Hagerty on the values of 80s and 90s cool classics!


Hagerty monitors the global classic car market providing insight to the car community and media alike. John Mayhead, Head of Automotive Intelligence for Hagerty UK, shares his thoughts in the latest Hagerty market report on homologation specials from the 80s and 90s.

The 1980s and ‘90s were decades that divided opinion. Were they absolutely fabulous, or do we look back at our youthful years with a sense of misguided nostalgia? For petrolheads though, one thing is beyond doubt: this was the era of some of the best motorsport ever seen.

While the regulations may have changed, one thing remained constant: proposed competition cars required a road-going version for homologation purposes. This spawned some of the most stripped-out, turbo-charged, box-arched cars ever to hit Britain’s roads. These cars are reportedly in great demand amongst the 45- to 65-year-old audience, and the most recent update of the Hagerty Price Guide shows their attraction has translated into rising prices.

The Ford Sierra RS Cosworth is one such rising star, adding an average of £20,200 to its value over the year. Rare in unmodified form, the very best are now demanding significant prices, with both Bonhams and Silverstone Auctions recently valuing examples for £75,000.

Yet market analysis for the Hagerty Price Guide also shows that values of less-special Cosworth examples have led a rise overall. In February, ACA sold a car that Hagerty condition rated as #3 (good) for £59,400 and this month the trend continued, with Morris Leslie selling a significantly modified and unoriginal car for £49,500.

The Audi Quattro Sport is another significant riser in the Hagerty Price Guide. 12 months ago, an ‘excellent example of this shortened, box-arched Group-B homologation special had a value of £265,000. Today, Hagerty’s value is £284,000 and the very top, Concours examples are valued at up to £404,000.

The rise has mainly been due to high value achieved prices, but the recent auction of the final model Quattro Sport S1 gives a good example of the fervour that there is for these cars. In early February, Artcurial sold a motorsport-prepared, ex- Race of Champions Sport Quattro S1 for a staggering €2.016m, more than twice its pre-sale low estimate.

Fifteen years ago, the Lancia Delta HF Integrale, especially in the end-of-the-line Evo II spec, had a top guide price of £7,500. Values then shot up over the next decade, with Hagerty valuing an ‘excellent’ example at £40,300 by 2015. By late 2019, this had risen, but not by the same rate, to £50,200. But in the past year, values have risen sharply again, with the Guide now listing that model at £64,500 and top examples as high as £85,400. That valuation is now under review as a number of sales have occurred at Hagerty’s top-level, including an Evo II selling at an extraordinary $131,600 (£95,800) in Scottsdale during January.

Values of the standard BMW M3 (E30) coupe have risen significantly over the last few years, but it is the special editions that attract high sales prices. Average values of the Evo II have risen from £57,575 to £64,025 in the past year.

For years, as other hot hatch values rose, prices of the Clio Williams remained relatively static. However, in the last year, there has been a surge of interest in the original batch of homologation cars. Although you can still buy a rough Williams for under £10,000, values of the very best are on the up: the Hagerty Price Guide now shows an ‘Excellent’ example as worth £18,100, and values across the board have risen by an average of £5,700 in the year.

John Mayhead, Head of Automotive Intelligence UK, said “Hagerty Price Guide values of many high-performance 1980s and ’90s modern classics have been rising quickly. We spotted a trend: that homologated cars seem to be very attractive to buyers at present. Hagerty believes that the combination of low production numbers, high performance and solid motorsport credentials gives these cars exactly what the market wants.”

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