1950s American

Index of collectible American cars of the 1950s

While it has traditionally been the least volatile indicator on which Hagerty reports, the 1950s American Index recorded its third consecutive 2 percent drop with the latest update and is at its lowest point in the past five years. While the 1956 Continental Mk II notched an 11 percent gain, nearly a third of the component cars dropped, and the 1958 Eldorado Brougham’s 15 percent (or $20,000) decrease is indicative of a wider trend of four-door ’50s cars losing traction.

Another wider trend among 1950s American cars is that the gap between the best examples (in #1 and #2 condition) and cars with flaws (in #3 and #4 condition) continues to widen. Classic car restorations aren’t getting any cheaper or easier, and this is particularly true of chrome- and trim-laden postwar domestics. As enthusiasts and collectors increasingly show preference for cars without needs, the old mantra of “buy the best you can afford” is as true as ever.

- Andrew Newton, September 2019

The Hagerty Price Guide Index of 1950s American Classics is a stock market style index that averages the values of 19 of the most sought after collectible American automobiles of the 1950s. The list below shows the cars that make up the index, while the graph to the left shows this index’s average value over the years. Values are for #2 condition, or “excellent” cars.

This index includes