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Investments new and old on show at Motorclassica 2015

If you thought house prices were going through the roof, there may be another way to make fast money.

Classic cars are outpacing the growth in the value of real estate, the latest figures show.

A 1973 Ferrari that sold for $100,000 five years ago fetched $522,000 at auction in Sydney in June this year -- an Australian record for that model -- and others are trying to cash-in on the boom.

The renewed interest in classic cars comes as the doors open tonight for the three-day Motorclassica event in Melbourne.

Australia's biggest and richest motor show, held at Melbourne's Royal Exhibition Building, is in its sixth year will have 500 cars on display inside the main pavilion and on the lawns outside.

Motorclassica curator Trent Smyth, who owns a classic 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS, says overseas buyers are pushing up local prices.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think this car would grow so much in value," says Smyth, who estimates his car is worth more than $500,000 now after paying $150,000 for it eight years ago.

This year celebrates the 50th anniversary of the original Ferrari Dino concept car

"Since I bought it there has been a lot of new wealth in emerging markets such as China and people wanting to treat themselves. Ferraris are so iconic and so rare, as soon as demand increases, prices rise."

Motorclassica event director, Paul Mathers, says the value of classic cars has "taken off" in the past 10 years as collectors snap up rare models.

"A lot of people are broadening the types of cars they buy, and they really watch the international auctions very closely," says Mathers.

While this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of the original Ferrari Dino concept car -- unveiled at the Paris motor show in 1965 -- the most expensive car on display at this year's Motorclassica is a McLaren F1, one of just 106 built.

With a top speed of 372km/h, it was formerly the world's fastest road car and unique because the driver sat in the middle of three seats.

Comedian Rowan Atkinson sold his McLaren F1 road car for $15 million in June this year -- despite crashing it twice, once in 1998 and again in 2011 -- after paying $1 million for it in 1997.

Meanwhile, proving that prices of some super-luxury cars do come down, Mercedes-Benz is due to unveil its answer to the Rolls-Royce, the new Maybach.

The previous Maybach limousine released 10 years ago cost $970,000, but the new one costs less than half that, although it's still an eye-watering $450,000.

But the half-priced mega-Mercedes is expected to pay big dividends.

Mercedes says it plans to deliver 12 new Maybachs in Australia next year, compared to a total of just 13 examples over 10 years of the previous model.

Motorclassica is open from Friday through to Sunday. Admission for adults is $35, tickets for kids aged 5 to 15 are $20, family tickets $80, and pensioners $30.

Ferrari Dino: Five Fast Facts

1) Named after Enzo Ferrari's son, who died in 1956.

2) First Ferrari made on a moving production line.

3) First non-V8 and non-V12 road-going mass-production Ferrari.

4) The original brochure said the Dino was "almost a Ferrari" because it was jointly developed with Fiat, and was initially excluded from some Ferrari owner's clubs.

5) The Dino has since been welcomed by the Ferrari community.

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