My Car Quest

March 19, 2018

Comparing Two Classic Car Price Guides – Why Such A Big Difference?

by Mike –

I have written about the “Sports Car Market Pocket Price Guide” and the “Hagerty Price Guide” where I compared the numbers in the guides to actual sales prices or to the asking prices for cars listed for sale. I then gave each guide a grade of my own based on my opinion of how accurate they were for the models that I selected.

Then I thought it would be interesting to compare these two classic car price guides to each other. I selected several interesting models and looked up the prices quoted in each of these two price guides.

As Monterey Car Week approaches with all of the auctions and the hundreds of classic cars that will be sold these guides can help buyers decided what to do, or so the publishers want their readers to think.

Maserati Bora

Maserati Bora

The “Sports Car Market Pocket Price Guide” (SCM Guide) lists values for a condition 2 car with a low and a high number. I used the high number here and compared it to the condition 2 value for the same model quoted in the “Hagerty Price Guide” (Hagerty Guide). I quote from the latest issue of each guide, unless otherwise stated: the Winter-Spring 2013 Edition for the SCM Guide and May-Aug 2013, Issue 21, for the Hagerty Guide.

Click on the table for a larger view.

Sports Car Market and Hagerty classic car value guides

The Hagerty/SCM column shows the value differences between the two. A positive number means the Hagerty Guide has a larger value and a negative number means the SCM Guide has a larger value.

The largest variances are the Maserati Bora (86.7%), Porsche 959 (62.6%), McLaren F1 (42.3%), Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider America (31.8%) and Mercedes 300SL Roadster (27.3%). Hagerty values these cars significantly higher than SCM.

Porsche 959

Porsche 959

McLaren F1

McLaren F1

The other models are close to 20% difference or less.

I don’t know what to make of such large value differences between these two classic car price guides. With a difference larger than 20% they both can’t be right.

Is a 1978 Maserati Bora really worth more than a 1973 Maserati Ghibli SS as Hagerty claims? Does SCM really think one can buy a condition 2 Porsche 959 Komfort for $265,000?

Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider

Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider

What do you think? Let us know what you see in these numbers in the Comments.


1) SCM has the McLaren F1 years listed as ’94-’98.

2) SCM does not list Monteverdi.

3) The 1965 Shelby GT350 was missing from this issue of the Hagerty Guide so I used the number from the previous issue No. 20.

Mercedes 300SL Roadster

Mercedes 300SL Roadster


  1. Grifo4me says:

    I think SCM only uses auction data, so there prices are only as good as the most recent auction

  2. brianwilliams335 says:

    I periodically refer to both guides and have noticed the discrepancy in valuation between the two sources for a given car. I find it particularly irksome that SCM, given their extensive auction analysis and data, does not align their valuation more closely with auction results. Obviously, as some models of some marques are experiencing almost explosive up swings in auction results, distilling that volatility into a current valuation would be challenging. Especially, given the realization many cars are well sold and may not achieve similar results for years, if ever.
    Nevertheless, since SCM holds itself out as the market gurus, I would expect valuations to be performed at the same high level as their auction reporting.

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