The 2017 HSV GTSR W1 marks the end of Australian manufacturing, along with the production of Australia’s fastest and most powerful car ever built.
It also represents one of the most expensive locally produced cars with an asking price of $169,990, before on-road costs. We’ve even heard of some buyers paying over $250,000 to secure their spot in the line.
So it begs the question, regardless of the car brand — is it worth investing in a limited edition model? And, is it a smarter investment than property?
If you cast your mind back only seven or eight years, a punter paid a record $750,000 for a Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III. At the time of its production it was the fastest four-door sedan in the world that originally cost less than $10,000 (excluding inflation).
The car was only around 30 years old and in pristine condition, but it represented one of the biggest sales in Australian automotive history.
The last HSV GTSR — produced with a giant wing and in an Aussie-inspired colour called Yellah — can be found on the second hand market demanding an asking price of between $100,000-200,000.
If you look further afield, some buyers even sold their slots on the order list for things like the last Land Rover Defender Heritage Edition. We’ve also heard stories of buyers that were in the queue for a 991 911 GT3 RS selling slots prior to delivery.
Let’s not forget the 991 911 R, with one on sale at the moment for just under $1 million, with an original $404,700 (plus on-road costs) asking price in Australia.
One specific example that sparked our interest was the sale and subsequent listing of a 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black edition.
With only 10 of these delivered to Australia, it now has an asking price of over $1.2 million, which is double the original price of $639,000 (plus on-road costs).
For every example of a limited edition car that has appreciated in value, you’ll find 10 others that haven’t.
Take the Porsche 991 911 GT3 for example. While it hasn’t gone down in value, it has maintained its position. With a list price of $293,600 (plus on-road costs), they can be bought second hand for a little over $300,000 — this could be partly due to the announcement of the new GT3 being offered with a manual gearbox.
Picking a car that will appreciate in value is tough. You want to find a car that’s the last of its type. Take the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG for example — it was the one of the last naturally aspirated AMGs…and the last car with Gullwing doors. It has held its value and is on an upward trajectory.
Same story over at Ferrari. The Ferrari 458 Speciale or Ferrari 458 Aperta were the last naturally aspirated V8 Ferraris. There is a 458 Speciale Aperta for sale at the moment for $1.5 million.
The key is to not buy a car as an investment. You need to enjoy owning it and reap the benefits if they come.
Cars that appreciate or maintain their value are a great way to enjoy a vehicle before selling it for the same, or more than what you paid.
To answer the question — can investing in a limited edition car be better than investing in property? Yes, definitely. But, only if it’s the right car. And, like any other investment, they can drop in value overnight if the manufacturer announces a change that affects its value, or a new model of a model they said would never continue.
In the case of the HSV GTSR W1, it’s highly unlikely that HSV will do a John Farnham and bring out an even more powerful version of the W1. And, I’d say that in 30 years from now, the W1 will command an asking price north of $300,000 — just don’t hold me accountable if it doesn’t!