HomeThe MarketCollector car market heats up as we head to Monterey

Collector car market heats up as we head to Monterey


Hagerty July 2016 market rating

For the first time in four months, the Hagerty Market Rating posted a “sizable increase,” according to the classic car insurance and valuation-tracking company. The July rating of 69.07 is 0.17 points better than the final figure for June.

“In times of economic uncertainty, such as those illustrated by Brexit last month, the collector car market has shown ongoing strength, as buyers continue to seek out and invest in quality cars,” McKeel Hagerty, chief executive of the family-owned company, said in a news release. “The emergence of ‘modern classics’ from the 1980s has continued to be a major trend with buyers along with long-standing favorites like the 1948-53 Cadillac Series 62 and first generation Mercury Cougars.”

According to the monthly Hagerty pulse of the marketplace, auction activity posted a 2 percent boost in the volume of cars sold and a 1.8 percent increase in the average price of those sale.

Of note, the release said, 1948-53 Cadillac Series 62 cars have shown a 93 percent jump in sales prices in the last 12 months, while 1962-76 Dodge Darts experienced a 53 percent bump in price over the same period. In addition to the Series 62 Caddys, 1979-85 Eldorado prices have increased 45 percent in the last year.

Also showing renewed life were private sales, and after three consecutive months of decline. Hagerty said the boost in private sales can be traced in large part to an increase in the number of cars selling for more than their insured values.

Examples included 1969-73 Porsche 911s, up 62 percent in 12 months; 1967-70 Mercury Cougars, up 45 percent during the same period; and 1982-91 Porsche 944s, which are selling for more than 28 percent above what they were a year ago.

However, requests for insured value increases for broad market vehicles fell for the 10th month in a row and are at a 26-month low. Also insured value increases for high-end vehicles also decreased for the third month in a row and to a 17-month low, the insurer reported.

Of six examples offered, three were Porsche 911s, with 1964-68 cars off 48 percent, 1969-73 cars down 33 percent and 1994-1998 models down 27 percent in the last year.

Also dragging down the numbers were such “correlated instruments” as a boost in the price of gold.

Hagerty shares its ratings midway through each month. That means the results of the auctions taking place in the middle of August on the Monterey Peninsula won’t register on the index until the September report. However, the uptick in the July figure and the strength of the various catalogs for the Monterey sales would seem a source for optimism for those buying and selling.

The Hagerty Market Rating is based on a weighted algorithm that considers 15 proprietary data points in eight categories, including public auction and private sales, values of insured cars, price-guide values, Hagerty’s own index system and input from industry experts.

The rating, reported at the middle of each month, is based on a 100-point scale and is presented in the form of a tachometer-style gauge, complete with a “superheated” red zone, a sort of warning that we’re approaching a possible burst of the bubble. Ideally, the market cruises along comfortably in the 60- to 80-point “expanding” zone.

Although first released in January 2015, Hagerty applied its formulas to the classic car marketplace dating back to January 2007. The rating then was in the low 60s. During the economic recession, it slumped to the high 40s and has been on an upward trend since late 2010.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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