Are there any Supercar Bargains left?

I’ve refrained from doing a market update for the past several months as a lot of what is happening in the car market overall still doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Porsche Carrera GTs suddenly jumping up $1 mil. in value and 1-2 year old V12 Ferraris, which normally have the financial buoyancy of the Hindenburg next to a lite match, selling for over the sticker price is not a sign that normalcy has broken out again.  When dealerships are demanding $50k “market adjustment” fees on new trucks (See: Greed is Good Award) , and getting it, the inmates have truly taken over the asylum.  With chip shortages continuing to constrain production across almost all manufacturers well into 2022, it’s doubtful things will be changing anytime soon.  The question is, in all the madness, are there any supercar bargains left?  The following are a few that I have found that I believe are still good buys after scouring numerous classified and auction sites for Aston Martins, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, & McLarens.  To qualify, for the list, a model had to be highly regarded at launch and currently valued at less than ½ its initial list price. 

Aston Martin Vanquish & Vanquish S

The 2001-2007 Vanquish & Vanquish S were the last of the handmade Aston Martin’s to come out of the Newport Pagnell manufacturing site.  Personally, I think it’s the most elegant car Aston Martin has produced.  During its production, the Vanquish was Aston Martin’s flagship V12 GT.  The chassis is bonded aluminium composite with a carbon fibre backbone.  The V12 delivers 460 hp at 6,500 rpm, throttle is drive-by-wire and the gearbox is a 6-speed automated (F1 type) manual transmission.

Today you can pick up an early Vanquish for $60-80k depending on spec and mileage.  There is no other 21stcentury bespoke V12 close to this in price.  Looking at cars on the market, I wouldn’t pay a huge premium for a low mileage example.  Better to put the savings into a few sessions with a therapist so you can work through the trauma of how bad that first generation automated manual transmission is. Aston Martin will do a full manual conversion on a Vanquish but that will set you back over $30k.  Its tough to make that math work on a car that’s now worth $60-80k.

Aston Martin DB9

Aston Martin produced over 16,000 DB9’s during its 2004-2016 production run so there is no shortage of cars on the market.  The DB9 was the first Aston Martin built off of the aluminum VH platform which served as the base for all Aston Martins for over a decade.  The VH platformed doubled the rigidity and cut weight by 25% vs. the prior model.  The V12 in the front nose was lifted out of the Vanquish and produced 450 bhp when the car was launched. 

An elegant V12 GT for the same price as the $50k “market price adjustment” fee on a Ram Truck has to be one of the better values in today’s market.  The last dozen DB9s to sell on Bring A Trailer have all been in the same $40-60k range as a Lotus Elise.  Most DB9s were fitted with a 6 speed Touchtronic automatic gearbox but a 6-speed manual was also an option and does command a 15-20% premium today.  If you can find a manual, I do believe the premium is worth it.  Early DB9s are famous for having electrical issues but most should have been sorted long ago. 

Ferrari 360 Modena

In many ways the Ferrari 360 was the 1st of a line of mid engine V8 Ferraris that ran for over 20 years through the F8.  Back in 1999 it was the first Ferrari to use an all-aluminum space-frame chassis and was powered by a new 3.6 liter flat-plane crankshaft V8 engine producing 395 bhp.  The design marked a move away from angler wedge shapes to more rounded aerodynamics.  Build quality was dramatically improved and cambelt changes were no longer a costly engine out exercise.

 

Today you can get an early 360 Modena for $80k with manuals commanding an additional 15-20% premium.  Unlike its predecessor, the Ferrari F355, values on 360s basically haven’t moved in the last couple of years which makes them the bargain of the Ferrari world right now.  Ferrari produced around 18,000 360s so there are always plenty on the market.  The high production numbers have also served to hold down values.

 

Ferrari 599 GTB

If the 360 Modena was the first of a new generation of V8s, the 599 GTB played the same role on the V12 GT side of the Ferrari business.  Back in 2006, the 599 GTB was the first Ferrari GT to be built on an aluminum chassis and was powered by a 6.0 liter V12 engine producing 612 bhp which is very closely related to the engine last found in the back of the Ferrari Enzo.

 

In today’s market $150k will land you a nice 599 GTB.  The original list price on a 599 GTB was just north of $310k, before any of the multiple option boxes were ticked. Most 599s are highly spec’ed cars so you can add at least another $30-40k on top of the base price.  Despite being a Grand Tourer and designed to eat up huge number of miles effortlessly, most 599’s have seen fairly moderate amounts of use and there are plenty around with under 25k miles on the odometer. 

McLaren 12C

The McLaren 12C was McLaren Automotive’s first production car when it was launched in 2011.  The 12C was built on a carbon fiber tub and is powered by a 3.8 L twin-turbo 616 bph V8 engine.  Performance at launch was best in class.  The 12C can do 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds and top speed is well over 200 mph. 

Around $110k should be all it takes to land a good spec well maintained McLaren 12C in today’s market.  For the money, you will be getting a car that not only outperformed everything in its class when launched, but could still keep pace with a Ferrari F8 up to 60 mph.  Spiders command a slight premium over the coupes but lose next to nothing in terms of performance due to the carbon fiber tub.

 

Two more that I ran across that fall into the Sports Car category are the:

Porsche 911 (996 & 997)

The base versions of first two water-cooled 911’s are still relative bargains these days.  While the lines on the 996 are a bit polarizing, they are the current bargain of the Porsche world.  The newer 997 still commands a premium over the 996 but early versions now fall under the 50% of original list bar.  Personally, I prefer the 997 and believe they are a model that will age well.  $20k will get you into a base 996 Carrera but it will cost you $35k for a similar condition 997.

 

Maserati Granturismo

Early Maserati Granturismos have to be one of the best bargains in the current market.  For $30k you get a Ferrari powered great sounding proper GT.  Granturismo production ran from 2007-2019, and with over 40,000 produced is likely the best selling Maserati of all time. 

Summary

While this is a relatively short list, it’s not through lack of trying.  I looked at a wide range of different models but in the madness that’s today’s Supercar market, finding a bargain is harder than getting a getting a Ferrari 296 GTB build slot.  All the cars on the list are between 10-20 years old which is just over the point where normal depreciation curves flatten out.  They all fall into the group of yesterday’s models but not old enough to be classic yet.  With interest rates starting to rise again, and new car production likely to return to normal by the back half of 2022, it will be interesting to see if a lot of the recent jumps in values hold, or if there will be a lot more bargains come 2023.

Thoughts and comments? Please see the comments section below.

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January 2022

 

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4 Thoughts on Are there any Supercar Bargains left?
    Danny
    29 Jan 2022
     9:43am

    Enjoying the post SSO and reading through others on your site this Saturday morning whilst enjoying a coffee!

    There certainly isn’t many bargains left to enjoy in the current market. Think I’d err on the side of caution and go with a 997 C2 or 4S, preferably gen 2, in the hope of steering away from some scary repair bills of the McLaren, Aston or Ferrari. However I recently sold my Aston Vantage 4.3 V8 (2006) with only a couple of minor problems during ownership and decided to go for a more practical and reliable (this was my expectation) Audi RS4 B7 which within the first month of ownership ended up costing me nearly 50% of the purchase price in repair bills was not what I expected. Oh well the joys of second hand car buying and trying to find that bargain of the century continue…. 😉

    Have a great weekend and I look forward to your future posts!

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    Marc
    29 Jan 2022
     1:56pm

    Do you believe the market will cool down when the interest rates rise? It was logical in the past when interest rates rise, the price goes down. But in today’s crazy world, I just don’t know if the same rules can be applied again.

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