4 key takeaways from the 2024 Bull Market List

James Lipman

There is exhaustive back and forth involved deciding exactly which vehicles make the Bull Market List. After that, and after we’ve experienced each enough to capture the moment in words and images, and after we commit our data for each to produce detailed charts putting them in context alongside past selections, we pause for a moment. Then, our roster of car lovers and data analysts step back and look for meaningful, big-picture takeaways. Here are 4 insights we gleaned from examining our 2024 Bull Market selections as a whole.

Try this instead of that

Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition birds-eye overhead
James Lipman

The practice of substitution—a similar experience for less money—has long played a role in the collector car world. It’s especially strong during and just after a hot market where everyone’s favorite rides have increased dramatically in value. Perhaps unsurprisingly, substitution is a factor for nearly half the vehicles on this list.

While at first blush it might seem silly to call the Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary edition a substitution choice, the earlier, less adorned models have long been more expensive. Jag’s XKR tickles the British grand touring fancy nearly as well as (some would say better than) an Aston Martin DB7 Vantage. Looking for ’60s high-brow cruising? the Ford Thunderbird scratches a similar itch to a Lincoln Continental from the same era. As is common among BMW M cars, once one generation begins to take off, the next one is often poised to perform similarly. The BMW E9X M3 is on deck.

Drop it like it’s hot

Chrysler Town & Country side profile pan action
Cameron Neveu

Even though convertibles are disappearing from the new car market (in large part because cars are themselves disappearing as SUVs take hold), they haven’t been forgotten by enthusiasts. Long a collector car staple, convertibles are typically, with few exceptions, more valuable than their tin-topped siblings. Half the vehicles in the Bull Market List have tops that come down—and we have an inkling that this body style may become even more prized as new options fall away.

Too much Enough of a good thing

Chevrolet Impala SS engine bay
James Lipman

More is often better, at least as far as cylinders are concerned in the eyes of collectors. Eight of our picks had at least eight cylinders available in their strongest offered engines. Call it part of the character factor, but this Bull Market and the data that supports it suggests that vehicles with eight, 10, or 12 cylinders will likely be increasingly collectible.

The Bull Market can often be seen as a microcosm for the collector market, and in this case, that applies. We only add vehicles to the Hagerty Price Guide if they meet data points that confirm their collectibility, and among the younger vehicles from the 2010s that have made it into the Price Guide, 59% of those have at least eight cylinders. That only trails the shares of vehicles from the 1960s and 1970s (65 and 68%, respectively).

Maturing later in life

Taking a chance can cut both ways. A couple of our picks weren’t popular when new, but rarity tends to help collectibility, and tastes can change, making for a collector vehicle poised to make strides in value. Two examples from opposite ends of the enthusiast spectrum illustrate this well.

Ferrari’s FF didn’t sell in large numbers when new. Sacrilege surrounded it—all-wheel drive, no manual, and what on earth was going on with the design out back? Well, the world has eased its stance somewhat on these transgressions, and when you combine that with the fact that the FF is now rarer than many contemporary Ferrari models, you have the potential for a rising classic.

There’s not a lot in common between a Ferrari and a Jeep, but we noticed an area of overlap between how the FF and Jeep’s CJ-8 are now perceived vs. the initial response they got in the market. When the CJ-8 was introduced in 1981, people didn’t quite know what to do with it. The extended chassis variation of the CJ-7 was bigger than what people had come to recognize the venerable off-roader to be, but it wasn’t quite in the same league as more established SUVs from the period. As a result, though AMC churned our several hundred thousand CJ-7s during its production run, the CJ-8 couldn’t muster 30,000 units. Now, Jeep enthusiasts have warmed to the additional utility a longer wheelbase affords, and its comparative rarity may help the CJ-8 on its trajectory as a collectible.

If the vehicles on this year’s list seem surprising, check out our past performance scorecards to see how our analysis stacked up for past selections.

 

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Comments

    As to your last point, I wonder if the introduction of newer models helped rise in collectability of the older. Ferrari now has a real SUV. In the current viewpoint an AWD shooting brake isn’t so sacrilegious. With the introduction of the Gladiator, which seems to be selling well, people are realizing that Jeep did this before, ya know…

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