Hagerty Vehicle Rating: Sporty 1980s cars are on the move

Vintage pickups and SUVs dominate the September Hagerty Vehicle Ratings—they account for 23 of the top 25 spots—but sporty European models from the 1980s made major gains this month, too. Here are four of the biggest 12-month swings in one of our favorite market segments:

Vehicle +/-
1984–89 Porsche 911 78 +64
1985 Porsche 911
Joe Puhy

While early 911s have leveled off following raucous gains earlier in this decade, G-body cars have been steadily appreciating. The gap between mid-1980s 911s and virtually every other flavor of 911 (save for the 996 generation, perhaps) puts these firmly in “bargain” status, which has led to an uptick in interest. The cars are abundant, easy to live with, and still wear that classic 911 shape. Whether this is your first 911 or your fifth, this model should be on your list.

1977–88 Porsche 924 56 +36
1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GT profile
RM Sotheby's
1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GT

Transaxle Porsches have gained respect in the market, and the 924 is benefitting. Long (and unfairly) viewed as little more than an agriculture-derived, badge-engineered sales grab, the truth is that these cars have earned a long-overdue second look. A year ago the 924 was lagging the market but today they have nudged ahead of most cars. Even so, they are still eminently affordable.

1975–83 BMW 3-Series 50 +33
BMW E21
BMW

E30 M3s have been market stars for the past five years, and that enthusiasm has spilled over to the remaining E30 lineup. This rising tide has now reached the earlier 1975–83 E21 models as well. These cars have pulled even with the rest of the market and are likely to keep gaining momentum through the end of the year.

1981–87 Alfa Romeo GTV-6 68 +27
Alfa Romeo GTV
Alfa Romeo

Alfa’s 1980s GTV is easy to forget, if only because not very many people ever knew them. They weren’t sold in great numbers in the U.S to start, and those that did make it to American owners began to rust as soon as they were exposed to the elements. Collectors are picking up examples that have aged well, mainly because they are great value for their performance. If ever a low-mile Twin Turbo version hits the open market, expect a breakout sale.