Trucks and SUVs are booming in the classic market, thanks to Millennials and Gen-Xers

1971 Chevrolet C10 Cheyanne

Go big or go home. That’s the theme of the newest Hagerty Vehicle Rating—and we aren’t talking about values. Two-thirds of the vehicles in the newest Top 25 ranking are trucks or SUVs, and nearly 90 percent of them are valued at $16,000 or less.

Who is responsible for all this four-wheel-drive brawn? Millennials and Gen-Xers.

“The interest in trucks and SUVs is an effect of the changing demographics of the hobby,” says Hagerty Valuation Information Analyst Jesse Pilarski. “Our insurance quoting data shows that Millennials and Gen-Xers are nearly 30% more likely to quote a truck or SUV than Boomers and Preboomers.”

Pilarski says, based on vehicles in No. 3 (or “good”) condition, that “the entry-level market [sub-$25,000] is definitely the most vibrant, with an auction sell-through rate over 72%. That’s compared to 68% for the middle market [$25,000-$250,000] and 62% for the high-end market [$250,000-plus].”

The 1973-87 Chevrolet C/K Series pickup and 1945-68 Dodge Power Wagon are tied for the HVR’s top spot with 96 points apiece. There’s a three-way tie for third, at 94 points, between the 1976-86 Jeep CJ-7, 1993-2002 Pontiac Firebird, and 1994-96 Chevrolet Impala SS.

The Hagerty Vehicle Rating tracks a vehicle’s performance relative to the entire classic car/truck market. Based on a scale of 0-100, a vehicle with a 50-point rating is keeping pace with the overall market. Those above 50 are appreciating ahead of the average, while those below 50 are lagging.

The C/K has been in the top 25 for the last 16 months, but this is the first time it’s been the highest-rated vehicle. The truck’s Hagerty Price Guide value has risen 4% over the past four months, and it has consistently outpaced both the auction and private sales market for the last 16 months.

Meanwhile, the Power Wagon is among the Top 25 for the seventh time. This is the second time it has been No. 1. The Power Wagon’s jump to the top followed a sharper trajectory than the C/K. In the first published HVR, the Power Wagon had a rating of 49, placing it in the middle of the market. Over the last eight months, however, its HPG value is up 13%.

There are actually 34 vehicles in the Top 25, due to a 10-way tie for 25th place. There are 16 trucks/SUVs among the top 24 vehicles, 22 of 34 overall.

The 1983-90 Land Rover Defender, tied for 16th, carries the highest No.3-condition value at $25,500. The 1966-77 Ford Bronco, tied for sixth, is at $19,400; the 1993-98 Toyota Supra, tied for 14th, is valued at $18,300; the Power Wagon is at $16,000; and the 2000-03 Honda S2000, tied for 16th, is at $15,000.

The 1993-98 Lincoln Continental, which joined the Defender and S2000 at 16th, has the lowest value in the Top 25: $4,100.

“Again, we’re seeing the most interest in the entry level market, and several factors play into that,” Pilarski says. “Rare and desirable cars like Ferrari 275s, Mercedes-Benz 300SLs, and air-cooled Porsche 911s saw huge increases in value over the last five years, but now that values aren’t rising like they were, interest has started to wane. Most buyers aren’t worried about losing $2,000 on a $20,000 purchase, but $20,000 on a $200,000 car? That’s a different story. Also, the stock market has been performing well relative to car values, which may have pulled some of the interest away from those high-end vehicles.”

Also of note, for the first time in months the Top 25 offered no surprises. None of the top vehicles gained more than two points overall, and the 1993-2002 Firebird took the biggest jump in the standings—three spots—rising from sixth to third place.

Here’s a full rundown of this month’s top 25:

Vehicle
1973-1987 Chevrolet C/K Series Pickup 96
1945-1968 Dodge Power Wagon 96
1976-1986 Jeep CJ-7 94
1993-2002 Pontiac Firebird 94
1994-1996 Chevrolet Impala SS 94
1973-1979 Ford F-Series 93
1960-1966 Chevrolet C/K Series 93
1994-2004 Ford Mustang 93
1966-1977 Ford Bronco 93
1978-1979 Ford Bronco 92
1981-1986 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler 92
1969-1972 Chevrolet C/K Blazer 92
1981-1993 Dodge Ramcharger 90
1967-1972 Ford F-Series 89
1993-1998 Toyota Supra 89
1973-1991 Chevrolet Suburban 88
1967-1972 Chevrolet C/K Series Pickup 88
1993-1998 Lincoln Continental Mk VIII 88
1983-1990 Land Rover Defender 88
1987-1991 Ford Bronco 88
2000-2003 Honda S2000 88
1966-1983 Fiat 124, 1983-1985 Pininfarina Azzurra 88
1946-1949 Willys-Jeep CJ-2A 87
1973-1991 Chevrolet C/K Blazer 87
1966-1973 Triumph GT6 85
1947-1965 Willys-Jeep Pickups 85
1973-1987 GMC C/K Series Pickup 85
1948-1963 Studebaker Pickups 85
1949-1965 Jeep CJ-3 85
1954-1961 Plymouth Belvedere 85
1961-1971 International Harvester Scout 85
1971-1976 Buick LeSabre 85
1980-1986 Ford Bronco 85
1984-1993 BMW 3-Series (E30) 85