The collector car market is a strange beast. Some cars are classics the instant they roll of the assembly line, while others languish for decades before they can be appreciated. A Ferrari 250, Mercedes 300SL, or Jaguar E-Type have always been coveted. But did anyone really revere the Volkswagen Beetle, Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser, or even the early Porsche 911 as they passed from new car to beater status? Not so much.
With classic car prices spiraling ever upward, people love to speculate on the next big thing; the next car where a few years from now people are going to say, “I could’ve bought one of those things for $500 bucks in high school, and I’m still kicking myself for not doing it!” And with European exotics, 60s-era muscle cars, and even classic Japanese and SUV models already all but out of reach for most gearheads, the next “it” classics are likely to come from the late-’80s and early ’90s, because as Jalopnik’s Patrick George recently pointed out:
The cars of the late 1980s and 1990s are quickly emerging as “sweet spot” cars for drivers. For the most part, you get a car that is easy to understand and straightforward to operate by modern standards, but without the complications of carburetors or infotainment systems that came before and after, respectively.
And as America’s foremost expert on classic car prices, Hagerty tends to agree. The insurance and valuation company has released a list of 10 soon-to-be classics to watch, and nine of them were in production during that 1985-2000 sweet spot.
Some cars on this list might surprise you, others may seem like sure things. Either way, these are all still models you can still find on Craigslist for under the $30k mark – with most selling for about a third of that. So if you’re interested in any of these cars, snap one up now. In five years, it might not be so easy.