Fashions change and tastes develop so it can be hard to pinpoint which cars will prove to be a worthwhile investment.
Of course, with hindsight we can tell the 21-window Samba VW camper was always going to be a classic, but did we really guess the many other cars that have enjoyed a surge in popularity and asking prices?
So here are our predictions for cars that are set to be classics in the near future and could offer owners potential financial rewards, as well as high street cred.
Subaru Impreza Turbo
Launched in 1992, the most iconic version was the Impreza’s 2.0-litre turbo engine model, featuring all-wheel drivetrain. There is little doubt the driving of Colin McRae and Richard Burns made it a cool car to own.
While there is no shortage of Imprezas around, you will need to search hard to find one in good condition that has not been over-modified – these ones are likely to offer the best return on your investment.
The first Ford Capri rolled off the production line in 1969 and it was originally designed by Philip T Clark – who was behind the unique styling of the Ford Mustang.
Boasting a front-engine and rear-wheel drive, the Capri developed as a strong competitor on the racing scene – increasing its desirability even more. It also gained a reputation on TV in hit shows such as The Professionals.
By the time Ford wound up production of the Capri in 1986, 1.8 million had been purchased. Over the years fans have asked Ford to consider re-launching the Capri, but it remains an unlikely option.
Therefore, values for Capris in good order are on the rise, with asking prices doubling over the past year or so.
Golf MK II
The Vee-Dub scene has known for a long time that Golf Mk1s, known as the Rabbit in the US, are seeing a rise in value, but it would also appear demand is high for MKIIs.
VW’s second generation Golf offered more space and boasted a higher top speed. The most desirable models included the GTI and GTD, with fans keen on the Rallye and the Wolfsburg Edition. You need to look for clean, tidy and original versions if you really want to enjoy long-term investment returns. A total of 6.3 million were made so the chances are there is a perfect ‘barn’ find is out there….somewhere.
Peugeot 205 GTI
The Peugeot GTI was named as the 1983 Car of the Year by What Car? and the French car maker realised there was a gap in the market for a sporty version of hatchback.
The first 1.6 version of the Peugeot 205 GTI was launched in the UK in 1984 and was followed by a 1.9-litre version in 1987, with the latter boasting half-leather seats, all-round disc brakes and 15 inch alloys.
Actual sales were initially slow because of high insurance premiums and a bad rep of joy-riding. Eventually controls on emissions meant the 1.6 GTI stopped being made in 1992.
In the final year of production, a special limited edition of the car was made to mark BBC Radio 1’s 25th. Just 25 were made, all in black, with special Radio1FM branding – these have always attracted a rather high purchase price – so maybe go for the more standard versions!
Ford Racing Puma
The Ford Racing Puma may seem an odd choice, as it was not that popular when launched in 1999, but arguably it was the price tag that put many potential buyers off.
Initially, 1000 cars were expected to be sold, but Ford cut this to 500 and still struggled to sell them to those outside of the company. Costing £23,000 it was expensive and on the surface did not offer as good a value as the Subaru Impreza despite its 0-60 mph in 7.4 seconds.
However, its front wheel drive set-up and racing modifications actually made it great fun to drive. Only ever available in one colour – Imperial Blue – it had Sparco designed racing seats to cope with all that high-speed cornering.
Racing Pumas are getting hard to find, so you may have to act quickly if you want to become a new owner before asking prices really start to sky rocket.
The quirky Smart Roadster made its UK debut at the 2002 Birmingham Motor Show and was initially only available to buy in left-hand drive. Despite its rather odd styling, the car gained a very strong following quickly.
Between September 2003 and July 2004, more than 2,500 had been sold in the UK and this continued to grow at a good pace until Smart unexpectedly confirmed production of the model would cease at the end of 2005.
This means with limited numbers available, demand remains strong for the Roadster – meaning they tend to hold their value well and could well become a future classic.
So do you already own a future classic? Or have we missed off your current ride? What do you think will be attracting top buck in the coming years?
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