Top 10 Most Investable Classic Cars

1939 ALFA ROMEO 8C 2900B TOURING BERLINETTA. The black car has a prolonged bonnet, and is pictured against a concrete backgroundImage © Gran Turismo / Berlinetta © Alfa Romeo 1939
Rebecca Marsham

Rebecca Marsham, Sales Director[email protected]

Interested in buying or selling
an artwork?

Browse artworks

Classic cars have long been regarded as an excellent investment opportunity, and for good reason. Not only do they offer the chance to own a piece of automotive history, but they can also provide substantial returns for savvy investors. But what makes classic cars such a good investment?

A 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost pictured in a car showroom.Image © RM Sotheby's / Silver Ghost © Rolls Royce 1914

Firstly, classic cars are a finite asset, meaning that there are only a limited number of them available. This rarity means that they are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts, driving up their value over time. Additionally, classic cars have a unique appeal, combining art, design, and engineering in a way that is not found in modern cars. This appeal is only heightened by the fact that many classic cars have an interesting backstory. They are often associated with iconic moments in history, pop culture, and motorsport, which adds to their allure. The unique design and craftsmanship of classic cars are also highly prized, particularly among collectors who appreciate the artistry that went into their creation.

Another key factor that makes classic cars a viable alternative to mainstream investment funds is their versatility. They can be enjoyed as a collector's item, adorn a private collection, or they can be driven and enjoyed on the open road.

The combination of rarity, cultural significance, and versatility make classic cars an excellent investment opportunity for those with an interest in automotive history and design. As the market continues to grow and evolve, the potential for strong returns only continues to increase.

Here are some of the most investable classic cars:

A scarlet Ferrari 250 GT against a grey background.Image © Amalgam Collection / 250 GT © Ferrari 1962
1.

Ferrari 250 GT

Produced by the iconic Italian car manufacturer Ferrari in the 1960s, the 250 GT was known for its sleek design and powerful engine, which made it a popular choice for racing enthusiasts. The car's classic design and storied history, including its many racing victories, have contributed to its enduring popularity and high resale value. Additionally, the limited number of 250 GT models produced and their rarity today make them highly coveted among collectors, driving up their market value.Investing in a 1960s Ferrari 250 GT can be a wise choice for collectors and investors alike, as the car's value is expected to continue to appreciate over time. However, it's important to note that owning a classic car like the 250 GT requires a significant financial commitment, as the cost of maintenance, storage, and insurance can be substantial.

This car remains a symbol of Italian design and engineering excellence, and its status as one of the most valuable classic cars on the market remains unrivaled. As the famous comedian, host, and car enthusiast Jay Leno once said, “You never truly own a classic car; you're just the caretaker.”

1955 silver Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing against a sunset background.Image © Motor Authority / 300 SL Alloy Gullwing © Mercedes Benz 1955
2.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

The 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL was created by Mercedes-Benz in 1955 as a racing car and was quickly recognised as one of the most beautiful designs in automotive history. The 300SL's design is unique, with its gull-wing doors that open vertically and a sleek, aerodynamic body that was inspired by the racing cars of the time.

The car also features a powerful 3.0-litre engine that delivers an impressive 215 horsepower, making it one of the fastest and most desirable cars of its time.The car's high resale value is due to several factors, including its rarity, timeless design, and exceptional performance. With only 1,400 produced in total, finding a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL in good condition is a rare and valuable opportunity for collectors and investors. For instance, an incredibly rare 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing sold for $6.8 million at the RM Sotheby’s Scottsdale auction last week to set a new record for the iconic model.Investing in a classic car like the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL can be a wise decision, as they have consistently shown high returns over time. The car's rarity and timeless design ensure that its value will only continue to increase over time, making it a valuable addition to any investment portfolio.

An orange Porsche 911 First Gen against a dark background.Image © Wallpaper Access / 911 First Gen © Porsche, 1963
3.

1960s Porsche 911

The Porsche brand is synonymous with excellence and precision engineering, and the 911 is a testament to this legacy. The 1960s Porsche 911 is one of the most iconic and sought-after classic cars in the world, and it's not hard to see why. The car's unique design, with its distinctive round headlights, long hood, and sloping roofline, is instantly recognisable.

One of the reasons for the 911's high resale value is its rarity and exclusivity. These cars were produced in limited numbers, making them highly sought-after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. Additionally, the materials used in the car's construction are of the highest quality, ensuring that they stand the test of time and retain their value.

Investing in a 1960s Porsche 911 is not just a financial decision, but a passion investment. In 2022, a Porsche 911 Turbo S sold for a record $1.3 million. As a car enthusiast, owning the 911 allows you to own a piece of automotive and design history. And with the car's high resale value, it's a smart investment that can offer both enjoyment and financial returns.

The only 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 ever. The electric blue car is pictured against a dark background.Image © Barrett Jackson / Cobra 427 © Shelby, 1966
4.

1960s Shelby Cobra

The 1960s Shelby Cobra 427 is a classic car that has stood the test of time and remains a favourite among car enthusiasts and collectors alike. The Cobra was created by Carroll Shelby in the early 1960s by fitting a British AC Ace roadster with a powerful Ford V8 engine, creating a true powerhouse of a car.

One of the main reasons why the 1960s Shelby Cobra has such a high resale value is due to its rarity. Only two Cobra 427 ever hit the road, of which one lies deep in the Pacific Ocean, leaving only one such snarling fire-breather in existence. History has it that Carroll Shelby gifted one Cobra 427 to his friend Bill Cosby, who got so unnerved after just one drive that he decided to sell it. In recent sale history, the first Shelby Cobra sold for $13.75 million in 2016.

The Cobra was designed to be a racing car and its sleek lines, and aggressive styling have made it a classic in the classic car world. The Cobra is made from high-quality materials, including a lightweight aluminium body, which was revolutionary for the time. Its exclusivity, combined with the timeless design and racing heritage, has made the Shelby Cobra one of the most desirable classic cars on the market.

A champagne coloured Jaguar E-type Couple from 196, set against a plain studio background.Image © Amalgam Collection / E-type Couple © Jaguar, 1961
5.

Jaguar E-Type

The 1961 Jaguar E-Type, often referred to as the ‘most beautiful car ever made,’ is a testament to the design prowess of the Jaguar brand. With its long, sleek lines and graceful curves, the E-Type is a timeless beauty that exudes style and sophistication.

Crafted from premium materials, the Jaguar E-Type was designed to perform as well as it looked. With a lightweight aluminum body, powerful engine, and smooth handling, the E-Type quickly became a favorite among car enthusiasts. Its reputation for speed and luxury made it a status symbol of the era, coveted by celebrities and car aficionados alike. One of the only 1,729 Series 1 roadsters was sold for nearly $300 thousand at Sotheby’s in 2022.

The history of the Jaguar E-Type is rich with iconic moments and milestones. It was famously driven by Prince Philip in the 1960s, and it even made an appearance in the James Bond film Die Another Day. Today, collectors and investors continue to seek out this classic car for its timeless design, premium materials, and high resale value.

A vintage tomato red Chevrolet Corvette in a shopping mall.Image © Sotheby's / Corvette © Chevrolet, 1953
6.

1960s Chevrolet Corvette

The 1960 Chevrolet Corvette is an iconic American classic car that has stood the test of time as one of the most popular and highly sought-after vintage cars in the market. The sleek and sporty design of the Corvette has always been one of its defining features. The car's fiberglass body, combined with its powerful engine, made it a popular choice for car enthusiasts who valued both style and performance. Additionally, the Corvette's history as a racing car and its continued use in popular culture has cemented its place as a beloved classic.

What sets the 1960s Chevrolet Corvette apart from other classic cars is its high resale value. The Corvette is not only a stunning and desirable car, but it is also a smart investment. Its rarity and timeless design make it a highly sought-after collectible, and its value has remained consistently high over the years. Investing in a 1960s Chevrolet Corvette is not just a purchase, it is a decision to own a piece of American automotive history.

A 1970 Lamborghini Countach on the asphalt.Image © MotorTrend / Countach © Lamborghini, 1970
7.

Lamborghini Countach

The Lamborghini Countach was a groundbreaking sports car that was produced in the 1970s. It featured a radical, wedge-shaped design that made it stand out from other cars of its era. The Countach was powered by a powerful V12 engine that produced an impressive amount of horsepower. It can jump from zero to sixty mph in just 5.4 seconds, a time that can put most recent supercars to shame.

The Countach’s innovative materials, such as carbon fibre and Kevlar, made it a true masterpiece of engineering. Its rarity, performance, and unique design all contribute to its high resale value. Lamborghini rarely disappoints, and this car is an old testament to the brand’s supercar legacy. The Countach is not only a classic car but also an investment opportunity that could potentially yield a significant return.

A black Porsche 930 Turbo in a garage.Image © Elferspot / 930 Turbo © Porsche, 1975
8.

1970s Porsche 930 Turbo

The Porsche 930 Turbo, first introduced in the mid-1970s, is one of the most iconic sports cars of all time. With its sleek, aerodynamic design and fitted with a powerful and first ever successful turbocharged engine, the 930 Turbo quickly became known as a high-performance wild powerhouse. So much so, it is known among car enthusiasts as the ‘Widowmaker’. Made with the highest quality materials and engineering, the 930 Turbo was designed for speed and precision, challenging the Lamborghini Countach in its heyday.

The 930 Turbo's high resale value is due to its rarity, performance capabilities, and historical significance. As one of the first turbocharged sports cars, the 930 Turbo has become a sought-after collector's item. In 2015, Steve McQueen’s Porsche 930 Turbo Carrera was sold for $1.95 million.

A silver 1965 Aston Martin DB5 against a white background, featured in the James Bond film.Image © MotorTrend / DB5 © Aston Martin, 1965
9.

Aston Martin DB5

The Aston Martin DB5 is an iconic British sports car that was produced in the 1960s. It's perhaps best known for its appearance in James Bond films, where it was driven by 007 himself. Its timeless design, featuring a long hood, sleek lines, and a luxurious interior, has made it a favourite among collectors. Often billed as the “most famous car in the world”, James Bond’s gadget laden Silver Birch DB5 in Goldfinger became many a schoolboy’s dream. Regarded by many as the most beautiful Aston Martin produced, DB5 shares many similar traits to DB4.

The DB5 was powered by a powerful inline-six engine that produced impressive speed and handling. Its rarity, timeless design, and association with Bond, all contribute to its high resale value. The DB5 is a classic car that is worth investing in for both its emotional and financial value.

A black BMW 507 from 1957 against a dark studio background.Image © CNBC / 507 © BMW, 1957
10.

1957 BMW 507

Loved for its beautiful design, advanced engineering, and rarity, the 1957 BMW 507 almost bankrupted the brand but now sells for nothing short of millions. Its association with famous owners, such as Elvis Presley, has driven its popularity and made it a valuable investment for collectors. The BMW 507 is a classic roadster that was produced in the late 1950s, originally intended for the American market, but its high price tag made it a commercial failure. Its design, featuring a long hood and short trunk, has made it a timeless classic.

The 507 was powered by a powerful V8 engine that produced impressive speed and handling. The most notable example of its auction is the $5 million hammer price for John Surtees’ 1957 507 at a 2018 Bonham’s sale. It is yet another classic car that is worth investing in, not only for its potential financial return, but also for the sheer joy of driving it. As a vintage roadster, it's a symbol of classic automotive design and craftsmanship.

A green and white Aston Martin DBR1 on the road.Image © TopGear / DBR1 © Aston Martin 1956

Investing in luxury collectible assets like classic cars can be an exciting and profitable endeavour for collectors and enthusiasts alike, apart from being perfect ways to diversify your portfolio. The cars mentioned in this article represent some of the most investable classic cars with the highest resale value and the potential for appreciation over time.

From the iconic 1960s Aston Martin DB5 to the stylish 1957 BMW 507, each of these cars has a unique history, design, and craftsmanship that makes them a valuable addition to any collection. However, it is important to note that investing in classic cars requires research, due diligence, and a long-term perspective. Factors such as the car's condition, authenticity, and rarity can greatly impact its value over time. Additionally, owning a classic car requires ongoing maintenance and care to preserve its value and functionality.

As with any investment, there are risks involved, including market volatility, fraud, and lack of liquidity. However, by working with reputable dealers and collectors, and staying up-to-date on industry trends and news, collectors can mitigate these risks and maximise the potential return on their investment.

Discover live market data against your collection

Discover live market data against your collection

The only dedicated prints portfolio management system in the world. Add your collection to track value in real time.

Track demand on our trading floor

Track demand on our trading floor

Track live demand in works from our artist's portfolios and view access to the works you're looking for.

What to <br />Invest in Now

What to
Invest in Now

Data-driven market commentary on what's driving growth, supply & demand in the Prints and Multiples market.