1950s American

Index of collectible American cars of the 1950s

Ever since the Great Recession, Hagerty’s Index of 1950s American cars has been a model of lethargy. During no period did they move more than two percent in any direction, leaving the entire group only six percent better off than it was five years ago. While this index hasn’t outpaced inflation, it is putting the lie to the assumption that these cars are unloved and unwanted among anyone but older Baby Boomers. Values are largely steady despite more and more younger buyers entering the market.

This period saw the 1950 Oldsmobile Series 88 woody wagon increase an impressive 10 percent, demonstrating strength for the woody market. The 1958 Chevrolet Impala climbed 9 percent, and the Continental Mark II continued to inch upwards, gaining 2 percent over the last 4 months and 19 percent over the last 3 years.

These cars may not be a good bet for future appreciation, but they do continue to provide a lot of presence while holding their value. For anyone who is drawn to these cars, that should be reason enough to buy.


-Brian Rabold, May 2018

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