mrcvs

Creative financing, or...everyone is a wealthy 'real' doctor?

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Yes, maybe I forgot the point of the earlier posts.  And perhaps I have strayed...I don't think I am a socialist, but, then again, many of my ideas are socialistic, at heart.  I think that one or two good objects, be they an expensive Brass Era car, a Van Gogh painting, or whatever suits your fancy, should be available in a lifetime...I guess I am saying that nothing out there should cost more than $50,000, more or less, except real estate, and then it shouldn't be ridiculously expensive...and does the world really need yet another McMansion.

 

If you look at other posts, I am struggling with this Model A, and it has not been running since only last year.  Someone good with Model A's and with a multitude of parts and equipment could probably have had it running in an afternoon, but it takes me much longer to figure it out, and I am moaning about that.  So, your long-range plan with your 1912 Staver is indeed commendable...my hat off to you!  I guess I just do not have the patience to wait that long.  I'd rather have the opportunity to save for about ten years, and buy my fully-functional one of a kind top notch Brass era car for the low to mid-five figures...but, not reality.

 

Yes, I could, and maybe will someday, have fun with a low-end Brass era car...but it sure is fun to dream, isn't it?

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I had to "paper route" my way to an antique car.  When the economy tanked my wife said no to me borrowing money for this hobby.  So I sold old Cadillac Parts (I used to collect old Cadillacs so I had pieces to sell); I worked overtime and saved; I saved my bonuses from work; I am a published author, so I saved portions of my royalty checks. Eventually I was able to scrape the money together to buy a non running 1937 Ford.  Car sat for 50 years.  I put about $4,000 into it and got it running and safe to operate.  I am no wealthy doctor by any stretch. 

 

I have been reading your threads, especially the Model A thread.  A decent antique car can be had in the $10,000- $20,000 range.    You already have a car.  You are having a hard time getting it going.  I am sure you are frustrated.  Hang in there.  The more you mess with it, the more you learn and the better you will get.  Join the Model A club in your area.   Go to the meetings and make friends with the guys.  Go to the events and learn all you can.  The Model A folks are a friendly bunch.  They will help you.  Save some more and pull that troublesome engine of yours and have it gone over by some one who knows what they are doing. 

 

It has been pointed out before in the various threads: Spending a ton of money is no guarantee that you will not have problems.  Some of the satisfaction of this hobby is finding and solving the problems.  You will get there.  Hang in there.  The problems CAN be solved.  What man has done, man can do.  It took me over a year to get my car going.  You can do it too.  Good luck with your Model A.  See you down the road. 

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When owning an old car, it is not just an experience, it is an adventure.  I just put a new gas tank in my truck this week and the next thing the carb had gas running out the inlet.  Float or something sticking. If it is not one thing, it is another thing.

 

As for affordability and the middle class, much of that has been taken away by the politicians with the increasing taxes.  The continued rising tax burden has wiped out the middle class. When I was young the taxes on a gallon of gas was about 5 cents.  Now it is in the 50 cents a gallon.  AND that is just at the pump.  Take into consideration all of the taxes the businesses pay to get the gallon of gas at the pump and 50% of the cost of a gallon of gas is probably taxes.  (US Michigan pricing)  Exponentially more in Canada, Europe, and other parts of the world. 

 

Gas taxes is just one item.  Think of your income taxes, property taxes and the tax burden for working I am confident is more than 50% of your total earnings when looking at the components of your purchases of products & services.  A lot more than just a few years ago. 

 

Off my soap box for now.

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When owning an old car, it is not just an experience, it is an adventure.  I just put a new gas tank in my truck this week and the next thing the carb had gas running out the inlet.  Float or something sticking. If it is not one thing, it is another thing.

 

As for affordability and the middle class, much of that has been taken away by the politicians with the increasing taxes.  The continued rising tax burden has wiped out the middle class. When I was young the taxes on a gallon of gas was about 5 cents.  Now it is in the 50 cents a gallon.  AND that is just at the pump.  Take into consideration all of the taxes the businesses pay to get the gallon of gas at the pump and 50% of the cost of a gallon of gas is probably taxes.  (US Michigan pricing)  Exponentially more in Canada, Europe, and other parts of the world. 

 

Gas taxes is just one item.  Think of your income taxes, property taxes and the tax burden for working I am confident is more than 50% of your total earnings when looking at the components of your purchases of products & services.  A lot more than just a few years ago. 

 

Off my soap box for now.

You are indeed correct, without a doubt!  After you are done paying taxes and for household expenses, there isn't much left over.

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I wish I'd had the chance to respond to this thread earlier. I own a Duesenberg, Auburn, Cord, Packard and Locomobile -- all very expensive cars -- plus two Buick Rivieras and a Lincoln convertible that aren't very expensive. I've never inherited anything, I grew up in a poor neighborhood, I volunteered for Vietnam and my college degree is in a low-paying profession. But what I did have was an extremely high work ethic. I've simply outworked all my peers for decades, learning a lot along the way and getting better at what I did, and over time it was recognized and rewarded (I've always worked for others). It wasn't until my mid-40s that I could buy the Auburn, my late 50s when I bought the Packard and Locomobile, and my 60s when I bought the Duesenberg and Cord. So you can't make sweeping generalizations -- everyone's situation, talents, choices and resulting opportunities are different.  

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I wish I'd had the chance to respond to this thread earlier. I own a Duesenberg, Auburn, Cord, Packard and Locomobile -- all very expensive cars -- plus two Buick Rivieras and a Lincoln convertible that aren't very expensive. I've never inherited anything, I grew up in a poor neighborhood, I volunteered for Vietnam and my college degree is in a low-paying profession. But what I did have was an extremely high work ethic. I've simply outworked all my peers for decades, learning a lot along the way and getting better at what I did, and over time it was recognized and rewarded (I've always worked for others). It wasn't until my mid-40s that I could buy the Auburn, my late 50s when I bought the Packard and Locomobile, and my 60s when I bought the Duesenberg and Cord. So you can't make sweeping generalizations -- everyone's situation, talents, choices and resulting opportunities are different.  

 

 

I agree with the hard work.  I have always worked hard/smart and watched my money.  Typically a full time position and a part time job to pay for the extras which includes the cars.  Do not have any boats, planes, snow mobiles, 4 wheelers, motorcycles, cottages on the lake, etc....... .   Don't smoke, drink very little if at all, no girl friends, etc.  Still married to wife Version 1.0.(She is the best decision of my life!) Just a few cars/ trucks.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)

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Good points, however the same amount of hard work does not always result in similar results. There are many variables ; often more or less out of a given person's control , that can determine if someone ends up with a Dodge or a Duesenberg.

  Local employment opportunities , cost of living , real estate costs etc. can have a tremendous effect on ones disposable income.  I am glad to hear that you were able to afford a Duesenberg  on the proceeds of a modestly paying career but I don't think that sort of result is realistic for most of us.

  I have followed a similar plan to yours, but I am only 56 [ 57 in a couple of weeks] now so during a different decade at each step. Despite a lot of effort on my part ; and at least partially thanks to the reality of wages that for the last 25 years have not kept up with inflation,  my results have been far less than yours. Far, Far  less.

  An Auburn in my mid 40's, just a pipe dream I am afraid.  Mortgage and family expenses insured that my 40's were bleak indeed for disposable income. And now that I am in my later 50's although the mortgage is over with, todays rapidly rising cost of living makes any substantial hobby outlay a fantasy at best.

 I know people that have made conservative investments in real estate and ultimately multiplied their purchase several times over. But they are the exception, the outliers that all the stars and planets lined up for.  Most of us ,despite our best efforts will fall far short .

    I also have a bit of experience with Duesenbergs. A good friends Father owned a model J since he was a young man. The car was in reasonably decent shape when acquired and was comprehensively rebuilt by my friends father over many years. As my friends father approached old age and the car was as yet unfinished, my friend and his brother together with the father {a retired major air line pilot} combined resources to finish the car while the father was still alive .  The plating , paint , and interior were beyond their abilities {and almost all of the rest of us}. Just these things plus some final metal work added up to over $250,000.00.  It is a model J after all, no point in cutting corners, upon the fathers death a few years ago the car was sold for in excess of $1,000,000.00.  I would say your modest career has been very good to you.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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In my own case my career choices and location have played a large part in my ability to participate in all things "old car".  I grew up from a middle class background in the Vancouver B.C. Canada area.  I studied Marine Engineering in College and make my living as a Engineering officer on one of the large vehicle ferry's that travel between the Vancouver area and Vancouver Island {Victoria B.C , our provincial capital}.  My career choice and student debt load resulted in a somewhat delayed entry into the home buying market, this put me in the middle of a rapidly rising market as many wealthy Asian's fled from Hong Kong to the Vancouver area. My pretty basic house ended being just shy of $300,000.00.  The Asian immigration continues to this day and has resulted in real estate that is truly staggering , especially in Vancouver proper {I am out in the suburbs where the rise has not been as extreme}.

  Although I didn't have to pay the Million plus that a buyer today is facing, the whole area has seen rapid and substantial climb in the cost of living . So much so that this area is consistently rated one of the most unaffordable places on earth. My income; while going up a bit over time, has not even come close to keeping up.

  The ironic thing is that when interesting cars have come up for sale locally they have often been priced at a pretty attractive level . The owners know if they are going to get a sale then export/ transportation costs need to be factored in to the asking price. Many, many  local collector cars have left this area over the last 20 years or so. This is no doubt as a result of so few of the local potential buyers having any disposable earnings {myself among them} . The local economy has MANY very wealthy residents; but they are for the most part re- located Asians who are mostly interested in the current offerings from the high end European makers. I get the impression few if any of them have any interest in vintage cars.

 I suppose at some time I might consider moving to a more cost effective location. But I grew up here , my extended family lives here, my wife's career is here. All of these factors make a move pretty unpractical ,  when it would be would be largely to free up funds for the old car hobby. My wife would rather I grew up; quit playing with cars , and took in some travel. She used to be a big supporter of my hobby, but these days sees that circumstances have changed and it has become more of a struggle / less of a pleasure so her support has materially lessened.

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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Despite a lot of effort on my part ; and at least partially thanks to the reality of wages that for the last 25 years have not kept up with inflation,  my results have been far less than yours. Far, Far  less.

Wow...you can say that AGAIN!  The bane of my existence.  I stepped into the job market in the early '90's, fell head over heels for the LIES that college guidance counselors made those of us who were Gen X believe was true...didn't seem possible that anything other than that could be true...e.g., baby boomers retiring in huge numbers, no one to fill their shoes, etc.  Simple supply and demand dictated one could pick and choose one's job(s), each one being better than the last!  Didn't seem at all possible that wages would be flat!  Reality:  Job opportunities limited, you take what you can get.  These days, lucky enough to have a second job (which I do) that pays for hobbies, but Ford Model A's and T's are the best one can really do on (limited) excess wages--forget about the Packard, Pope-Hartford, etc.

 

Doesn't really seem 'fair', but, then again, life isn't fair, isn't it.  The PROMISE was that if you get good grades, work hard, you can have virtually anything you want.  Good old American greed has placed real money in the hands of the few, and you can work for these folks, or try and be self employed, and maybe make it okay, but unlikely to hit it really big!

 

I don't want to sound like a whiny Gen-Xer, and I probably do, but I think of all the opportunities that were out there after WWII, and they seem to have fizzled by this point.  (And those who had all that opportunity due to the vibrant post-WWII economy certainly paid the price by living through the Depression).

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I wish I'd had the chance to respond to this thread earlier. I own a Duesenberg, Auburn, Cord, Packard and Locomobile -- all very expensive cars -- plus two Buick Rivieras and a Lincoln convertible that aren't very expensive. I've never inherited anything, I grew up in a poor neighborhood, I volunteered for Vietnam and my college degree is in a low-paying profession. But what I did have was an extremely high work ethic. I've simply outworked all my peers for decades, learning a lot along the way and getting better at what I did, and over time it was recognized and rewarded (I've always worked for others). It wasn't until my mid-40s that I could buy the Auburn, my late 50s when I bought the Packard and Locomobile, and my 60s when I bought the Duesenberg and Cord. So you can't make sweeping generalizations -- everyone's situation, talents, choices and resulting opportunities are different.  

I have a strong work ethic.  I work so hard during the week that I am dead tired come Friday evening, and need the weekend to recharge, and still work at least one Saturday a month!  I think a lot of what you accomplished is simply being in the right place at the right time.  Your wages were not FLAT the first 25 years of your career, you had more job opportunities, and were in the right place at the right time when those cars came up for sale, plus you bought some nice cars that, in hindsight, were (relatively) bargain-basement prices.

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Funny enough in my field {Marine Engineering} there are expanding job opportunities. A good percentage of existing Engineers are looking at retirement within the next 5 years.  Unfortunately the drawbacks of this career have made it pretty unattractive .

  In most marine positions you are away from home a lot. I don't "liveaboard" as our service is local, but I do work 12 days in a row with the added hurdle of 4 early AM's, followed by 4 PM's, followed by 4 very activity intensive {our maintenance time} graveyards. I then get what the company calls 6 days off ; but I work until 6 AM. on my first day off, so I don't think of it as a real day off. Try doing that for a few decades, your body clock is in a constant state of upheaval. Is it any wonder that I will be retiring in a couple more years . Take the years I spent in college at the start off and it doesn't leave that long a money making period.

  As well the education standards are high, and the number of Transport Canada {think D.O.T./ Coast Guard} licenses , exams and endorsements I need as part of my job would astound most non- transportation industry people.  Everything from Fire fighting {I am team leader in Machinery space fire situations}, Marine rescue craft, First Aid, Dangerous goods, and quite a few others. O yea I must be able to operate / trouble shoot / and do complete overhauls on all the equiptment on our ship. The learning starts when you are young and continues to the day you retire.

  When I first started the wages were pretty good {and would have been very good if the Canadian Artic oil industry hadn't collapsed about the time I finished college}. But as I have stated in previous posts, things have gone rather downhill over time.  Makes a 9 to 5 office job look like heaven .

  Don't get me wrong; its not like I am a roughneck in the oil patch or a crab fisherman off the coast of Alaska , but it is a job that takes a lot out of me and over time has not given as much as I would have hoped back.

 

Greg in Canada, a whiny tail end of the baby boomer

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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I thought I would drop another opinion on this subject or class and opportunity, that we are all a part of.  I certainly do agree that the "Middle Class", as we know it, is probably shrinking.  The "Modern" world we live in is evolving to who knows what.  Now for my thought about the state of our hobby and a comparison, from my perspective.  I wonder if the those average fellows from a couple of generations ago, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Horace Dodge, felt it was tough, a dismal future no chance for a brighter tomorrow, probably so.  But they kept working and trying.  Not that different from we of today.  However, in 1899, folks in my area (all agriculture) were living in sod huts and dug-outs.  On the other hand, the Vanderbuilts from Ashville No. Carolina were using an horrific amount of money (wealth) to build an American Castle.  They had capitalized on the RR opportunity to make their money.  My ancestors were so happy to be in a country where private ownership of property was available to the "Common" folks, we were living in the land of opportunity and yes, a sod hut.  Yes, things have evolved from then.... nice homes, all the food we can eat, cars and recreation also if we choose.  We probably still look pretty good on the world scale.  My thought is, the state of money, well being, and the equality is not that much different now from then.  My Great Grand dad, by 1912 owned a Locomobile, which cost probably triple what his house cost, and it was his choice.  I suppose we all spend the money we have mostly like we want, even though we choose to have a family and the related costs...that is our choice.  I am also a wage earner, by the hour and still am active in agriculture on the family farm.  Money has been and is tight.  I do, however, have a great time with the hobby and what I do vocationally.  When time allows and shortly being retired I hope to do more.  Maybe I will never own a nice "BIG" early T head car that would cost BIG dollars, but I do have a couple of cars that do satisfy me.  I have owned, bought, sold, traded and still do, as that is an option, as we all  arm wrestle with each other for our "dream" car.  Deals are everywhere, we just need to be looking and be ready when opportunity knocks.  Lower in this forum, note my question about a project I just purchased that fits the description of a "BIG" T head.  It may not be Pope Hartford or Simplex, but it does have a huge T Head engine (Wisconsin) that does locate the project as a heavy weight.  Lastly,  I hope that we Americans vote wisely as we select our political leaders, so that as Middle Americans, we have a chance.  Our Middle area is based on effort and work not on being entitled to Government give-away programs.  We need to have a dream and keep it alive. 

Edited by alsfarms (see edit history)

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I'm sure the public perception for many people is that the wealthy bumbled in to it or inherited their money. My observation is that 90 percent of the time you have someone who started with nothing,  worked their asses off,  took risks and put themselves in a position to be lucky.

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Life is "easier" now than it has ever been.  That lessens work ethic and increases self-pity and entitlement. 

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39 Buick 8, good point.  When we have it too easy.......we get wasteful and lazy and just expect to be taken care of.  That statement is a generalization, however, as I know lots of folks who still have personal goals and are willing to "get after it" and move towards a personal dream. 

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I would agree with all of the above comments except for the one  above from 39buickeight . I am old enough to have been an adult from the 1980's to date . I think I have a pretty strong work ethic; participated in the employment market since I was 15, supported myself {with the help of student loans - repaid in full} during a pretty intensive post secondary education, Built a career, raised a family, and all the rest.  I cannot agree with the statement that it has gotten any easier over the last 35 years or so.  In my experience quite the opposite has been true. {see my above post's}.

   I have a lifelong friend{not the one involved with the Duesenberg} that represents someone quite wealthy who inherited 99 % of his assets, he is not important in this conversation. I also knew his Father very well ; who made his fortune in exactly the same manner as alsancle described, started with nothing ,worked hard, took risks, and reaped the benefits.  His opinion on wealth , business, and related subjects I respected and listened to. Just before his cancer diagnosis and death ;about 10 years ago, he commented on how much more difficult he was finding the business and investment environment compared to when things were first working out for him in the late 60,s/ early 70's.  Interest rates  were lower but Banks were much more restrictive {remember I am in Canada , our banks are much more conservative than the U.S.}. And things in general were quite a bit more competitive. It did not stop him from making deals; and ultimately profits, but this is also a man who by this point had the resources of a multimillion dollar wealth.

  I was not really surprised by his comment as it mirrored my own reality, but I think it illustrates my point that for some of us at least this is not the "easiest" of times. Despite our best efforts some of us are little by little going backwards. It might be only  1 % a year, not enough to even notice unless you are a close observer. But that 1 % multiplied over a couple of decades adds up to a pretty hefty bite.

  I never felt entitled to anything I haven't worked for, problem is in some cases just working isn't enough.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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I made every cent I have, work hard, and it is sad to see folks who don't want to work and just collect 'entitlements'.  How far this country has slid downhill over the years.  Fortunately, this is just enough to survive on, and it amazes me that there are folks out there who prefer to have nothing instead of getting up in the morning and going to work.  I was lower middle class in an area with lots of inherited wealth, and, when I was a teenager, I thought WOW, this is GREAT!  Unlimited funds and not a care in the world.  Sort of how I ended up, first degree, with one that wasn't so good.  I saw folks who did nothing and had a lot, and thought life was easy (nevermind my parents).  Found out the hard way about the School of Hard Knocks!  Life has never been easy and 1912Staver is right that it is getting far less easy.  Now, being in my mid-'40's, I think that inherited wealth is about the WORST thing out there.  First, it breeds entitlement, and secondly, we don't all start out on a level playing field.  If I have the money to get that Brass Era car someday, it will mean a WHOLE lot more to me than someone who simply wrote a check for it and barely made a dent in their checking account.  My 1917 Maxwell, to others, may not be much, but I worked hard to pay for it, and I enjoy it immensely!

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Having something handed to you is rarely a good thing.  However,  "inherited wealth" is such a miniscule issue compared to "I refuse to work and here are 100 reasons why I can't".

 

Also,  if you happen to be the guy that worked your ass off to create the wealth you should get to choose what you want to do with it.  Even if it means giving it to your potentially lay about kids.  It will be gone in one generation anyways.

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Actually when I mentioned my friend who inherited his father's self made fortune and described him as not important, I did him a disservice. He has a substantial car collection, and owned the restoration shop that I worked at 25 + years ago while I was attending technical college. I intended the comment in the narrow context of responding to 39BuickEight's remark about these being the "easiest of times"

   My friend's  head start in life has ensured that he has been far more able to achieve satisfaction in the old car hobby / business than my chronically underfunded efforts. He is definitely not one to sit around all day at the country club. He is way more involved in old cars than I can ever hope to be as he has both the time and money to do so , both factors that I am desperately short of.

  I am sure that there are many examples of people who inherit substantial sums and do nothing productive with their time or wealth but my friend definitely is not in this category. We grew up together; were both mad about old cars, and have lived our lives immersed in them.  He has been able to produce some stunning examples, I am surrounded by unrealized potential. The difference is for a good part at least the difference in resources.

  His father; the self made man, always thought we were wasting our time with old cars and gave us both lectures about it on several occasions.  To him anything two years old was "old junk" and to be traded in ASAP.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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I am going to shy away from the wealth / middle class debate. I will agree today it's a lot harder to get ahead. My main interest in commenting is on the price and availability of cars. I am VERY active in the car hobby, and there is no doubt that the brass stuff is overall soft right now. Prices remain elevated in relation to demand due to the fact that most of the current owners don't need the money and tend to hang on to cars longer than they can enjoy them. I think this will change in a big way soon. No, you're not going to buy a 66 HP Pierce for $50,000 but trust me, I know all the major players and dealers, the big brass is soft. The best of the best .......the top 5 percent is holding. Provenance is EVERYTHING ! Otherwise the market is soft. Demographics are changing fast, I don't think the younger money will chase the cars like they have in the past. Interestingly, I recently purchased my least deseriable and least expensive collector car I have ever purchased..........a 15 T. I use it more and have a better time with it than the 7000 mile 14 Caddy I had for a while and recently sold. The T looks like a toy parked next to one of my Pierces but it IS fun. You can buy a 45 HP car right now that is decent and turn key for under 50K. Not free, but also not crazy money either. 15 years ago I almost bought an open Model J Dusenberg, but I decided to build a home instead . I should of bought the car. If you spend enough time looking and look at enough

cars you would be surprised what you can find at an affordable price. I will look at 50 or even up to 80 cars before I buy one. If you shop long and hard enough you will find a bargain. Like most things in life it's just lots of work. It's human nature to want to own a toy that's a little bit out of our price range. I've managed to do it by being patient. I may buy three cars in one month or I might not buy any for a year or two. You have to be ready to move instantly. Keep looking and be patient you'll find your car.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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My main interest in commenting is on the price and availability of cars. I am VERY active in the car hobby, and there is no doubt that the brass stuff is overall soft right now. Prices remain elevated in relation to demand due to the fact that most of the current owners don't need the money and tend to hang on to cars longer than they can enjoy them. I think this will change in a big way soon. No, you're not going to buy a 66 HP Pierce for $50,000 but trust me, I know all the major players and dealers, the big brass is soft. The best of the best .......the top 5 percent is holding. Provenance is EVERYTHING ! Otherwise the market is soft. Demographics are changing fast, I don't think the younger money will chase the cars like they have in the past.

 

This is the answer I was seeking, although, of course, this is a double-edged sword.  I mean, I want someone to tell me that my house is worth double what I paid for it a few years ago, and, if I ask enough people, maybe I will get someone to agree to this, but, then again, when it comes time to sell, it's a whole different story.  (And, on a tangent, housing is a great example of how it was easier to make money in the past.  Folks who sat on real estate for 5 or ten years, in the past, witnessed gains of 30, 40, 50%, and yet, now, in a decade or so, you are LUCKY just to break even!)

 

But, anyways, back to topic #1, I THOUGHT this HAS to be true!  Go to old car shows, ask most Gen-X-ers, and younger (some who have NO interest in even driving at all, and would rather just text, and probably would never have any interest in rebuilding a carburetor.  Heck, in a generation or two, with self-driving cars, one won't even have to know how to drive anymore!). 

 

IT SEEMS LIKE TO ME, that the 70 to 90+ crowd has to own most of this Brass Era stuff, they don't wish to sell, don't need the money, but, in the next 15 years or so, as they fade away, and their kids just see the Brass-era car as a heap of steel in the garage taking up space, and with a relative few, just like myself, with an interest in this sort of stuff, it seems like prices have to soften...probably considerably!  I'm not saying I will be able to snag that Pope-Hartford for $10,000 some day, but it seems like to me that in a generation or so, it might be possible to purchase more than the run-of-the-mill brass-era car for substantially less than the few (older) major players in the game are keeping prices jacked up.

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I would agree with all of the above comments except for the one  above from 39buickeight .

 

Greg in Canada

Greg, thanks for your reply.  I as mentioned, my post is a generalization.  It does not apply to everybody.  FWIW, I am younger than you, and I am raising a family of 5 on a modest income.  I paid for my own college too.  Most folks who are on this great forum have had the great fortune of being able to have a fun collectible car, often through hard work of their own.  These people are mostly not the majority of people in the USA.  Most people can't afford a "spare" car.

 

However, if you don't think life is easier than it has ever been, I urge you to have greater perspective.  For one, we, the public, are not carrying guns in a foreign land and fighting in a war.  In addition, it has never been easier to find and move to where the work is, and make good money at that.  Jobs and opportunities are open all over this country.  The only way it is not easier would be if a person planned on working the same job and retiring at 65 without managing their own money at all.

 

I also understand my thoughts are affected by where I live.  In my travels, I see a different attitude in many places.  I deal with the general public and their finances everyday with my job.  It's pitiful here how unmotivated and content people are when the possibilities are endless.  Just adding a little more to my perspective.

Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)

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It is interesting to hear your perspective on the future prospects of the "brass" cars  edinmass. It gives me hope that assuming I live long enough prices may return to a more realistic level on at least the middle of the Brass spectrum. With any luck I may have 20 years of active participation left, and that may be enough.

  Also very interesting to hear the perspective of 39Buick, I find your comment about working at a stable job until retirement as a loosing strategey a little puzzling.  Well perhaps not puzzling as my own experience does somewhat follow the outcome of a slow but steady decline of inflation adjusted income, but what do you propose as a alternative? In my experience workers who undergo a mid career employment change are often in a worse situation, not better. The new wage  / benefit package is rarely a good as the previous one, esp. if the worker in question is mid 40's or so and above. The prospective employer knows the applicant is probably in a bit of a bind and will often use that situation to their advantage. Retirement plans have often become less attractive over time and a job switch might change a lot once the person in question reaches retirement age.

 There are a few young / driven / gifted professionals who can make climbing the employer ladder work for them , but in my experience they are the exception.

  The investment market route you propose is also one I have seen to have many pitfalls. For a few it has been rewarding, but for many it has been no better than taking a wad of cash to Vegas. The small time investor is at the mercy of the market and the competency of his or her advisor {who collects his fee weather things have gone well for the client or not}, I have little exposure to the market ; my wife somewhat more, but our experience has been more of a break even result as opposed to any real benefit.

 I know people have to make their own luck ; and I have perhaps made the error of being too conservative ,but I have always used the principal of slow and steady as being the best in the end. Inflation / stagnant wages are something I didn't bargain for, and have been my bugbear. .

 

Greg in Canada

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I am just saying, in general, in years past, if person wanted to work for a company their whole life, they could do that, and retire with company benefits and retirement pay.  That is gradually ending.  Employees now are having to fund their own retirement plans (which can actually be better if you know what you are doing).  It was just a reference to the way the American workforce is changing. 

 

To most, it is more difficult to plan for retirement rather than have it set for you after a set number of years.  Many people feel they are doing well just to get by, much less save for retirement.

 

The go-getters will always be who they are, but the majority of American labor has changed quite a bit.

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