The classic car market’s biggest losers of 2016

While many cars continue appreciating, various have also stumbled in 2016. Unsurprisingly, they include several that had previously seen huge appreciation in previous years.

The Hagerty Vehicle Rating (HVR), which measures a vehicle’s performance relative to the rest of the market by examining insurance policies and quotes, Hagerty Price Guide value changes, and sales activity in both the private and auction markets, shows us which of these vehicles are or are not doing particularly well. Scores above 50 indicate that a vehicle is growing faster than the rest of the market, while a score below 50 indicates that a vehicle is performing worse than the rest of the market. The following 10 cars do not necessarily have the worst HVR ratings at the end of 2016, but they have seen the largest drops over the last 12 months.

Vehicle +/-
2005-06 Ford GT 4 -79

This might come as a bit of a surprise since low-mileage GTs had been selling very well at auction, particularly with Mecum, for the past couple of years. There seemed to be no end to the supply of like-new examples selling for more than their original purchase price. Apparently though, the party has ended and the time to sell your 1,000-mile, time capsule Ford GT for big bucks has passed (if you happen to own one). What had been one of the biggest value increases in the market has now become the biggest drop over the last 12 months.

1985-95 Ferrari Testarossa 19 -75

The Testarossa was one of the hottest cars in the market one year ago. This is due in part to its favorable combination of being both a modern classic and a 12-cylinder Enzo-era Ferrari. Things have changed, however, as values have flattened, quoting activity is down for Testarossas, and the model hasn’t been performing as well at auction.

1969-73 Porsche 911 15 -65

Another car that had been appreciating phenomenally is the 2.2- and 2.4-liter Porsche 911s built from 1969-73. There hasn’t been a drop in quote activity, but the rise in values has halted and the cars haven’t done nearly as well at auction as they had during 2015.

2002-05 Ford Thunderbird 12 -65

While the Plymouth Prowler was one of the biggest winners in the market this year, this retro-styled cruiser flopped. Maybe it’s because these cars mainly appealed to older buyers who are no longer very active in the market, but there has been a big drop in quotes as well as a sizable decrease in the number coming to auction.

1967-70 Mercury Cougar 13 -62

Despite essentially being a Mustang in different clothes, first generation Cougars are lagging behind the rest of the market. Values remain flat and have been for some time, but big drops in quotes and activity in both the auction and private market indicate a decline in interest.

1972-80 Mercedes-Benz 350SL/450SL 12 -62

In the chain reaction of value growth that started with the 300SL and then engulfed the 190SL and then the W113 cars of 1963-71, the early R107 of 1972-80 was naturally the next in line. Early 2015 saw big growth for these cars, but like the Mercedes-Benzes before them, values eventually flattened out. Every measure that goes into the Hagerty Vehicle Rating is particularly low for these cars, especially in terms of private sales.

1948-65 Porsche 356 24 -60

The slowdown in the wider air-cooled Porsche market applies to the 356 as well, with all measures down except for auction activity, where the 356 is keeping pace with the market as a whole.

1984-89 Porsche 911 30 -56

This is a very similar case to the market for 1969-73 cars, but the decline in interest here was not quite as severe.

1980-85 Mercedes-Benz 380SL 20 -52

What is true for the 350/450SL market is also true for the 380SL. While it never enjoyed as steep of a rise in value, it has nevertheless experienced a similar decline in interest.

1955-63 Mercedes-Benz 190SL 14 -52

The 190SL rode the appreciation wave started by the 300SL and the model practically doubled in value over a very short time. Someone actually paid over $340,000 for one in 2014, but since then values have been retreating. The drop in quotes over the past 12 months has been huge, and whereas the 190SL was a frequent sight both at auction and in the inventory of classic car dealers, that’s no longer the case.