1950s American

Index of collectible American cars of the 1950s

Traditionally, 1950s American cars have been the sleepiest market segment. They moved little in either direction throughout the 2010s despite the wild swings seen in other areas. Interest in postwar domestics then softened in a big way over the past two years, but so far 2020 has at least been a return to stability. There has been no change in Hagerty’s 1950s American Index so far this year, although it is worth noting that the index is at its lowest since 2007.

All but three component cars tracked straight. The only increase was for the 1957 Bel Air convertible. Another favorite from ’57 – the Ford Thunderbird – was the biggest decrease, taking a step back after a surge in 2019. As demographics shift in the hobby, longer term prospects for this group (especially cars in #3 and #4 condition) don’t look particularly bright. For now, though, they still deliver a visual presence like nothing else. Many also wear an older restoration that exceeded the total value of the car itself, which is particularly appealing if you’re on the lookout for eyeball per dollar rather than monetary returns.

-Andrew Newton, September 2020

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