Introducing the RADindex

Hagerty Media

The Ferrari California Spider* in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is arguably the most memorable movie car of the 1980s. It was very valuable then, and it’s even more valuable today. But what if the everyday background cars in that movie, cars like the Pontiac Fiero or Audi 5000, also became collectible? Hard to believe? Just go to a RADwood show to see how beloved these cars already are. (The next one is in SoCal on November 11th.)

Further proof of this era’s appeal is in the rising values for cars from the 1980s and 1990s, which is why we put together a new index to help track market changes for these vehicles.

Introducing the RADindex

Attrition for cars like the Pontiac Fiero and Audi 5000, combined with growing demand from enthusiasts of the 1980s and 1990s, has resulted in higher prices for the best vehicles of that era. The RADindex, which averages the condition #2 (“excellent”) Hagerty Price Guide value of 21 of the most popular and desirable vehicles built from 1980-99, currently sits at just over $75,000.

The index has increased by 66 percent over the past five years, which outperforms all of Hagerty’s other collector car indexes. For comparison, the second strongest growth during this timeframe comes from the Affordable Classics Index, which has increased in value by 53 percent since 2018. It also beats the S&P 500, which is up 48 percent over the same five-year period.

Greenwich Concours event DeLorean DMC12 front doors up
Hagerty Media/Deremer Studios

Over the last 12 months, the index, like the rest of the market, has become quieter, increasing only 3.1 percent (here, the S&P 500 wins with a 16 percent return.) Standouts over the past year tend to be options from the more accessible side of the spectrum: the 1990 Chevrolet Camaro IROC and the 1990 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 convertible are up 18 and 20 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, more expensive or exotic cars that saw aggressive gains from 2017-22 are adjusting downward to find new footing. The 1988 BMW M3 fell 9 percent over the last year, while the 1990 Nissan 300ZX Turbo came down 20 percent.

As Ferris says, life moves pretty fast. If you haven’t stopped to look at this part of the market, you could have missed it. Hagerty’s RADindex will make it easier for you to keep up.

* We know they didn’t use a real example in the movie.


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    I find many of these prices artificially high and I expect they will not have real staying power.

    Yes the Ferrari will remain high but lets face it that is not a car most people shop. Even the Lancia.

    The IROC as much as I like them has to be perfect for that price. The ZR 1 has been a target in the media trying to drive up the stale price for a car most ignored and continue to ignore as parts are expensive if you can find them and these cars in low miles are not exactly one of 400 rare.

    Call me a skeptic but just the way I see it. Rad Wood may help with values but there are no Shelby Cobra or Ferrari GTO in this lot.

    Buy not got investment in this group buy for enjoyment. Should you make a profit great if not you have a car you like.

    Not sure why I find the Radindex to be just stupid. I own a car in this “group” and I don’t get it.

    Great…another data point for the investment-grade “enthusiasts” to use to scoop up all of the (once) affordable and formerly unknown (forgotten) “Rad-era” cars, pump them and dump them well out of the reach of folks for whom they were aspirational dream cars. Stick to air cooled Porsches and crayon-colored Mopars, please.
    Car collecting for the sole purpose of return on investment is ruining the hobby. RADwood only became a thing because nobody wanted these cast-offs in the first place. It was a gag, until folks started showing up on instagram in ridiculous tracksuits, Flavor-Flav clock necklaces and brown 80s station wagons getting millions and millions of eyeballs and reactions. Now they do it for the ‘gram. 🙄

    Can you imagine trying to convince your mom not to donate/trash that multi-colored neon puffy jacket or trucker hat because one day some wealthy hipster (ha! Like *they’ll* ever get wealthy with that ridiculous ponytail and rolled-cuff jeans…) would come along and offer you real money for it? She’d laugh all the way to goodwill and back. Seriously, mom, I want my Turtle Van back.

    I understand Hagerty is just trying to leverage their (admittedly massive) collection of analytics to provide corporate value and click-through.

    Many of these cars are decidedly terrible, but it smacks of looking to make a quick buck riding the wave of popularity before the market cycles down again…who will be left holding the bag? How many niche corners of the hobby need to be ruined before people start closing doors and adopting a closed-shop mentality?

    I have a 1987 Pontiac Fiero GT that I absolutely love. (I’m totally an 80’s girl!) I’m so glad that these cars are finally get some deserved recognition. It was not bought as an investment, it was bought because I love the Fiero and the short history of this car. We have a local 80’s / 90’s car club and it’s nice to see some of the younger people getting involved in car collecting. I’m not sure about some of the “rad” cars on the list but I think if it keeps car collecting relevant then I’m all for it.

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