HomeAutoHunterDiego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks

Diego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks

(Future) appreciation for late-model collectibles


The current variety on AutoHunter is great, a fine mix of different brands vehicle types from different eras. But, for this week’s Friday AutoHunter Picks, let’s focus on late-model vehicle. Perhaps the definition of late-model may suggest something that’s relatively contemporary, but I’ll take liberties only because the 1990s seems recent and I have trouble grasping that these cars are 25 (or so) years old. Maybe there’s future appreciation potential for them too?

So, is there a car here that you truly appreciate? Which one makes you swoon?

1994 Volkswagen Type 2 Kombi
Alright, I’m truly using “late-model” loosely here, but this vehicle was produced through 2013 in Brazil. Would you believe Brazilian models started using water-cooled models for 2006? Also interesting is that Brazil continued to build the original Kombi through 1975 while Germany stopped in 1967.

This 1994 VW Kombi features a refurbished 1.6-liter air-cooled flat-four paired to a four-speed transaxle. Inside you’ll find a custom interior, but perhaps the biggest selling point is the wall-to-wall windows. If those classic Sambas are your thing but the six-digit price tag is not, perhaps this is a nice Plan B.

2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
Around ten years ago, I had the opportunity to drive back-to-back a Challenger SRT, Camaro ZL1 and this GT500. The Mustang outpowered the others, but it wasn’t my favorite. What let it down was that while each performance component was stellar in its own way, they didn’t all work in harmony.

But maybe you enjoy unbridled brute force? Then this jalopy is your jam, as they say. With 24,137, it’s clearly been babied, though I gotta wonder what’s the motivation for babying a car with 500 horsepower. If you think the sky is falling with EV nonsense, this car has enduring appeal.

2007 Dodge Magnum SRT8
If Dodge still made these, my wife and I probably would own one instead of the insipid SUV we currently have. I miss wagons, especially one that leans more towards a shooting brake style versus the family truckster. Imagine how magnificent this would be in “Last Call” get-up!

Alas, the Magnum came and went, and I’d hate to give a nicely preserved example like this daily-driver duties and risk crumbs and spilled yogurt from back-seat inhabitants. This one’s been tweaked with such names as Borla, Eibach and Lexani, so you’ll be pimpin’ when you haul arse.

1997 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4
When these came out, I always felt they were more of a Japanese Camaro than sports car competitors like the 300 ZX. What set the Mitsu apart was its AWD system. Though acceleration performance may seem slow in a world where modern sedans can run 0-60 in 4 seconds, the VR-4 will still impress on several levels.

This one being a 1997 means it is powered by the upgraded DOHC twin-turbo with 320 horsepower. It also has only 20,050 miles. If you are eyeing a future collectible of sorts, you can’t go wrong with a leading Japanese street-fighter that’s been babied since new.

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in the Southwest.


  1. Hiya Diego! I like your articles of fave picks, even tho’ I’m not always a fan of some of your picks. But it’s ok, the hobby has room for all- I often catch flack from purists that my ’04 40th Anniversary Holden/Pontiac isn’t a “real” GTO. Well, both GM and Bob Lutz said it is, and there were zero “real” GTOs in factory trim that could show me taillights in the quarter or top end with my stock LS1. Even moreso now with the aftermarket 7.0… yeah, I kept the 5.7 badges and stock engine cover. Keep up the good work! Oh- saw a Magnum on which MTVs “Pimp my Ride” guys hung a Chrysler 300 doghouse. 100% improvement.


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