As for special ones, you could always just sell your soul to the devil, squander your kids’ college tuition and get a limited-edition hypercar. Of course, the argument could be made that those cars will most probably be worth several times their current value when you eventually do decide to sell it…
In all fairness, some cars here will cost you a pretty penny (or two, or several million), but in the immortal words of our nation’s dear leader, “I think if you calculate the price of everything in this world, you will miss out on the really important things”.
Like a soulful set of wheels, for instance.
PS: As you can only get the cars listed below used, prices can vary wildly, dependant on a huge number of factors, such as mechanical/physical condition, remaining COE and how much crack the seller is smoking. So, to avoid confusion and to make it easier for you to make a reasonable (or unreasonable Carouhell-grade offer) we've listed their prices when they were new.
Porsche Boxster Spyder: $382,588 (excluding COE)
Why this, and not one of Porsche’s mind-blowing GT cars, like the 911 GT3 or Cayman GT4? While those cars are indeed stupendous and a worthy addition to any collection, those are occasional cars, built for ripping up race tracks or for flexing at your local car meet.
The Boxster Spyder, however, is far more subtle and less occasional — built for gnarly back roads as opposed to billiard table-smooth race tracks. The double bubble rear deck and unique 20-inch wheels set it apart from regular Boxster, but of greatest import is its engine.
The Boxster Spyder shares its 3.8-litre flat-six lifted from the 911 Carrera S (it’s also used on the Cayman GT4), which answers the question that’s been on Porsche fanboys’ lips ever since the model made its debut in 1996. Specifically, “wouldn’t this car be so much better if it had the engine from the 911”.
Porsche held out for nearly two decades, but finally caved in 2015. The results are predictably glorious, especially since it was available only with a six-speed manual gearbox. It’s a pity Porsche only saw fit to fitting the ‘right’ powertrain in special editions of the Boxster/Cayman, but there you go. We’ll have ours in Silver, please.
Maybach 62: $If you have to ask…
You have to wonder what was going through the braintrust at Mercedes-Benz when it decided to revive the Maybach brand in 1997, when it exhibited a concept at that year’s Tokyo Motor Show.
On paper, it seemed like a great idea. Arch-rivals BMW would buy up Rolls-Royce a year later, Volkswagen had just completed the purchase of Bentley. Mercedes-Benz, as the de facto purveyor of limousines to the rich, powerful and despotic needed something to fight them head on. And what better way to do it than by resurrecting a defunct ultra-luxury marque.
And Maybach would beat both BMW and Volkswagen to the punch. The Maybach 57 and 62 (referencing their lengths of 5.7m and 6.2m respectively) debuted in 2002, a year before the Rolls-Royce Phantom VII and a good eight years before the Bentley Mulsanne.
In practice, though, it was a little different. The biggest problem being nobody, unless they were steeped in the Daimler Group’s long and complicated history, had any idea what a Maybach is. Most simply saw it as an enlarged S-Class in a fancy dress, though Maybachs are completely distinct engineering-wise. Also not helping matters was the S-Class of the time was truly disappointing, possibly the worst one in modern history.
So, anyway, after a decade of tanking sales, Mercedes-Benz euthanised the Maybach brand in 2012. Maybach’s tiny sales numbers and continuing strong interest in vintage Mercedes-Benz models could mean you might be sitting on a goldmine in the future. Unless, of course, you spent that goldmine buying a Maybach when it was new.
BMW 1 Series M Coupe: $283,000
There’s a good reason why we never really liked the BMW 1 Series M Coupe (we’ll just call it the 1M for short) when it burst onto the automotive scene in 2010. Firstly, its ridiculously convoluted name. BMW couldn’t simply call it the M1, because it would cause a dangerous rip in the fabric of space-time if a hopped-up 1 Series Coupe shared the same name as the brand’s first and only mid-engined supercar from the early 1980s.
More galling to purists was how much of a parts bin special the 1M was. It lifted some running gear from the M3 of the day and took its 3-litre, twin-turbo straight-six from the 335i. Then there was its brutish, sledgehammer performance. Quite unbecoming of M cars of old with their scalpel precision. It did, at least, come only with a six-speed manual gearbox, which placated purists somewhat.
Ironic, since you’d have had to be a purist to buy one. The manual gearbox alone would be enough to put off the fence-sitters, but added to that was a sparse interior and a price tag just shy of $300,000 when it was new.
But it’s precisely because of that, and the fact it was produced for just 15 months, with correspondingly tiny numbers of right-hand-drive examples. Prices are already starting to appreciate on the global secondary market, so you’d best get your hands on one now when you can. Thankfully, you can still get one for reasonable prices here… if one shows up. Your retirement fund will thank you for it.
Ferrari 458 Italia: $1,160,000 (excluding COE)
The Ferrari 458 Italia is great for a good number of reasons. The first being it made Ferrari styling great again, after the strange bulbousness of the 360 Modena and the bland anonymity of the F430.
15 years after the gorgeous F355, here was a mid-engined Ferrari that could truly be called truly beautiful. Simultaneously curvy and angular, flashy and restrained (most of its aerodynamic ducting is cunningly concealed), the 458 Italia singlehandedly righted many of Ferrari’s styling missteps over the past decade and a half.
There’s also the small matter of how the 458 Italia is the first true “everyday Ferrari”. Standard service intervals stand at once every 20,000km, and more than that, the car is a doddle to drive.
A buttery dual-clutch gearbox takes care of shifting duties, it has great all-round visibility and unless you have a lead foot, fuel consumption isn’t too insane, given the car’s performance.
No, we think the 458 Italia is destined to be a future classic because it’s a Ferrari. Sure, you’ll probably need to wait another decade or so before prices start heading for the moon, but when it does, oh boy, we hope you brought an oxygen tank for the stratospheric prices they’re going to fetch.
Seriously though, the 458 Italia gets our vote because it’s probably the last time we’ll see a naturally aspirated V8 from Maranello. And it’s handy that said naturally aspirated V8 is one of the all-time greats.