Before I get to today’s podcast, I thought I’d give a few updates on what’s been going on in my car world. Be sure to stay tuned as I have some really cool new coming soon. One of the coolest things that has happened recently is that this podcast ranked #11 for Automotive podcast on iTunes. This is really amazing as I’m close to my favorite podcasts. Car Talk is #1, The Smoking Tire #3, CarCast is #4 and Spike’s Car Radio is #8. And I’m one ahead of The Collecting Cars Podcast with Chris freaking Harris! That is one I am going to subscribe to right now.
If you’ve check out my Instagram feed lately, you see I came across a true barn find…a 1965 Galaxie 500 convertible.
Today, I am going to analyze Hagerty’s Muscle Car index and see if size really does matter when looking at cars. I came up with this idea while I was conducting the research for last week’s podcast: 15 Cars to Buy, Sell and Hold in 2020. I noticed that the valuation trend of numerous, small-block or base model muscle cars was on the upswing after a few years of either static or declining growth. So what do I mean by size? Engine size. Small-blocks verses big-blocks. Hi-Po verses the base model. GTOs verses Le Mans, 426s verses 318s, Boss 429s verses Boss 302s, Yenkos verses SSs. More on this in a minute. First, let’s talk about the collector car market as a whole and see how it is doing. If you go to Hagerty.com, you can check out their Market Trends which is a subset of their valuation tools.
These trends are based on a ton of info including values from the Hagerty Price Guide, Auction Activity, Expert Sentiment, Private Sales Activity, Insured Values, etc. You might ask, like I did, how do you quantify expert sentiment? Well, from Hagerty, this is to “account for market factors that cannot be quantified through transactional data, a subjective opinion of the market is provided by a carefully curated list of experts. This panel is comprised of subject matter experts from all categories of collectible vehicles.” It is done through a market survey where they calculate the average score of the responses which a poll of expert on a 1-100 level of confidence in the market. All of the links to this information is on my blog at www.TheCollectorCarPodcast.com.
So how is the market doing? In a word, so-so. The December 2019 score is 61.91 which is a five-year low. The all time high was May of 2015 at 71.95. The good news is that it is declining at a slower rate which will hopefully lead to a turn around soon. Let’s keep this in mind as we look at our muscle cars. Expert commentator, Andrew Newton, states that “This time last year, Hagerty’s Muscle Car Index was at an all-time high, but over the past four months it recorded the largest drop of any index for the second time in a row, falling 7 percent to a five-year low. While more than three-quarters of the index’s component cars recorded no change at all, another large drop for the 1970 Hemi Cuda convertible (among the most valuable muscle cars of all) and a 4 percent decrease for the 1964 Impala SS were more than enough to pull the overall score down.”
It is interesting that he called out the Impala as there were two other cars that declined sharper in the latest 52 weeks. It probably has to do with the timing of the data windows.
Hagerty’s Muscle Car Index is comprised of 15 cars:
What do you notice about this list? All but two of them have big-block engines. The two exceptions are the 1965 Shelby GT350 with it 289 and the 1970 Plymouth Cuda AAR with it’s 340. This made me wonder, what would the results look like if I substituted these cars with their small-block or base car for comparison? So that is what I did! Let review each and I will summarize my findings at the end of this podcast.
Take this information with a grain of salt. The big-blocks are more desirable and have been appreciating for years. As those prices go up, the small-block and base cars follow. I think what we are seeing here is more buyers are opting for less expensive but still fun, muscle cars that they can drive and enjoy. Speaking of which, I need to get out there any enjoy this cold, wet and rainy day here in Cincy.
All data is sourced from Sports Car Market’s Platinum database, Hagerty’s Valuation Tools and the commodity website links in my blog which you can find at www.TheCollectorCarPodcast.com.
Until then, keep your tires straight, your foot on the gas and eyes on the road!
Greg draws, talks, vlogs, blogs, writes, evaluates, judges, appraises, video tapes and consumes all things automotive. He even regurgitates useless car facts, stories, pictures and shares cool car places he's visited recently if you give him a chance.