Poised for growth


Due to noted increases in interest, these cars are best poised for growth

Over the last five years, the classic car market has experienced strong growth. And in many cases this aggressive appreciation has left some cars out of reach for many people, while representing sound investments for current owners. Consider a 1966 Ford Bronco: For good, condition 3 examples, values have increased from about $10,000 five years ago to over $16,000 today.

Nothing is static, however, and we’ve noticed that a few cars are potentially primed to appreciate. Based on metrics which consider the number of specific cars we insure and their valuations, phone and online quoting activity, auction results and private sales, the car we believe is best poised to appreciate is the 1984–93 Mercedes-Benz 190 Class.

The German’s values have tracked the overall market closely, but we’ve noticed a spike in the number of 190s that people have added to their policies, along with a jump in overall interest. Moreover, one of its closest competitors, the BMW 3-Series, has soundly outpaced it, with the best Threes (M3s, typically) now wretchedly unaffordable for most enthusiasts.

But us car folks are a determined bunch, and when our dream car speeds out of reach we readjust our expectations. Can’t afford a COPO (Central Office Production Order) or Yenko or Baldwin Camaro? Get a nimble, factory-built Camaro Z/28 or a bruising Camaro SS with a 396-cid V-8.

“A lot of appreciation in the collector car market is driven by substitution. Once you get priced out of a car, what do you move to next?” says Hagerty information analyst Jesse Pilarski.

This plays out with many of the cars listed below. For instance, the International Scout II looks placed to start appreciating more vigorously due to the aforementioned Ford Bronco, which remains popular. Now that the Bronco is too expensive for some, SUV lovers with smaller wallets must consider its competitors. Accordingly, Chevrolet Impalas become Biscaynes for some, Buick LeSabres for others.

Following some of the most in-demand cars right now, are the top 25 we believe are best positioned to appreciate:

1984-1993 Mercedes-Benz 190 87
1972-1980 International Scout II 85
1965-1970 Buick LeSabre 85
1985-1992 Cadillac Fleetwood 82
1960-1963 Ford Falcon 79
1969-1972 Ford LTD 79
1977-1984 Cadillac Fleetwood 79
1971-1975 Pontiac Grand Ville 77
1969-1976 Triumph TR6 76
1961-1964 Chevrolet Biscayne 75
1971-1978 Cadillac Eldorado 75
1958-1960 Ford Thunderbird 75
1949-1953 Oldsmobile 88 73
1964-1965 Ford Falcon 73
1949-1954 Chrysler New Yorker 72
1951-1969 Morgan Plus 4 72
1954-1956 Oldsmobile 88 72
1958-1960 Chevrolet Biscayne 72
1964-1968 Mercury Parklane 72
1966-1970 Ford Falcon 72
1975-1979 Cadillac Seville 72
1985-1988 Cadillac DeVille 72
1967-1976 Dodge Dart 70
1957-1958 Cadillac Series 62 69
1978-1987 Chevrolet El Camino 63

The Hagerty Vehicle Rating is a 0-100 score that tracks a car’s value change compared to the entire classic-car market. A car with a rating higher than 50 means it is appreciating faster than the overall market. A score below 50 means the car is lagging. While our rating algorithm uses Hagerty’s extensive valuation database and detailed market data—we go deep and include the number of recent insurance quotes and auction sell-through rates—the usual disclaimers apply: Use this score as a guide and not an indication of future results.

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