With every new model year, a new class of car collectors arises.
ClassicCars.com, a website that helps owners sell their classic vehicles online, identified five vehicles from the 1992 model year celebrating their 25th anniversary that have increased in value over the past few years.
"I think the cars on that list are really sound investments," Andy Reid, ClassicCars.com's East Coast editor and analyst told TheStreet on Friday.
"I don't expect those cars will be depreciating below their current value."
The vehicles represent a new generation of the car collection hobby that emphasizes the 1980s and '90s, Reid said. Most offer the expectations of a modern car, but they still hold the nostalgia of the classics.
"This new generation of collectors love driving these cars," he said. "These five are as usable as they are collectible."
With makes like Dodge and Toyota (TM) on the list, they are also affordable, Reid added.
"They're not a Ferrari (RACE) maintenance situation," he said. "They're all easy to own."
Here are the hot rides.
In the U.S., only 7,421 vehicles were available over the course of the eight years when Acura produced the first-generation model. Available for $30,000 originally, the prices in the past three years has risen to $50,000 to $60,000, Reid said.
"I don't know if they have a lot of head room because the newer models are so great, but they're definitely a stable investment," he said.
That's because of their limited availability.
"A landmark car when introduced, the NSX was the first sensible supercar to offer all the glitz and glamour of an exotic with Honda [Motor Co Ltd. (HMC) ] reliability," according to ClassicCars.com.
The original BMW M3s have driven the next generation of collector's cars up in value, Reid said, noting models from the mid to late 1980s have sold for $100,000, up from $15,000 to $30,000.
The 1992 model, once available for $10,000 to $12,000 for vehicles with 175,000 miles on Craig'sList, has disappeared from that platform in recent years, Reid said. Vehicles with low mileage now sell for $30,000 to $40,000.
"Universally hailed as one of the best BMW's ever built, it's basically the 'swiss army knife' of cars, available as a convertible, sedan or coupe, an option for every taste," ClassicCars.com said. "The M3 also boasts a well-documented heritage as a race car."
Reid said the Viper is one of his favorites on the list. Calling it a modern-day Cobra, Reid said it is the kind of car people will never see again because of new federal stability, traction and braking regulations.
"It's such an insensible car, that's what's makes it cool," he said.
In 1992, the first year this supercar was available, now-Fiat Chrysler Au Rg's (FCAU) Dodge built only 285 Vipers. Available for $30,000 in 1992, the car has appreciated in the past few years to $45,000 — or more.
"I maintain they have a long way to go," Reid said. "I think a really nice one with 20,000 to 28,000 miles in five years could go for $50,000 to $75,000. They're really hard to find, because the guys that have got them are holding onto them...For a sports car collector, it's got everything we look for. It's got the history and rising pedigree."
Also a favorite of Reid, the 1992 model year was the final version of the Porsche 924/944 platform but the first built completely by Porsche AG without guidance from Audi AG. Only 1,440 vehicles were available in North America, and today, low-mileage 968s are almost impossible to find, Reid said.
"They're such a good car, everyone ran the wheels off them," Reid said. "The problem is everyone wants one."
Reid said even vehicles with 150,000 miles or more can go for $20,000 and finding a comparative prices for those with lower mileages is difficult. He said he believes the value is around $40,000, but that could rise to $75,000 in the next couple of years.
"I think they have room to go, but you better hire a treasure hunter to find one," he said.
Toyota Motor Corp.'s 1992 MR2 has gone up in price, because good examples of low-mileage cars are scarce, Reid said. They were originally about $10,000, but in the last three or four years the turbo model has risen to $25,000 to $30,000. Reid estimated low-mileage turbo MR2s will top out at $45,000 in the next few years.
"We've seen a resurgence in demand for Japanese cars, and this is one of those that is extremely sought after," said the website.
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