10 cars you wish you'd bought 10 years ago

20th January 2017
Chris Knapman

It is now a decade since my father refused to buy an old Porsche 911 with me. It was “too expensive” and we’d “never make any money”, he’d said. Cheers, Dad. With that admittedly insignificant anniversary in mind, here are 10 cars – including the Porsche – that hindsight tells us would’ve made fine investments in 2007 (and just as importantly, been a blast to drive in the meantime).


Subaru Impreza 22B

Approximate price in 2007: £30,000

Price now: Up to £70,000

While some might argue that the P1 or RB5 were the best of the breed, the fact of the matter is that the greatest investment potential as far as Imprezas are concerned resides in the two-door 22B of 1998. This was a limited-production model built to celebrate Subaru’s 40th anniversary and its three back-to-back world rally titles.
Even less than a decade ago you’d be looking at about £30,000 to secure one, but since then values have raced past the original £40,000 selling price as if powered by a turbocharged flat-four.


Lamborghini Countach

Approximate price in 2007: £50,000

Price now: from £200,000

It might have been a poster pin-up back in the day, but by 2007 selling a Countach was a tricky business. Potentially ruinous running costs and the belief that it would never be as special as its forerunner, the Miura, meant prices had fallen to below £50,000. The other problem was that while the Countach was, without a doubt, an event to drive. That event mostly involved physical exertion of a kind that you just don’t find in modern cars.


Classic Land Rover

Approximate price in 2007: £1,500

Price now: From £8,000 for a reasonable Series III

They might not have the best reputation for reliability, but old Land Rovers have been riding a wave of increasing values, helped by the demise of the Defender in early 2016. The danger of those strong prices is that for some, the idea of taking it out of the garage, let alone off the beaten track, will become increasingly tougher to justify.


Peugeot 205 GTi

Approximate price in 2007: From £1,500 (decent example)

Price now: £8,000+

Who doesn’t wish they’d bought a 205 GTi when they were cheap? It really wasn’t so long ago that prices started at comfortably under £1,000, whereas now some are being advertised for more than £30,000.
That latter figure might be optimistic, but one thing is for sure: the days of a buying decent 205 GTi for a bargain price have now gone.


Renault Clio V6

Approximate price in 2007: £15,000

Price now: £30,000

A crazy car that now goes for crazy money, but a decade ago you could pick up a used Clio V6 for the price of a new 1.2. Best bet is one of the more desirable (read less dangerous) Phase 2 models, built between 2003 and 2005. With its mid-mounted V6 engine, wide stance and wild styling, there’s surely a lot more mileage left in Clio V6 values yet.


Nissan Skyline R32 GTR

Approximate price in 2007: £8,000 for a good one

Price today: approx' £17,000

If you were one of the Gran Turismo generation then the R32 Skyline needs no introduction. How many of us bought one, tuned it up to 1,000bhp and then did something to the camber angle that made it impossible to drive?
Back in the real world, the Skyline’s 276bhp engine (a conservative figure if ever there was one) and computer-controlled four-wheel-drive system made it a point-to-point missile, and although not quite as easy to tune as its Playstation equivalent, it wasn’t far off.


Volkswagen Camper Van

Approximate price in 2007: £9,000 for a decent split screen

Price today: From £25,000 

Listen to why most people missed out on their dream car when prices were affordable and the answer more often than not is because they bought a house instead. And as we all know, you can’t live in a car.
You can, however, live in a camper van, and a decade ago smart money would have gone on a split-screen Volkswagen. Inevitably, it’s these earliest, pre-1967, models that have increased in value the most, although later bay window vans are sure to follow.


Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera

Approximate price in 2007: From £15,000 for a decent one

Price today: From £30,000

It would be impossible to have a list of missed car investments without mentioning the rear-engined sportscar from Germany. Oh to have bought one of these a decade ago and been able to use it without worrying about its value. Any air-cooled 911 would be worthy of inclusion, but there’s something so honest and robust about a good 3.2 that resonates as an investment.


Classic Mini

Approximate price in 2007: £3,500

Price today: Up to £50,000 for a mint Cooper S

With so many built since the launch of the original in 1959, condition and thus prices of remaining examples obviously vary wildly, hence the quoted values above. This is compounded by the fact that rust is such a problem, which even in 2007 meant that finding a good one was far from easy. But boy is it worth the effort. That it’s not particularly fast by modern standards matters not when you’re behind the wheel, because what the Mini lacks in outright pace it more than makes up for in its undiluted sense of fun.

  • Porsche

  • 911

  • Nissan

  • skyline

  • Subaru

  • Impreza

  • Peugeot

  • 205

  • Mini

  • Volkswagen

  • Camper

  • Renault

  • Clio

  • Land Rover

  • Lamborghini

  • Countach

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