Collectible trucks increase in value far beyond what you might expect

Car nuts who are also would-be investors might want to take a look at collectible trucks. Vehicle pricing resource Black Book recently listed eleven trucks from late ’40s to early ’70s that have shot up in value thousands of times their original purchase prices. Could the same thing happen in the future with today’s trucks?

Collectible car prices can get downright scary and convince automotive fans that only multimillionaires can play in that game. In 2017 so far, according to Classic Car Auctions, the highest prices at auction sales are $22,550,000 for a 1956 Aston Martin DBR1, chassis DBR1/1, sold at Monterey by RM Sotheby’s, a 1995 McLaren F1 that sold for $15,620,000 at Quail Lodge by Bonhams, and a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C that went under the hammer at Gooding’s Pebble Beach auction for $14,250,000. Those numbers are cool and all, but come on, how many of us play in that league?

But pickup trucks? Maybe there’s a place for non-millionaire collectors. We Americans love our trucks. The three best selling cars in the U.S. in 2016 were really light trucks, the Ford F-150 (820,799 units), Chevy Silverado 1500 (574,876 trucks), and Ram 1500 (489,418 units), sales numbers according to CarSalesBase. In contrast, the 2016 Toyota Camry, the best-selling vehicle that was actually a car, had 388,618 sales.

Black Book’s Directory of Specialty Products Eric Lawrence addressed the American’s relationship with trucks. “We love our trucks today because of the versatility, functionality, and even technological features included in many of today’s popular models,” Lawrence said.

The trucks Black Book found to have gained the most value are in the table below.

Years Make Model Original MSRP 2017 Value Value Change
 1956 Ford Big Window Pickup  $1,611  $65,000 4034%
1946-56 Dodge Power Wagon Pickup $1,627 $65,000 3995%
1947-53 Chevy Pickup $1,407 $55,000  3909%
1946-47 Hudson Pickup $1,154 $45,000  3899%
1946-48 Studebaker Pickup $1,107 $37,500  3387%
1955-57 Chevy Cameo Pickup $1,981 $60,000  3028%
1957-59 Dodge Sweptside Pickup $2,124 $60,000  2824%
1963-73 Toyota Land Cruiser $3,164 $75,000  2370%
1970-72 Chevy Pickup $2,473 $45,000  1819%
1969-72 Ford Bronco $2,834 $50,000 1764%
1969-72 Chevy Blazer $2,852 $45,000 1577%

“These trucks of yesteryear were pioneers of their time, when trucks had different meaning on the roads but still offer the right amount of nostalgia that makes them extremely valuable today,” Lawrence continued.

So if you think buying a collectible truck is a game you want to get into, what are your choices? To start, you could look for a solid example of one the trucks in Black Books’ list and go with a proven winner, hoping the run will continue.

If you don’t want to invest the $40K plus apparently needed to buy an already identified classic, perhaps looking for a collectible but more recent model old trucks could be the way to go. Hemmings Daily reported earlier this year that the best buys for investors seeking collectible trucks today may be trucks from the ’70s.

Then there’s a third route to buying a collectible truck, one that could dovetail with your current transportation needs. Buy a new truck to use for a decade or longer and then hold onto it as an investment. New Ford, Chevy, and Ram light trucks have so many variations that if you buy with consideration for the features, trim levels, or special editions that could make today’s utilitarian vehicle a valuable collectible later on, in two or three decades you could look like an extremely savvy investor.


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