In the Rearview Mirror: Department of insight

January 30, 2021

Hagerty Drivers Club Magazine
A Word from McKeel

Back in 1984, my parents started Hagerty in our basement because they couldn’t find anyone to properly insure our family’s vintage wooden boats. The insurance industry considered them to be floating collections of kindling filled with gasoline, not worth the risk. My parents disagreed because, as my mom liked to say, “people take great care of their toys.”

Those words stuck with me, and they’re why I left my doctoral studies in philosophy to join the family business. I was convinced we could protect classic cars for the same reasons we protected vintage boats. Several decades and 1.5 million insured vehicles later, we’re still at it.

As we kick off a new year, I’d like to thank you for sharing this ride with us. Its your passion for cars, after all, that has helped Hagerty become far more than an insurance agency. These days, in fact, we describe ourselves as an automotive life- style company. The whole point of owning cool older cars, trucks, and motorcycles is to have fun with them. To immerse yourself in them and their history. To tinker with them. Talk about them. Read about them. And, yes, even dream about them.

That’s why we hired the nations best automotive journalists to produce this magazine and why we created Barn Find Hunter and Redline Rebuild, which entertain millions on YouTube. It’s also why we’re focused on building an ecosystem of cool services and events for the car community, like Hagerty Drivers Club, Hagerty Garage + Social, the California Mille, the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, and more.

Today, I’d like to highlight an important part of that ecosystem, our 18-member market insights and valuation team, whose work underpins our cover story, the Hagerty Bull Market list. Led by Brian Rabold and Tim Weadock, the team’s research and analysis are fundamental to our hobby. Bidding at auction? In a typical year, Rick Carey, Andrew Newton, and our auction team personally inspect 70 percent of all vehicles crossing the block to give you an impartial look at their condition. (Download the free Hagerty app to track auction action live.) Want to know the true value of a car you want to buy or sell? Dave Kinney and his colleagues at the Hagerty Price Guide publish nearly 500,000 discrete car values per year in North America. Frank Wilke of Classic Analytics in Germany and John Mayhead in the U.K. similarly blanket their markets.

We started focusing on vehicle values in 2008 because we found so many existing re- sources lacking, either in depth of research, degree of accuracy, or underlying motive. The hobby deserved better, so we set out to build something of real substance and statistical validity. It’s been an enormous investment, but it’s been worth it because you are worth it. In the coming months and years, you can expect more data, more granularity, more predictive analytics, more data science, and some partnerships that will blow your mind.

2020 was a tough year, but 2021 beckons. Let’s make up for lost time, my friends.

Onward and upward.