Daniel Becker, Patent Attorney and Early-stage Engineering (2013-present)
Not only do they appreciate, they appreciate almost immediately. This is a relatively recent effect, but it is verifiable. Million dollar cars gain millions.
This is my opinion why:
Cars are reaching their zenith of sophistication and ability to be “special,” while the amount of extremely wealthy people has never been higher, and the amount of wealth which they possess continues to increase at an unprecedented rate. Cars which are that expensive are produced in such small numbers that these people, with senseless amounts of money, are simply looking for ways to feel special, and the ubiquitous wealth in their direct circles of influence makes it difficult to feel that they are doing something or have something which no one else can have, or appreciate. So they just queue up to own these things, and very frequently do not use them at all. They are actual investments. Things which hold wealth, and which societal applicable norms recognize as being of sufficient rarity and demand that the price (in the hands of the owner) just soars to ridiculous heights. Having said that, you can’t just price an ordinary car at a ridiculous price. These cars, by and large, generally are marvels of engineering. The rule and not the exception is that the people designing and executing these vehicles are among the most talented and resourceful in the world, and they are not merely this decade’s race-cars-with-road-tires that were sold in the 80s and early 90s.
I think the most interesting example of the cheapest car that has managed to access this effect was the 2005 Ford GT. Ford vastly underestimated the collector value of the car, and sold it for “only” $150,000. It is almost impossible to find one for that amount of money anymore. Among other very well known examples is the 1992–1994 McLaren F1. Brand new, it was priced at just under $1,000,000. There were only 100 made, and 36 of them were racing cars. So only 64 were ever made for the road. It was a groundbreaking car that set records and introduced many technologies into the production car world, some over a decade before any other model adopted them. They now resell for as much as $5,000,000.
It is a silly world that we live in.