Not every car enthusiast can afford to invest in a Porsche 911 R. Heck, not everyone can afford to buy a house or apartment these days.
So the question is, could sub-$50,000 used performance cars work as potential investments in the future? We certainly think so.
Enter part one of our top 10 most affordable performance car investments … with the obvious caveat that the MOTOR team is hardly a group of investment banker types.
1989 Mazda NA MX-5
Plentiful supply of this iconic first-generation roadster is a downside. However finding a good example is becoming rarer, and parts are in surplus supply for a potential restoration. Mazda reliability means the 1.6-litre rear-driver will go forever anyway. Don’t expect to become Murdoch-wealthy, but $5000 examples are already heading towards $10,000-plus.
1989 Peugeot 205 GTI
In some ways the 205 GTI is the exact opposite to the MX-5. We’re not talking about the fact that the Peugeot is a French 1.9-litre front-drive hot hatchback, versus Japanese 1.6-litre rear-drive roadster, but rather supply is short and parts scarcer. However these brilliant – I’m biased because I own one, but I’m not intending to strike a Rene Rivkin-esque deal and sell it! – units have also doubled in price from $5000 for a good example, to $10,000-plus.
1994 Subaru WRX
While the Version 5 STI two-door models have already taken off in price, even a standard original-generation WRX is set to only go one way. The key, of course, is to find an unmolested – sorry, unmodified, to be polite – example of 155kW/260Nm 2.0-litre boxer turbo all-wheel drive icon. We found a 1997 Club Spec N in rally blue, with requisite gold alloys and with just 44,000km (!) on the clock, for $25,000. It certainly won’t take a tumble.
2000 Honda Integra DC2 Type R
Goodbye 1980s and 1990s, and hello early 2000s. Honda may be back with the Civic Type R, but not with a naturally aspirated engine that makes peak power at 7900rpm and not in coupe form. This front-drive weapon hasn’t (yet) soared in price, with tidy examples hovering around the $15,000 mark. But they will only go one way from there.
2000 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI Tommi Makinen Edition
Only 100 of these Tommi Makinen rally-icon specials were officially imported to Australia and they cost $79,990 new. The 206kW/373Nm 2.0-litre turbo all-wheel drive weapon with white Enkei wheels, Brembos and Recaros needs little introduction, but rare, unmodified examples with 100,000km-plus have been creeping towards $25,000 and, soon, beyond it.
In part two of our top 10 most affordable sportscar investments, the remaining five models will fill out the $25,000 to $50,000 bracket. Stay tuned!