There are many ways to own a car nowadays. One may take out a bank loan, go for a novated car lease, or for the very rich, there’s the option of cash. However, when it comes to collectibles such as supercars and vintage classics – there is a huge market for used cars, the ballgame is completely different. What is it about these vehicles that make people willing to splurge their hard earned money on them?
A supercar is defined by experts in the field as an automotive focused on performance above all else. It is not something that is manufactured and marketed to the masses, but rather, extremely limited production. They are an exotic breed of cars that are built to test the limits of technological advancements and highly coveted but not easily attainable.
In recent years, there has been a new term derived of the top 1 percent of all supercars: hypercars. Some enthusiasts have rejected the categorization, insisting that it is redundant as supercars is meant to be used in the same context. However, the reason for this separation is that it has lost its original meaning as it has been adopted by many companies to market their new high-performance cars. Furthermore, those who are not well versed in its terminology might misuse the word and spread misinformation, effectively giving it a new meaning altogether.
One of the common characteristics of a hypercar is the capacity for speed. There are few on the market which have horsepower in the four figures. These cars would not be safe for enthusiasts or everyday drivers and only professional racers would be able to drive them if not for the advanced safety features installed on them. Therefore, someone who is not experienced enough would never be able to realize a hypercar’s full potential.
Others have likened supercars to the fashion industry, calling them the supermodels of the car world. At the same time, Douglas Sonders, a filmmaker, shared, “They remind us what the open road truly represents, excitement and freedom at its extreme limits. Not always safe, let alone practical, they are the epitome of what every mere mortal car dreams to be”.
Now that there is a better understanding of what supercars are held in high regard, why are vintage cars also popular with car enthusiasts? In the realm of technology, ‘newer is always better’ so why then does the saying, ‘old is gold’ apply to automotive contraptions of the past?
The first thing anyone would mention is aesthetics. Especially in our consumer driven world of social media, timeless designs will always draw the eye. If supercars were supermodels, then the classics are fashion icons. That is the top reason for its never-declining popularity, despite being out of manufacture for years or even decades which makes repairs troublesome as spare parts are hard to come by.
That has not deterred collectors from purchasing antique models for their private collection or with the intention to sell them to the highest bidder. Published in 2013, The Guardian reported that classic Ferraris have risen to a 55 percent increase in price, beating out Mercedes and Porsche. Instead of deteriorating in value as finance has taught us about current assets and their depreciation value, cars which have been deemed worthy of collecting are fetching high and handsome prices.
However, it is far from a safe investment, as tycoon Mike Tuke eventually learnt. The businessman who was persuaded by a dealer to invest over forty million pounds in classics is now in the process of suing aforementioned dealer for attempting to swindle him into purchasing overpriced vehicles.
Due to the rarity of certain cars and makes, a lot of attention is garnered over exhibitions. There is one that will be held in Israel, where seventy seven cars worth over one hundred million will be touring the country over five days. It is an international event with drivers and collectors from all over the world participating.
Another exhibition which is largely private have recently made headlines in regards to their extensive collection. With vehicles dating all the way back to the 1900s. There is one in particular that stands out from all the rest: an electric car, manufactured in 1969 for General Motors. It is not a concept model, but one that is fully operational and “built to be an urban two seater with fiberglass body and steel chassis, it utilized special Delco-Remy lightweight lead-acid batteries taking 7 hours on a complete recharge from a 115-volt household outlet. The carÕs range at 25 miles an hour is 58 miles”.
It looks like both supercars and vintage classics are here to stay, despite being on different sides of the spectrum, begging the question: why car manufacturers have not tried to fuse the two together and design something with the best of both worlds? Or perhaps the question is when.