The 25 hottest collector vehicles this spring
The dynasty continues. For the fifth consecutive time, the 1966–77 Bronco sits atop the Hagerty Vehicle Rating with 97 points, and a younger sibling—the 1978–79 Bronco—is on the doorstep. The second-generation Bronco is tied for third with the 1984–91 Jeep Grand Wagoneer at 92 points, one behind the 1967–72 Chevrolet C/K Series Pickup, which has 93.
“The 1966–77 Bronco has been riding high for a while, and the biggest driver continues to be Hagerty Price Guide values,” says Hagerty Valuation Editor Andrew Newton. “They can’t keep rising forever, but for now there seems to be no stopping it.
“Every Bronco currently has an HVR of over 80, and it makes sense that someone on a budget is going to choose the second-gen Bronco over the first-gen Bronco,” he says. “Let’s face it, prices for first-gen Broncos are getting a little ridiculous for what they are. They have a median #3 (Good) condition value of more than $31,000, and the 1978–79 Bronco has a median #3 value of barely $12,000. For a lot of buyers, it’s a no-brainer.”
So, what is the Hagerty Vehicle Rating? The data-driven rating is based on a 0–100 scale and considers the number of vehicles insured and quoted through Hagerty, along with auction activity and private sales results. A 50-point rating indicates that a vehicle is keeping pace with the overall market. Ratings higher than 50 show above-average interest, while vehicles with a sub-50-point rating are lagging behind the market. The HVR is not an indicator of future collectability, but it says a lot about what’s trending hot and what’s not.
The second-place 1967–72 Chevy C/K Series Pickup has been a frequent member of the Top 25. It is historically significant in that it was one of the first major truck lines to add comfort and convenience features from cars; previous pickups were sold with more utilitarian equipment and interiors.
Although the HVR is dominated by trucks and SUVs, per usual, cars did well again as a dozen cracked the Top 25, the most since July 2018. Leading the charge are the 1973–77 Pontiac Grand Prix, 1979–85 Mazda RX-7, and 1977–81 Toyota Celica, which are tied for fifth with 91 points apiece.
“The big driver for the Pontiac is Hagerty Price Guide changes,” Newton says. “Since they’re so cheap, it only takes a few hundred bucks to make for a big swing percentage-wise, and that seems to be what happened here—although Pontiacs in general are seeing renewed interest.
“Same goes for the RX-7. We moved prices by quite a bit, and at their low value, even minor changes make a big difference, percentage-wise. Buyer interest is way up on those as well. People are drawn to the good looks, lively driving dynamics, affordable price and the novel rotary powertrain, which in the early RX-7s is simpler and easier to work on than later RXs.”
Speaking of values, 23 of the 26 vehicles (there’s a tie for 25th) have a media #3 value of $18K or less, and all of them are below $34K, which means most activity is at the entry level. Also interesting: Every vehicle is a truck, a German or Japanese performance car, or a cheap domestic luxury car. The average price of vehicles in the Top 25 is $13,874.
The 1971–73 Buick Riviera made the largest jump to crack the Top 25. With an eight-point increase from 81 to 89, it rose from 58th into a tie for 16th. Prices are up 3.7 percent since the beginning of the year, and as prices remain high for perennial muscle car favorites, it’s only natural that the bigger, big-block-powered personal luxury cars would begin to catch up.
Other significant risers are the 1990–98 Mazda MX-5 Miata, which improved five points to 89 and rose from 42nd to 16th, and the 1977–84 Cadillac DeVille, which gained five points and climbed from 33rd to 12th.
The 1993–2002 Mazda RX-7, which was as high as third in January, fell from eighth into a tie for 16th and slipped below 90 points (89) for the first time in nine ratings.