Top Classic Cars that Have Risen in Value

Top Classic Cars That Have Risen in Value

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The market for classic cars in Australia is booming. Classic car restorations are hugely popular and prices reflect it. We check out some classic cars that have shot up in value from their original MSRP.

Did your favourite ‘nostalgic’ classic car make our list?

Classic cars and money:

The two go hand-in-hand. Firstly, for perspective, most cars lose 15% of their value as soon as they leave the dealership and another 15% within 12 months. After 5 years, some lose over 40% in value.

Finding a 20+ year old car with a roadworthy certificate retaining even half of its original value is pretty amazing. These top classic cars go a step further:

‘67 Mustang (1967 Ford Mustang)

‘67 Mustang (1967 Ford Mustang)

Original MSRP in AUD today: A$27,892
Average Price Today: A$65,000
Value Increase: 133%

Even if you’re not a car person, you know the legendary Mustang. They have a huge following - especially for classic cars, like the ‘67. Naturally, prices are always high but fortunately, the market for fabricated parts has met demand. Restoring a Mustang often involves parts donated from other Fords along with custom made components.

No one could have predicted how popular and iconic the ‘quintessential’ classic car would be - 22,000 were sold on the first day of the ‘Stang’s release. Back in 2013, a 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake sold for $1.3 million USD - $1,995,485 AUD today.

1997 Toyota Supra (JZA80 Turbo)

1997 Toyota Supra

Original MSRP in AUD today: A$88,909
Average Price Today: A$90,000 (even more for unmodified, low kms)
Value Increase: 1.23%

Clean, sporty looks, a huge rear wing and the ‘Supra’ badge always turn heads. 90’s Supras have shot up in value over the last 15 years or so - mainly thanks to its hero car status in the original Fast and Furious movie (The Fast & The Furious).

Manual RZ models which feature the tuner-favourite ‘bullet-proof’ 2JZ GTE engine are the most desirable - unmodified, low-kms examples, even more so. When new, the RZ would manage 5.1 seconds from 0-100km/h - excellent even in today’s terms.

Will the new ‘BMW-inspired’ Supra retain such value and following? Most punters say ‘no’.

1974 Nissan (Datsun) 260Z

1974 Nissan (Datsun) 260Z

Original MSRP in AUD today: A$38,450
Average Price Today: A$55,000 (even more for unmodified, low kms)
Value Increase: 43%

When thinking of classic cars from Japan, Nissan ‘Z’ cars always jump out. Its iconic sports-car shape and relatively low cost when new, made the ‘Datto’ ultra popular. As the 260Z came out and established itself before the tuner craze of the late ’80s and ’90s, finding original and unmodified examples is easier (as far as classic cars go). However, avoiding rust, neglect or ‘home’ restorations and repairs can be tough.

The 260Z was among the first Japanese sports cars that offered Italian supercar drivability for a much lower cost and much better reliability. The 260Z and its variants suit anyone interested in classic cars from Japan.

1960s Volkswagen Beetle

1960s Volkswagen Beetle

Original MSRP in AUD today: A$18,286
Average Price Today: A$30,000
Value Increase: 64%

Like other top classic cars on our list, the Beetle’s fame has been boosted by movies - understandably, as it was produced for an astronomical 65 years (1938 - 2003). During which, over 21 million were manufactured - some even in Australia in the 1960s and 70s. The Beetle has seen numerous variants. Late 1960’s models often take the cake for enthusiasts.

Some rumours are that the VW Golf killed the Beetle, but that’s not the case as both were produced for many years and the Beetle has seen revised models.

Nissan R34 Skyline GT-R

Nissan R34 Skyline GT-R

Original MSRP in AUD today: A$96,431 (in Japan)
Average Price Today: A$220,000
Value Increase: 128%

‘Cult status’, ‘legendary’ and ‘dream car’ are often heard when someone mentions those three letters: ‘GT-R’. Seeing the famous hot-plate style tail lights of Nissan Skylines on the road, in movies and in video games is something almost all car enthusiasts can relate to. It’s thanks to media, tuning potential and its overall package that has enabled the R34 GT-R to grow in value.

Some rarer models of the R34 GT-R, like the M-Spec Nur, even push north of half a million AUD - more than twice the price of the current top-trim Nissan GT-R.

The R34 was the last of the ‘Skyline’ GT-Rs. The three most well-known versions are the R32, R33 and R34 with the R32 launching in 1989 and the R34 ceasing production in 2002. Nissan’s current GT-R (2007 - present) has dropped the ‘Skyline’ badge.

Unicorn: 1998/99 Subaru WRX 22B STi

Subaru WRX 22B STi


Original MSRP in AUD today: A$125,000
Average Price Today: A$300,000+
Value Increase: 140%

The elusive holy grail for Subaru enthusiasts isn’t easy to find. Only 424 were made, 400 of which were for the Japanese domestic market and only 5 examples officially made it to Australia. The 22B is a 2-door, 2.2-litre (hence the name) turbocharged rally-inspired monster that resulted from Subaru’s success in rally thanks to the world champion, Colin McRae.

All 22Bs were painted in ‘WRC Blue’, the iconic WRX colour. It’s rumoured and reported that all 400 Japanese-sold 22Bs sold out in less than 48 hours. A mint-condition, Concours 22B example went on sale for over $500,000 AUD in the UK this year.

Classic cars conclusion

As per most Australian states, classic cars are 25 to 30+ years old. Although our list contains some that don’t quite get the tag, they do show a huge price rise from their original MSRP.

Interested in getting into a classic car, keen on a restoration project or just need an upgrade?

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