Optimism returns as classic car prices rebound

Third consecutive month of progression for the Hagerty index

The Hagerty Index, which measures the evolution of the valuation of classic cars in the United States, rose for the third consecutive month. In November, it posted an increase of 2.4% compared to September, to 60.34, its highest level since June, 2020. This index gives an overall market trend, the North American classic car market being more mature and structured than the European market.  

The coronavirus crisis however marked the industry, the index posting a drop of 3.6% over one year. Indeed, it reached 62.68 in November 2019. Although activity on the individual market remains weaker, it has been partly offset by greater activity on the auction market. 

Hagerty Index (2007-2020)

Source: Hargerty Market Rating

Optimism varies accross market segments ​

According to Hargerty, the index rebound is also linked to heightened optimism among industry players, with a growing number of car owners feeling confident about rising prices. This number is said to have increased in October and is at its highest level since the start of the pandemic. 

The recovery is however differentiated according to the categories of oldtimers. It is more moderate for high-end cars. The premium index (“Blue chip”) rebounded slightly but the trend has been downward for several years, in particular due to the (relative) disenchantment with classic Ferraris. Likewise, “muscle cars” continue to see their price erode over time. 

Hagerty Blue Chip Index (2007-2020)

Source: Hagerty Market Rating

The youngtimer effect does not suffer the crisis

Conversely, the index of the “affordable classics” continues to grow steadily. In fact, vehicles priced under 30,000 USD have been enjoyed the largest price rise since March. Note for example the constant rise in the price of the Datsun 240Z, which has doubled in the last six years in the United States.

Hargerty also points to the good performance of youngtimers, although it does not produces a specific index for this car category. This is especially true of German youngtimers. The VW Corrados, Sciroccos, the BMW 3 Series (E30, 1982-94), the Mercedes sedans of the 1990s, the Audi RS and Porsche 911 carreras have all seen their valuation rise recently. 

Hagerty Affordable Cars Index (2007-2020)

Source: Hargety Market Rating

The Hagerty Market Rating

It is an internationally benchmark index, which measures the general state of the classic vehicle market in the United States. It asses the current status of the collector car market based on activity and the underlying strength of the market. It relies on a comprehensive algorithm of weighted market and transaction data (advertisements and auctions).  

Each individual component of the rating forms a weighted and normalized average based on historical price data. Prices are adjusted to constant dollars to neutralize the effects of inflation. 

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