Hooniverse Asks: What’s the oldest brand-new car for sale?

It’s December. Those even vaguely familiar with the car business will know the significance of that statement. December is arguably the best time of year to buy a new car. This late in the annum, dealers are eager to move last year’s inventory to make room for the next great thing. If you’re lucky, you can even snag a deal on an unsold car from the previous year.

But it doesn’t stop there. You can find unsold new cars older than one model year. Doug DeMuro did it, having bought (and re-sold for a profit) a brand new 2018 Kia Stinger GT earlier this year. And the Lexus LFA sold infamously slowly. In fact, Lexus of Woodland Hills has a new 2012 LFA still for sale. A brand new 2012.

Is the LFA the oldest new car for sale? Of course not! This article would be far too short otherwise. A serious contender is this 2001 Mercedes-Benz SL600. Showing just over 400 miles, this example has never been sold or titled and is absolutely pristine. Mercedes’s Classic Center in Irvine, California has it listed for sale for $135,000, meaning you can buy a brand-new 19-year-old car from the manufacturer. This is likely the nicest example of the best version of what many consider the last great SL.

While the aforementioned brand-new R129 is the oldest new car for sale from a dealer or manufacturer I could find, it isn’t the oldest new vehicle overall. That honor goes to this 1997 GMC Sierra currently listed on Bring a Trailer. Most of these have fourteen million miles on them and are worth twelve hundred bucks. Not this one. This example has yet to crack one hundred miles. I have no idea why someone decided to preserve this thing, and the interior does show some wear, but it’s still a total time capsule. And you can buy it, as the auction has no reserve price.

Is a 1997 GMC Sierra the oldest new car out there on the market? Perhaps, but I suspect there’s something even more neovintage out there. Bonus points if the example is sold by an authorized dealer or manufacturer, but regardless these listings are interesting to peruse. And so we ask: what is the absolute oldest brand-new car for sale?


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9 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What’s the oldest brand-new car for sale?”

  1. 0A5599 Avatar

    The sale has already concluded, but earlier this summer, car dealer Jim Gesswein liquidated some of his personal car collection, including a new 87 Shelby Charger that he had pulled from his dealership’s inventory way back when and left on MSO.



    1. Wayne Moyer Avatar
      Wayne Moyer

      I got to see one of the ones at the Shelby factory and heritage center back in 2017. It wasn’t as nice as this one. It had been driven and used.

    2. Fuhrman16 Avatar

      My family has owned like 8 vehicles purchased through that dealership.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Best seal of approval there is.

  2. Zentropy Avatar

    Ok, there’s a difference between “brand-new car” and “extremely low mileage”. It doesn’t appear that the ’97 GMC is technically “new” considering it has been registered to at least one owner. Sometimes the only advantage I find in buying a new car is the manufacturer’s warranty. Anything that’s been titled beyond the original dealer would have officially started the warranty period, correct?

    As for cars with ridiculously low mileage (i.e. “time capsule” cars), they’re cool, but they’re hardly new. They’re just unused, and I’d much rather buy a used car that’s been regularly driven than one that’s sat idle.

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      Agreed. If it’s still on its MCO/MSO, then it is new, no matter how long ago it was constructed or how many miles it has on it. The instant it gets shifted over to a title/registration, it is no longer new, no matter how recently it was constructed and no matter how few miles it may have seen.

      The trick, then, is to find a car that for whatever reason has remained for decades on its MCO/MSO. They’re out there.

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      The other DeLorean influenced two seater.

  3. neight428 Avatar

    Searching autotrader for the oldest new cars listed generally turns up a fair number of fleet vans, Cadillac and Chrysler sedans.

    Like so…