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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/23/16 9:39 a.m.

We just got this release from classic car insurer Hagerty, and it looks like our M3 is now officially a future classic. In fact, it’s at the top of their list!

Look for more updates on our project car soon, and here’s that entire release:


1980s and Newer Models Prove Popular as New Generation Emerges

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (Dec. 22, 2016) – Hagerty, the classic car valuations and insurance leader, today announced its guidance for the best classic cars to buy in 2017. The list focuses on cars that are poised to be strong investments in terms of value growth and smiles-per-dollar.

“One of the most exciting trends emerging is younger enthusiasts driving interest in newer vehicles,” said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty. “Well-preserved vehicles from the 1980s and even the 1990s–some from long-term ownership-will continue to come to market as demand increases.”

Using a combination of their Hagerty Price Guide, Hagerty Vehicle Ratings and internal data, the company recommends the following models as strong buys for 2017 (including average prices).

  1. 2000-2006 BMW M3 ($20,000) - BMW's earlier M cars have been blazing hot over the past three years and newer offerings are still much more expensive, which makes the E46 M3 coupe particularly attractive.

  2. 1997-2004 Chevrolet Corvette ($15,000) - The oldest C5 Corvettes are now 20-years-old and fully depreciated. They are also objectively better cars than C4 Corvettes but trade at a similar price. Z06s have the best long-term prospects, with their lower production numbers and higher power output.

  3. 1971-1972 Dodge Challenger ($18,300) - Not even close to recovering from the muscle car crash of 2008, Challengers are starting to rise to the top in interest. Demand for these as measured by Hagerty is the highest it has been since 2012, and value increases are likely to follow. Great looks, name recognition and tire-smoking power for less than $50,000 makes these muscle cars particularly enticing.

  4. 1968-1970 Dodge Charger ($26,100) - Like its younger Challenger sibling, Hagerty has observed a 5-year high in interest for 1968-70 Dodge Chargers. Unlike the Challenger, these cars recently exceeded their previous high. Values should continue to steadily increase, providing a relatively safe way to invest in 375 vintage horsepower.

  5. 2003-2006 Dodge Viper ($50,000) - If there is a theme to this list, it’s adrenaline, and the Dodge Viper delivers. Early Vipers are officially collectible with top values now reliably exceeding $50,000. Newer examples offer the same thrills for a little less money, and plenty exist with nearly no miles on the odometer.

  6. 2003 Ferrari Enzo ($2,300,000) - Is anything better than a low-production, Ferrari hypercar? Not really, especially in terms of recent appreciation. If you can find one in good condition with documentation and service history (and can afford it), buy with confidence. Where other aging poster cars sometimes fall into pricing purgatory (not new enough to be competitive, not old enough to be classic), the Enzo has earned widespread respect.

  7. 1966-1977 Ford Bronco ($18,500) - Boxy 1970s SUVs are popular among Gen X and Millennial buyers, with first-generation Broncos being well-liked in particular. Values have been rising for several years now, but given recent activity and the popularity among younger enthusiasts, they aren’t likely to get cheaper any time soon. They scratch the same itch as a Toyota FJ40s but trade for significantly less.

  8. 1970 Plymouth Superbird ($233,000) – With their exaggerated length and cartoonish rear spoiler, the Plymouth Superbird is off-putting to some, but interest in Mopars is reviving and the Superbird is one of the apex cars of the era. As rare as Superbirds are (production figures range from 1,920 to nearly 3,000), there is never a shortage of them on the market and interest is ratcheting up.

  9. 2007-2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS ($180,000) - Porsche 911 GT3 RSs have become one of the most popular additions to high-end collections in 2016, and for good reason: rare, lightweight and racy. Lots of these are destined to be hidden away as instant collectibles. If that's your plan, look for one with a rare combination of options or colors. Of course, you could always treat it as an investment in happiness and just drive it until the wheels come off.

  10. 1993-1998 Toyota Supra Turbo ($40,000) - Twin-turbo MkIV Supras were one of the fastest production cars of the 1990s and were fixtures in contemporary go-fast movies and video games. It’s no surprise they are lusted-after today by collectors who are just starting to get serious about car ownership. Stock, manual transmission-equipped examples are next to impossible to find, which makes them exceptional candidates for explosive growth.

About Hagerty: Based in Traverse City, Michigan, Hagerty is the world’s leading insurance provider for classic vehicles and host to the largest network of classic car owners. Hagerty offers insurance for classic cars, trucks, motorcycles and motorcycle safety equipment, tractors, automotive tools and spare parts and even “automobilia” (any historic or collectible item linked with motor vehicles). Hagerty also offers overseas shipping/touring insurance coverage, business coverage and club liability coverage. For more information, call (800) 922-4050 or visit www.hagerty.com.

Hagerty also provides online Valuation Tools and publishes Hagerty Price Guide, which are the premier guides for post-war collectible automobiles. For more information please visit www.hagerty.com/valuationtools.

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GameboyRMH MegaDork
12/23/16 10:39 a.m.

Mostly good choices (although many of them are "duh" choices that are practically a notice in reaction to the market) except for the C5. The massive improvements (especially in handling) between generations from the C5 to the C7 won't be kind to the C5's value, and the C5's styling isn't quite good enough to overcome how dated it's beginning to look.

Edit: I think the C6 and C7 will be instant classics if the next-gen Corvette is a costly mid-engined car. I'd even say the C7 is a safer bet right now than the C5.

Tyler H
Tyler H UltraDork
12/23/16 10:52 a.m.

I need Hagerty to explain this to my wife.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/23/16 10:56 a.m.

You make a good argument, but I'm still going to back up the C5 Z06. The later Vettes are faster, but there's something special about a C5 Z06. Plus it came with the coolest factory wheels ever.

One day we'll have another Corvette in the GRM fleet. The debate here in the office has been C5 or C6. (Yes, that's some foreshadowing.)

Interesting to see the Bronco on the list. Some old-school SUVs got expensive, but the prices seem to have cooled off a tick. I'm looking at you, FJ40.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/23/16 11:00 a.m.
Tyler H wrote: I need Hagerty to explain this to my wife.

Should we arrange a phone conference?

dean1484 MegaDork
12/23/16 11:02 a.m.

I have always thought that the C5 (especially the Z06) is one of the best-looking cars ever made. Even today I prefer it to the C6 and the C7. Especially the C6 I think that thing is ugly. The C7 is better but I still like the C5 better.

Never done this before so I think I will post photos of all three to compare.




David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/23/16 11:10 a.m.

Yep, in my book the C5 wins your photo contest.

JG, we're getting a C5!

MattW New Reader
12/23/16 11:13 a.m.

Hard top C5's are beautiful cars.

12/23/16 11:30 a.m.

I've been wavering on the Enzo. I guess it's time to E36 M3 or get off the pot.

Furious_E Dork
12/23/16 11:54 a.m.

C5 Z06 will do well, but I agree with Gameboy on the rest of the breed. I'm not even convinced they're done depreciating yet, with the C6 starting to be seen under $20k with some regularity. Not to mention, I believe the production numbers were a good bit higher than the two subsequent generations. I too like the styling of the C5 best, but I'm not super hot for any of them and think they will all show their age some day. All that being said, I think it's very hard to argue against the C5 as the best performance per dollar production vehicle available today.

The Bronco is interesting and I guess I'd be a data point in favor of their comment on millennials and boxy SUVs - definitely find myself drawn to the older Bronco's, Blazers, Wranglers, Land cruisers, and the like and my dd is an XJ.

Some other cars not mentioned on the list that I see appreciating in the next few years: early Vipers (particularly the GTS) and the FD RX7. I think the original Viper is such an iconic and distinctive car and the FD is gorgeous, rare (especially in unmolested condition), unique, and has a rabid cult following.

pushrod36 Reader
12/23/16 12:03 p.m.

I think that driver quality vintage American muscle is going to decline as the new American muscle depreciates.

I also believe any naturally aspirated v12 with a manual transmission will do well, newer is better. My personal pick is a Ferrari 550.

Knurled MegaDork
12/23/16 12:14 p.m.

I'd love to have an E46 M3. Unfortunately it seems like they are either priced really high, or convertibles. You can't rallycross a convertible if it doesn't have a hardtop, and any vehicle I own will be rallycrossed at least once.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
12/23/16 12:19 p.m.
David S. Wallens wrote: Yep, in my book the C5 wins your photo contest. JG, we're getting a C5!

I can not argue with any of this logic. There's really no loser there. C5Zs still dominate AS and SSR autocross, but C6s also win in capable hands. Sam Strano has basically said he thinks a C5Z is a faster car but he drives a C6Z because he likes the seats and interior better. There's no loser here, except people who don't buy one or the other in the next 18 months or so.

Tyler H
Tyler H UltraDork
12/23/16 1:13 p.m.

If they needed an F-car on the list, the 308/348 would fit in better than the Enzo. And NSX.

93gsxturbo Dork
12/23/16 2:17 p.m.

As a former C5 owner, I had longings for replacing it with a C6 after a few years, but that lust quickly faded when I realized just how good the C5 really was. The C6 was bigger and uglier, headlights were really bad, and just didnt have the cool of the C5. The C5 looked like an exotic. The C6 looked like a squished Camaro.

The C7, especially in white, is a striking car. But its tough to get over the clean and simple lines of the C5.

yupididit Dork
12/23/16 2:28 p.m.

The c5 z06 and frc are my fav corvettes as far as looks. I want a white FRC so bad.

mr2peak Dork
12/23/16 3:30 p.m.

What about Z3 M Coupes? It's got the S54, it has much lower production numbers, it's faster, and it's more of a sports car than an M3. Prices are already up there as well...

Carro Atrezzi
Carro Atrezzi HalfDork
12/23/16 3:33 p.m.

Unfortunately there is no way to know what cars will be highly collectible in the future. Fortunately, there is a fairly accurate indicator of which ones won't be: any of those which are heralded as future collectibles.

Muscle cars: nobody ever saw that coming. In 1974 you were doing good to trade a Hemi Charger straight up for a CB750 (I happen to know someone who did that).

911's: Did Hagerty or anybody else call that one? I don't think so.

I could go on and on. I happen to have a hunch that '90's early 2000's crotch rockets will be a hot item in the future.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
12/23/16 3:55 p.m.
93gsxturbo wrote: [C6] headlights were really bad

They also do not pop up, which is another strike against them.

RossD UltimaDork
12/23/16 5:28 p.m.

Along with the small Bronco is the full size jeeps from the 70s and 80s.

JoeTR6 HalfDork
12/23/16 5:31 p.m.
mr2peak wrote: What about Z3 M Coupes? It's got the S54, it has much lower production numbers, it's faster, and it's more of a sports car than an M3. Prices are already up there as well...

As someone who sold a '99 M Coupe around 2006, I'm amazed at what these are going for now. Probably not on the list because they began climbing years ago. I'd love the have the M Coupe back.

I'd still rather have a E36 than a E46 M3, but it's probably easier to find a nice E46.

Vigo PowerDork
12/23/16 5:34 p.m.

I agree with everyone else here who thinks the C5 is prettier by a mile than the C6 and by slightly less than a mile over the C7.

A recent CL search turned up a handful of c5s WELL under 10k in my area (none of them nice, but still). That's a sharp drop in the last few months! I think they are VERY close to the bottom.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/23/16 5:42 p.m.

Yeah, some M coupes have already gone up. I was at this sale: $53,900 for a mint, non-sunroof M coupe.


Tom_Spangler UberDork
12/23/16 5:59 p.m.

I'll dispute their assertion that C5s are now as cheap as C4s. Last time I looked, you could still get decent C4s for under $10k all day long, and C5s are still in the mid-teens.

And yes, the C5 is a much better-looking car than the C6. Popups FTW!

codrus SuperDork
12/23/16 7:13 p.m.
Tom_Spangler wrote: And yes, the C5 is a much better-looking car than the C6. Popups FTW!

I like the popups, but the back end on the C5 coupe (which all the C5 Z06s were, IIRC) is... unfortunate.

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