Thought these 5 classics would go up forever? Think again

Jason Hadfield

The latest update to the Hagerty Price Guide looked pretty normal … which struck us as kind of weird. Over the past two years, as collectors paid unprecedented prices for everything from 1960s muscle to 2000s Japanese-market imports, we’ve become accustomed to wild and wide-reaching gains. Yet as Hagerty Insider crunched the data for the valuation January 2023 update, it became clear that inflation, as well as general economic uncertainty, was finally tamping buyers’ enthusiasm.

As a result, we saw more cars lose value than gain from our last price guide update in October (15.7 percent of the cars in the book were down, compared to 11.2 percent that went up). Many of the losers are rides that have been gaining for a long time—if you missed out on one of the cars below because it became too expensive, maybe there’s hope.

That said, the effects of 2022’s market peak are still with us: some 63 percent of the cars in our guide are worth more this January than they were this time last year. So don’t expect outright bargain basement prices.

1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS: Down 22 percent since October 2022

Chevrolet Chevelle SS front three quarter

The 1968–72 Chevrolet Chevelle is something of a bellwether car—we watch them for swings in the market. That’s partially because there are a lot of them and they sell often. Chevelles are also the sort of vehicle coveted by folks who represent the heart of the collector car market, at least in the United States—well-off enough for discretionary purchases like a collector car but not necessarily wealthy enough to be immune to economic pressures.

For much of 2022, Chevelles from this era gained value at a pace we hadn’t seen since the early 2000s. However, for our latest update, we noted sale prices of big-block 1971 Chevelles are down. Some of this could be particular to the year: The ’71 model year doesn’t get the attention of the ’70 model year, when the Chevelle could be had with the mighty, 450-hp LS6 big-block. Yet there’s also little doubt that these venerable muscle cars are also signaling prevailing trends in the market.

1967–70 Shelby GT500: Down 12 percent since October 2022

Shelby GT500 side view
Don Rutt

As with other big-ticket muscle cars, GT500s stepped back a bit toward the end of the year. We’ll admit we were surprised, though, to see the 1967 GT500s on our drop list, considering that it’s the last year that Carroll Shelby had direct involvement in the GT350/GT500.

Mecum Kissimmee, kicking off as we speak with a raft of high-end muscle, will provide important clues as to whether the declines in this segment are temporary or indicative of something larger.

1975–1978 Datsun 280Z: Down 16 percent since October 2022

Datsun 280Z front three quarter

The buried lede here is that the 240Z—a car that has been gaining in value for seemingly forever—has been softening of late. However, the effect of that drop is more profoundly felt in one of the cars that followed it, the 280Z. As the 240Z climbed into the stratosphere, 280Z prices followed, as we’d expect given the principle of substitution. However, with the “real thing” now coming back into the realm of affordability for many collectors, there’s less reason to settle for the rubber-bumper 280Z (even though, to be clear, many of us would be just fine with a 280Z, and appreciate the drivability improvements thanks to its fuel-injected engine).

2004–2006 Dodge Ram SRT-10: Down 13 percent since October 2022

Dodge Ram SRT-10 front three quarter

Transactions for Ram SRT-10s, a.k.a Viper Pickups, softened noticeably toward the end of the year, and not just with a few isolated sales. Everywhere you look, these V-10 trucks were going for less. These trucks, much like Datsun Zs, have been on a tear the past couple of years, so this could be the market settling in from its peak.

Note, the drop pertains to the standard cab trucks, which came with manual transmissions. Quad Cabs did not drop because there was already a steep discount for their automatics.

1909–27 Ford Model T: Down 10 percent since October 2022

Ford Model T front three quarter
Matt Drilling

In many corners of the market right now, it’s easy to be convinced prices are still going up based on what sellers are asking. Yet as early as last June, we started noticing that sellers were in many cases trying to cash in on perceived rather than actual appreciation.

This is precisely the scenario playing out with Ford Model Ts at the moment. If you look at what sellers are trying to get for their cars, it looks like the market is up. Completed transactions, however, tell a completely different story. We also saw fewer Ts selling overall in the last quarter of 2022—a sign that buyers are not ready to pay what sellers think their cars are worth.

All this said, it is important to note that fluctuations in the price of the Model T are very small. A double-digit drop, percentage wise, is in many cases a matter of only a few hundred dollars. In this way, too, the venerable Tin Lizzy is indicative of broader market trends: most established classics likely won’t change much in price, no matter prevailing conditions, because the people buying them know precisely what they want and how much it should cost.

Via Hagerty Insider


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    Interest is down on model T cars and they never were expensive accept for a few models.

    The Dodge Ram truck is just an old truck compared to the TRX.

    The Datsun has never really done great unless it is in perfect condition. Many are sitting with the engine out either half rebuilt or waiting on a SBC that never arrived.

    71 Chevelles were big for folks that could not afford the 70 and prior cars. If you could not do a LS6 you bought a 71. Low compression and lower HP always hampered prices.

    Most big auction prices effect values and not in an accurate way. Barrett Jackson and others can drive prices up and lead to a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling after a few drinks and bidding in front of buddies.

    We often see these cars bought for a record price and then back to the auction a year later sold for half what was paid.

    It’s amazing what that “FOMO” effect can do. Look what it’s done in the real estate market. Those auction houses are very smart offering free drinks to those bidders…..😀

    Agreed. Never refer to auctions or Hagety for car values. I have friends that try and sell their vehicles at Hagerty prices and guess what? They don’t sell them for any where near Hagerty or Auction houses. A vehicle is only worth what the beholder will pay for it. My million friends go to auctions and over pay stupid money for cars they could get for 1/2 to 2/3rds what they paid at auction. Some are insane. Check out BAT.

    Except that the TRX does not have a V10, nor a 6-speed stick. Does one want a seamless new truck with very high capabilities, or a truly visceral experience?

    Frankly, both the ’70 and ’71 Chevelles are ugly compared to the sleek ’68 and ’69. I’d much rather have one of them with the L89 SS396 over the 454.

    The 71 Chevelle had the highest HP option ever in the Chevelle, 485 HP dual quad 454; the drop in compression and power in US cars began in 1972.

    Exactly…when someone asked me about these gals with tattoos, I told him “you don’t see bumper stickers on a high class Ferrari, do you?”. He got my point…

    … or if you *do* then it’s a very naughty (perhaps illegal in some US states?) misuse of a bumper sticker.
    Maybe this could only happen in England but in Southampton I did see a “My other car is a Porsche!” bumper sticker –
    – displayed on a Ferrari 308 GTB.

    That’s my 280z in photo at top of article! Hagerty Track Day in Oct. 2018, Lime Rock Park. Fun day. I bought it from original owner with 111k miles. A great driver that I enjoy. I am preserving more than restoring with period correct minor mods. Look forward to more track days. It made trip from NY to Reno to LA and back in 2019. Eighty five mph ALL DAY across Wyoming and Utah, no problem; and that was before refurbishing entire fuel and exhaust system. Thanks, Hagerty.

    Fiberglass repro bumpers, custom fab brackets to attach them. It is a 1978 280z. Looks so much cooler when you take those park benches off the ends. Looked better with NO bumpers than with the benches. New fiberglass front valence with aero lip -original not worth repairing. Rest of body is original excluding patches.

    Thats awesome! I thought when I saw that pic “man, I wonder what the guy (or gal) thinks that this car belongs to”. I think most true enthusiasts don’t care what the market does, other than it making it hard to get in the hobby for some, which stinks. idc what the “value” is of my cars. The value is in enjoying them. I hate all these auction companies and the big dollar collectors. In my opinion they have ruined a good thing with outright greed.

    I agree totally! The value of a any vehicle is what it means to the owner. I love driving my small block 67 Firebird because it garners a lot of interest and being a one owner car brings many good memories for me. It’s worth a million to me!

    You are absolutely correct. It’s no fun when things get so expensive. I’ve owned several early 911s and it was fun to hot rod them, while still keeping them nice. I’m not paying those stupid prices for one now. They are still primitive cars..

    I am a big musclecars fan – especially GM. had a couple ’67 GTOs, ’67 Cutlass convertible and now a 2nd owner ’71 Cutlass SX. Not a huge fan of Chevys like the article stated, there seem to be a bazillion Chevelles, Camaros out there and see the same thing at every car show. I prefer the “odd ball” cars, like my Olds, Buick Wildcats, Talladegas, Mercury Cyclones to name a few. Many of these were low production but look awesome IMO. Don’t get me wrong, a 70 convertible Chevelle is a awesome ca for sure but they are a dime a dozen. Every car manufacturer has these low production cars and I really appreciate how other people recognize that as well. Keep em running!!

    I hav a 93 Sports Car Cutlass Supreme Convertible For sale $4700 iwobot, that IS An Overpass, i thoughtSo.
    775.two34 two007
    Will send pix
    Meet .5 way
    Fun with whips
    Am i rite?

    Cars (like anything else) Can become over valued –Pricing potential buyers out of the market–then comes the “Correction” you might have to wait 5/10 or more yrs Before you can even get your money back– Much like the stock market-

    I offered $12k for a 1967 Toyota 2000GT in 1983 and walked away when the Seller wouldn’t come off his $15k asking price. Still waiting for that market correction.

    I am sure that you will find that most large (4000 pound+), gas-guzzling trucks (realistic 8 to 12 Miles to the gallon) lose some type of value when gas jumps 50% to 100%. If gas does not go below $3.00 a gallon this summer, you may find these trucks drop further more in value.

    I would be happy if gas only dropped to $3.00 per gallon! You apparently do not live is California, as we have been raped with high fuel prices for years. Please send us some $3.00 gas 🙂

    No actually the greedy oil companies…
    BTW- we came to read about automobile related stories here please. Not political comments.

    Are greedy oil companies just gouging California? How does that work when the rest of the country is very close to three bucks or below?

    California’s gasoline prices are a function of state and local governmental policies that: (1) discouraged or prevented development of refinery capacity to match the state’s voracious growing appetite for gasoline; (2) limited new retail gasoline service stations, thereby limiting competition; and (3), probably most significant, high fuel taxes — the latter often being the single biggest difference in state-to-state price comparisons for motor fuels. Oil companies may be greedy, and we may not be happy with their profits (and profiteering), but there’s little reason to believe they single out California for higher prices than normal market forces, shaped by the effects of the historical considerations identified above, would support. If you live in California and are unhappy with fuel prices, consider moving to a lower-tax state (any other State in the U.S.) or support lower fuel taxes by the State of California (and be prepared to support alternative funding sources for the state projects that you enjoy which are funded by the State’s fuel taxes).

    A corporation has an obligation to it’s shareholders to provide the best possible return on their investment. I am sure you would require the same. This is capitalism not communism.

    Nope – greed is Propagated by payroll and incentives to executives and management. There is no rule that says you charge what ever the market will bare – just ask Kodak, Polaroid, Zerox, Singer. Home Depot CEO = runs company stock down, gets 12 Million to leave. GE Jack runs GE in to ground, and crash lands getting out with millions. Give Americans $1800 Of pandemic money one year and Corporate Greed taking 180% out of the pockets of every American. Clearly the right of the consumer is blown up and corporations self interest are carpet bombing.

    You are so right. I just purchased 12 gallons of regular gas for my Ford Ranger and the taxes were $18 plus. California is a money pot for politicians.

    rick, That is why I now live in Idaho. I can buy REAL gas, NO ethanol, for my 1979 motorcycle. Gas is still about $3.60 per gallon in the Boise area, but I don’t need to drive much as I’m retired.

    And I thought we in the UK were hard done by!! todays UK prices on 10% Ethanol $ 6.96 / US gallon
    Count your blessings guys while you can World fuel prices will catch up !!!

    Oh i just sent u some gas. Harhar. Seriously though it just slipped out while i was reading ur need 4 gas $3.00

    Really? My take is that nobody “needs” a truck or car like the ones discussed here. They are fun cars driven on weekends, etc. for enjoyment. I don’t think the price of gas matters very much to those who can afford a toy and control how much it’s used; I know it doesn’t matter to me and my fuel-inefficient toys. I just don’t see prices nose-diving based on MPG, I think it’s other factors that are responsible.

    I don’t believe gas prices have any bearing on the collector car market. Most of these vehicles are driven limited miles, for fun. Who cares if you are getting 5 miles to the gallon when you are letting it rip! Lol

    Don’t watch the auctions but I own a ’67 Shelby GT350 (low VIN 00000000##). bought new at dealer. Only 19000 original miles! In climate controlled storage since 1989. Have all the providence to go with the car (original bill of sale, PDI sheet, build sheet, owners manual, warranty card, owner’s manual etc.) Paid $ 4,322.00 Canadian out the door. Was offered $195,000.00 US $ by a collector out of Chicago. Turned him down.

    At the top of this list should be the new Ford Broncos for which many dudes paid outrageously inflated prices a year ago. You are already seeing these over-priced cars on Car Max lots and online for much less.

    IMHO I would think that all non Resto Mod TRI FIVE Chevrolets would be on this list. Seem’s even the nut and bolt restorations are down significantly.

    Supply and demand. With all the restoration parts so easy to get and actually priced fairly because of competition it’s now much easier to take a “rusted beater” and make it like new again. I live in the SF Bay Area and hardly blink at restoration muscle cars and classics out on a sunny Saturday. No more hunting through junk yards for an elusive part! Just open your browser and the part is yours for a click. Less of us older buyers who grew up with these cars and too many really good affordable used “modern” cars that the younger crowd grew up with.

    Jim F
    I think you’ve hit on one factor that will continue to affect the price of some ’60 muscle cars. Probably not the big ticket, rare or especially notable cars, like original Cobras (both 289 and 4270, Mid 60s bi-block Corvette convertibles (and ’63 split-window coupe), Ford GT-40s, early 389 Tri-power 4-speed GTOs, etc. But likely the second tier or “substitutes” will be affected most. That is the fact that the major buyer support for these cars came from us Baby Boomers who grew up with them, lusted after them, and frequently couldn’t afford them at the time. As we aged and our financial situations improved (especially after our kids got through college), we could afford those cars of our youth and bid up the prices. Now that we’re largely retired, with less discretionary disposable income, and concerned about funding our retirement years, spending $80,000 to $100,000 on a restored ’60s muscle car that we’ll drive a handful of times a year seems less prudent (or at least less likely to survive the review process involving spouses that have historically under-appreciated automobiles in general and collector cars in particular (this is after all an overwhelmingly male hobby). The decrease in potential buyers due to age (and death) is likely to have the greatest impact on this segment of the available supply of collectible cars.
    And I’m still looking for a numbers matching original 1966 Pontiac GTO 389 Tri-Power 4-speed convertible, black on black on burgundy or triple black (not too particular). (The original Tri-Power 4-speed combination is usually the problem. Too many 400 cu. in. engine swaps or Tri-Power conversions of original 4-bbl cars.)


    Jeffrey: FYI… Typing a response in all caps is the equivalent of yelling. Not very friendly or socially acceptable.

    Many need to come down a whole lot more so regular people can afford to buy at least one of the regular option cars. Some think their plain Malibu’s with the 307 are worth big money and there are more SS’s out there than GM built (clones not advertised as such). Speculators and ‘investors’ ruin the hobby for the rest of us. It does cost a lot to restore a car and those people want to get back some of their $ when they sell, but the 6 figure prices of some cars is NUTS!

    I Agree but for me it’s more about the Nostalgia and Connection from our youth. I drive a 1967 Chevelle SS396 138 code VIN not a Clone or restomod.
    That year I graduated High School and car was only $2850 at local Chevy Dealership.
    My son and I did Complete Restoration lasting 13 yrs Frame Off every Nut & Bolt for around $16K Total if you add up Receipts. And YES it’s probably more about the ride and the Experience than finished products. I have insured w/ Hagerty for $57.5K

    I agree. The Chevelle SS396 was the pinnacle. Yeah the LS6 was a brute, but not many made it to the street. The SS 396 carried the brand in the muscle car years. Affordable, fast, big enough to load your buddies, great sound, easy to wrench on, stout rear end, and great looks.

    Agree! The L89 was king of the street back then, although a well-tuned Hemi could beat it. But Hemis were few and far between.

    Yea, I too was a ’67 HS Grad, and I used to eat those Chevelle SS 396’s for breakfast with my ’60 Pontiac 383 Tri-Power, the only thing I changed was to a ’55 B&M Beefed Hydro Trans. What I loved was the super sleek look, and most saw me as as sleeper.

    Michael – I got a 67 Malibu 327 325 horse got in high school 2000 bucks four-speed posi love it been restoring it for 15 years

    Once I buy a vehicle I never think or care what it’s worth … I am now 73 years old and own 17, mostly bought new, from my 1978 Thunderbird delivered 9/21/77 to my 2022 Mustang GT convertible delivered 9 months ago. I never get rid of my “nice” cars – the exception being daily drivers that I wear out over 20 years+/- and use for 250-300k miles of more. Makes for far more restful sleep and less stress in one’s life!

    I agree, John. Buy what you love and keep it until you don’t. If your purchase goes up in value, lucky you. But, don’t buy a vehicle because you want to screw the next purchaser by selling it soon after you take delivery – at a hefty profit. There’s a place in hell for those folks.

    There was a guy with your name who lived in the next town over from me who had a new ’68 Hemi Road Runner, traded for a new ’69 Hemi Charger, traded for a new ’70 Hemi Challenger! Bet he wishes he’d kept all three of those!

    Hey John, man after my own heart! Bought my 64 Impala, 68 Eldorado, 73 vw new. Drive em when I want. Issue is, that at 81, my wife is afraid Ill croak and leave Her problems. Meanwhile, in my shop they set!

    My neighbor was the original owner of an immaculate 1964 Mustang convertible. Left it to his grandson when he passed. The kid immediately sold it. No family heirloom sentimentality there.

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