3 exotics you can't lose money on

The “Instagram Effect” and How It’s Driven the Price of Exotic Cars Skyward

Posted by

3 exotics you can't lose money on

It is no secret that some exotic cars appreciate as time goes on.  Here are three that are skyrocketing, thanks in part to social media, according to Black Book.

What do the Aston Martin DB5 Coupe, the Ferrari 250 GTL Lusso, and the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing all have in common?  Well, they are all European coupes from the golden age of exotic cars.  Aside from that, that have almost nothing in common except one thing.  Since the mid-1970s, these three cars have outpaced the average appreciation of exotic classics.  Recently, their appreciation has accelerated in dramatic fashion.  Black Book, the people who track the values of specialty cars, think they know why.

Aston Martin DB5 Coupe

Yes, the man spitting gravel at the bad guys has a license to kill.  The DB5 Coupe is James Bond’s car.  I had a die-cast model of one in my early years, and it had all sorts of cool gadgets.  I loved that car.  As I approach the age that middle-aged men find themselves looking at bank statements and wondering how much an exotic car might cost it is clear to me why this model always sells at a top price.  Here is the history of the value of this car according to Black Book.  As you can see it had a modest start, but over the past five years the car has more than tripled its value.

1977 – $7,000

1995 –  $39,000

2010  –  $195,000

2015 – $700,000


exotics that appreciate

Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing

The Gullwing has a strong history and a cool party trick.  Its doors open straight up and have come to define that type of body.  All the classic SLs do well at auction, but this one is a standout.  Here is how this car’s value has changed over the decades.  Notice how it jumps in the first 20 years.  Still, it has tripled its value over the past five years.

1977 – $16,500

1995 –  $215,000

2010  –  $455,000

2015 – $1,450,000



exotic cars appreciate+

Ferrari 250 GTL Lusso

This Ferrari’s body, designed by Pininfarina, was called by Classic Driver the prettiest Ferrari ever.  Note the steering wheel position.  Only 17 with the wheel on that side remain.  Our valuation numbers below cover all of the cars of this type, but obviously its value was recognized early on.  However, the recent jump is noteworthy.

1977 – $10,000

1995 –  $150,000

2010  –  $475,000

2015 – $1,800,000

From 1977 to 2008 these three exotics had an annual appreciation of just 5% and through the years there were peaks and valleys.   But to what does Black book attribute this recent jump in valuation for these three cars?  Social media.  Eric Lawrence, Director of Specialty Products at Black Book says that “Affluent collectors have been exposed to the images posted by celebrity buyers on social media sites such as Instagram, fueling even higher demand for certain exotic vehicles.  Younger affluent audiences want what celebrities like Floyd Mayweather and the Kardashians flash on their social media accounts, for example.”  This “Instagram Effect”  has dramatically affected the prices of some specific exotics.

The value curve of these cars is straight up.  However, if you are thinking of making a big investment on an exotic car, beware.  From 1990 to 1995 all three of these cars lost value.


Photo Credits:

DB5 Image Courtesy of the Aston Martin Public Page.

Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Image Courtesy of Barrett Jackson

Ferrari 250 GTL Lusso Image Courtesy of ClassicDriver.com



John Goreham

John Goreham

Leave a Reply