The Bull Market: experts reveal the best classics to buy now

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Anyone with one eye on the classic car market will know that business seems to be booming. Whether it’s restomods, continuation models or modern classics, it’s as though a desirable car is a passport to riches. Of course, that’s not strictly true and, as the political landscape demonstrates, anything can happen. However, you can lessen the risk by seeking the advice of the experts, which is where the Hagerty Bull Market comes in. According to the valuation team, these are 10 modern classics that should go up in value in 2019.

A lot of bull?

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

‘Is the Hagerty Bull Market a load of bull?’, you may ask. It’s a valid question, and as the Hagerty report admits, ‘to be honest, we don’t know, as we’re only in the second year of doing it’. But, a year on from the first Bull Market, the evidence is rather compelling. Of the nine cars selected for growth, all were up in the Hagerty Price Guide for cars in excellent condition. Values of the BMW M3 rose by 22 percent. We should point out that this a US-centric report, but the cars and the supporting explanations are interesting nevertheless.

BMW 3.0 CSL

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

CSL. How can three letters stir up such emotion and make the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention? In isolation, the BMW 3.0 CSL is a thoroughbred: a devastatingly effective racer and a formidable road car. Tales of a rear wing not homologated for road use and the ‘Batmobile’ nickname give the 3.0 CSL near-mythical status. But it represents so much more than that. This was the birth of BMW’s M motorsport division and the beginning of its total dominance of the European Touring Car Championship.

BMW 3.0 CSL

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “These cars aren’t common, and their values are up 10 percent in the past 12 months. Even though [excellent] cars are valued at $250,000 (£190,000), we think there is room to grow. BMWs saw the second-highest insurance-quote increase over the past year (after Jeep), and many of the quotes are for people under 55 years old. BMW and Porsche draw many of the same buyers, and as Porsche values grow and price people out, BMWs get more attractive.”

Porsche Boxster

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

In the early 1990s, it was clear that Porsche was in search of a hero. While the 911 remained popular, it wasn’t going to sell in anywhere close to the numbers required for the German manufacturer to see out the recession. Enter the Porsche Boxster concept of 1993 and, three years later, the production version. To say the Boxster rescued Porsche from bankruptcy would be to downplay the significance of the Cayenne, but it delivered the shot in the arm the company urgently required.

Porsche Boxster

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “Why this car got cheap: it has the early ugly headlights, the intermediate shaft bearing problem, and a reputation for poor build quality. But, 15 years after production ended, there’s a fix for the bearing, and most survivors will have had it done. Many people who could buy a $50,000 (£40,000) car new are the kind who do the maintenance and keep records.”

Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Built to mark the end of C4 Corvette production in 1996, the Grand Sport was limited to 1,000 examples – 810 coupes and 190 convertibles. Only one colour was available: Admiral Blue with an Arctic White stripe down the centre. The Grand Sport cost $37,225 when new – a $3,250 premium over the regular coupe – but Hagerty’s guide price says that’s the minimum you’ll pay for an excellent example in 2019.

Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “Just 1,000 examples built in one year means these cars are rare, fast, and distinctive. In a Corvette – in fact, most cars – these factors add value. Plus, most Grand Sports were treated as collector cars from new, which means lots of low-mileage choices out there.”

Saleen Mustang

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

In 1984, Steve Saleen took the Fox-body Mustang and created a formidable race car. By focusing on the chassis, suspension and brakes, Saleen secured victories at North American races throughout the mid- to late-80s. The 5.0-litre V8 might not be quick by today’s standards, but the Saleen’s stock is rising.

Saleen Mustang

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “Fox-body Saleen Mustangs are the early Shelby GT350s of the 1980s. Similarities include being created for SCCA competition by a famous driver and incredibly low production numbers. Bone-jarringly stiff, unapologetic, absolute race cars for the street, these early Saleens are still trading for not much more than a garden-variety Fox-body Mustang GT. For now. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.”

Subaru Impreza WRX STI

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Far too many Subaru Tecnica International (STI) products were like forbidden fruit – performance icons restricted to their home market. Which is why those that escaped to Europe and North America are held in such high regard. For years, Subaru and Mitsubishi were engaged in a power struggle, which created some performance icons. For Hagerty, the second-generation WRX STI gets the nod, in post-facelift guise.

Subaru Impreza WRX STI

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “The real-life versions of the cars we played in Need for Speed were too expensive for the kids who wanted them. But as those kids became adults and made money, the cars got older and cheaper. Good examples are hard to find today, but they are that much more valuable.”

Toyota MR2

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Toyota started working on a mid-engined sports car in 1976, but the plans were shelved in the wake of the fuel crisis. By 1979, however, the MR2, as it would be known, was back on the agenda, with the sports car making its debut at the 1983 Tokyo Motor Show. A year later, it made its production debut in Japan, but it wasn’t long before it made its way to export markets. In 1985, the MR2 was awarded the Import Car of the Year Award by Motor Trend magazine.

Toyota MR2

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “A car magazine favourite when new that represents all the cool design things about the 1980s. Clean [excellent] cars are still less than $5k (£4k), but values are up 25 percent. Millennials make up 45 percent of our quotes, which is insane; they were toddlers when the MR2 was introduced. These are people just getting into the hobby, so there’s room to grow.”

Dodge Ram SRT-10

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty labels the Dodge Ram SRT-10 as a kind of ‘American Lamborghini LM002’, arguing that both vehicles featured a “ridiculously overcompensating” engine that made people giggle. It’s a charming analogy, not least because the automotive world isn’t exactly littered with 8.3-litre V10 pick-ups.

Dodge Ram SRT-10

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “Our insurance quotes are up 40 percent, and 61 percent of those are from Gen X and millennials, meaning the interested parties are under 55. Auction sale prices are up 15 percent. At the Mecum sale in Monterey, a 1,500-mile truck went for $56,000 (£43,000), 10 grand over the original MSRP. They’re really hot right now, they’re moving, and there really isn’t a substitute. A pick-up with a V10 and six-speed is an uncommon combination.”

Ford Bronco

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

The Ford Bronco dates back to 1965, when the 1966 model year ‘All-Purpose-Vehicle’ made its debut. The first-generation vehicles command serious money, while the second-gen Bronco was only in production for two years. Which is why Hagerty reckons the third-generation Bronco is the one to opt for, not least because the launch of a new Ford Bronco should renew interest in this go-anywhere, simple and practical SUV.

Ford Bronco

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “Just as with later Benz SLs, there’s a strong substitution effect by people priced out of the first-generation vehicles. There wasn’t a big performance difference between all the model years, so there isn’t a big falloff in values from the 70s to the 80s. Millennials are twice as likely to quote a third-gen as a first-gen because they’re cheaper; [an excellent] value of $15k (£11.5k) is a lot more accessible. The fact that they are bringing the Bronco back stands to help long-term values.”

Pontiac G8 GXP

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Oh, this is a good one. Whether you view it as an ‘American BMW M5’ or a ‘four-door Corvette’, the Pontiac G8 GXP is a nailed-on future classic. OK, it was essentially a rebadged Holden Commodore, but the 6.2-litre V8 engine was as American as mom’s apple pie. It was the fastest Pontiac ever built and one of the last cars to wear the famous badge, before GM pulled the plug. Just 1,829 were built and values are already on the up.

Pontiac G8 GXP

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “The last hurrah of the Pontiac brand, the GXP was the only G8 available with a manual transmission. Members of the Pontiac fan club are crazy excited about their cars in general and when the brand was discontinued, they went nuts and became even more enthusiastic. Values are up 10 percent over last year’s. There’s no downside to this car, and it will never get any cheaper.”

Buick Roadmaster Estate

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

In the days before the American suburbs fell for the ‘charms’ of the SUV, a hulking great station wagon was the default choice for families on the move. There’s more than a hint of the ‘Family Truckster’ in the styling of the Buick Roadmaster Estate, but this softly-sprung V8 will get you to Walley World in record time. For the last word in chuckles, opt for the later version with the 260hp LT1 V8 engine from the Corvette.

Buick Roadmaster Estate

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “Is this the AMC Pacer of the 90s? The number of insurance quotes we give on this car leads the overall market by 14 points. The quoted values have pretty much bottomed out, which means they are done depreciating. We don’t see them at the auctions yet, but they have a big cult following on social media, and there’s nowhere for Roadmasters to go but up.”