Introducing the modern classics set to appreciate in 2019

From a vintage Jaguar to a special edition Mini Cooper, these are the modern classic cars you should be investing in this year…

What makes a car a classic? It’s a question bandied around by the most ardent collectors. Some think it can be found in the looks of the car, some believe it to be the age, and some maintain it has something to do with the price.

Insurance companies, however, kick in with ‘Classic Car’ insurance when you get behind the wheel of a motor that’s been running for over 20 years. And so, with a whole new world of ‘modern classics’ opening up every year, we’ve rounded up a selection of the best wheels to buy in 2019. They may not be what you first think of as classics, but they’re sound investments…

Jaguar XJS V12 6.0 litre

Introducing the modern classics set to appreciate in 2019

This is an icon that was many years in the making. Design started around 1965, but the first production model wasn’t sold until a decade later. Then, after several tweaks and tunes, the car continued to roll off the production line until 1996. And, styled by Jaguar’s pioneering aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer, we can see why.

This particular model, from 1993, has been classed as a classic for over five years — and features the substantially revised coupé body that was introduced in May 1991. It’s a car that smacks of the Seventies and becomes ever more beautiful the longer you look at it. In 2019, and the years to come, expect the asking price to skyrocket.

Top speed: 161mph
0-60mph: 6.8 seconds
Power: 302bhp

Introducing the modern classics set to appreciate in 2019

Jaguar XJS V12 6.0 litre

£21995

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Porsche 944 S2

Introducing the modern classics set to appreciate in 2019

By 1989, the Porsche 944 had already been in production for seven years. But, when a dual-overhead-cam 16-valve 3.0 litre version of the car’s existing engine was introduced, the transmission tuned and the body carried over from the 944 Turbo model, the S2 was born. And, today, it has graduated into a modern classic.

Production ran for 10 years, and the S2 became a luxurious long distance cruiser that could moonlight as a powerful, exciting road car. Going head-to-head with the Audi Quattro and Lotus Esprit Turbo, the S2 could more than hold its own. And, even though it hasn’t fared as well as its competition in the ageing stakes, the German sportster is about to tear into its golden years.

Top speed: 149mph
0-60mph: 6.5 seconds
Power: 208bhp

BMW E30 3-Series

Introducing the modern classics set to appreciate in 2019

Modern classics live in a nebulous zone. They’re just edging out of their ‘naff’ phase and beginning to be revered by collectors and nostalgia-driven drivers. But this BMW has been something of a catch for all of its road-going life.

Produced from 1982 to 1994, it starred in Miami Vice, Pretty Woman, Beverly Hills Cop and many more of the coolest productions ever to be put to celluloid. And BMW must have been doing something right for it to be in production for 12 years. At just over £10,000, this is a steal — and only set to appreciate from here on out.

Top speed: 129mph
0-60mph: 9.3 seconds
Power: 134bhp

Mercedes R129 SL500

Introducing the modern classics set to appreciate in 2019

The Mercedes R129 was always good. A highly-tuned German roadster, it was first introduced in 1984 and came way before its time — with electronically-controlled damping and a hidden extending roll-over bar coming as standard. But, in 1996, even more changes were made — and it became great.

A removable hard-top was introduced, along with HomeLink transmitters, a larger LCD control screen and rain-sensing windscreen wipers. But the big change? A ‘Sport’ mode. And, thanks to that choice development, this 1996 model is one of the finest automotive investments you can make all year. Still relatively new to the classic market, it’s a sure thing.

Top speed: 155mph
0-60mph: 6.3 seconds
Power: 322bhp

Introducing the modern classics set to appreciate in 2019

Mercedes R129 SL500

£19995

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Mini Cooper Sport 500

Introducing the modern classics set to appreciate in 2019

This is our wild card. And no, it’s not just because it’s a Mini — all bright red happiness and 13-inch wheels. It’s because, technically, this isn’t a classic car. Despite its retro styling, 4-speed gearbox and considerable lack of crumple zones, this Sport 500 rolled off the production line in 2001.

But, even though you’ll have to wait two years before it can officially be resold as a classic, there isn’t a collector alive who wouldn’t tell you that this motor — one of 500 from Mini’s concluding run — won’t put a payday into your future calendar. And you know what they say about small packages…

Top speed: 90mph
0-60mph: 12.2 seconds
Power: 63bhp

Introducing the modern classics set to appreciate in 2019

Mini Cooper Sport 500

£27995

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Want to learn more about that red-hot Mini? Check out why we love it here…

Further Reading