Car enthusiasts typically flock in herds. Cars with hype sell quicker than Smart TV’s on Cyber Monday and before you know it, every autocross this side of the the Mississippi has at least eight Scion FRS’s. While it’s undoubtedly an OK car, they’re missing the bigger picture.
Every once in a while a car comes along that has something that can’t be stated in magazine reviews or quantified in press releases and YouTube comments. Every once in a while, a car comes along that simply won’t make sense to keyboard warriors. Every once in a while a car comes out that just has a different path in it’s life.
The Mitsubishi Mirage was one of those cars that was destined for greatness. While other cars are being bogged down with heavy electronics, yearning to be the most advanced car in the sub-compact class, the Mitsubishi Mirage went back to basics. With lightness as it’s goal, the Mirage came with no frivolous options, like navigation or massaging seats. It’s goal was to be the most raw and visceral economy car and it exceeded.
Today we see a trend in the marketplace, where collector car buyers are ditching tired technologies of the past and paying premium for tried and true methods. Three pedals or go home; none of that F1 flappy paddle limp garbage. This trend has continued with Ferraris, Lamborghinis and most notably, GT3 RS Porsches. Cars that rolled of the line in Stuttgart only seven years ago have already risen $50,000 in value due to using a design that can’t be outdated.
We can see now the very beginnings of this trend extending. GT3 RS and gated manual Ferrari prices have swelled so severely that buyers are looking towards cheaper cars that carry that same philosophy. It’s simple economics; the move is to buy these Mitsubishi Mirage’s while they last.
Photo credit: ExoticClassics.com
For the savvy buyer, you’ll actually find yourself with a better return on the Mirage. Buyers of the 997 GT3 RS had to shell out $131,395 for the privilege of driving their Tokyo Drift Beetle, while Mirage buyers need only bring $12,995 with them. For buyers of the GT3 RS, it has taken seven years and a steadfast determination to not exceed 20,000 miles for their car to raise roughly $40,000 in value. This buyer failed to stay below the 20,000 miles threshold and his car only gained $38,505 in value. To put that into perspective, that’s a profit of only $1.74 per mile and only 5.86% of the car’s value each year.
For anyone strapped with $12,995 in cash, the Mitsubishi Mirage was yours. No waiting list, no need to own five previous Mitsubishi products; the car was simply one signature away.
With a simple analysis though, the figures are surprising. This model currently for sale in Kansas City, Missouri with a price of $19,108, has only been on the market less than one year. However, for argument’s sake, let’s call the car one year old. With a MSRP of $12,995 and a one-year’s ownership sales price of $19,108, that a profit of $6,113 or 47.04% of the car’s value each year. This car comes equipped with 9,275 miles, meaning that each mile enjoyed in this Mirage netted the owner $0.66 per mile.
While this $0.66 profit per mile figure may lead you to believe that the 997 GT3 RS is a better investment, let us remember one thing. The 2010 GT3 RS used as an example has five years of age on the Mirage and was subsequently enjoyed less. With it’s current mileage of 22,094, this particular GT3 RS was driven 4,418.8 miles a year. The Mitsubishi Mirage owner was able to enjoy his car over twice as much per year and car enjoyment is simply an intangible commodity. As someone who would be in the market for a raw, visceral driving experience, driving enjoyment would have to have a great value to the perspective buyer.
Lastly, let us not forget to nail the final nail in the GT3 RS’s coffin. The Mitsubishi Mirage that is on sale currently is significantly cheaper than the 2010 Porsche GT3 RS of yester-year. For the price of the Porsche, one could buy 10 Mitsubishi Mirage’s and have money to blow on a pound of blow. If one were to buy 10 Mirage’s instead of a Porsche with a roll cage, one would then see a net profit of $61,130 a year or $305,650 over the same five year span that we are basing the Porsche’s appreciation on. Check mate Porsche.
To the current Mirage owners out there, I apologize for spilling the beans, but cherish your cars and ride the money wave. To the collectors and car flippers of the world, I present the next golden goose of Barrett Jackson’s future. You’re welcome.