Within most mass produced car productions, there are always a few cars that are more special than the rest. When we see a special car, we look happier than Theresa May running through a corn field (look it up if you don't know). This guide is here to help you understand what makes the special or limited edition cars special. Remember, its all about the look with this one, so make sure you've dusted off your specticles because you'll need them.
If there is a certain car you like the look of, or if you're a collector whose adding a new horse to the garage, and you want to impress your mates, theres one thing you may want to focus on... The age. Not how old the car is, but is there a specific time or era that something could have changed the way it looks, how fast it goes, or if it makes a better sound. The question to focus on is: 'How many versions have existed?' Most cars models are produced for a limited run before the company either changes the design or stops manufacturing them. The cars to focus on are the first batch and the last batch of any production.
The first and last batch of any model will ultimately be hard to come by. If they're classic cars, be prepared for half of them to no longer exist. Time is not kind to most of them, and people with lots of money are even worse. They'll either crash them or hoard them in a garage somewhere no one but them can see, and annoyingly not drive them. Theres no official route to finding out if the car is in the first or last batch but contacting the company, if they're still around, doesn't hurt. Most commemorative editions will come with a certificate indicating so. Sometimes, signed, otheritimes with extra branded equipment. Jaguar is renowned in this respect, due to having a batch of 50 commemorative E-Type Series 3 V12s' which were the last to role of the production line in Coventry in 1973, these are renowned for being all-black roadsters which had a small plaque on their dash to tell you it was special.
No, not the thing surgeons' do to people concerned with the wrinkles on their forehead. Although this is similar. We're talking about when a company redesigns a car model so people are going to buy it again. Something we see happen every year with most makes and models nowadays. Pre Audi Quattro, changing the car's styling came every couple of years, because it was very expensive to redesign and reconfigure a perfectly working car. So, when things did change there was always a rush to buy one.
Most facelifts are exactly that, they will look like the same car with more or less sculpture on the outside. For modern classics, the first year of a facelift model will be cheaper than the later versions of the same car, meaning you can get the best looking car, and not have to pay an arm and a leg for it. A good example of this is a 2007 Aston Martin Vantage which since its initial release has remained relitivly unchanged for 8 years. The price for which is under 35K for the 2007 variant and over 80K (in British Pounds) for a 2016 version which is staggering when you bear in mind nothings really changed. The same can't be said for modern cars. Companies know you'll want to buy it and will stick the price up an extra couple grand and blame it on the intricacy of the info-tainment system, or that extra plastic defuser which every car seems to have nowadays, even though we can only go up to 70mph (110kph).
The colour of the car can mean everything, and thats not being vein, it really can be the difference between a car that people want to take a photo of and a laughable mess of metal. The 'signature' colour is always something to keep an eye out for. For some cars its the release colour, for others its the colour of the car in the poster we had pinned up on the wall as a kid. In more recent years car design teams are using colour-ways to show off and celebrate the shape and aerodynamics of the car, and create a kind of personal branding for that model. Matte paint jobs are less tacky now and actually highlight the car more, a good example is the AMG GTC which literally looks like a bat-mobile. Some cars have a additional livery like Porsche Carreras' from the 80's, these can add value although can easily be faked.
Some of the most sought after cars are ones in their 'birthday suits' or original colours. These are sometimes represented by the brand rather than the model. Everyone knows Ferrari's are red, and that lamborghinis have to be in what looks like a mix of school highlighters and glowstick juice. Other known colours are Jaguars being in racing green and English white and Lotus in solar yellow and motorsport green. The release colour may be different from the brand colour. However, either of these always turn heads, because it might be the first time someone has seen the car on the road rather than in an advert. If it's in the right colour-way, it may be worth a small amount more to potential buyers because the colour feels natural and makes people excited.
Most sports and super cars are not exactly commonplace on the market, they're like tropical birds, everyone looks at it flapping around and making a loud noise, some brands can warrant that kind of behaviour as they have racing in their blood. When wanting to celebrate this, they may release an edition, some will commemorate an anniversary, others will celebrate a racing driver or particular race. These will be of the same styling as a standard model but with small changes, or will have detailing connected to a herritage. Manufacturers will not make many so if you see one grab it while you can. Collectors will know what the editions are and what they're worth, so if you think you have something special speak to one, they may even pay big bucks to take it off your hands.
Super car manufacturers are creating editions at an increasing rate, Aston Martin recently showed off 24 new, Racing green DBS supperleggeras at Le Mans, to celebrate 60 years since Aston Martin first won the race in 1959. Nicknamed 'DBS 59s' they were purchased for a extra £100,000 on top of the standard car price of £225,000, however these cars, being of a small edition are likely to hold most of their value. And in another 60 years are likely to be recalled to the track for another race, again increasing their value.
Editions can be created by companies at any time but some are mass manufacturable, if you see a small 'S' or a 'GT' on the back of a car, it increases its value, but be careful of which you are going to upgrade to, some are only worth the plastic letter thats stuck on the back of the car and others are by far creating a incredibly different experience. from 'M' to 'SRT' the letters say it all. if you're buying new and you want the best, look at the stats first, these editions really correspond to a visual aspect and are normally all about what's under to hood.
Bugatti comes to mind when speaking of rarity, and yes, they are some of the rarest cars on the planet, but what makes them immeasurabley rare is not the limited number but how much they cost. Other manufactures have caught onto the trend of rare cars, which has lead some of them to slightly exploit it as a mass produced feature. Mini's JCW range are not as rare as you may think, infact they are currently going down in value due to over saturation on the market, but of course the original JCWs are not playing the same game, being of a older time they have already reached the bottom of their dip in price. Rare and exclusive cars are becoming more and more popular, and companies love that. 'why?' you ask, because for them it means free advertising. Posting photos on instagram, twitter and here on DriveTribe has become a norm. We must be saving them millions in advertising costs.
If you do however, have a car that you bought from new, that you think may be rare, then keep it, the cost will only ever increase with rare cars and there will always be a dealer out there who's looking to make a quick buck. Don't give them the satisfaction, sell it to someone who will pay the right price, and that is both going to take care of it and enjoy it. Because there's already too many rare and special cars locked in garages away from the tarmac and dirt tracks they want to be on.
Whatever you buy or have, and whatever its rarity, DriveTribe is full of helpful people and useful tips, as well as potential buyers. Just reach out to us, because we're not going anywhere.
As always, stay savvy.