Top 10 under $10K: Chevy takes gold and silver

Chevrolet took the top two spots in the Hagerty Vehicle Ratings (HVR). But it was a mixed victory for Chevy fans.

While the 1973-87 Chevy C/K Series pickup stole the top spot from the ’73-79 Ford F-series, which slipped out of the Top 10, there are more Fords on the HVR list this time around than in the last installment. There are now three versus two. Chevy maintained four cars and trucks on the list.

The real surprise however, is the sudden appearance of British sports cars. Trucks are still hot and make up half of the Top 10, but the list was entirely domestic last time. The sudden shift is likely due to summer’s approach, as well as the flight to less risky purchases. We can’t help but wonder, though, why Corvette C4s or Japanese sports cars didn’t make the Top 10.

Regardless, Andrew Newton, Hagerty’s Auction Editor, doesn’t think we’ll see the Brits in the “Top 10 under 10” for long. “I don’t see a sustained increase for the two Triumph models. I think it’s an anomaly based on a couple of spectacular auction results,” Newton said. If you know what’s about to be cheap and popular, let us know in the comments below.

1973-1987 Chevrolet C/K Series Pickup 95
Average Condition #3 value: $7,700

Last time around, we said that these trucks were spiking in popularity. The median #3 value for one of these workhorses has increased about five percent in about two months. Earlier models still command more than the current $7700 median #3 value but quoting activity remains high as does their popularity. It seems like the 1973-87 C/K will be on this list for a while. Probably until values bust through the $10,000 mark.

1973-1991 Chevrolet Suburban 91
Average Condition #3 value: $8,300

Insurance and quoting activity have skyrocketed on these ‘Burbans. It’s easy to see why. They were based on the redesigned 1973 “Rounded Line” C/Ks and fitted with four doors for the first time. Rear-wheel- and four-wheel-drive were offered as were half-ton models and three-quarter ton models.

1966-1973 Triumph GT6 89
Average Condition #3 value: $6,900

Powered by an inline-6, this bargain-priced late ‘60s sports car is currently valued at $6900. Try getting into a Jaguar E-type for so little coin. Styling depends on the model year as the GT6 endured two facelifts. Early models were criticized for being tail-happy when the driver suddenly lifted off the throttle mid-corner. Wider rear tires should help with that.

1975-1980 MG Midget 84
Average Condition #3 value: $4,300

There’s no question that the Midget 1500 was hurt by U.S. bumper regulations. British Leyland, MG’s parent company at the time, fitted ugly black rubber bumpers (nicknamed “Sabrinas” in England; we’ll let you Google that one) to comply with those laws. There’s no question that the Midget’s design suffered for it, but it’s also the reason that their valuation is so relatively cheap. That their popularity is increasing (quoting activity is way up) is because they provide cheap thrills.

1978-1979 Ford Bronco 83
Average Condition #3 value: $8,600

Broncos remain popular no matter the generation. But the ‘78-79s are experiencing decent appreciation as older Broncos escape some buyers’ reach. If you’re interested in a less rustic ride, this redesigned model is the Bronco for you. The best part? The base engine is a 351-cid V-8.

1964-1965 Ford Falcon 81
Average Condition #3 value: $9,800

Ford’s compact car for the early ‘60s, these Falcons are seeing increased quoting and private-sales activity. You’ll probably want the 260- or 289-cid Windsor V-8 (the 289 option was added late in 1964), but those obviously command a premium.

1967-1972 Chevrolet Suburban 79
Average Condition #3 value: $9,400

Much like its successor, quoting activity on the ‘67-72 Suburban has increased dramatically over the last two months. Are people getting ready to buy or just kicking tires? If they’re interested in the three-door—one driver’s side, two passengers’ side—they better hurry as this one’s not too far from the $10,000 mark.

1965-1969 Chevrolet Corvair 78
Average Condition #3 value: $8,400

The second generation Corvair was largely phased out due to cost and complexity, not safety or handling concerns as Mr. Ralph Nader would like to believe. Chevrolet made room in its line-up due to the Ford Mustang’s, and later their own Camaro’s, success. They all featured fully-independent coil-spring suspensions and flat-6 engines, which made between 95 and 180 hp.

1961-1966 Ford F-series 78
Average Condition #3 value: $6,300

This was a tumultuous era for Ford trucks. Initially, the redesigned trucks used a “one-piece” body mounted on a frame (don’t call it unibody). But the handsome design proved unpopular due to anecdotes about doors sticking shut, or popping open, under load. So beginning in 1962 they offered customers an integrated or separate bed—the same one used in 1960. By ‘64 the option was gone and all trucks had separate beds.

1975-1981 Triumph TR7 78
Average Condition #3 value: $4,000

The U.S.-market TR7 lost 13 horsepower compared to the British version (92 hp vs. 105 hp) but thankfully retained the styling. Also, early quality problems were ironed out, more or less, as production continued. This is the least expensive car in the Top 10 under $10,000 and may have some room to run. But if Andrew Newton is correct don’t expect these to climb their way out of the basement soon.

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