What does “Depreciation Proof” mean and how did I pick these cars?
By “depreciation proof”, I mean that if you buy one of these cars today as a fair price, I do not see them depreciating in any meaningful way for a very long time. We are at the market peak right now so most of these cars have appreciate a lot in the last two years. But I feel that these new values are now the baseline for these cars and not a high that is about to go down quickly. I’m sure as the overall market goes down soon, these will depreciate slightly but not nearly at the rate of the majority of other cars.
These are cars that I believe have long-term collectability mostly fueled by the generational shift that is happening right now. Some are current collectibles that I believe have not been on everyone’s radar but are getting more attention recently. While others are just now being considered a collectible. Be sure to stay to the end as I will have a few honorable mentions that did not make my list.
The Honda S2000 Club Racer addressed critics who thought the car was too hardcore by doubling down on its bet. The CR debuted at the New York Auto Show and, as its name implies, was aimed at track use. Weight was down by 90 pounds, while the power top was replaced by an aluminum hardtop and a tonneau. Air conditioning and stereo became optional rather than standard, the front fascia was more aggressive, and a large spoiler attached to the trunk, cutting the roadster’s aerodynamic lift by 70 percent.
Honda hoped to build 2,000 S2000 CR models but only sold 668 in 2008 and 31 in 2009. At final accounting, Honda had sold 66,549 S2000 units in the U.S. as production officially ended in 2009.
Some elements of the 911’s essential character had been lost for the sake of refinement, but few could deny that it was objectively a better car in just about every measure. A Road & Track test of an early car concluded that “the new Porsche is a significantly faster and, yes, a better car. Perhaps we shouldn’t think of the 996 as a better or worse 911, but rather as a different one retuned by smart engineers for modern expectations.
Porsche also made over 175,000 996s, so there are plenty to choose from on the market at any given time.
The Audi R8’s construction was based on an alloy spaceframe and an aluminum monocoque. It was powered by the 414-bhp 4.2-liter DOHC V-8 shared with the RS4 and mounted in a carbon-fiber cradle under glass – as all exotic units should be displayed.
The naturally aspirated V-8-powered Audi R8 could manage 0-60 mph in 4 seconds with the 6-speed manual gearbox and it was also quiet and sophisticated, unless it was being thrashed. Some testers said it didn’t actually feel fast, thanks to lack of wind noise or tire roar. Nonetheless, 0-100 mph took only 10.1 seconds, a quarter-mile came up in 12.5 seconds at 113.2 mph, and 150 mph followed smoothly on the way to the 187 mph top speed.
Road testers generally preferred the V8 engine over the optional 5.2-liter Audi R8 V10, which was 130 lbs heavier and cost a whopping $30,000 more than the $110,000 MSRP of the base car with a 6-speed manual gearbox.
The C8 is powered by a mid-mounted Audi V-8, and the car’s unique exterior styling is exceeded only by its over-the-top interior, which features quilted leather for, floor-hinged pedals, and the pièce de resistance, an exposed chrome manual-shift linkage.
The Cadillac CTS-V blends the refinement of a luxury car with the potency of one of GM’s most powerful engines. There were three ways to enjoy the 2012 Cadillac CTS-V – Sedan, Coupe, or Sport Wagon. All three feature a pronounced power-dome hood, chrome mesh front grille, and aerodynamic lower front bodywork. The Coupe features a more aggressive lower front clip and unique center-mounted exhaust outlets. The Sport Wagon also has a unique look, and the benefit of up to 58 cubic feet of cargo space. A standard 2012 Cadillac CTS-V started at around $63,000.
The CTS-V is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter LSA V8, which is based on the LS9 V8 from the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. The LSA makes 556 horsepower and 551 pound feet of torque, routed to the rear wheels through either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. CTS-Vs with a manual, especially wagons, are particularly desirable.
Land Rover used boxed frames in a direct product bloodline until the termination of the original Defender in 2016; and their last body-on-frame model was replaced by a monocoque with the third generation Discovery in 2017
The Mitsubishi 3000GT, and it replaced the Mitsubishi Starion as the company’s top tier performance model and the company’s flagship for the entire decade.
Base cars got a front-wheel drive setup with a normally aspirated 3.0-liter DOHC V-6. The VR4 had a 3.0-liter DOHC V-6 featured twin turbochargers and intercoolers to produce 300 hp and 307 lb-ft of torque. The VR4 also featured full-time four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering. From 1994-99, this was raised to 320 hp and 315 lb-ft.
Unfortunately, the 3000GT suffered from poor timing in its introduction, just like its rivals. A slowdown in the Japanese economy affected sales, and unfavorable exchange rates resulted in high prices in the all-important North American market.
From a collectability standpoint, the limited production VR4 Spyder is the most desirable. Less than 900 were imported to the U.S.
A cheaper alternative would be the 1991-96 Dodge Stealth, a mechanically identical model and one of the many neat cars to come out of the collaboration between Mitsubishi and Chrysler. Unlike the other Diamond Star Motors cars, though, the Stealth was built in Japan. It is nearly identical in every respect, including performance, but commands a slightly lower price.
The 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser’s Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts a little over $27,000 for the 2-wheel-drive model and jumps to about $29,000 with 4-wheel drive and a manual transmission; a fully-loaded FJ tops out around $36,000.