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Hagerty Employee

Escape Vehicles: Why vintage SUVs are big-ticket restoration items

Parnelli Jones's "BIG OLY" Baja Bronco race truck raised a few eyebrows when it sold for a world-record $1.87 million at Mecum's Indy sale in May 2021. That number exceeds the $1.21M paid in 2019 for a Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6. Welcome to the exclusive realm of the seven-figure SUV.

And if you don't frequent Lake Tahoe and just want to go out in the bush...

Try a Jeep, Kseries GM, even an International.

You want more amenities... most anything built for USA market 4x4 truckish 1990 and up can be used and/or converted to whatever duty of use you need.

We have a '47 CJ2A Willy's and I find it's very handy for all kinds of stuff. Need to pull a huge stump across the back yard? Just use the winch. Want to go to the off road park and have a little fun? You'll be a hero just for showing up. Need to get your Woodward fix? The Willy's will quietly idle in traffic all day, use very little fuel, and give you a front row seat. You'll typically also have the only one at the local car show.

This article makes me laugh. Sure, these truck resto guy are "passionate" alright, also very passionate about making a gazzillion dollars on these vehicles. Don't get me wrong, if you can get somebody to pay that much for your work, good for you. But I have done three separate truck restorations, from a rotisserie to just a "simple" engine swap out/upgrade, and at $200k for a bronco, that must be at least a 60% profit margin.

I like restomods but the reality is I don't see 6 figure builds making sense. But I don't have that kind of disposable income to not care I guess.
Intermediate Driver

I have an all original (except for some front end repairs after a recent accident) '99 Jeep TJ Sahara. Granted the woods are full of them ,for now, but they are disappearing at a rapid rate here in road salt country. Mine spent it's life in B.C. and Arizona, often behind a motor home. Nice clean unmodified examples are already starting to increase in value, and you don't need deep pockets to own and enjoy them. A well sorted one can easily cruise all day at 70 MPH too.
Pit Crew

I had a Landcruiser (FJ40) in my early 20's. I didn't realize how much fuel it sucked and
even worse how slow it was. Not only that girls didn't really dig them. Can't imagine
that I would like one, now, 30 plus years later.

I miss my '71 with a'69 Mach 1 351 I played with and put in it. Owned it 16 years.