2021 Bull Market List: Report card

James Lipman

Each December, we put together the Hagerty Bull Market List, our annual selection of the collector-car hobby’s movers and shakers. Basically, it’s a group of 10 or so cars (with the occasional truck and motorcycle thrown in) that the data tells us are poised to grow in value over the next 12 months. This isn’t investment advice per se—rather, an opportunity to point out that, with some due diligence and a smidge of luck, you can experience the joys of the collector-car hobby and maybe get your money back or a bit more when it’s time to sell.

The 2024 group debuting on December 11 will be the seventh list, so we have had plenty of time (and opportunity) to check how our predictive powers panned out.

2021’s Bull Market List came together in the waning months of 2020, just before the collector car market began to get truly spicy. As a whole, the collector market’s annualized return since that time is an impressive five percent. On average, the Bull Market class of 2021 fared even better, posting a 12.2 percent annualized return. Parsing the information a bit further, though, shows a fairly broad difference in individual vehicle performance.

While we had three picks with an annualized return of 20 percent or more along with three boasting returns well into the teens, three selections underperformed the market. Here’s what stood out.




Biggest hit:

James Lipman

1984–91 Ferrari Testarossa (26% annualized return)

Leave it to Ferrari to smack you in the face with a brash new car. That’s exactly what the Testarossa did to onlookers when it hit the streets. No car epitomizes the 1980s quite like it, and four decades on, the Testarossa still has that face-slapping effect. And while its outright performance has been trumped by countless machines (including some pretty mundane ones) in those ensuing decades, the TR’s wailing 380-hp flat-12 will still send you to 60 mph in just over 5 seconds, with a top end of 180 mph. Plenty quick.

By the early 2000s, the Testarossa had inevitably lost some steam in the used-car market, and it seemed like they’d be $50K exotics forever. But as we entered the mid-2010s, collector interest took off, and between 2014 and 2017, these cars jumped into the $125K realm. Things settled down for a spell, until late 2020, when buyers stepped on the gas pedal again, and now you’ll need a bit more than $200,000 to land a #2 (Excellent) example. Which is all to say that the Testarossa was a solid pick, providing owners a 26 percent annualized return since 2020, against 5.0 percent for the market at large during the same time. Fast, sexy, and a solid investment.

Biggest miss:

Jag XK120 front three-quarter
James Lipman

1948–54 Jaguar XK 120 OTS (-1% annualized return)

Few cars carry such timeless appeal as the XK 120. Even its XK 140 and 150 sisters lack the purity that makes the 120 resonate with so many people over so many generations. When we selected the 120 for our 2021 Bull Market List, it had been on a downward trajectory in the market—falling nearly seven percent in the previous three years. The car’s value graph over the last decade looks like rough seas in the North Atlantic, so no one was surprised by this; instead, we saw a big opportunity. The XK’s most recent bottoming-out came shortly after it made our list, just as the pandemic took over our lives. From mid-2020, prices climbed slowly and steadily, to a peak of $146,000 in January of this year for a #2 car. And down they’ve tumbled once more, so that the same Jag will now set you back about $129K.

Which is all to say that the XK 120 has posted a negative annualized return, down one percent, since it made our list. It is one of only four cars out of the 60 that have comprised our Bull Market picks since 2018 to post a negative result. Fear not, we say; collectors will always love this pretty kitty. If you happen to own one right now, we’re sure you do, too.

Honorable mention:

Lexus LFA front three-quarter action
James Lipman

2011–12 Lexus LFA (23% annualized return)

Sometimes, supercars make the list, and in 2021 we featured two of them: the 2005–06 Ford GT and the 2011–12 Lexus LFA. Although the GT is no slouch and has outpaced the market with a 10 percent annualized return, the LFA absolutely took off. We valued a #2 LFA at around $575,000 for our 2021 list; today expect to pay north of $800K. Prices are flat at the moment, but only after a serious jump between May ’21 and May ’22. How long they will remain flat is anyone’s guess.




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