Written exclusively for Supercar Driver magazine by Tom Jaconelli
There is no more common question I currently get asked than what is the market like at the moment and it’s never been more difficult to give a simple answer. With so many different pockets of the supercar market now, which all appear to be performing quite differently, the one thing that’s clear is that it’s a very mixed picture.
What is clear is that increased new car supply means the new and nearly new car market has become rather saturated and eradicated many of the crazy premiums we were previously seeing on regular production cars, which feels like an overdue return to normality where the majority of brand-new luxury and performance cars depreciate from their list price. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of new cars which are still selling for sizeable premiums — you only have to look at the 992 GT3 RS or even the Urus Performante to see that certain pockets remain incredibly strong.
Where the market does appear to have very good momentum is on the more blue chip collectable cars, where investors and enthusiasts who might be sitting on the sidelines of a volatile stock market, witnessing the slowdown in the property market or perhaps have been burnt by the crypto market, are all looking for a safer place to put their money. With more financial turmoil anticipated ahead, what better place than something you are passionate about and something you can enjoy?
With a narrative that continues to see downsized engines, increased electrification and many ‘end of an era’ supercars, it should come as no surprise that we are seeing an increasingly high level of enquiries from people looking for advice on what supercars we think are a safe haven moving forward in these uncertain times, and sales for these type of cars have never been stronger. For that reason, I thought it would be a good time to put together a list of supercars which I personally think will remain ‘recession-proof’ in the near and distant future.
The last of the Ferrari halo cars has enjoyed strengthening demand lately with values now increasing to over £3m. With Ferrari introducing an attractively priced two-year warranty and service pack which covers the potentially very expensive battery replacement, added peace of mind has helped breathe new life into the LaF market.
Additionally, with the car’s replacement for now on the horizon, many collectors want to ensure they have a LaFerrari in the collection to increase their chances of being on the list for the new halo car. Furthermore, if rumours are to be believed, the replacement will no longer feature a V12 engine which adds more weight to the argument of the LaFerrari being a hugely significant car in Ferrari's history, and that alone should ensure values will continue to rise in the future.
Porsche Carrera GT
Seeing the celebration of 20 years of the Carrera GT at the SCD Secret Meet was a special moment and a deserving gesture to acknowledge just how much these cars are loved and revered. Despite recent recall concerns regarding suspension failure which is keeping many cars off the road, it would be incomprehensible to think that the Carrera GT’ssignificance in automotive history won’t continue to grow.
As one of the last truly analogue hypercars, the CGT with its six-speed manual gearbox and Le Mans-derived V10 engine has become a true classic which in some ways is following in the footsteps of the Ferrari F40. Whilst values may have corrected slightly from where they were a little while ago, I have little doubt that moving forward they will prove to be recession-proof and an excellent long-term investment.
Whilst it would have been easy for me to choose the Veyron to add to this list, I actually think
the Chiron is proving to be, at least for now, the smarter buy. Now that all 500 cars have been sold and the last production Chiron has been built, the scarcity effect is kicking in and values have started increasing quite substantially from where they were just a year or so ago. The iconic W16 powertrain has now been retired by Bugatti, and whilst the Veyron was clearly the game-changer and the one that will be remembered in the history books, the Chiron has largely proven to be the more appealing purchase.
This is partly down to the lower running costs, but it’s also a superior car to live with. The performance is better, the cabin is more luxurious and everything just feels more modern. The Veyron will have its day as an appreciating classic, but for me, if you can find an early Chiron with a good saving off the list price, ideally with a Bugatti warranty and service pack, then you might just have a more rewarding ownership experience and come out the other side better off.
Another V12 Ferrari to enjoy strengthening demand and increasing values over the last couple of years is the F12tdf. With 799 examples worldwide and no convertible version, the TDF appeals strongly to collectors and investors. With a timeless and distinctive design, breathtaking performance and a historic name, it’s fast becoming the choice of Ferrari connoisseurs who wish to have a modern limited-run V12 in their collection, and there are some superb examples to choose from.
TDF values seem to track the LaFerrari in terms of when they have increased and decreased, and with its naturally-aspirated V12 clearly a dying breed plus the fact that the 812 Competizione has been selling so strongly, the TDF appears to be a very safe place to put your money.
For all of Mclaren's well-known issues, we can't deny they make some of the best performance cars on the planet, and one car stands out to me for many reasons. The 675LT is a deeply rewarding driver’s car, and personally I think it might just be the best car McLaren has built so far. Whilst the 765LT is clearly faster and the likes of the Senna and the P1 have more wow factor, the 675LT feels more like a cult classic and its clean styling is ageing well as it approaches a decade old.
You have to remember that, when it was first released, these cars were selling for close to £400K and today you can pick a good one up for about half of that. There is an argument to say the McLaren P1 is very undervalued but the battery issues and potential maintenance costs are a big factor in that. I personally think 675LT values have bottomed out, and if we fast forward another five or 10 years, I think this car could enter the conversation as one of the great modern supercars.
Porsche 918 Spyder
It might be a decade old now but the 918 Spyder doesn't appear to have aged at all. With its predecessor, the Carrera GT, taking off in value, the 918 has become a very attractive proposition as many people consider it to be the more appealing car due to its improved usability.
Being rarer than the Carrera GT as well, the 918 looks decent value so it’s no surprise they have become increasingly elusive on the market lately with most examples getting snapped up within weeks of being advertised. Values are now increasing towards £1.5m and there are strong signs that they can keep on going or at the very least hold firm during a wider market downturn.
Lamborghini Aventador SVJ
Whilst we find most collectors in this market tend to look at Ferrari and Porsche as the top-tier investment cars, there is an increasing argument to consider Lamborghini, in particular the Aventador which finally finished production late last year. As the last of the non-hybrid naturally- aspirated V12s, it is a truly iconic model which helped define an era.
The question is which is the best-limited edition to buy? The SV is arguably the best looking, whereas the Ultimae has the rarity factor and the fact it was the final Aventador. For us though, the SVJ is the most hardcore track-focused version with the best performance, and took Lamborghini to a new level. That's why we think it might just be more recession-proof than the others.
Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
In some ways the forgotten car of its generation, the jointly-developed SLR is widely tipped as one of the best buys in today’s market when potential future values are considered. Whilst they are clearly not celebrated in the same way as the Carrera GT or Enzo from the same era, it’s still amazing really that the SLR is available at such a small fraction of the cost of those cars, with regular SLRs still available for under £300K.
Part of the reason why values are yet to take off is down to maintenance costs, and whilst it’s a fair argument, the gap in values from its counterparts just doesn’t make sense. For sure, you need to be extra diligent with which example you buy and try to find one that has been regularly maintained and ideally had a recent engine out service. There are a lot of imported cars around too, some of which have an unclear history, so don’t get too put off when you see some examples lingering on the market as there is normally good reason.
Ferrari 458 Speciale
One of my more obvious picks but for good reason. The Speciale has quickly achieved status as one of the all-time great Ferraris and a bonafide modern classic. The last Ferrari to have a naturally-aspirated V8 engine based on what is widely considered the prettiest modern Ferrari, the Speciale has a special place in our hearts.
Whilst there is no shortage of them, there is increasing disparity in values between high-spec, low-mileage examples and entry-level cars, and that goes to show that collectors are prepared to pay far stronger money to get one of the best. Values might be higher than they have ever been now but I share the belief with many that these cars will continue to appreciate over the mid to long term, and if you are prepared to part with £350-400k, in this market, I don’t think there is any other car I could recommend above it.
Aston Martin Vantage GT8
I wanted to include something that is still sub £200k and I also wanted to include an Aston. One car’s credentials stood out and it is a firm favourite at Romans having sold numerous examples. Sure it might not have the power of some of the other cars on this list but the Vantage GT8 makes up for it with one of the best analogue driving experiences and an unbelievable soundtrack.
With what has become the swansong for Aston's naturally aspirated V8 engine and only 150 examples built worldwide, the GT8 sits in an envious position as one of Aston's most desirable cars of the last decade and carries with it an increasingly cult status. Whilst newer Aston Martins come and go and depreciation grips the majority of them, we have little doubt that the GT8 will continue to stand tall even in the worst of financial turmoil. Just make sure you ideally buy the manual version!
Mercedes SLS AMG
When cars reach a decade old, they tend to enter new territory of either becoming just the old model or they can start to become a modern classic, and it's very much the latter with the SLS, which seems to be ageing like a fine wine and increasing in desirability as it gets older. Those famous Gullwing doors are a big part of the reason but also the sophisticated styling and the old-school character with that sumptuous 6.2-litre naturally-aspirated V8 at the heart of it.
The SLS is very much a case of "They don't make 'em like this anymore”, and whilst the Black Series and Final Edition variants are the cream of the crop if you can find one, the regular SLS is more than adequate and also a very usable grand tourer. The values on these cars seem to be going one way and I can't see any recession having a