Muscle cars are showing surprising strength as consumers shift to SUVs and the market for other cars weakens, according to Kelley Blue Book’s expert on vehicles’ residual values.
A three-year-old Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger or Ford Mustang retains significantly more of its value than other vehicles, KBB’s Eric Ibara said.
“When the muscle car renaissance began more than 10 years ago, a lot of people thought it would be a fad,” Ibara said. “Their sales are strong and values are holding up well.
“They deliver a lot of power, fun and excitement for the money. On the used-car market, they’re an even better value than new.”
The three muscle cars now retain 48%-49% of their value after three years, Ibara said. “Typically, three-year-old vehicles hover between 40% and the high 30s.”
Ibara’s analysis flies counter to recent questions about muscle cars’ appeal. Sales are down this year, though generally less than sales of all types of cars.
“The incentives on them are generally lower, and that leads to higher residual values,” Ibara said. “Cars that have natural demand do better as used cars.”
That’s in spite of the fact that the Camaro and Mustang sell lots of convertibles to daily rental agencies because the cars are popular at vacation destinations. That leads to a big supply of lightly equipped used rental cars that sell for less than the higher trim levels that customers buy.
All the modern muscle cars have loyal followings,” Ibara said.
That’s showed up in higher prices for the new Camaro and large numbers of owners coming back for a new Camaro, Challenger or Mustang when they got a new car.