Revenge of the Nerd Cars

The 1970s were infamous for disco, Watergate, and some of the ugliest cars ever. But now Pacers and Pintos are becoming collectors' items

McKeel Hagerty began noticing the trend a few years ago. As chief executive of Hagerty Insurance, the largest provider of insurance to classic-car collectors, Hagerty could see that the so-called "nerd cars"—the ugliest of automotive beasts—were nonetheless increasing in value. Ford Motor's (F) Pinto and American Motors' Pacer and Gremlin—cars that were punch lines from the decade of disco—suddenly seemed hot. They weren't increasing by much, Hagerty admits, from maybe $500 to a few thousand dollars. But still, money is money.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.