Usually, the most coveted vehicles at classic car auctions are flashy, two-seaters; muscle cars; or vintage automobiles, such as Ferraris or Duesenbergs. And, although their popularity is unlikely to wane any time soon, there are some unexpected vehicles that are starting to get a lot of attention. These unlikely upstarts are no strangers to car auctions, but in the past, they were most noticeable because of how they contrasted with the more highly-prized players. Now, they just might be ready to break into the big leagues. Here are 4 of my picks for rising stars in the classic car market. What do you think -- could these be the next hot vehicles?.
Second Generation C/K Chevy Trucks
Several of the older model Chevy pickup trucks, such as the 1955 ½ to 1957 models, are already sought-after collectibles. However, the second generation C/K Chevy pickups, which were built between 1967 and 1972, are just beginning to make their presence known. The original owners of these clean-styled, often two-toned pickups are putting them up for sale, and restorers are buying them, either to return them to factory-fresh condition, or to convert them into barely street legal hot rods. Based on recent sales of these trucks at auctions, they are selling from $12,000 to $30,000, in original restored condition, with highly modified versions topping out at $55,000. Although these prices are at the lower end of most collector vehicles, judging from the increasing number being sold at auctions and the quality of restorations being performed, you can expect prices to go higher.
First Generation Ford Broncos
First generation Ford Broncos, which were built in the 1970s, didn't provide much to get excited about, with their no-frills, plain interiors and boxy exteriors. However, these SUV-like vehicles were soon enhanced by the addition of large tires, and upgrades to both suspension and engine. These modifications made the Bronco a great off-roads vehicle, and to many, it was synonymous with fun in the great outdoors. Although the Ford Bronco will never reach the prestige of a muscle car in collectibility, it shares some of the nostalgic appeal of these cars from the past, which is an attributing factor to the attention they are getting on the auction circuit. Off-road modifications have already been made on the vast majority of these Broncos, but a few are still in stock condition, with no customizations. In the classic car world, scarcity equates to collectibility, making originally restored Broncos a hot item, as evidenced by auction prices ranging from $20,000 to $39,000.
MicroCars (Messerschmitts/BMW Isettas)
When European-built microcars from the 1950s make an appearance at car auctions, they are always crowd pleasers. It's hard to resist these cute, miniature cars that seem more like toys, than actual modes of transportation. The two most popular microcars are the BMW Isetta and the Messerschmitt. Each has unique features, other than their small size, that make them desirable to prospective buyers. The Isetta, with its single door, swings open from the front, to allow the driver and passenger access. The Messerschmitt has a canopy-style top that hinges to one side for entry. In this two-passenger car, the passenger sits directly behind the driver. These cars may not be for everyone, but they are beginning to pop up at many classic car auctions. You'll have to pay at least $20,000 to take one home, and some have even broken the six-figure barrier. In fact, a new record was recently set when an extremely rare 1958 Messerschmitt Tiger sold for an astonishing $322,000 (including buyer's premium).
1950s and 1960s Volkswagen Bus
Before the minivan, there was the Volkswagen Bus. During its heyday, the VW Bus was the vehicle of choice for family camping adventures, or in its second life, perfect for a cross country trip with a group of friends. Because of its role in bringing people together, it makes an emotional connection with many car enthusiasts, and it's no surprise that collectors want to tap into the sentimentality of this iconic bus. Because of its desirability, the time to pick one of these cool-looking vehicles may have already passed. Currently, entry level pricing on a restored VW Bus is at least $30,000, with one of the more desirable 21-window models reaching $165,000 at a recent auction. It's anyone's guess, how high they will go in the future. If you sold one of these good time buses years ago, you could try to buy it back for what you sold it for, or the owner might be willing to trade it for your Corvette.