We’re constantly monitoring the market with an eye on which cars (and trucks) are gaining popularity, losing momentum or treading water. Following are three suggestions based on our valuation team’s observations.
1965-69 Chevrolet Corvair- The second generation Corvair, built from 1965-69, was a genuinely pretty car with coke-bottle styling and cleaner, sportier lines than the Corvair’s first generation. It also replaced the first-gen’s rear swing axle with a fully independent suspension, addressing concerns raised in Ralph Nader’s book Unsafe at Any Speed. They were quick, too, with up to 180 hp from the turbocharged Corsa model, and Don Yenko-modified Corvairs, called Stingers, enjoyed considerable success in SCCA racing.
Despite plenty of positive attributes, the measures used to calculate the Hagerty Vehicle Rating for second generation Corvairs show that values have remained fairly steady, lagging behind the rest of the market despite some fairly strong performance in the private sales arena. Perhaps Nader’s connection still sticks after all these years, or maybe many folks simply aren’t interested in a ‘60s Chevy unless it has a big V-8 up front. It also seems that people who have been priced out of classic Porsches over the past couple of years haven’t yet considered this other rear-engined car with an air-cooled flat-six.
Either way, the second generation Corvair remains a great value and even a bargain in terms of style, performance and fun, but there are no signs that values will change dramatically any time soon. For any ‘65-69 Corvair owners out there, it’s probably best to just keep driving and enjoying.
The Verdict: Hold
1984-96 Chevrolet Corvette- Speaking in terms of whole generations, the C4 is probably the most unloved Corvette. It doesn’t have the C3‘s voluptuous styling, while the C5 was a technically better car in just about every measurable way. Despite even the newest C4s approaching 25 years of age, though, these cars aren’t appreciating.
Of the measurements used to calculate the Hagerty Vehicle Rating, all lag behind the overall classic car market, most notably in terms of auction and private market performance. And further up the Corvette timeline, C5s appear to have passed the bottom of their depreciation curve, suggesting that enthusiasts and collectors are starting to turn their attention to those later, objectively better cars. There may be exceptions for special versions like ZR-1s, 1996 GSs and Indy Pace Cars, but overall interest in C4s seems to be waning.
The Verdict: Sell
1966-77 Ford Bronco- Trucks have been one of the strongest segments in the collectible vehicle market recently, and everything from Chevy C10s to Toyota FJ40s and even Willys Jeepsters have seen significant value growth. Hagerty’s client data shows that younger Gen X and Millenial buyers in particular are showing interest in the boxy vintage SUVs of the ‘70s, and the first generation Ford Bronco is a prime example. Built to compete with other small trucks like the International Scout and Jeep CJ, the Bronco enjoyed a 30-year production run. All models are collectible to a certain degree, but it’s the first examples from 1966-77 that are the most stylish and desirable.
The ideal time to buy one of these on the cheap passed about five years ago, but of all the measures that make up the Hagerty Vehicle Rating, most show the Bronco outpacing the market as a whole. Activity on the private market is particularly strong, and since first generation Broncos are popular among younger buyers, it’s reasonable to expect that their popularity will continue to grow in the near future. These trucks likely won’t get cheaper any time soon.
The Verdict: Buy