Most people who own old cars do so not because they’re a collectible, but because they can’t afford or don’t see the value of upgrading to something newer.
However, if to you the automobile is more than a simple means of transportation, and you’ve got some money saved up, then checking out Hagerty’s list of “10 Collector Cars (And One Bike) On The Rise This Year” might be a smart thing to do.
After going over their picks, we decided to share them with you, while also grading them as far as their overall value and what they bring to the table. We’ve skipped the bike because, well, collectible motorcycles are a smaller market.
Before we get into it, we should note that the following list is presented in no particular order and that some of these cars are definitely a lot easier to purchase than others.
1996 – 2002 Dodge Viper GTS
Believe it or not, the same people who were involved in the decision process for the original Ford GT40 later found themselves giving the OK for Chrysler to go ahead and build the Viper as sort of a successor to the AC Cobra.
We won’t get into the Viper’s entire history here, but if you’re looking for a collectible example, Hagerty figures you should opt for an early model GTS variant, mostly because it was easier to live with than the RT/10. It had power windows, air conditioning and was considered a bit more reliable.
When new, you could buy a late 90s, early 2000s Viper for under $70,000, which was definitely a hefty sum. Nowadays, you can find considerably cheaper ones on the used car market, and if you do, you might want to consider holding on to it as the nameplate could go on a bull run in the future.
Hagerty: “Generation Xers and millennials are now 64 percent of the quotes on this car. The Viper has a reputation for being crude and uncompromising, but it’s a driver’s car and a visceral experience. The outlandish design has aged well, and attrition has worked in the Viper’s favor, meaning there aren’t a lot of good ones left. The early cars are now seen as desirable.”
Our take: Look, if you want a Viper that’s fine. But unless you find a recent model, you’re going to struggle with everyday drivability. On the flip side, it’s earlier mint condition models that should make for a better collectible, so it cuts both ways. Is the Viper GTS a good investment? Possibly, but odds are it’s never going to appreciate into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Grade: C +
1999 – 2005 Ferrari 360 Modena
It’s hard to say anything bad about the Ferrari 360. It’s stylish and completely non-vulgar in its appearance, which in turn might make you look like more of an exotic car aficionado, as opposed to say if you owned something wider, meaner and faster.
It was no slouch either, with 400 HP coming from its 3.6-liter V8, although the 275 lb-ft of torque meant that you had to really keep it revved up in order to get it moving properly. As for the price, when new, an early 2000s model would demand around $170,000, more than double the price of a used one today.
Hagerty: “More of these cars are coming off normal insurance policies and onto Hagerty policies, the number rising 211 percent in the past three years. Which means they’re gaining more of a reputation as an enthusiast or collectible car rather than a used exotic. The design has aged well and looks elegant in a way a lot of cars from that era don’t. The F1 transmissions were more common, but the gated shifter is what collectors want.”
Our take: If you’re really hoping to make some serious money off of your used 360 Modena purchase, then you better hold on to it tighter than people “HODL” Bitcoin at the moment, because it should take a pretty long amount of time for it to go up in value like crazy. But hey, it’s a Ferrari and they always seem to age well, so a mint condition one is definitely worth considering.
1984 – 2001 Jeep Cherokee
Odds are you won’t be flipping an old Cherokee for profit anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value to be found in one, especially if you’d rather get out and drive it as opposed to keeping it stashed away somewhere.
The Cherokee is rugged and quite stylish too, in a retro type of way. It’s everything the modern-day version isn’t and hating on it would take some effort, unless you’re more of an old Ford Explorer type of person.
Hagerty: “A relative bargain compared with other legit SUVs of its era such as the FJ60 Land Cruiser. Everyone loves a Jeep, and this one has classically rugged good looks in a reasonably sized package with tons of aftermarket support.”
Our take: Keep it for yourself and you should be happy with your purchase, as long as you don’t crave any 2020 amenities, like the latest in safety and convenience gear. To be honest though, you’d have to own a really special one in order to call it a true collectible.
1990 – 1995 Volkswagen Corrado
Back when it first came out, the VW Corrado G60 carried a sticker price of $17,900, more than any other car in the VW stable. Its 1.8-liter inline-4 engine produced 158 HP and 166 lb-ft of torque, giving it a 0-60 mph (96 km/h) time of 7.5 seconds, and a top speed of 140 mph (226 km/h).
These numbers may not seem all that impressive by today’s standards, but back in the 80s, this V-Dub was as quick as an entry-level Porsche 944, so owning one in 2020 would at least give you something to talk about during dinner parties.
Hagerty: “This car appeals equally to all age groups. With #2 cars going for $6500, it’s a cheaper entry point than a GTI of the same vintage but more rare. Our insurance quotes are up 25 percent on this car from 2018, so the interest is burgeoning.”
Our take: Unless you’re a VW enthusiast, you’ll probably struggle with choosing a used Corrado over other fast Euro cars from the 80s like the Ford Escort RS Turbo S2 or maybe even an Audi S2 (if you can get your hands on those in the States), although the latter will definitely set you back more. So as a collector’s item, we’re not that impressed.
Grade: C –
1971 – 1980 International Harvester Scout
If you don’t even know what International is, the short story is that many decades ago, it used to produce what we now consider to be Sports Utility Vehicles to rival the Blazers and Broncos of the world.
Nowadays, owning something like the Harvester Scout II can be considered rare, especially if it’s in really good condition. When it was new, it would cost you a little over $7,000, but now they’ll even go up to $25,000, unless they’re showing its age.
Hagerty: “The vintage-SUV craze has been going strong for eight years, but Scouts haven’t really popped yet like FJ40s, Broncos, and Blazers have. Most Scouts rotted away, but you’re starting to see them being restored. Gen X is 56 percent of the quotes, and if Gen X likes it, the values are going to go up.”
Our take: If you’re a collector, a really nice Scout should be more valuable to you than say a Jeep Cherokee, especially if they’ll keep going up in price. It’s also more rare than the Cherokee and that’s pretty much half the battle won – unfortunately good ones aren’t easy to find.
1988 – 1991 Honda CRX Si
Back in the 90s, these used to be pretty popular. According to Hagerty, they cost $10,195 when new and were considered extremely fuel efficient.
The Si trim level was even more successful, with 105 HP and 98 lb-ft of torque coming from its 1.6-liter inline-4 unit. Sure, it wasn’t that impressive, but then again the car did weigh just 2,100 lbs (952 kg), which means it was fun to drive, pure and simple.
Hagerty: “These filled every high-school parking lot in the 1990s, and millennials are now 60 percent of the quotes. One of the first front-wheel-drive sporting Japanese cars to get widespread recognition from enthusiasts, it is symbolic of the golden age of Honda, quick and go-kart-like and able to make any drive fun.”
Our take: To be honest there’s very little reason to purchase a CRX Si in today’s automotive climate. It’s not a collectible and it won’t make any money for you sitting still. As far as driving it, well, you’d be much happier with a used S2000.
Grade: D –
1970 – 1995 Range Rover
What’s there to say about the Range Rover? If you want to buy an old one, then you probably don’t need convincing because you know exactly what you’re getting into and why. At least they’re much cheaper to purchase now than back when they were new, which isn’t saying much (if anything at all) if you’re a collector.
Definitely stay away if you’re looking for a daily driver. You’re probably better off with an old Cherokee.
Hagerty: “This is a vehicle that appeals to millennials and Gen Xers, and it’s affordable because it’s known to be troublesome. The brand’s current success gets people to look back at the catalog of past vehicles, and this one established a lot of the design cues that guide Land Rover now and have been copied by other manufacturers.”
Our take: There’s plenty of supply to meet demand when it comes to classic Range Rovers, so they’re not really that great of a collector’s item. On the plus side, they’ll always be stylish, so if you’re a fan of the brand (or old SUVs in general), we wouldn’t blame you for pulling the trigger.
Grade: D +
1997 – 2001 Acura Integra Type R
If you know Honda/Acura, then you know that ‘R’ stands for Racing, a worthy moniker for a nearly 200 HP front-wheel drive Japanese sports car capable of hitting 60 mph (96 km/h) in about 6.5 seconds.
When new, one of these would set you back $24,830, however now, Hagerty is valuing them between $40,700 and $51,200 – which is great if you already have one sitting in your garage, but not so great if you’re looking to buy one.
Hagerty: “Although front drive is generally shunned, the Type R is widely considered the best-handling front-driver of all time. Huge with millennials; half the quotes are from them. Type Rs are super rare and hard to find in good shape and only newly added to our price guide because three years ago sales were scant.”
Our take: This is a rare car, and like they say, finding a good one will take time, effort and money that would otherwise be better-spent on a wide range of other cars, all of them considerably more powerful. Still, since the Integra Type R’s value has gone up in time, we can’t knock it as a collectible.
Grade: B –
1998 – 2002 BMW Z3 M Roadster
This is the type of car that will put a big smile on your face, especially since you can purchase it for pretty much half of what it used to cost when it was new.
We’re not exactly sure what it’s doing on this list though. It’s like if we looked back on the E85 Z4 M as a collectible ten years from now. I’m willing to bet that we won’t.
Hagerty: “M cars are way up, but the M roadster was overlooked for a long time because it looks so much like a regular Z3. They are getting their due now. The coupe has already popped, and the roadster values are up 22 percent on the later 315-hp cars and 31 percent (starting from a lower value) on the earlier 240-hp cars. Yet good M roadsters are still half the price of good M coupes.”
Our take: While their value has gone up slightly in recent years, the BMW Z3 M Roadster is not much of a collector’s item. Fast? Yes. Fun to drive? Yes. Good buy even? Yes. But let’s stop there.
Grade: C –
1976 Porsche 914
Still, if you’re keen on purchasing one, it will cost you anywhere between $32,900 and $50,500, according to Hagerty.
Hagerty: “Only the third street car Porsche ever designed is still the cheapest way to get into a vintage Porsche, and the 914 is being reevaluated for its great handling and affordability. The VW association that once tarnished it carries less of a knock now among younger buyers.”
Our take: Just buy a used Boxster instead.
Grade: C +
By now, you’ve probably noticed that we didn’t hand out any top marks while grading these cars, but that’s just because none of them are rare enough, apart maybe from that Acura. But even so, to give out even an ” A – “, we’d have to be looking at some special edition model that at least stands a good chance of hitting mid-to-high six digit figures within the next decade.