Index of collectible American cars of the 1950s
After years of being one of the quietest, steadiest segments of the market, postwar domestic cars started seeing prices slip in 2018 and 2019 before leveling out again in 2020. The downward trend continues going into 2021, though, as Hagerty’s 1950s American Car Index dropped 2 percent this past period to a five-year low and indeed the lowest it has been since 2007.
Over three-quarters of the index’s component cars recorded no change at all, while not a single one gained any value. Sizable decreases for the 1954 Buick Skylark and 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz in the index were mirrored by drops elsewhere for Pontiac Star Chiefs, Packard Clippers, and Edsels. Not every 1950s American car was in the red this past period, however, as Chevrolet Stylines, Ford Skyliners, and Hudson Commodores all posted significant gains. As always, 1950s American cars offer a styling flair and visual presence that can’t be found anywhere else, whether you’re looking at them from behind the wheel or from across the street. Sound cars wearing older high-dollar restorations present the best buying opportunities in this segment, even if the chances of monetary returns are few and far between.
-Andrew Newton, January 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.