PreWarQc

Pre war cars insane prices

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Most old cars, bought right, will always be worth about what you paid for them. Most aren't going up, but most aren't cratering, either. Yes, if you paid $100,000 for a '57 Chevy, you're going to get stung. But if you buy a $15,000 Model A today, it will probably be worth $15,000 in 10 years. Maybe a little more, maybe a little less, but it's not going to suddenly be worthless. Some cars will struggle to sell--I suspect that Pontiac I have will be tough to sell but sooner or later someone will buy it and enjoy it and will eventually be able to sell it for about the same amount. 


It's a mistake to assume that nobody will want this stuff. Someone will always own the cars. The Baby Boomers who drove the market are aging out and they're going to take the biggest beating. Prices will correct themselves. But the pre-war orphans that aren't Packards and Cadillacs have already been corrected. You can probably safely buy those without fear of losing everything. Just don't assume that you're going to be banking 10% per year, either. What you paid, plus or minus 10%. That's a reasonable expectation for 80% of the old cars out there.

 

Get in and swim, let the future take care of itself. We might all be consumed by a giant nuclear fireball in the next few weeks and then it's moot. In the meantime, I'm driving my old cars with a big maniacal grin on my face, money be damned.

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In a private email the OP told me he is not interested in a car that needs work, none at all. So what he is looking for is an 80+ year old car in perfect condition, for half the going rate. And can't figure out why anyone who owns such a car, won't sell it to him . But is willing to wait until we all die or get Alzheimer's so he can pick up our cars cheap.

 

Seems fair.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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7 hours ago, PreWarQc said:

 

I'm pretty sure its missing a 0. They have a website?

 

 

Agreed, I do sometimes see good deals in the states but I sadly have to add 30% to the asking price plus shipping; I'm in Canada.

 

If you haven't looked it up already, it's what you'd expect, autoroundup.com. 

 

If you want Canadian, get some friends or family together for a road trip to Saskatchewan. Mack Auction Co.(Estevan, SK) has two auctions in S.E. SK, the Gervais Family Farm Wheels Museum Auction in Alida 8/4/18; and the Rose Hansen Antique Auto Auction  in Glen Ewen 9/15/18. The first one has about 24 prewar cars & the second about 15. If you look up the auction Co. web-site you'll find pics of the cars. Everything from rough cheap cars to fixed-up expensive ones. Who doesn't want to go to Saskatchewan?

 

I guess you could look closer to home.....but it may be awhile before these kind of sales of these kinds of cars come up in your county. Like Buffalowed Bill says above, there are lots of cars out there. If you were looking for something easy -- like Chevrolet Corvettes or 2003-2005 Ford Thunderbirds(all of which seem to be for sale) -- you'd just pick your color. You'll have a harder job with pre-1946 cars: with most, only 1-in-1000 have survived wearing out/junkyards/wrecks.

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I don't see anything at the Rose Hanson sale I would be too interested in. The Gervais sale has a couple that look intriguing. The Case in particular. Trouble is a 2000 mile round trip with a truck and trailer , strictly on spec. that a reasonably priced purchase MIGHT happen is a bit of a non- starter for me. Auctions are funny, there might be deal's aplenty , and every sold hammer price might leave many in disbelief.  It just depends who shows up.

 Western Canada is a big place, and gas is at present very expensive. Probably a interesting road trip, however not so certain as to a cost effective source for a new  , old car.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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I had a lot of trouble finding a prewar touring car in my budget, saw some cools cars but they were all priced 40%-100% over similar sales for condition and the sellers are just frustratingly dead set on their inflated values. Finally gave up after a few months and starting looking into Model T's... There's some crazy prices out there on the later T's, heard the usual seller stuff but those cars I saw are still sitting for sale... no one wants to pay 50% over market for a older restoration 1919-27.  Luckily there are a bunch of fairly priced T's out there and I have narrowed the search quickly so I should be cruising soon. Viva La T! 

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This is for my Canadian friends, but could apply to US car people as well. I realize that most of the cars that were in the Ratsoy collection, are not what P/WQc is referring, but still a mystery how that collection escaped to China. 

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47 minutes ago, Buffalowed Bill said:

This is for my Canadian friends, but could apply to US car people as well. I realize that most of the cars that were in the Ratsoy collection, are not what P/WQc is referring, but still a mystery how that collection escaped to China. 

I don't think there is any mystery at all. Someone from China was willing to pay a top $ price for a large bulk collection.  As has been discussed at length on these forums , the collection was no bargain; some interesting cars , however many somewhat ordinary ones as well . And a all or nothing deal , at full retail.

 How do you think the Chinese have ended up owning so much prime Canadian Real Estate? They simply have a lot more money than the majority of Canadian's and buy as they please.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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To Matt's point best way to assure your investment is buy condition and model, but if your on a budget, something like that Pontiac could be a heck of a deal.  A little different yet not so exotic you cant keep it on the road.

 

Now some may disagree but this is a case where the premium of a dealer could be well worth it.  Better dealers wont put up junk, basic servicing is done, a selection and chance to try a few different cars out, and help with logistics are all value adds.  While it seems counterintuitive to go to a traditionally more expensive path than a private sale, the value adds might make the process easier, especially for a first timer who wants to be careful how they are spending.  Dealers can at times be more realistic than owners who are reluctant sellers.  That seems to br OP's concern.  Something to think about...

 

Just another opinion but when looking long term, i think prices of 50s, 60s will be a bigger drop as the supply is much higher.  Collectors who go out of the car of your youth starting point will have tons of them to choose from.  That would not dissuade me from buying one if I wanted it, but I think that is the next logical shift in the market.  

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)

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Hmm I agree some pre-war cars still demand high prices and as always there are few out there that think their vehicles are worth a whole lot more then they are, when you come across one of those do as I do keep walking. As for me I think many pre 1930 cars are becoming more affordable and I'm really happy with this yeah sure some may lose money on them and heck that may include myself, am I worried about this, not really it's a hobby not a investment.Well actually it is kinda a investment, a investment in my sanity. I should say at this point I'm just on the edge between gen x and gen y and in Australia don't know that may change my point of view on things oh I also grew up on a farm and I'm still farming now which I'm sure helps when playing with vintage cars. But what I must say is that I have always loved vintage and veteran cars, at about 12 I was trying to restore a 1922 T Ford and a friend said they were sure I would have a running car by age 20 I thought this was unlikely at the time but boy was I wrong at age 16 I sold the T and bought a older resto 27 Chev. Oh yeah I had to work most of my holidays to buy it but hey I had fallen in love. 

The cars when on the back burner for a few years while I was away at college but when I finished and got a job I was back into it, friends often questioned how I could afford the cars as I was not on big money but I held down two jobs and didn't drink or smoke. Fast forward to now and I have 3 pre 1930 cars on the road and a few project cars in the shed oh yeah and I did find women as well as the cars so I'm married with kids now, yeah sure the cars probably don't get as much attention as before but I still get to play around with them and yeah I'm probably earning more money then when I was in my early 20's but I'm not worth a fortune but I do do most of the work on my cars myself which is a huge saving. Anyway what I'm trying to say is if you really really want a pre war car you will find a way and yeah it might not be Rolls Royce but it will be yours. P.s another word of advice one should choose a very very tolerant wife that is huge help too😁

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8 hours ago, PreWarQc said:

 

I actually did not post this thread to seek an immediate solution for not having an (old) car. What I wanted was to understand why older guys refuse to lower their price when their car won't sell and why do they prefer to keep their car and watch them deteriorate. As I said, it is none of my buisness what people want to do with their property but I'm interested in understanding the behavior and I also want to point out the consequences of this behavior.

I don't really care about the money. If I knew they would keep their value (or even lose a bit), I would buy one today! The problem is, and this is why I refuse to buy one now, is that I know buyers will be extremely rare in the next 5 - 10 years and the prices will completely collapse. I mean, I love those cars but I'm not in the position where I can buy something 20-30k and see it reduced to barely nothing. Millennials and x's will not be buying those cars in big enough numbers to keep the prices up... and soon they will be the bulk of the potential buyers.

 

But to answer your question, I am looking for anything from that era. I'm passionate about them more than any other year because my view of the world is more closely related to the pre war society than to the present state of the world. The political world of those days, the social context and cohesion. The world before the war was better in my sense (not perfect) but better. I'm french-Canadian but the American model of government and society of those days is what I relate to the most; free market, small government, freedom and prosperity. I also prefer the style of the days... the attention to detail, the smell. So any car between 1900 and 1942 would be just fine.

 

 

 

The economic reality of families today is quite different and have nothing to do with the past. Yes luxury items are less expensive be it tv's, computers, cars... but houses, food, education; all the basic goods are more expensive than in the past and when you add them up, there is not a lot left even if you have a high income. You can choose not to buy a new TV but you have no choice to buy when it comes to housing, food and education. Today you have to be very conservative if you want to be able to put money aside for retirement, pay your mortgage and raise kids with enough resources to make them productive members of the society. Most young people are swimming in debt and will be doing so much of their lives, I don't want to follow that path so I'm on a tight budget. As I said... I have enough money to buy most cars but not enough to see its value decline year after year for the next decades.

 

 

 

There is no soul searching to be made. I've own a few antique/collector cars in the past 20 years from Air cooled VW's to a 1950's Hudson Hornet to a 60's Ford and a Hemi Dodge. I've enjoyed them all and when I needed to sell them to finance important projets I never had trouble. Presently I need to be more careful with money for many reasons but I can still afford something nice but it must retain most of its value in the years to come, this is the most important prerequisite. I don't have a crystal ball, but I strongly doubt pre war cars will hold most of their value in the coming years.

 

 

 

I have no debt except for mortgage and I plan on keeping it this way... And yes, financing a 40k pickup is not the way to go, I agree.

 

 

I might be wrong but from what I saw online, antique cars were much cheaper before the mid 90's...

 

 

I agree, unfulfilled dreams are part of life and one as to be in peace with that fact that some might never be realised.

 

 

 

Your initial post made it appear that you were seriously looking for an affordable decent pre-war car. This post makes it clear that you simply think that if you wait, the market will drop and you will pick one up for a fraction of their current cost. While demographics would indicate that buyers will not be as quick to find when the baby boom generation is out of their prime antique auto buying period, history would tend to indicate that your assumptions that nobody will be interested in prewar cars and the market will plummet are incorrect. I know more people in their  20's and 30's now who are interested in and have purchased pre-war cars than was the case when I was in my 30's. I think that if you decide to wait for the prices to fall super low, you will probably never own a pre-war car.  

 

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3 minutes ago, MCHinson said:

 

Your initial post made it appear that you were seriously looking for an affordable decent pre-war car. This post makes it clear that you simply think that if you wait, the market will drop and you will pick one up for a fraction of their current cost. While demographics would indicate that buyers will not be as quick to find when the baby boom generation is out of their prime antique auto buying period, history would tend to indicate that your assumptions that nobody will be interested in prewar cars and the market will plummet are incorrect. I know more people in their  20's and 30's now who are interested in and have purchased pre-war cars than was the case when I was in my 30's. I think that if you decide to wait for the prices to fall super low, you will probably never own a pre-war car.  

 

 

Like I said--sitting and waiting for perfect conditions is a great way to have no time left and time is the only thing you can't replace. Some people never learn this lesson and treat money as precious and time as infinite and worthless.

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I've made the same observation as the OP. I was looking for a '38 Buick and found the prices high and the condition not reflecting how the cars were described.

 

The most common circumstance was that of a child selling the car for a deceased father's estate. The price was based on what dad had been telling them for years and included the notion that it was "rare". The condition was also based on what it was previously, a decade earlier when dad could still maintain it. As dad's capacity to care for the car faded, so did the car.

 

I agree with the OP that pre-war cars will not have a big following in ten years and that the values will continue to go down. I bring my '30 Buick and my '91 Figaro to cruise nights. The Fig gets 10X the attention from young people. The Buick gets interest from their grandparents. The folks on here who have spent 50 years in the hobby are fortunate that, for the most part, prices always went up. You could play with a car for a while, do a little work, and get your money back out. Those days are gone for Pre-War cars. When sellers outnumber buyers, prices drop. Given the demographics I see at events, this is unavoidable. The OP is being smart in treating what he buys as a depreciating asset and looking for a deal. I'd suggest watching for no reserve auctions. I've seen some good values cross the block.

 

Good luck in your search. Owning a Pre-War car is really enjoyable.

Edited by Buick64C (see edit history)
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There are some really great buys on 1930's pickups out there. Pickups from the 30's have great styling Dodge, Hudson, Ford, Plymouth and Studebakers can be found at good buy in prices. Even some sedan deliveries can be found at good prices, and some have the same styling as the cars you are looking at. You can also advertise that you are looking for an unfinished project car. a ton of half built/restored cars are sitting in buildings with an owner saying he was going to finish the car when his kids moved out. His kids now are coming up on retirement, might be time to sell the car. Just have to do some looking around, ask some questions and post a few pictures on this site before you buy. You will get good advise and a little BS (we can not help ourselves):D    

 

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1 hour ago, Vintageben said:

but I held down two jobs and didn't drink or smoke. Fast forward to now and I have 3 pre 1930 cars on the road and a few project cars in the shed oh yeah and I did find women as well as the cars so I'm married with kids now, yeah sure the cars probably don't get as much attention as before but I still get to play around with them and yeah I'm probably earning more money then when I was in my early 20's but I'm not worth a fortune but I do do most of the work on my cars myself which is a huge saving. Anyway what I'm trying to say is if you really really want a pre war car you will find a way and yeah it might not be Rolls Royce

 

Three deadly sins; drink, smoke, and buy a Rolls-Royce. Phew! If not for the coaching of a good friend I would have bought a Rolls-Royce.

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I want Ed Minnie to chime in on Springfield Rolls Royce.  For years all I heard from him was that you had to avoid them.  Now after he spends some time driving a couple he thinks they are the greatest prewar American car built.

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23 hours ago, edinmass said:

t work to keep you nose to the grindstone to get what you want. The cars are out there.......how many clu

 

14 hours ago, PreWarQc said:

 

Agreed, I do sometimes see good deals in the states but I sadly have to add 30% to the asking price plus shipping; I'm in Canada.

    The old saying that "the grass is always greener in the other side of the fence" applies here.

    I see ads in Canada that look good to me.  In fact the last car I bought was in Canada.

     The easiest car to own and  get parks for is the Model A Ford  (28-31)   There are many bargains on

      them and plenty of support from their active clubs.   Let us know what you are looking for and price

      range.  Then we'll see how serious/reasonable your search criteria is.  Restored or in need of a                total restoration has a tremendous effect too.

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28 minutes ago, Paul Dobbin said:

 

    The old saying that "the grass is always greener in the other side of the fence" applies here.

    I see ads in Canada that look good to me.  In fact the last car I bought was in Canada.

     The easiest car to own and  get parks for is the Model A Ford  (28-31)   There are many bargains on

      them and plenty of support from their active clubs.   Let us know what you are looking for and price

      range.  Then we'll see how serious/reasonable your search criteria is.  Restored or in need of a                total restoration has a tremendous effect too.

I have plenty of cross border market condition experience. I live about 3 miles from Washington State and I am in the U.S. at least twice a month.  In my experience the U.S. old car hobby cost for someone earning a middle class income and living in the U.S. is noticeably less than the Canadian cost for a Canadian car for someone earning Canadian middle class wages and experiencing the Canadian cost of living.

 Here in Canada middle class earners have very little disposable income after paying for the basics of life. And I am not talking about a new phone every year or two and $70,000.00 pick up truck life styles. Just food, shelter and clothing. It all costs quite a bit more than in the majority of locations in the U.S. And generally the shelter costs a great deal more unless you are looking at SanFran or New York city.  Once you get away from common place cars like Model A Fords, sedans, Chevy's , Plymouths etc. the old car pickings are slim in Canada.  There are nice car's in Canada however they are often quite expensive simply due to the relative rarity. There are plenty of wealthy people in Canada, however Canada's middle class is generally closer to the brink than the Middle class in the U.S.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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11 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

You are lamenting that there are no more cheap pre-war cars and that prices are "insane," but I think part of the problem is your definitions of "insane" and "cheap." There are no more nice Model As in the farmer's barn for $25. There have been multiple demonstrations of good cars for what, today, is not a lot of money, yet even those are "too expensive" for you. I don't know what your criteria are or your budget situation, but it looks to me like the problem isn't a dearth of cars but rather a significant disconnect between reality and fantasy. You're not going to get much car for $5000, and certainly not a ready-to-go car that won't need some work. You probably also can't buy a move-in condition house for $35,000. Or a lobster dinner for $5. You live in Montreal, that's an expensive place to live, but that situation should also have recalibrated your sense of value to something in line with 2018 rather than 1968.

 

Why lecture me that way as if I knew nothing? I’m far from being disconnected from reality… you’ve got some nerve man… I’ve owned many antique cars in the last 20 years and I’m far from being ignorant on the subject. I never stated I wanted a ready to run 5000$ car or a 25$ farmer’s barn model A, I know houses are not 35k and I know a lobster dinner isn’t 5$... this is quite insulting. Why some of you guys on the forum have the tendency to write thing in my stead as if I really think those things or as if you know my thoughts or intentions. You also decided that I lived in Montreal and that my expenses were high so I must ‘’recalibrate my sense of value’’… you have no idea about who I am and what my condition is so I’m really curious as to why you give yourself permission to write pretty much anything that goes true your head? Again, I asked a simple question ‘’why are pre war cars so expensive’’ and no one gave me a direct answer.

 

11 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

Or you can sit on the sidelines and do nothing and bemoan that the world has treated you unfairly and how you wish it was like the good old days. But the bottom line is this: Money is relatively easy to get. Time is impossible.

 

 

I will simply buy something more recent, its that simple, and it will still be a lot of fun. As I have already stated, I’ve owned air cooled VW’s, a Hudson Hornet, Hemi Dodge, 60’s Ford… and I will continue to own other interesting cars without any doubt. Pre war will simply be put in the back of my mind and slowly fade away if the prices don't come down. I’ve never been on the sidelines and I’ve never complained the world has treated me unfairly and I never will so I don’t quite understand why you are stating this. This is ridiculous.

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7 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

In a private email the OP told me he is not interested in a car that needs work, none at all. So what he is looking for is an 80+ year old car in perfect condition, for half the going rate. And can't figure out why anyone who owns such a car, won't sell it to him . But is willing to wait until we all die or get Alzheimer's so he can pick up our cars cheap.

 

Seems fair.

 

I simply stated that I’m not interested in buying and restoring your car. A car that needs work is not quite the same as a complete restoration. But above all things why do you try to slander me like this... This is far from being adequate and mature behavior on your part. Are you 10 years old, seriously? I asked the community if they knew why the prices of pre war cars were so high and your first reply was to try and sell me your car… I’m not impressed.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, PreWarQc said:

 

Why lecture me that way as if I knew nothing? I’m far from being disconnected from reality… you’ve got some nerve man… I’ve owned many antique cars in the last 20 years and I’m far from being ignorant on the subject. I never stated I wanted a ready to run 5000$ car or a 25$ farmer’s barn model A, I know houses are not 35k and I know a lobster dinner isn’t 5$... this is quite insulting. Why some of you guys on the forum have the tendency to write thing in my stead as if I really think those things or as if you know my thoughts or intentions. You also decided that I lived in Montreal and that my expenses were high so I must ‘’recalibrate my sense of value’’… you have no idea about who I am and what my condition is so I’m really curious as to why you give yourself permission to write pretty much anything that goes true your head? Again, I asked a simple question ‘’why are pre war cars so expensive’’ and no one gave me a direct answer.

 

 

 

I will simply buy something more recent, its that simple, and it will still be a lot of fun. As I have already stated, I’ve owned air cooled VW’s, a Hudson Hornet, Hemi Dodge, 60’s Ford… and I will continue to own other interesting cars without any doubt. Pre war will simply be put in the back of my mind and slowly fade away if the prices don't come down. I’ve never been on the sidelines and I’ve never complained the world has treated me unfairly and I never will so I don’t quite understand why you are stating this. This is ridiculous.

 

I think the community is saying that you are wrong in your assessment that pre-war cars are expensive. They have given examples of value cars for sale. But the term, 'value', is very subjective. Every Tom, Dick and Sally has their own belief of 'value'.

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3 hours ago, MCHinson said:

 

Your initial post made it appear that you were seriously looking for an affordable decent pre-war car. This post makes it clear that you simply think that if you wait, the market will drop and you will pick one up for a fraction of their current cost.

 

Well no, this is not what I think nor is it what I wrote... I simply posted here with the intention of understanding why the prices were so high and be informed about what justifies it by having a discussion about it. I had some good and pertinent replies but they were few, most were an attempt to egocentrically sell me their car or lecture me about why I’m wrong without any arguments to back their comment. I am also encouraged to ‘’live life’’ by spending money without putting any thought into it. So I’m leaving this forum with no answer and a bad impression of the pre war community… its not quite what I imagined it to be.

 

3 hours ago, MCHinson said:

 

While demographics would indicate that buyers will not be as quick to find when the baby boom generation is out of their prime antique auto buying period, history would tend to indicate that your assumptions that nobody will be interested in prewar cars and the market will plummet are incorrect. I know more people in their  20's and 30's now who are interested in and have purchased pre-war cars than was the case when I was in my 30's. I think that if you decide to wait for the prices to fall super low, you will probably never own a pre-war car. 

 

As I have mentioned, I have been to many meets with my previous cars and I have never seen a guy under 65 with a pre 1942 car. I know a guy who knows someone in his 20’s who has a Model T but it was after his grand father passed away and he got it true his estate, I don’t think he still has it. When I had my Hudson Hornet I would meet with guys with 50’s car and at that time I was 33… No one was near my age. The youngest guy was in his late 50’s. I don’t mind being with older people but to pretend that young guys are numerous in being interested in pre war (even pre 70’s) car is not being honest. Of course, there are some... but not nearly enough to keep the prices up in the long run.

 

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