Collectible cars are rolling pieces of art that can be both enjoyed and exhibited. They can also be a safe place to park longer-term capital.

Here are some tips when investing.

1. Car collecting takes time, research and patience, says Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson, a U.S.-based automobiles auction house noted for dealing in celebrity cars.

2. The rarer, the better. Some of the rarest are pre-WWII classics such as the Duesenberg and the Isotta Fraschini. But the ones owned by celebrities are pure gold.

3. Expensive cars appreciate better, says Dan Warrener, a classic cars specialist with RM Auctions, a Canadian enterprise with offices in North America and Europe. “High-net-worth owners seldom have to sell, [which] means low supply and high demand.” Makes that have international appeal, like Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari, are better investments because there’s a bigger market to sell to, he adds.

4. Typically, younger buyers prefer sports models — Mercedes 300 SL Roadsters and Gullwings, and 275 GTB/4 Ferraris — while older buyers opt for classics like Duesenbergs and pre-1940 Rolls-Royces. For all age segments, convertibles generally pull higher prices because fewer were built compared with hardtops.

System 1 in action

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