Sign in to follow this  
Dan Marx

what car would you invest in

Recommended Posts

To me, an investment is something that produces cash flow. By that standard an old car is an investment only if it's a limo or a promo vehicle you can put out there hauling passengers or showing up at paid events. Or a race car that wins races. In all those cases there are a lot of expenses and the cars do not get unscathed, either.

Buying something on the idea that it will go up in value is speculation, not investment.

Some speculation is reasonable and offers a reasonable chance of return and some doesn't. Old cars are generally a poor long term speculation in my view if you cost out the storage, maintenance, repair, insurance, etc. requirements fairly.

The top end cars have snowballed in price because we are in an area where the delta between the wealthiest fraction of the populace and the rest has increased greatly. That may or may not continue. The most valuable old cars represent Veblen goods and get a lot of publicity which makes them targets, should certain types of possible changes occur. The mid level cars shouldn't be bothered too much but with demographic changes their pricing may change radically too.

In certain South American countries, for instance, valuable old cars were declared "national treasures" and their export was prohibited, which means their market value was decimated. Owners either took large risks and smuggled them out of the country, paying a lot of mordita, or sold them to local buyers at substantial discounts from world prices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read somewhere that collector cars have out performed most traditional "investments". That's certainly true for me. I guess that sort of investment could be called "speculation", but then so could investing in the stock market or on commodities. I would much rather put my money in old cars. In fact, I recently did just that. I sold an old Jaguar and rather than putting the money in the bank at no interest, I took part of the money in the form of 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Brewster bodied Regent Convertible Coupe. Here it is:post-93470-143141949691_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked that car when it was for sale on Long Island. Was that an aluminum 120 you used part of the proceeds from to buy this car?

The three big differences I see between stocks and cars are:

1. I know a lot more about cars than stocks so it is less likely I'll buy a bad car.

2. However stocks are more liquid.

3. Stocks also don't deteriorate if not cared for.

That said, I like your point anyways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it was a 1949 XK120 alloy Super Sports that I had owned for 44 years. I paid $1,000 for it in 1968. Never restored, just well loved and taken care of. I don't plan on restoring the Rolls either. It looks good and runs and drives fine. At lot more antique than the Jag, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a good guesser :). In 1972 my dad had the choice between a complete running alloy 120 for 1200 dollars and a complete non running 140MC for 400 dollars. He usually didn't but he fumbled the ball on that one. We still have the MC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We bought a 150S Roadster for $700 in 1969 and sold it 5 years later for $3500 and thought we made the deal of the century.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I had $100K to spend, I would buy a red '59 Impala convertible, no question. Just love the '59 with the fins and cat's eye taillights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some sleepers might include the Hudson fastbacks and later British or Italian or German sportscars of the latter years. Seems like the sportscars are the ones that

really skyrocket in value. Roadsters, Boattails, coupes, cabrios, etc. Perry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

post-93470-143141951265_thumb.jpg

I'm a good guesser :). In 1972 my dad had the choice between a complete running alloy 120 for 1200 dollars and a complete non running 140MC for 400 dollars. He usually didn't but he fumbled the ball on that one. We still have the MC.

Oops, bad dad! Here's a photo of the alloy XK120.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to mention which car I believe is the ultimate sleeper. I think one could easily find 10 of them in mint condition for the price. That would be the Datsun 240, 260, 280, 300 Z and ZX models. Somebody loan me a 100 K long term; I could prove my point,ho!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something Italian. I am thinking Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione...Sigh! I'm in love....

100k wouldn't probably get you in the seat...post-83364-143141953981_thumb.jpg

I know it's not an American Classic, but that's what I'd invest in.

Failing that, maybe Maserati?

Edited by Peter Bird (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

'32-'34 Ford coupe as a well-done hot rod. Maybe two of them since there's $100K to play with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well if I had 100k to spend on one car that I had to sell in 10 years with the sole purpose of making money on it, without doing any sort of major restoration work, it would either be a nice mid 70's Dino or a mint 85ish Testarossa. Anything late model needs longer than 10 years. Ferrari's are always hot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ferrari's are always hot.

No. Not true with any investment. Unless you define a sharp downward spiral as "hot." In the early 1980s, when GTOs were bringing upwards of 15 million dollars, the market crashed and a GTO could be bought for 3 to 4 million.

Which goes to say, what goes up very fast, tends to go down very fast as well (not necessarily all the way down). While other cars tend to ride coat tails, if they don't spike upward, they also tend not to spike downward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love those Dinos - unfortunately the "Jr. Ferrari" (not called a Ferrari when new, just "Dino") has already blown right on by the $100K mark, one under $200K these days would be a good buy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look at what economies are successful now-(very few I am afraid)

Germany, Brazil, Australia

A porsche 356 or a 280sl are a good start-they have doubled in the last few years.... when societies have money, they spend on what comes from their culture. The key word is "invest".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Look at what economies are successful now-(very few I am afraid)

Germany, Brazil, Australia

.

All is not always what it seems. They talk of a 2 speed economy here: More correctly, some few surf the economy where very many are struggling to stay afloat, and many more are drowning in it. The vestiges of local manufacturing that was the basis of national prosperity are mostly sinking. Only hot spots are of exploitation and export of national resources which cannot be replenished.

If you happen to visit to look for yourself I hope you might come to talk about Mercers. A friend in Qld is restoring his too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No. Not true with any investment. Unless you define a sharp downward spiral as "hot." In the early 1980s, when GTOs were bringing upwards of 15 million dollars, the market crashed and a GTO could be bought for 3 to 4 million.

Which goes to say, what goes up very fast, tends to go down very fast as well (not necessarily all the way down). While other cars tend to ride coat tails, if they don't spike upward, they also tend not to spike downward.

I guess always was a bad word to use there, but over a 10 year period there will be times when Ferraris are "hot." The 6 figure ones seem to always come around. When it comes to 7 figure cars, that's a different story.

Love those Dinos - unfortunately the "Jr. Ferrari" (not called a Ferrari when new, just "Dino") has already blown right on by the $100K mark, one under $200K these days would be a good buy.

Can't you still you can still get a decent driver in that range? Nothing show quality at all, just a decent car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Billy, on the Dino I can only say I am far from an expert, I do like them, and have a friend who was looking for one a year or so ago, although he has yet to pull the trigger. I have been kind of paying attention to the prices mainly due to our discussions on them; I know some cars he looked at that were not perfect were in the $200K range plus or minus a bit.

I think the Mondai is under appreciated, as well as the closed version of the same car. The styling clearly locks the era in as 70s - 80s but is simple compared to some of the other Ferrari models of the era, but not sure when the "time will be right" for those.

An example of a "coattails ride" IMO is the appreciation in recent years of the Ponton based 4 cylinder 190 SL. Nice cars, but seeing these somewhat regularly in the + $100K mark surprises me. I am sure my high school buddy who acquired one in the early 80s, for $3,500 wishes he kept it. The car came out of a local garage where it had sat so long the floor of the garage had sunk about 6 inches below grade. This car needed a good cleaning, wax and I would imagine full servicing to then take to a local show without embarrassment - it was that good. And all he wanted to do was trade it for a Corvette, like a typical 20 year old in 1983-84...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ivan is quite correct about areas with a booming economy. Here in Western Canada certain segments of the economy are hot and real estate is just plain crazy {$1,000,000.00 + for a city lot teardown in several parts of Vancouver} . But most of us are really just getting by. Very little left over for hobby cars as the local cost of living knocks the stuffing out of everyone but the top 20 % earners. Quite a few collector cars being exported to places where average people have some disposable income. If I had a spare $100,000.00 perhaps a Muntz Jet, or the best 60's sports racer I could find within the budget {Lotus 23 being the goal but probably over budget}. Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want maximum return, $100k would buy 20 nice Reatta or Allante convertibles. Anything over about 30 years is not going to appreciate fast or be particularly undervalued.

Personally would like a SS-100 Jag, Studillac, and a Facel HK-500 with Pont-a-Mousson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this