Alfa Romeo 8C

[dropcap size=small]F[/dropcap]orget Bordeaux wines, mechanical watches or even that Old Master canvas. For sheer appreciation in value, nothing beats classic cars. Global property and investment adviser Knight Frank, which has been tracking the performance of passion investments (wealth placed into collectible assets) in its annual Luxury Investment Index, has found that gains in such automobiles have surpassed everything else – a whopping 467 per cent in the past decade.

“No other asset appeals to the senses more than a collector car – the thrill of racing, the engine’s roar, the smell of exhaust, and the artistry of design ensure an unmatched experience for any lucky owner,” Ian Kelleher of auction house RM Sotheby’s tells The Peak.

Here are some of the most expensive – and most wonderful – cars ever sold at auction.

It also helps that these objects have an appeal that cuts across all demographics, thanks to their accessibility through everyday life and popular culture. Adds James Knight of auction house Bonhams: “Nostalgia certainly plays its part too. Cars that are now considered classics were much admired and lusted after by car-mad children at the time. They are now enjoying success and realising their dreams of purchasing cars that they had pinned to their bedroom walls.”

Prices start from the five figures for affordable classic cars such as the 1960s two-door MGB in decent condition, but truly investment-grade collectibles start from a hundred K and up. And if you are planning to jump into this passion-driven hobby, Kelleher advises punters to go with their heart. He says: “If you’re hoping to one day see a return on your investment, we also recommend that you buy the best example you can afford and do your homework.”