Last year, a very special McLaren F1 LM topped the year's auction list, so some '90s cars are already achieving big numbers at prestigious auctions around the world. Which other pre-new millennium cars are going to skyrocket?
When the hammer fell on last year's top-auction car, a very rare McLaren F1 in LM specification, the final price was a staggering $19 805 000. This made the '90s icon squeak in ahead of the 1939 Alfa Romeo 2900B Touring Berlinetta that sold for $19 256 750.
The rest of the list is made up of mostly cars from the 50s and 60s, with the odd modern limited-edition supercar thrown in. But we think there are some other '90s cars that will soon start making their appearance on the list, too...
Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Mercedes-Benz had to build a minimum of 25 road cars to compete in the FIA GT1 racing formula and gained entry by completing one such car in 1997, with the rest constructed by AMG during 1998/1999. The road version differed very slightly from the racing machine, but it did feature such creature comforts as leather upholstery and air-conditioning. Traction control was also added.
The engine was a 6.9L unit that pumped out 450kW and 775Nm of torque. Mercedes-Benz at the time claimed a 0-100kph time of 3.8 seconds and for a while the GTR was listed as the world's most expensive production car, with a price of $1,547,620.
In the end 20 coupes and six roadsters were built.
Conceived during an economic boom, but with its launch coinciding with a big economic crash, the XJ220 was a glorious failure (in a strictly financial sense). Designed by South African Keith Helfet, the Jaguar XJ220 looks as good today as it did when it first broke cover. Nestled between its rear wheels is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 good for 405 kW and 644 Nm: enough poke to break the sub-5-second 0-100 kph barrier quite comfortably (it needs 4.8 seconds to complete the feat).
As beautiful and otherworldly as it appears, the Jaguar was widely criticised for its gargantuan dimensions, which made it appreciably difficult to drive on narrow streets, let alone park. Driven at full tilt, the XJ220 could reach a top speed of 212 mph (342 kph) – provided its tank capacity was large enough and the road network was ideal, the Big Cat could (theoretically) blitz from CT to Joburg in 4 hours!
A total of 275 cars were built.
Now here's a real oddball. Elsewhere on this page you will find the iconic Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione, a car with incredible racing pedigree and rapidly rising values. Now what do you get if you hand over that car to styling house Zagato? The Hyena was the answer - it used the famous rally monster as a basis, but added a weird-looking body on top, and loads of carbonfibre to come in a significant 150kg lighter. The engine was also uprated to 184kW, so the power/weight ratio was much improved over the standard Delta Evo.
And you may think that nobody would've put such a thing into production, but you'd be wrong. A total of 25 Hyenas were built!
Forever in the shadow of its predecessor (F40) and successor (Enzo), the F50's time has yet to come. But it will... I think. Compared with the F40, for example, the F50 is extremely rare, with only 349 built.
Power came from a 382kW 4.7 V12 that was developed from the 3.5 V12 engine used in the Ferrari 641 F1 racing car. The rarest production colours are silver and black, of which there were only four F50s each.
Lamborghini Diablo GT
Only 80 examples of arguably the most desirable Lamborghini Diablo were built. The GT featured significantly revised aerodynamics, loads of carbonfibre, NACA ducts as well as a larger engine (6.0L), which pumped out 429kW and 630Nm of torque. To save weight, it was only offered in rear-wheel drive form and must've been a real handful to drive (5-speed gearbox fitted)
Subaru Impreza 22B STi
If ever there was a vehicle that epitomises the Subaru generation with their obsession with blue paint, yellow livery and gold wheels, it's the rare 22B. When the 22B came to market as a road-legal rally car, it immediately gained the giant-slayer tag thanks to its incredible performance, which, in 1998, was mental.
Back in the day, getting from 0 to 100 kph in under 5 seconds was strictly reserved for the likes of Ferrari and Porsche, and yet the 22B was able to trounce them at a fraction of the cost. Throw some corners into the mix and it would take something really special to match it. Factor in some gravel... and the 22B was untouchable.
Just over 400 units were built.
Bugatti EB110 Super Sport
The EB 110 saw the return of the famous brand after nearly 30 years of slumber. Not the sort of brand to try something easy, the EB 110 used a 3.5-litre, 60-valve V12 with quad turbochargers and all-wheel-drive.
The SS was a lighter and more powerful version that delivered 441 kW and sent it to a top speed of 349 kph, making it the second fastest car in the world at the time (behind the McLaren F1). Even Michael Schumacher bought a yellow one in 1994 and kept it until 2003. The EB110 held the record as the fastest car on ice (315 kph) for 20 years.
Only 139 EB110s were built (including standard and SS versions).
Lancia Delta Integrale
The late eighties and early nineties were great for car designers who only had access to right angles and rulers. The bulldog-looking Lancia Integrale Evo 2 is the ultimate (that’s what Integrale translates to) hot hatch of its era. With 158 kW and 300 Nm, let alone 4-wheel-drive, it gives most modern hot hatches a good thumping with its 5.7 second 0-100 kph time.
The Delta is probably the last real Lancia ever produced before Fiat introduced platform-sharing across all of its brands and effectively took away the substance that made Lancia an iconic brand. There is also the small matter of 6 consecutive World Rally Championships that the Delta Integrale won.
Values have been on a steep rise in recent years.
Porsche 911 GT1 "Strassenversion"
Much like Mercedes-Benz with its CLK GTR, Porsche had to build 25 roadgoing versions of its GT1 racing car to compete in the FIA GT1 racing formula. This "Strassenversion" was the result.
Interestingly, the first two cars featured 993 headlamps, with the rest sporting a front end that closer resembled the period 996 with its "fried egg" lights. For the road the engine had to be slightly detuned to meet emissions legislation, but 400kW and 600Nm is still enough to accelerate to 100kph in 3.9 seconds.
Should one of the earlier cars with the 993 lights ever reach an action, expect prices to be significant!
Yes, the special LM version of the McLaren F1 already ruled the 2019 auction list, but we believe there's more to come from the iconic British supercar, even the standard version...
Designed by the exceptionally talented combination of SA-born Gordon Murray and Peter Stevens, the 3-seat (with the driver in the middle) McLaren F1 is a marvel of packaging efficiency, engineering purity and enduring style. The innovative use of a carbon-fibre monocoque, exotic materials (gold-plated heat shield, anyone?) and a 6.1-litre BMW V12 engine delivered unrivalled performance for a production car – officially clocking more than 380 kph in 1998.
It will also be remembered for being crashed by Mr Bean (comedian Rowan Atkinson, who subsequently had his rebuilt at great costs) and the not so small matter of winning Le Mans. Even with all that cool tech, the F1’s rear lights came from an Italian bus!