The Collector Car Market Continues Its Slow Retreat

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After a brief bump last month, the Hagerty Market Rating slipped yet again. The Market Rating has dropped 19 of the 22 months since its 78.22 peak in the summer of 2022, to its lowest value in three years. That said, its current value of 65.41 is still higher than any point in the four years leading up to the Market Rating’s most recent surge.

The Hagerty Market Index, an open-ended stock market-style index of the Market Rating, has dropped 16 consecutive months. This is the longest unbroken losing streak in the Index’s history.

Inflation continues to impact the Market Rating. While the real value of the Auction Median Sale Price has remained unchanged the last three months, holding steady at $29,700, inflation has caused its Market Rating component metric to drop a full point during that time. Its current value of 38.03 is by far the lowest value of the Market Rating’s 14 component metrics and is the lowest this metric has ever been since it was added to the Market Rating calculation in 2011.

The market’s continued slide is evident in auction results as measured against estimates (which is not an input for the Hagerty Market Rating). In March’s Florida auctions, 68 percent of lots were bid below their low estimates, which was significantly higher than the 60 percent for the same set of events in 2023. As one industry expert noted, this growing gap indicates values are falling, as sellers’ aspirations are not adjusting quick enough to buyers’ dwindling willingness to pay. That said, our industry experts aren’t running for the hills, giving the current classic car market an average grade of 50—neither great nor devastating.

This uncertainty in values seems to be causing a disconnect in people’s perception of the real value of their classic cars. While the Hagerty Hundred—a Hagerty Price Guide index comprised of the 100 most insured vehicles—dropped to a 3-year low, the ratio of insured value increases-to-decreases for cars valued under $250,000 saw its biggest gain in nearly two years. This jump in the insured value ratio happened shortly after 14 consecutive months of decreases.


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    This is healthy for the hobby.

    One factor is demographics. Boomers are on their last cars, Gen Xers are in the market but the youth have very little affinity for cars in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

    Current youth have very little interest in cars. Period. As a Gen Xer, seems like our life revolved around cars. Now it’s the digital, virtual, social media world.

    You are so right. A local Ford dealer wanted me to come in to give me a free appraisal on my 2007 Ford Mustang convertible. I informed them that the car just turned over 100k miles and it was my forever car (since I was a boomer).They were surprised at my reply.

    I am an elder millennial (age 40 is millenial believe it or not). The problem is not interest in older cars. It is interest for the price. I would love an narly v8 mustang convertible or a mid year corvette convertible. But with a house and young kids, $40k+ for a toy is not a responsible decision. Now I can go buy a 90s-00s Jeep wrangler or Mustang convertible from my youth for a fraction of the price and enjoy taking the family for a drive just the same. My 1991 Toyota MR2 gets all the looks from guys my age. Picked it up 10 years ago for $3k and I am slowly working on it, but the two seater seldom gets driven now.

    As Moe Howard used to say, “Speak for yourself!” :<) At 68, I still have a few collectibles I hope to buy!

    Gen Xers preferences are so because they can’t afford
    the vintage collectible vehicles from the 90s and earlier.
    They don’t get enough allowance to afford it them.
    Time, and employment,
    will change that.🖖😎

    Gen X can’t afford those cars??!! You must mean Melinnials. I’ve owned 5 classic Porsches and 2 classic corvettes. And hundreds of my Gen X friends can say the same. We’re not rich, but shit, we’ve got enough discretionary $$ at this point in our lives to afford classic cars! And we’re all employed! What the hell are you talking about??!!

    must mean Melinnials. I’ve owned 5 classic Porsches and 2 classic corvettes. And hundreds of my Gen X friends can say the same. We’re not rich, but heck, we’ve got enough discretionary $$ at this point in our lives to afford classic cars! And we’re all employed! What are you talking about??!!

    I am a Millennial and own 2 exotics, a 03 Esprit, 2012 Virage, a 97 Defender 90, and several old Saabs. I don’t think age has much to do about it…

    The last auction I watched seemed like values were way down, it is worrying that younger people are not as interested as the boomers were. Economic pressures will also play a role..

    Let’s say for example I want my first car a 1968 cutlass in top condition that car is gonna cost 30k for one top condition for a car Iay drive one a week and every year parts get harder to find I sold my 89 caprice brougham LS because you had to wait sometimes weeks and really only drove the car once or twice a month

    Rebase the last index versus sp500 for the same time period.
    Basically, ‘the lazy rich’ would have kept their cash in SPY ETF, versus the ‘smarter than the market’ son who says ‘300sl’s are a better retubl

    I purchased my car because it appealed to me, not for potentially how much it could be sold for at some future date. It is hard to concern oneself with something that one cannot control .
    Time to enjoy the here and now.

    As a tail end boomer I kind of feel like I have been behind the curve on a lot of the cars I have desired most of my life, if the prices come down in the next few years I may be able to enjoy some things I had given up thinking I had a chance to afford.

    Calling this “the longest upbroken losing streak in the Index’s history” is true – strictly speaking. But c’mon; that drop from 2016 to 2021 was pretty much an upbroken losing streak. Yes, the chart shows a slight uptick in 2019, but that is probably within the statistical accuracy of the index. I’m not saying that the market isn’t slowing, but this has happened before.

    I do believe that the market as slowed down over the last 30 months but took a serious up tick during the pandemic 2020 to mid 2022 i think the markets in general are returning to levels that were pre 2020. But overall a rise on levels pre 2018.

    I agree with this being good for the hobby, it’ll bring more people into the mix that were “this close” to buying previously. It’s like when the home values come down – new blood enters the fray. I have a 66 GTO and a “new” 2008 GT500KR. I drive the GTO mainly because the KR is more appealing to my Grandson who will get it someday. (On those hotter days I’m in the KR, lol)

    I’m an old guy. I’ve been driving vintage Porsches, and others for years. I drive one most every day, and love every minute. That said, I have a shop (Hobby) and can work on them at will. ……..Jim.

    It’s the iffy economy, inflation, scary world issues, and slipping consumer confidence. Don’t forget just a few short years ago the collector car/ used/ car/ new car market was booming.

    It is about time. I am into other high end collectibles and this is happening there as well. Not sure if all the free money has finally been spent, or if everyone is finally feeling paying 33-40% more for everything or both.

    This could be the early beginning sign (recession) we all “missed” or talk about in the next year or two. . .

    Do you realize with the guy in the White House, gas and food have gone up 18% (Yes they leave that out of the CPI). Thus much less discretionary $

    Tim, what’s it gone ……….changed my mind; I was going to respond but there’s too much useless political comment here already.

    KV, you’re right as rain, because the Tims will never grasp that the oil companies set gas prices, that the US is producing more oil than at any point in our nation’s history, that shrinkflation and food prices are set by grocery chains,
    not the occupant of the Oval Office. And so, EZ answers to complex issues prevail.

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