Even we can’t believe the gains in the latest Hagerty Price Guide (and we wrote it)
We at Insider like to think we have a pretty good bead on classic car values. After all, we have a team of more than a dozen Hagerty analysts looking at millions of transactions—including private sales, insurance value changes, and prices reported through insurance quotes. Every so often, though, the pace of change in our industry surprises even us. The latest update to the Hagerty Price Guide is such an instance.
Over the past year, we’ve noted the growth of online auctions and seen an uptick in private-market activity, but the overall direction of classic car values remained unclear. Now, it is: The latest price guide tells us 2020 was one of the best years, ever, for classic car values.
You might fairly ask why this is good news. We don’t necessarily cheer on higher prices, which can lock enthusiasts—younger ones in particular—out of the hobby. But in this case, we’re encouraged, for a few reasons. First, the growth was from the ground up. The biggest value increases were for cars costing $25K or less. And as we’ve reported previously, many “driver”-condition cars are increasing in value faster than the concours-ready stuff. That tells us the interest in classic cars is coming from everywhere, not just the “1 percent.”
We also can’t help but note where we sat this time last year, wondering whether the pandemic would, in addition to all the general havoc it caused, wipe out the hard-earned cash many had invested in their garages. We’re relieved to see that the opposite has happened. It seems that as people were forced to cancel vacations and focus on their home-based hobbies, they discovered—or rediscovered—their love of classic cars.