In a new report, millennials make up the largest market for high-value modern classic BMWs globally. Being part of this generation, Alex Shahini takes a detailed look at why this is an ongoing trend.
In a report compiled by Hagerty, an American automotive lifestyle company and provider of speciality insurance for classic vehicles, millennials comprise the largest market for high-value modern classic BMWs. Millennials, the generation born between 1981 and 1996, with an appetite to spend money on more enthusiastic motoring are choosing to get behind the wheel of Bavarian machinery that came to market at roughly the same time as they did.
Popular culture, magazines and video games from our childhoods undoubtedly had a part in fostering this appeal. Finding a needle in a haystack would be easier than searching for a petrolhead in their late 20s and early 30s who didn’t grow up affixed with the Fast and the Furious or Gran Turismo.
But it’s not only limited to us, Gen Z buyers (born after 1997) are also in the mix, racing to catch up to this burgeoning trend. In the past four years, the youngest global street legal generation’s investment in the classic BMW market has risen from just 3,1% to 11,3%. Millennials on the other hand have raised 6% from 24% in 2019 to 30% this year according to the Hagerty data.
What is a high-value modern classic though? While there are no definitive dates determining the start and end of the category, most would agree that the catalyst to this niche genre would be the late 80s. The early to mid-2000s saw the tail end of the revered era before enthusiast cars became more affixed with speed, performance and lap times and less so with driver engagement. The best part of all of this was that there was no ambiguity with SUVs boasting monstrous motors and supercar humbling performance.
BMW is one manufacturer of many that produced a vast spectrum of performance cars in their numbers during this time which have now reached the point of depreciation where they are affordable for those young enough to enjoy them. Not only limited to BMW and their German counterparts like Audi and Mercedes-Benz, there are also spoils from this era to be enjoyed from the likes of Lexus, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar and Nissan.
Have a look at 5 BMWs Guaranteed to Appreciate in Value here.
With no SUVs in this trend, millennials are spending their money on sedans, coupes and sports cars from this era. An era where BMW was brave enough to shoehorn a V10 into their premium sedan and Alfa chanelled all 184 Italian kW through the front wheels of their 147 and 156 GTA.
Part of why millennials are driven to purchase these models is their prices. The thing with modern classics is that they aren’t new enough to retain most of their initially ludicrous pricetags nor are they classic enough to have begun appreciating in value. High running costs and thirsty motors would define most of a modern classic list too, making their first or second owners want to offload them to avoid future headaches – these are cars that are built to be driven after all.
To my generation, find and enjoy these low-priced marvels from yesteryear but just know that the Corolla you are trading it in for wouldn’t ever need a second home mortgage for a service.