Seven best sub-£100k investment cars to buy now

27th July 2020
Dan Trent

No more messing about - £100,000 to spend on a car that will both entertain you in the immediate future and stand to see you a decent return a little further down the line when you’re done with it. Too much to ask? We can’t make any guarantees on the latter. But we’re pretty confident a spell with any of these would be a proper blast and a great thing to have on your car ownership CV.


Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series – the dark horse

Credit to AMG. Having seen the critical acclaim for track-influenced cars like the 911 GT3 it decided to do something similar, albeit by its own rules. The supercharged CLK-DTM had the mad box arches and racing car bodykit but the CLK63 Black Series that followed was a little more discreet, at least in looks. Slung low and with a beautiful set of polished wheels packing the wider arches, the Black Series looked mean. And, boy, did it sound it too. The auto-only gearbox didn’t hamper its hardcore appeal, the muscularity of that epic V8 and unadulterated enthusiasm for going sideways at every opportunity sealing a legend. A classic need-to-know special whose rarity will always guarantee its value.  


Morgan Aero 8 – the retro (with a modern twist)

Morgan’s tweedy traditionalism has endeared it to many over the years. The Aero 8 is something rather different, though. Sure, it has that retro style. But from its all-aluminium construction to its BMW V8 the Aero 8 was a very different machine, with a style of its own combined with performance and handling from the modern age. That’s a beguiling mix and, as enthusiasts chase cars that deliver an experience rather than just big numbers, one likely to be more in demand. Small production numbers, that unique look and the best of British provenance all add up to a safe place to put your cash.


Aston Martin Vanquish – the brute in a sharp suit

Along with the DB7 the Vanquish helped Aston Martin’s transition from the brutalism of the ‘90s Virage and Vantage into the modern age. You can see traces of both in Ian Callum’s typically sharp design, combining as it does the sensuous look of later Astons with the muscularity of earlier ones. It’s also fast and charismatic, thanks to a gargling 466PS V12 engine. The jerky robotised transmission wasn’t popular at the time and retrofit manuals were an option but, with hindsight, it’s all part of the Vanquish’s character now. Callum has worked on an updated version addressing some of the features he didn’t like at the time but it’s still a timeless design and its rawness will likely be coveted down the line.


Nissan GT-R NISMO – the GT3 chaser

You can have a GT-R for a third of this budget and, to all intents and purposes, it’ll deliver much of the same experience. But if the GT-R is a geeks’ car the NISMO one is for the super-geeks and a special edition inspired by the car’s motorsport exploits and sharing much of the same spirit. Indeed, it’s even got the exact same turbos (one fewer vane per turbine compared with the regular car, fact fans), 600PS as stock, carbon-fibre panels, extra downforce, a seam welded body (actually glued, but to the same ends) and dedicated suspension settings. Selling for 911 GT3 RS money, these NISMO versions offer marginal gains over the stock one. But the pedigree and rarity to make them collectable.


Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera – the angry one

Modern Lamborghinis under Audi ownership seem to follow a similar trajectory. At launch they look great and make a lot of noise but often underwhelm dynamically. Then, as the years go by, Lamborghini’s real character asserts itself. So it is with the Gallardo, which in stock form is a perfectly exciting car. But it took until the Superleggera before it began to feel like a real Lamborghini, the raging bull spirit expressed in less weight, extra volume from the exhaust and gear changes so violent your skull leaves imprints on the seats on every upshift. Models like the Superleggera and the rear-driven Balboni are different enough to be considered special, and the market prizes them accordingly.


Porsche 911 GT3 (997) – the old-school one

Anyone who thinks 911 GT3s are sure-fire investment bets should consider the 100-odd 991 versions currently advertised in the UK and ponder how safe that money really is. For sure, the flippers probably did OK out of them but now the market appears saturated. That may correct itself eventually but, for now, you’re better off looking a generation back at the 997-era GT3s, lauded for being the last manual GT3s (before Porsche changed its mind…) and the last to carry engines designed by the legendary Hanz Mezger, who died aged 90 just recently. Purist tastes are tricky to predict but those older GT3s look a safer place to put your £100K than the more recent ones.


Ferrari Testarossa – the ‘80s icon

£100,000 opens up a world of Ferrari-shaped possibilities. But where best to invest it? Temptations include the quirky 612 Scaglietti, the beautiful 599 GTB and the razor sharp F430. The charms of the 575M are difficult to ignore too. Dynamically it’s probably the least exciting or capable of any of them but the strake-vented ‘80s Testarossa has an irresistible appeal for car nuts of a certain age. Forever compared with the Lamborghini Countach, the Testarossa was the star of many a childhood bedroom wall and has a look pretty much unique among Ferraris. You’ll be faster in any number of supercars. But, for head-turning ability, the Testarossa is as powerful as ever. And you’ll always find a willing buyer when you’re done.

  • List

  • Ferrari

  • Testarossa

  • Lamborghini

  • Gallardo

  • Porsche

  • 911

  • GT3

  • Nissan

  • GT-R

  • Morgan

  • Aero 8

  • Aston Martin

  • Vanquish

  • Mercedes

  • CLK63

  • AMG

  • Black Series

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