Cars are what’s generally known as a ‘depreciating asset’. They’re not an investment, they’re going to be worth less as time goes on. But there are a few exceptions—the ones that are rare and/or particularly prized among enthusiasts and likely to become collectible. They may not depreciate at the same rate as most cars, and in some cases they may actually be worth more than their purchase price at some point.
Usually it’s sporty cars that are relatively affordable to start with, that become more desirable and collectible over time. Sometimes the elements that appeal to purists—like fewer electronics, a manual transmission, or naturally aspirated engines—can be the ones that make the difference, as subsequent models move on to newer technologies.
Here are a few cars that show signs of potentially being collectible and more valuable in the future:
The Audi TT is a fun, sporty little coupe. It’s never been produced in terribly large numbers, so relative scarcity is on its side. It’s also an extremely unique car—nothing about its external or internal styling is shared with any other Audi model. It’s quirky, in a way that appeals to most people, and that’s a good indicator that it will be increasingly desirable to car buyers in the future. Audi is discontinuing production of the TT after the 2021 model year.
Civic Type R
The Civic has always been a very popular car, and has gone through many iterations in its long history. And sometimes nostalgia can play as big a role as performance, fun, or overall rarity in boosting a car’s value. That may have been the case with the 2000 EM1 Civic Si that sold for $50,000.
More recent limited production Civic models, like the 2017-2018 Type R, have proven to be extremely popular and are in high demand with enthusiasts. When they were first released, many dealers marked them up significantly. And they’re scarce and sell quickly and for high prices whenever they turn up on the used market.
2021 is the Type R’s last year of production, and a limited-edition lightweight Type R is just hitting dealers’ lots now… it’s limited to 1,000 units (with only 600 for the U.S.). It’s only available in bright yellow, and dealers are marking it up by shocking amounts. MSRP starts at $44,000, but many dealers have been marking it up to $70,000, and one has even priced theirs at $90,000. As a result, all Type R models are likely to have collectible status as time goes on.
Mercedes C63 AMG
The C63 is quite a package. It’s a small, lightweight sports car but it has a 4-liter twin turbo V8. The engine, as in all AMG cars, is hand-built by master craftsmen. And it makes 469 horsepower, and 479 lb-ft of torque. So it’s a rocketship, and it’s been made in reasonably small numbers since its debut in 2015. All of this bodes well for future collectible status.
Porsches have always been popular, but for the last 15-20 years, 911s have been on a steady and dramatic rise in terms of both popularity and price. The trend has swept classics and more recent models alike, and there are special premiums for things like air-cooled (replaced with water-cooled with the launch of the 996 in 1998) and naturally aspirated, which was replaced with turbocharged in all models as of 2015.
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
Alfa Romeo returned to the US market in 2014 after being out of it since the mid 90s. They came back to the US with only three models: the Stelvio SUV, the Giulia sedan, and the 4C Spider—a small, sporty roadster.
The Spider was only produced from 2014-2020, and only about 2,100 in total were sold in the US. So scarcity is definitely on its side. And it’s an exotic-looking, fun, and very stripped-down, sporty car—sure to be popular with collectors in the future.