Joe in Canada

Where is our vintage car market headed???

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1 hour ago, 1912Staver said:

KMS trade , I agree completely with your choice in 20's cars.  Last decent deal I saw was the 1922 Marmon touring project in Kansas last year on this site. I am sure it went to a good home.

  Hard to go wrong with any Stutz, I just never see one in my price bracket. Of course ;not counting Vertical 8's . there are very few 1920's Stutz cars out there , perhaps 100 or so ?

 

Greg in Canada

 

I would tend towards the vertical 8 but there are not that many of those either.  I know of a Weymann (zapron) bodied 28 BB that has been available for a while.  Not ridiculous money  but just doing the engine is a 20-30k affair. 

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  15 or 20 years ago I felt a Vertical 8 could be a definite future goal.  There were several available in that time period that were close to being within reach. Since then they have generally become more expensive , and as you point out ownership costs have risen quite substantially.  Over the next 20 years who knows, the cars themselves might decline a bit in price, but I doubt things like engine rebuilds will ever go down in cost.  That and the fact that in 20 years I will be pushing 80 and probably will be in downsize mode..

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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It is not the price of the engine rebuild price going down but who will be qualified to do a rebuild in twenty years? Then again if the value of the cars collapses will the next generation be bothered to keep them running? Many people years ago did their own restoration work on their cars. Now a days people want better restorations than the 60s and 70s so they have it done at a shop. When you read the posts here folks are leaning to buying a restored car as they can be much cheaper.  

 I am taking my time shopping for a brass car to restore my self as I enjoy working on cars as much as driving them. .

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Have been looking into a 3D printer for some of those interior plastic parts, plastic in the 60s and 70s disintegrated a lot, red turned pink first. 80s not so much. Plastic fenders are very robust and don't rust. Also parts cars are cheap on CL. Fiero is only toxic if it burns.

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On 11/18/2016 at 11:29 AM, Steve_Mack_CT said:

This topic comes up all the time here and elsewhere.  I think there are some constants:

 

1) Complaints about the cost of entry - for someone with true interest there are options out there for virtually all budgets.  One might have to compromise a bit, but that is a choice anyone makes with a set budget for any endeavor.

 

2) The market is fluid, some cars will remain popular across generations, fads, etc. but many will see ebbs and flows in value.

 

3) Good Quality cars will bring top dollar, projects will always be tougher to sell and restoration will almost always cost more than the value of the finished product.

 

4) Still, one can generally recoup a good part of their "investment" especially compared to boating, golf  or other expensive past times.

 

5) Only a true genius or fool plans to retire on their collector car holdings - most of us fall somewhere in the middle of that range.  

 

6) This hobby is a little too obsessed with valuation and interest, but otherwise it is a pretty darn good one I think.

 

I completely agree with Steve, and I would add just one thought:  I think the emphasis on valuation in point (6) isn't too surprising in light of the other points.  For almost all of us, the cars we have are worth a big chunk of money to us;  the market value of many cars fluctuates a lot, making cars worth a lot more or a lot less; and buying wisely requires knowing a lot about the cars. No wonder value/cost comes up often.

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Value is also driven by another industry, insurance. The market, just like all markets can be manipulated. Fads and trends can all be created. What is in demand one year, fades out the next. Buy what you like and enjoy, buy quality or build/restore a car to a high level. If you know what you are doing it does not take much more effort to make it nice. Start with a quality project (getting harder to find) if you start with something that is half there. Are you really surprised that you are in it a ton of money? Older restorations are great buys, if done correct and cared for, they still show very well. There are great buys on cars from the 1930's-60's. 1946-48 Plymouth Coupes have very nice styling and can be bought for very little money. Two door sedans from the 30's can be found at affordable prices. Mid 50's Desoto's are over looked, great cars. 1965-67 Buicks, again great styling. One of the biggest problems I see here, new people getting involved cars. Get wrapped up with shops that do not explain to them what their options are, and the best way to invest their money. Costs involved in building/restoring a car should be explained, so the customer knows what to expect. This hobby/industry would boom around here if more opportunities in different areas of motor sports could get established. Addressing some of the behind the scene problems that go on, would have a huge impact on making it better for every one involved.

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Xander you make some good points, esp. regarding insurance values. And there are definitely many reasonably priced cars.  I don't really think the low $ end of the collector market is ever going to have much impact on the bottom line of shops that are in the; for lack of a better description ,the  hobby car segment. If a shop does as you suggest and fully explains the scope and economics of having work done to a car in the affordable category I think many potential customers will run away.

  These cars while affordable initially are not a good place to spend "shop rate" $ It's pretty easy to start with a decent condition "affordable" car, take it to a shop and spend as much or more than the original purchase  on it just to tidy up and bring to "cars and coffee" condition. Unless the customer is going to own the car for a very long time the majority of the $ spent at the shop is just plain spent. The value of most of the low end cars won't change much regardless of the post purchase investment {spending}. And if new to the hobby potential customers are made aware of this up front there will be a lot of cold feet and second thoughts. Even more so in the case where there is a spouse involved, many of whom will have a much different list of priorities.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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20 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

Xander you make some good points, esp. regarding insurance values. And there are definitely many reasonably priced cars.  I don't really think the low $ end of the collector market is ever going to have much impact on the bottom line of shops that are in the; for lack of a better description ,the  hobby car segment. If a shop does as you suggest and fully explains the scope and economics of having work done to a car in the affordable category I think many potential customers will run away.

  These cars while affordable initially are not a good place to spend "shop rate" $ It's pretty easy to start with a decent condition "affordable" car, take it to a shop and spend as much or more than the original purchase  on it just to tidy up and bring to "cars and coffee" condition. Unless the customer is going to own the car for a very long time the majority of the $ spent at the shop is just plain spent. The value of most of the low end cars won't change much regardless of the post purchase investment {spending}. And if new to the hobby potential customers are made aware of this up front there will be a lot of cold feet and second thoughts. Even more so in the case where there is a spouse involved, many of whom will have a much different list of priorities.

 

Greg in Canada

I would agree with what you said, but I think it is relative to what you enjoy. On the street rod/custom side there is a real sense of creativity when building a car, that I do not think is there on the restoration side. If a person has the funds, it can be a lot of fun to go through the building process when you are working with a shop that is looking out for your best interest. People do not think twice about dropping money on hunting trips, flying or travel if that is what they enjoy. Some people do enjoy the building process. And these cars really do not take that long to move through the process if attention is focused on the project and you are working with skilled trades. I have seen people change their mind on building a car because of an honest conversation I have had with them on costs involved. And I think it is a good thing. Yes I can lose a build job, but that customer can buy a car from a dealer/private seller and have a good feeling going into the collector car market knowing they did not go for a ride and get hosed. If they then meet other people with cars, I am sure they will talk good about the people who were honest with them. And that may bring in a build job down the road. I see way to many shops misled people into thinking the build can be done for under this much. Only to find out once the project starts you pass that amount fast. Now the customer is unhappy with the whole thing, and everyone suffers even the car. I have seen shops selling off the customers original parts and keeping the money. Leaving the owner with a half finished car that has no value because now it is a project committed to a course of build. They end up selling out of it for pennies on the dollar, and in some cases to friends of the car shop. I think you would have a lot more interest in this hobby/industry if honesty was involved and projects got hammered out. Resto rods and mild customs can be built in a timely order if you just follow a good building process. I think if quality build/restoration shops have a net work of quality dealers, the customers best interest can be looked out for, no matter what direction they choose to go. I think to many people have been burned, and the negative effects can be seen right now in the hobby/industry. I have said before that this hobby/industry would benefit greatly if it were to focus some attention on some of the problems that are out there.    

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The key statement is "if a person has the funds" . Any shop built rod {or restoration} is going to be a pretty big ticket item.  Definitely the shops that can consistently turn out top quality work and honest billing will be busy. For the long term health of any business the customer always needs to be dealt with in a fair and trustworthy manner.

 Wealthy hobbyists often rely on comments of friends regarding the customer experience when selecting a shop. The good shops stay long term. The poor or indifferent usually are pretty short lived.

 I don't see this as an industry that has all that much potential to grow.  The key to growth is to expand your market. The biggest potential group of customers are the middle class, who these days rarely meet your basic qualifier  of "if a person has the funds". And from what I can see in the case of those who do "have the funds "the supply more or less meets the demand. Most people that are in a position to actually afford a shop built hobby car will take the time to insure they are dealing with shop that can deliver on it promises. It's the people that don't "have the funds" that take a chance on the con men and their impossible to deliver vague promises of good results at a low price .

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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Actually  not that hard to at least break even: buy a interesting and low production "halo" car in nice shape and low mileage at the bottom of the depreciation curve (usually 10-15 years) and enjoy it while keeping well maintained and garaged. In a few decades it will probably be worth more then when you bought it.

 

Of course if you insist on buying something on the wrong end of the bathtub curve, there you are.

 

ps I have found you can take a #4 car (good running complete no-rust original) and with 2-4 times your initial investment, make a #3 out of it. Or take a #3 and with about 10x the current investment you can make a #2. For a #1 if you have to ask, fahgedaboudit. 

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This is a auction style format and all start at .99 cent and will sell to the highest bidder with no reserve.

 

This was hard to look at...

ebbay.JPG

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Larry 

The thing about divorce , make sure you find a second or third wife who sadly has ripped off some poor sod who was better off than you and   Has a tidy sum to contribute to the collective pot! Or spend your money on old cars which she won't want anyway.?

Stay away from young foreign brides no money there , just potential to lose more. ?

Apologies for appearing to be off topic, but hobbies and wives are closely linked and the ability to follow your hobby can often depend on or be curtailed by your relationship status and the financial implications .

Consequently as the divorce rate has gone up steeply this probably has also had a negative impact our hobby numbers, as it surely sadly ended it for some and may have killed the dreams of some who planned on joining our happy brigade in their retirement years. Makes me sad to think of them.

Cheers

pilgrim 

Edited by Pilgrim65 (see edit history)
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At least in Florida, if you inherit something, say a car, it is exempt from divorce calculations. Am now single and retired and have no problem supporting my hobby.

 

ps the "Nash" is a Metropolitan, and think the "other" is a Henry J.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)

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17 hours ago, Pilgrim65 said:

 

Stay away from young foreign brides no money there , just potential to lose more. ?

 

 

At least you have fun losing the money!

I rather have a young foreign one then an old domestic one

Edited by John348 (see edit history)
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wow  - in just one day...

 

He had a power wagon for sale at .99 cent not one bid..

 

 

coolcarre.JPG

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Somehow I am skeptical that any of the above cars sold for a very low opening bid. 

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Also the thing I missed most in SEA (well after fresh milk) was proper spoken English. (First time I heard "enjoy" used as an all-encompassing word. Still don't like it).

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Well, let me bring some positive notes to the generally sad conversation.

I am from Estonia its former Soviet Union, now part of the EU. Small northern country. Classic Cars are very very popular hobby and classic car owners become younger and younger.

I could say, 2/3 of classic car owners are younger than 40. US classic cars are particularly popular, you see dozens of it every summer Saturday and Sunday. People likes it very many buys it from the States. Every year hundreds of classic cars arrives from the States.

For example, I have 55 Century, 67 Fleetwood and 1943 Dodge military truck. And I know very many people who have one.

We just had our US cars season open, thousands of families visited it, it was great event. So the same is everywhere in the Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Russia etc.


So, things are not so bad in the global scale. Far from it.

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Thanks for THAT denis23....... :D

One of my grandmothers was born in Lithuania but the family emigrated to the U.S. when she was 5 years old.

I also have a local friend who is Latvian........he has an accent you can cut with a knife...... LOL ........but a smart SMART guy!

It's wonderful to hear things are well is Estonia.

How about the other Baltic States?

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Nice to hear that we are almost relatives:)

 

 

Well, for some reasons, Baltic States are viewed together from the distance, but quite different from each other from insider point of view.

 

In my opinion, Estonia,is probably now more and more closer to Finland and Sweden than to Eastern Europe.  Lithuania is the very dynamic and rapidly developing country, but, again, its purely Eastern European by its mentality (and it has both advantages and disadvantages, for example, Lithuanians are clearly better salesmen than Estonians, but they have very different management style). Latvia is something between Estonia and Lithuania in terms of mentality.

From the point of life, I think, big cities are more or less similar, but looks like Estonian rural areas and small towns is much wealthier than its Latvian and Lithuanian counterparts. For some very special reasons. But things are rapidly change better everywhere in Baltics.

 

Generally saying, for some historical and cultural reasons, people everywhere in Eastern Europe, Baltics and Scandinavia like American cars (and other classics too), respect and cherish it, its very common hobby and always attracts hoards of people. Interestingly at least in Estonia, people don't do big difference between 1938 Packard Eight and Chevrolet Van StarCraft from the Eighties. All considered as US classics here and welcome on every event)

As I told, there are interest for very different vehicles from 90ties youngtimers to full AACA classics. Hotrods and customs are not very popular, most cars are unmodified.

Interestingly, WW2 Lend_Lease vehicles like Dodge WC or Studebacker US6 has very special status in the cultures of former Soviet Union people. Same with the pre-War Packards.


So, regarding classic cars, all three Baltic countries have very active classic car communities.  Every country has own strong point. Looks like pure density of classic cars are higher in Estonia. Partially because we are close to Sweden, country where are more classic US cars than anywhere, including the States.

 

Riga has incredible car museum and very famous classic car events. Again, despite there are less classic cars on road, there are incredible classic car collections in Latvia, dozens of Maybachs, Horchs, grossen Mercedeces etc.

 

Lithuanians are well known craftsmen, making lot of restoration job for customers from all of Europe.


 

In this terms enthusiasts of all three country are quite strongly tied, as with the Scandinavian guys  too. We have some common swap meets, parades etc. There are all together less than 20 million people lives in Sweden+Finland+Baltics, so we need to keep together.

 

Some pictures from the last weekend US Cars season opening. There were hundreds and hundreds of cars and many thousands of people around. Very nice event. Especially for not so big City, like Tallinn (appr. 400 000 people)

DSC_0255.JPG

DSC_0305.JPG

DSC_0010.JPG

DSC_0153.JPG

Edited by denis23 (see edit history)
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Another quite interesting thing, that people are not very upset regarding 911/356 Porsches, Jaguar E-types etc. As somebody says from my friends, having 100+ thousands I rather buy Facel Vega or Cord 830 Supercharged than mass production mass production car which is still very common.

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Actually, the 812 Cord (which is ridiculously cool) is still a production car.  The market has not moved an inch on them in 10 years.  I don't understand why a 851/852 Speedster brings 750k now and in 2001 it would bring 120k while  a supercharged cord Convertible coupe has gone from 120k to 240k in the same time.

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Well, I mean still original production cars. And it really very very cool and rare.

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Were is the L29 Cord market these days? One of the best looking cars parked, how is it to drive one? Dad said the dash shift was tough to master. Imagine what it was like to have the boss's son ask you to drive his L29 cabriolet from NYC to the summer estate in Connecticut when you were 15 years old without a drivers license. Oh, those horrible rich people. :rolleyes:Bob

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One of my dream cars was a HK-500 with Pont-a-Mousson and AC. Maybe that is why I like the SLK nose.

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