HVR Bottom 25: British sports cars, Mercedes SLs and American classics are lagging


British sports cars, Mercedes SLs, and a few others are lagging behind the rest of the market. While the hottest 25 vehicles in the market are mostly vintage trucks and SUVs according to the latest Hagerty Vehicle Rating, things are a little more of a mixed bag at the other end of the spectrum. Within the bottom 25, five are Mercedes-Benzes, seven are British, about half are relatively expensive, and only one is a truck. Many are also vehicles that have seen big value gains in the not-so-distant past but are now starting to cool down.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2017/12/28/hvr-bottom-25-dec-2017


I have both an Austin Healey “Bug Eye”, and Porsche 356s and a 911, plus others. You are rating on a % basis I’m sure, but when starting with a car that sells for $20K, the dollars are not as meaningful. The Sprite is a lot of fun for the dollar, and I’m sure will never be in demand. That said, it was my first sports car nearly sixty years ago, and the re-living those times is worth the small investment. Also, they were so cheaply made, it is tough to find a really nice one. Certainly not worth restoring.

On the other end of the spectrum are Porsche Speedsters, and Pre - As. Hundreds of thousands of dollars, and for all the right reasons, except taking to breakfast on Sunday morning, and parking at a shopping center.


Its crazy the trends that are millennial driven making 240z’s , VW Things and Vans skyrocket in vaue


I didn’t buy my little British sports cars for investments, but to experience and enjoy cars from my youth that captivated me as a child. Part of the crazy escalation of values over the last 10 years or so has been caused by people, just like me, that found themselves financially able to buy an old car and play. There will always be cars that change hands as valuable art, and in most cases rightly so, but there are many more that will be enjoyed for the pure pleasure of going back in time to experience the history of driving cool cars from point A to B. Those cool cars will change from generation to generation and values of older cars will change unless we educate the younger generations to appreciate them as part of our automotive history.


I own two British sport cars, a 66 MGB and a 73 TR6. I did not buy them to sell, I bought them to enjoy. A reminder of my misspent youth. The joy of driving with the wind in your hair, (what is left of it), and the nods and waves from people you pass on the road is very uplifting and for a moment you are young again.


So what’s with the Bonneville? How about the 69 and 70 Grand Prix with the 427 and 455 engines and HURST shifters, as well as hood tach? Why don’t you EVER mention those muscle/personal luxury cars?


Much, if not most, of this seems to be the ebb and flow of the market. Prices for a particular make or model lag behind for awhile, then people start going after them because they’re a deal. Then the prices catch up to the market and they stabilize for awhile. For example, the 190 SL was red hot not very long ago, prices went from tens of thousands to a quarter million really fast, and they pulled the pagodas up with them. Now they’re all stalled because the prices got out of balance.


Ha! I still love my '49 MG-TC that my dad bought in 1955, my '66 MGB-GT that my dad bought new, and my '57 MGA roadster that I bought in 1990. I’m not selling. I’ll leave them to my kids.


I have two vehicles first i bought because i owned three more in my lifetime I enjoyed them then and enjoy them more now it is all original
with low mileage and the second owner. The other is Not original Has a engine and trans from a different brand of GM vehicle along with the seats it is fun to drive and would not sell either one so resale will be done by my wife.


I own a 1962 190SL.The soup to nuts restoration was more than $130K,definetly in the painful category.With the stock market doing so well, the value of collector cars like mine continue to drop (talk about a catch 22 situation) I couldn’t sell at this point if I wanted to.What was worth over $200K three years ago is now valued @ $160K.My 1967 MGB was purchased last year, to re live the incredible time I was in my late 20’s/early 30’s. I realized I still love driving the old girl, but getting in and out seems to be harder than I remembered.We purchase vehicles we love and are happy if we make a buck or two when we sell.


I believe most of us buy what we love to drive and few buy to flip, which is how we are getting our value from the car. I accept that my classic Mini Traveller and MG TF could be losing value. The one thing that worries me is what if no one wants them when I’m too old to drive them.


Up, down, sideways. If you have something that you love - sleek and shiny in your garage or not running and under a tarp in the carport - what it’s worth in dollars really doesn’t matter. It’s the thrill you got when you bought it that lasts, no matter the market. Ive owned the red-headed stepchild of Porsche’s - an 81 911SC - for 15 years. While the long-nosed and late-model air-cooled’s are the darlings of late, my SC just chugs along. The scribes all gush - “bullet-proof”, “it could go 300k miles before it needs work”, the last “real Porsche”, “no power steering or computers”. But it’s “value” is not even close to half of six figures. It was affordable when I bought it, and remains the best (perhaps only) opportunity of ownership for someone who makes under six-figures. I’m almost 70, and look forward to enjoying my baby for years to come. I really don’t care what the market says it worth. You can’t put a price on goosebumps.


I too owned an 81 Porsche 911 SC. It had about 200k when I sold it and except for the AC had been bullet proof since I bought it at 83k. I have kicked myself ever since I saw her go around the corner. She has been replaced with another piece of German steel, a Mercedes SL500 1998. She is beautiful, actually a bit too beautiful to be driven in the same carefree way i drove the SC. Having had a slew of Englsh cars in my 82 years I can say without fear of serious disagreement that maintenance-wise German is better. I’m still seeing a counselor because of what my Lotus Europa did to me.


Thanks for the note. Not sure if this pic will come thru, but this is our baby. 90k original. COA and Numbers match. Everything works but the cruise control…aftermarket ac works well enough to go to a South Carolina wedding in July with a tie and jacket. Purchased in 2002 for $12,500. Have paid far more to own it! But I’d do it again!

Bob Keeley


Bob Keeley your 911 photo makes me truly homesick for my last car which I sold two years ago for 10,500. Always thought I should have gotten more for it but it was showing a tiny bit of rust behind the passenger wheel well. She was a great car and I’m sure is still running fine for the new owner.Bob Foster