13 January 2012

These cars have investment potential

The new normal is here, and, for the most part, it’s not as ugly as we imagined. Where auction (and private sale) prices for many “ordinary’ cars have softened, there are some back-benchers that we should concentrate on. Here is a group of a few cars and recent auction sales, that have not only some investment potential, but, more importantly are fun to drive and won’t (necessarily) keep you on your back, both physically or financially.

Although the Porsche 928 had its day, one look around the blogs and comment sections of any Porsche-oriented website will lead you to believe the front-engined wunderkind will live to again see happier times, and the final versions of the 928 have shown some real upward movement in value. The days of owners abandoning them at repair shops after previewing unpaid bills are perhaps not entirely over; however, the chances of finding a great one under $5,000 likely is.

Barrett-Jackson let a 1990 example go for $8,800 in September 2011, and in March 2011 a 1993 928 GTS was sold by Auctions America in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for $22,000. Silver Auctions sold a much cheaper example in its Fort McDowell (Scottsdale) sale – at $3,130, it was buy it for the parts money. They occasionally go cheap in online sales, and at some point, we’ll all wish we bought that house in the country with the huge barn to keep them safe there until we retire — or are forced out by reasons of insolvency.

It’s possible that the DeTomaso Pantera will finally feel the love from collectors, and the U.S. is the go-to source for all the early and even some of the later cars. In some sort of marketing genius move, they were imported when new by Lincoln-Mercury dealers, and the salesmen had a field day selling them on Friday to have them returned on Monday when the proud new owner found out there was not enough room in the boot for two sets of golf clubs. Forty years on they look good, and the massive Ford V-8 is as easy to service as it is thirsty. Well-restored examples have hit $79,200 (Gooding and Company, Amelia Island, Fla., March 2011), while lesser cars can be found lurking at well below $40,000. Just three hundred or so miles down the road from the Gooding event, and one week earlier, Auctions America sold a 1974 Pantara for just $33,550. Looking for Hugo Boss styling at a Target price? You still have time to buy.

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