March 2002

Give That Car an "A"

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At SCM, we often describe cars as being "first tier" or "second tier" collectibles. These terms are used intuitively, rather than being based on any analytical system. While putting together this year's Pocket Price Guide, we were reviewing our five-star short-term appreciation rating, and felt it left something to be desired.
The short-term appreciation scale, which we created five years ago in our first Pocket Price Guide, awards one to five stars to each model, based on our appreciation prediction for the coming year. Five stars indicates we believe a model will appreciate much more than the market at large during the coming year, four stars somewhat less, three stars is given for a car that will increase in value along with the market at large, two stars for slightly less than market appreciation, and a single star for a model car we believe will lag significantly behind the market, and may actually go down in value.
In practical use, the short-term appreciation rating has its limitations. It can be misleading about the overall position of a car in the hierarchy of collectibles. For instance, if we believe 300SL coupes to be fully priced at the moment, which we do, and unlikely to escalate dramatically in the next twelve months, we would assign them a three-star, or average, rating.