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Old 08-08-2011, 12:38 PM   #1
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Default Dreaming of Owning a Supercar? Buy Used.

Here are half a dozen options for sports car enthusiasts on real-world budgets.

Klaus Nahr / Flickr


These are heady times for some used cars. With the economy still teetering and credit hard to come by, car shoppers looking for used car deals — particularly on gas-sipping economy machines and small SUVs — are finding prices are up some 20% since January, according to Kelly Blue Book.

But there’s another side of the used-car coin that’s decidedly in the buyer’s favor: The high-end side. So-called supercars were once by definition built in small numbers; an extreme example would be the 39 GTOs
Ferrari made by hand in the early ‘60s, which today trade for double-digit millions. But the advent of the high-tech factory and computer age has meant that in the past 10 to 15 years very powerful cars were built in comparatively large numbers. Translation: your dream machine likely has plummeted in price.

“There’s no question that amazing cars like the
Ferrari 360 Modena (1999 to 2005) are in the, shall we say, more affordable range now, around $75,000 when they were twice that,” says Keith Martin, publisher of Sports Car Market magazine and host/appraiser of Discovery HD Theater’s What’s My Car Worth? “But there’s a caveat. You’re not getting a free lunch, even if the price is way less than the original sticker. Buying a used supercar means being super sure maintenance was done right. Or else things get pricey very fast.”

Martin says that German-made sports cars tend to wear better than their competitors to the south, but that’s assuming the cars’ original owners were meticulous about their machines.

One smart buy is
Porsche’s iconic 911, especially the somewhat maligned model known as the 996 (1999-2005), says Sam Cameron, salesman with sports car broker Cars Dawydiak in San Francisco. “Some Porsche purists don’t like the look of that model, or the fact that it was the first water-cooled 911 to come along,” he says. “But if you don’t mind those things, you can find them for $25,000 well preserved, and even some rough ones as low as the teens.”

Here are half a dozen more once-pricey supercars whose values — though perhaps not their appeal — have sunk in recent years:

Dodge Viper

Robin Corps / Flickr

(1991-2010; buy a solid used example for $25,000; when new around $80,000)

You have to smile when you see a Viper rumbling down the street. It’s just that outrageous, a bit like a cartoonish star of Pixar’s Cars franchise come to life. Designer Tom Gale’s creation was always aimed squarely at the high-test(osterone) set, with its massive V-10 and a mandatory manual transmission. The meek need not apply.

“It’s just a monster, and a lot of car for the money,” says Martin. “If it’s been well taken care of, you’re good to go. There are no huge electrical issues or complicated engine servicing issues with this car. Just straight ahead American muscle.”

Acura NSX

Cook24v / Flickr

(1990-2005; $30,000; when new around $90,000)

The NSX has always been polarizing. Is it the nicest-looking Japanese coupe ever built, or merely the homeliest wanna-be Italian racer ever made? Take your pick, but what’s not up for debate is that the car offers bulletproof reliability, a low-slung seating position, and a parent company that does have some claim to racing (Indy and F1) fame.

“The NSX is definitely one way into ownership of an exotic car, but having said that, it’s never gotten anyone excited visually,” says Martin. “The buyers of these cars are saying ‘Look how well I spent my money,’ which is fine. But supercar ownership isn’t really about being a good deal.”

BMW M3

Maik-T. Š. / Flickr

(E46 model, 2001-2006; $20,000; brand new, $55,900)

Ever since its introduction in 1988, BMW’s M3 sports coupe (and occasionally its four-door brother) has stood for the Munich company’s racing heritage and track victories. The E46 was a watershed in the evolution of the M3 species, known for its 333-hp, six-cylinder, non-turbo engine that got those ponies from a mere three liters of displacement.

“Whenever I go to BMW events, I see people racing them around and I want one,” jokes Martin. “But I wouldn’t buy one with more that 50,000 miles on it, and I’d be very sure it’s been properly serviced, as those cars can get very expensive to repair.”

Bentley Continental GT


(2003— ; $65,000; brand new, $189,900)

This is a hulking two-door, four-seat coupe in the grandest of European GT traditions—GT meaning “gran turismo,” a car meant to be packed with belongings and driven across the continent very quickly. The secret is that it’s essentially a re-bodied version of parent company VW’s 12-cylinder Phaeton sedan. But there’s no shame in that when you feel it blast off.

“This is an elegant machine that hasn’t changed its look since it was introduced, and a good used one is a far cry from what a new GT will set you back,” says Martin. “That it’s a Volkswagen means good things for the used-car shopper.”

Chevrolet Corvette

reggie b / Flickr

(Z06 model, 2005— ; $50,000; brand new, $74,375)

Everything about this iteration of the venerable Corvette is meant to impress, from its scandalous 7-liter engine pumping out 505 hp to its weight-saving aluminum frame (replacing steel in other models). What’s more, though this Indy 500 pace car delivered blinding 0-60 mph sprints of 3.6 seconds, it managed to do so while delivering respectable mileage (15/24 mpg; city/highway).

“This is really an amazing value for a car with 500 horsepower,” says Martin. “But perhaps what’s even better is that the biggest price is the car itself. Compared with other exotics, there really shouldn’t be many hidden gotchas with the cost of ownership.”

Lamborghini Gallardo

KlausNahr / Flickr

(2003— ; $100,000; brand new, $212,000)

Italian automakers have made huge strides with reliability in recent years, including Lamborghini. Of course, that may be because it’s owned by Audi and part of the Volkswagen Group. The Gallardo has been a huge hit for the company — some 10,000 have been built to date — due in large part to a blend of well-built German mechanicals and rakish Italian-inspired styling. The best of both worlds.

“Germans tend to like having their cars work. But a Porsche, say, will never have the sex appeal as a Ferrari. The Gallardo is a wonderful mix of the two,” says Martin. “I’m very high on this car. If I had to go out a buy a used supercar today, that’d be the one.

http://autos.yahoo.com/news/dreaming...uy-used--.html
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:41 PM   #2
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how is the m3 a supercar?
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Indocti Discant View Post
how is the m3 a supercar?
Well, the author does say "sports-car" in the subtitle. But to the same end, not sure an NSX is a supercar, nor a Corvette for that matter.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:11 PM   #4
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These cars are simply not competitive/relevant anymore - but there are used deals out there on cars that still are - Scuderia, LP560, 997 GT2. Seems the article is written for non-car people who are looking for image... aka 99.9% of the population
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:13 PM   #5
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Nsx smoking!
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:14 PM   #6
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These cars are simply not competitive/relevant anymore - but there are used deals out there on cars that still are - Scuderia, LP560, 997 GT2. Seems the article is written for non-car people who are looking for image... aka 99.9% of the population
So because a car isn't "competitive" anymore, it's not relevant?

What % of Lambo owners drive their car at the track, and not only at the track, on the clock at the track (because we're talking about competitive)?


I completely disagree that laptimes and overall performance make a car irrelevant.

A fun to drive car is a fun to drive car. Hardly anyone buying a car, enthusiast or not, will be affected by these car's "lack" of competitiveness. Just about every one on the list is a great driver's car.



To the contrary, I find performance/$$$ to be a VERY relevant factor when buying a car, new or used. A great deal on a great sportscar is still a wonderful thing. Regardless if there is something "better" out there now for 2-3x the price.

Last edited by REX8; 08-08-2011 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by REX8 View Post
So because a car isn't "competitive" anymore, it's not relevant?

What % of Lambo owners drive their car at the track, and not only at the track, on the clock at the track (because we're talking about competitive)?


I completely disagree that laptimes and overall performance make a car irrelevant.

A fun to drive car is a fun to drive car. Hardly anyone buying a car, enthusiast or not, will be affected by these car's "lack" of competitiveness. Just about every one on the list is a great driver's car.



To the contrary, I find performance/$$$ to be a VERY relevant factor when buying a car, new or used. A great deal on a great sportscar is still a wonderful thing. Regardless if there is something "better" out there now for 2-3x the price.



I don't see how buying a used supercar is any different than not buying the top tier car in the world. Is there something faster? Yes. Does it matter? No.

I've never heard a Ferrari/Lamborghini owner whine because they couldn't afford a Bugatti Veyron SS...in fact I've never heard a Ferrari/Lamborghini owner whine...just gloat...

Last edited by A_Pointy_Rock; 08-08-2011 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:22 PM   #8
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I don't really see what's wrong with the 996. Then again when I saw my first 911 Turbo in 2001 was the moment I began to become an "enthusiast". 360 Modena is also on that list. Maybe instead of a new STI I should save up for a 360?
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by A_Pointy_Rock View Post
I don't see how buying a used supercar is any different than not buying the top tear car in the world. Is there something faster? Yes. Does it matter? No.

I've never heard a Ferrari/Lamborghini owner whine because they couldn't afford a Bugatti Veyron SS...in fact I've never heard a Ferrari/Lamborghini owner whine...just gloat...
Yup....

Last edited by REX8; 08-08-2011 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by REX8 View Post
So because a car isn't "competitive" anymore, it's not relevant?

What % of Lambo owners drive their car at the track, and not only at the track, on the clock at the track (because we're talking about competitive)?


I completely disagree that laptimes and overall performance make a car irrelevant.

A fun to drive car is a fun to drive car. Hardly anyone buying a car, enthusiast or not, will be affected by the cars lack of competitiveness.



To the contrary, I find performance/$$$ to be a VERY relevant factor when buying a car, new or used. A great deal on a great sportscar is still a wonderful thing. Regardless if there is something "better" out there now for 2-3x the price.

Either not competitive or not relevant - objective data, technology/reliability, and subjective feel. Performance/$$$ is my argument as well - F360 (non-CS)? 1st Gen Gallardo? Lots of cheaper cars that are more competitive/relevant either used or new.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:24 PM   #11
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I don't really see what's wrong with the 996. Then again when I saw my first 911 Turbo in 2001 was the moment I began to become an "enthusiast". 360 Modena is also on that list. Maybe instead of a new STI I should save up for a 360?
It was the 1996 993 TT that did it for me.

Kills bugs fast.

A $25k 996 C2 I think should be on that list too. Yes, it's ugly. Yes, it's unpopular, but, it's still a blast to drive, and it's cheap.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:25 PM   #12
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Per the guy quoted in the article, the NSX has "never gotten anyone excited visually". I'm gonna have to disagree with that...I know I always do a double take when I see one (which is rare). I've always thought they were great looking cars.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by E. Nick View Post
Either not competitive or not relevant - objective data, technology/reliability, and subjective feel. Performance/$$$ is my argument as well - F360 (non-CS)? 1st Gen Gallardo? Lots of cheaper cars that are more competitive/relevant either used or new.
I see the point now. A 360 now, for however much, isn't a good deal performance/$$$. A Conti GT never was, on any level, etc.

A Z06 is though.


I would argue for a Prancing Horse enthusiast though, without the accompanying stock portfolio, might just weigh in differently.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:36 PM   #14
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I see the point now. A 360 now, for however much, isn't a good deal performance/$$$. A Conti GT never was, on any level, etc.

A Z06 is though.


I would argue for a Prancing Horse enthusiast though, without the accompanying stock portfolio, might just weigh in differently.
If the Z06 had steering feel I would agree - and a 430 is about 40K more than a 360 for (IMHO) twice the car and half the maintenance with no belts. Save some more and get a 6-speed 430. Same thing with the LP, IMHO twice the car of the 1st gen Gallardo and they are dropping fast - just wait 'til the Cabrera comes out and grab one for <150K. Or swallow the misplaced ego and buy a Boss 302, 1M, E92M3, E60M5, 996GT3, 997.1GT3, 996GT2, GT-R, etc. depending on your likes/needs/desires.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:39 PM   #15
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It was the 1996 993 TT that did it for me.

Kills bugs fast.

A $25k 996 C2 I think should be on that list too. Yes, it's ugly. Yes, it's unpopular, but, it's still a blast to drive, and it's cheap.
Or 964 Turbo (965)
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:39 PM   #16
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Are these the same people who can not afford two grand in repair bills. Good luck getting a clutch in your Bimmer. (bad example manual not found)
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:43 PM   #17
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Also Porsche Cayman/Boxter GT-R or E92 M3
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:33 PM   #18
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Disagree on Z06 and M3. M3 isn't a supercar and the Z06 isn't really a great deal used. Based on how many of them I've seen power-sliding and driving like clowns I think I'd pony up the extra 25 grand for a new one.

Completely agree on the rest of the list; always amazes me how much cheaper Italian cars are when they're 5 years and 3k miles old.
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:36 PM   #19
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I'm slightly surprised to see the Conti GT at that low of a price. I'm sure some people would think about making a purchase like that. I however am not one of them as I have vowed, no matter how much money I ever make, to never buy one of those because they are overpriced, general, bandwagon luxury cars.
I'd rather buy a 3 year old Quattroporte for the same price.

One car that I'm surprised they didnt mention (and probably because it's out of the price range) is the Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale. There are a few wonderful examples of that car for less than $130k. In my personal opinion it has to be one of the best performance for money used cars someone could buy right now. I'd also like to think it will start increasing in price within the decade.
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:56 PM   #20
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One car that I'm surprised they didnt mention (and probably because it's out of the price range) is the Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale. There are a few wonderful examples of that car for less than $130k. In my personal opinion it has to be one of the best performance for money used cars someone could buy right now. I'd also like to think it will start increasing in price within the decade.
CS' have been hot this summer - selling around 150 and listings up to 170. Clean, no stories CS' are harder and harder to find as well. If you don't intend to drive it, it might cost next to nothing to own. However, if you do intend to drive it, a manual 430 could be had for less money and feels like a lot more car. Nothing sounds as good as a CS, though... well, a Carrera GT, but those are holding strong.
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:45 PM   #21
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Per the guy quoted in the article, the NSX has "never gotten anyone excited visually". I'm gonna have to disagree with that...I know I always do a double take when I see one (which is rare). I've always thought they were great looking cars.
They are a great looking car. It just lacks power.
If you buy them and turbo it, It'll be alright then.
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:38 PM   #22
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Disagree on Z06 and M3. M3 isn't a supercar and the Z06 isn't really a great deal used. Based on how many of them I've seen power-sliding and driving like clowns I think I'd pony up the extra 25 grand for a new one.

Completely agree on the rest of the list; always amazes me how much cheaper Italian cars are when they're 5 years and 3k miles old.
Most/many z06 are owned by old men that hardly speed. I think corvettes are one of the least likely to be abused sports cars. That being said the ones that do get driven hard are probably driven very hard. Sure you see 20 vettes at every track day but there are so many on the road it still a small percentage of overall availble cars.

Also they are more like 40k for a used one not 50k. A guy at work just got an 07 with 30k miles on it for 40k. He took me for a ride. Holy mother that is a fast SOB, i cant imagine getting more car for minivan monies.

A read a post from a ferrari owner who had bought a used f430 and drove it for 3 years. His cost of ownership was over 4$ a mile including depreciation, Yikes!
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:13 PM   #23
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CS' have been hot this summer - selling around 150 and listings up to 170. Clean, no stories CS' are harder and harder to find as well. If you don't intend to drive it, it might cost next to nothing to own. However, if you do intend to drive it, a manual 430 could be had for less money and feels like a lot more car. Nothing sounds as good as a CS, though... well, a Carrera GT, but those are holding strong.
They really have been. I know of a few guys in my area that have them and I get to see them from time to time. They are just gorgeous and like you said wonderful sounding cars.

Everyone is starting to catch on to what they are / will be worth which is why I agree that the pristine ones are getting harder to find.

I am going to disagree with you about the manual 430 though. As much of an advocate as I am for manuals, the CS is so much more of a raw, driver's car, Ferrari than the 430 which is why I would prefer it.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:25 PM   #24
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They really have been. I know of a few guys in my area that have them and I get to see them from time to time. They are just gorgeous and like you said wonderful sounding cars.

Everyone is starting to catch on to what they are / will be worth which is why I agree that the pristine ones are getting harder to find.

I am going to disagree with you about the manual 430 though. As much of an advocate as I am for manuals, the CS is so much more of a raw, driver's car, Ferrari than the 430 which is why I would prefer it.
Go for a Scud! For 175K, that's the best exotic bargain IMHO. 300K sticker 2 years ago and only 25K more than a CS right now... and no belt service!
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:04 AM   #25
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It was the 1996 993 TT that did it for me.

Kills bugs fast.

A $25k 996 C2 I think should be on that list too. Yes, it's ugly. Yes, it's unpopular, but, it's still a blast to drive, and it's cheap.
Ugly? I highly doubt it, at least I don't think so.

Unpopular? Only to automotive-elitists or bench-racers playing with imaginary money.

964, 993, 996, 997, I like pretty much all of them.

I hope the advent of the 991 pushes the first editions of the 997 down below 30 grand, especially a 997 Carrera 4.
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