeLorean. While it had some attractive features, such as its stainless steel body, design connections to the Lotus Esprit, and iconic gullwing doors, it was not very practical as a car. It was slow, unreliable, and impractical. However, its popularity greatly increased after it was featured in the film Back to the Future.
Other examples of cars that have become popular due to their appearances in movies include the Toyota MK4 Supra, Aston Martin DB5, Toyota AE86, Ferrari Testarossa, Lamborghini Countach, and Audi R8.
2. Low production numbers
The popularity of a car is usually an important factor in its value. However, in the case of homologation specials, production numbers of around or under 10,000 are typically desired. These cars are often produced in very low numbers, such as the Alpine A110 (around 2,000 made), Ford Sierra Escort Cosworth (around 7,000 made), Audi Quattro, Renault 5, and Toyota Celica. These cars, once considered "kid's cars," are now considered classics and have increased in value by 3-4 times and sometimes even 10 times their original value. The rarest generation of a car will typically be the most expensive, such as the Nissan R34 GTR or KPGC110. This also applies to special editions such as V specs, Zanardi editions, and 400Rs, which are often more expensive than the standard car despite only offering minor improvements.
3. It was the first and last of something
As examples, let's consider the Honda Civic Type R range and the Mazda MX-5. The Honda Ek9 and FD2 Civics are currently the most expensive models. The Ek9 was the first Civic Type R, and the FD2 was the last one with a naturally-aspirated engine, a highly-valued feature in the Type R range. The first-generation MX-5 is not the rarest model, but it is the most iconic and was the last one with pop-up headlights and a simple, lightweight design. The same is true for the Toyota Celica TA22. Another example is air-cooled Porsche models, which have a large cult following, along with newer water-cooled engines. Some speculators have argued that the 997 generation of Porsche 911, which was the last one made before Volkswagen's involvement, is one of the last great modern 911s.
4. It was not sold everywhere
The desire for something often increases when it is perceived as unattainable or rare. This is especially true for cars associated with a particular place or time period. For example, cars from Japan in the 1990s, known as JDM cars, and classic American muscle cars are highly sought after and can command high prices. People often go to great lengths to obtain these imported cars, which contributes to their desirability and exclusivity.
For example, the Honda NSX-R was never available for sale in North America. This model of the NSX was only produced for the Japanese market. The NSX-R was a high-performance version of the NSX, featuring a number of enhancements designed to improve its handling and acceleration. Despite its impressive performance, the NSX-R was never officially sold in North America.
5. It was expensive when new
Even though many people are unsure of the original manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for classic cars, the prices of these vehicles often return to their original, inflation-adjusted values.
For example, when it was first released, the McLaren SLR was considered to be a very expensive car. The SLR was a high-performance supercar that was produced in a limited run of just over 2,000 units. With its impressive performance and exclusive nature, the SLR commanded a high price when it was new. As a result, it was considered to be one of the most expensive cars on the market at the time.
Although the McLaren SLR was once a very expensive car, it is considered to be relatively affordable compared to other high-performance cars like the Ferrari Enzo, Ford GT, and Porsche Carrera GT. While the McLaren SLR may currently be a relatively affordable option compared to other high-performance cars, it is unlikely to remain a bargain forever. As time goes on and the car becomes increasingly rare, it is likely to become more valuable and therefore more expensive. This is particularly true if the car is well-maintained and in good condition, as this can help to increase its value on the market. As a result, those who are interested in owning a McLaren SLR should consider purchasing one now, before its price begins to rise.
6. It has a manual transmission
Nowadays, most cars are automatic and driven by a CVT (continuously variable transmission), which can make them dull to drive. As a result, many manufacturers have stopped producing manual transmission vehicles. However, sports cars with manual transmissions often command a premium price on the resale market. This is because manual sports cars were produced in low numbers, and now enthusiasts are showing a preference for the ability to shift gears themselves. In the past, automatic transmissions were seen as the latest and greatest technology, but now the market has shifted and people are valuing the ability to control their own gears. Examples of sports cars with manual transmissions that are now highly sought after include the first-generation Audi R8 V10 with a gated manual transmission and the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 with a gated manual transmission.
In conclusion, there are several key factors that can influence whether a car will increase in value in the future. These factors include the car's production numbers, demand among collectors and enthusiasts, brand reputation, condition, special features, and historical significance. By considering these factors, you can make more informed decisions about which cars are likely to appreciate in value over time.