5 cars that are future classics (and why you should invest in them now)

Buy the wrong set of wheels and you could be faced with a leaky and creaky lump on your driveway – fortunately, we’ve combed through the market

Knowing where to put your money can be a challenge for those fortunate enough to be burdened with such a decision. Cars are a classic example of investment pieces, and have proved particularly attractive to those with a penchant for performance or an appreciation of all things automotive.

Still, even for hardened car enthusiasts, knowing the difference between a legitimate future classic and a lemon can be tricky. Invest in the wrong one and you could be faced with a leaky and creaky, rapidly depreciating lump on your driveway. Fortunately, however, we’ve combed the market and come up with a list of wheels worth investing in now.

Saab 900

The appeal of the quirky-cool Saab 900 has extended well beyond the art dealer and architect crowd that fawned over it in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, values of the car continue to climb, with next-generation car enthusiasts snapping up Saab’s spicier versions, such as the more sought-after Turbo and Cabriolet models. With its timeless looks, build quality and bullet-proof mechanicals, the 900 is a safe bet for anyone looking to invest in something that’s both reliable and has a growing cult following.

Richard Curtis connoisseurs will note that an early Saab 900 was the car of choice for the floppy-haired Colin Firth in Love Actually, meanwhile Yasmin le Bon was such a fan of the 900 that she even stood alongside one on the stand at the Earls Court Motor Show, in 1993. Aside from an immaculate Turbo convertible that sold last year for a whopping $150,000 in the US, expect to pay in the region of £40,000 for an exceptional example. Cars at the bottom end of the market can be picked up for under £5,000.

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

What was already a mighty car when it first came out, in 2004, has aged gracefully, sitting near the top end of the modern-classics market. The SLR was born from a slightly messy partnership between Mercedes and motorsport great McLaren, and was the work of Gordon Murray, a legend of lightweight-car design. However, the production of the SLR was not the nimble, naturally aspirated mid-engined supercar that its creator had wanted it to be, with Mercedes’s management insisting it be front engined. No exceptions.

The result was a thunderous hyper-grand tourer with a beefy, supercharged 5.4-litre V-8 from AMG shoehorned under its ludicrously long bonnet. Launched with a price tag well over £300,000 and a top speed that went over 200mph, the SLR has aged well and is remembered as one of the most visually striking and usable supercars of the 2000s. Today, values for the SLR are on the rise, having increased 37 per cent since 2019, according to classic-car experts Hagerty. Compared to the likes of the Porsche Carrera GT, the SLR still looks like a bargain, despite values for good-condition models floating around the £300,000 mark.

Peugeot 205 GTi

Who would have predicted that a plucky little French hatchback would one day become a highly prized performance car? For those who remember the launch of the Peugeot 205 GTi, in 1984, it might not be so much of a surprise. You see, this little hatchback was a product of Rally’s golden age – the crazy days of Group B, which saw Peugeot dominate the World Rally Championship with the mutant 205 T16 from 1984 onwards.

The 205 GTi was the road-going version of the rally car and proved to be a lot of fun for boy racers and B-road warriors of all ages. Equipped with a peppy 1.6-litre engine that produced 105bhp and a top speed of 116mph, the 205 GTi was the car to have in the mid-1980s – and, today, values are rising by the minute. Although one particularly tidy example sold for a record £70,000 in France, most can be found for anything between £3,000 to £30,000.


Few models in the car world command more respect and admiration than the BMW M3. Engineered by a carmaker with a performance pedigree like no other, the M3 has been a poster child for most collectors.

Accessible, reliable and competitive, the M3 – particularly the Mk5, or ‘E90’ to car nerds – is the one to go for at the moment, with values of the first V8-engined M3 on the ascent. Between 2007 and 2013, the M3 was made as a coupe, convertible and a more practical four-door saloon. Depending on condition, E90 M3s can be picked up for a price between £14,000 and £44,000.

Lotus Elise Series 1

Like most things in life, the original is rarely bettered – and the Lotus Elise is no exception. Bursting onto the scene in 1996, the Elise is praised for single-handedly saving the then cash-strapped Norfolk carmaker from insolvency, with its joyous driving dynamics and striking design to thank.

In short, the mid-engined two-seater was an instant hit and well within reach for many drivers, considering prices started at £23,000 (around £50,000 by current rates) when it was new in the mid-1990s. Given its success, Lotus kept the Elise in production until 2021, but it’s the first generation that remains the purest and most desirable. Lightweight, at under one tonne, and equipped with a zesty 118bhp 1.8-litre engine, values of the original are on the march. Be quick and snap one up for between £20,000 and £30,000.

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