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Dan Marx

what car would you invest in

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There is another way to look at it. If you had the ability, time, and resources to restore a car yourself, and by that I mean provide the actual labor yourself, your best bet might be to buy the most potentially valuable car you could find for $100K, regardless of condition, and invest your time and sweat into restoring it. You likely could still eventually turn a handsome profit on the car, assuming you chalked up your time as "fun".

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1959 Cadillac convertible.

Other cars might have more potential for going up in price, but they are a gamble. The 1959 Cadillac has already an icon for quite some time. The 1950's will always be remembered fondly. 1957 Chevys and 1959 Cadillacs have come to represent that era. I don't really see either going down in popularity or price. I think the Chevy has pretty much hit its high point. The Cadillac might have too, but I'd rather be driving that one for the next ten years.

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)

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1969 Dodge Super Bee. Green. 440 six pack, 4 speed, black interior, A12 car.

It's not a $100,000.00 car yet...originally, it was exactly as you described. It IS matching numbers at least.

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1972-89 Mercedes SL convertible. Possibly the last car built like a "classic" with real chrome, real steel, real V8 etc.

Right now they are fairly common and good ones can be bought cheap. But I expect in time they will go up like every other Mercedes convertible.

With the change, buy a few Porsche 911s. Another iconic car that will become more and more rare and desirable.

In any case buy the best original low mileage example you can find. If it is a rare and desirable model so much the better.

At today's prices you should be able to buy a couple of each in real nice shape. Enjoy them to your heart's content at least on nice weekends and maintain them by the book. You should be able to enjoy them for 10 or 20 years and sell them for way more than you paid. Sort of like buying a Duesenberg in 1951 or a Porsche Speedster in 1970.

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I would have to extend that Packard range to 32-34 not that I have an bias as a 32 Super Coupe Roaster owner. :) 32-34 are all very close in styling. I would shy away from a close car as they have not gone up as much as in relation to the open ones...or does that that mean that they are about to go up. Also an engine rebuild on a close car can is a much bigger percentage of a close car value for a 30s Packard. I found that out the hard way this year. :(

I asked a very similiar question in 2005 on this forum before I bought my 32 Packard. I initially used the word investment, but quickly reworded it to what car would best maintain it value if you were interested in a classic. Never used the word investment with old cars unless you are trying to convince a spouse to buy one.

I think muscle cars may still have room to go up though I think there's a interesting difference betweeen the cars. The open classic such as a 32-34 Packard may be less desired by those with 100K+ in their pockets to spend, but there's a lot less of them. So the demand to drive the price for open Packards may be the same as muscle cars just because there are much smaller number to chase. Personally I rather have a Packard as I rather be one of a few than one of many (Until I try to buy parts:))

And not to sidetrack, but I love the various rare statements about muscle cars at auctions which usually had to do with options including color and radio delete:) With 32-34 Packards (and otehr similiar cars) when you are talking rare, you are talking about absolute numbers of cars and not the combinations of options that make the cars rare.

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Ken agree, a '32-'34 is tough to lose on. No argument you would do better with an open example but I think if you cannot do that (open cars, V-12s in any body style under $100K in a '32-34 Packard is really unlikely unless it is a project, even then you exceed the $100K by doing the work...) then buying the best closed you can is a good bet.

Another example of a fantastic car - Cord L-29, there is a brougham or club sedan in HMN this month, assuming the car is nice, it could be the perfect investment car per Dan's $100k limit. Rare in any bodystyle, stunning looks, Full Classic. Asking price for this example, $89K, so assume $85K buy price, allowing $15K for any mechanical problems (you may need it with the FWD) after the 10 year hold, if you sell, I bet you are smiling.... Same car is unattainable in open version at that price.

Any woodie you can obtain under $100K might be good as well, as they seem to still have a ways to go. If people will pay that for a mass produced 60s car why won't the trend continue on what was once the family hauler then demoted to hauling surf boards or hunting equipment in the woods? They present well and can haul a big family around, and they are very cool...

Did I hear Dan is giving $100K to whoever comes up with the best car??

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT
adding humorous line (see edit history)

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If I had that much money, I would GUT my 1946-built garage, do a complete inside makeover on it that would actually work for me (instead of the jumbled up mess that it is) and finish my two '31 Dodge coupes. I would be very content with that.......until I found a rumble seat coupe. Then I would be happy.....until I found a roadster. Then I would be happy.....those would be my investments.

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It's not a $100,000.00 car yet...originally, it was exactly as you described. It IS matching numbers at least.
Not to get off topic, it's amazing at how many people who would consider that car as junk. Even though it's all there, so many people write off a car as being junk only because it doesn't look good.

$100,000 and imagination, you can get a nice car....

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David,

If you have staying-power with your investment-money, there is a freshly restored, essentially undriven 1920 Kissel Model 6-45 Gold Bug Speedster available right now in the 100K-200K price range, through Hyman Limited. i have seen it. It is Concours quality. It is one of two 1920 Kissel Gold Bug Speedsters that have survived, and only one of 38 from all years (1919-1928) that exist, including my 1923 Bug. If you want an investment, buy an exceedingly rare, driveable, beautiful Gold Bug, Stutz DV Speedster, Flyer, or Sport model open car, even from the B----d years as you call thyem, and you will have years of fun and get more than your money out at the end. Or your estate will.

RON

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Ken agree, a '32-'34 is tough to lose on. No argument you would do better with an open example but I think if you cannot do that (open cars, V-12s in any body style under $100K in a '32-34 Packard is really unlikely unless it is a project, even then you exceed the $100K by doing the work...) then buying the best closed you can is a good bet.

You might be able to get a 32 900 coupe roadster under $100K though it may be tough. Even the 120s open are bring 60-70K and in some cases over 100K. Also the 32 900 is on the CCCA Full Classic list.

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Well I already have the Cord so I'll have to go with my first choice a 1931-1933 Auburn Convertible sedan. I would consider a cabriolet though. There was a really nice green one on ebay for 80,000 or thereabouts so under the 100K mark. Can I have the other 20,000 for a little work on the garage it's going to be stored in or to get a drivetrain for the Cord?

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I think Restorer32 has a very good point... in fact I was having that conversation with one of my long time friends only this week. He's an extremely talented mechanic who has been teaching school for the past 35 years. He's retiring in two or three years and looking to get back into antique cars...(he's had a few but none since his daughters started college. The oldest one just got her PhD so that expense is almost behind him!) I suggested he buy the very best pile of parts available... open, full classic etc or a big brass car, if he could find one. Something that would be nearly valueless to anyone but a person with the talent to do the work it because the professional restoration costs had to vastly exceed the final value... It would be almost the same amount of work to do a car that would be worth 10,000 when it was done as one that might sell for 200,000. It still wouldn't qualify as an "investment" in my mind, but its a lot closer to one than most everything else.

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Ahh I re-read this thread from 2010 - my how time has passed. I think a lot of the cars mentioned have been tracking relatively close to where they were. Interesting Rusty mentioned Porsche 911 almost as an afterthought, along with the MB "107" chassis cars.

I think the early, short wheelbase 911 cars would have been the ticket, looking strictly at value rises, as they have enjoyed a pretty nice escalation in the last two years, and appear to be continuing for now. If one were to buy a "couple 911 cars" - but early ones, as Rusty suggested, I believe they could have doubled their money.

We actually ended up with one of the Mercedes SLs Rusty pointed out, and while not necessarily an "investment" they are slowly climbing in value, but are far too numerous that I would ever think they will follow the 911 cars in value. Regardless, a perfect compromise between the ability to use very frequently in season and being a quasi collectible car. We sold our '39 Packard pretty much at a break even price, which for a somewhat "down market" last spring worked ok for me.

I agree with most in that these are not investments in the true sense of the word, and you should buy what you like above all else. That said, to buy and restore or maintain any collector car requires some significant outlay of cash, so this is one hobby where "dollars invested vs. return" comes into play. So it is interesting to follow the trends...

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)

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Dan:

Since we're playing the "what if" game, why would someone with $100,000 to "invest" in cars limit themselves to a single car? Wouldn't it make more sense to diversify and buy several different cars with the $100,000? Spend $20,000 for a nice muscle car such as a mid-80's turbocharged Buick Grand National, $20,000 for a 1964-65 Pontiac GTO, $20,000 for an early collector car such as a nice Model A Ford (if you look long enough you might find a Woodie for the money), $20,000 for a 1955-57 Chevy and $20,000 for a sports car such as a Porsche.

Over time, some will go up in value, some will go down and some will remain the same. Blowing $100,000 on a single car is really putting all your eggs in the same basket. Believe it or not, I have a friend who has over $100,000 invested in his Model A Ford Convertible Sedan 400A and fortunately for him, he doesn't have to worry about money so whether it goes up or down in value doesn't matter.

I know we all look back over our lives and wonder why we didn't hold on to the previous cars we've owned - for some reason I've always loved Model A Fords and held on to them (have owned one of mine for 41 years; bought it for $750 in 1972 and it's now worth around $20,000-$25,000). But, I now realize I should have held on to the muscle cars I drove in college. The first car I ever drove was my Dad's 1958 Edsel 2-door hardtop which he bought new; took it on a date in 1959 and the gal asked what those funny telephone-like push buttons were in the middle of the steering wheel (transmission shift selector buttons). Had I kept that one as an investment, we know it wouldn't command much these days. I have owned a 1953 Ford 2-door sedan, 1962 Corvair Monza turbocharged Spyder, a 1960 Ford Falcon, a new 1967 Buick GS-400 hardtop, a new 1972 Chevrolet Malibu hardtop, several Fords, Oldsmobiles, Cadillacs, Mercedes, etc. all as daily drivers. Several of these marques are no longer made such as the Edsel, Corvair, Falcon and Oldsmobile, but the fact that they are out of production doesn't necessarily increase their value. Funny how Ralph Nader killed the Corvair with his "Unsafe at Any Speed" book yet the rear-engine Volkswagen continued to climb in sales, ultimately outpacing the Model T Ford in total volume.

I'd just hate to think my $100,000 was riding on "one shake of the dice."

Fred

Edited by Texas Old Car Guy (see edit history)

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If I suddenly found $100,000 I would stay in the restoration business until that was gone.

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If I suddenly found $100,000 I would stay in the restoration business until that was gone.

Sort of like the Texas ranchers say if they won the $300 million megaball lottery - "I'd keep ranching until it's all gone."

Fred

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Forty years ago I took a gamble on a few cars right after my college was paid off ('04 Cadillac, '11 Brush, '62 Vette, to name a few). Not because of their value at the time, but more as a hope that they would hold their value in the future. Not knowing what the future had in store, I am pleasantly surprised with the value in todays economy. Would I do it again? You bet, but not with the same vehicles. The hobby has changed so much over the years, that what used to be popular, is slowly disappearing. Young people are interested in vehicles they can relate to. If dad or gramps had an old Camaro or Challenger, maybe investing in the modern versions of those vehicles will have some appeal in the future. I would buy a new, high horsepower version of either one and store it away as a potential investment. If it makes money fine, if not, fine also. At least have some fun with it along the way. This is not about gain vs. losses. Its about the hobby, the people, the research, helping others, that is where the real satisfaction comes into play. Just MHO.

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Our local Amish tell the same joke only they would keep farming 'til it was gone.

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There is another way to look at it. If you had the ability, time, and resources to restore a car yourself, and by that I mean provide the actual labor yourself, your best bet might be to buy the most potentially valuable car you could find for $100K, regardless of condition, and invest your time and sweat into restoring it. You likely could still eventually turn a handsome profit on the car, assuming you chalked up your time as "fun".

With that said, this is what I'd buy. 1934 Lincoln Twelve with custom body by Brunn... except that I'd probably use and drive it as is before restoring it. Of course, the white sidewalls would be the first thing to go.

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Edited by West Peterson (see edit history)

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With that said, this is what I'd buy. 1934 Lincoln Twelve with custom body by Brunn... except that I'd probably use and drive it as is before restoring it. Of course, the white sidewalls would be the first thing to go.

West:

Nice choice and I agree about the whitewalls - gotta go! But be careful you might hit a nerve about the whitewall comment - don't know if it's kosher to post a link to another old car forum but the Ford Barn (Model A section) has been on fire the last day and a half over the whitewall tire issue. Almost 2,500 views and 107 replies in about 36 hours! The war is ragin'! One guy posted, "I don't like whitewalls on an A , but to each , his own .

Whitewalls do look good

on a big Packard.

time for another whitewall rant...... - The Ford Barn

Fred

Edited by Texas Old Car Guy (see edit history)

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