30 March 2017

Hagerty Vehicle Ratings: Sports cars race to the Bottom 25 for April

Our valuation team has updated the Hagerty Vehicle Ratings (HVR) for Q2, and the bottom 25 are dominated by European sports cars. Not all that long ago, many of these machines captured headlines for their big prices. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

The HVR tracks a car’s performance relative to the entire collector car market. Based on a 0–100 scale, a car rated at 50 is keeping pace with the overall market. A car scoring higher than 50 is appreciating more quickly, while a score below 50 indicates the car is lagging.

Chief among the losers are mid-engine malaise-era Ferraris, namely the 1975–85 Ferrari 308 and 1985–89 328 GTB and GTS. For a long time, these stylish, overlooked fellows represented affordable entry into Ferrari ownership. Then Boomers and Gen X collectors with some bucks caught on, and the Ferraris started appreciating. Now it seems that everybody who wanted one has gotten it, so activity has stalled, and these cool cars have cooled. They rate at 16 and 20, respectively.

We’ve documented the settling of Porsche 911 prices in the last 18 months as well. Joining their newer cousins in the updated ratings is the Porsche 356, built from 1948 to 1965. With the rising tide of the 911, the little 356 boat had enjoyed appreciation by association. Now that interest in 911s has waned, so too has the frenzy for the 356. As a result, it now carries a 17 rating. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Overall values climbed by 58% over the last five years, and they’ve remained at that level. Quite simply, demand for these handsome little cars has dropped.

As for Americans in the bottom 25, the 2005–06 Ford GT has long occupied the very last slot, something we’ve touched on in previous updates. There’s no new news to report there. But another notable American car making its debut in the bottom 25 is the 1971–74 Plymouth Road Runner. This is due to a dip in both quote activity—which measures how many Road Runners have been quoted for an insurance policy with Hagerty—as well as insured activity—a metric that measures how many Road Runners have been added to a policy. “In short,” says Hagerty data analyst Jesse Pilarski, “we’ve seen a drop in demand and interest in these cars. However, we’ve yet to see this affect their values.”

The Hagerty Vehicle Ratings are a fluid system, so it’s entirely possible that the next time we report the bottom 25, we might see big changes. You’ll know when we do.

The Hagerty Vehicle Rating is derived through the use of the following data:

  • Hagerty Price Guide — Measures the change in value of #3-condition (good) cars.
  • Insured Activity — Measures how many cars have been added to Hagerty’s insured book and their average value at the time they’re added.
  • Quote Activity — Measures how many cars have been quoted.
  • Auction Activity — Measures the number of cars, their average sale price and the sell-through rate for those cars.
  • Private Sales Activity — Measures number of cars sold, average sale price and what percentage of them sell above their insured value.

Here’s a complete look at the cars bringing up the bottom of the Hagerty Vehicle Rating:

2005-2006 Ford GT 6
1964-1968 Porsche 911 13
1971-1993 Rolls-Royce Corniche 13
1970-1974 Plymouth Barracuda 13
1971-1975 Volkswagen Type 181 Thing 15
1969-1973 Porsche 911 15
1955-1962 Triumph TR3 15
1948-1954 Jaguar XK120 16
1959-1967 Austin-Healey 3000 16
1971-1974 Plymouth Road Runner 16
1975-1985 Ferrari 308 16
1967-1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 17
1955-1963 Mercedes-Benz 190SL 17
1948-1965 Porsche 356 17
1956-1957 Continental Mark II 17
1955-1957 Ford Thunderbird 17
1984-1996 Chevrolet Corvette 19
1965-1970 Buick Electra 225 19
1956-1961 Studebaker Hawk 19
1968-1976 Ferrari Dino 246 GT 20
1985-1989 Ferrari 328 GTB / GTS 20
1952-1954 Ford Crestline 20
1961-1964 Oldsmobile 88 20
1960-1964 Chevrolet Corvair 21
1968-1971 Jaguar E-type (XKE) 21
1961-1964 Pontiac Catalina 21
1977-1979 Lincoln Continental Mk V 21

8 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Peter Seattle April 12, 2017 at 17:13
    OK - I'm no expert, I'll admit to being biased, and I don't have access to "the numbers" the way you folks do, so this is only my opinion. Although the market may have "flattened" a bit for early Porsches, I think your assessment behind the reasons is a little off and hardly qualifies as a race to the bottom. Admittedly, the 1964 - 1966 911s were quirky, still in their formative years, and therefore niche material. A 1967 911S was, is, and likely always will be a very desirable (and expensive) car. The market for 356's has been cooling for a number of years and shouldn't be included or compared with 911s. I believe a big reason is most of the folks who grew up loving 356s are reaching the age where driving in general just isn't the priority it used to be, and again - quirky cars and it takes a certain niche person to want one now. I took a quick look at your January list of "Top 25 cars". Frankly, strictly personal taste and numbers are numbers, but I had a hard time finding a car on that list that I'd really want, no matter the price or upside potential.
  • 2
    RetroRick Escondido, CA April 12, 2017 at 19:12
    Many of these listed are derivative "second act" revisions or downmarket versions of the more desirable originals that preceded them. All are models with a narrow market then and now. Not surprising that a temporary surge in pricing ends up falling flat.
  • 3
    RonG Carmel April 12, 2017 at 20:49
    20t. 1968-1976 Ferrari Dino 246 GT News flash...the 246GT started production in 1969 (206GT in 1968) and ended production in 1974. not 1976
  • 4
    JOEL JENSEN CA April 13, 2017 at 16:14
    To be accurate, the value of 911 and 912 cars rose FOLLOWING the rise of the 356. As with all things, what goes up must come down, and those of us who have done this for years simply for the enjoyment and not the 'investment value', are patiently waiting in the wings for the fall.
  • 5
    tom hart hood river, or April 13, 2017 at 00:50
    I'm tired of hearing cars rated by current sale value. I'm in this hobby for the cars, not the money. Anyone who buys and sells cars based on these criteria doesn't belong in our hobby. Go back to Wall Street and stop inflating the prices so we can still afford our passion.
  • 6
    Bruce Baker suburban Philadelphia, PA April 15, 2017 at 12:22
    Good points of view so far. I would like to add that the "domination" of the bottom by "European sports cars" is lame if you include a Rolls, Buick, Ford, etc. I lusted after an XKE when they were intoduced, but was stuck driving my $500 356 Speedster...........now I cannot afford one of either and other than those, I'd want "none of the above."
  • 7
    Edward Teach SF Bay area April 20, 2017 at 13:24
    A lot of this is driven by the fact that people in their 50's like to collect the car they wish they could have had when they were 20 or so, and have gotten to an age where they can now afford it. For many of these cars that target audience is now in their 70's, an age when people start selling things instead of buying them.
  • 8
    Dr. Tod Oregon April 24, 2017 at 14:04
    I learned a great deal from your article, thank you. I have 5 collector cars, but none of those mentioned above. Indeed collecting is a hobby, but in order to justify this activity to my wife, I must convince her that there is some investment benefit. Where can we see your entire list?

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