The 25 hottest collector vehicles heading into winter
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, which is actually a silly phrase since you can’t play a broken record (the correct analogy would be a scratched record, since a scratched record skips and then repeats itself over and over)… Wait, where were we? Oh, yeah.
The 1966–77 Ford Bronco is the hottest vehicle in the land! Again. Amen, pass the ‘taters. What else ya got?
Note: The Hagerty Vehicle Rating is based on a 0–100 scale. A 50-point rating indicates that a vehicle is keeping pace with the market overall. Ratings above 50 indicate above-average appreciation, while vehicles below a 50-point rating are lagging behind the market. The rating is data driven and takes into account the number of vehicles insured and quoted through Hagerty, along with auction activity and private sales results. The HVR is not an indicator of future collectability, but it certainly says something about what’s trending hot and what’s not.
We’re running out of nice things to say about the first-generation Ford Bronco. Holding its position, the Bronco is king of the hill since our last update, and it also took the top spot in June 2017. It hasn’t been outside the top 10 since 2016. In fact, it has been a full two years since the Bronco’s HVR fell below 93—an outstanding score. Plus, values are rising faster than an old man’s beltline.
“This goes to show that demand for good and even not-so-good first-gen Broncos still isn’t satisfied,” says Hagerty valuation editor Andrew Newton. “More and more come to market, more and more keep getting high-dollar restorations, and more and more are selling for serious coin.”
Generally speaking, trucks and SUVs are still blistering hot, but passenger vehicles are making their presence known. In a repeat of last month’s HVR, the 1966–77 Bronco maintained its 96-point score, which is one point ahead of the second-place 1973–87 Chevrolet C/K Series Pickup. Three of the next six vehicles are cars. The 1993–2002 Mazda RX-7 (93) and 1973–91 Chevy Suburban (94) traded places from the previous rating, and there’s a four-way tie for fifth, with the 1971–73 Buick Riviera, 1974–83 Jeep Cherokee, 1993–95 Ford SVT Lightning Pickup, and 1993–96 Cadillac Fleetwood all rated at 92 points.
While more than one-third of the vehicles in the top 14 are cars, Newton isn’t ready to call it a trend just yet. “Changes in the market aren’t always all that fast,” he says. “I think those cars are just keeping up the momentum they’ve shown in recent updates.”
With that said, the RX-7—which Newton describes as a “technical marvel” and “one of the most attractive cars of that decade”—has been holding its own for more than a year. In fact, the RX-7 has scored between 91–97 points in six consecutive rating periods. (For more on the fourth-generation RX-7, check out our buyer’s guide and drive review.)
On the other hand, the current Top 25 is without a single Porsche 911 after both the 1978–83 and 1999–2005 editions dropped out. “Broadly speaking, the Porsche market has flattened a bit, and while the best/most desirable models are still in demand and bring high prices, those two generations are among the least desirable,” Newton says. “They were pulled up by people scrambling for everything with a Porsche badge, but that’s no longer the case.” In other words, Porsche prices are still strong, but they’re not gaining at the rate of the vehicles here in our Top 25.
While three trucks/SUVs fell out of the Top 25, another three took their place. Among those that slipped was the previously 14th-ranked 2003–06 Chevrolet SSR. “They’ve gotten old enough to be interesting, and they seem like a decent value for something that looks outrageous and has a Corvette engine and available six-speed manual,” Newton says. “But the captive audience is fairly small and older, so I don’t know if they can sustain their recent increases.”
The largest leap was by the 1948–53 Cadillac Series 62, which gained 35 points (to 87) and vaulted from 434th to 24th, primarily due to increased quoting activity and a rise in prices.
Those factors also elevated the biggest surprise in the Top 25, the 1990–94 Volkswagen Corrado. The German liftback coupe experienced a 31-point bump to 88 and vaulted from 327th to 19th. “The thing is they’re so darn cheap that just increasing the price by a few hundred bucks is a big increase percentage-wise, and that pushes them towards the front of the market,” Newton says of the Corrado, which has an average #3-condition (Good) value of $5750. Fewer than 100,000 were built during a seven-year production run.
Speaking of values, the #1-ranked Bronco has an average #3-condition worth of $27,500, which makes it the most expensive ride on the list—and a bit of an anomaly. “It may be the most expensive of the bunch,” Newton says, “but it’s still not quite in ‘expensive’ territory. The muscle-car crowd regularly spends that kind of money on their cars.”
Overall, the average value of the vehicles in the Top 25 (28, including ties) fell from $14,085 to $13,423. Twenty-two are valued below $20K.
Of the 28 vehicles, 24 are American. Chevrolet leads the way with six cars on the list, while GMC and Jeeps have four apiece, and Ford has three.