Car Life Nation

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A 1977 Pontiac Firebird is shown from the rear after searching 'how to sell my car.'

Cash In on Your Classic Car

Classic cars are an entire genre of their own in the automotive industry. They represent nostalgia: a sentimental longing for the past, typically for a period with happy memories. Generally, once a car reaches age 25, it is considered categorically classic. This means it transcends the fate of many older cars that are retired or, worse, scrapped. There are several subcategories of classic cars. Antique cars are ones that were built prior to 1980, while vintage cars are ones built before World War II. The automakers and original buyers couldn’t have known it back then, but these vehicles would eventually become collector’s items, often valued at tens of thousands more than the original price.

This category of classic cars presents owners with a unique opportunity. All around the country, owners are sitting on unexpected treasures collecting dust in their garages. Not only are classic cars a window into history, but they’re also an opportunity to cash in. Maybe you happen to have a classic car sitting around and have thought, “should I sell my car?” Thanks to the internet, it’s more simple than ever to determine your classic’s value, list it for sale, find the right enthusiast, and take home a big, fat check. There are numerous examples of cars that once sold for low MSRPs and were fairly common that now garner classic status and, with it, classic price tags: here are just a few of them.

1966-1996 Ford Bronco

The first run of Ford Broncos was originally an affordable, fairly common SUV. In the years 1966-1996, Ford released five generations of the Bronco before reviving it for a sixth generation in 2021. Originally built in Ford’s factory in Wayne, Michigan, the Bronco was Ford’s answer as an off-roading vehicle to compete with Jeep. But as more automakers launched their own SUVs with better off-roading capabilities than the Bronco, sales steadily fell off. After years of declining sales, Ford pulled it off the market and replaced it with the 1997 Ford Expedition. After a 25-year hiatus, Ford decided to resurrect a sixth-generation Bronco modernized for today’s customers with removable doors for the adventurous driver.

In the era that the first five generations of Broncos were built, they were priced at very attainable figures. Like most Fords, these new Broncos were easily affordable for middle-class families and priced similar to competitors like Jeep and Chevrolet. However, these older model Broncos have recently gained a ton of popularity and have been sought after by collectors and fanatics. Many of these buyers restore them and resell them for as much as six figures. Even a non-restored Bronco in great condition will sell for a lot of money.

These Broncos originally sold for $10,000-$30,000. We’ve seen many of these models averaging $20,000-$30,000 in price, with some models reaching $45,000-$50,000. There are even restored models from the ’70s that are going for $140,000+ depending on the condition and paint. If you have an older Bronco in your garage, regardless of condition, it would be worth your while to consider selling. You’d be checking off two boxes: recycling a beautiful Bronco to someone who will give it new life and lining your pocket, perhaps to get your next automotive love.

1967-1994 Pontiac Firebird

Although Pontiac couldn’t survive the test of time, the Pontiac Firebird will always be a legend. Fans of muscle cars (aka pony cars) will be more than happy to talk your ears off about the legendary Firebird. Originally built to compete with the Ford Mustang, the first generation of the Firebird was designed with the notorious Coke bottle style shared by many of the muscle cars of that era. Sold as coupes and convertibles, with automatic and manual transmissions available, this car was wildly popular in its era but always priced within reach. While no one could have predicted the demise of Pontiac as a brand, it’s not surprising to Firebird fans that the model would outlive the make.

In the ’90s, Firebirds were priced roughly between $11,000-$16,000, depending on the specs. In 1990, a Firebird coupe would run you about $11,000 brand new. These days, that same Firebird has been seen going for as much as $62,000. It’s not uncommon to see well-preserved Firebirds on today’s used car market in the $20,000-$60,000 range. If you happen to have held on to one all this time, that’s a massive return on your investment. As far as Pontiacs go, the Firebird has retained its value better than most, and anyone with a Firebird sitting around would be pleased to learn they can make a lot by selling it today.

1987-1997 Acura Integra Type R

The Acura Integra was manufactured by Honda from 1986 to 2006, taken off the market, then revamped and re-released in 2021. At first, it didn’t make a huge splash on the automotive scene but soon rose in popularity due to its remarkable handling and performance. When Acura introduced the Integra Type R, drivers learned to appreciate it for its high-quality drive, and it shot up in name recognition. Eventually, the Type R that came out starting in 1995 would become known as one of the best front-wheel drive cars of all time. It made list after list of best cars in its category from major auto publications. While it’s hard to say why Acura took it out of production for 16 years, it returned by popular demand.

When the Acura Integra Type R came out, its base price was $23,500. It was priced higher than its cousin, the Honda Civic, but also offered more performance and upscale touches. Acuras are notorious for lasting long when well maintained, so it’s likely there are many Integra Type Rs from this era around. When looking into ones for sale right now, they seem to range around $35,000 in today’s classic car market. At one auction, a yellow 1998 Integra Type R sold for an astounding $112,000. If you happened to have held on to a late ’80s or ’90s Integra, now is the time to discover what it’s worth.

Yesterday’s Trash, Today’s Treasure

While the Acura Integra, the Ford Bronco, and the Pontiac Firebird are great examples of high-value classics, there are many more cars that fit the description. A once common, affordable vehicle becomes a collector’s item decades later. With car design and technology shifting drastically year after year, we lose our connection to cars that bring back pleasant memories. The designs of the past are not just nostalgic but also beautiful. We hear the expression all the time, “they don’t make ‘em like they used to.” It’s especially true for classic and vintage cars.

Perhaps you’ve always wondered what to do with the old car you’ve been hanging onto year after year. Perhaps you considered selling it before but wanted to see if the value would keep growing. The car market, for both new and old, has never been hotter. Many cars that would’ve become sought-after classics or vintage were left to the wayside, scrapped years before their time. Thankfully, through care and restoration, sellers and buyers can come together today and keep these cars alive. When you sell your classic car to a loving collector, everyone wins.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *