2022 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.

2022’s Bull Market List selections produced a wide spread of valuation performance. On one hand, four cars managed to exceed a 25 percent annualized return (with one, the Volvo 240, yielding a massive 52 percent number), while four others essentially managed to tread water. As a whole, though, the group averaged an 18 percent annualized return, exceeding the collector market’s 5.2 percent.




Biggest hit:

1983 Volvo 240 front three-quarter
Matt Tierney

1981-93 Volvo 240 Wagon (52% annualized return)

Of the Volvo 240 Wagon, we said, “Until recently, no one—not even Volvo nerds—has ever considered the 245 anything more than ‘just a used car.’ As a result, so many have been lost to rust or the crusher. Now, the best ones have reached ‘fringe collector car’ status, but the fringe will only blur with time, until these weird cool cars level up to, ‘You paid how much?'”

That leveling up has happened. Nobody got wealthy from holding onto a 240 Wagon, but $26,800 for a #2-condition (Excellent) example is still a fair bit of coin. Though its rate of increase has slowed, great examples continue to trend upward.

Biggest miss:

1965 Mercedes 230SL front three-quarter
James Lipman

1963–67 Mercedes-Benz 230SL (-1% annualized return)

With its introduction in 1963, the W113-chassis Mercedes-Benz 230SL brought the allure and some of the sportiness of its predecessors to a broader audience. It might not have the presence of a 300SL Gullwing, but the “Pagoda” SL, so named for the raised edges along the sides of its removable hardtop, proudly wears its own distinctive design character.

The 230SL has experienced ebbs and flows within the collector market for decades now, and after increasing in value 35 percent between 2020 and 2021 (before the boom really hit its stride), the “Pagoda” SL is seeing its values recede once more. The car had been trending upward since 2016, even as its older 190SL sibling headed in the opposite direction.

One of just four other cars from all Bull Market Lists to post a one-percent loss in annualized return, the 230SL is nonetheless holding relatively steady as the overall market begins to cool.

Honorable mentions:

1968–76 Ferrari Dino 246 GT (33% annualized return) and 1986–95 Suzuki Samurai (32% annualized return)

These two automotive specimens could scarcely be more different from one another, but they share nearly the same percentage of annualized return. Both have been on a tear over the last 24 months, each with their own reasons for doing so.

The Dino, long considered less than a “real” Ferrari, was already on its way to legitimacy among collectors, and it more fully cemented its legacy with a flurry of strong market activity. In fact, its sales have begun to cross into, and sometimes exceed, the vaunted 365 GTB/4 Daytona’s territory. This mid-engined, small-displacement V-6 underdog now receives the reverence that many argued was long overdue.

While the Dino carves its way through mountain corners, the Suzuki Samurai bounds up and over hillsides, paved roads be damned. The little trucklet is riding atop a confluence of enthusiasm for Japanese vehicles and for SUVs among Gen-X-and-younger buyers. As a result, #2-condition Samurais can nudge 25 grand. Heady territory for the no-frills but boundless fun off-roader.




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    The Volvo wagon’s jump is the biggest surprise but it is simple and practical. Something that is hard to find these days. Same for the Suzuki Samuari. I didn’t like them when they were new but I understand the appeal.

    I’m wondering if , maybe, possibly, perhaps, the Volvo Wagons strong showing might be a bell weather of things to come. Are people tiring of todays car based platform SUV’s that will rarely, if ever , see a day off asphalt? A guy I know bought a Genesis GV 70 saying – ” I wanted to get something that didn’t look like a little old ladies car.” Okay, fine, makes him happy, but it still kind of does. The manufacturers are all trying to make their versions look a little bit different and in the process they all end up looking the same. Who might see the niche and bring an affordable attractive wagon/estate to market? Probably just wishful thinking on my part. Why the Dinos languished for so long is beyond me. I like that Mazda Rx a lot.

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