Through the years there have been many legendary vehicle brands, and within those brands, there have been iconic models that have attracted a fanatical following. Some models had eminent status in their time but have not been valued that highly in the marketplace. But for some, this is slowly changing, and many are now becoming expensive to buy.
Here are some beautiful cars that have risen in value for their fortunate owners. These magnificent vehicles have become some of the lost treasures of the automotive collecting world and are worth investing in before they become one of the Holy Grails of the classic car world.
Mercedes-Benz 280 SL (1968-1971)
When one speaks of iconic motor vehicles, the gull-winged Mercedes 300 SL that came out in the 50s and 60s, has got to be near the top of the list.
This stunning vehicle had once ensured that the value of all subsequent SL models would retain their value, and now the perky 280 SL roadster is receiving lots of attention from the collectors market.
With its timeless classic looks, enjoyable driving style, and a removable hardtop, this little beauty will never go out of fashion. Five years ago the price was in the $40,000 to $85,000 range, but today that same vehicle will make an $80,000 to $150,000 hole in your pocket.
Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser 1960-1983
Toyota’s FJ40 was brought into the country in competition with the Jeep CJ. It had a bullet-proof chassis and drivetrain, coupled with an inline six-cylinder engine and a transfer case that easily managed the power from the big V8.
These were always popular 4WD vehicles, and their go-anywhere reputation was well deserved, but they never managed to scale the $20,000 barrier.
This has changed dramatically over the past five years. Though finding one for the home renovator at a reasonable price is still possible, good examples are now closer to $40,000 on internet auction sites, and new examples are going for up to $100,000 at the large car auctions.
1988 BMW M5
This iconic German sports sedan was imported into America for only one year. It came in only one configuration, the M5 (E28), and only one color combination – black with tan interior. This magnificent car, with its 3.5-liter straight six, that was a close relation to the engine in BMW’s M1 supercar, propelled this 4 door sedan to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, making it the fastest 4 door on the continent.
This executive sedan that went like the wind could be had for a song for many years; a low mileage vehicle in reasonable condition would take around $20,000 out of the bank, but that is no longer the case. Now high mileage examples will cost you that kind of money, and a good, low mileage car will empty your bank account by around $100,000.
Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS (1975-1985)
The Ferrari 308 was turned out by the hundreds in the Ferrari factory, but with its exposure as Tom Selleck’s car in the wildly popular television series Magnum P.I., it rapidly rose to icon status and became a must-have for the playboy of the 1980s.
Nowadays, due to its age, this vehicle is becoming a collectible. A few years ago, you could pick up a V8-powered 308 in excellent condition for the knock-down price of $30,000. Sadly, those days are now gone; today, in the same excellent condition, early 1980s car will cost you at least $45,000. For one of the rare fiberglass-bodied models, you will need to cough up around $120,000. The late 70s (1975-1979) steel body vehicles are a little more affordable at around $80,000 today.