Collecting cars is a popular pastime. Just take a look at any of the hopping collector car trading and selling websites. But which classic cars are the most popular? We took an informal survey — looking at ads, prices, and popularity — and came up with the five most popular collector cars out there. No word yet on just how difficult it is to get auto insurance for these puppies…
|The 1940s Ford Woodies – The woody is kind of a side trip into the history of automobile design: offered starting in the ’30s, it was an attempt to cut down on costs. Safety concerns and the dropping price of steel meant that the woody was quickly phased out.
So why are Ford’s versions so popular? Two reasons. First of all, they’re rare: according to some records, Ford sold less than 2000 of them. Secondly, every Beach Boys song about driving a woody? They’re talking about the Ford.
|1967 Chevy Camaro RS/SS – The Camaro is an American classic, of course, and one of the most recognizable muscle cars out there. The ’67 RS/SS, though, along with the ’69, has one more virtue that makes it popular among collectors: it’s really hard to find. Chevy only sold a limited number of the Super Sport and Rally Sport configurations, designed to be used as pace cars in the Indy 500.|
|1955 Chevy Bel Air – Stop anybody on the street, ask them to think of a car from the 1950s, and chances are, they’re thinking of the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air. The Bel Air was a revelation in its day, with design considered crisper and cleaner than anything Chevy’s competitors were putting out. The Bel Air was so popular and well-engineered that its long-stroke design stayed in cars for decades.
Similarly, if pop culture goes back to the ’50s, they probably will have at least one person tooling around in a Bel Air. In fact, this car has a longer film resume than most actors. Its classic status and love in pop culture make it hard to find and highly prized among collectors.
|1968 Dodge Charger – Speaking of pop culture, it’s hard to find a car that’s been more popular in Hollywood than the Charger. There’s “The Dukes of Hazzard” (OK, so that was a ’69, but there are a lot of ’68s painted to look like the General Lee), of course, but also “Bullitt,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “The Driver,” “Vanishing Point,” etc… The Charger is pretty much Hollywood’s go-to classic car, even turning up in the background of movies like “The Dilemma.” All that demand and popularity means the ’68 Charger is always being looked for, and almost never found.|
|1964 1/2 Ford Mustang – Was there ever any doubt? The Mustang is the quintessential American muscle car, the car dreamed of by millions of teenagers, the car most people think of right away when you say “classic muscle car.” And it all started in 1964, with the Ford Mustang Coupe. The Camaro, the Charger, the Barracuda, and the Challenger all have their roots in Ford’s pony car.
Needless to say, though, being the first of anything makes you valuable. Especially since the first Mustangs were actually released five months before their model year: technically there are only 1965 Mustangs to Ford, but fans call them “1964 1/2” in deference to their actual release.