Old, Heavy and Brutish: Classic SUVs Reach Collectible Status

1972 International Scout II

A friend in college had an old International Scout. I don’t remember for sure, but I think it was a 1972 model with a V8 engine and a 4-speed manual transmission. I’d probably remember the car in much more detail had I ridden in it more than once. In 3 years of living near this guy, the Scout sat outside his apartment in various states of being, well, assembled. He’d get it running occasionally, but never well enough to take it any farther than the closest Safeway for an emergency PBR run.

I sometimes wonder what happened to my friend and his Scout. As much as he loved that brutish SUV, I can’t imagine he would have gotten rid of it. Assuming a marriage and kids and a mortgage became part of his life, it’s quite likely he did sell it.

I hope he’s held on to it, as its value has risen over the last 15 years. Right along with the demand for other classic SUVs.

Hagerty Insurance is in the business of insuring classic cars, which makes it a pretty good gauge of collectible car values.

The agency has been tracking an increase in sales and prices of classic SUVs at auction, while the number the company insures has grown about 65 percent since 2008. The majestic Toyota Land Cruiser has seen the largest jump with an increase of 202 percent. Jeep models from the 1970s and 1980s are up by 93 percent. The Ford Bronco has risen by 86 percent, while the infamous International Scout has seen demand rise by 85 percent.

McKeel Hagerty, president and CEO of Hagerty, said,

With so many young collectors opting for modern SUVs as their daily drivers, we’re seeing a shift in perception of what makes a vehicle cool…. Broncos, Land Rovers and other similar vehicles from the ’60s and ’70s were, for the most part, once seen as utilitarian. But vintage SUVs are becoming more and more collectible, and it appears that trend will continue. This is a great time to get into this segment of the collector car market.

It looks my college friend was about 15 years ahead of the trend. I hope he still has that old Scout and that it’s in tip-top shape today!

Is there a classic SUV you’d love to own?


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