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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Which classics are the safest bets and which are risky business?

In classic car circles you hear a lot about the difference between collectors and investors, as if they're warring tribes. Truth is, most of us are little of both-it's possible to love Old Car Smell and at the same time be savvy about what things are worth.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/market-trends/hagerty-insider/which-classics-are-the-safest-bets-and-w...
82 REPLIES 82
Ajakeski
Detailer

Chrysler's TC by Maserati. The amateur automotive journalist's go-to punching bag...
Yes, it's K-car based, (Daytona actually) but the hand made Italian leather interior is still nice even after 33 years.
The intercooled 2.2 Turbo II in the base 1989 model moves the TC along as well as most newer cars on you will encounter on the road.
The TC was not designed to be a performance car record holder. Being said, the Turbo II engine has great performance potential with roots in 40 years of enthusiest R&D.
Add to it the fact that most powertrain and chassis improvements can be made with parts from other K based products. This makes the cost of ownership is extremely low. Junk yard and Rock Auto wholesaler closeout prices low.
The three speed automatic transmission found behind the base TII engine can be upgraded inexpensively. Many racers use the same transmission in 12 second and faster cars. A well built a413 can live a long happy life backing up the TC's TII engine.

Is the TC a good $10000+ car? Hell no.
Is the TC a great $5000 car? Absolutely.

Will any version of the TC ever become extremely valuable? I don't really care. I'm a car guy, not a guy with some cars.






sclin10
Instructor

"I'm a car guy, not a guy with some cars."
Someone needs to make up T-shirts with this on them.
JoeUva
New Driver

I love it.  As the owner of a mid 70’s under appreciated muscle car from Chevrolet, I can appreciate someone who loves a car for its potential.  Just because it’s not a highly collectible make and model doesn’t mean you can’t find an under appreciated car that you’re passionate about, at a good price, and enjoy it.  I, too, love the quote.  My vote is for “T shirts for everybody!”

TimK
Advanced Driver

Amen! Real car guys buy and drive cars we enjoy not looking for appreciation in value or even if somebody else likes our ride.
RickL
Advanced Driver

My motto is "Motion is Lotion, Rest is Rust", drive them. I just drove my 560SL to Senior Softball top down, love being able to do both. DRIVE them!!!!
tbm3fan
Pit Crew

There is a fellow out by me who had two of these cars for sale. 1990 convertibles to be exact at $700. More interesting is that they have been for sale for at least three years and it seems one has finally sold.
SteveWeidert
Pit Crew

Glad to see American cars making the grade. Pontiac is a good car and highly under-rated. You hear about GTO's all the time, but Pontiac has a wide array of "sleepers". Catalina 3+3 with its big block horsepower, was one such car. 389's and 421 tri-powers were head turners and neck snappers. The Lemans, Tempest, Bonnivilles, Chieftains were prime examples of such cars.
CJR
Intermediate Driver

Not to mention, the 1969-70 Pontiac Grand Prix, especially the SJ models. Classy, sharp, and fast.
Padgett
Instructor

Used to have a '70 GP with 4-speed Muncie. Open diff and we called it Asphyxiation. Longest hood in the industry
Smilodon
Instructor

I'm a GTO guy, but I've always loved those long nose GPs. They look really good raked.
Firehawk2K2544
Intermediate Driver

Not to quibble, but I believe it was the Catalina 2+2.
I think this era of Pontiac (61-64) were the best looking ever.
Notto mention the Safari Wagons....
Padgett
Instructor

Hysterical note: a 65 Catalina 2+2 was the first car to post a 0-60 of 3.8 seconds thanks to "special" tires, a long first gear, and Jan Norby's magic stopwatch.
DT
Instructor

Don't you mean Catalina 2+2 ? never heard of a 3+3 .
Snailish
Engineer

My Dad's 85 GM crew cab camper special has a factory 3+3 badge on it!

Edelson
New Driver

Great minds think alike! I gave a 63 Bonneville convertible and 69 gto convertible. Both great head turners!
50s60s70s
Detailer

Not a fan of the " investor" mentality. They usually have no love for the used cars that they drive up in price an out of reach of collectors that truly have a love and passion for both the history and the cars. Sure it's nice to have the time and cost spent in restoration maintained in the value of the vehicle. But if that's the only reason you're interested in the car is to make a money from a sale to an investor with disposable income or altering (customized:) and ruining the original art and engineering of the original cars for a quick fad profit you're missing the point of the hobby. I've noticed that fewer and fewer cars from the 60s and 70s for sale are kept original,updated drive trains, brakes, and suspension....no interest in preserving any history or original engineering. It's very disturbing so many great vehicles are being destroyed for a fad based on television and movie influences.
Just saying.....
uweschmidt
Instructor

You are absolutely right are we slowly turning this Hobby into a Market Place with Costs and Yield Analyses Bottomline profit Margins and Futures ? This is a Hobby and I would Hope the People I Associate with would treat it as such and yes I have a 1948 Dodge Coupeand a 1963 Alfa Romeo both about as original as I can keep them and I don't know what they are worth and I really don"t Care their Value is in Smiles per Mile




DUB6
Racer

I wish I could give this post FIVE likes, but it'll only accept one.

Smilodon
Instructor

I like the #4- rusty junk I can drive. A #1 or #2 car might be nice, but then you worry. I like to drop clutch peel, hammer and go. Park wherever- if the chicksuv bangs the door into me? Character. My money goes: engine-trans-axle. Leftover I might fix the windows or straighten a bumper. I didn't buy it to look at, nor enhance my maleness. I bought it to drive.
Racko
Pit Crew

It’s been a market for folks looking for a better and more stable return than traditional investments. That’s just how it is.
Imperialist67
Pit Crew

Antique cars by and large are NOT good investments. All the cars I own/have owned were because I liked them, and enjoy owning/driving/taking them to shows, etc. The "investor mentality" has always been an issue, as too many cars were gotten rid of because they "weren't worth fixing." The wave of "reality shows" based on "building" cars for profit is truly a menace for the original cars that remain, which is precisely why remaining un-modified cars are going up in value finally.......
Reatta
Intermediate Driver

Shouldn't we make predictions based on supply and demand? I believe that the very rare and exotic will always trend upwards and money is being printed out of thin air and the population is growing.
Buy what is rare and desirable, because it is better than money. Population is growing and even if some drop out of the market, more are coming into the collectible car market to replace the ones leaving. Wouldn't you rather be driving a great car right now? If you don't buy them now, they will not be this cheap ever again. If they are ever cheap again, I don't believe we will be worrying about the car market. More like we will welcoming in WWIII.
Smasher
Detailer

I have been a car enthusiast since the 80's. I have seen the bottom drop out of the market more than once.
I repair them myself, but love it when I sell them for way more than I have in them.
I see many of the buyers history on bring a trailer and they are clearly buying a diversified portfolio.
With interest rates on the climb and inflation hitting record levels, I bet a hiccup is looming, and I predict there will be a scramble to list these diversified portfolios.
I have always said sell when everyone is buying and buy when everyone is selling.
Smilodon
Instructor

I am driving a great car, got a couple. Didn't buy an "investment", bought cars to drive. They get rained on, street hammered, sometimes run at Brainerd Raceway; why, once in a while I get caught in the snow! Didn't buy displays, bought cars.
hyperv6
Collector

Look established classics may drop but will be more stable than I established models.

Low volume high end models have built in protection like the new GT.

The TC is a big long shot and any volume BMW or Benz is far from a sure thing.

If the money is not there now do not expect a recession to bring money to new models as investors will go to the proven metal or fiberglass,

 

The Pontiacs listed here are the real Pontiacs. We will continue to see these increase as the later corporate Pontiac models will do ok but the money people are interested in those cars with real Pontiac engines. 

 

Snailish
Engineer

We didn't get "real Pontiacs" in Canada. 50s into the 60s we got Pontiac skins on Chev running gear including the frames in some cases. Yet we love our Pontiacs up here (Stratochief, Parisienne, Beaumont, Acadian, etc.).

What the infinitely wise at GM failed to value was the deeply-rooting branding Pontiac had earned among enthusiasts.

I expect reverence for this brand will continue to be a rising tide.
GTO goes without saying. Trans Am every generation has a following. Fiero is more-appreciated now than ever, etc.

Aztek is the butt of jokes of course, but last laugh is that is the "it" type of vehicle now, as sad as that is.

Would I call a restored 90s Grand Am a good investment --probably not but for sure car that might just get a thumbs up.
CJR
Intermediate Driver

At least the GTO and Grand Prix came with actual Pontiac engines in Canada.
CJR
Intermediate Driver

Oh, yes, and the Firebird as well.
Smilodon
Instructor

Love my '04 Holden/Pontiac GTO, even though unlike my '66 it has a GM corporate LS1. Yon '66 has a 4bbl 389 and Muncie 4spd, a ripping cool car. My '04 has an aftermarket 7.0L LS based engine, the born with Tremec 6spd, and just looks the business. It'll run a radar and GPS verified155mph for as long as my Goodyear Eagles will take it, and has put down a 12.07 quarter at Brainerd International Raceway on street tires through the mufflers. But at the shows and club get togethers, it's the slower, poor handling '66 that gets the love. You know. Sigh.
CJR
Intermediate Driver

Nostalgia is also a powerful thing!
Longroofjunkie
Instructor

Interesting. 100% of the least-volatile cars are old-man vehicles. In some cases, very old men.

A lot of the time, owning vintage cars is about buying back your childhood. Same is true for a lot of other “collectibles.”

Whatever was cool and/or high-performance when you were in high School / College, and you couldn’t afford, is, in general, what guys want. And it’s almost entirely guys.

And I’m a male old-fart (can one be a female old-fart? Technically possible, right)?
Though I have no interest in any of those low-volatility cars, personally.
I’d take a Ford GT, though, of any generation, if anyone has a spare lying around!
Jack57
New Driver

Quick question: where is the best place to post vintage cars for sale- 57 Chev belair. Haggerty doesn’t have a for sale section as far as I know?
Jack57
DMcC
Detailer

Try a little harder - there is a sales opportunity.
WoodBoatChick
Pit Crew

Do you know Bring a Trailer?
https://bringatrailer.com/
You can buy, sell and entertain yourself. The comments on the cars are very enlightening, especially when a commenter either knows the vehicle, or owned it and the provided information/description is of questionable accuracy. Caveat Emptor.. buyer beware! 🙂

Snailish
Engineer

There is a forum here for that. It hides with the motorcycle, barn find, etc. forums.
Tinkerah
Engineer

I can't help wondering what the volatility score of my Camaro with the leaking fuel tank would be.
DUB6
Racer

Uh, different kind of volatility, there, @Tinkerah...🤣

Tinkerah
Engineer

So in a field of one....I WIN!

DUB6
Racer

Hey man, not trying to butter you up, but in my book, both your Camaro AND your posts are winners.

Tinkerah
Engineer

Thank You DUB6 for the kind compliments. You must realize, of course, that you're only encouraging me....!

DUB6
Racer

Bring it on, brother!

Tinkerah
Engineer

So the buttering has begun! And for anyone who thought I was joking about the leaking tank, the new one is on the porch ready to be swapped in. After that the volatility will have to come from my posts!

Sajeev
Community Manager

You may not, but I totally will butter him up. @Tinkerah's Camaro with old school modifications is wicked cool. 

Celentms
New Driver

Where is my beloved 1969 Thunderbird Landau Coupe? The leather interior was top notch, the "alligator" (my term) vinyl roof, and that 429 ThunderJet engine was cruising heaven. I never see anything on this site about it...
Snailish
Engineer
Steve1957
Intermediate Driver

Ellen Degeneres and Bill Pullman were in a movie, "Mr. Wrong", in 1996. Funniest part, to me, was that when she meets him, he's driving a beautiful Jaguar convertible, and she falls hard. They have a couple of dates, getting to know each other, professing how love is more important than money etc etc. After a few dates, he pulls up to her curb in one of these K-car Maseratis with the top down, completely self-satisfied, and her jaw drops in horror. He professes to be thrilled about he doesn't have to drive a car to impress anymore, and he just loves, loves loves this K-car. Alas, these cars have never gotten any respect, at least in popular culture, which I guess intersects with car culture.
DUB6
Racer

Wait, you actually watched a movie that was trying to sell the idea that Ellen Degeneres falls for a guy?  I mean, not that there's anything wrong with what she does with her love life, but who the heck suspended reality that far to make that particular casting decision?

Billthecat707
Instructor

Don't forget Rock Hudson and many other macho men and beautiful women were gay. It's just playing a role.
Steve1957
Intermediate Driver

About a year ago I finished restomodding a '63.5 Galaxie. Porsche sport classic gray paint, custom dyed Ferrari orange interior, stroked 445 ci motor, just a gorgeous car, on high profile coopers black side out, dog dish turbine hub caps. At a car show recently, I noticed a younger guy going over every detail of my car with a friend, doing some real "pondering." He came over to ask me if it was mine, I affirmed, and he said "It's perfect." Thing was, he had three new (and barely used) GT 40s in the show at the other end of the "lot." I found that encouraging. He asked about the paint, the interior color and the tight, tailored low-pile Daytona carpeting, and I told him I "tried to make it into a Porsche." "You failed", he said, and we both got some yucks out of that.