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Cars to Watch – Five “Under the Radar” Classic Cars

Posted on: Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Our friends at Hagerty® have put together their list of five classics that you probably haven’t given much thought to, but are quietly gaining a following:

  • 1981-91 Isuzu Trooper II - Boxy, utilitarian early SUVs have an undeniable appeal as anyone who has lusted after a Land Rover Defender 110 or an early Range Rover can attest. 1981-Isuzu-TrooperA first-gen Trooper ticks some of those boxes – square, upright and simple, with decent off-road prowess, manual locking hubs and a manual transmission added appeal, as did an optional turbo diesel. Early Troopers are almost extinct in rust-belt states, but still turn up with some regularity on the West Coast. Nice ones can bring north of seven grand.
  • 1986-95 Suzuki Samurai - Believe it or not, these capable little off-roaders are in demand. Asking prices are surprisingly steep – rust-free but ratty tin tops start at $3,500 for decent runners. Asking prices over ten grand for low mileage examples that haven’t been trashed by mudders, are not uncommon. You can’t make this stuff up.
  • 1989-94 Nissan 240SX Anyone not into drifting has likely either forgotten this car, or never knew it in the first place. ad_nissan_240sxA shame, it’s the Gen-X/Millennial 240Z. While not related in any way to the classic S30 Z car, it followed the same formula. Light weight, rear wheel-drive and a decent multi-link independent rear suspension made the 240SX genuinely entertaining to drive. The hatchback is what you want, although there was also a notchback and a rare ASC-built convertible. Good luck finding one that hasn’t been amateurishly modded or isn’t running on a salvage title.
  • 1987-92 VW Golf GTI MK 2 – If you’re talking collectible GTIs, you’re almost invariably referring to the MK 1. Whether it’s the vastly superior German-built, round headlight GTI or the Pennsylvania-built U.S. version, it’s what gets all the love. But the MK 2 is a vastly superior driver’s car, and quietly, among the younger enthusiasts who cut their teeth on these cars, or wanted to, the MK 2 GTI is becoming a genuinely desirable, if elusive car. Volkswagen fan-boy site VW Vortex named it the best Golf of all time. Like most of the cars on the list, the survival rate is low. If you’re expecting to snap a good one up for under five grand, good luck. That ship has sailed.
  • Long roof BMWs with manual transmissions – This trend is in danger of popping above the radar. BMW wagons are hot. They’re called “Touring” in BMW-speak, never a “shooting brake.” E30 3-Series wagons from the 1980s and 1990s (which were never sold in the US) are now importable under the 25-year rule and they’re adding another option in the already frothy E30 market.BMW-M3-Touring-Concept-Car The cooler still E36 3-Series wagons will soon be legal too. U.S. market E39 5 Series wagons offer a bit more space but are every bit as sporting at the 3 Series cars. All were available with manual transmissions. They’re not quite unicorns, but manual wagons are scarce and they positively fly off of Craigslist or Bring a Trailer when they appear and they sell for large premiums over the more common two-pedal wagons.

 

Jennifer Rudy

Personal Lines Manager at Allied Insurance Managers
Jennifer has over 10 years of experience in the insurance industry.She takes pride in building long lasting relationships with customers and enjoys helping customer evaluate their coverage needs.
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