If you’re like me, 90 percent of your Autotrader browsing is to check out prices and photographs for vehicles that you can’t possibly afford, that you don’t have the ability to purchase, that you currently have no room for or that don’t work with your circumstances. This is the car enthusiast way.
But the vehicles on this list are cars we should figure out a way to buy, because I think they’re all future classics. And while some of these cars are already getting pretty pricey, I don’t think the market is anywhere near finished with what these cars will be worth someday.
The Acura NSX is one of the most exciting cars on the market, and its future-classic status is completely assured. This particular 1992 example has an especially strong chance at becoming a high-value collectible, given that it’s painted the car’s most recognizable color (Formula Red), it’s completely unmodified, and it features just 7,252 one-owner miles from new. Currently offered by Mancuso Motorsports in Chicago, this NSX is available for a pricey $79,888 — a figure that may seem like a bargain in just a few years. Find a 1992 Acura NSX for sale
The BMW 1 Series M is one of my all-time favorite cars, largely due to its amazing performance, its subtle styling, its perfect sizing and its limited production volume. All these things are also probably reasons why the 1M has barely lost any value since going on sale 5 years ago. This 19,800-mile example listed with a private seller in Texas for $56,000 — roughly its original price when it first came out. I’ve often said that I consider the 1M to be one of the best cars I’ve ever driven, though I’d prefer mine in the distinctive Valencia Orange instead of black. Find a 2011 BMW 1-Series M for sale
The Defender is rapidly finding its way to classic status, and this one is the best of the breed. While many imported Land Rover Defenders are slowly trickling their way into the United States, Land Rover only officially imported the SUV for three model years: 1994, 1995 and 1997. The 1997 models are considered the most desirable, with several benefits over the earlier versions, including an automatic transmission. These trucks were in the $30,000-$40,000 range just a few short years ago. Now, this Defender’s $71,500 asking price — from a private seller in Texas — seems surprisingly reasonable. Find a 1997 Land Rover Defender for sale
The Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG wagon is a station wagon with available 3-row seating and 469 horsepower. As if that wasn’t cool enough, consider this: Mercedes reportedly built just 193 of these things in 2005 and 2006, along with another 150 or so E63 AMG Wagons from 2007 to 2009. While newer AMG Wagon models are more common, this one will remain one of the most unusual — and desirable — Mercedes vehicles of our time. This one is offered by a private seller for $28,900 in Woodland Hills, California. Find a 2006 Mercedes-Benz E 55 AMG for sale
I looked through dozens of listings to find this vehicle, and I can safely report that it’s one of just a few unmodified Lancer Evolution models on all of Autotrader. Although its 105,000 miles are high for a "classic," virtually all the other Evos on Autotrader feature exhausts, tuned engines, lots of extra power, lowered suspension and visual modifications. If you want to see the Evolution exactly as it left the factory, here’s your chance: This one is available for $19,995 from a private seller in Mercer Island, Washington. Find a 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution for sale
Yes, I happen to think the Plymouth Prowler will become a classic someday. I think future car collectors are going to look at the Prowler and laugh at its unusual shape, its weird colors, its strange story and this ridiculous trailer some of them are sold with. You might not agree, but as cars get more and more indistinct, the Prowler has a certain highly distinctive charm. Interested? This 20,000-mile ’99 Prowler — complete with trailer — can be yours for $34,500 from a private seller in Central Florida. Find a 1999 Plymouth Prowler for sale
MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
Here’s Why the Yugo Is One of the Worst Cars Ever Made
Even Car Enthusiasts Actually Prefer Boring Cars
Autotrader Find: 2003 Aston Martin Vanquish With Manual-Transmission Conversion