Buying a classic car for investment purposes undoubtedly seems odd for some, and borderline anathematic for others, but its popularity can’t be disputed. However, as with any investment strategy, not all vintage car buying ends in profit. Ideally, you’d have to know what the future collector cars are before they’re too expensive to buy. And whether you want to flip cars or just get in on a dream car before it’s priced out of your league, Hagerty’s annual Bull Market list can help with that.
Every year, Hagerty compiles a list of classic and soon-to-be-classic vehicles that collectors are starting to appreciate. And not just cars, but motorcycles like the Ducati 916, too. The 2021 list even included an SUV: the first-gen Grand Cherokee SRT8. There aren’t any bikes on the 2022 Hagerty Bull Market, though the list doesn’t only contain passenger cars. However, while there are a few ‘usual suspects,’ this year’s list has some unexpected entries.
Some of the classic cars on the 2022 Hagerty Bull Market list are already prized by collectors
The first 2022 Hagerty Bull Market collector car is somewhat of an odd choice. It’s the 1966-1974 Ferrari 246 Dino, the brand’s first-ever mid-engine road car. It’s technically not the first Ferrari-badged road car with a V6, though; that’s the new 296 GTB. However, the 246 Dino and earlier 206 Dino were the first Ferrari-built V6-powered road cars.
Hagerty itself admits that putting the 246 Dino on its list seems weird at first because it’s already a valuable classic. However, it belongs on the 2022 list because its values went through “a soft spot,” but went back up thanks to increased Gen X and Millenial interest. Also, it’s gorgeous and fun to drive. But if you don’t want to spend the $366,000-$402,500 needed for one, you can always get the Fiat Dino.
Some of the other classics on the 2022 Hagerty Bull Market are also ‘known quantities’ in the collector car world. There’s the 1966-1967 first-gen Pontiac GTO, which arguably started the muscle car era. Also on the list is the 1963-1967 W113 Mercedes-Benz 230 SL, the ‘Pagoda-roof’ sports car sequel to the 300SL Gullwing. And rounding out the ‘traditional’ collectible classics is the 1965-1970 Cadillac DeVille, a fin-tailed ode to ‘60s Americana, complete with heated seats and tons of chrome.
As with the 246 Dino, there are cheaper alternatives to some of these Bull Market entries. The more powerful second-gen Pontiac GTO, for example, is less than half the price of a first-gen one. And while it’s more of a GT than a sports car, the R129 SL is more than its equal in luxury, class, and durability. Plus, the 1971 DeVille is arguably ‘the’ archetypal 1970s American luxury coupe.
However, while Gen X and Millenial collectors drove up these 1960s cars’ prices, they’re driving up another segment even more.
Radwood-era wheels are becoming more popular collector cars
With Gen X and Millenial car enthusiasts finally getting some buying power in their hands, they’re starting to dictate what’s popular in the collector sphere. That often means they’re buying the cars that were popular when they were young, Roadshow explains. And for the 2022 Hagerty Bull Market, that means a trip to Radwood, because the ‘80s and ‘90s are in. More specifically, ‘80s and ‘90s imports.
Imports, for example, like the Mazda RX-7. However, while the third-gen FD RX-7 is arguably the most iconic, it’s not on Hagerty’s 2022 Bull Market. Instead, the earlier 1979-1985 first-gen RX-7 is gaining collector car status.
Although the 1985 RX-7 GSL-SE only has 135 hp, it only weighs 2400 pounds. And with a 50/50 weight distribution, four-wheel discs, and a limited-slip differential, this rotary sports car still feels nimble. Also, while values are going up, an excellent-condition first-gen RX-7 only costs about $17,500-$27,000.
The next ‘80s radness on the 2022 Hagerty Bull Market is even cheaper. If you’re looking for affordable, durable classic luxury cars, the Volvo 240 is built like a proverbial tank. And the 1975-1993 Volvo 245 wagon pairs that “incomparable durability” with excellent practicality, not to mention ease of wrenching, Hagerty says. Furthermore, a clean, excellent-condition example usually costs $15,500-$21,500.
Rounding out the Radwood-era collectible cars is the 1992-1995 Porsche 968. The replacement for the 944, the 968 “is the ultimate expression of continuous improvement” that Porsche is known for, Hagerty says. Its 236-hp 3.0-liter engine was the biggest and most powerful naturally-aspirated four-cylinder at the time, though it was arguably underpowered by 1993. However, it’s still a wonderfully-balanced RWD sports car with hatchback practicality. And compared to air-cooled 911 prices, a $38,000-$51,500 market value is almost reasonable.
There are also some collectible SUVs on the list
Earlier, we mentioned that the 2022 Hagerty Bull Market didn’t only list collector passenger cars. That’s because it also has a few collectible SUVs.
First in this section is the 1983-1997 Land Rover Defender 90. Although it’s not as luxurious as the modern version, the OG Defender is a stalwart, old-school off-roader that can go practically anywhere, though not quickly. The rare US-market Defenders are the most expensive versions, but imported models typically cost $61.5K-$77.5K, Hagerty says. However, this is arguably one collector car that appreciates with restomodding.
The other SUV on the list is the 1985-1995 Suzuki Samurai, aka the Jimny. With only 63 hp, short gearing, and leaf springs on live axles, the Samurai isn’t the most refined off-roader. But its compact dimensions, 2000-ish-pound curb weight, and sturdy build quality mean it can handle anything the Defender can. Being easy to modify, clean Samurais are hard to find these days. However, this little SUV is the cheapest vehicle on the 2022 Hagerty Bull Market: excellent-condition examples usually only cost $10,000-$14,500.
According to the 2022 Hagerty Bull Market list, the OG Tesla Roadster is a future classic
Calling any car a ‘future classic’ before it’s, well, a classic, is a tricky matter. And the last car on the 2022 Hagerty Bull Market doesn’t make it any easier. It’s not only not a classic—yet—but it’s also the only electric car on the list. That EV is the original 2008-2012 Tesla Roadster.
If picking an EV as a future collector car seems odd, in this case, it isn’t. The OG Roadster wasn’t the first mass-produced Tesla, but it was the first road-going Tesla. Furthermore, it was the first production EV with lithium-ion batteries. Sure, it’s based somewhat on a Lotus Elise and new EVs out-perform it. But the Roadster has a secure place in automotive history.
With excellent-condition examples typically going for $97K-$115K, you can buy a new Tesla for the price of a Roadster. But then, collector cars have always been about long-term investments.
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