1988 Porsche 944Enlarge Photo
5) 1982-'91 Porsche 944
Offered as a 2+2 coupe and convertible, the 944 was the successor to the low-priced 924. It featured a front-engine design and a rear transaxle that resulted in a near perfect front/rear weight balance. Power started out 143 horses from the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and reached 208 horsepower from a later 3.0-liter version. A 944 Turbo model was introduced in 1985 with 217 horsepower and that increased to 247 horses for 1988. Car and Driver named the 944 America's best handling car in 1984, and included it on its Ten Best list from 1983 to 1986. Today, vintage Porsche 911s are very popular among collectors, leaving the 944 as a more affordable choice. Values have increased 8 percent over the last eight months in the Hagerty Price Guide. A 1989 944 cost about $33,000 new, with the Turbo starting at $45,000. Today, a 1988 Porsche 944 starts at $15,600 on the collector market.
1990 BMW M3Enlarge Photo
4) 1986-'92 BMW M3
BMW developed the original M3, known as the E30, as a race car, but needed to produce 5,000 street cars for homologation purposes. Horsepower from the 16-valve 2.3-liter 4-cylinder started at 192 and topped out at 235 in a larger 2.5-liter version in the M3 Sport Evolution. BMW employed a special gluing process for the front and rear windows to stiffen the structure, and the front axle was completely new to improve steering and handling. As a race car, it claimed more than 1,500 victories. For those who want one today, your time may have passed. Values published in the Hagerty Price Guide have increased 86 percent over the last 8 months. A 1990 M3 ran $35,000 when new. Today, collector pricing starts at $76,100.
1977 Chevy C10 SIlverado FleetsideEnlarge Photo
3) 1973-'87 Chevrolet C/K Series pickup
Chevrolet redesigned its pickups for the 1973 model year, adding several innovations. A full-time four-wheel-drive system that could handle dry pavement was now available, and so were a six-passenger crew cab body style, and a heavy duty duallie with four rear wheels. Pickups have been growing in popularity among collectors for five years, and the 1967-'72 generation Chevy pickups have been the trucks of choice. Hagerty says this is the first time the 1973-'87 C/K trucks have surged past the previous generation in popularity. According to Hagerty, the private sector is driving the growth, with a 9.5-percent increase in the number offered privately, an 11-percent rise in average sale price, and more than 38 percent of the private sale trucks selling for more than their insured values. As an example, a 1973 C10 starts $12,200 on the collector market.
1978 Jeep CJ-7Enlarge Photo
2) 1976-1986 Jeep CJ-7
Jeep can't make enough Wranglers, and now its predecessor, the CJ-7, is rising in popularity among collectors. The CJ-7 was introduced in 1976 as a longer, more practical version of the CJ-5. It's wheelbase was 10 inches longer, and its frame was flared at the rear to widen the rear suspension and improve handling. A removable hardtop and steel doors were available. Buyers could opt for 4-, 6-, or 8-cylinder engines. Hagerty notes that special edition packages like the “Limited” and “Jamboree Edition” get the most interest, but any CJ-7 is hot. Hagerty is seeing a 120-percent increase in insurance quote activity over the last 12 months, a sure sign of rising demand. Buyers can expect to pay around $12,900 for a 1983 CJ-7 Laredo.
1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SLEnlarge Photo
1) 1986-'89 Mercedes-Benz 560SL
Mercedes-Benz introduced the SL in 1954 and it's still in production today. The third-generation extended from 1972 to 1989, and the top-of-the-line 1986 to '89 560SL is a hot collector's item this year. The 560SL debuted for 1986 with a 5.6-liter V-8 that produced 227 horsepower. It featured a removable hardtop, as well as a convertible soft-top. Pricing started just under $66,000, including a $1,300 gas guzzler tax. According to Hagerty, the 560L is hottest collector car on the market today. It's average sale price in the private market is up 22 percent over the last 12 months, and the going price for a 1987 560SL is $46,300.