8 cars to grab before they take off


There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to pull the trigger on a beloved car you’ve tracked down, only to wait too long before the price balloons. While most movement in the collector car market is slow and steady, there are some cars that experience a faster price jump, and it’s very difficult to predict what cars will make moves and when.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/09/05/8-cars-to-grab-before-they-take-off


We take it for granted that the good folks at Hagerty have exhaustively researched and have their collective pulse on post production popular models that can, conceivably, become of interest as collectibles.Thus, “* cars to grab…” is of great interest. And yet, it does seem odd to me that while I have my 2007 XLR insured with Hagerty, they presently do not provide an evaluation of its status either as a high quality two seater roadster or as a collectible, limited production, exotic.


A minor detail, but Pontiac did continue the Grand Prix SJ at least through '74, because I had a '74 SJ 455. Still, they were not exactly performance machines, though the GP seemed to carry a bit more panache than the equivalent Monte Carlo.


I had a 75 SJ with 455. It had headers & glasspacks and moved about as good as the 1976 stock Trans Am I had.


The very notion of “grabbing” a car to collect, before it’s realized its potential as a “classic” car, is, frankly, silly. Collect, restore, and maintain whatever brand captures your interest, without regard to whether it’s going to be a “good investment” in the future. (Stocks, bonds, and real estate constitute “investments”, not classic cars). My interest runs to old Ramblers, even though they’ve never been considered “classic” cars in the past. (I’ve restored and still own '59 and '60 Rambler Americans, and a '64 Rambler Classic). I have a lot of fun with them (and get lots of compliments), and that’s what really matters.


I think the “grab it” idea is meant to say if you’ve been following this car or like them and might hope to buy one someday, then now is the time. Not so much as a “shop now and make some cash” statement.

I have a 67 GTO convertible that I’ve loved for 30 years and a 75 Formula that I like whole bunch. These are the cars that grab me. But I used to drive a '98 740il as my daily driver and that was a great car. I for one have had my eye one an older M3. I may look closer if I think that it could give me a few years of driving fun and when I have a change of heart or situation, I can sell and get some money back. I have a different attitude about the Pontiacs.


You should add the 2001-2004 SLK32 AMG as there were only about 5300 made over 3 years and even rarer yet is this model in the Designo interior and paint upgrade of which there were only a couple hundred.


Nice to see the GMC Caballero on your “before take off” list.I grabbed my '78 brand new 40 years ago this summer and have never tired of it. It has been squirreled away every winter since it was two years old and still has it’s original paint and drive train.It’s a keeper.


i think the meaning of “classic car” is becoming watered down a bit


That’s always been one of my pet peeves. There’s no such thing as a “classic” Ford or Chevy. I’ll leave it up to the Classic Car Club of America to define true classics.


If there are no classic Ford or Chevys how would you classify this?


Sweet. But a true classic is defined as limited production,luxurious,expensive,and often featuring advanced technology. The CCCA has a list of cars that they feel qualifies. I own a number of collector cars,all of which I bought because I like them. None of them qualify as classics however. Look up the CCCA website or even the dictionary definition.


I agree and I understand. I still don’t know how to refer to my Nomad other than a “Classic Chevy”. Actually the Classic Chevy Club includes '5, '6 and '7 Chevys. AACA classifies it as an antique (anything over 25 years old.) I have a '32 Chevy as well. It I call an “antique” but classic seems to fit the '50s cars better. If anyone has a better term I’ll use it.


When will my '06CS start to rise? They don’t even make a 6 anymore.


Pontiac Grand Prix had the SJ tag at least through 1976 because I bought a used one in 1983, black on black with under 50k miles. I rebuilt the 400 cu in V-8 with a high energy cam for slightly more power and slightly better gas mileage (if you kept your foot out of it) along with a few other slight modifications recommended by a couple of grease monkeys who worked at a nearby salvage yard and built race engines. It surprised more than a few TransAms, Chevelles, and Mustangs who thought I was driving an old fart jalopy. As I often do I sold it with about 16k miles on the rebuild to a friend and immediately regretted it.


I bought my mom a 69 230 SLK for her 80th birthday. She was a car lover from way back. I took my drivers test in her 190 SL back in the 50s. The 230 was her last car, but she had a great time in it. OK, fast forward, Mom passed away 10 years ago, but I could not get rid of that car. It is silver ( like her 190 SL). Red and black Sports interior. But the big deal for me is that it now only has 28k miles on it and I have everything back to the window sticker. Be prepared to replace the folding top pistons, and the interior fitting of dash, doors and console. The car has a lot of plastic in those parts. Mom’s only negative comment when I gave her the car was “ it does not have a stick shift”!!! To me it really, is a fun car. It handles well, turns in tight places, and is still an eye turner. I just wish MB would build the cars like they used to, less plastic and more metal. Nice to know it is a potential “good invest”. I am keeping it.


I’m so glad to see the 73 through 77 Grand Prix getting a little love. I own a 77 Grand Prix SJ it has the 6.6 400, turbo 400 transmission, also comes with the radial tuned suspension. It is all original numbers matching , and I am the second owner . Wood console, tachometer in the dash and much more. Black on black with hand painted pinstripes. I have entered it in 3 car shows just for fun and it has won Trophies twice. The people at the car shows just really love talking about it and seeing it. Thanks for the love!


Rule 1. Always buy what you love First and foremost in case your stuck with it.
I have owned 97 cars over the past 40 years and personally from my experience, one can buy and hold “just like a stock or bond and better than a cd in a bank (as of past 10 years) while enjoying your car as well. I have done this repeatedly if you think about the market, specific marque and model and why it may go up or otherwise… nearly every car I have owned (nearly all collectibles) from 10k value to 100k value have indeed gone up…
The only one I still have kept since 1999 and has not moved as it should in my humble opinion is my triple black fully stock ( except painted stock rims black w painted yellow ring) Mercedes C43 AMG. 1,417 built world wide. I have only seen 3 others since ownership. I love the drive , performance, handling and comfort ability. The seats are great. The best stearin wheel in my experience… nice gadget for adding air to each of the front seats… c class w power…

Happy Motoring


Normally about 15-17+ years after full depreciation… if a call will become a classic


Not necessarily, as this list clearly demonstrates. Many of the malaise era cars just weren’t popular enough to ever become collectible, and some will take more time to be appreciated. You can see it in some of the other vehicles that weren’t collectible 20 years ago, but are now.