Unattainable car dreams within reach! YOUNGTIMER 

There are many reasons to buy a youngtimer: On the one hand, most cars that are between 20 and 30 years old are really affordable and make it possible for some people to finally fulfill a previously unattainable car dream. Others like to look back on their childhood with this car or enjoy the powerful V6 and V8 of bygone times in times of ever smaller engines. On the other hand, youngtimers have more comfort and more modern technology (a curse or a blessing depending on the car) and the spare parts are more readily available and not as expensive as those for real vintage rarities.

Youngtimers are becoming more and more popular. That's a fact and with today's interest rate situation on the capital markets, investing in vehicles makes perfect sense. As always, it is ideal to invest before the appreciation. So it is best to buy the right young classic car and take good care of it so that it increases in value as a classic car in a few years.

But of course not every car has the potential to become an icon of its time. It means looking closely and weighing everything up. We will help you!


Cars that have already made it into a top ten

Taste is discussable. Even with online research, there is no agreement on the top ten.
Here is a list of the vehicles that were mentioned in such articles (bold marked several times 😉):
  • Volkswagen T3
  • Mercedes G class
  • BMW 7 Series (E32/E38)
  • BMW 8 series
  • Suzuki Vitara (1st series)
  • BMW M3 (E30/E36) VW T4 (Bus/Caravelle)
  • Audi S4 B5 Avant
  • VW Golf GTI II and III
  • Honda CRX (1983-1998)
  • BMW 5 Series E28 or as E34
  • Vauxhall Calibra
  • Ford Mustang Mk III/Mk IV
  • Ford Cougar
  • BMW M3 E46
  • Maserati 3200GT
  • Porsche 996 turbo
  • Mercedes 500 E (W 124)
  • Porsche Boxster 986
  • BMW Z1
  • Alfa Spider Series 916
  • Audi V8
  • Bentley Brooklands
  • Mercedes Benz SLK R170
  • BMW Z3 2.0
  • Audi TT 8N
  • Jaguar XJ 4.0 V8 (X308)
  • Bentley Continental GT
  • Alfa Romeo GTV
  • Jeep Wrangler models CJ7 and YJ
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ V8 5.9 Limited
  • Ferrari F430 Challenge
  • Nissan 350 Z


There is something for every taste and every wallet!

But we've also taken the trouble to create our own top ten and share our reasons for doing so.
There should be something for every wallet and every taste. So here are what we think are the best youngtimers:
1 .   A L F A   S P I D E R   S E R I ES   9 1 6   ( T W I N S P A R K )
The Alfa Romeo Spider Series 916 impresses above all with its provocative wedge design and its excellent handling in curves. Even if the chassis tuning is a bit too sporty and the car is therefore relatively hard on the road, the Spider 916 (despite front-wheel drive) is a real cornering star thanks to its multilink rear axle with longitudinal, wishbone and semi-trailing arms.

With the dramaturgy, independence and provocation of this car, the Alfa Romeo designers, in cooperation with the traditional Ferrari body shop, have created a masterpiece and really shown courage. With the unique wedge shape, the heavy doors, deep seats and the functional but very tasteful cockpit consisting of two large clocks for speed and rpm as well as three other round instruments in the wide center console, the Spider 916 definitely has what it takes to become an icon.

There are small deductions for the small trunk and the relatively high weight of almost 1.4 tons as well as the transverse engine and front-wheel drive. But the 916 with its four-cylinder with (Alfa) light metal head has a great Alfa Romeo sound that is just addictive. His rumbling when stationary turns into a pithy hissing when driving fast and from 4000 rpm you don't want to take your foot off the gas and he always sounds like more than 155 hp!

Depending on the mileage, equipment and condition, the price varies between €3,500 and €7,500.

2 .   A U D I   S 4   B 5   A V A N T
An understated Quattro with a lot of power and some boot space currently has a market value of around €20,000. Due to the 265 hp of the elastic V6 biturbo engine, the S4 accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in just 5.7 seconds, but the elegant interior is also appealing.

When buying a used car, the car must be checked carefully, because the turbo engine invites you to play tuning games and you also have to make sure that the displays are intact. However, if the model has the original performance, it runs reliably and remains in demand and quite difficult to obtain. If you have bought such a gem, it only becomes a problem if a turbo is broken. Then it gets expensive because Audi recommends replacing both chargers.

3 .    B E N T L E Y   C O N T I N E N T A L   G T
Bentley has always stood for unattainable luxury. Anyone who has always dreamed of owning such a luxury cruiser can now buy a Bentley Continental GT for around €30,000, which embodies all the Bentley attributes and doesn't look that old at all. Of course you can also buy a Golf GTI annual car with the money and then you don't have the high maintenance costs and (with a consumption of 15 l/100 km) also not the high costs for fuel and tires. But that's not a Bentley.

It is definitely not for long-distance commuters, even if this luxuriously equipped twelve-cylinder coupé with permanent all-wheel drive, as the name suggests, invites you to travel across entire continents in an incredibly relaxed yet fast manner. The W12 biturbo gives it 560 hp and, despite its high weight, makes it a real fastback with a top speed of 318 km/h.

4 .   B M W    M 3   E 4 6
With the M3 E46 you have to be quick, because a few years ago the market value was around €10,000, but now the offers are only starting at €20,000. No wonder, because it has everything a classic needs: a coupé body, in-line six-cylinder naturally aspirated engine and a short construction period.

With its naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine, the M3 E46 hits all the pitches and not only does it sound great - with 343 hp and rear-wheel drive, it goes that way too. The six-speed manual gearbox installed from 2004 then makes this beauty perfect.

However, you should definitely pay attention to the history when buying. Unfortunately, many 3-series models are not spared from being pimped and overheated, and rust can also be found on body edges, wheel arches and the front fenders. Also make sure that the electronics and the displays of the on-board computer, radio and air conditioning are working.

5 .   F E R R A R I   F 4 3 0   C H A L L E N G E
It wouldn't be a Ferrari if it weren't used and expensive. You can't get a 15-year-old F430 Challenge for less than €90,000, but you can usually assume that the engine and transmission are in good shape.

The V8 engine has a displacement of 4.3 liters with 490 hp, a maximum torque of 465 Nm and a top speed of 315 km/h. The mid-engine coupé is based on an aluminum space frame and has an F1 gearshift. Therefore, when buying a used clutch, the highly stressed clutch should be checked for wear. On the other hand, the ever-dreaded timing belt change on the F430 is superfluous, since its V8 drives the camshafts via a timing chain for the first time.

6 .     M A S E R A R T I   3 2 0 0   G T  ( H A N D - S H I F T E D )
The beautiful Maserati Coupé 3200 GT with Boomerang taillights and a great V8 biturbo engine for 370 hp is currently available from €25,000.

They say that Maserati comes with drama and elegance as standard. But the fact is that, in addition to the body designed by Italdesign and the Boomerang rear lights, there is at least one other reason to get involved with this small series coupé for the price of a mid-range VW Golf: It is the last Maserati with a biturbo V8 and it were also only 4,795 copies. The biturbo engine not only runs great, it sounds great too – unless it's not accelerating or the revs are jumping because the adaptive throttle caps are broken.

When buying, it is best to do a compression test and adjust the valves every 20,000 km. The quality of the details leaves something to be desired. Instead, there is Italian elegance, lots of power and fragrant leather.

7 .   M E R C E D E S   S L K   R 1 7 0   ( 2 3 0  K O M P R E S S O R )
Since 1996, the sole rule of the SL at Mercedes has been history and the first SLK rolled off the assembly line. Not a racing car with 136 hp, but a purist roadster with a steel hood in the trunk, solid technology and the star in the radiator grille. Today the price range is from €6,000 - €15,000. However, you should make sure that the top moves in and out properly and that the sills are rust-free.
8 .    N I S S A N   3 5 0 Z
For those who don't need a station wagon and don't like a Mercedes, the Nissan 350Z, available from around €15,000, could be the right car. With its long hood, short tail, wide track and lovely details like the Z logos on the front fenders that refer to the Fairlady tradition, this car is definitely not boring.

The 3.5L V6 engine for 280 hp and the variable camshaft adjustment pulls like a bull, sounds good and revs quite freely up to 7,000 rpm. Not only the handling, the whole car is really problem free even in terms of rust. No wonder the prices are rising again!

9 .    P O R S C H E   9 9 6   T U R B O
You can get a powerful Porsche 996 turbo with all-wheel drive and biturbo engine with 3.6 liters for 420 hp, which is definitely suitable for everyday use, from €45,000. With its complex technology, however, it is definitely a 911 for advanced drivers. Like all other 911s, this one is considered indestructible and should easily reach 200,000 km.

Fortunately, he was not concerned about the intermediate shaft bearing and the cylinder bores of the Carrera engine. However, caution is advised before subsequent tuning via the software, because the additional power leads to increased wear. The optional ceramic brake system is also very susceptible to rapid wear, which is why many owners have opted for the steel system.

The car is excellently finished and has a fully galvanized body. However, you should pay close attention to accidental damage and have it checked by a specialist or appraiser.

1 0 .    V W   G O L F   I V   R 3 2
Golf stands for timeless design and exceptional durability and quality. The craziest of all four Golfs is definitely the R32. It appeared in 2002 with wide sills, thick tailpipes and a narrow-angled V6 under the hood and (as the first VW) with a dual-clutch gearbox (DSG).

Since the 3.2L V6 with a 15-degree cylinder angle, which is also installed in the Touareg and Phaeton, naturally has it much easier in a Golf, it really packs a punch on the road. However, the four-wheel drive and the overall rather well-behaved design protects against too much nonsense.

The R32 is already expensive today and has a market value of around €24,000. The cheapest alternative is a GTI V5 with 170 hp or a V6 with 204 hp.


Image sources:

  • 2004_Nissan_350Z_3.5_Front_Bravada_flickr
  • 3240px-Maserati_3200_GT_-_Flickr_-_Alexandre_Prévot
  • Bentley_Continental_GT_-_Flickr_-_Alexandre_Prévot_
  • Ferrari_F430_Challenge_78_The359_wikimedia
  • VW_Golf_IV_R32_20090916_front_M 93_wikimedia