Amazing value increase in Germany: BMW 320 +60 percent

Amazing value increase in Germany: BMW 320 +60 percent
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Although the classic car market in Germany is calming down and prices are stabilising, there are still some cars that increase their value spectacularly. Like the BMW 320.

A week ago we reported about the classic car market in Germany. According to the VDA Oldtimer Index, the German market is calming down and the BMW E21 320 has gained the highest increase in value.

How high exactly? We asked VDA and now they have sent us the exact figures of the Top 10 value increase 2016-2017.

It turns out that the BMW 320 6-cylinder (E21) has increased in value by a staggering 61.2 percent. So the market may be stabilising, but classic BMW’s are not.

Because the BMW 6-Series follows in second place with 30.5 percent value increase.

Third in the row is amazingly the Ford Thunderbird of the first generation, achieving a 25 percent increase.

Looking at this list you have to realise that this is about the increase in value, not about absolute value. So it is possible that some specific car is worth a lot more than a BMW 320, but has been stable at the same price level for some years.

VDA Oldtimer Index
Top 10 Value Increase 2016-2017

  Make Model Version Years of production Value increase %
1 BMW  3-Series (E21) 320 (6-cylinder) 1977-1982 61.2
2  BMW  6-Series (E24)  635 CSi  1978-1981 30.5
3  Ford  Thunderbird  Cabrio  1955 25
4  Triumph  TR6  Cabrio (US-version)  1972-1976 19.8
5  VW/Porsche  914  2.0 Trg  1972-1975 19.5
6  Mercedes-Benz  R 107 SL  300 SL cabrio  1985-1989 18.8
7  Opel  Ascona B  1.6N  1975-1981 17.2
8  Lancia  Delta  HF Integrale  1988-1989 16.7
9  MG  MGB  MkIII cabriolet  1971-1974 15.5
10  Volkswagen  Golf GTI (II)  KAT 3TL  1987-1991 14.6

Source: VDA, Classic Analytics

A surprising entry in the list is the Volkswagen Golf II GTI, with a value increase of 14.6 percent.

In recent years the Golf I has made its way to the classic car scene. Especially Golf I GTI’s make good money at the moment. But now in the slipstream of the Golf I, the Golf II is coming up.


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Also surprising, but for a contrary reason, is the entry of the MGB and the Triumph TR6 in this Top 10, with an increase in the value of respectively 15.5 and 19.8 percent.

While the BMW 320 and the VW Golf II are relatively new contenders in the classic car market, the MGB and TR6 have been in that market for decades. In fact, these cars started being classic cars right after their production stopped, in the late 1970’s.

But apparently, there are still fluctuations in the demand for typically British cabriolets.

The same goes for the Mercedes 300SL (R107). This car also has been a classic for as long as anyone can remember, but still, its value increased last year by 18.8 percent.

The Baywindow Volkswagen

VDA also supplied us with their Top 10 of value increase over the last ten years. 

On the number 1 position, we see the Volkswagen Transporter.

Maybe that does not surprise you, but if you look closely you will see that it is the T2, and not the split-window T1.



Prices of the first model Transporter have gone through the roof in the past few years, with cars fetching more than USD 200,000 in auctions.

The T2, also known as the Baywindow, has always been the next best choice for Volkswagen-lovers.

So in the slipstream of the T1, the T2 now has gained a massive 245.7 percent value increase from 2008 until 2017. 

But here also the BMW E21 320 scores great, with 197.8 percent value increase.

And there are more BMW’s in this Top 10 because there is also the 3.0 CSi and its successor, the 635 CSi. And of course, there is also the first BMW 5-series, with a value increase of 138.1 percent since 2008.

VDA Oldtimer Index
Top 10 Value Increase 2008 – 2017

  Make Model Version Years of Production Value increase %
1  Volkswagen  Transporter  T2  1967-1972 245.7
2 BMW 3-Series (E21) 320 (6-cilinder) 1977-1982 197.8
3 Chevrolet Camaro Coupé 1978-1981 179.7
4 BMW  6-Series  635 CSi  1978-1981  179.6
5 Renault  R4  R4 TL  1972-1974  177.8
6  Mercedes-Benz  W198  300 SL Coupé  1954-1957  165.3
7  BMW  CS  3.0 CSi  1971-1975  164.4
8 Pontiac  Bonneville  Cabriolet  1958-1958  164.2
9 BMW  5-Series  520i (E12)  1972-1977  138.1
10 Porsche  924/944  924 Coupé  1976-1979  132.7

Source: VDA, Classic Analytics

An unexpected entry in this list is the 1958 Pontiac Bonneville convertible.

What is a car like that doing in an overview of the German market? According to the VDA Oldtimer Index, this car has made an increase in value of 164.2 percent. But it is not very clear what this figure is based on.

The question is how many of these cars there are in Germany, and how many of them are being sold each year.

It is an interesting car though. 1958 was the first year that the Bonneville was produced as a separate model.


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A car like this was chosen to be the pace car at the Indy 500 race that year and the Bonneville was considered to offer good value for money.

But when they got old, the 1958-models of General Motors did not get popular with collectors. The 1957-models were considered to be much more interesting, just like the early 1960’s models. 

Only in the past ten years, the 1958 GM-cars are being rediscovered as being collectable.

That could explain the increase in value according to VDA, in the USA prices of these cars fluctuate around the USD 100,000 tag.