Last year saw huge growth in the classic car market, as growing wealth and increased access to auctions saw enthusiasts scramble to get their hands on the most coveted models. But for those looking to buy and sell in the car collectors market in 2022, this data offers hints as to which cars to invest in this year.
Data from Hagerty US, which specializes in collector cars analytics, found that the number of classic car sales in North America last year, was 50% higher than in 2019, and the market shows no sign of cooling in 2022.
Online auctions have more than doubled in the past two years, but private sales still dominate 90% of the market.
But which classic cars are the best investment? Using data such as average prices over time, private sales and auctions, import and exports, and data on owners, the Hagerty Automotive Intelligence team compiles their Bull Market list of the cars they predict will do best in 2022.
Readers may be surprised to see the 1968-1976 Ferrari Dino 246 GT/GTS on the list, which at an average price of at least $300,00 is far and away the most expensive on the list. But in fact, this stunning model still costs just a fraction of its Ferrari siblings, due to almost 4000 of them being made in the early 1970s. What’s driving up the price of the Dino this year, Hagerty predicts, is the rising number of exports back to Europe, which drives up prices in North America.
Facing a similar challenge is the Land Rover Defenders of 1983-1997: although there were millions made, they are still rare in the US. Despite the fact that the Defender went up by 55% in 2021, Hagerty are predicting this demand will bring another strong year for the beloved British car.
The newest car on the Bull Market list is the 2008-2011 Tesla Roadster, popular for its style, exclusivity, and its cultural significance as a turning point for electric vehicles. In 2021, the number of insurance quotes for Millennial-aged Roadster owners went up by 18%, and they now make up over a third of quotes.
Age analysis of insurance quote holders is one of the key metrics Hagerty uses to predict a car’s success, as increasing wealth and demand in younger age groups can be a clear sign of a car’s future success. It’s what led to Hagerty tipping the 1981-1993 Volvo 240 Wagon and the 1986-1995 Suzuki Samurai for huge growth in 2022, the cheapest cars on the Bull Market list.
Millennials account for 19% of all quotes for enthusiast vehicles, but 26% of quotes for the Samurai, and 32% of quotes for the Volvo Wagon.
The 1963-1971 Mercedes-Benz 230SL too is seeing strong growth. Although millennials currently only make up less than a tenth of insurance quotes, their numbers grew by 15% in 2021, while the number of boomers with insurance quotes for the model fell by 20%.
The Mercedes-Benz and Landrover Defender are alongside the 1979-1985 Mazda RX-7 as the cars that could see the biggest price increase as a result of top restoration. Hagerty estimates that these three cars in the highest condition could be worth more than double a model in condition 2.
And for those thinking about which classic cars are the best investment, it’s worth bearing in mind the effect the condition could have on the price, and for those looking to sell, the most professional restoration could have a huge impact.