Ferrari (NYSE: RACE) debuted in October 2015 at an IPO price of US$52 per share. Nowadays, it is trading at around US$85 per share. Want a piece of the action without having to buy Ferrari stock? The other way to invest in the company and harness the galloping returns of that iconic prancing horse is to buy an actual Ferrari.
Bloomberg once pointed out in an article that the value of classic Ferraris has been increasing – and by no small margin. Even something as relatively humble as the Testarossa from the 80s has nearly doubled in value over the past couple of years.
Meanwhile, the value of some models – particularly those built in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s – have skyrocketed nearly seven-fold since 2006. No one can guarantee that a classic Ferrari will outperform their stock. But owning and driving a Ferrari is a much more interesting and fun investment for sure.
Investing in a classic car
Despite the hype surrounding classic cars as an investment vehicle (pun intended), can you actually make decent returns? It can be difficult to do so after factoring in the cost of maintenance. However, some enthusiasts claim that they have made some serious returns on their classic and modern classic Ferraris within just a few years of ownership.
Investing in classic cars can be pretty straightforward. You buy one, maintain it in good condition, and keep it until it hopefully increases in value – either due to increased demand for that make and model or decreased numbers out there.
Unlike buying a piece of art, a classic car can’t be left alone. It will need to be stored and looked after properly in order to maintain its value. Such costs can be expensive and need to be factored into the decision-making process. A number of factors dictate whether a car increases in value:
The key to making money with any investment is to be ahead of the pack and that means looking at cars that are unloved or overlooked. All new cars depreciate in value and will eventually reach the bottom of the curve. But if you can spot the gems and be absolutely sure that they will be something that people want and might buy in the future, then you have found your target.
You can start by looking at cars that have been discontinued for a decade or two – pick up an iconic one with low mileage, a good interior, and a full service history.
Which models should you consider?
Top-of-the-market models remain expensive – GTOs, 250 Californias, and Lussos trade at seven and eight figures – and are inaccessible to the average investor. Here are some relatively more affordable V12 Ferraris – with values that are trending in tandem with their multimillion-dollar stablemates.
Like the Lamborghini Countach, the Testarossa embodies the flash of the 1980s and became something of a cultural phenomenon – most notably as the co-star of popular television series Miami Vice. It is gaining value on a more gradual upward slope than the more limited 512TR and M.
About 3,083 six-speed manual Ferrari 550 Maranellos were built, highly sought after because of their manual transmission. In 2002, Ferrari introduced the 575 M Maranello – which is inspired by the stunning 550 Maranello, with a revised front end and a new interior. More importantly, the 550’s engine was augmented to 5.75 litres and a hefty 515 hp.
Approximately 2,100 Ferrari 575M Maranellos were produced. Both the Ferrari 550 and 575 have proven to be remarkably trouble-free as far as late-model exotic cars go.
Like the 456 before it, the 612 Scaglietti drove wonderfully but was criticised for its styling and emissions. The 612 – fitted with a V12 similar to the 575 Superamerica – is reaching the lowest point of its worth.
Ferrari is done with the clutch pedal and while those shopping for new Ferraris don’t seem to miss it, manual transmission Ferraris from the 90s are hot among collectors at the moment. While the 550 Maranello has been on a meteoric rise, the 456 GT has been somewhat overlooked. Only about 1,500 were built, making them almost as rare as Daytonas.
The Ferrari 400 GT offers a great deal for your money. The last Ferrari to be fitted with the Colombo V12, the car is a superb grand tourer with lots of space and provides a very comfortable ride.
The bottom line
These five V12 Ferraris may or may not be better investments than Ferrari stock, but they are more fun investments for sure.
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