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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    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.

    Had a 70 Boss 302 when I was 20. Now I’m 66 and still miss it. Just bought a 2007 Shelby gt. Really like it a lot but still think the 60 and early 70 model cars were the best.

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