Why some old cars cost More than their original value over time?

Seeing the increasing MSRP’s and dealer markups, you might have wandered into the used market to get yourself a ride. But would’ve also noticed that decade old rusty shitboxes cost the same as their original MSRP and even well over that. At that point you would have thought people are probably ripping you off. While there is quite a bit of reality to that, there are other reasons why SOME older used cars cost as much as a new C8. Following is why some old cars cost more than their original value over time:

Main reasons why some specific models age well regarding their worth:

  • Engine and Reliability
  • Timeless Design
  • Limited Production Numbers
  • Demand
  • Brand Reputation
  • Aftermarket Support
  • Legacy

1. Engine and Reliability:


Cars having a time tested, reliable and powerful engine are likely able to stand the test of time. Such cars appear appealing in the used market due to their well-established reputation. Owners also wish to buy something that doesn’t complicate matters. This is the reason why cars such as old Mitsubishis hold up their value. The 4G63 engine which came in cars such are the lancer and eclipse was known for its reliability and this is why their literally unaffordable now a days, despite being 20 to 30 years old. Cars such as the Mazda RX8 depreciated in value due to its notorious rotary engine.

2. Timeless Design:

e30 m3 interior

Cars having a unique, distinct and qualityful design appear to be in much greater demand. Many cars’ values depreciate within a few years as their design becomes outdated. Cars having a design, interior and exterior that better adapts to time change hold their value generally well and rather their value increases. This is why a 35-year-old BMW M3 costs as much as a 2023 M2. The distinct exterior and mint interior plays a huge role in this. While modern cars will not be much appealing in a few years considering they are being clotted with huge displays and no substance.

3. Limited Production Numbers:

red gen 2 ford gt

This one is quite obvious, cars which are rare are literally a source of investment. They only increase in value as time passes and never decrease. Limited editions also have a much better resale value. Cars such as the Ford GT and any McLaren limited edition are perfect examples. However, production numbers are not the only case. It depends more in the next reason:

4. Demand:

blue fd rx-7

“Supply and demand”, yep here we are, the source of it all. The main factor that decides a car value is simply its demand. This is why after the release of fast and furious prices of JDM automobiles flew over the roof. Any car with a fanbase and well-established reputation will always retain its value. “Supra”, anyone?

5. Brand Reputation:

silver lexus isf

Brand reputation is also a factor. Acar known mainly for its positives will always hold its value generally well in the used market. This is because a shy (or dedicated?) customer will always look the safest and trustworthy way. And a car with a positive rep offers all of that.

6. Aftermarket Support:

blue civic

A car in the used market is usually in a less than ideal condition. To customize your ride according to your interests or restore to its former glory, a good aftermarket support is necessary. Therefore, cars such as the Civic, WRX/STI, Golf are popular in the used market and clean unabused examples hold their values well.

7. Legacy:

orange F1 LM

Car models from the company’s history which represent the company’s golden age are usually in high demand. Such cars may not be only a symbol for the respective manufacturer but even for the whole automobile industry. Such models gain a cult following and high demand, retaining the value. One of the reasons a E30 M3 is costly is because it represents BMW’s golden age of design compared to the weird designs, they a pushing out today. And these are the major reasons why some old cars cost more than their original value over time.

Also read: Porsche’s “Mission” Concept Cars Explained

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