There is a new money-making scheme. Oh good. But I’m afraid it is not for the likes of you. Unless, perhaps, you’re an “elective professional investor”.
The new scheme is from a company that has made its name “offering innovative, tax-efficient investment products partnered with management teams who possess expert knowledge in their respective sector”. Which all sounds jolly exciting.
This ‘respective sector’ is classic cars. Yes, serious investment comes to car trading. What a time to be alive. The scheme – in short – involves giving money to experts, who will buy classic cars with it and then sell them on later for as much as they possibly can.
It’ll even be fun, they say: buy a classic car and, unlike gold, you can enjoy your investment and go to related events during the process. They acknowledge, however, that the classic car market is not as buoyantly foolproof as recently, when you could have bought an old Porsche 911 one year and sold it for about four times as much the following year.
So, like riggers drilling to extract the last few barrels from a drying oil field, the experts are going to mine ever-narrower seams of profit, extracting maximum value from classics that have not yet had their turn – cars that might still be affordable now but, if they can help it, will not be again any time soon.
Good God, I find that depressing. As if prices of cars hadn’t become delusional enough of their natural accord, somebody is out there to identify niches that have not yet been exploited and push them as high as they can.
Recently, a Mk3 Ford Escort RS Turbo sold for more than £70,000, after fees, at auction. Yes, really, the sort of car that enthusiastic young lads would have set about on the driveway, sparking a lifelong love of driving cool things, now sells for the price of a Porsche Cayman GT4.
Perhaps an RS owners club meet is one of the events this scheme has in mind.
I largely think that if somebody owns a car, they’re welcome to do whatever they like with it, but I’m prepared to make an exception here. Those behind the scheme are right: cars are not gold or commercial property. They move. They involve. They have a soul. And if anything increases the number of classic cars being driven and enjoyed, I’m all for it. The enthusiast loves a car. A ‘professional investor’, no matter how much he or she likes cars, will see it as an increasing number of pound signs.
I am realistic. I am a capitalist. I would always prefer to be wealthier today than I was this time yesterday. But still: how wrong is it to hope the classic market falls flat on its arse?