There are plenty of classic cars that are extremely expensive. Cars like the Ferrari 250 GTO and the Jaguar D-Type are perfect examples of this. Renowned for their styling, performance, and engineering, these cars are great works that many can only aspire to own or even drive. However, there are a number of classic cars that people really didn’t take to upon their release.
Despite their initial unpopularity, classic cars that were once hated are now worth a fortune as they’ve since become quite collectible among enthusiasts. This list highlights some classic cars that were once hated but are now highly searched for and worth a fortune.
10 Porsche 968
The Porsche 968 launched in 1991 and was not a popular vehicle upon its release. The platform offered by Porsche was dated by this point, as the foundations of the car could be traced back to the 924 of 1976. The car may have been 80% new over the outgoing 944, but many simply didn’t see it as enough of an upgrade.
The 968 sold slowly until the Clubsport Variant arrived in 1993. Since then, it has become a modern classic due to its underdog status among Porsche fans. The car was the pinnacle of the transaxle Porsches and the last front-engined sports car Porsche ever produced.
9 Maserati Quattroporte II
Maserati launched the Quattroporte II in 1974 to largely negative reception. It was disliked because it was FWD and had a V6 engine that was shared with the Citroen SM while the previous model was RWD and used a V8. Also, the car was not legally allowed to be sold in Europe, with all 12 models only sold in the middle east.
However, the car is quite collectible nowadays because it is so unusual and incredibly rare. The car has a lot of positives such as interesting Bertone styling, comfortable hydropneumatic suspension, and a solid engine.
8 Aston Martin Lagonda
The Aston Martin Lagonda launched in 1974, and just two years later received a redesign. Although very ‘70s, the wedge-shaped design was vilified at launch for being too ugly. A number of factors including the bad build quality meant that this car was not popular in countries except in the Middle East where gas was cheap and people were rich enough to keep the car going.
Since its release, however, the vehicle has become an interesting and unusual classic to own. The later versions (the S4 in particular) are also worth a lot of money nowadays, meaning that they are becoming increasingly collectible among enthusiasts.
7 Porsche 912
Upon the release of the Porsche 912 in 1965, it was meant to be a cheaper alternative to the 911. The biggest change was the 6-cylinder in the 911 swapped to a 4-cylinder. The body was the same and so were the sporty intentions, but the reduced power and the associated snobbery meant that the car never stood a chance against Porsche’s 911.
However, the car is fairly popular now as people have come to like the 912 as it is one of the last affordable air-cooled Porsches. The car had enhanced weight distribution and handling which helped it to be a little more refined than the 911 in some ways. It’s just a pity there was a noticeable power deficit.
6 Chrysler Airflow
The Chrysler Airflow was way ahead of its time. Introduced in 1934, the Airflow was very advanced and had wind-tested styling. However, many at the time considered the styling to be too out-there compared to what was available at the time. To no one’s surprise, the Airflow sold badly at the time.
The swift and quick redesign was implemented to make it more conservative-looking, but this didn’t really help matters, and the car sold poorly. Today, the car is historically significant and is quite collectible especially as an example of early aerodynamic-styled cars.
The Edsel is considered to be one of the biggest automotive failures in history. Introduced in the late ‘50s, Ford discontinued the brand from its lineup before the 1960s even started. The car was named after Henry Ford’s son and the model range was supposed to be a new marque in the same way that Mercury and Lincoln were. However, the horseshoe grill was unpopular and dealers really struggled to shift stock.
With dealers struggling, the sales were so bad that the strategy was to offer free ponies with any Edsel purchase. The idea was good in concept but was disastrous for car dealerships who had to also maintain livestock as well as cars. Nowadays, even though the car is remembered as a flop, it is considered quite collectible because it is so scarce and culturally significant.
4 Lamborghini Silhouette
Lamborghini launched the Silhouette in the late 1970s. It was to sit underneath the Countach in the hierarchy but was left in the shadows of the lineup. The Silhouette was a clearly cheaper model and did not sell well. The 1980s economic recession did not help sales either.
Nonetheless, the car sold badly because of its relationship to the famous Countach. This is such a pity, however, as the car was actually great to drive and had great power with 247 bhp. The interesting fact is that many consider the Lamborghini Silhouette to offer a far better drive than the lumbering Countach.
3 Lotus Carlton
The Lotus Carlton was a great Q car upon its launch in 1990. The car was an upgraded Vauxhall by Lotus. However, the car sold badly in the UK because the Vauxhall badge did not entice performance fans, and spending significant amounts of money on a Vauxhall was always going to be a hard sell. In Germany, they sold the car under the Opel badge.
Politicians in the UK, however, believed that a 177mph saloon car was too dangerous as this speed was unheard of in such a car. British politicians effectively tried to get the car banned. Nowadays the car is worth a lot of money due to its amazing reputation and success of being a high-speed saloon car.
2 Jaguar XJ220
The Jaguar XJ220 was not such a bad car. Launched in 1992, the car was the fastest car in the world at one point, with a 212.3 mph top speed. The Jaguar brand, however, had promised too much, with them stating that there would be scissor doors and a 6.2-liter V12. However, upon release, the car had normal doors and was RWD along with twin-turbo V6s.
The car was hated among the clientele that Jaguar had relied on to buy a car, and only 282 were ever produced. Despite not selling well, and there being unsold examples as late as 1998, the car is very collectible nowadays. Holding the title of being the fastest car in the world is definitely a title that is not taken lightly among enthusiasts.
1 Ferrari Mondial
The Ferrari Mondial is considered the outcast of the Ferrari brand. Upon its release in 1980, many did not enjoy the Mondial because of its entry-level looks, even though it did have a mid-mounted V8 and space for four people. The vehicle was definitely released during a dull phase for Ferrari.
However, the car is collectible because of practicality and is still one of the cheaper cars to buy nowadays even though enthusiasts would need $50,000 (despite being a low entry point into Ferrari). Despite not being as attractive as cars like the Ferrari 308 GTB, the Mondial is a pretty good car in its own right.
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