Due to noted increases in interest, these cars are best poised for growth
Over the last five years, the classic car market has experienced strong growth. And in many cases this aggressive appreciation has left some cars out of reach for many people, while representing sound investments for current owners. Consider a 1966 Ford Bronco: For good, condition 3 examples, values have increased from about $10,000 five years ago to over $16,000 today.
Nothing is static, however, and we’ve noticed that a few cars are potentially primed to appreciate. Based on metrics which consider the number of specific cars we insure and their valuations, phone and online quoting activity, auction results and private sales, the car we believe is best poised to appreciate is the 1984–93 Mercedes-Benz 190 Class.
The German’s values have tracked the overall market closely, but we’ve noticed a spike in the number of 190s that people have added to their policies, along with a jump in overall interest. Moreover, one of its closest competitors, the BMW 3-Series, has soundly outpaced it, with the best Threes (M3s, typically) now wretchedly unaffordable for most enthusiasts.
But us car folks are a determined bunch, and when our dream car speeds out of reach we readjust our expectations. Can’t afford a COPO (Central Office Production Order) or Yenko or Baldwin Camaro? Get a nimble, factory-built Camaro Z/28 or a bruising Camaro SS with a 396-cid V-8.
“A lot of appreciation in the collector car market is driven by substitution. Once you get priced out of a car, what do you move to next?” says Hagerty information analyst Jesse Pilarski.
This plays out with many of the cars listed below. For instance, the International Scout II looks placed to start appreciating more vigorously due to the aforementioned Ford Bronco, which remains popular. Now that the Bronco is too expensive for some, SUV lovers with smaller wallets must consider its competitors. Accordingly, Chevrolet Impalas become Biscaynes for some, Buick LeSabres for others.
Following some of the most in-demand cars right now, are the top 25 we believe are best positioned to appreciate:
The Hagerty Vehicle Rating is a 0-100 score that tracks a car’s value change compared to the entire classic-car market. A car with a rating higher than 50 means it is appreciating faster than the overall market. A score below 50 means the car is lagging. While our rating algorithm uses Hagerty’s extensive valuation database and detailed market data—we go deep and include the number of recent insurance quotes and auction sell-through rates—the usual disclaimers apply: Use this score as a guide and not an indication of future results.