Once considered out of place at prominent classic vehicle auctions, vintage SUVs are rapidly gaining in popularity among collectors. During a series of collector car auctions in Scottsdale earlier this year, 11 vintage Toyota Land Cruisers sold, with the best example – a 1981 Mustard Yellow FJ-40 – selling for $88,000.
The recent public sales are not an outlier according to Hagerty Insurance, host to the largest database of classic cars in the world – this has been a growing trend for the past five years. Hagerty reports the niche segment of vintage SUVs has grown 65% since 2008, nearly twice the percentage rate of the company's overall book of business, which has risen 37% during the same period.
While vintage Toyota Land Cruisers (202%) appear to be the fastest rising choice among vintage SUVs, other models showing significant movement include 1970s and '80s Jeeps (93%), Ford Broncos (86%) and International Scouts (85%) from the 1960s and '70s.
"With so many young collectors opting for modern SUVs as their daily drivers, we're seeing a shift in perception of what makes a vehicle cool," says McKeel Hagerty, President and CEO of Hagerty, the world's leading provider of classic car insurance. "Broncos, Land Rovers and other similar vehicles from the '60s and '70s were, for the most part, once seen as utilitarian. But vintage SUVs are becoming more and more collectible, and it appears that trend will continue. This is a great time to get into this segment of the collector car market."
In addition to growth in Hagerty's database, sales analysis of more than 15 major auction houses, recently conducted by the Hagerty Institute, offers further evidence of a budding trend of increased SUV sales and values. Over the last five years, the number of vintage SUV's offered at auction is up 150 percent, and the value of these vehicles has risen 31 percent.