So, you’re sitting with a pile of funds unallocated to any other investment class, and a portfolio bulging with blue‒chip properties, shares, and alternate investment vehicles. And you’re keen on using the additional resources to get involved in motoring from an investment perspective?
Your most likely starting point, at this stage, will be the high‒end car dealerships in your area. Yes, shopping in the personal ads and online options does provide you with a lot more scope, as well as a potentially more reasonable purchase price meaning greater returns. But there are daunting risks involved, which we’ll unpack in a subsequent feature. For now, let’s head out to the showrooms, because we’ve tracked down some gems that you just might want to consider.
Alpina E30 C2 2.7 (1986)
Found on: Social Media
Available for: R899 500
This Alpina C2 shares many similarities with the SA‒only 325iS of similar vintage. But while the legendary Shadowline was a BMW SA special and forged a cult local following in SA circuit racing, the Alpina (which is actually where BMW got the engine found in the iS) is a product of an internationally‒recognised and revered tuner specialising in perfectly tweaking BMW road cars for the ideal combination of performance and driveability.
With stock E30 M3 prices soaring in the markets in which it was sold, even rarer examples of this generation of car can command even higher premiums today. Across three iterations less than 500 examples of C2 were ever built, making this a speculative investment with the potential to pay big returns. Even if the local market might always prefer the more recognised iS for this kind of money, the beauty of this Alpina is that international car fanatics are likely to be interested when you do put it up for resale.
However, the asking price is a steep starting point, and by the look of international prices for this car currently, there’s quite a bit of appreciation still needed before you would be able to take any profit from the transaction, and it isn’t yet clear what the ceiling for E30s is going to be. So it is a gamble from an investment perspective, and not a sure thing.
1973 Jaguar E‒Type Series 3 Roadster
Found on: Showroom floor.
Available for: R2 399 950
The E‒Type appreciation curve has already gone vertical, hence the steep price of this aged beauty. That is the problem with buying such cars from dealerships who know precisely what it is they have on their floors, and the projected future value adds to the list price. The E‒Type, interestingly enough, isn’t a particularly rare model. Almost 40 000 of the original, and most sought after, Series 1 models were made, over 18 000 Series 2, and just over 15 000 Series 3.
Nonetheless the E‒Type is one of those rare cases where the production run doesn’t limit its investment value today. Most likely because Enzo Ferrari himself famously proclaimed the E‒Type “the most beautiful car ever built” when it first hit the road in 1961.
Even at this price level, you are still likely to get a good return within a couple of years on this vehicle. Although a tidy, 1972 E‒Type Coupe spotted at the same dealership for just under R1‒million may be better still. Yes, the hardtops are not quite as appealing as the roadsters as they don’t command quite the same premiums, but the substantially lower asking price means this car has less capital to repay so you should be able to get a sound return sooner.
2004 BMW M3 CSL
Found on: Web
Available for: R1 099 900
The 2017 HAGI Index flags the E46 BMW M3 as ripe for steep appreciation right about now, and the M3 CSL as available here was the pinnacle of the exalted breed. Many punters in fact believe this E46 CSL may well be the best car ever made by the M Division, period. And they may well be right, this thing is a revelation to drive.
As an investment though, it could well be even better news than that.
It has exclusivity on it’s side, BMW only produced 1400 examples of this machine. It has heritage too, the CSL moniker having last been applied to the legendary 3.0 CSL, or Batmobile, from 1971. Sure, the asking price is R150k more than when the car was brand new, so the seller is already taking some profit from rarity value alone, but E30 M3s spiked to highs of ten times what they were sold for new and are still appreciating so this vehicle still has huge growth potential, financially speaking.
So, which will it be?
If it’s a substantial return on your investment you’re after, and within just a couple of years, we’d grab that CSL up without reservations. What’s more, in the very unlikely event that the market falls over and this car’s value doesn’t appreciate like a SpaceX Falcon in the next couple of years, you’re still left with an epic drivers’ car. In addition, it’s modern enough to remain at the sharp end of the quick sports coupe market, and has a good few years of driveability left before major headaches are likely to arise.
The Jaguar and Alpina are both more speculative. As the E‒Type has already seen strong growth in recent years, how much further it’s likely to climb limits the potential return you’ll achieve. The ultra‒rare Alpina C2, on the other hand, may or may not go much beyond the asking price This will depend entirely on who exactly you sell the vehicle to in the end. A true enthusiast with a passion for all things E30 will hand over almost any asking price you come up with for one of these in good condition, but you may have to look around a bit to find that perfect buyer.
By Russell Bennett