Three reasons to love collector cars this fall

There are few acts more liberating than picking up the keys to your dream set of wheels—especially when those wheels belong to a sought-after collector car. While any time can be a good time to spring for an exciting addition to your garage, some suggest now is a particularly wise window in which to make the purchase. “People have had the chance to spend a lot more time at home this year and to reflect on a number of things, including how they enjoy their days and what truly matters—and for many, that means doing the things they’ve always wanted to,” notes Marcus Maingot, Vice President, Auto Product Management at Berkley One. “Many people are thinking, ‘If not now, then when?’” Add to that “carpe diem” attitude several other perks—including joy rides aplenty, ripe possibilities for a return on your investment, and a seriously fun nostalgia aspect—and buckle up. This fall, it’s all about full-speed ahead fun.


1. The ultimate joyride


The open road has always boasted appeal, but now, with more time at home and many other travel options put on hold, the chances to take the car out for a spin are more abundant and enjoyable than ever before. Couple those factors with idyllic fall weather and foliage, and clear your calendar—you’re looking at a fully loaded itinerary of top-down drives. Collector vehicles—which include modern collectible and exotic cars, in addition to antique autos, pickups and motorcycles, are perfect for those special smaller, more memorable getaways—a scenic drive through town, an afternoon of apple picking, or a cruise along the coast—just because. In this case, it’s not about the destination, but the journey—and that journey starts with the wheels. “People are rediscovering the outdoors in big ways, and they’re more willing to call upon a car they love to do so,” notes Maingot. “They’re realizing these kinds of cars can enhance the experience and help them be more fully immersed in the moment.”


2. A potentially prudent purchase


In addition to the emotional perks of owning a classic car now (and the enthusiasm from everyone else on the block when you pass by), there’s this: depending on what you purchase, a collector vehicle could be a good long-term investment. “People collect these types of cars because they like them, but also because they expect many won’t go down in value—and if they do, they will likely come back up at some point in time because they are rare commodities,” notes Shelley Fey, Underwriting Supervisor of Berkley One Classics. Certain models boast ample appreciating values, and according to Investopedia, the collector car market has fared more favorably in the last decade than the broad stock index.1 Take, for example, the MGA, a two-door coupe produced from 1955 to 1962. According to research performed by AXA Art, the value of one of these vehicles rose nearly 50% within a decade.2 And according to the top index of market-tracking Historic Automobile Group International, which tracks vintage collectible cars from Porsche, Ferrari, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo and other brands, numbers were up nearly 15% in the beginning of 2019 (and more than 500% in the last decade), thanks to an increased demand for an uber-specialty sector.1 There’s also something to be said about cars that have historical value—especially when they’re originals or are backed by big names (think Carroll Shelby’s restored winning race car). “There are certain makes and models that are understandably more in demand,” says Fey. “When you purchase from an investment standpoint, it’s good to look into whether it’s a survivor car or in limited production.”


3. A trip down memory lane


When faced with the responsibilities of modern day living, it’s only natural to feel the occasional tug to travel back in time. Thankfully, the right car can help with the process, cruising us right through our own daily to-dos and into the past—in the most welcomed of ways. Credit that era-spanning power to aesthetics and special features alike, found in models ranging from a 1930s Ford Coupe (a la American Graffiti) to a 1980s DeLorean (for the Marty McFly enthusiasts). It’s an advantage for Americans now—many of whom are looking for an emotional escape in the midst of varied challenges. “The open road is a place for individuals, and for families, to distance themselves and enjoy time outside of the house,” says Kathy Moore-Stark, Underwriter and Marketing Specialist at Berkley One Classics, who is seeing a particular pick-up in models from the late 60s and early 70s. “Everybody wishes they had kept their first vehicle, and even if they didn’t have the foresight to have done it then, here’s the good news—it’s not too late,” she says. “They can still invest in the same type of vehicle they drove when they were a kid; They can still relive those younger days.”


Berkley One is a Berkley Company.

Nicole Schnitzler is an editorial writer working with Berkley One. She has written for many popular publications and covers trends and topics in travel, food, drink, lifestyle, culture and more.