Anyone worried about their legacy would do well to pay attention to the rise and fall of automotive punchlines. More like fall and rise. Cars that were once four-wheeled jokes are gaining in value, demonstrating that history usually plays out far differently than you'd planned. Insurance man McKeel Hagerty noticed that cars once sneered at were increasing in value. Hagerty's insurance company is the number one insurance provider for collector car owners, and the values of the vehicles were suddenly climbing. Hagerty polled his customers and asked them to vote on the worst car designs of all time; a way of researching what's primed to increase in value.

AMC was the big winner of the dubious honors. Consistently undercapitalized compared to the big three, AMC had to be very creative and clever with their resources. The company made it as long as they did by taking more risks, so it's not that much of a surprise to see the Pacer, Gremlin, and Matador honored. Ford's Pinto must be charming a new generation of buyers with its firey personality, because we can't imagine that rampant nostalgia has started to take hold of the rolling jokes yet. Then again, many Boomers might fondly regard what may have been their first car. Prices for musclecars have gotten stupid, are we going to see a three-million dollar Bobcat in the next five years?

[Source: Business Week via TTAC]