First a few disclaimers; we are not saying that these are the 10 cars that will appreciate the most over the next 30 years, merely our favourites. Nor are we saying that these cars are guaranteed to rise in value as much as we predict, so don’t come looking for us in 2045 to complain that your Focus RS is only worth five grand! The criteria for this list is simple: the 10 cars we find the best or most interesting and are highly likely to appreciate in value in the next 30 years.
10. Ford Puma
You can currently pick up a Ford Puma for under £1000 but those are typically full of rust and not maintained well, between £1-2k will get you a good car though. The Puma was based on humble Fiesta underpinnings and was Ford’s ‘performance car for the people’ in the late nineties/early 2000s. It’s a spiritual, if not actual, predecessor to the Capri, and we expect prices to rise accordingly. We predict values of £10-15k in 30 years.
9. Mazda RX-8
In the early 2000s, Mazda decided to bring the wankel rotary engine back. Despite its 1.3-litre capacity it put out around 200bhp and had a RWD chassis to match. Interesting design inside and out, including rear-hinged suicide doors, mean that the Mazda RX-8 still looks fresh over a decade later and will probably continue to do so. Rotary engines have high wear so we don’t know how many will make it 30 years but we predict around £15k.
8. Renault Avantime
Speaking of interesting design, we now come to the Renault Avantime. Renault launched the bold Avantime, a sort of coupe-MPV-SUV, at a time when all the world really wanted was simple and easily categorised cars. Now, of course, niche-expanding vehicles are all the rage, and if the Citroen DS has proved anything it’s that being ahead of your time makes for a sure-fire classic car. We’re predicting around £25k in 30 years.
7. E60 BMW M5 Touring
The BMW M5 is and always will be a very special car, but the E60 generation will be forever remembered for its incredible 500bhp, F1 inspired V10 engine. How cool is that!? A fairly normal looking executive saloon, or even rarer in Touring guise, with a thumping great V10 under the bonnet! High powered cars simply won’t come with big, naturally aspirated engines like this any more. As such, we’re predicting around £45-55k.
6. Subaru Impreza Turbo 2000
Special editions like the P1, RB 1 and 22B are the more obvious choice for future classic-dom, but values are already on the rise for these cars whereas the more humble Impreza Turbo 2000 is still slumming it in the classifieds for around £3000. Standard, unmodified and uncrashed cars are hard to come by though, meaning greater demand in the future and therefore greater values. We reckon around £18-20k.
5. Renaultsport Clio V6
Take a normal hatchback, remove the rear seats and replace them with an outrageously large engine, fit a preposterously large bodykit and switch it from front-wheel-drive to rear. It’s a silly recipe but one that Renault had tried and tested a couple of decades earlier with the R5 Turbo. The Clio V6 is a cult car, produced in relatively low numbers, meaning we’re predicting 30-year values of £45-50k.
4. Ford Focus RS
The MK1 Focus RS was a bit of a let down when it launched. It didn’t have a Cosworth badge or four-wheel-drive, but like so many fast Ford’s before it, the Focus RS became a b-road weapon loved by many. A limited production run, one paint colour option and World Rally Championship pedigree ensures a ‘special’ status. The current value of around £8k is probably the RS’ low point so buy now for £30-35k future value.
3. E46 BMW M3
Renowned as one of the sweetest handling cars of the last few decades and, albeit no longer the fastest, probably still the finest M3. That great reputation though means that the E46 generation M3 sold like hot cakes. On the one hand, that means there are plenty to choose from and current prices are as low as £7500, but on the other hand, the less rare it is the less valuable it is. That said, we’re still predicting values of £40k in 30 years.
2. Peugeot 205 GTI
Unfortunately, if you don’t already own a Peugeot 205 GTI, then you’ve kind of missed the boat. The 205 GTI reached the bottom of its value curve a few years ago, around £1500, but prices have only risen to £3-4k. For some reason, the 205 is lagging behind its contemporary, the MK1 Golf GTI, in terms of value. This despite arguably being both better to drive and better looking. We’re predicting values to rise as high as £30k though.
1. Renaultsport Megane R26.R
Highly regarded? Check. Limited production run? Check. Uncompromising in the name of performance? Check. The Megane R26.R has certainly earned its reputation as a mini Porsche 911 GT3 RS, complete with carbon-fibre bonnet, perspex windows, rollcage, bucket seats with harnesses and seriously uprated mechanicals. The Megane R26.R is a truly special car and we’d expect current £15k values to rise to at least £50k in 30 years.
Of course, with all classic cars, both mechanical and cosmetic condition are crucial factors so make sure it’s a good example. A tatty car will always be a tatty car!