Dreaming of Owning a Supercar? Buy Used.
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But there’s another side of the used-car coin that’s decidedly in the buyer’s favor: The high-end side. So-called supercars were once by definition built in small numbers; an extreme example would be the 39 GTOs Ferrari made by hand in the early ‘60s, which today trade for double-digit millions. But the advent of the high-tech factory and computer age has meant that in the past 10 to 15 years very powerful cars were built in comparatively large numbers. Translation: your dream machine likely has plummeted in price.
“There’s no question that amazing cars like the Ferrari 360 Modena (1999 to 2005) are in the, shall we say, more affordable range now, around $75,000 when they were twice that,” says Keith Martin, publisher of Sports Car Market magazine and host/appraiser of Discovery HD Theater’s What’s My Car Worth? “But there’s a caveat. You’re not getting a free lunch, even if the price is way less than the original sticker. Buying a used supercar means being super sure maintenance was done right. Or else things get pricey very fast.”
Martin says that German-made sports cars tend to wear better than their competitors to the south, but that’s assuming the cars’ original owners were meticulous about their machines.
One smart buy is Porsche’s iconic 911, especially the somewhat maligned model known as the 996 (1999-2005), says Sam Cameron, salesman with sports car broker Cars Dawydiak in San Francisco. “Some Porsche purists don’t like the look of that model, or the fact that it was the first water-cooled 911 to come along,” he says. “But if you don’t mind those things, you can find them for $25,000 well preserved, and even some rough ones as low as the teens.”
Here are half a dozen more once-pricey supercars whose values — though perhaps not their appeal — have sunk in recent years:
(1991-2010; buy a solid used example for $25,000; when new around $80,000)
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