Traverse City, Mich. (Thursday, July 02, 2009) - Remember when a leisurely summer day meant loading the kids in the back of your convertible and heading downtown for a burger and a malt . . . when you could spend a warm summer evening with the top down at the local drive-in movie theater waiting for the show to start . . . and when a good date was one who didn’t complain about the wind ruining her hair?
As the world’s leading provider of collector car insurance, Hagerty does. With the current economic downturn, rising fuel prices, and people working longer and traveling less this summer, Hagerty decided to take a step back to a simpler time with its Top 10 Recommendations for Classic Convertibles for Families.
“In today’s economy, families just aren’t able to take long, expensive vacations together like they used to,” said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty Insurance. “With the start of summer, we thought this would be the perfect time to recommend our top picks of affordable classic convertibles for families. For the nostalgic among us, these cars are a fun way families can spend quality time together and enjoy the summer months.”
The cars were selected from Hagerty’s Cars that Matter value guide and were chosen because they should hold or increase their value. The vehicles were also selected utilizing the following criteria which contribute to their overall value in the collector car industry: Costs less than $25,000, easy and fun to drive, and readily accessible, meaning the average person can go out and find these classic convertibles with relative ease.
Listed below is Hagerty’s Top 10 Recommendations for Classic Convertibles for Families:
1966 Chevrolet Impala ($20,300): One of the best selling cars of all-time, the Chevy Impala is as American as apple pie. A generous trunk will engulf even fully-inflated beach toys and leave room to spare for the family cooler.
1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass ($20,700): GM’s Olds division was once home to some of the most refined performance cars sold in America. Today, Oldsmobiles are a great option for those looking for an inexpensive, comfortable cruiser that can still leave a stoplight in dramatic fashion.
1963 Pontiac Tempest ($24,000): Though it was considered a “Senior Compact” car in its day, it can provide a great “old car” experience for a family of five. The unique and controversial “rope drive” system is a big part of why the Tempest was one of the best handling American cars of its day.
1972 Buick Skylark GS Convertible ($22,700): There were less than 900 Buick Skylark GS convertibles made in 1972 making it the least common car on our list. Still, they aren’t impossible to find today. If you do manage to land a Gran Sport in your garage, you’ll be treated to some of the most compelling performance and styling available at the close of the muscle-car era.
1963 Ford Falcon ($22,800): As the predecessor to the mighty Mustang, the Falcon could be ordered in configurations ranging from fast to frugal. Sport and later-built Sprint models make up the top end of the value spectrum, but they’re also the most fun to drive.
1967 Ford Galaxie XL ($21,500): Another big American bruiser, the Galaxie was Ford’s full-sized car for driving enthusiasts. A wide variety of engines were available for motivation, but the most popular options in 1967 were the mighty V-8s. As the muscle-car era began to hit its stride, Ford’s range of Galaxie models helped keep the Dearborn firm right in the mix.
1964 Mercury Monterey ($17,200): Mercury’s full-size offering for 1964 began with the Monterey. This luxury convertible has enough for five to six adults and with a standard 390 and optional 427 V-8 engines, this Merc is an inexpensive entry into a summer of big-block bliss.
1969 Mercury Cougar ($23,300): A more stylish and civilized version of the iconic Mustang, the Cougar could be optioned with enough brute force under the hood to thrill the most jaded gear-head. The Cougar came standard with a number of unique 1960’s details that will make it stand out in the parking lot at your local drive-in ice cream stand.
1979 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible ($21,200): If you love driving your riding lawn-mower, but wish it had a cloth top and room for a family of four, look no further than the 1979 VW Beetle convertible. The sound of that clattery air-cooled flat four engine and utilitarian feel make it one of the most endearing cars on this list. The Beetle’s unmatched fun-per-dollar value makes it one of the best possible collector cars to own and fun for the whole family.
1981 Fiat Spyder ($12,300): Another great value, the Fiat Spyder is two-seater that’s perfect for a night away for mom and dad. It is reasonably inexpensive to own and great fun to drive. The Spyder’s Pininfarina body work helped round out a package that stayed popular for years and is still sure to turn the heads of anyone you pass.
Hagerty Insurance Agency, Inc. is the leading insurance agency for collector vehicles in the world and host to the largest network of collector car owners. Hagerty offers insurance for collector cars, motorcycles and motorcycle safety equipment, tractors, automotive tools and spare parts, and even “automobilia” (any historic or collectible item linked with motor vehicles). Hagerty also offers overseas shipping/touring insurance coverage, commercial coverage and club liability coverage. For more information, call (800) 922-4050.