Classic Driver: The Top 10 Collector Cars You Could Have Bought in 1998
1998 was an important year not just for the car industry, but for the world in general. It marked the emergence of the internet and a groundbreaking online platform called Classic Driver that transformed how we share our passion for cars. Now, 25 years later, Classic Driver is still going strong, and to celebrate our 25th birthday, we have compiled a list of our favorite collector cars that were available new from the showroom in 1998. These cars are not only iconic, but they are also currently available for sale. So, without further ado, let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore the class of 1998.
1. Aston Martin V8 Coupe
This coach-built Aston Martin was one of the last of its kind, created before the brand’s modern transformation. With a limited production of just 101 units, the V8 Coupe featured styling cues from its monstrous sibling, the V550, making it a rare and desirable grand tourer.
2. Bentley Brooklands R
Powered by a legendary 6.75-liter V8 engine, the Brooklands R represented the end of Bentley’s association with Rolls Royce. With its luxurious features, including parchment Connolly leather and hand-crafted wooden trim, this limited-edition Bentley was the epitome of a luxury barge.
3. BMW Z3 M Coupe
Nicknamed “The Clownshoe” for its unconventional styling, the Z3 M Coupe is now considered a cult classic. Its unique design, derived from the Z3 roadster but with added rigidity, made it one of the greatest driver’s cars of its time.
4. De Tomaso Guara Spyder
Combining striking looks, rarity, and exclusivity, the Guara Spyder is a true 1990s supercar. With only 39 units produced worldwide, this ultra-low volume drop top is a masterpiece of design, featuring a reliable BMW 4.0-liter V8 engine.
5. Ferrari 550
In 1998, the Ferrari 550 was the ultimate driver’s car. With its long swooping bonnet, naturally-aspirated V12 engine, and manual gearbox, it embodied the essence of a classic prancing horse. This particular example stands out with its Pozzi Blue exterior and Cuoio leather interior.
6. Mercedes-Benz G300 Cabriolet
The G-Class was already a legend among off-roaders by the late 1990s, and the G300 Cabriolet was one of its rarest variants. Finished in Malachite Green, this G wagon remains a symbol of taste and style, even with its fabric top and turbocharged diesel engine.
7. Lotus Esprit V8
The Lotus Esprit V8 marked the introduction of a long-awaited V8 engine to the iconic Esprit. With its limited production of approximately 1,200 cars, this model is a true collector’s item. This particular example, in Lotus Racing Green over Magnolia leather, showcases the best of 1990s British sports cars.
8. Jaguar XKR
Back in 1998, the Jaguar XKR gave the Aston Martin DB7 a run for its money. This elegant grand tourer, with its stunning ovoid design and powerful V8 engine, still captivates enthusiasts today. This Antigua Pearl Blue example, with its oatmeal interior, is a dream car for those seeking both style and performance.
9. Mercedes-Benz SL500
The R129-generation SL was already an iconic luxury convertible in 1998. With its sleek design and powerful engine, it remains a sought-after classic today. This Azurite Blue example showcases the timeless appeal of this German masterpiece.
10. Porsche 911 Turbo
As Porsche underwent a transformation in the late 1990s, saying goodbye to air-cooled engines and circular headlights, the 993-generation 911 Turbo remained a pinnacle of performance. With 403 horsepower, it was one of the fastest air-cooled 911s ever produced. This arctic silver over midnight blue example, one of just over 700 built in its final year, represents the end of an era for Porsche.
These ten collector cars from the class of 1998 embody the golden era of driver’s cars. They represent a time when luxury cars were hand-built in small numbers and the concept of classic cars reaching astronomical prices was inconceivable. As Classic Driver celebrates its 25th birthday, we invite you to explore these timeless classics that continue to capture the hearts of enthusiasts worldwide.