Editor’s Note: We love scouring the internet for reasons to spend money we don’t have on cars we daydream about owning, and these are our picks this week. All prices listed are bid amounts at the time of publishing.
The classic car market is a fickle mistress. One minute air-cooled Porsches and Ferrari Dinos are worthless and the next, they’re the hottest cars on the market. It’s hard to predict exactly what the market will do and which cars it will favor in the next 10–20 years, but there are a few types of cars you can look out for that have a good chance of becoming future collectibles. Unique or special-edition cars are always a solid bet, and right now, ’90s and early-aughts cars are at a low, price-wise, in their life cycles — which is where you’ll find your next investment.
2006 Audi S4 Special Edition
What we like: Not only is this S4 a 25-year celebration of Audi’s quattro system, but it was also the last-generation S4 to come with a V8, before the company downsized to V6s.
From the seller: This is the special edition of which only 250 units were produced, celebrating 25 years of Quattro four-wheel-drive.
Location: Dublin, Ohio
1995 BMW M3
What we like: The first-generation E30 M3 has already gained collector status, and the newest M3s are still holding on to their original value fairly well. The E36 is in the sweet spot where its price hasn’t appreciated — but you can be sure, with that M badge on the back, that it’s only a matter of time.
From the seller: It is nearly unmodified apart from E-Code corner indicator lenses, an H&R front sway bar, and a BMW rear decklid spoiler.
Location: Boise, Idaho
2000 BMW M Roadster
What we like: Not only was the M Roadster a fantastically received car, its production numbers were relatively minimal with only 10,501 ever being built. Of the 10,501, only 1,760 were painted Imola red. This particular M Roadster also only has 44,852 miles on it and is in mint condition — prime for collector-car status.
From the seller: It is described as stock aside from small usability upgrades detailed below. A new rear window and tires were installed within the last few months, as were fresh fluids throughout.
Location: Hendersonville, Tennessee
2004 Mazda MX-5 Mazdaspeed
What we like: Lauded as one of the best-handling cars, ever, the Mazda MX-5 is a true enthusiast car — and the first-generation Miatas now even qualify for vintage racing. However, the biggest complaint has always been the lack of power. Mazda decided to do something about that with the special, upgraded, turbo’d Mazdaspeed version.
From the seller: N/A
Location: Red Bank, New Jersey
2006 Pontiac GTO
What we like: Pontiac may be long gone, but prices for the last-generation GTOs are still holding close to their original value. The GTO badge was the return of an iconic name, on a car that could actually handle and perform — straying slightly from the rest of Pontiac’s lineup at the time.
From the seller: Only 33,891 miles. Factory options: 17-inch aluminum wheels (only 390 made). Vehicle Highlights: 6.0-liter LS2 V8 rated at 400 horsepower and performance brake package.
Location: Torrington, Connecticut