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Jay Leno tests the theory that newer cars don't appreciate as well as older classics

When it comes to cars, conventional thinking might suggest that newer cars don't appreciate as well as older classics. Charm and scarcity, it's assumed, go a long way.

On a recent episode of CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage," world-renowned auto appraiser Donald Osborne and Jay Leno look at three similar cars of varying ages to see if that assumption holds true.

1. 1966 Chevrolet Corvette 427

The first car and the oldest is a 1966 Chevrolet Corvette 427. A beast of a vehicle, with 425 horsepower, this was the ultimate big block engine Corvette.

And it was a fairly customizable one, too. This particular car, for instance, has a radio and leather interior. But it also lacks a heater. Designers purposefully omitted one to reduce weight and enhance the engine's performance.

This car has since been updated with disc brakes and a few other modifications that may or may not affect its resale value.

2. 1993 Dodge Viper

From "Jay Leno's Garage," which of these three cars appreciated the most?
CNBC (from “Jay Leno’s Garage”)
From "Jay Leno's Garage," which of these three cars appreciated the most?

The next car is a 1993 Dodge Viper. It basically has one job: Be fast.

To achieve this goal, designers streamlined the car as much as possible, reducing it down to not much more than an engine, wheels and a transmission. The Viper lacks windows as well as a roof.

As Leno puts it, "This is for all the guys whose wives wouldn't let them get a motorcycle."

3. 2005 Ford GT

Finally, there is a 2005 Ford GT, a car that enjoyed a limited run in the mid-2000s, appealing to retro-minded consumers.

Based on the Ford GT40 from the 1960s, which is iconic in the racing world, the GT catered to consumers who wanted a street-ready version of the original. And, despite the high price, demand was strong.

Buyers soon learned that the car had one major flaw. The doors opened very wide.

Leno says, "[The doors] work fine. They operate. They're water tight. But you pull into a parking space — you can't get out."

Other than that, the numerous design touches to match the original made it a smash hit. But can it hold up to the older cars when it comes to appreciation? Watch the video to find out.

CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage" airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET.