2019 has not been a particularly kind year to the car market. If 2014 was the year that the bubble really inflated, 2019 represented a return to earth. I would not call it a market crash but more a returning to a more sensible reality. Some very deserving cars, like the Ferrari F50, have held value well, while others that got over hyped have not. In addition, as time has moved on, what was the new “must have” thing, is yesterday’s news and that “must have now” premium has evaporated. All of this makes for a very interesting situation going into 2020. A bit of chaos, tossed in with political uncertainty, always leads to a few opportunities. These are a few of what I think could be great buys in 2020:
Of the 2014 Hypercar Trinity (Porsche 918, Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1), long term I believe the McLaren P1 will be the one to have. With auction prices down over 50% in the last two years to the $1 mil. range, the near future looks like a good time to buy. In this league rarity counts and with over 710 LaFerraris (coupe & spider) and 918 Porsche 918s produced, the 375(ish) McLaren P1s make it a significantly rarer car. If the LaFerrari is polished and the 918 is a complete technology showcase, then the P1 has a raw edge the other’s lack. While all three are crammed with technology that may not age well, if I had to place a bet on which will age the best and continue to be supported, it would be the P1 given McLaren’s expertise in advanced technologies (McLaren Applied). There is one major caveat on the P1 making this list though, and it’s the battery pack. For the McLaren P1 to be a great 2020 buy, McLaren needs to come up with a cost effective the solution to the issues with the battery pack. The issues with the 1st generation battery packs were a key reason we sold ours (P1 Farewell) and a long term solution would be a key reason we would buy another one.
Ferrari 275 GTB & 275 GTB/4
While it may be a stretch to call a car that regularly sells for between $1.5 mil. – $3.0 mil., depending on the specific variant, a great buy but prices across the board on 275 GTBs have been drifting back down for a couple of years now. The top of the food chain 275 GTB/6c Long Nose Alloy body cars have dropped by close to $1 mil. after a run up in values that lasted from the turn of the century through 2016. With only around 774 road versions produced across both the 275 GTB & 275 GTB/4, rarity is assured. I personally believe this is one of the most beautiful, timeless, and classic designs ever to emerge from Pininfarina’s studios. As the first Ferrari road car to be produced with a 5-speed manual syncromesh transaxle, a limited-slip differential, four-wheel independent suspension, and disc brakes, make it still a very useable car today.
Ferrari 308 GTB/308 GTS
The Ferrari 308 is another car that had a major run up in value in the past decade which has recently dropped back down. It wasn’t too long ago that 308s were approaching $100k (with early fiberglass models going for twice that) and today you can find a nice one for about half of that. The 308 is instantly recognizable as a Ferrari, was the first of the V8 line of Ferraris that continues to this day, and a well sorted one is a delight to drive (Driving a 308 GTB).
Ferrari 430 Scuderia/16M
I do have a bit of bias here, the 430 Scuderia is probably my favorite mid-engine V8 Ferrari (Driving a 430 Scuderia). As the last of the F1 semi-automatic single clutch Ferraris, it’s the best of the breed. The gearbox is lightyears ahead of the F1 system in the Enzo. Prices on 430 Scuderia’s seem to have dropped by about $20k in the last 2 years to around $170k while the 16M, after topping out near $400k in 2016, are now back down in the $250k range (430 Scuderia vs. 16M). At half the price of a 458 Speciale, but more fun to drive, the 430 Scuderia is great value right now.
McLaren 675LT/LT Spider
In many ways, I believe the 675 LT/LT Spider is the best, most complete, car McLaren Automotive has produced (The Brilliant 675LT Spider). It simply does everything brilliantly. We have had ours from new and it still puts a huge smile on my face every time I drive it. Build quality is outstanding and we have never had a single issue with ours. McLaren built five hundred 675LT coupes plus an additional five hundred 675 LT Spiders which makes the 675LT rarer than the 365 GTB/4 Daytona, F40, and Carrera GT. With values today starting around $200k for coupes and $240k for Spiders, this has to be the most car for the money in the supercar world today.
Last but certainly not least is Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004S (The SCG 004S). While it might seem a bit strange to be recommending a car that hasn’t yet been built, try to find another car that is a 3-seater with a central driving position for less than the GDP of a small Caribbean Island. Your other options are a Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale, a McLaren F1, and a McLaren Speedtail. All basically fall into the unobtainium category. The 3-seat layout in a mid-engine supercar is one that I have been deeply intrigued with since I read an article on the Ferrari 365 P back in the late 1990s and saw my first McLaren F1 seventeen years ago. The SCG 004S will be a 6 speed manual, with a 650 bhp supercharged V8, dropped into a carbon fiber tub and with carbon fiber body panels so there isn’t much not to like. In terms of cost, a SCG 004S is not too far off what a well spec’d Ferrari F8 Tributo will remove from your bank account at around $450k.
On all of the above, I’ve tried to pick cars that not only do I believe will represent good value going forward but also (or will be in the case of the SCG 004S) great to drive. We have a firm family rule that cars which sit get sold. When putting together this list, I tried to balance both the current and forward values with the ownership enjoyment side of the equation. A few others that got serious consideration are the 997 series Porsche 911 GT3 and GT3 RS, 993 series Porsche 911 C2s, Porsche Carrera GT, Ferrari 458 Speciale, Aston Martin DBS (6 speed manual), Ford GT (2005/2006), and the Alfa Romeo 8C. All missed the final cut as I believe they still have a way to go before prices bottom out.
A very Happy New Year and all the best for a happy, safe, and prosperous 2020.
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