ACT clutch

There’s a time to sit on your hands. And conversely, there’s a time to jump on the ship before it sets sail. As a car enthusiast, you need to know which is which. 

So as you dive deeper into car culture, try to recognize the general trends of car values. Learn to feel their depreciation curves.

Evo Voltex

Loosely speaking, when a new enthusiast vehicle comes out…

Like performance models, special models, etc… they’re sold at MSRP. Then, often immediately, they begin to depreciate. They slide down their depreciation curve for a period of years, even a couple decades, before their values level off in the valley of the slope.

But then – the good cars go back up!

So try to predict which cars are gonna depreciate hard, which cars are gonna hold some decent value over the duration of ownership, and which cars might actually spike in the not-too-distant future. 

Your circle of friends/family who are NOT into cars, will almost always try to steer you away from buying top-model passionate cars that don’t make sense. Sensibility has a hard time rationalizing passion. But… your braddahs at S3… we’re here for ya lol. 

Evo voltex wing

Because let’s think about it as an enthusiast:

If you’re financing a car that won’t depreciate as much, then a ‘car loan’ doesn’t hurt as bad… because it’s ultimately helping you to own something of value. Right? In other words, the car payments forked over today… give you more options in the future. For example, something like a Jeep Wrangler or a TRD Pro Taco/4Runner is going to hold significantly more value at the end of a 6yr loan than a basic crossover/SUV. In another example, you might stretch now to buy a Civic Type R over a Civic Si, or an M3 over a 3-Series. But let’s be honest… A) It’s the one you really want. And B) What’s that CTR/M3 gonna be worth in 6, 12, 20 years compared to the Si and/or 3-Series? See what I’m saying? It’s not necessarily a waste, it’s an investment.

Evo 18x10.5 +12 wheels

Also consider this:

If you’re stretching financially to buy an older car, but that car is at the bottom of it’s depreciation curve… then it very well could be worth the stretch. To illustrate – I bet we all wish we’d have bought an S2000, 996, or anything JDM/RHD a couple years ago… because now they’ve shot up! And the longer you sit on your hands, the further out of reach & harder to justify they’ll get! So the point is: If you’re gonna stretch… stretch to buy a car that’s going up, not down.

Evo 8 voltex kit

I mention all that ‘car value’ stuff, because the Evo 8/9 ship sailed & I never jumped on it. 🙁 

And today, like many of you, I don’t have 25k+ cash laying around to spend on a 15-year-old Mitsubishi with 100k+ miles on it. But… had I made a move earlier, it would be a different story. More like Adis Redzic’s story…

Adis Redzic bought this 2006 Evo MR (bone stock) in 2008 for $27,000 with 27,000-miles on the clock. Let those numbers settle in for reference. Adis was young, and the Evo was definitely a financial stretch at the time… no doubt about it. But he wanted the car badly, it was a tuner legend, so he jumped. For 6 years, he worked hard to pay it off. But at the end of that loan, what was it worth then?? 

Doesn’t matter I guess… because he never sold it. 

Adis still owns it today. In fact, it’s his only car! His grocery getter, his Home Depot truck, his carpool-line car. Yeah that’s right, in addition to the Voltex kit, this Evo sports child seats in the back lol. This is the way the world oughta be for us tuners & car enthusiasts lol. A bright red kitted-out Evo in a sea of grey/white/black commie crossovers. Oh and for all the eye-rolling sensibles out there, what’s this Evo worth today compared to 2008? Same? More? Forever climbing in value even as you drive it everyday with a big grin on your face??? Now imagine if Adis had bought a 2006 Explorer instead… or even a 350z. What would that depreciation curve look like by now? 

Text by Wooley     Photos by Taylor Galster

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evo 18x10.5 wheels

2006 Mitsubishi Evo MR

Voltex street bumper, front fenders (with overs), side skirts, rear quarters (with overs), rear diffuser, and V-mount wing.

APR GT3 mirrors

Bride GIAS II seats

Sparco harness bar

Gram Light 57DR wheels in 18×10.5 +12

Yokohama ADVAN Sport tires in 285/35/18

Function & Form Type II coilovers

Perrin intake

Megan Racing turboback exhaust

AMS intercooler & piping

Import Alliance car show