Looking for a classic car to add to your collection bringing something different than what has been turning up at car shows for decades? These 10 little-known car models from all over the world are just now gaining the recognition they deserve from enthusiasts and collectors, making them hot commodities in 2015.
As auction prices for Ferrari models new and old reach historic levels, collectors are turning to some of the celebrated Italian brand’s lesser-known nameplates. The mid-engined F355, produced from 1994 to 1999, now serves as one of the few remaining Ferrari models affordable by those with moderate incomes. Its high-revving 375-horsepower V8 mounted just behind the driver offers thrilling performance, matched by 1990s-era styling just now being recognized as a classic.
Toyota Supra MkIV
The fourth-generation – or MkIV – Toyota Supra served as the epitome of Japanese sports car engineering during the 1990s, though it has taken 2 decades for the car to get the recognition it deserves outside the enthusiast community. Car collectors now pay upwards of $50,000 for a good-condition MkIV, as few remain in showable condition. A powerful turbocharged inline-six engine has been tuned by the aftermarket to produce upwards of 1,000 horsepower while maintaining a reputation for bulletproof reliability.
The rear-engined, air-cooled Corvair, produced in two generations from 1960 to 1964 then 1965 to 1969, has been largely overlooked by classic American car enthusiasts. With pricing on Malibus and Impalas from that era now approaching six figures, though, the unconventional compact has won its share of new converts. The convertible Corvair Monza trim is especially desirable.
Buick Grand National/GNX
In the 1980s, Buick’s powerful Grand National and its even more extreme cousin the GNX represented the epitome of American muscle, faster through the quarter-mile than even General Motors’ own Corvette. With new versions of the Grand National planned for a release in 2016 or 2017, the increasingly rare late-1980s models make a resurgence in 2015 as modern classics.
Porsche 911 Turbo (996)
Introduced in 2000, the “996” Porsche 911 Turbo marked the largest evolutionary leap for Porsche’s iconic rear-engined sports car with the switch to an all-new platform and a water-cooled engine. Although these cars are not old by collector’s standards, Turbo models still fetch big money at auction in 2015 due to their lighter weight and purity of mission when compared with today’s 911 Turbo.
Before the Gallardo and Murcielago brought Lamborghini into the mainstream, the Italian brand’s low-to-the-ground Diablo terrorized racetracks and stoplight drag strips the world over. Though the Diablo is not as reliable or accessible as today’s Lamborghinis, its iconic styling made a strong impact on supercar design. Car collectors looking at the Diablo should act now before the price shoots through the roof.
Toyota Corolla AE86
What is a humble Corolla doing on this list populated by German and Italian supercars? Not just any Corolla, the chassis-code AE86 model of the mid-1980s featured light weight, a sport suspension, rear-wheel drive and a high-revving fuel-injected engine. The car is famous for its starring role in the “Initial D” Japanese anime franchise, and what few examples remain in good running condition have seen their prices rise significantly.
Much less widely known than its contemporary the 240Z, the Datsun 510 is nonetheless a true Japanese classic, but one that has been ignored by all but the most diehard Datsun and Nissan faithful. That is changing quickly as Japanese cars from the 1970s and 1980s begin to gain acceptance with collectors. The 510 is light, maneuverable and pleasing to the eye as classic car lovers increasingly take notice.
While the Porsche 911 is perhaps the world’s most recognizable sports car, the 914 has made a resurgence for those seeking something extraordinary. The ultra-compact, mid-engined two-seater packs a relatively underpowered Volkswagen-sourced four-cylinder engine, although the rare six-cylinder model is the hottest collector’s item.
Ford Taurus SHO
The “SHO” here stands for “Super High Output”, referring to the Yamaha-designed 3.0-liter V6 that made the tuned-up Ford sedan one of the fastest four-doors in the world upon its 1989 introduction. Now more than 25 years old, the SHO can be found in the multi-car garages of Ford collectors who previously focused exclusively on 1960s-era models
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