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Top 10 Collector Cars for 2010-2020


Do you remember all the squawk over the New Millennium back in 1999? It seemed no one believed the World would survive the changing of our calendars to the year 2000. All of our computers were predicted to spit up little micro chips and die; airplanes were going to fall out of the sky and our new computer driven cars would stall at the tick of midnight. Didn’t happen!

However, the New Millennium did bring some changes to our car world over the past 10 years. We witnessed the rebirth of the Camaro and the Challenger. You can now go to your local new car dealership and purchase a new muscle car with over 500HP! We almost, and still may, loose one or two of the Big 3 car manufactures. Some of the cars we loved have already died. There is never going to be another Oldsmobile 442, Pontiac GTO or Trans AM. Even some of what is left at GM and Chrysler will likely still go away.

What about the car hobby? In 2000 did you ever think Rat Rods would be the hot collector car? Did you think a Barrett Jackson car auction would be broadcast live on TV for 5 consecutive days?

What will the new decade bring?

I don’t have a crystal ball and no special insight to the collector car market but I do love cars and think I have a perspective that isn’t much different than a lot of the car hobbyist. There are those who collect for investment and there are those who collect for fun and enjoyment. My Top 10 Collector Cars for 2010-2020 is for the average car guy and is just a guess on my part based on what I want. These are the cars the average Joe will purchase and can afford. I am not trying to predict how to save your 401k with a single purchase. No million dollar get rich quick cars in this pick.

Top 10 Collector Cars for 2010-2020

These are not presented in any order. I believe the economy’s questionable condition will have a major impact on our hobby for at least the first half of the decade. Most of us will be focusing on cars that can be driven and used. Few of us will be investing large sums of money in things we can’t use and have fun with. I also believe that there will be a change in what is cool to own. We have seen the development of the Rat Rod rage, station wagons are hot, trucks are rapidly growing in popularity, our population is aging and the price of cars will drive most of us to look for something that is unique and priced right. The high end museum collectors will still pay big bucks and will be looking for the rare and memorable cars of the past. The rest of us will be looking to have fun and drive the wheels off our cars before the gas is gone and electric outlets replace parking meters.

It is a simple law of supply and demand. If we can’t afford a numbers matching Hemi powered 1969 Dodge Daytona with its extended sloped nose and gigantic rear wing, we will need to look else where. Because more collectors want these cars than there are cars the price goes up until the demand and price balance out. That leaves the rest of us looking for alternatives. Fewer collectors have yet to start salivating over these cars so the prices have stayed down slightly. That’s why we will be looking for them to go up in the next 10 years!

camaro1.  1970-1972 Chevrolet Camaro: The second generation Camaro has been ignored for way too long. It is a wonderful car and far more refined than the first generation. As with all the cars on this list, they are currently under valued when compared to other collector cars out there today. If you see 10 first generation Camaro at a car show today you will be lucky to see one of the second generation. Restore it to original or make it a pro-touring car just get one of these before the price jumps $10,000 over night, I know I will be looking for a Z28 RS very soon. The Pontiac Firebird and Trans Am sister car also fits into this category.

1964_f100_32.  Ford F 100 and Chevy Silverado pickups through the early 70s: Just like with the muscle cars of yore, the pickup for everyday use may be leaving us. The Government and gas prices may just put these out of reach for daily use. As they disappear our love will return to the older versions we grew up with and the hot rod movement will again be reborn.

Older Ford and Chevy pickup have always been popular but now any truck over 30 years old is fair game for the restoration magic and love. Heck, even restore the camper and take your kids along.

amc-1969-amx3.  1968-1970 AMC AMX and Javelin: I already have my AMX! These are terrific cars, can be obtained cheaply, stand out in a crowd and can be made to go like crazy. Talk has revolved around these cars for a long time. The market is starting to acknowledge their role in the history of having fun with cars. They didn’t make of lot of the AMX cars but they are out there and they have a great reputation on the drag strip. The Javelin was more plentiful and also won the Trans Am series championship twice. Bet you didn’t know that.

These cars are not unlike their Mustang and Camaro pony car competitors but they will always be cheaper. However, there are some very limited and special edition models that will bring big money but if you hurry you will still be able to pick up some real deals early in the decade.
marcel-van-staveren-1_24.   Rat Rods: This version of the legendary Rot Rod will continue to grow in popularity but the rusted out hulks that are a danger to anyone on the road will disappear.

The most popular of the Rat Rods will become those that have morphed into the cartoon version of a Hot Rod.

They are the ones with a Out House where the pickup bed once was or the big plastic rat crawling out of the gas cap or with vice grips for batter clamps. The imagination and creativeness will expand into some very unique and will crafted hill billy Hot Rods.

traditionalhotrod5.  Traditional Hot Rods: This will be the positive movement away from the Rat Rod back to a hot rod that is met to be driven. These will be reproductions for the most part but made of more junkyard parts and less polished Billet.

The owners of these cars will put lots a miles on them every year. Some will be traditional in every way and authentic Hot Rods; others will be recreations with a pro-touring flare. If it looks like it might be at home at a car show, it isn’t a traditional rod.

If it looks like it is driven by a high school kid with a pack of cigarettes rolled up in his sleeve, it is a traditional rod.

These versions will have the old school look but will use some modern mechanicals to make them safer and more convenient.
ford-fairlane6.  1966-67 Ford Fairlanes: These are arguably some of the most beautiful designs to come out of the Ford design studio. They are clean, simple and yet very attractive. Engine options were wide and there is no shortage of aftermarket stuff to make them fast. Fords in general (exception being the Mustang and Shelby) are way undervalued when compared to their Chevy and Mopar competitors.

There are lots of Ford loving gearheads out there and they are quietly building there machines.

When you show up with a unique Ford at most car shows there is no shortage of interested folks asking questions and admiring the car. It is about time that these cars get their due recognition.

1969 Ford Talladeg7.  1969 Ford Talladega: Everything said about the 66-67 Fairlane is true about the Torino and especially the Talladega. These cars are hardly ever seen today but are terrific rides. Why so many Chevelles are saved and so few Torinos is beyond me. You Bow Tie guys don’t start to scream and leave the site, we love them all. I am not suggesting fewer Chevelle restorations, just more Torinos. I, for one, just enjoy seeing a lot of variety when I go to a show.

How boring would it be with nothing but Chevelles or Camaros every time you went to a car event? The Talladega and the Torino were really starting to take off value wise just before the economy went into the toilet and I predict they will respond very favorably once the economic sunshine returns.

1967_plymouth_gtx_coupe8.  1967-1971 Plymouth GTX: Roadrunners get all the attention but the GTX was an upscale car.

I think as our population gets older you will see more emphasis on creature comforts and possibly even a movement where the automatic transmission is more popular than the 4 speed! Certainly, as we drive these cars more the desire to have air conditioning will out pace the desire to have a six pack.

All Mopars were so hot in the last decade I do not believe there is a good value out there in the next. We could see their values retreat as the other cars increase.

oldsmobile-442-1970a9.  1964-1970 GM Intermediates: This is a broad category that includes the Buick and Oldsmobile intermediate models.

Again, as the population ages more and more of the potential owners will be happy to purchase one of the luxury, air conditioned muscle cars for less cost than a Chevelle SS or Pontiac GTO.

These are similar cars but with greatly different personalities and cost points.

Other cars that fit into this category are the 1958-1966 Ford Thunderbirds, 1963-1970 Buick Rivieras and Chrysler 300 letter cars.

sleeper10.  1964-1972 Sleepers:This is probably cheating but I think the concept is valid. There are more GTOs and SS Chevelles out on the street today than there were in 1970. Everyone put the right badges and stripes on and they become a clone or tribute car. Well, back in the day the hot set up was the SS or GTO with all the badges taken off. The sleeper was king of the street.

I think we will see more of the less expensive versions of the Le Mans, Chevelle, Camaro, Satellite, and similar cars restored to a plain stock appearance with the big motor and 4 speed hidden inside. More dog dish hubcaps and fewer 22′ billet wheels. I also lump the traditional street muscle car into this group. These are the nice street cars in primer that look mean but not fancy.

Being different, being driven and being built for reasonable cost will rule in the next decade.

Well, there you have it, my Top 10 Collector Cars for 2010-2020! What do you think? My guess is that no later than June of 2010 I will think this list is stupid and be compiling a new one. I sure would like to hear what you think, comment below or send me an email.

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I grew up and lived in Iowa for a good portion of my life before moving to Southern California. After 20+ years we now live outside Nashville Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check out our other web site at site) As long as it has four wheels and an engine I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife, Katriana, is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. It includes a Best of Show winner, a survivor, a driver with lots of patina and several others. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out working with or showing our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at

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