You’d have to be living under a sandstone outcropping in Moab to not notice that two-door 4×4 SUVs are among the hottest collectibles of the last decade or so. Led by the Ford Bronco, the classic two-door 4×4 SUV market has seemed to spur along the values of classic trucks as well.
As we explained in a story earlier this year in which we compared the values of wagon to their sedan counterparts, a longer roof is sometimes worth quite a bit more. We thought we might see the same when it came to pickups and their SUV relatives, so we asked James Hewitt, Hagerty Valuation Specialist, to run some numbers for us. The numbers mostly reflected our expectations, but there was one interesting surprise we saved for last.
1966–77 Ford Bronco
Whether it’s an uncut, all-original survivor or an orange-mocha-Frappuccino-seeking restomod, first-generation Ford Broncos are the king of the segment, with prices to match. In May of 2012, median #2 (Excellent) values for a first-gen Bronco and its contemporary F-100 pickup were separated by just four percent. By 2018, Bronco values had doubled while F-100 had barely moved.
Today, the median #2 (Excellent) Bronco is valued at $77,850—nearly five times its value from just ten years prior. Meanwhile, a 1967–1972 F-Series truck carries a #2 (Excellent) value of just less than half that, at $35,800. That’s a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison, as the Bronco was not based on the same full-size platform as the F-Series, but that generation of Ford full-size trucks has some off-road racing history of its own. The F-Series is establishing itself as a collectible in its own right thanks to its good looks and utility, as are plenty of other trucks from that era.
1969–72 Chevrolet C/K Blazer (K5)
The SUV premium looks just a bit lower when comparing a first-generation K5 Blazer to the same-year K10 pickup. Seeking to cash in on the growing SUV trend kicked off by International Harvester and Jeep, Chevy was working its own entrant before the Bronco was even on the market. After considering a smaller model to compete head-to-head with the Scout, Chevrolet decided to go full-size and base the Blazer on its existing pickup line. Those 1969–1972 K5s are rivaling the Bronco when it comes to value, as #2 (Excellent) versions of 1969 K5s are currently valued at $78,200 on average, when equipped with a 350 V-8. A similarly equipped K10 is valued at 45 percent less.
1974–80 Dodge Ramcharger
Mopar’s entry into the full-size SUV segment, Ramcharger, arrived in 1974, and, like GM’s K5 Chevy Blazer and GMC Jimmy, it featured a full-length removable hardtop. The Dodge doesn’t have quite the following of the K5, making it one of the best bargains in the full-size two-door SUV market—especially if open-air driving is a priority. Median #2 (Excellent) examples of 1974–1980 Ramchargers are valued at $32,950, which is double what they were just four years ago. Meanwhile, Dodge D/W Series pickups have also doubled but remain even more affordable, with a median #2 (Excellent) value of $24,000.
1980–86 Ford Bronco
Now we return to Ford’s Bronco, this time focusing on the third-generation model that has more of a direct parallel with the F-Series line. Here we find less of a price gap between the 1980–86 Bronco and its F-Series pickup brethren. The median #2 (Excellent) Bronco comes in at $26,700 compared to a similar F-Series valued at $24,000. That’s just a 10 percent premium for the 4×4 SUV.
Finally, there’s Jeep, and from this brand we noticed something that gave us pause. It’s this list’s first instance in which a pickup and two-door SUV share a platform and values are higher for the truck. Longer in wheelbase and containing just two seats, Jeep’s J-Series trucks have gone up in value quite sharply since 2021—enough to outpace those of the full-size Jeep Cherokee SJ. Median #2 (Excellent) values of $29,800 for the pickup are 28 percent higher than the SUV, which comes in at a median #2 (Excellent) value of $23,200.
Truth be told, it’s tough to say definitively what is driving Jeep trucks to exceed the value of the Cherokee. Perhaps it’s because a Jeep pickup is a bit of an interesting oddity in the context of a brand virtually synonymous with SUVs. Besides that, we’d argue that the Jeep trucks look almost brutishly utilitarian. In a good way.
Whether it’s a desire to go off-road, a need for utility, or nostalgia at buying a vehicle from the past, classic trucks and 4x4s are continuing to fuel a growing segment of the collector market. The rising prices among the most popular models are often driving buyers into other, similar vehicles, helping lift up values almost across the board. 4x4s are just plain fun, and SUVs with removable tops allow owners to enjoy the option of open-air driving. This data dive helped us understand that, at the moment, the conventional wisdom we often ascribe to coupes also applies to these 4x4s: If the top goes down (or in this case, comes off), the price goes up.