Buying cars as an investment can be a risky business, but it can also be a very rewarding one. After all, unlike investing in art, or stocks, buying a car means that you can drive, enjoy and appreciate it.
And if you buy the right car, you can get a great deal today and potentially enjoy a rise in value in the coming years. With the trend for new cars being downsized engines, hybrid and electric powertrains and a decidedly sterile driving experience, now’s a great time to remind yourself of the joys to be found in a personal luxury car with a stonking great V8 engine.
No, these cars won’t be as cheap to run, insure or fix as a modern equivalent, but they’ll pay you back with a full-bodied driving experience and years of fun.
To the classifieds, then! Arm yourself with the right tools – an open mind is a great start. Equipping yourself with a Parkers car valuation can help you ensure any potential buy is set at a fair price, too.
This has to be one of the prettiest cars of the last 20 years. Minimally styled, the XKR’s less-is-more approach has aged so well, as has the light and airy interior styling. A welcome respite to the unrelenting seas of black you’ll find in some of the German choices further down this list.
Jaguar’s always been a great example of balancing ride and handling and the XKR is no different. It’s very much a GT car, with an endlessly comfortable ride and light and satisfying steering. With plenty of support from independent specialists, a healthy club scene and well-known mechanicals, this Jag appeals to the head as much as it does the heart.
BMW E92 M3
This era of M3 is a long way away from the motorsport-derived original, launched in the 1980s, but with more size and more weight came more cylinders – a leap to a V8 engine. The S65 engine revs to the heavens – it’s a masterpiece, capable of shuffling around town but at the drop of a hat (or a pedal) unleashing its full 414hp at a screaming 8,300rpm.
Don’t go thinking the M3’s gone soft. Get into the swing of things and it removes its refined demeanour to reveal a sharp focus that very few cars come close to. The best part is that if the coupe body style isn’t your thing, you can pick up a cabriolet or a saloon variant.
If the XKR is the artisan delight and the M3 the precision instrument, the Vauxhall Monaro is the sledgehammer. Its origins lay in the Australian Holden Monaro, and it’s an unashamed Aussie muscle car.
The Monaro lacks the sophistication of many of its rivals but makes up for it with the pure V8 supercar soundtrack and a sense of back-to-basics, loutish fun.
Audi RS 5
Whatever you throw at the RS 5, it will shrug off – its sheer cross-country pace is mind-blowing thanks to its high-revving V8 and Quattro four-wheel-drive system. It looks good too.
That engine’s a real peach, revving right up to 8,200rpm and with ample power despite the car’s 1,800kg weight. It might not handle like the BMW or charm like the Jag, but if you need phenomenal all-weather pace, try the RS 5.
A beautifully sculpted, exotic machine crafted by one of the original masters of the GT form – Giorgetto Giugiaro. What you get here is a 4.2-litre naturally-aspirated V8 engine with a glorious, bassy yet searing sound. When it sounds and looks this good, does it matter if it’s not as powerful as some of the other cars on this list?
The 4200 is much more reliable than urban legends would have you believe, too, though specialist support can be sporadic. But find a good one and you’ll be richly rewarded.
On a bang for buck basis, this has to be one of the most appealing Mercedes models out there. Graceful yet imposing, with near-Bentley levels of refinement and similar amounts of wallop in one of the high-end CL63 forms. They aren’t cheap to run but settle back into the immaculate interior and ease into a long drive and it’s hard to figure out why you’d need anything else.
This isn’t a car for hardcore cornering, but it makes up for that with its sheer ability to turn long journeys into very short yet comfortable ones.