By: Ian Kilburn
1.BMW E46 M3
With values of the first model M3 – the E30 – now going stratospheric, and those of the E36 following closely behind, it’s perhaps the worst kept secret in the classic car world that the next model to follow suit will be the E46. Sweet handling, impressive performance and a beautifully proportioned coupé body should create the perfect recipe for a sure-fire modern classic, helped by virtue of it being BMW’s last straight-six powered M3. Don’t let those up-to-date looks fool you – the first E46 M3 rolled off the production line nearly 17 years ago.
Now at the bottom of its depreciation curve, there’s been no better time to invest in a well-cared for, low-mileage example. Take care of it and you’ll not lose money.
2. SUBARU IMPREZA WRX :
You have to concentrate hard when you're pressing on in a Subaru Impreza WRX STI. But before we explore just what it is that makes this car so much fun. "Subaru" because it is made in traditional style - flat four boxer engine, frameless door windows, four wheel drive for grip and stability. Enthusiasts abbreviate it all to "Scooby", a term of affection this car easily earns itself. For while it won't turn Mr Average into a rally champion, it will allow you to be just about the fastest thing on your street and, if you take care, you can exploit a fair slice of its power perfectly safely.
Those cars that made it through the Max Power years unscathed are now prized by collectors and fans of engaging, characterful classics.
3 .BMW Z3
The BMW Z3 is BMW's first mass-produced mass market roadster, and was the first new BMW model to be manufactured in the United States. E36/7 refers to the roadster variant of the Z3 which was introduced in 1995. The BMW Z3 was introduced via video press release by BMW North America on June 12, 1995 and made a short appearance in the James Bond film Golden Eye on November 17, 1995.
4. Honda S2000
Honda’s S2000 was completely eclipsed by the Mazda MX-5 in terms of build numbers, making this highly capable roadster something of a rarity. While the S2000’s purposeful styling may not appeal quite as much as the more anthropomorphic MX-5, its true party trick lies beneath the bonnet in the form of its naturally aspirated two-litre engine. The fearsome power plant produced a whopping 247bhp in launch guise, and would spin up to a dizzying 9000rpm before the rev limiter kicked in. Mated to its slick six-speed manual gearbox and Torsen limited slip differential, the S2000 is a performance bargain that will only increase in value.
5. Nissan 350Z
In 1999, Nissan took its first steps towards reviving the Z nomenclature by unveiling its 240Z concept car, which was based on a design sketch by Jerry Hirshberg from the firm’s California design studio. It was well received, and eventually transformed into the 350Z as we know it today. The attractive and squat coupé body beautifully evokes the spirit of the 240Z, while firmly staying the correct side of pastiche