‘Affordable’ luxury cars doing well in the market, says Hagerty

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1973 Buick Riviera: It's value is outpacing the typical car in the collector car marketplace
1973 Buick Riviera: It's value is outpacing the typical car in the collector car marketplace
1973 Buick Riviera: It’s value is outpacing the typical car in the collector car marketplace

This summer, Hagerty introduced a new tool for those interesting in the classic car marketplace, launching the Hagerty Vehicle Rating, which the insurance and vehicle value-tracking company designed to show if specific vehicles are keeping pace with the market or are falling behind. Higher scores indicate a vehicle’s value is moving ahead of the market.

In the initial bimonthly report in July, “modern classics” were the strongest segment. But for September, “affordable luxury” has emerged, and Hagerty notes that most of the highest-scoring cars listed can be found for less than $20,000.

The 1963-65 Buick Riviera tops the September ratings with a score of 96 (out of a possible 100).

“Bill Mitchell’s timeless design is enjoying renewed interest after being forgotten for the past few years, and prices have risen as a result – especially for the higher-horsepower GS models,” Hagerty reported.

“The long-ignored 1969-72 Pontiac Grand Prix shows how enthusiasts are recognizing that American luxury performance cars of the 1970s provide plenty of value compared to their pure muscle cousins,” the report continued, adding:

“Mercedes-Benz S-Class W126 models and 190 sedans in particular demonstrate how strong the appeal of affordable European luxury is.”

1955 Dodge Power Wagon prices are strong right now
1955 Dodge Power Wagon prices are strong right now

While the Riv leads the ratings for September, the 190 SL scored 95, the Grand Prix 94 and the W126 93.

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Also doing well were the 1945-68 Dodge Power Wagon (93), followed by a group of modern classics: 1999-2005 Ferrari 360 (93), 1992-95 Porsche 968 (92), 1986-1992 BMW M3 and 1991-96 Acura NSX (each at 91).

Hagerty noted that classic trucks are strong with the Power Wagon gaining 44 points since July, the 1961-72 International Scout up 40 points to 90 and the 1973-87 GMC C/K Series pickups up 25 points to 89.

Dropping out of the top 25 list for September are the Ferrari 355 (the highest-rated car in July), the Porsche 944 and 993 and the 1982-86 Toyota Supra.

To see the top 25 list, visit the Hagerty Vehicle Rating website.

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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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