TURNING WHEELS IN THE ECONOMY

Written on the 10 August 2012

TURNING WHEELS IN THE ECONOMY

WITH Australia’s equities markets in the financial doldrums and property values in stagnation, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find investment havens that offer a degree of safety with a reasonable chance of capital gain.

However, one investment sector has received considerable interest over recent months as canny investors enjoying substantial long-term gains.

Classic cars have often been viewed as playthings for their sometimes eccentric enthusiasts. But if some recent sale prices  are an indication, investing in a classic car could be a wise move.

Charles Dickson, a Gold Coast classic car enthusiast, has been amazed at some recent sales, both private and at auction.

“Like all investments, you need to buy wisely,” he says.

“There are many things the first time investor needs to be wary of, but at the moment, even small investors are reaping worthwhile returns.’’

Dickson cites deals involving the original Mini Cooper as an example.

“Just a few years back you could pick up a good one for around $10,000. Today, the same model in pristine condition is fetching $30,000 and more,’’ he says.

Dickson says 1960s ‘bug eye’ Austin Healy Sprites also have shown strong investment gains and have doubled in price over the last 10 years to more than $20,000.

“At the other end of the scale, classic Porches, Ferraris, Maseratis and Aston Martins are achieving stratospheric prices,’’ he says.

In August last year, a rare 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa was auctioned by Gooding & Co at Pebble Beach in America. The car, one of only 49 manufactured, sold for a staggering US$16.4 million, $4 million more than the previous record for a classic car.

Dickson says just like buying shares or property, picking an investment winner in the car world involves careful research.

“Originality is important as is the cars provenance,’’ he says.

“A car with a well-documented history, or one previously owned by a high profile actor or sporting star could be worth considerably more than one with no available history.

“Picking a particular make of car can also be difficult. Things to look for include availability of spare parts, servicing costs and the brand’s previous track record as an investment.”

Most makes are well supported by local car clubs, like the Gold Coast MG Car Club. The MGB was one of the world’s most successful sports cars, selling more than half a million cars during the 18 years it was manufactured. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the model’s launch.

To celebrate the occasion, the Gold Coast MG Car Club will display around 50 of these popular convertibles and coupes at the Southport Broadwater Car Park on Sunday, July 29.


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