9 June 2015

Five great muscle car investments

Americans love their muscle cars — just look at the prices that golden age cars from the 1960s and early 1970s fetch at auctions. The cars on this list were all made after the first golden age of American muscle and some are getting a bit pricey already, but they all have this in common: Their best years appreciation-wise are still in front of them. Buy now.

  1. 1987 Buick Regal GNX: Built to lower the curtain on the rear wheel-drive Regal, the GNX may also have been the last Buick that gearheads have truly lusted after. The highest performance variant of the Regal T-type and Grand National, great ones have broken $100,000. But with fewer than 550 built and the generation that wanted but couldn’t afford one back in the ’80s now flush with disposable income, the sky is likely the limit for this car.
  2. 1977 Pontiac Trans Am: While the 6.6-liter T/As from this era were hardly the most powerful, they had one thing going for them: the wildly popular Burt Reynolds movie “Smokey and the Bandit.” They were also arguably one of the best-looking Malaise Era muscle cars, with the iconic black and gold colors, giant “Screaming Chicken” hood decal and gold simulated engine-turned dash applique. Burt Reynolds recently sold his personal car for a cool $450,000, and ordinary cars have tripled in value over the last several years. [Video: Click here to take a spin in a 1973 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am]
  3. 1993 Ford Mustang Cobra R: The ’93 Cobra R was arguably the most desirable Fox-body Mustang, and as the launch car for the new SVT team at Ford, it’s a special car. While later Cobra Rs might have been more powerful and more heavily modified, collectors almost always appreciate firsts. The fact that just 107 were built ensures that this Mustang has nowhere to go but up.
  4. 1994-96 Chevrolet Impala SS: Chevy built a ton of these wildly popular four-door muscle cars, and it’s their enduring popularity that has been both a blessing and a curse. These cars tend to get driven to death, to the point where there is now an extreme shortage of low-mileage, stock, clean examples. Today, under $20,000 gets a near-perfect one. We’d wager that will seem cheap in 10 years.
  5. 1997 Pontiac Trans Am Firehawk LT4: This may be the rarest F-body variant. Sporting the exact same engine as a Corvette, the Firehawk LT4 was one of the rarest and fastest of 1990s muscle cars. Just 27 were built. They rarely hit the market, so pegging precise values is always tough, but we suspect that anything under 40 or 50 grand will seem like a screaming deal one day.

28 Reader Comments

  • 1
    roger foss canada June 10, 2015 at 13:55
    picture is not a GNX
  • 2
    Mike IL June 10, 2015 at 14:30
    What about an mostly original 81 Bandit car in beautiful condition w/ 305 and 4 spd?
  • 3
    Damon Grill Boynton Beach, Florida June 10, 2015 at 15:19
    That's NOT a GNX. Nice Grand National though.
  • 4
    Joe Altieri Astoria, Oregon June 10, 2015 at 15:31
    Had a 1969 Cadillac DeVille, restored, mint, same year as the "stonewall car", insured by Hagerty a few years back ... used it for local tours from the Lewis and Clark Explorer Train from Portland, OR. Current digs are a 1987 Chevy Astro Van, original. Great fun ...
  • 5
    Bobby Bluegrass June 10, 2015 at 15:48
    I'll take one of each, please! Glad to see more later model cars getting attention from Hagerty. I love looking at the older cars, but these were the cars I lusted over in my younger days. The Bandit TA was my first serious car crush at 10 years old. .
  • 6
    Michael B Central USA June 10, 2015 at 17:14
    Hey! That photo at the forefront of this article is NOT a Buick GNX. It is a "standard" Grand National.
  • 7
    Richard G. Ambris 115 Race St San Jose Ca 95126 June 10, 2015 at 17:33
    I need catalog info
  • 8
    Russ Smyth Bobcaygeon Ontario ,Canada June 10, 2015 at 18:27
    Any thoughts on the early Taurus SHO Fords,fairly low production numbers and a blast to drive,beautiful looking 4 can engine,???
  • 9
    Reid Marietta, GA June 10, 2015 at 12:28
    Car pictured is NOT a GNX; it's a regular Grand National.
  • 10
    Zane Coker South Floirda June 10, 2015 at 12:56
    You forgot the Porsche 930 Turbo, one of the most iconic muscle cars of all times.
  • 11
    Mark Tempe,AZ June 11, 2015 at 13:32
    Hard to think of any 90's car as an "investment" but there are some neat cars on the list. Not sure any four door would make my list though
  • 12
    Andrew Ontario, Canada June 11, 2015 at 02:48
    FYI, the car in the picture is the standard GN, not the GNX.
  • 13
    JAY ROYDES PA June 11, 2015 at 16:09
    What about Chevrolet 1983-88 Monte Carlo standard and SS Model's There are the car that no one think about collecting but there a part the 80's muscle car's
  • 14
    Kevin K. Northwest Ohio June 11, 2015 at 18:13
    I own a 95 Firehawk with the LT1, and I believe all Hawks will be very collectible in the future as they only built just over 5k from 1991-2002! This includes Formulas and T/A hawks. Also in 95 the only mass produced American cars that were faster than my Hawk were the ZR1 and the Viper!
  • 15
    Steve Reynolds Wisconsin June 11, 2015 at 06:52
    I'm glad to see that you list the Buick GNX as one of the great muscle car investments, but in doing so you should have shown an actual GNX in the accompanying picture and not a GN. Thanks
  • 16
    Paul Daniels Chicago June 11, 2015 at 07:30
    Too bad the pic of the GNX was actually a Grand National.
  • 17
    Jack B Pa June 11, 2015 at 09:36
    I don't know too many who wanted a GNX back in the '80s(but couldn't afford then) "flush" with "disposable income"("throw away money") now...meself included ... to run out and get one....
  • 18
    Jack B Pa June 12, 2015 at 14:15
    I submitted a comment...guess it wasn't "Rah-Rah!" enough....
  • 19
    Curtis Connor Upstate NY June 12, 2015 at 09:55
    The photo is a Grand National not a Buick GNX.
  • 20
    Kent Herreman St. Louisville, OH June 13, 2015 at 22:09
    Chevelle based El Caminos 64-72 offer good looks and lots of muscle for a fraction of the cost of a Chevelle. You can also get about 30 bags of mulch in the back. How many bags can you get in a Trans Am?
  • 21
    Kevin K Northwest Ohio June 16, 2015 at 19:27
    I own a 95 Firehawk, and I think they will all be collectible in the next 10-20 years. They only built just over 5k Firehawks from 91-02, so they are fairly rare. Also in 95 the only cars produced by the Big 3 that were quicker were the ZR1 and Viper, both of which cost 2-3 times as much money!
  • 22
    Ken Fulshear, TX June 16, 2015 at 21:23
    The photo shown is not a Buick GNX, it is a GN (Grand National). The wheels are for a GN (the GNX has honeycomb wheels), the GNX does not have engine labeling on the hood bulge, etc.
  • 23
    rodruckus NorCal August 10, 2015 at 02:31
    When will Hagerty ever learn about these turbo Regals? From Generation Gap to this article, etc? Next time you need correct info about these cars, call me first. Nice Grand National by the way.
  • 24
    todd mass October 23, 2015 at 23:55
    nice list, no 2004-2006 GTO?
  • 25
    RJ New Mexico April 29, 2016 at 11:39
    Well, I don't understand why I cannot sell my T-Type with the WH1 designer package for $14,000 then, when only 463 of those were produced and it is IMHO a better looking ride.
  • 26
    James dallas April 30, 2016 at 12:14
    Nice Buick, But I prefer my 83 Hurst olds Cutlass, it has the v8, and looks better
  • 27
    Kimble Bartlow Arizona May 11, 2016 at 19:57
    Regardless of not being on "the list" I truly miss my 2002 Pontiac FIREHAWK. If I could do it all over again, I would not sell it. Just keep it clean and go FAST...which it did!
  • 28
    mick claman ohio May 24, 2016 at 02:50
    Comon, who writes these articles Frest Gump ?, a 94-96 Impala, police car , junk..and 77 trans am?, these smog motored pigs were cruisers not fast, anyone who believes anything but the GNX, is well.... you know..

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