Classic car collectors are turning to the SUVs of yesteryear, especially if it's their first vintage vehicle, says McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty, an insurer and magazine publisher specializing in collectible vehicles.
"In so many ways now that the SUV is king of the road … it's just changed the lens through which people think of buying an older car," Hagerty said.
So instead of sporty coupes and convertibles, buyers shopping for classics are looking at vehicles that are anything but sporty.
"I don't really have the best term for this; you could call it vintage SUVs, or you could call it earlier off-road vehicles," he said. "But obviously, the Broncos, International Scouts, Jeeps, Land Rovers, that whole class of earlier four-wheel-drive vehicles seems to be among the hottest growth segments at the entry to midlevel."
The reason for amped-up interest in the SUVs of the past is partly because they're inexpensive, plentiful and easy to work on, Hagerty said.
"I don't think there's anybody — if you're just getting into [collecting and if] you had all the money in the world — who wouldn't look at, say, a gullwing [Mercedes] or an early Porsche … and say, 'Wow, I'd love to have one of those but they're really expensive.' "
So Hagerty says collectors are thinking: " 'Hey, I'd love to get my first vintage car,' but the first answer is [now] often, 'Can I get a Jeep? Or a Land Cruiser?' Or for a lot of people in different parts of the U.S., it's 'I'd love to get a vintage pickup truck.