Introducing the RADindex

by John Wiley
6 November 2023 2 min read
Lane Skelton

The Ferrari California Spider* in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is arguably the most memorable movie car of the 1980s. It was very valuable then, and it’s even more valuable today. But what if the everyday background cars in that movie, cars like the Pontiac Fiero or Audi 5000, also became collectible? Hard to believe? Just go to a RADwood show to see how beloved these cars already are. (The next one is in SoCal on November 11th.)

Further proof of this era’s appeal is in the rising values for cars from the 1980s and 1990s, which is why we put together a new index to help track market changes for these vehicles.

Introducing the RADindex

Attrition for cars like the Pontiac Fiero and Audi 5000, combined with growing demand from enthusiasts of the 1980s and 1990s, has resulted in higher prices for the best vehicles of that era. The RADindex, which averages the condition #2 (“excellent”) Hagerty Price Guide value of 21 of the most popular and desirable vehicles built from 1980-99, currently sits at just less than $73,000. The index has increased by 70 percent over the past five years, which outperforms all of Hagerty’s other collector car indexes. For comparison, the second strongest growth during this timeframe comes from the Affordable Classics Index, which has increased in value by 53 percent since 2018. It also beats the S&P 500, which is up 48 percent over the same five-year period.

Over the last 12 months, the index, like the rest of the market, has become quieter, increasing only 3.1 percent (here, the S&P 500 wins with a 16 percent return.) Standouts over the past year tend to be options from the more accessible side of the spectrum: the 1990 Chevrolet Camaro IROC and the 1990 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 convertible are up 18 and 20 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, more expensive or exotic cars that saw aggressive gains from 2017-22 are adjusting downward to find new footing. The 1988 BMW M3 fell 9 percent over the last year, while the 1990 Nissan 300ZX Turbo came down 20 percent.

As Ferris says, life moves pretty fast. If you haven't stopped to look at this part of the market, you could have missed it. Hagerty's RADindex will make it easier for you to keep up.

* We know they didn't use a real example in the movie.


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