It is something with an important name plus sporting or performance pretensions. As a result, it has become the object of general admiration and kept its value far better than ordinary cars.
However, it strikes me that the landscape is changing. In auctions and at high-tone classic car gatherings, you nowadays trip over E-types in clumps of a dozen. DB5s may be worth £200k, but they’re almost common. Meanwhile, the cars that used to be dismissed as 'porridge' (not least by those who had the foresight to buy their Bentleys for a few thousand quid back in the day) have become extremely rare and exciting to encounter. I get the feeling they’re about to have their day in the sun.
While wandering a north London street recently I came upon a pristine 1948 Hillman Minx, a car that had already reached basket case status by the time I’d become seriously interested in cars. Just seeing it was special; I had completely forgotten what the dashboard was like, so being reminded was a delicious experience.