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brian j

You may or may not have noticed......

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Hi. Brian here. You may or may not have noticed.......in the collectible automobile world we are going through some changes. Along with the automobiles i have collected, i'm watching the hobby and all the changes that i observe happening. I have a DB now, and i've had one in the past, but i'm into many kinds and years of cars from every decade. During this recession i especially paid attention to prices paid, and shifts in the buying public. I have observed a very noticeable shift in the habits of old auto enthusiasts. The Mopar muscle from the late 60's and 70's is no longer King of the hill. They took the biggest hit from the recession. I saw rare hemi Mopars that sold in the bubble for 200 G's drop to the 75K range, which is still respectable, but i would hate to be the guy who bought high, and tries to sell it today. That being said.....these things i'm seeing. The low point of the recession has passed with cars. They are rising in value again. The cheaper "project cars" aren't selling well.......i'm seeing cars from the 20's,30's,40's, etc. , that are restorable in the $500.00 to $2000.00 range.....many of them not selling at these prices. I'm seeing a wider spread in pricing, as in a restorable 1955 Chev Nomad for $3K, same car, pristine condition $100K . I'm seeing the buying public "CHERRY PICKING"... spending exorbitant amounts on primarily pristine mint, best of the best, and rare cars. Just check out the Barrett-Jackson auctions. I'm seeing cars that in the past were not as popular or pricey rise in value as their popularity increased due to the recession. People were still interested in cars.....they just shifted their interests to more affordable cars such as the Dodge Brothers, AMC, and vintage trucks, orphans,etc. In the case of these cars, they are "CHERRY PICKING", and paying more for the "best of the best/rare" also. The more common cars..... in this shift to the "oddball" brands are lagging slightly, but nonetheless increasing in popularity. Certain cars such as the Chev Corvair, sales are dismal, with the exception of the ,rampside pickup, which fits into the classic truck category. I attribute this to the fact of the engine/trans setup being misunderstood by the buying public. How does this relate to the Dodge Brothers enthusiasts? You are just now seeing the beginnings of a new surge of popularity for these cars. Prices are going up. The DB forum has a considerable amount of traffic, and interest, compared to 5 years ago. As far as rarity goes, these are not common cars like the Model A Ford. And when physically compared to a Model A.....size, mechanical attributes,quality, and style. These cars are overall a better car......as you well know. It's a double edged sword, i know, but in 10 years from now, i won't hear any of you old timers grousing about paying $20.00 for a part. I'm betting the people who show up at the 2014 DB Centennial Car Corral will wish they grabbed up those overpriced (LOL) DB Ebay cars were seeing every week. Think about it......right now you can pick up a rare piece of automotive history, with all this intricate hand work, and timeless style....for the price of an ATV four wheeler, snowmobile, or small fishing boat that in 10 years isn't worth a thousand bucks. I'm amazed that some of these DB's haven't sold yet, at under $15K but keep watching.....they will.......regards.

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I believe that a large reason for folks buying "done" cars is that the cost of a restoration has gone up considerably in the past few years. Not to mention that the baby boomers are getting older and want to enjoy the cars on the roads instead of enduring the long, tedious restoration process. Somehow the term "instant gratification" comes to mind.

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Cost of a restoration has gone up considerably in the past few years partly because of the lack of knowledge. Very few people have made much of an attempt to restore their own vehicle because they just dont know where to begin. Younger generations have no interest ( because partly poor parenting ) to use their heads for anything that dosent involve video games/computers.

I have some of my dads old popular mechanics books and such and it always makes me wonder at the little boy front page buiding a sea-worthy miniaturized vessel with all the fixins. ( and I mean ALL the fixins ) Even I myself as mechanically inclined as I am would not know where to begin but look inside the book and their you will find step by step directions and patterns as well!!

It amazes me how smart kids are these days when it comes to language and their seemingly un-caring attempts to skip their childhood and become adults. ( hey its easier on the parents that way )

My point is once again that if the information is not made available to people wether they are starting out working with their hands late in life or early their first thought is going to be to pay someone else to do it and the labor is where the money is spent.

Edited by 1930 (see edit history)

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Hi. Brian here again. You guys are dead on..........another factor is those Generation Xer's are a few years older now, and some of them have moved from the "tuner" Asian cars to the old ones, as their incomes allow. Some of them are just waiting for us to croak, which concerns me a bit, as those are the ones, who shouldn't have them for obvious reasons. I just hope the cars are able to survive in their young entitled hands, while they are learning to appreciate them! But motorheads are motorheads, and no matter how young they are, they love the piston driven automobile!! I sometimes forget, i was once 17, and burning the tires off my Dad's 1969 Ford Country Squire wagon with 390/4 Barrel. Now i have a 1973 AMC AMX,with a 401 Go Pac, and turtle around town like the Grandpa that i am.

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I don't know about other parts of the country, but here in the NW, I haven't seen any decline in price on the "restorables", for that matter even junk. Prices for the most part are otherwordly here and a reasonable price is hard to find.

OTH, I haven't even really looked at the prices of "done" vehicles simply because I will never be in the market for one mainly because of price. I often assume when I see a high price on something I'm usually assuming it's a finished or turn-key car. I have seen much to my surprise that even some of these high priced listing have turned out to be only partially complete or still needing restoration!:mad::eek:

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Hi again. Check the Duluth Mn. Craigslist under cars and trucks. There is a 1965 Buick Riviera thats been advertised for awhile. It's a driver that needs a little TLC for $3000.00. I would bet you can get it for $2500.00 or less. I don't believe it can get much less for a car that drives and isn't rusted up to the door handles. And that also reinforces my point, of restorable cars pricing, and the present day "CHERRY PICKING" trend. Good luck with your search Bleach!!

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I have been in the hobby for 40 years and have actively work in the antique auto parts business for 7 yrs. and I'm afraid that within 20yrs. the antique car hobby is going to see a severe decline. I see several reasons. Just as 1930 said demographics are changing. The youth today seem to no longer have an interest in the past and since technology has changed to the point where there are fewer "hands on "type jobs they have no experience or skill to do anything. Everything is done for them. Most can't even change a tire let alone restore a car. When we were young ,we had to work on our cars. Body work,mechanical work and the like just to keep them running. Today very few people fool with there everyday cars. Professional young people have more money and seem to be more willing to pay to play than actually exert any effort. Another is government and special interest. Too much legislation on zoning,types of paint ,noise and effects of pollution are driving up prices for materials and limiting what people can do,even on their own property. I know towns where it is unlawful to work on your car INSIDE your own garage. You can't spray paint or dispose of solvents. Soon you'll have to have a permit to fart! The third reason ,and probably the greatest in my opinion, is good old American GREED. Years ago , it seemed, people were in the hobby to enjoy restoring and driving the cars that they loved. But as it grew,more and more money was to be made. When was the last time you tried to actually swap something at a parts meet. No Way! I blame some of the TV antique shows and auto auctions for this. The public watches as too many "enthusiasts" with to much money ,pay exorbitant prices for almost everything that comes across the block. Now people seem to have this notion that anything with the "antique" moniker is worth it's weight in gold! Just look at E-bay. When it first started rpices were reasonable and you could get a good deal. Now almost every seller has a "Buy Now"price. What happened to the auction? And the prices are out of this world! $79.00 for a windshield crank handle , $ 2000.00 for a 1936 Dodge grille,$30.00 for a $4.00 rad.cap. Come on --get real! Whe is too much too much. I once ask my employer why they charged so much and his reply" because I can!" . Greed is going to put us all under ,and we won't even know that it's happening!

Edited by jpage (see edit history)

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Jpage, You sir are DEAD ON! I have always said: " How many people do you see restoring covered wagons today". That being said enjoy them NOW. Don't delay and buy one today and drive the heck out of it!

Just my 2 cents and a dime.

Bill

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I agree with Bleach that there seems to be no drop in prices here in PA. Examples . A neighbor of mine bought a 1932 Desoto fordor and a 1925 Chandler fordor for $10,000. He now has them for sale at $10,000. each. Talk about making a killing! In my estimation they should be priced around $3,000-$4,000 each as both need restored. Add another $30,000 or $40,000 for a REAL restoration and you're underwater on each car! You can even find a junk car around here for under $3,000. Then you have the foreign investors. My old boss bought a run of the mill 1974 Caddy executive limo for $4,000 and took it to the Carlisle PA spring PA meet. He sold it to a man overseas for $ 17,000. Then he bought a 1965 Ponitac GTO convert.for around $6,000. . It was pretty rough but he sold it to a guy at Carlisle Fall meet foe $17,000 and this guy was prepared to spend $100,000 on it. I think he had big hopes for a big return! We had overseas customers that would come here, fill 4 or 5 large shipping containers full of cars and parts at any price ,to resale overseas. How are most folks like us going to compete with people who have endless supplies of cash? I also know several collectors locally who buy up anything at again any price only to squirrel them away never to be seen again. Some have no idea how many cars they actually have. This takes alot of good restorable cars of the market and helps keep prices high. It keeps getting harder for me to stay in the hobby: I have more than $20,000 invested in restoring my 1936 Dodge and don't even have the body on yet! All this for a car that only lists on the price guide for around $15,000. Now that's love!

Edited by jpage (see edit history)

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Bill-- Funny you should say that about the wagons. There is an antique shop about 1 hr. from me that had 4 buckboard type wagons in his yard. One day a gentleman from Texas stopped and asked if they were for sale. The owner said yes and after the Texan laid out a nice chunk of change he was on his way. Within a week a truck stopped and picked up all four wagons. Those wagons had sat there for years;ya never know! Different strokes they say!

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Jpage, i agree with many of your points..... it is true there are pitfalls in this day and age. But there is hope over the horizon. Yes, many people don't work on cars today, change that to MOST people. But this has always been the case. In the 50's,30's 20's , a good majority of people didn't work on cars either, even though it was probably within their abilities. They brought the car to the local grease monkey. I think hands- on motorheads have always been with us, but they are the 1%er's With the higher incomes of today, the professional restorer has sprung up, along with his high end shop, comes high end pricing. But the average guy can still do his own work, if he's inclined to, motivated, and works for a living. Yes the government, and state and local regulation have their noses up our asses a little farther than i would like, but attorney's would starve to death if they couldn't keep making up regulations to protect us from ourselves. They are nosing in our business EVERYWHERE, not just the old car hobby. Don't worry, eventually our laws will be such a convoluted mess, nothing/everything will be legal...... mostly if you have the money to make it that way. But if GOOBER PYLE could work on these old cars i have faith that the future generations can figure it out. I do worry a little bit they might write the history books a little skewed.... i overheard a 30 something the other day talking about how AMC cars are really Mopars, as Chrysler bought them out. He wasn't aware of the fact that Chrysler gutted AMC, but heck....at least he was interested in them. Regards

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I hear you all on all counts! 30 years ago I knew neighbors that worked on their cars. We'd all help each other out even with our old cars. I learned a lot from them. Now, I don't know anyone that works on their old cars or cars period besides a shop. Luckily, I've got this forum and a place in town here that will work on things or give me local leads on things I don't understand. On prices I think it varies depending on locale. I met a German couple in a Texas national park and they had bought a nice looking 1975 Ford Maverick cheap in D.C. and were traveling across country in it....they made money selling it in L.A. and paid for the price of their trip! Also, I see a lot of hipster types with old cars just because they look cool....who knows some of these people driving around may actually spark someone's interest in old cars in the future.

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Prices on e-bay have gone thru the roof, still cant figure out why they say no reserve and then have a starting bid of 49.95, WILL SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS TOO ME !

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All good points in my opinion......

1-Most can't even change a tire let alone restore a car.

2-towns where it is unlawful to work on your car INSIDE your own garage.....................amazing but true and when google earth becomes live you are really gonna be in trouble

3-it seemed, people were in the hobby to enjoy restoring and driving the cars that they loved....Seemed being the key word

4- look at E-bay. When it first started rpices were reasonable and you could get a good deal. Now almost every seller has a "Buy Now"price.

5-2000.00 for a 1936 Dodge grille..........I saw that and was gonna put it here for kicks but I was afraid maybe one of you guys had it listed and god forbid Im allowed my opinion.

6-I have more than $20,000 invested in restoring my 1936 Dodge and don't even have the body on yet............easily and maybe some of you goes wont believe me I have 10 gees and have barely turned a bolt, just collecting the missing/wrong parts. Car isnt worth that kind of money but ......

Sorry Brian I have to respectfully ( I learned that here ;) ) disagree

quote.....In the 50's,30's 20's , a good majority of people didn't work on cars either.............I dont know where you were living but in my opinion they did just the opposite.

quote.........future generations can figure it out............They will not be bothered in my opinion. Too scared, too rushed and too spoiled

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5-2000.00 for a 1936 Dodge grille..........I saw that and was gonna put it here for kicks but I was afraid maybe one of you guys had it listed and god forbid Im allowed my opinion.

Last week a NOS 1970 Challenger quarter panel was listed for $5000. Oh, you want something closer to home? How about a set (2) 6 volt horn brackets for a 1926-1927 Dodge Brothers sold on EBAY last Sunday night for $135. WHAT????

Thanks goodness I'm a Machinist, part time blacksmith, Engine rebuilder, and for going to School for two years for bodywork & painting. Why did I learn all of this? I love cars and couldn't afford to pay someone to do the work. Besides, my cars are built, not bought!

All of my statements probably apply to 90% of the people here on this forum.

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I get your drift, and i have personally seen the folly of youth you describe. And yes people did fix their own cars back when..... MORE than they do today, especially in rural areas, where there were no corner shops to do the work for you. But if you look in your Dodge Brothers owners manual, you commonly see references to advise bringing your car into the local Dodge Brothers garage(Detroit) and i believe in the overall, people thought wrench work was too complicated, distasteful, or both. I myself grew up in the country and did EVERYTHING myself. I have at one time or another done everything that can be done to a car. On the other hand i have brothers that can't find the battery in a car succesfully. My father in law once owned a custom 1957 Chevy convertible that even had a spread in one of the hot rod mags of the day. I would match my 9 year old grandson against him anyday in the mechanical knowledge department. Speaking of that, my 9 year old grandson has taken quite an interest in fixing things.....he actually assembled a childs twin bed by himself when he was 4 (with a minimum of help from Grandpa). He does maintenance on his own motorcycle (which he started riding at the age of 3) I've been nudging him on slowly since i taught him the use of basic hand tools at a VERY young age. And he just lives eats and breaths anything with wheels and an engine. His older brother who i ALSO taught the use of tools, on the other hand isn't much interested in cars, etc., but he IS handy and tackles jobs by himself. So even though things sometimes look dark, and yes the youth of today have pushed the limits of spoiling, i believe there is a person here and there that will someday be worthy of our auto ENTHUSIAST interests. I have a feeling we are both right, and the truth lies somewhere in between...............I try to be on the ENTHUSIASTIC side of an ENTHUSIAST, but occaisionally i find myself on the CYNICAL side myself. So your comments are of course welcome.

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Another good example of where the cars are going e-bay item # 190634333729

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Or check this one out ........250984656482.........are you freakin kidding me, its a steel threaded rod that are bent on top of it!. I could heat and hammer that tip in about 15 minutes

This one might take the cake.....4567198604.............. Im gonna shave my beard and offer it as seat upholstery filler.

Edited by 1930 (see edit history)

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All 1933-1934 coups and 2-door sedans in all brands are going through the roof because of the front suicide doors. It's the latest craze in the HAMB world. I'm seeing Fords going for $40,000 in those years.

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Well, being one of those Generation Xers that some of you are referring to.....I have to put my two cents worth in on this. I will agree with what some of you have had to say. I'm 37...about to turn 38 this Sunday. The only reason I have interest in restoring a car is because I was around my dad when I was younger when he worked on his vehicles. He had to stop working on vehicles because everything became so computer-orientated, he didn't feel comfortable working on his own vehicle anymore. He has never been able to afford to restore a vehicle but I know he'd love to get his hands into one. We, as a younger generation, cannot learn what we are not taught by our parents. If no one is passing on their knowledge to a younger generation, how can that younger generation keep the hobby going? How many of you guys had your kids in the garage with you while working on a project or on your personal car when they were little, and your father with you? And do your kids have their kids in the garage with them? You can call us lazy, spoiled, etc... I take offense to that because there are PLENTY of exceptions to that rule! My husband and I are one of them. So is my daughter. She can tear apart a snowmobile or a dirt bike and she's only 14. I've also taught her to appreciate the old cars. Whether muscle cars or antiques. But my husband and I have taught her that by involving her in things we do.

Yes, restoring a vehicle is EXTREMELY expensive. My body guy told us if we gave him our car to work on himself, we'd be looking at $40k to $50k! I don't know about you, but I don't have that kind of money! No matter how much I enjoy working on restoring a car or motorcycle. I work in insurance and I've seen first hand how expensive just body work is! It's crazy. I look at prices on eBay and other sites and wonder what are they smoking! It's no wonder someone looks for a finished car to own. At least they don't have to fork out obscene amounts of money to restore one. Yeah, people don't always have the knowledge for the really old cars. My husband tried working on our car 20 years ago. He had a hell of a time getting ANY kind of information. No one was willing or able to teach him. We're fortunate that he's a licensed mechanic and can figure things out pretty well on his own.

All's I am trying to say is look at things from both sides. You can say we don't work on anything anymore. Technology has made it almost obsolete to work on anything by hand anymore. But, if the knowledge of the old ways aren't passed on to others, how can we continue to work on the older things? How can the younger generations appreciate working on a car if they haven't been taught? On the other hand, what's so bad about buying a finished car? At least the person that is buying it has some kind of appreciation for it and is more than likely going to try to preserve it. Is there really anything wrong with that? Other than the obnoxious price people are paying for things now days? ;)

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I'm glad to hear your story Yooper. I used to laugh when i was younger at the old guy's shaking their fists at me as i was foolishly laying rubber with my dads car. Nowdays i'm trying to keep myself from shaking my fist at the youths doing what i used to do. There ARE 2 sides to every coin. Yes people are asking obscene prices for their cars and parts.....but for the most part they are asking........and nobody is buying. There is always someone out there pushing the boundaries of price. On the other side, we all would like to see a modest return on our efforts, however true car nuts secretly don't really care if they profit.......they just love the cars. And i know many people who happily spend more than the car is worth, even though they don't envision making a dime on it. Yes we are all getting spoiled, i'm personally happy my everyday driver gets fixed by a guy with a code reader. But i love working on old iron as much as driving them. I have no use for trailer queen show cars, but respect the time money and effort put into them, and realize they may live out their lives as art, or museum pieces to be viewed by people as obsolete Americana. Some of the cars we have seen on the road in the last 50 years will no longer be seen at the car corral, or drive in show. They will forever reside in the private collections, and museums, foreign collections,the garages of only the obscenely wealthy. Those vehicles will be regarded as financial commodities, not for the general public. On the good side, we are the Country of billions of automobiles, and it's in our blood. There were 12000 cars at the Back to the Fifties show in St. Paul last June......we will all keep plugging away at these cars, young and old, money and price issues be damned.

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I saw the listing in Duluth, 1965 BUICK RIVIERA.

The best I found in my area was a '63 in rough shape, but almost rust free, barely running and not even drivable for $3500.

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Yes I noticed the lack of interest in todays youth. My three boys all young drivers think these old cars are cool, but are not fired up to get going on one. My youngest just got his drivers license and was whining about not having a car. I told him heck when I was your age I would have been all over the 31 Chevy in the garage, get it up and going. Could be the coolest car in the schoolyard lot. I dropped him off at school one day and took a good look around and no classis cars to be found. When I was his age back in 1979 1980 our school parking lot looked almost like a car show corral with most cars from the 40's to the60's. At least the Pawnstars and Pickers show a bit of interest. I would love to see a tv show that dealt only with the classic and antique auto, sure to be a hit and bring alot more interest.

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Please don't think that I'm trying to put down any generation or am saying that youth today are inherently lazy. All generations exibit the same traits,but in different ways. I also agree that each generation has a tendency to "drop the ball" in it's efforts to train and discipline the next generation. Each person has his or hers abilities and interest and some of that is directed by the times we live in. My dad was a carpenter and he passed his trade to me and I to my son, but he hated to work on cars. I gained my interest in old cars from building model cars in the '60's. I learned the nomenclature,how to identify years and dexterity skills through that hobby. When I was 17 I got my old car(a Model A ford) and was determined to restore it. My father's opinion was "get it the H out of the yard". It took 10yrs. to build that car and when my son was older I thought that he might have an interest. Boy was I wrong!I also learned body work and mechanics by hands on work. i had a friend in the 1960's whose family cars all came from a junk yard. We would work to get them on the road and when they were shot,they'ed drag home another. Times were different and now there seems to be less of a need to be mechanical. You can't work on your own car because of technology;I don't even change my own oil anymore! Technology has made us all a little lazier if you will,but I see a new intelligence in kids today,a new understanding of that technology that I will never possess and I respect that. Who know ,one day future generations might be restoring robots!

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