2009 Chevrolet CorvetteEnlarge Photo
Hagerty Insurance is among the world's leaders in providing coverage for classic cars, so their customer base skews toward the enthusiast side of the vehicle owning public. In an effort to divine potential classic cars of the future, Hagerty asked customers a simple question: “What American Car Could You Not Live Without?”
The context of the question included the current economic difficulties, the bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler, the demise of Pontiac, and the potential sale of HUMMER and Saturn (the poll was taken prior to the news of a Chinese company purchasing HUMMER and Roger Penske's organization taking over Saturn).
“Now more than ever, American car manufacturers are the center focus of this economic decline,” says McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty Insurance. “As car enthusiasts, many of us would hate to see these cars become extinct. We appreciate the place in American society that a great car can occupy and the value of that car to future motorists down the road. It would be sad to see them go.”
Nearly 1,000 customers responded, making the sample statistically accurate for this group. Below is Hagerty’s list of the “Top 10 Cars Americans Can’t Live Without”:
It was great to see the Chevrolet Corvette at the top of the list. Not only is the modern 2009 Chevrolet Corvette a performance heavyweight, but the car is an American icon.
Pony cars fill the next three spots. Curiously the Dodge Challenger beat out the Chevrolet Camaro for the number three spot.
Obviously, Americans like their trucks. With good reason; take a look at our reviews for the 2009 Ford F-150 and the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500. These are great trucks. My unwavering opinion is that this current generation of trucks will be the best full-size light duty trucks ever made. Period. The new CAFE regulations will forever change the appeal of full-size trucks, so it is my inclination to believe that manufacturers will never invest so much development in future trucks because the future sales volume won't allow for a solid return on that investment as it did in the past.
The inclusion of the Saturn Sky, Chrysler 300, and (presumably) all HUMMER models took me by surprise. These vehicles are all capable, but making the Top 10 list of "Vehicles I Couldn't Live Without." Hmmmmm, these wouldn't be on my list.
As for what I'd pick, click on over to a blog entry I posted last month: Instant Classics. There is certainly overlap between my list and the poll results from Hagerty clients even though the premise of my story and the poll were different.
What would be on your list of Cars You Can't Live Without? Post your Top 10 list below.