Some people will tell you that cars aren’t investments, and for the most part, they’d be right. But there are some exceptions that have actually made people a ton of money! In fact, there are a couple on this list that I’ve owned, and turned a nice little profit enjoying them!
Believe it or not, there are some luxury and performance cars that have hit rock bottom and are actually shooting up in value right now! So, you’d better act fast before you miss out on the opportunity to make some money, and joyride a freakin’ sports car while you’re doing it!
We put together a list of some of the best sports cars that have skyrocketed in value, and it’s not too late!
Toyota Mark IV Supra – Fast and Furious
The Mark 4 Supra was always an amazing car, but the Fast & Furious movie franchise is definitely what put it on the map. The hero car in the first movie, the Mark 4 was produced from 1993 to 1998 in Japan, and was offered only with inline six-cylinder engines.
The Twin Turbo was the one to have, and while an automatic was available, the real winner here was the stick shift. Save the manuals! Less than a decade ago, driver-grade Supras were around for $10,000 or less. They were great buys and extremely tuneable, not to mention there’s a massive aftermarket for these cars, so you can turn you Mark 4 Supra into a drift demon like Brian O’Conner’s!
Unfortunately, the world has completely changed and Supras have skyrocketed in value. A mint 10,000-mile example sold on Bring A Trailer for $128,000! Clean examples below the $50,000 mark are becoming more and more difficult to find, but these cars haven’t stopped rising yet.
We found one with around 70,000 miles for just under $63,000!
Next up is a driver favourite, and a car that’s popular regardless of generation, the BMW M3.
BMW E30 M3 – The OG
The E30 was the model that put the M3 right into earshot of real drivers. It’s from an era when BMW really was the Ultimate Driving Machine, not the soft, automatic, all-wheel-drive stuff they’re rolling out these days.
The E30 M3 got a 2.3-liter inline four and a manual transmission. Sure, the numbers weren’t huge, but this was a car known for its balanced driving dynamics and impeccable road manners. It was a real driver’s car, and while lesser models of the E30 including the 318 and 325 are way more accessible and affordable, the M3 made a noise that’s just music to my ears!
A 1988 model with just 8,000 miles recently sold online for $250,000, which is an insane sum for a car with an MSRP just over $35,000, but more realistic numbers for these nowadays are between $50,000 and $100,000. We found a beauty with under 30,000 miles on AutoTempest for $110,000!
It’s pretty crazy that a car that was easily findable for $15,000 just a few years ago is now going for six figures. But we aren’t done with BMW’s yet! A more modern classic is out there, and some might say it’s an even better buy today than the E30 M3. Let’s talk about the BMW 1M.
BMW 1M – 1 of a Kind
No, not the M1, although those are definitely fetching some ridiculous prices these days, but we’re talking about the 1 Series M. The 1 Series showed up in 2008 with the 128i and the 135i. They were driver-focused cars with rear-wheel drive, straight-six engines and hydraulic steering, just the stuff BMW enthusiasts were looking for at the time.
Then BMW dropped the M version, with a twin-turbocharged N54 six-cylinder and some of the most balanced driving dynamics they ever offered in a production car. Enthusiasts went nuts over this car, and they sold every one they could make. No, literally, every single one.
The 1M is one of the only cars made in the last decade that’s worth just as much now, if not more, than it was when it was new. If only I had $47,000 to spend on a 1M back in 2011… They never really depreciated, and still, no car like it really exists, except for maybe BMW’s own M2. Naturally, the 1M is creeping up in value.
Clean 1M’s can be found in the $50,000 range, but take our word for it, they will not get any cheaper. If you want one before they’re completely unattainable, now is the time. We found a 2011 1M with just over 30,000 miles for $52,000!
Next up is another popular one, but a safe choice from Germany.
Porsche 911 – Brad’s Choice
Just about every generation of the Porsche 911 has appreciated a lot over the last five years. The 964 and 993 cars of the air-cooled era were the first to go up, but they were followed pretty quickly by the 997 and even early 991’s. After the sleek and sexy Carrera went to a water-cooled design, the next major shift was to all turbocharging. Since then, the naturally-aspirated cars held their value and kept going up.
The air-cooled cars are still the most expensive and most desired, aside from rare birds like the 911R, GT2, and GT3. If you really want to get ahead of the curve, I’d suggest hopping online and snapping up a 996, which happens to be the last 911 yet to blow up in price. You can find clean ones in the $15,000 to $20,000 range, and you’re almost guaranteed to be able to sell it for more in the future! Just remember your friend Brad Danger if you become a millionaire off your 911 investments.
Even if you break even after a few years, you’ll have owned a naturally-aspirated flat-six 911 for free. Not bad, eh? We found a low-mileage 996 C2 on AutoTempest for $30,000!
Our next one is a Japanese hot coupe that was understated when it was new, and is growing more desirable by the minute. I’m talking about the Integra Type R.
Acura Integra Type R – JDM Fan Service
The Type R name has been resurrected in the last couple of years with Honda launching the Civic Type R. The new Civic may share a name and paint color with the Integra Type R, that clean Championship White, but that’s about where these similarities end.
The Integra Type R is known in automotive circles as the best handling front-wheel drive car ever made. And that’s no exaggeration, it came out in 1997 with telepathic steering that gave drivers real feedback, something today’s cars just don’t have.
The Type R used Honda’s naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine with VTEC technology, and lived by the motto that simplicity was king. This car didn’t have any frills or crazy styling cues, basically the opposite of today’s Civic. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, Honda! Plus, the Integra Type R’s engine had an 8,400 RPM redline on a 10,000 RPM tachometer, making this car a certified screamer.
Clean examples today are in the $30,000 range at the bare minimum, with some changing hands for as much as $50,000, for a front-drive Honda with optional air conditioning! What a world we live in! We found an 2001 Integra Type R in yellow on AutoTempest for $45,000.
The next car on our list is a really special one, more of a performance sledgehammer than a sports car, the 500E from Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes-Benz 500E – It’s a Porsche?
The Mercedes 500E has a pretty interesting history. Produced in the early 90s on the E-Class platform, the 500E actually had fine tuning from Porsche. You see, in the days before manufacturers had insanely strict budgets to stick to, Mercedes built this car at their Stuttgart factory, then shipped each one across town to Porsche for them to have their way with it, then shipped them back to Mercedes for the finishing touches.
That’s right, the 500E with its ridiculous 5.0L V8, which made it the fastest sedan of its time, was worked on by one of the greatest performance carmakers of all time. Nowadays, shipping a car back and forth like that would be an unthinkable move. I miss the old Mercedes.
500E’s, like other Mercedes cars from the 1990s, were worth next to nothing a few years ago, until one fine day enthusiasts realized just how sweet the 500E really is. Values went up like crazy, and now a decent one can fetch up to $50,000. Wow! And they’re not exactly cheap to keep on the road either. Anyway, we found a swanky silver 500E for just $44,000 with under 64,000 miles on it!
The 500E was the fastest sedan in the world until this last car on our list came around to shatter its record, the E39 BMW M5.
BMW M5 – E39 So Fine
The E39 was a special BMW, and one that most consider the best M5 ever, maybe even the best sports sedan ever built. The M5 used a 4.9-liter V8 that shot out 400 horsepower. The 0-to-60 time of just 4.6 seconds made it the fastest sedan of its time, and that naturally-aspirated engine only came with a manual transmission. Who needs an auto anyway? BMW used recirculating ball steering and a drive-by-wire system unlike anything the world had ever seen. This M5 would make most supercars of its time go home with their tails between their legs.
E39’s are in the $20,000 range for a nice one right now, but low-mileage cars have sold in the $50,000 to $60,000 range without flinching. This is a car that can easily bankrupt owners in maintenance costs, so you might want to consider that before you spend your last penny on an old E39. However, we found an example with under 70,000 miles for less than $50,000!