Hagerty Vehicle Rating: Mercedes 280SL, 560SL slip into the Bottom 25 for the first time

Hagerty’s valuation team has updated the Hagerty Vehicle Ratings (HVR), and there have been several notable shifts toward the bottom. Spoiler alert: This isn’t an ideal time to own a certain pair of Mercedes convertibles.

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.

The biggest losers in the most-recent ratings include a pair of Mercedes rag tops that fell into the bottom 25 for the first time: the 1968–71 280SL and 1986–89 560SL. Values for the 280SL are down 4 percent over the last eight months, while the number of cars purchased by Hagerty clients has dropped 32 percent in the last year. In short, the 280SL was buoyed by the rise in 190SL prices in the last few years, but as the older convertible’s values have come down, so too have those for the 280SL. Jesse Pilarski, an information analyst with Hagerty’s valuation team, says that while this is the first time the 280SL is in the bottom 25, it won’t be the last.

Similarly, the 560SL has slumped in the ratings, with average sale prices at auction down 21 percent in the last year. “All SL Mercedes values are tied together because they’re the go-to substitute when you’re priced out of a different generation,” Pilarski says. “Similar to the 280SL, this is the first quarter the 560SL has been in the bottom 25, and it will definitely continue to stay there for a while.”

Sticking with European luxury cars, let’s all pay our respects to the slumping 1980–98 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit and Silver Spur. Values for these one-time pinnacles of motoring have fallen by 30 percent in the last five years, and we’ve reached the point where any major repair could easily exceed 50 percent of the car’s overall value. Most owners find that hard to stomach.

Back on this side of the pond, the 1958–60 Ford Thunderbird, or “Square Bird,” has reached a four-year low in terms of consumers looking for insurance quotes. According to Pilarski, this squares (no pun intended) with an overall decline since last year in the number of ’58–60 T-Birds being purchased. Expect both of these figures to continue to drop in the near future.

Finally, the 1964–67 Pontiac GTO debuts in the bottom 25. While the GTO hasn’t seen any big declines in any of the metrics used to calculate HVR, it has suffered minor blips in nearly all of them: Insurance quotes are down 7 percent over the last 12 months; the number of GTOs offered at auction is also down 7 percent in the same time frame; the number offered for sale privately are down, as are their average sale prices. Such small declines start to add up, and the GTO is just the latest iconic machine to suffer this fate.

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 is a complete look at the cars bringing up the bottom of the current Hagerty Vehicle Rating:

Vehicle
1955-1963 Mercedes-Benz 190SL 6
1975-1985 Ferrari 308 10
1964-1968 Porsche 911 11
1970-1974 Plymouth Barracuda 13
1952-1954 Ford Crestline 13
1967-1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 14
1985-1989 Ferrari 328 GTB / GTS 15
1948-1965 Porsche 356 15
1971-1993 Rolls-Royce Corniche 16
1964-1967 Pontiac GTO 16
1948-1954 Jaguar XK120 17
1958-1960 Ford Thunderbird 17
1960-1964 Chevrolet Corvair 18
1971-1974 Plymouth Road Runner 19
1965-1968 Plymouth Fury lll 19
1968-1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 19
1986-1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SL 19
1987-1993 Cadillac Allante 20
1946-1948 Lincoln Continental 20
1984-1996 Chevrolet Corvette 21
1972-1976 Ford Thunderbird 21
1961-1964 Oldsmobile 88 21
1956-1961 Studebaker Hawk 21
1965-1970 Chevrolet Bel Air 22
1980-1998 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit / Silver Spur 22