TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. ─ There is no better selling point than being able to tell customers that the vehicle they’re interested in might have what it takes to become a collector car of tomorrow. Hagerty Insurance Agency, which specializes in coverage for classic vehicles, is helping dealers do just that with its 2011 “Hagerty Hot List,” an annual rundown of new vehicles that could one day be sought-after vehicles by collectors.
The list is put together by a team of valuation experts, who look at mass-produced vehicles that might have classic appeal in 15 to 20 years. The following is the Hagerty Hot List for 2011, along with explanations from Hagerty’s team of experts:
1. 2011 BMW 335IS: The "s" in "IS" stands for "sport," meaning an already sporty car benefits from a host of additional factory tuning and options geared toward making it an even sportier car. We like this car because it splits the difference between the standard 335i and the M3. Because BMW steadfastly sticks to rear-wheel drive, track-minded enthusiasts will find this car to be loads of fun near the limit, but it won't punish them as a daily driver.
2. 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe: For most of its 100-plus-year history, Cadillac has touted itself as the "Standard of the World." But while they have introduced many milestones over the years, the 1970s–late 1990s don't necessarily stand out in most people's minds. The CTS-V Coupe brings back the "Standard of the World" for the first time in the minds of serious drivers.
3. 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible: Camaro lovers waited a long time for the new Camaro that came out in 2009. This year, open air lovers can have all the fun packed into the 400-horsepower SS.
4. 2011 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak: This brings back the old saying "there's no replacement for displacement" when you find out there is an 8.4 liter V10 crammed under the hood. What is even more intriguing is to hear that this truly is a factory-built drag car with a basic interior, manual steering, roll cage, safety harnesses and a two-speed transmission. Yes, it does have a limited audience now, and that will make the few remaining survivors very attractive in 20 years.
5. 2011 Fiat 500: Fiat's return to the United States for the first time since the Reagan administration means real competition for the Mini. Americans are finally warming up to the idea of premium-priced small cars and the 500 has all the makings of a winner. Think of it as a SMART car for people who actually enjoy driving.
6. 2011 Ford Mustang Boss 302R: Ford just keeps making the Mustang better and better. This is a factory-built racecar that is instantly ready for a variety of sanctioned race events, as well as your local track days. Like the Challenger Drag Pak, this is one to pickle and use to scare the neighborhood kids in 2035, just to remind them that there was once a time when cars made noise.
7. 2011 Honda CR-Z: The Honda CRX (1983-1991) is one of the best-loved Hondas from the past and it's still enjoyed by track enthusiasts, which accounts for the complete shortage of clean used ones. It's not hard to see that Honda is attempting to rekindle that same feeling in a new socially responsible way with the new CR-Z, the first hybrid with a six-speed manual transmission. That very reason puts it on our list: we applaud any car that will help future generations learn how to actually shift a true manual transmission.
8. 2011 Infiniti IPL G37: Infiniti is one of the few car makers bothering to offer a factory-tuned sport version of an existing luxury model. And did we mention how much we like factory cars that have a true dual exhaust system and the option for a real manual transmission?
9. 2011 Mini Countryman: It isn't too often that a four-door car makes our Hot List. But this one does. Why? Besides being a new model from Mini, it comes with the option of an all-wheel-drive system. Anyone who knows how much of a thrill a Mini can be to drive is probably dying to take one of these — outfitted with the turbo engine and John Cooper Works package of course — on the curviest mountain road one can find.
10. 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder: For the purists, the Boxster has been the recipient of polarized reviews. People either love or loath them. We happen to like the 2011 Spyder version. It is a lighter, more agile version of the regular Boxster and an affordable mid-engine car compared with many other players in this same field.