5 cars that are growing cold as the summer temps rise

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1948 Packard Eight Station Sedan RM Sotheby's

Last week, we took a look at six cars coming on strong halfway through 2019 (in other words, they’re getting pricier). As always, however, it’s a mixed market—there are also plenty of cars that are cooling off. Big time.

How do we know? By analyzing the Hagerty Vehicle Rating. [The HVR considers the number of vehicles insured and quoted through Hagerty, along with auction activity and private sales results. On a 0–100 scale, a 50-point rating indicates that a vehicle is keeping pace with the overall market, while ratings higher than 50 show above-average interest and vehicles with a sub-50 rating are lagging. A low score doesn’t mean a car is bad—just that it’s pacing below the market average.]

After updating the rating every month for the first half of the year, we found that most vehicles are hovering at or near the HVR they entered the year with. Then there are those handful of hot vehicles that we’ve already written about… and these that are as cold as ice. Grab your parka and read on.

Vehicle
1978–83 Porsche 911 44

1980 Porsche 911 SC Targa
1980 Porsche 911 SC Targa RM Sotheby's

Average value in #2 (Excellent) condition: $51,600

The 1978–83 911, called the 911 SC, has always been one of the more accessible air-cooled 911s. In other words, one of the cheapest. High production numbers, big bumpers, and detuned engines mean the SC isn’t high on many Porsche-philes’ wish lists. But it is a 911, and people went nuts for those a few years ago. Values grew 69 percent from 2013–16, and median condition #2 (excellent) values peaked late last year at $58,700.

That’s expensive. Too expensive, apparently, as the SC saw its Vehicle Rating go from 89 (among the highest of any vehicle we track) in January to 44 in June. Values were down about 3.5 percent when we updated values in May. Porche 911 mania has long since settled down, but even with the recent drop the SC just isn’t the great deal it used to be. Even within the Porsche family you can find better value. An early Boxster S is considerably quicker and costs just a fraction of the price. A 996 Turbo, meanwhile, only costs just a few grand more than an SC.

1948–50 Packard Eight 31

1948 Packard Eight Station Sedan
1948 Packard Eight Station Sedan RM Sotheby's

Median value in #2 (Excellent) condition: $19,000

Unlike many luxury automakers, Packard was able to survive the Great Depression with mass-produced, mid-priced cars. And after World War II, a car-hungry American public snatched up these Eights/Super Eights/Custom Eights. These days, though, it’s a little different. Postwar domestic cars in general are slipping in value, and the Packard Eight has the added detriment of being from a defunct manufacturer. Plus it’s a “Junior” series Packard; serious collectors want the larger, higher-tier “Senior” models.

Packard Eight values were either flat or down, some as much as 8 percent with the latest pricing update, and the Eight’s Hagerty Vehicle Rating has fallen four consecutive months. These are expensive cars to restore, and parts availability is certainly a little more complicated than a trip to Pep Boys. But one bright spot is that if these Packards keep getting more affordable, they’ll present a tempting buying opportunity for someone who wants something a little unusual yet still very stylish for not very much money.

1959–71 Land Rover Series II/Series IIA 63

1966 Land Rover Series IIA
1966 Land Rover Series IIA RM Sotheby's

Average value in #2 (Excellent) condition: $39,400

The Series II is a hugely important model in the Land Rover story. It established the signature barrel-sided shape and spread the company’s reputation, particularly to the more remote corners of the world, for rugged utility and go-anywhere spirit. Here in the U.S., where Series IIs weren’t sold in large quantities, they’re also a little more exotic than a Bronco or even a Toyota Land Cruiser. 

But while the Series II/Series IIA carried a very high Hagerty Vehicle Rating of 84 in February, that number has slipped a lot since then and is currently at 63. That means the vehicle is still ahead of the overall market, but it’s no longer at the front of the pack. Although values have risen 19 percent in the last three years, they’ve been flat so far this year, even as other vintage trucks keep getting more expensive.

1974–79 Ford Mustang II 51

1977 Ford Mustang II
1977 Ford Mustang II Barrett-Jackson

Median value in #2 (Excellent) condition: $5400

The Mustang II is the Mustang that often gets a hard time, but it had a bit of a moment earlier in the year when its Hagerty Vehicle Rating reached 65, largely thanks to a growth in buyer interest (measured by insurance quote activity). That said, Mustang II values have moved less than 2 percent for any model over the past three years and the model’s HVR is back to 51, which puts it almost exactly in the middle of the market. The good news is that Mustang IIs are disproportionately popular among the youngest segment of car enthusiasts even though they don’t remember the cars when they were new, so they should have lasting appeal.

1975–80 MG MGB 13

1980 MGB
1980 MGB Mecum

Average value in #2 (Excellent) condition: $14,700

With half a million built, the MGB is one of the most common classic sports cars out there. It’s also one of the most affordable, and even though MGBs break all the time, parts are cheap. Most owners will also tell you they bought their B for fun and to tinker on, not as an investment. That’s a good attitude to have in general in this hobby, but particularly for the later, fatter, less-powerful 1975–80 rubber-bumper MGB, because the numbers say nobody is going to make money on one.

Condition #2 values are down 9 percent over the past five years, and buyer interest has dropped as well. Despite the good looks, affordability and fun factor of an MGB, younger enthusiasts just aren’t into them. In February, the 1975–80 MGB had an HVR of 51, but that number has plummeted to 13 for June. The earlier chrome-bumper MGBs, which offer better looks and more performance for not much more money, are faring much better.

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