Have your dreams always been just a bit out of reach? Almost anyone in the U.S. with a halfway decent credit score can get into a relatively modern BMW for a payment they probably find tolerable, but what if you lust after something a bit more than the entry-level CPO 3 Series? For a few years now, there’s been a new way to live vicariously: Rally Rd., out of New York City, has created a platform that allows willing individuals to buy stock in collector cars, just the same way you can deal with publicly traded companies and other securities which are bought and sold on exchanges the world over.
Initially, the focus was on blue-chip collector cars, with models from Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche making up most of the small lineup offered for investing. But recently a number of others have become available. Upfront Ventures is likely to have spurred the expansion with $7,000,000 in Series A funding; a number of other firms were also participating by September 2018, and now, just days into the new year, three sought-after BMW models have been added to the growing list of assets, which is now made up of roughly 25 special cars.
The fresh selection of BMWs is pretty strong in terms of collectibility, with favorites like a 1 Series M Coupe and an E30 M3 both making an appearance, in addition to a Z8 in an interesting but rather common color combination.
Whether or not choosing to stash your money in a portfolio of classic cars is a good idea to begin with, the concept is an interesting one, and it will be compelling to see where things with the three examples go in terms of value. Find more details on what makes each BMW investment-grade below.
The specific Z8 offered on Rally Rd. (VIN WBAEJ13422AH61732) is one of 1,262 finished in Titanium Silver over a Sport red-and-black interior. Silver is one of the best colors on the Z8, allowing for full appreciation of the 507-influenced design which is by Henrik Fisker, but it’s also the most common choice, with roughly 50% of those built wearing it from the factory.
There’s more to this Z8 than its color combination though, as it’s also an incredibly low-mileage example, with just 7,550 miles shown on the odometer. Equipment is listed as complete down to the original tools, battery tender, tire inflator, and Motorola Startac cell phone. A vehicle history report lists four owners since new, and the 2002 model year was toward the end of production which came to a close the next year.
Want to own a piece of it? The offering for this Z8 will be comprised of 3,000 shares offered at an opening price of $65 per. That translates to a $195,000 initial offering valuation—a very fair price for a Z8 with low mileage and no stories. Rally Rd. uses Hagerty auction and sales data to track a historical valuation which shows its assessment to be in line with the current market. Hagerty values a Condition #1 concours Z8 at $270,000, while a Condition #2 example is reportedly worth $206,000, and the average value for the model is $161,000. This particular Titanium Silver Z8 seems to lean toward Condition #1, but perusing records and an in-person, in-depth inspection are needed in order to make an educated call.
The 1M—or 1 Series M Coupe, as it is officially termed—has always been worth good money. The limited-production model has held its value better than any other BMW model from the last decade, and has never been worth less than its original mid-$50s MSRP. Just over 6,300 1Ms were produced for one model year, 2011. Only 740 were brought to the U.S., however, and the one available to buy a share of (VIN WBSUR9C5XBVT47613) has just 3,790 miles on its odometer. Options include iDrive, while modifications are said to be nonexistent, with original equipment remaining complete as well. Valencia Orange is one of the more common color choices, alongside Alpine White, while Black Sapphire is a bit of a rare sight on the wide-body E82 coupe.
Owning a piece of this 1M will cost you $42 per share; 2,000 shares will be offered, for a total valuation of $84,000. That’s quite a bit more than the window-sticker MSRP of $54,635—which would be approximately $61,000 today—but this 1M has uncommonly low mileage, and service records indicate that it passed through the hands of Enthusiast Auto Group. Still a bit too new for a detailed Hagerty valuation, Rally Rd. shows historical data, much of which comes from Bring a Trailer, that shows a steady increase in value for the 1M since its introduction back in 2011.
The final new BMW offering is a Diamantschwarz-on-Natur 1988 M3 (VIN WBSAK0303J2195066). A true homologation special, the E30 M3 has benefitted from a strong valuation for several years now, but it wasn’t always this way, as examples commonly changed hands for much less before the collector-car market took off around 2012. The one on offer isn’t a hacked-together high-mileage project, either; instead, it’s a highly original low-mileage car with complete factory equipment and no changes from stock. It’s further said to have had just one owner since new, with a scan of what looks like a vintage title posted on the details page along with the original invoice.
Speaking of the original invoice, it shows an MSRP of just $34,810 in 1988, equivalent to roughly $74,000 today—see, the current M2, M3, and M4 are quite the bargain! 3,000 shares per will be sold, which places a value of $141,000 on this black-on-beige first-gen, first-year U.S.-spec M3. Hagerty assigns an average value of $66,100 to the E30 M3, but Condition #1 concours examples—which this car could be—are valued at a staggering $148,000, while excellent versions are said to be worth $96,700.
Putting money into a sought-after car is a hotly contested topic. For most of us, it’s a losing move, financially speaking, as the asset is almost sure to shed value over its life, not taking into account running expenses and other sunk costs associated with ownership. The vast majority of all car models ever produced were worth the most when they were brand-new, sitting on the dealership lot. There are a handful of exceptions, though, and the three BMW models discussed here are some great examples.
It’s easy to forget that although your car is essentially sure to cost you money over its useful life, most of us are continuously deriving value from them in terms of reliable, comfortable, and perhaps even stylish and high-performance transportation—of course, hobby, passion, and livelihood are other elements altogether. All of the BMW models available to invest in through Rally Rd. are another story, however, as each can be considered the cream of the crop, with not one showing an odometer reading over 10,000 miles.
Today, buying a share in a classic or very special car is as easy as downloading an app and linking a payment method. The storage risk, along with costs associated with maintenance and upkeep, are minimized as well when they’re spread out among a greater number of people, but so, too, are any potential gains, at least in terms of any decent volume. The good news is that dipping your toe into the water won’t cost more than $65 in the case Z8’s initial offering, while a taste of the M3 or 1M can be had—fractionally speaking, of course—for less than $50.
But no, you won’t be able to drive them.—Alex Tock
[Photos via Rally Rd.]