My brother and I have this fun game where we look at the cars of the last few years and work out which will become the cast-iron investments of the future.
It started as light-hearted banter, but it has now taken over my life.
Hours are spent on Pistonheads and Auto Trader scouring the classifieds for examples of future noughties classica – and calculating which frivolous extras (such as food) I can dispense with in order to put my name on the V5 of an 3.2-litre Alfa 159 Q4 from 2008.
To make my selections more interesting, I’ve decided to eschew the obvious choices – such as variants of the M3 or the stripped-out Megane R26.R – in order to select three of the most compelling future classics I could find.
So if you’re the type of person that likes investment advice from a twentysomething – based purely on emotion rather than cold hard facts – then read on for my three crystal-ball classics of the future.
The Cruiser: Citroen C6
As someone brought up with a Citroen DS in their life, it’s inevitable that I would recommend the awkwardly-styled Eurobarge of the 2000s in this list.
Available with a range of petrol and diesel engines between 2005 and 2012, you’re probably most familiar with the C6 as the presidential car of France throughout the tough economic decline of 2008-on. It’s a fitting analogy for the big Cit, as despite its glitzy exterior and price that rivalled that of a midrange 5 Series when new, it made great use of the Peugeot-Citroen parts bin in its construction (mmm, C4 switchgear).
But like any large executive French car, it’s all about comfort and effortless cruising. As well as the company’s famous Hydractive 3+ hydropneumatic suspension, free-thinkers were treated to a head-up display, direction bi-xenon headlights and a lane departure warning system, which was impressive tech for the time.
Prices range from around £4,000-£9,000 depending on mileage and engine choice – though if you’re going to buy a fragile beauty such as this, it’s worth getting the super-smooth 2.7-litre HDI which is capable of ratcheting up serious miles.
The Q Car: Saab 9-3 Turbo X
What could be less logical than spending money on a car from a company which doesn’t exist any more?
If that’s the first question that comes into your head, then the Turbo X isn’t for you. But for those that get it, the Saab is a masterclass in subtle performance and quirky design. Debuting in 2007 to celebrate 30 years of Saab turbocharging, the Turbo X used a 2.8-litre turbo’d six-cylinder giving just over 275bhp and 295lb ft.
Only 500 found homes in the UK and all were painted in metallic black, with a dashboard boost gauge to remind Saabists of the company’s past turbo creations.
If you can look past the bland interior and the compliantly sticky chassis, the Saab is a surefire classic for the future. Those who live in wetter, snowier or nastier climes may well want to utilise its all-weather ‘cross-wheel-drive- system’, but surely that would have a detrimental effect on the condition of your investment?
Prices for this last-of-the-line model are sitting around the £10k mark, so now may be the time to buy one and tuck it away in a garage somewhere. Or hoon around on full boost, especially since they take so well to being tuned.
The weekend toy: Porsche Boxster S (986)
A lot has been written about the very first Boxster, with most of it being critical. Phrases such as ‘hairdresser’s car’, ‘parts-bin special’ and ‘engine made of chocolate’ are too often bandied around these days (though it’s true that the earliest cars were often made with substandard engines).
But wait. The earliest 986-era Boxsters are approaching 20 years old, while the youngest are nearly 11. That means that there’s thousands out there to choose from and, being a Porsche, they’re still great fun to drive and exhibit mid-engined poise for not a lot of money.
The interior itself might look quite dated – sharing many components with the 996-era 911 of its day – but it’s still an excellent driving position with strong build quality. Buy on condition and history, as like any sports car, these things greatly affect the price.
A facelifted 3.2 Boxster S with 258bhp and a manual gearbox will complete the 0-60 dash in 5.7 seconds, and will set you back between £8,000 and £11,000 depending on mileage and service history. Use it as you see fit, and it’ll probably look after you financially provided you service it at the right places and buy a good one to begin with.
- Which noughties cars would you pin down as future classics? Tweet us at @Noucheisms