Never Stop Driving #68: Buying season

James Lipman

I spent this past weekend at a racetrack wishing for the rain to stop instead of driving. We were there to photograph ten cars for the upcoming Hagerty Bull Market List, our seventh annual look at collector cars that are on the upswing.

With data-driven insight from our valuation team, the list includes cars that are poised to appreciate, or at least not depreciate. Our goal has never been to identify a classic-car investment fund but rather to show folks—particularly newcomers to the collector-car hobby—how they could buy a car, enjoy it for a couple of years, and then move on for about what they paid. Amazing, right? The Bull Market is another example of how we encourage automotive passion. Support us by joining the Hagerty Drivers Club, which includes full access to Hagerty Valuation Tools.

Determining this year’s Bull Market List was especially challenging because the market is softening—the Hagerty Market Rating is at its lowest level in two years. Anecdotally, cars are selling for reasonable prices and there seems to be less fever.

Hagerty Price Guide publisher Dave Kinney and I do a biweekly podcast where we discuss the classic-car market (kindly listen and rate it). Kinney, who’s bought and sold thousands of cars over his multi-decade career, says that we are in the best buying season he’s seen in years. As always, however, the market presents conflicting sales. For example, this cherry Dale Earnhardt Edition Chevy Monte Carlo sold for just under 11 grand on Hagerty Marketplace. That’s a super cool car for less than one fourth the average price of a new car. Deal! On the other hand, there are still surprisingly strong sales such as this Dodge Stealth, which is in excellent condition, but not the top model, which found a buyer at $21,935, also on the Hagerty auctions. Many very interesting cars are going for reasonable money and my mouse finger is twitching to bid. If I had the room, I would have bid on this RX-8.

In my own garage, my 1986 Mustang GT will soon be available via Hagerty auctions. I hate to sell, but we barely drove it this year and I need the garage space. The restoration of my Ferrari GT4 continues to drag on, but eventually I will need the Mustang’s spot to do final assembly. Three years in, this project has already taken three times longer than I thought it would.

Last weekend was also the Detroit Concours, which was won by an extraordinarily elegant 1939 Delahaye (see all the amazing cars here). Elsewhere at Hagerty Media, we traveled to Ireland to see that nation’s drift scene and brought a 1949 Ford pickup back to life.

Get out and drive this weekend!

P.S.: Your feedback is very welcome. Comment HERE.

Please share this newsletter with your car-obsessed friends and encourage them to sign up for the free weekly email. The easy-to-complete form is here. And if you’d like to support the efforts of Hagerty Media, please consider joining the Hagerty Drivers Club.

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    Sales on certain cars may be softening but the restorers, custom and hot rod shops, and the high-end builds are doing very well

    Oh no, not bye, bye to the Mustang. I knew that Italian girl would push that American boy right out of the picture. Hope it goes to a good home. You say it has taken three times as long to complete the Dino, probably three times the money you thought. Not to rub it in, but that Mustang would never cost you so much. Oh, never mind. Only kidding. Many memories and adventures with the kids will be worth it when completed.

    When I got my German girl (560sl), my Mustang just moved over a spot and looked at her with her top down. One thing is for sure, a cheap Mercedes, means expensive Mercedes parts.

    Remember when you get it running, “Motion is Lotion, Rest is Rust”. Clean it, buff it, work on it, look at it, but the most important thing is DRIVE IT.

    Larry – I bought a brand new Mustang GT – black 5 speed – from Varsity Ford in Ann Arbor back when I was at Automobile Magazine. I’ve owned a lot of great cars over the years, and currently have four vintage rides, but I sure wish I still had my 1987 Mustang GT! Great cars – lots of fun to drive – bullet proof – loved that 5.0 liter sound – and those Recaro seats…all good!! I’m just suggesting you may want to think twice before you let go of the one you currently have!!

    Hang in there on the Ferrari. Projects always end up taking more time than you think. And spending more money that you thought you would. It’s worth it in the end.

    A quick bit of feedback on hagerty marketplace – make it filter-able by transmission. Some of us only want to look at manual cars :-). Until that happens, I won’t really spend too much time browsing.

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