mrcvs

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

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Doesn't your last comment tend to support my assertion that things have gotten at least a little more difficult over the last few decades?  Your catch that people will have to not only be skilled in their occupation, but also as investment managers will exclude many. And anyone with the required level of money management sense will generally not be the ones "frittering away" valuable time and money resources on a money pit such as old cars.

 A few of us choose the correct parents, some of us discover oil in he back yard or buy the correct loto ticket. But most of us just go to work and earn our wage. Doing that and having something left over for the Ford, Chev. or Duesy is the real challenge most of us face.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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Climbing the career ladder is a misnomer.  Sure, a few do it, but it is being in the right place at the right time, being well-liked by a progressive employer, etc.  When I was in college in the late '80's and early '90's (the first time around), there was talk of the 'new' economy, where, with lots of baby boomers retiring, and few to fill their shoes, unprecedented demand for goods and services, the information age, it seemed like I would be 'at the right place at the right time'.  Of course, attending a state institution, these were all great ideas by folks with little experience other than in the la-la land of a government (and not private employer).  Now that I have gotten older (and hopefully, wiser), I have come to the conclusion that employment is pyramidal in fashion--you cannot have more than a very few at the top, and most folks get an entry-level job and rise no further--myself included.  It cannot be OTHERWISE, in order to remain sustainable.  Another myth (I don't know what else to call it) is that there would be far more demand for workers than supply.  I reasoned, picking up a copy of the Wall Street Journal, that, with all those companies in microscopic print listed on the stock pages, many of which hire thousands of folks, that getting a corporate job would be incredibly easy.  I NEVER did land that corporate job, and I don't know why, other than there simply aren't more positions than folks to fill them.  I don't know if that was always the case, but it is certainly so in a post-NAFTA world.  Also, I have since come to the conclusion that college has become 'promoted' more than ever before, because there simply aren't enough jobs to go around, and, if one works approximately 40 years, and 4 of those years are spent in college (at a minimum), it 'artificially' causes 10% of working years of most folks to be spent not in the work force, thereby making unemployment seem less than it really is!

 

Also, the last few comments about life being easier than it ever was, or not being so...I think life has always been 'tough' out there, except for a unique period of post-WWI expansion, maybe 1945 to 1985, when things got progressively better for everyone.  So, in the 'old days', pre-WWII, life was tough for most, except for a few elite, then, after the war, it got good for all, and, since then, it is getting increasingly tougher for all but a few elite, so, in a relative sense, it is getting worse out there because it is not like that unique period of time which is now long gone.

 

As far as retirement...saving for one's retirement may be better for a select few, but most folks in America are not financially savvy.  It worked far better when one had to do nothing except put their time in and collect a pension.  Sure, there are exceptions, of course, but with stagnant wages and increasing financial responsibilities, in order to obtain the income one needs to survive, it is often done by decreasing the proportion of income devoted to retirement/IRA's/other savings vehicles.

 

Stable jobs...these are increasingly rare.  Change occurs far more rapidly than the time necessary to devote to a career (30-40 years).  Employers are aware of this.  Employers know that the job market out there, except for a select few, is progressively more dismal as one gets older (few opportunities, lots of folks in need of those few opportunities), so wages are flat or cut if one loses one's job/income once not much beyond age 40.  Hence, the reason why wages remain stagnant/flat.

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Incidentally, the nation's largest employer, the Federal government, is a POOR employer as far as 'climbing the corporate (or government) ladder' goes.  Most folks NEVER make it beyond their entry level job, and, if this is the nation's largest employer, and 'should' set an example for other employers as to what a 'model' employer should be like, what do you expect it will be like in the private sector?  Also, pay increases in the last 6 years if one works for the Federal government have been 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, and 1% (projected 1.3% next year), so Uncle Sam continues to set a poor example for others.

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Your view of economics is not what I have seen.   People that do really well get lucky,  but they put themselves in a position to be lucky.  Are you willing to work 80 hours a week and maybe get paid for 20?  Are you willing to work straight through a weekend, and again maybe not get paid?  Most people count every minute they work and want to be compensated for it at market rate.   They are unwilling or unable to take risks.  We all make decisions in life that have a bigger impact on where we end up than the hidden hand.

 

Expecting others,  your boss, a business, the government to give you what you want guarantees you will never be happy.  You need to make your own way or simply be content with what others give you.

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Doesn't your last comment tend to support my assertion that things have gotten at least a little more difficult over the last few decades? 

Greg in Canada

 

Yes, but as I wrote before, that is the only point to be made on that side of the argument.  Everything else is better.  It's never been easier to educate yourself, find a good job, find another good job if yours ends, raise your family in safety, and wake up every day with no fear.  Sure there are exceptions, but life is easier now than it has ever been.  You don't even have to go the grocery store, bank, or post office if you don't want to.  Finding a part for a car is easier than ever.  Cars are more reliable and comfortable than ever, and when they aren't, we usually have a phone in our pocket to call for help if needed.  Life is actually too convenient now and my assertion is that is really hurting the country as a whole. 

 

I am 38 years old.  I did not live in the adult world until the 1990's, but I am also appreciative and have a perspective of what life was like for the generations before me.

 

I think the internet and cell phones are actually very bad for society.  I use them because I can, but I think we'd be better off if they were never invented.

Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)

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I would have to agree completely with your comment alsancle, those that are really successful rarely do it as employees of others. Instead they make their fortune by their own skills , hard work, and a bit of luck. And then having gotten that task out of the way can enjoy old cars at whatever expense level they choose. That strategy has never been questioned, but is by definition for the elite only.

  But this conversation began with the question of if only the truly successful can participate in anything beyond the entry level of the old car hobby. And if a middle class income has fallen so far short of the bar that we are in effect wasting our time even trying.  I am not sure any of the comments to this point give many of us any reason to feel like there is hope.

  Even 39buicks contention that these are the easiest of times is based on the foundation of "for those that can afford it". The safety and security point tends to mean less to me as I am Canadian; and although I am probably a bit naive about all the dangers lurking in the world, have never felt much fear of danger either within or from the outside of my country. Canada is by and large a pretty safe and law abiding place. As for all the other things cited I tend to think of them as conveniences, nice enough but hardly of any importance compared to standard of living, and weather one has any useable disposable income once the basics are paid for.

  I make what is statically a somewhat above average income ;based on the cross Canada average, but live in what has evolved into one of the most unaffordable regions on the globe ;last rating I saw; from THE ECONOMIST I believe, put us at # 2 just behind Singapore. If I hadn't acquired a few projects years ago I would be more or less priced out of all but the most modest old cars. It also doesn't help that the Canadian $ has taken a big tumble over the last couple of years, I am facing a 25 % extra hurdle on any U.S. sourced parts , materials ,cars or really almost anything my household requires. I have received a 2 1/2 % pay increase over this same time period, I think you can do the math. As far as moving is concerned as I have stated I am married to a wife with a reasonably successful career ; and she has no real problem with her standard of living, but that is her income . I don't expect, and she would not contribute to my hobby. She increasingly sees old cars as a waste of time and money. From her point of view a relocation is the last thing she wants , and would negatively impact her income. When we were young she used both my "beater" MGA and my GS 400 Buick as daily drivers and enjoyed them a lot, but they were cheap wheels 25 years ago, not any more. They are both now in storage awaiting much needed restoration, really just  time and money.

 I have not given up hope; quite the contrary , but am frustrated by the snails pace my projects advance at. I am just concerned that I may not have enough time left to ever enjoy a finished product, but as I have stated before I still get a lot of enjoyment from the process. I don't hold any illusion that there is any positive solution to my situation other than to do the best I can over time.. The comments I have previously posted are primarily to give a point of view on mrcvs original and  subsequent posts as well as the posts of several others, anything beyond that are to provide context to my statements.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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Your view of economics is not what I have seen.   People that do really well get lucky,  but they put themselves in a position to be lucky.  Are you willing to work 80 hours a week and maybe get paid for 20?  Are you willing to work straight through a weekend, and again maybe not get paid?  Most people count every minute they work and want to be compensated for it at market rate.   They are unwilling or unable to take risks.  We all make decisions in life that have a bigger impact on where we end up than the hidden hand.

 

Expecting others,  your boss, a business, the government to give you what you want guarantees you will never be happy.  You need to make your own way or simply be content with what others give you.

Well, I am happy, with my modest cars.  My income is above 'average' whatever that means, but I am firmly in the middle class, and, unless I opt for living in a trailer on a lot with a cheap lease, the Pope-Hartford will remain out of reach, for now.  I am happy with what I have, but...I work for others, and the means of hitting it big working for others are extremely limited...unless others means working for a wealthy father or uncle!

 

I was never one to really take risks.  I was not one to work for free.  I have worked 48 hrs, or greater, per week, for as long as I can remember, sometimes significantly greater.  I 'thought', by going to college, I was setting myself up for a significant income to do things beyond my wildest dreams, but, then again, so did everyone else who went to college.  If I had it to do over again, business and engineering all the way, and form my own company.  At age 22, you have nothing to lose, so why not?

 

Of course, you can work for others and make it big, like Jack Welch did (General Electric), but those types are the exception, not the rule.

 

I had these big ideas, but so did everyone else...and this means competition, something I had little concept of.

 

I read something recently, written by Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, or someone similar, and it basically stated that getting a college degree, and going to work, that sets you up for a middle class lifestyle (hopefully!), you major in childhood education, it might be lower middle class, petroleum engineering, higher middle class.  The truly wealthy have an idea, a concept, etc., that is truly unique and that is rewarded with a lot, if it succeeds, and of course, the chances of failure far exceed that of succeeding exceptionally.  I NEVER thought of that when younger, and it is a novel concept to me, but the author is right.  I may not WANT this to be true, but it is indeed valid.

 

So, yes, I can be happy.  Did I succeed beyond my wildest dreams?  No.  Will I ever?  Probably not.  But, then again, of the HUGE number of folks on this planet, what percent does?  Infinitely small.

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Actually I never saw my  education and career as leading to rewards "beyond my wildest dreams".  I wanted vintage cars , but only cars that were generally achievable within my foreseeable standard of living. I now find not only the mid 20's Stutz or Marmon {at one time pretty overlooked and generally modestly priced} that I had at one time seen as a potential target beyond me , but I have a hard time sparing $ for the cars I have owned for decades, 1912 Staver, 1918 Packard 2 ton, MGA, Buick GS plus a big pile of Ford T parts {from what I have seen at swap meets the last decade or so the definition of valueless}. None of them were expensive when I bought them, time has hurt them, and todays restoration costs have rendered them all nearly valueless {OK a big Packard truck never was worth anything on the collector market}.

  It's a changing world, all any of us can do is adapt and make do.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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Hang in there!  The post from a few days ago stated that the Brass Era car market is soft, and it is a few moneyed folks who don't need to sell keeping it propped up.  I am OPTIMISTIC!  In a few decades we will get that Brass era car (maybe not the Pope Hartford, though) for a price far less than we ever imagined!

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You won't have to wait a few decades. Actually the smartest move would be to start looking now. Keeping many irons in the fire eventually a deal work out. If one doesn't try to make a deal on a car you can't make a deal on the car. I'm always fishing for my next ride. It constantly amazes me what's out there. I've been very fortunate to own a lot of great toys. Regardless of market conditions or the economy I'm sure I will own more in the future as I'm always trying to find something new . You have to never stop the chase....... Play it for the game that it is . Good luck on your future cars. Ed.

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You won't have to wait a few decades. Actually the smartest move would be to start looking now. Keeping many irons in the fire eventually a deal work out. If one doesn't try to make a deal on a car you can't make a deal on the car. I'm always fishing for my next ride. It constantly amazes me what's out there. I've been very fortunate to own a lot of great toys. Regardless of market conditions or the economy I'm sure I will own more in the future as I'm always trying to find something new . You have to never stop the chase....... Play it for the game that it is . Good luck on your future cars. Ed.

Edinmass,

 

Where would you suggest to start looking NOW?  Other than on-line, or through Hemmings (these generally being FULL retail venues), the only options I can think of would be to luck out and find someone who rolled their Brass Era car to the end of the driveway with a For Sale sign on it and an attractive price (UNLIKELY), OR to find one for sale at a local auction without internet bidding and not much interest in this Brass Era car.  Where else should I be looking?  Hershey likely has high prices as well.

 

I am just a wholesale kind of guy in a retail world.

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Many good cars sell quietly through personal relationships.  The only way to establish those relationships is to be part of clubs, participate and be likable.   Lots of people fail on the likable part.

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AJ is correct. Attend HCCA meets year round. Not just the tours, go to the lunch dates in the winter, keep your ear to the ground, the cars will find you. Ed.

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I would definitely agree that local  connections with the HCCA members in your location (assuming there are any} is a good start. I have been a HCCA member since the mid 90's but have never had a running brass car so I have sometimes felt a bit like the Kid from the wrong side of the tracks with his nose pressed against the toy store window.  None of the local members except one have ever been snobby at all to me {several years ago and he is now deceased } , but there is still the fact that they have paid the price to participate in the hobby and I am still working on the down payment.

  Pretty unlikely that I could afford the outright purchase of any of the local running cars; but I still like to hear about what is locally available, and sometimes local people have been able to help me out with parts and advice.  And they are in my experience a great group of people.  But the possession of a running brass car would sure make a difference, and would allow me to "actively" participate rather than be a spectator.  In my instance the crazy shift work cycle I follow makes it very hard for any sort of club participation, but I plan on retiring within the next 3 years so that will make a big difference.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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I only buy AJ lunch because he lets me sit in his cars. He keeps telling me someday I am going to see one of them run . Rumor has it I may even get to drive one. I've driven him around in a world class Packard and Pierce and I didn't even get a lunch out of it !

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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Greg don't overlook a good running pre-16 T. You don't need 60 hp to have fun. Of all the clubs I have been in I've never had any complaints of the members being snobby. There was one club that I wanted to run a tour with that is an invitation only club. I had a good car that would qualify but didn't get any invitations to participate after asking several times. I think it was because I'm about 30 years younger than their average member. It could've been economic and not age-related. The crowd definitely was the top 1% of the 1% ers. I'm just a used car mechanic that likes to drive his toys.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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I think I WILL join the HCCA, that is a GREAT idea!  I never thought of that one.  That's why this forum is invaluable!  Any club branches in or near Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton PA?

 

Here is the link, if others are looking for it:

 

http://www.hcca.org/index.php

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If you pay $45 to join for one year, would it be good for a year from now, or only until 31 December?  I am also into, among other things, percussion and Single Action Army Colt revolvers, and their club membership runs from 01 January to 31 December, and you pay the same amount no matter when during the year you join.  I intend to join the Colt Collector's Association on or slightly after 01 January to benefit from a full year of membership.

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Hi Ed; I actually have most of the raw material, decent earlyish frame, 1915 block, nicely done dropped axle, better than average brass rad and period accessory "Mercer style " seat and cowl , rough but genuine and commercially not home made plus  lots of bits and bobs for a circa 15 T speedster. I have held back on spending any serious money on it in order to pay down my mortgage {now accomplished} and build up a bit of a fund for parts for my 1912 Staver Chicago. I am also 6'2" and I don't fit in a T {or quite a few of the other small brass cars} all that well.

  The Staver is still years away from being a car ,but if I try to do both the Staver will end up being starved for funds. I picked up the Staver 15 years ago, and the T stuff over the last 20 +. At one time I assumed my money situation would improve with time and both would be possible. These days I realize the money hasn't gotten better over time, in reality at least a little  worse.  I am not in to the T stuff for all that much, but it probably is if anything going down in value so selling it would not put me in much better position than were I am now.  The T probably would end up costing $6,000.00- $10,000.00 before it was useable, not a lot but still a fair chunk of my hobby money. 

    It's a bit of a deliema that I have up to the present time deferred a decision on. Once I retire I plan a big sort out, and probably a big sell off. I have gathered up a fair quantity of parts, parts cars, potential project cars, etc.  and it is not even remotely practical to keep it all.  Once that is accomplished I will be in a better position to decide my next step.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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Without getting into all the the haves and have nots what is your price range? Remember they are not making any more of these cars so a rare $275,000 Pope-Hartford is out of most of our means. (I see one Pope-Hartford for sale for $389,000 now!) Here is a brass 1912 Buick (1970s resto) for $42,000 http://classiccars.com/listings/view/649577/1912-buick-touring-for-sale-in-lake-oswego-oregon-97035  anda 1912 RCH Roadster (1960 resto) for $13,500  http://www.haggleme.com/Vehicle/58052/1912-RCH-Roadster.aspx...the latter looks like it needs work, depends on how handy you are. If you can't afford either I would go for a Model T, Model A or any number of 20s sedans for under $10,000 and build up to a car more in line w/ your dreams. Instant gratification doesn't come to most of us, so just have fun w/ something you can afford for now....just my 2 cents.

Edited by Bob Zetnick (see edit history)

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I would think that anyone looking at a Brass car purchase would consider $30,000.00 - $40,000.00 a reasonable entry level cost. The original question that started this conversation was if people who were not "rich" could afford to participate.  That sort of a cost while seeming reasonable in the context of overall vintage car prices, still represents a huge figure compared to many middle class household budgets.

  One either has to save up over many years, something that requires a great deal of discipline, a very understanding spouse, and the foresight to start young enough that there are still enough pages left on the calendar to actually use the car for a reasonable length of time.

  The other option is to borrow the buy in cost, these days many households are struggling to one degree or another with debt and a sum like this on a non -essential will probably be a non- starter. I know some other solutions have been proposed in the last 4 pages of content but at the end of the day they all depend on disposable income, something many in the middle class have precious little of these days.

 In my case I am involved in a project that will probably end up in the $40,000.00 overall cost range { it's a big project but I have quite a few skills and intend on doing almost all of it myself}. I am now 15 years in with a lot more to do, probably at least another 15 years. I will be in my early 70's by then; I can accept this as I am pretty dedicated to one day having a nice car, is this a reasonable  situation ?

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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I would think that anyone looking at a Brass car purchase would consider $30,000.00 - $40,000.00 a reasonable entry level cost. The original question that started this conversation was if people who were not "rich" could afford to participate.  That sort of a cost while seeming reasonable in the context of overall vintage car prices, still represents a huge figure compared to many middle class household budgets.

  One either has to save up over many years, something that requires a great deal of discipline, a very understanding spouse, and the foresight to start young enough that there is still enough pages left on the calendar to actually use the car for a reasonable length of time.

  The other option is to borrow the buy in cost, these days many households are struggling to one degree or another with debt and a sum like this on a non -essential will probably be a non- starter. I know some other solutions have been proposed in the last 4 pages of content but at the end of the day they all depend on disposable income, something many in the middle class have precious little of these days.

 In my case I am involved in a project that will probably end up in the $40,000.00 overall cost range { it's a big project but I have quite a few skills and intend on doing almost all of it myself}. I am now 15 years in with a lot more to do, probably at least another 15 years. I will be in my early 70's by then; I can accept this as I am pretty dedicated to one day having a nice car, is this a reasonable  situation ?

 

Greg in Canada

Yes, I would think $30,000 to $40,000 is SPOT ON the entry level 'reasonable' amount to spend on a Brass Era car, and it is an amount that, had wages kept up with where they should be, would be an amount that would take some scrimping and saving to accomplish, but would not be an impossible amount to achieve, nor incredibly painful to obtain when it comes to the time frame involved and the other sacrifices made.

 

'Middle class' households, when it comes to the various other commitments they have, are lucky to have five figures in the bank (meaning 'barely' $10,000)--most seem to struggle to get to the four figure mark.  Yes, some blow it going out to eat, etc., but for most, it is just the cost of living.

 

In my case, I DO put the maximum I can towards retirement and am really trying to pay down a mortgage (should be gone in a few months after almost 21 years (YAY!), but this is scrimping and saving to the point where it is uncomfortable (just ask my wife!)  Maybe once this mortgage is paid off, there will be money for more fun stuff.  Forget about borrowing for a 'new' old car.  Interest rates are ridiculous as it is considered to be a risky debt for a bank to take on.

 

Maybe due to all my sacrificing and paying down debt, my bank account balances are low (which makes sense, as debt is a higher interest rate than one gets on a bank account), but, being college educated and a professional, I cannot recall the last time I had five figures in the bank (my retirement account is a different matter whatsoever!).

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So I take it that you agree that even an entry level Brass; and probably nickel era, old car are outside the reach of many middle class potential owners. At one time I thought to myself that one way or another I would beat the odds and have a nice car without having substantial wealth at my disposal , these days I am a little less sure but it's kinda late to change direction.
Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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