Index of collectible American cars of the 1950s
As market demographics change, 1950s American classics continue to struggle. Up only 1 percent from its 14-year low last period, the index has still yet to recover from its 9 percent drop in 2019. Of the 19 cars included in the index, the majority saw no change and only seven showed growth – all convertibles. By contrast, the 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, the only sedan on the list, saw a 9 percent drop. This suggests that collectors looking for top-tier Americana are steering clear of the “practical classic” trend seen in other segments.
Hope is not lost. Proving there is still interest in the segment, less expensive 1950s American cars outside the index have seen tremendous growth. For example, the 1951-53 Plymouth Cranbrook, which gained 35 percent and 1955-58 Cadillac DeVille, gaining 28 percent. The 1950s were a period of considerable change for the American automobile, and the diversity of the segment will be its saving grace. While the market changes and interest wanes for late-1950s boulevard cruisers, cars that were previously considered less desirable are now getting their time in the sun.
-Adam Wilcox, September 2021
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.