So if you are not aware the collector car market right now is booming. There are more specialty used car lots with classic cars, more older cars for sale on Craigslist and even in people’s front yards.
The auctions that have the best of the collector cars (Mecum, Barrett-Jackson, Auctions America, etc.), are packed with cars and consumers and get more TV coverage than ever.
But be aware cars in those auctions are usually the “best of the best” and are of museum quality.
Rarely will a car of that level be available for sale on the “open market.” People do compare prices to those cars, just be observant of what kind of car crosses their auction block. And then check out the car you are looking at.
I first started attending collector car shows (Rod & Custom shows as my late dad called them), on my own starting about 10 years ago. I did attend some when I was in college but not watching closely like I do now.
I’ve found that within 10-15 years (of a car being in production), is the window to get a good collector car before the price raises. So that means if there’s a car you like going back to 2000, this is the time to think about getting one.
Obviously there are exceptions, the Ford GT from 10 years ago which was a six figure car to start with has really skyrocketed in the last few years to now it’s a quarter to half million dollar car.
I’m going to list a lot of cars over the last 10-15 years that may become collectibles or have special value.
Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS’ from the early 2000’s especially special edition Intimidator (2005), or Jeff Gordon (2003), or maybe the supercharged editions in 2004 & 2005. These are dirt cheap but a lot of them are not in great shape, so “buyer beware”.
A real interesting vehicle is the Chevrolet Trailblazer SS (pictured), now in the mid 2000’s Chevrolet threw the SS badge on virtually every model but this one might be the most valuable and the quickest. The predecessor to it was the GMC Typhoon from the early 1990’s and its become a collector favorite and has moderate value.
It will be interesting to see where the Dodge Charger R/T & SRT8 & Challenger SRT8 & 392 end up. Not to forget the Dodge Magnum SRT8 and Chrysler 300 Hemi C. Those models started in the mid 2000’s and SRT8’s have remained desirable and should be worth the most, keep an eye on the Challenger, that might be a valuable car down the road, most have not dropped below $v 25,000 in value.
Chevrolet outdid itself with the C5 Corvette (1998-2004), it truly became a supercar in this generation, that and the early C6 (2006-2009), models might realty get up there price wise.
Two rare cars are the Dodge SRT-4 (2003-2005), Neon & SRT Caliber (2008-09), both have a really loyal following like previous turbo Dodges (Spirit R/T & Omni GLH), and are hard to find but not out of reach financially. You can get a good SRT-4 Neon still for $ 10,000, the Caliber is a little more, and this might be a good car to get simply for the low production numbers and legendary turbo performance.
I’ll be honest I have no idea where the Pontiac GTO will go. It was the 2004-2006 based on the Australian Holden Commodore and it’s a decent buy right now ($ 15,000- $ 20,000), it had a Corvette engine (5.7 liter in ’04, 6.0 liter after that), but looked like a Grand Prix. Same goes for its four door “mate” the G8 but a lot of power in those cars, could be a just a fun car and hard to get Corvette power that cheap.
It seems the Dodge Viper might be going away again, it’s a low production supercar that is around six figures new, might go up, the originals from the early 1990’s have held their value.
Asian imports have been gaining value quickly and I wonder if the Subaru WRX STI, Mitsubishi Evolution (EVO), Nissan 350Z and cars like that will get up like there like the Toyota Supra (those from the 1990’s have skyrocketed), and going back to the Datsun 280Z. My guess is these will have some value.
I personally like the Cadillac V Series cars, some more Corvette technology but in a luxury package, in past Cadillac’s don’t have a ton of value on the used car market until they have significant age, this may change.
A real sleeper is the Cadillac XLR (2004-2007), looks like a Corvette, same engine, built in the same plant (Bowling Green, KY), and has retractable hard top. It’s a $ 20,000 car now, see if it goes anywhere.
Also don’t forget the Saturn Sky & Pontiac Solstice, they were roadsters for the now defunct GM brands, low production cars that might gain some value, look at the Plymouth Prowler, it got a life of its own in the last decade or so.
Lastly but not least the Ford Mustang, especially Boss 302 and Shelby versions have done really well for older models (1960’s & early 1970’s), in recent years. It’s weird with them, the fox body versions (late 1980’s to mid-1990’s), are still affordable but in 2005 the remodel on them went retro and it got some power and limited editions, it’s a car to watch.
All of this is just my opinion from a lifetime around cars, the most important thing about buying a collector car is buy a car you like, then if it doesn’t make a ton of money at least you’re not stuck with a car you don’t like.
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Filed under: Cars