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Which of these rival cars is the best investment?

For car owners, brand loyalty is often important. Some Ford owners will only buy a Ford. Others, who prefer Chevy, will only drive a Chevy. And just like in sports, the rivalry runs deep.

But loyalty doesn't always pay off when it comes to appreciation. Take these three rival sports cars, for example.

The 1955 Ford Thunderbird wasn't necessarily viewed as a sports car back in its day, but more as a luxury vehicle with all the bells and whistles for driving in comfort. Still, it was iconic. And in 1955 it sold for about $2,500.

Then there was the 1956 Chevrolet Corvette. This was a proper sports car. It had a 225 horsepower engine, and the look and feel of a genuine racer. The original selling price for one of these vehicles was about $3,200.

Those cars were — and still are — two of the big American icons. But in 1958, the U.K.'s MGA was also a player in this rivalry.

This vehicle was considerably smaller than its competitors, and the convertible really let you feel the ride. It also handled the road well, even though its engine was essentially a toaster. Originally, it sold for about $2,500

So, which of these cars is the better investment? Automotive valuation expert Donald Osborne spoke with Jay Leno about these three rivals, and which one is appreciating best.

Each week, Jay Leno shares his thoughts about hot topics in the auto industry. Tune in to "Jay Leno's Garage" Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CNBC.