Automotive Mileposts  

Most Stolen Classic Cars
Hagerty Insurance Releases Report on 3½-Year Study

The Hagerty Protection Network has performed a three and a half year study of the most frequently stolen collector vehicles from July 1999 to December 2002. The report generated by this study was released by Hagerty Insurance, the nation's largest insurer of collectible cars, trucks, and motorcycles. The report indicates that Chevrolet vehicles overall are the most stolen Hagerty-insured brand, commanding 39.3 percent of all collectible vehicles stolen during the period of the report.

By brand, Chevrolet and Ford account for over half of the total vehicles stolen that were insured by Hagerty during this period. Ford takes second place behind Chevrolet with 14.8 percent stolen, followed by Mercedes-Benz at 4.7 percent, Cadillac at 4.4 percent, Harley Davidson at 4.4 percent, Pontiac at 3.6 percent, Jaguar at 2.4 percent, Plymouth at 2.4 percent, Porsche at 2.4 percent, Dodge at 2.1 percent, and Lincoln at 2.1 percent.

The study also revealed that California (20.1 percent), Michigan (15.4 percent), and New York (10.9 percent) are the top three states where a collector vehicle is most likely to be stolen, which accounted for almost half of all thefts. The months of May, June, and July are the peak period for collector car thefts.

Perhaps of most concern to collectors, the report indicated that "risk factors are in place for a significant increase in collector car theft over the next five years. This is due to the fact that classic vehicles are easier to steal than their modern counterparts, younger generations are stealing them more often for damage-inducing joy rides, and an increase in demand for their parts." The report continued, "With the generational collector shift from classic autos of the 1930s and 1940s to the cars from the 1950s, 1960s and even 1970s, we are also seeing an increase in these 'more drivable' cars on the open roads."

During the period of time the report covers, parking lots topped the list for the most dangerous place to leave a collector car, with nearly 43 percent of Hagerty-insured collector vehicles reported stolen from parking facilities of various types. Surprisingly, a collector vehicle parked at home is still at risk of theft, with 18.3 percent stolen from driveways and 10.9 percent taken from garages.

More recent figures for the period of January-December 2003 are even more frightening: thefts from private residences jumped to 44.3 percent! Chevrolet vehicles still bear the dubious honor of being the most stolen, but others moved up the list, such as the Ford Thunderbird, which jumped from number 10 to number 6.

Considering the amount of time and money collectors spend on their cars, it makes sense to take every precaution possible to secure the safety of that investment. MILEPOSTS Garage has tips and strategies to reduce the likelihood of your car becoming a victim in the article Preventing Classic Car Theft.


For more information on Hagerty Insurance and the Hagerty Protection Network, call 800 922-4050 or visit www.hagerty.com. Information herein used with permission of Hagerty Insurance.

TOP 10 MOST FREQUENTLY STOLEN COLLECTOR VEHICLES DURING 1999-2002:

1. Chevrolet Corvette (1966-1982) 13.3%
2. Ford Mustang (1964½-1969) 6.5%
3. Chevrolet Impala (1958-1967) 5.6%
4. Chevrolet Camaro (1968-1969) 4.7%
5. Harley Davidson Motorcycles (1941-1974) 4.4%
6. Chevrolet Nova (1963-1972) 3.6%
7. Chevrolet Chevelle (1966-1973) 2.7%
8. Chevrolet Monte Carlo (1970-1978) 2.4%
9. Cadillac DeVille (1955-1965) 2.1%
10. (tie) Chevrolet Pickup Trucks (1950-1971) 2.1% and Mercedes-Benz 450 (1975-1979) 2.1%
11. (tie) Ford Thunderbird (1955-1963) 1.7% and Lincoln Continental (1964-1977) 1.7%

TOP 10 MOST FREQUENTLY STOLEN COLLECTOR VEHICLES FOR 2003:

1. Chevrolet Corvette
2. Chevrolet Impala
3. Chevrolet Bel Air
4. Chevrolet Camaro
5. Ford Mustang
6. Ford Thunderbird
7. Chevrolet Chevelle
8. Chevrolet El Camino
9. Cadillac Eldorado
10. Chevrolet Caprice