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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

5 American machines that broke our price guide this month | Hagerty Media

Auction season 2021 is here, and already we've witnessed some eyebrow-raising results. Despite the pandemic, Mecum Auctions managed to pull off its most successful Kissimmee, Florida, sale to date, evidence of a voracious appetite for collector cars. As we know, where there is pent-up demand there is sure to be action, and January brought us several astonishing sales.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/5-american-machines-that-broke-our-price-guide-this-month/
52 REPLIES 52
25aniv
Intermediate Driver

Wow, i expect the low/no mileage cars to be expensive. It's that way with everyting in life.
That New Yorker wagon is a beauty! I don't think in all the years I've ever seen one in person.
Trucks are hot and have been for a long time so i always expect to see thise sell for far more than their worth. Lots of people out there have lots of money they don't know what to do with.
The biggest standout for me is the Monte Carlo as being the most overpaid. I'm not slamming the car or those that enjoy them just 6 figures is ridiculous for any MC.
Johnsfolly
New Driver

Great for the sellers. But wait till these rich guys try to sell a car bought at this price over the next few years. I think it will take a while for the market to catch up...and only if the frenzy continues. I just have to think that a lot of money was banked when restaurants closed for the virus.
MATTMERICA
Instructor

On the dodge station wagon I think alcohol may have been a factor. I live in VA and you can pick up an SRT - in all the variants - all over the place. And honestly, for the amount paid for that vehicle, you would have been better off picking up a #2 condition car, putting $5k into it, and saving the additional $15k for a legit collector car IMHO.
70sKid
Pit Crew

The only reason I personally can think of for buying a car (regardless of the costs involved) is for the enjoyment it brings. I'm guessing that we'll see a peak in prices for classic/collector automobiles in general over the next 5 - 10 years. Before we know it, anything with an ICE is going to be viewed much like the dinosaurs they'll eventually become and prices will likely drop significantly across the board relative to where they'll be over the next few years. As a car guy, I'm not saying that I'm happy about any of this, but it does seem inevitable to me given everything that I've witnessed in my time on this planet.
CJinSD
Advanced Driver

The Corvette is probably valuable for the same reason manual, naturally-aspirated Porsches are valuable. Chevrolet stopped building them.
TimK
Detailer

I appreciated the 57 Chrysler Wagon on this list. While always a Ford guy since 1955 when I began distinguishing car makes, I always liked the 57-59 lineup from Chrysler Corp. Their restyle was fresh and while the Dodge and Plymouth lines restyle in 1955 got rid of it, the Chrysler and De Soto lines lost that bulbous look.
I remember an older friend who was a Dodge guy and had a 58 Dodge Royal 2D Hardtop. It wasn't cool to drive a 4 door sedan back then and a 4 door hardtop was only acceptable. I was quite younger, still riding my bicycle and needed to adjust my chain while away from home. Heck, we were always adjusting our chains. I saw Elmer and asked if he had a 9/16" wrench or even a Crescent Wrench. He admonished me saying, "I drive a Dodge, I don't need to carry tools." I haven't seen Elmer in over 50 years but remember him, his good nature and also his Dodge.
WAB
Intermediate Driver

The 1970 Monte Carlo as I recall has received its AACA Senior and National status which probably helped increase its value among collectors. However; the 1971 Monte Carlo SS from the Muscle Car Auction the week later "technically" should not exist as an original car.......454 and 4 speed transmission was not an option on these cars. There was debate in the Monte Carlo circles as to how this car could exist.......no indication of a build sheet to verify the existence? From all indications it was probably a transmission swap as the parts to do this are readily available....other indications of this being a "day 2" type of car include the Oldsmobile style steering wheel, the underdash gauges, a Hurst shifter........and what appears to be mismatched clutch and brake pedals........extremely nice car, not a resto-mod, but more of something that we would have done in the late 70's or early 80's.
Greg_I
Advanced Driver

The 1971 was really an enigma to me. There was a lot of little things on it that I wasn't a fan of. I managed to find a brochure for the 71 Monte Carlo and the 4-speed was not listed as an available option on the 454... Yeah a lot of things did not line up on that car. I'll update the story to reflect that finding on the transmission.

MATTMERICA
Instructor

My neighbor had a 1970 Monte and I was all over that thing; seeing this vehicle and things didn't add up. And for $100k they still don't. Alcohol may have been a factor lol
Or perhaps the GameStop fix is in?
ed
Detailer

One note: All 2013 Corvettes had 60th anniversary badges on front and rear, the door sills and the convertible waterfall. The 427 Collector Edition convertible was available in all 2013 Corvette colors. Mine was Cyber Gray over Ebony/Red. Z06 drive train and body style, but it was determined that the aluminum Z06 chassis would flex too much, so it was built on the steel Grand Sport convertible chassis. According to GM lit, RPO Z25, the 60th Anniversary Design Package, was an option for any 2013 Corvette, but I have never seen it on anything other than the 427 Collector Edition, which is what the Mecum car was. And Z30 60th Anniversary Stripe Package was an option on cars with Z25, also on the Mecum car.  Z25 cars without Z30 are far more rare.

rootine4
Pit Crew

I saw a Grand Sport for sale on an AutoTrader search with the paint/stripes of the Anniversary Edition package.
cal333
Pit Crew

First generation Monte Carlos have a timeless beauty about them...the super rare SS454 models are near impossible to find in pristine condition today...I owned a body shop back in the 1980's so our team decided to build a totally accurate MC SS454 convertible from scratch...some NOS parts were still available from GM...as luck would have it we had recently junked a 1969 4spd Grand Prix hardtop that had the "boxed extended wheelbase frame" which is required for authenticity...we used a rust free Chevelle convertible body and heavily modified NOS MC coupe quarter panels to match the convertible sheetmetal...we salvaged many parts from a rusted MC SS454 coupe including the driveline, the rear air shocks system and bucket seats...the interior vinyl was replaced using a coupe kit but the upholstery had to modified to fit the narrower rear seat...we found a 1970 MC early owner's manual that details how to put the convertible top down...upon completion we entered it in a national Chevy show but was placed in the "custom class" as there was no category for a MC ragtop...during the show an older gentleman asked if he could crawl under the MC to examine details...he announced later..."it's a phony"...of course it was...he told us that he was worked for GM design when they were creating the MC convertible prototypes and ours did not have "gussets" on the frame that were necessary to avoid convertible instrument panel shake over railroad tracks...he would not provide us info where these gussets were welded in...he said "that's for me to know, not you"...every show we have entered gawkers tell us how a "friend" or an "uncle" had a MC convertible when new and they wish he still had it...right on...if there was a REAL MC SS454 ragtop it would be worth a fortune today...
Rockem
Intermediate Driver

Is what a car sells for at a auction really what it's worth? It was likely only two people that drove the price up to double the value. It maybe worth that price to them,but.how about the rest of us.Using auction prices to set the value is not realty.The setting of an auction is designed to create hype and excitiment. One bidder against the other.The auctioner shouting bids. The floor people prompting the bidder to go for it. Just one more bid will take it. Than suddenly you've just bought a car for twice it's value.
Greg_I
Advanced Driver

@Rockem Yes, we are very careful to use resources and data other than auctions. Hagerty's Automotive Intelligence team has has probably spent more time at live auctions than the average person. We know what happens in the heat of the moment, especially when the drinks are free. At no point was it mentioned that the Hagerty Price Guide would for sure be moving values because of these sales. These warrant investigation though. Unless there is other data to back up these sales, it is best to assume them to be outliers.

JonMiller
Intermediate Driver

Well stated!
topside
Detailer

Indeed - a few doses of reality roll across between, um, "measuring contests" on some cars. The fun in that is when it's a car you weren't expecting to bring out the rulers.
stevecobb45
Detailer

The Monte Carlo is a bit of a surprise. Nice cars & National Car Rental offered them when I was traveling for business. In 1975 I rented one at the Chattanooga, TN airport for a week. When I saw my rental I was pleasantly surprised to see a bright red w/white landau top & bucket seats waiting for me. Driving out of the terminal I was more surprised accelerating into traffic when I left two tire streaks & tire smoke. Just as soon as I checked into the motel I popped the hood to discover a 454. Most fun ever that week with that car but sadly, this new car, with only 17 miles on it, got rear-ended in a traffic jam on I75 taking it back to the Atlanta airport. Got pushed into a car in front & smashed both front & back. Still able to drive it back to the airport & upon returning it, the kid in National's lot took one look & said, "oooowweeee. What happened?". As I handed the girl my contract & keys she asked if everything went okay. I replied, "except for smashing up your nice new car, just great". She laughed & was checking me out when the kid came in & said, "he tell you he smashed up the car?". She looked at me & said, "you weren't kidding, were you". Nice to have the extra insurance.
LarryinMA
New Driver

Unlike Mecum's Indy auction 2 months prior (where there were at least a few deals to be had), Kissimmee was an absolute feeding frenzy. Sell through was nearly 90%, and most cars appeared to exceed their estimates by significant margins. Buyer's representatives I spoke to said hammer prices were often well above their clients' max bid. Key takeaway: put most acquisition plans on hold, and sell whatever you can ASAP.
JSievers
Advanced Driver

Things were indeed crazy at Kissimmee, although IMO the quality of the cars being sold was consistently well above that of prior years. Walking through the staging lanes it was just one exceptional car after another. It will be interesting to see whether the high prices at this event carry forward to other auctions as the year progresses.
tahend
Detailer

Don’t usually put to much stock in the January auctions. Lots of liquor and testoserone at these events.
WestyinWV
New Driver

I remember the last time the stock market created a lot of discretionary income and latent desire for cars blossomed for a short cycle. I agree with an earlier post. Prices this unexpected will come with sound losses down the road because buyers are impulsive when cash is no object. If you consider demographics, I still believe collector cars are in for a rocky future. If the current attitude toward carbon emissions continues to gather momentum and EV's dominate the market, we're one stroke of a pen away from crazy restrictions on gasoline powered cars. Happy for everyone right now, but the investment angle may have sailed.
sharkguy48
Intermediate Driver

with a guy like Kerry (who looks disturbingly like Bullwinkle J. Moose) at the helm of climate issues, he'll make sure gas is $10+/gallon in short order. then he'll tell us that buying internal combustion cars was making "bad choices" and to go F yourselves. with his heinz wife and wealth, he has no problem replacing his vehicle with a $200,000 e car. all the rest of us can all go suck eggs.
topside
Detailer

Of the bunch, that '57 Chrysler is the most striking. Good to see a big number on it, though there aren't enough of the '57-'59 cars left for that to encourage much of a restoration-parts aftermarket. Pity, because those were landmark cars. They deserve the popularity of the Tri-Five Chevys, in my opinion, though I don't expect that to ever happen.
Ducknuts
Pit Crew

Percentage considered, the '72 C10 was the highest over estimate. Like all "collectables" during this pandemic, prices have been setting all time records on auctions. I have been collecting sports cards and other memorability for the last few years and have noticed a spike in prices paid versus the estimates. The collectible cars are the same. When the economy is good, people with money will invest in these items, even though many people are struggling.
JonMiller
Intermediate Driver

The Dodge Magnum is the surprise sale to me. The wagon had limited enthusiasm when new. I seem to recall only @150,000 were sold in the US for the entire production run.
Ten years from now we may see nostalgia bidding on the Magnum and similar cars (find your Mercury Marauder now). In twenty years piston-powered cars will be in high demand so the Magnum may be a farsighted investment!
Aquay_Mizmo
Intermediate Driver

The Monte Carlo blows my mind. It prompted me to look for a replacement driver's rear quarter for my 72, and low a behold it's available. The price for mine just went up...........ahahahaha. thanks
mwmyers91
Detailer

Wow is right...........
Jost
Intermediate Driver

That Chrysler is beautiful but not surprising. What surprises me is the Monte Carlo and the magnum. They are all great cars and I think deserve the they recognition.
gmw
Pit Crew

These prices push more categories of collector cars out of the range of the average enthusiast. The price of a ticket to get into this hobby keeps going up.
Greg_I
Advanced Driver

I think it all depends on what you want. A 69 GTO is a big step, but an 04 GTO can be reliably had for under $20K. Keep in mind though, strong sales don't instantly set the market. Continuous strong sales do. These could be the start of something or a flash in the pan.

MATTMERICA
Instructor

WTF - did the folks bidding up GameStop make a detour to fool with some of the auction vehicle prices?!? If anybody reading this wants to throw $100k at a $50k car, I have several for you.
Hudson
Pit Crew

All I can think is that I have very different tastes than the buyers and they have a lot more money than I do. 🙂
Trashboat
Pit Crew

That Magnum price is insane. Even with low to no mileage it’s probably falling apart and burning oil. I wonder if it’s leaking transmission fluid in it’s climate controlled garage?
RedRyder_SFZ
Intermediate Driver

Which car surprised me? None of these.
The Delorean that sold for $95,000. Now that’s news.
I’m a child of the 70s who loves Back to the Future as much as the next guy...and the DMC 12....way ahead of its time. A beautiful automobile.
But $95,000?
ACE_Sonoma
Detailer

To quote no less and authority as Car Guy, Jay Leno, on ceiling-busting prices on Collector Cars, and I paraphrase, 'You didn't pay too much; you bought too late', and the corollary, 'You didn't take a major loss, you sold too late, or, too early...'

There are practical explanations to all these surges; pent-up demand, low-mile examples, limited availability, unique options, cachet, and one can never rule out auction feeding frenzy, testosterone, 'measuring', and real locomotive power, alcohol...

Ask any Vegas Casino Operator!

The Chevy truck is about the finest example of the mid-years between the '60-'66 run, whose Stepsides utilized fenders from '55-'66, and the Squares from '73 up to when Chevy started moving their wheel arch 'eyebrows' more often, with ever worsening results, than a male, or female, or something in between, YouTube 'celebrity'...

The 'Vette is easy, as its solid performance 'curriculum vitae' of chassis, engine, body, tasteful adornment, especially when combined with low-production, low miles, (relatively) low price, and instant recognizability, make it a logical choice to 'Acquire and Hold'...

Same for the pair of Mopar Wagons, with Hemi Power, subdued styling for their respective eras, and clearly a portent of things to come with regard to Wagons; long revered by Boomers, embraced by 'Tweeners, and looked on lovingly by Millennials as Pure Nostalgia...

Which brings us to the Monte Carlo...

A fine idea, along with it's Pontiac sibling Grand Prix, both hit the market by Storm as 'Personal-sized Luxury Cars', not to mention Muscle Cars, in a Three-Piece Suit. The discussion on whether this particular example is 'Legit' or a Phantasm remains to be seen; but whether a Resto-Mod, an 'undocumented' COPO, or cleverly constructed Silhouette Car, is fodder for Car Folks to dream about...
WAB
Intermediate Driver

To be clear....the car (1970 SS) focused on primarily in the article at the Florida auction is an extremely legit and highly accurate example.......the one in question was the one the next week at the Muscle Car Auction in Florida that was presented as an SS 4 speed.......Thanks
gfviperman
Detailer

Monte Carlo is the biggest surprise. Especially the price. Totally nondescript car.

Do NOT drink at auctions!!!
rootine4
Pit Crew

Glad to see the 427 make this list! I bought mine in what I would call Concours condition in May of 2018 with 7200 miles on it for $68 000. Can't wait for my 4th summer in this amazing car! I sold my first Corvette which had a sticker of about $15 000 for $24k. The 427 may not finish higher in value like my C3 did but that's okay. This car sold for about what new sticker was, by the way.
Trashboat
Pit Crew

Maybe my first post was too rude. The price paid for that Magnum is nuts.. besides that, it’s Canadian/Chinese , not American. I just don’t see how any modern car will ever appreciate in value. They all seem so plastic and disposable.
okfoz
Intermediate Driver

Apparently there were Lots of people drinking beer that day...
Mikesdad1
Pit Crew

I’m a 70s car lover, luxurious Big block torque monsters, grew up around Pontiacs, family owned a 69 Grand Prix, neighborhood guy had a 69 428 Bonneville, big brother had a 69 Lemans convertible 350/330 4 barrel 4 speed w duals, I’ve owned big Pontiacs my whole life, it also love the boat tail 71/73 Riviera w a 455, Buick GS, etc, never felt the need to suffer in the heat and discomfort of a 69 Camaro, so I own a 73 455 Grand Prix SJ with every option in the book, including power sunroof, and watching the #s on those Monte Carlos gave me a glimmer of hope, that someday my car will be worth, 35,000 I’m not looking for 100k, just some respect, cause I pull into car shows in the NY area, and always draw quite a crowd, with its black paint, white half top and white bucket seat interior, vintage spoke basket wheels and Vogues
ve3hzz
Pit Crew

Being a 1st Gen Monte Carlo owner (early build) I was both shocked and amused at the price that 70 MC got...and I do agree likely there was inebriation at play in the bidding price paid. I saw a posting of it and the other one mentioned and thought...something isn't right here? Some things seemed strange while some of it just seemed too good to be true...facts from the FGMCC membership. 1 no 4 speed ever found with a 454....in what 50+ years..like a 3 speed on the tree or a convertible! But there are enough who spread these rumors and some take them as gospel so we get some unsuspecting individuals who end up duped and buy the "fools gold". I've often said that the 1st Gen MC was underappreciated...but I was OK with that...keeps insurance premiums down...just hope this isn't a trend...true value by enthusiasts is 1 thing..trumped up (oh yeah sorry) values will end up costing those of us in it for the pleasure. Be aware of the GAME STOP mentality....it's not good for anyone.....but insane prices are found in just about anything..houses (in some markets) even are loco so guess it has to have it's turn in everything...it was a full moon recently!!! IS that what happened in 2016??
IF it has wheels I'm into it!!
acooper529
Intermediate Driver

I like all of them for different reasons except of course the Dodge. Nothing special about that except the persistent myth of the Hemi under the hood.
jaysalserVW
Detailer

Auction "values" are just that--auction frenzy selling-buying. The person or entity which bases vintage vehicular values upon auction results is heading for surprises and disappointments, ultimately. People are fickle--they spent with their emotions--not their heads, in many cases.
OLDGOLD
New Driver

This car broke the record for crazy money https://www.mecum.com/lots/FL0121-444878/1970-chevrolet-nova-ss/
chrlsful
Instructor

just not interested in these models (more in trends tho). Even less interested in ANY auction (again only interested in how effects nat/international trends, prices with what I do). I guess my non-competitive nature, non-collector statue, low volumn /budget involment contributes to these result. One thing I can say abt auctions (& the huge increase in them) is it has nearly priced me out of the market (find, drive'n restore, drive as done, keep or sell)
70sKid
Pit Crew

It's not at all surprising to see the prices of station wagons on the rise. After all, more people drive them now than at any other point in time I can recall. They just choose to call them SUV's / CUV's instead. That's the power of marketing at work for you. Give me the classic configuration any day as it looks far more cool.
Rider79
Instructor

These are all very desirable cars. Given the choice, with cost no object, I would pick the 427 Corvette - and wonder if the valve-guide issue has been resolved on this example.
Zephyr
Advanced Driver

A 2006 anything is just a used car, and the Dodge Magnum is no exception. Why anyone would pay more than $1,200 for an ordinary looking 49 year old Chevy pick-up is beyond me, but looks like I'm in the minority there. I personally love the New Yorker wagon but I'm surprised that it sold for so much, given that its target buyer is someone my age, AKA the "one foot in the grave generation," people who are currently working on selling their possessions rather than buying more.