Hagerty Price Guide

These vehicles prove that the market hasn't lost steam

by Greg Ingold
7 October 2022 4 min read
Image
Colin Comer.

Despite continued external variables threatening to put a damper on enthusiasm for buying collector cars, the latest quarterly update of the Hagerty Price Guide indicated a continued strong, if slightly more rational market. The Monterey auctions saw their best-ever year and demand for collector vehicles remains strong. While some of the gains were a tad more restrained than in previous editions of the Price Guide, the sub-$50,000 market saw a number of healthy increases, helping indicate that overall the market remains healthy. Here are a few highlights and notable movers from the latest edition.

1984-1993 Ford Mustang Saleen +40%

Ford

Others at Insider may disagree, but the Fox Body Mustang has got to be the greatest classic Mustang since the original hit the roads in the 1960s. Like its predecessor, it brought affordable performance to the masses and perhaps just as important, after the ungainly Mustang II, the Fox Body looked like a true pony car. But unlike the 1960s, the Mustang didn’t have a go-to tuner to spice things up: Carroll Shelby was now helping Chrysler spice up their K-cars.

Into that void stepped Steve Saleen. Like the Shelby Mustangs two decades before, Saleen Mustangs were tweaked in Saleen’s shop but offered through Ford dealers. Geared toward racing and cornering vs straight-line speed, the majority of upgrades were handling-related, although later versions saw noticeable power bumps. Their rarity and a better understanding of their significance in the Mustang story among average collectors is likely fueling this bump in values. It’s worth noting, though, that Ford’s in-house track monster, the 1993 Cobra R, saw its own values appreciate ahead of the Saleen Mustangs, and commands higher prices in large part due to its even more rare status.

Regardless of the reason for the ascendent Saleen values, it seems likely that this sudden rise is far from a fluke. Consistent offerings of excellent examples show that the gap between the Cobra R and Saleens is rapidly closing. Don’t be surprised if there is more room for growth.

1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee +32%

Jeep

We didn’t see this coming either. 1990s Jeep Grand Cherokees have long been a staple of robust, affordable 4×4 daily driving. The ZJ-Series Grand Cherokee was also the subject of one of the most memorable car unveilings of all time: then-President of Chrysler Bob Lutz drove up the steps of Detroit’s Cobo Hall and through the building’s plate glass window to unveil the new model. Like Lutz’s entry, the Grand Cherokee was a smash hit with the public and absolutely proliferated the 4×4 market, making the Grand Cherokee name the success it is today.

Considering that the vintage truck and SUV market has been white hot for some time, that the ZJ is seeing an increase should surprise no one. Let’s be clear—cheap, heavily-used examples are still out there, but for exceptionally well-cared-for examples, prices into the teens to over $20,000 are no longer unheard of. History shows us that Jeep wagons are incredibly popular among enthusiasts, so it’s likely this trend will continue.

1981-1993 Volvo 240 +22%

Volvo

Volvo brick owners everywhere, rejoice! These cars have been gaining traction over the course of the last year but have really picked up speed this past quarter. These highly practical, over-engineered boxes on wheels are a total nostalgia trip for anyone who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s. But the appeal is far broader than that: based on insurance quotes, it’s nearly a dead-even spread of Baby Boomers through Gen-Z who are interested in these cars.

This appeal has driven a ton of these cars into the online auction space, where some real gems have popped up for sale. Granted, your average 240-series is still a cheap collector car, but now you’re going to have a hard time picking one up for the value of your pocket lint. A good car can set you back close to ten grand, and that’s still a car with over 150,000 miles. You want an actual low-mile car, we’ve seen sales exceed $40,000, although that’s a unicorn. It’s unlikely that these cars will go truly bonkers value-wise (although one could argue they already have, compared to where they were), but it’s safe to say that the 240 has successfully transitioned from a bulletproof family commuter to a bulletproof, fun collector car.

1967-1970 Toyota 2000GT +20%

Toyota

Toyota’s 2000GT is without a doubt the grandfather of Japanese collector cars. It is one of the earliest Japanese cars to be widely accepted as a serious collector model, and accordingly has ventured into previously unimaginable values for a Japanese car. A few models like the Lexus LFA and certain editions of the Nissan Skyline GT-R have joined ranks with the 2000GT, but with the global car community only recently warming to Japanese metal, there is still room for growth in this market.

The 2000GT’s path hasn’t always been ascendant, though: we have observed wild swings over the years, from a top-flight car going for $1.1M in 2015 to another #1 condition sale failing to clear $800,000 in early 2017. While these cars only infrequently become available, successive sales this summer both on Bring a Trailer and in person in Monterey demonstrate the 2000GT’s triumphant comeback, placing values north of $1M once again.

1973-1991 Chevrolet/GMC Suburban +18%

GM

With one generation spanning eighteen years, “square body” Suburbans are one of the most recognizable classic utility vehicles that don’t carry the Jeep name. A utilitarian workhorse and family cruiser, the Suburban combines truck and station wagon into one package. From fleet grade to downright cushy for the era, a wide selection of trim levels meant you could spec out your Suburban exactly how you wanted.

Perhaps it’s their size, or how common they once were, but Suburban values have lagged behind their smaller Jeep competitors, remaining relative bargain in the utility wagon world. It was only a matter of time for the Suburban, though, especially with their pickup counterparts and Blazers steadily rising over recent years. While it seems unlikely we will see Blazer-level prices out of Suburbans, don’t expect these trucks to be any cheaper moving forward.

Comments

  • Freddy T. Bratton says:

    ccThe only thing out there for me is the American Muscle of the Corvette. My wife and I have a fully restored 75 Convertible with a factory hardtop and a 2012 Grand Sport Convertible, soon to have a 76 with ttops and factory side pipes. Others like different things. They can have them. Get what you like and enjoy it that’s what makes us love automibiles. But for us, there won’t be any Pony poop in our driveway.

    • Paul Ipolito says:

      @Freddy- 1968-1982 Corvettes all had T-tops and there were no “factory” side pipes available in 1976. 1969 was the last year side pipes were an option from GM.

    • George Kief says:

      @Freddy
      To each their own for sure. Not sure why all the love for a mid 70’s Corvette with 180-210hp. A Saleen is undoubtedly a well-performing collectible car at least. This isn’t about brands, as I’d gladly take a 63, 67, 69 or many other Corvette’s before I’d buy anything from the mid 70’s.

    • Rick L. says:

      Not sure why someone would have to put down another’s vehicle. I own a 1984 20th Anniversary Mustang that was my first “new” car and have loved it for what it was at the time, what it is, and the memories I and my wife had made with it all these years. I remember when I had a 68 AMX, 390, 4 speed and one of the guys in our neighborhood had a 76 Corvette that he thought was out stuff and I didn’t even have to shift into 4th to beat it. I did not think it was a piece of s_ _ _, but then again, I was above that. Or yeah, that 84 Mustang, I worked on it and with drag radials got into the 12’s. Not many of the mid-70 to early 80’s Corvettes could run that either.

  • MustangJim says:

    There was a time some of the cars on this list would have suprised me. These days, not any more.

  • BlitzPig says:

    Suburbans and Grand Cherokees being discussed without snickering in an article about serious car collecting.
    We are surely approaching the end of times.

  • Peter says:

    BlitzPig

    Oh yea, that was righteous!

  • K.B. Colclasure says:

    I’ve never owned a car that cost me as much as the 1996 Grand Cherokee did. In over 200,000 miles, I paid for every mile dearly. Never again. In addition, terrible mileage.
    I had an 89 Cherokee (the box) that was far better in reliability but not in looks. I figured the Grand part would be even better …. but no, just the opposite.

  • David Lucy says:

    If you have owned a car for over 41 years, it becomes a collector car by everyone’s definition and the license plates on the vehicle. My 1973 246GT Dino is just a car I bought years ago because I liked the looks of with the flared wheel arches. I have owned five Ferraris, but I’m still satisfied with this car. It has been run on the racetrack with slicks and a megaphone exhaust plus being exhibited at many car shows.

  • Mark Kellam says:

    “America” Land of the Free, home of the brave. Everybody doesn’t like something, but nobody doesn’t like a nice car. Respect others!

    • Rick L. says:

      In the immortal words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along”. Drive what you love, love what you drive. Most important, “Motion is Lotion” Rest is Rust”. Body and Vehicles, both apply.

  • Jim Moreland says:

    I’m a C2 Corvette enthusiast myself, but I truly believe most everyone enjoys pursuing the car they couldn’t afford while in high school or shortly afterward. You only live once, go for it!

  • Gary Bechtold says:

    The Saleen Mustang and the Toyota 2000GT is my favorite on this list.

  • Mike D says:

    I think that just about any car can be interesting under the right circumstances. I remember seeing an extremely plain Jane early 90’s Monte Carlo that the owner had tastefully modded and I thought it was really cool. Any car that sticks around long enough and is in good shape can be cool.

  • Ron says:

    Can some one give me some insight into the 1983 GLX 6 cylinders. I don’t hear much mention on 6cylinders in that era.

  • Calvin McCartney says:

    So little has the 87 Mercedes’ 560 SL been talked about. I have owned one for 7 years and without a doubt it has to be so reliable and extremely attractive. Having the full history on the car gives me a great amount of satisfaction as well. With only 36000 miles it should carry on purring like a kitten for many more years. The value may not be appreciating as I expecting but driving this car is a real joy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More on this topic

Hagerty Insider Newsletter

Your weekly dose of auction reports, market analysis, and more.

Thank You!
Your request will be handled as soon as possible
Hagerty Insider Newsletter
Your weekly dose of auction reports, market analysis, and more.
Share