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Is hobby interest in pre-WWII cars Dying?


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Pre-war cars...For future readers who may be newly interested in old cars and read this thread: There are great deals in 4 door sedans in my opinion. Here in 2019 I picked up a stock 4 door 1938 Plymouth sedan. Running and drivable for what I think, was a great deal. No it's no coupe.  It's a family wagon. They made 100,000 plus of them in 1938 alone. Actually they made 119,669 4 dr, trunk sedan 5 passenger P6 cars. Of that, 50,000 seem to be rotting in pastures currently. 50,000 were crushed or demo-deby'd. The remaining  have been chopped and have high performance V8 motors in them. I would guess there's not that many stock ones left around. Incidentally around here, there are few to ever be seen. Not many stock ones come up in my internet research either. Why? Because it seems few folks want them. Yet I am having ton of fun learning about pre-war engineering and design.  I have little so far invested and have no aspirations of making a buck when the day comes that I have to sell it. The family all piles in and we have a ton of fun in my 4-door cars. We chat and get caught up. We get ice cream and sit at look-outs and laugh together. We smile, honk and wave all the folks who show appreciation for the old 4 door family cars that nobody wants. We have lots of quality time together. 

 

Is there an opportunity here? A way to get middle aged family guys into old cars? Perhaps. Wouldn't be too hard to get your wife to agree. Cruises with the kids? Seatbelts? Easy peasy. Great memories to be had.  Throw the dog in and head out for a cruise.  Everyday, a vintage 4 door beats a family of 4, each on their iphones ignoring each other.

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@billorn I've noticed an interest in 4-door cars with folks that like to travel or tour with their old car.  Their comment is that it is easier to load and gives them the inside space they want for suitcases and possibly company.  

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5 hours ago, ply33 said:

I had to actually see antiques driven on the road to get my interest in old cars going...

IMHO, that's the crux of the biscuit,  A lot of old car buffs like to say the route to new hobbyists is engaging the public at car shows.  I disagree.  I mean, it helps, but it's far more valuable to show that the cars aren't just treated like the good china.  Drive to the grocery store, out to dinner, for a weekend getaway, etc.  Use the thing.  Far more people will see it when you're driving through town than will ever look at it in your garage, on a trailer, or at a show,.

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8 hours ago, Dynaflash8 said:

 When I decided to sell it, I wanted to see it gone.

 

I'm the same way.

If I even THINK about selling something my mind is already made up.

If it's price right it will sell.

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My response to the title question: I certainly hope so... and sooner the better, as there are several pre-war cars I’d like to have and enjoy by driving their wheels off before I become physically unable, but unfortunately the type of rides I’m lusting after would likely continue to be out of financial reach for mere mortal like me, regardless of their perceived depreciation in $$ value.

 

In the meanwhile, I just continue to wear out the wearable parts in my current stable and replace them with new when they approach that worn out status.

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1 hour ago, TTR said:

My response to the title question:  I certainly hope so... and sooner the better, as there are several pre-war cars I’d like to have ...

 

Well, a lower price might be an advantage--if that happens

enough to bring the prices down substantially.

However, I see some disadvantages:

 

---Less popularity means that friends in your club will not have

similar pre-war cars.  You won't have fellow owners close at hand to

network with, or even to show much interest.  A lot of enjoyment

comes from sharing the experience.

 

---Fewer people will know how to work on them.  Even if you

do the work yourself, there are times when you need at least

to consult with an expert.

 

---Fewer people, or no people, will be reproducing parts.

 

---Borderline cars that would have been restored, will no longer

be considered worth restoring.  There may not be enough demand.

So marginal cars may be scrapped or left to deteriorate further.

 

This certainly doesn't have to be the case--and some pre-war

car owners have been dealing with these conditions for many years--

but advantages come if your car has plenty of fellow owners.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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14 hours ago, KongaMan said:

IMHO, that's the crux of the biscuit,  A lot of old car buffs like to say the route to new hobbyists is engaging the public at car shows.  I disagree.  I mean, it helps, but it's far more valuable to show that the cars aren't just treated like the good china.  Drive to the grocery store, out to dinner, for a weekend getaway, etc.  Use the thing.  Far more people will see it when you're driving through town than will ever look at it in your garage, on a trailer, or at a show,.

 

It really depends on the car.

I do drive the Rickenbacker to run errands but I don't go in anywhere for any length of time.

Too many things made of unobtanium for me to let either the Pierce or the Rick sit anywhere unattended.

And that is why I have been leaning towards picking up a driver Ford Model A.

You can build one out of a catalog so I wouldn't have to worry so much about someone swiping a radiator cap or gas cap.

 

 

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40 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

Well, a lower price might be an advantage--if that happens

enough to bring the prices down.  However, I see some disadvantages:

 

---Less popularity means that friends in your club will not have

similar pre-war cars.  You won't have fellow owners close at hand to

network with, or even to show much interest.  A lot of enjoyment

comes from sharing the experience.

 

---Fewer people will know how to work on them.  Even if you

do the work yourself, there are times when you need at least

to consult with an expert.

 

---Fewer people, or no people, will be reproducing parts.

 

---Borderline cars that would have been restored, will no longer

be considered worth restoring.  There may not be enough demand.

So marginal cars may be scrapped or left to deteriorate further.

 

This certainly doesn't have to be the case--and some pre-war

car owners have been dealing with these conditions for many years--

but advantages come if your car has plenty of fellow owners.

Yes but,

These cars that will be market corrected will eventually end up with younger people who can afford them.  Right now 85% of us can not afford them! 

 

Earl's is a classic example.  It was restored and enjoyed in a different era when restoration costs and expectations were a fraction of the cost now.  I won't speculate what he spent to get that car in the beautiful condition it is in, but pick a generic car, like a 1936 Ford V8 4 door sedan.  Restored 30 years ago at a cost of $7000, very respectable.  The owner enjoys it for 26 + years and takes great care of it, puts modest miles on it and sees two speculation market increases in it's value based on nothing at all that he has done.  (See also real estate market pricing in some high demand areas)

 

Now 30 years later he has certainly gotten $7000 of pure enjoyment out of this car, many time that I suspect.  Awards, tours, friends.  Now he is old and wants to sell the car.  He looks at some dumb price guide or looks at similar classifieds and lists his car for sale at $35,000.  I mean why not, what an investment!  He imagines the European vacation and winter cruises he can now take.  But there it sits for sale, no buyers.   Why not offer this car for sale for $10,000?  Because "to him" he sees these other ads and gets as greedy as the next guy!  Why should he show love to the younger guy that is interested and can't afford a $35,000 car! Me? No way! 

 

It's a generational concept, and it will be until these cars trade hands a few times with market corrections.  Then we won't be having this discussion.  But right now there are thousands of these cars, owned by guys in their 70's to 90's where the cars need to go.  And they don't want to sell with the altruistic notion of passing along a car to a younger owner. Hell NO!   Let the other guy do it.

Edited by B Jake Moran (see edit history)
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10 minutes ago, B Jake Moran said:

But right now there are thousands of these cars, owned by guys in their 70's to 90's where the cars need to go.  And they don't want to sell with the altruistic notion of passing along a car to a younger owner. Hell NO!   Let the other guy do it.

Their heirs and assigns will have no such qualms.  It might be his pride and joy, but to the kids it's just Dad's old car.  He wouldn't sell it for $40,000; they'll take $25,000 and be ecstatic.

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You'd be very surprised by how many heirs don't treat this as "found money" but instead remember that one time that one day many years ago when he was just starting the restoration that dear old dad said, "This car will be worth $100,000 when it's done!" Then he restored it by himself in his garage using stuff he bought at the local hardware store.

 

Or how many heirs don't have any clue how much a car is worth but when they're at a gas station some random guy walks by and says, "Wow, I bet that's a $100,000 car!"

 

Or they see one on the TV auctions sell for big money and start counting their profits. Of course, theirs isn't a Boss 429 with matching numbers and a fresh professional restoration, but hey, an old Mustang is an old Mustang and they're almost the same color, right?

 

Boom! Big numbers stuck in their heads and they don't want to dishonor ol' dad's memory by selling short. Of course, they don't know how to drive that old car so it just sits unwinding in the garage until mom has to sell to go to a home and they really need to move it, in which case they call me with a non-running car with a deteriorated amateur restoration and insist that an expert told them it was a $100,000 car.

 

There's a big market correction coming and a lot of people are going to get kicked in the jimmy. It's gonna happen, it's gonna hurt, but the hobby will survive it. Think of it as the random forest fire that kills the scrub brush and lets the stronger trees live. Unfortunately, C- and D- level cars are the scrub brush...

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2 minutes ago, kgreen said:

The old car hobby that most could enjoy in years past was fueled by cheap and abundant supply....  

 

Yes, the hobby can thrive when cars are reasonably priced,

and to outsiders I always point out that most old cars are

affordable.  And almost always, they are surprised.

Presently, cars of the 1970's meet the "cheap and abundant" criteria.

 

However, old cars have not always been cheap and abundant.

I interviewed one of our local charter members, who was

active in the hobby back in the early 1950's.  The desirable

cars were the brass-era cars, and they were not easy to find.

They were still being discovered, and prices were not inexpensive.

There weren't the hobby publications that we know, so our

member did his own systematic searching, and also bought

a few cars at auctions.

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16 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

There's a big market correction coming and a lot of people are going to get kicked in the jimmy. It's gonna happen, it's gonna hurt, but the hobby will survive it.

The flip side is that there won't be any corresponding correction in the cost of a restoration.  That is, the "restorable survivor" may be $15,000 when it used to be $25,000, but paint and parts aren't getting any cheaper, and labor costs aren't going to drop.  Which is to say that the old adage about buying the best car you can will be true more than ever.  IOW, you might be able to pick up someone's $100,000 restoration for $35,000, but it will still cost you $100,000 to get your project to that point even if your buy-in was a lot lower.  When you start looking at numbers like that, folks will quit restoring them.  Most folks understand that this hobby isn't an investment vehicle, but there's a difference between being slightly under water and being at the bottom of the ocean.

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Brass era cars still are not "cheap" . But the smaller , low HP cars are definitely slumping.  The really small one and two cyl. cars seem to be holding their own, but the off brand also rans to the Model T seem to be definitely sliding. Slow even by  Brass standards and challenging for parts.

 

Greg in Canada

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48 minutes ago, B Jake Moran said:

  Why not offer this car for sale for $10,000?  Because "to him" he sees these other ads and gets as greedy as the next guy!  Why should he show love to the younger guy that is interested and can't afford a $35,000 car! Me? No way! 

 

Only to see it for sale by the new buyer for the money the new owner and now seller felt he could get for it! Again fueled by TV shows

 

26 minutes ago, kgreen said:

Yes, interest in vintage cars is waning.  We no longer have this:

 

AETourssenUsedCars_1500.thumb.jpg.52fb64a814c046243877ab1ba1e79c08.jpg

 

on top of that we need this (below) and these hardly exist anymore:

 

230ec45fb58b990f_landing.jpg.ce24108f6949e249be56d042830d5fdc.jpg

 

The old car hobby that most could enjoy in years past was fueled by cheap and abundant supply.  With that gone, the less desirable cars will return to dust, the local zoning laws in larger municipalities will prevent outdoor car repair and storage and the more desirable cars will end up in the hands of those willing and capable.

 

These cars were just a few years old when the photos were taken, they were just used cars. I am sure there are salvage yards full of 1999 to 2005 cars today, just used cars

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33 minutes ago, kgreen said:

Yes, interest in vintage cars is waning.  We no longer have this:

 

AETourssenUsedCars_1500.thumb.jpg.52fb64a814c046243877ab1ba1e79c08.jpg

 

on top of that we need this (below) and these hardly exist anymore:

 

230ec45fb58b990f_landing.jpg.ce24108f6949e249be56d042830d5fdc.jpg

 

The old car hobby that most could enjoy in years past was fueled by cheap and abundant supply.  With that gone, the less desirable cars will return to dust, the local zoning laws in larger municipalities will prevent outdoor car repair and storage and the more desirable cars will end up in the hands of those willing and capable.

 

 

Of course we still have those kinds of things. They look like this:

 

636371970932856763-072717-Maple-Shade-Ca

 

And like this:

 

600-03075815em-old-cars-linedup-in-auto-

 

It's like when I was a little kid watching old movies with my dad, completely horrified that they were smashing, burning, and destroying all those wonderful old cars. Until my father pointed out that they were cheap used cars at the time the movie was made...

 

Don't let the rose-colored glasses change your perception. Those were just used cars that nobody cared about any more than anyone cares about that green Ford Taurus station wagon in the photo above. They fed the hobby for a while, but that doesn't mean they were destined to survive for any longer than any other obsolete piece of equipment.

 

The herd is going to get culled. It just has to. The hobby will get smaller. There are more things competing for peoples' interest at all levels. I'm OK with that and if a whole lot of poor quality, mediocre, uninteresting cars vanish from the face of the earth, well, I'll probably make peace with that. Don't weep for the poor theoretical young, poor person who wants but can't afford an old car--the stuff he wants isn't the stuff that's getting culled anyway. There's an ad here on this very forum with a running, driving '51 Buick of some kind being given away for FREE. Any of you loading up the trailer at this moment to go grab it and save it?

 

No? Why not?

 

They can't all be saved. We can't shed tears for someone who doesn't exist not buying a car nobody wants.

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10 minutes ago, KongaMan said:

The flip side is that there won't be any corresponding correction in the cost of a restoration.  That is, the "restorable survivor" may be $15,000 when it used to be $25,000, but paint and parts aren't getting any cheaper, and labor costs aren't going to drop.  Which is to say that the old adage about buying the best car you can will be true more than ever.  IOW, you might be able to pick up someone's $100,000 restoration for $35,000, but it will still cost you $100,000 to get your project to that point even if your buy-in was a lot lower.  When you start looking at numbers like that, folks will quit restoring them.  Most folks understand that this hobby isn't an investment vehicle, but there's a difference between being slightly under water and being at the bottom of the ocean.

 

This is true and I understand that it's a source of a lot of frustration. I don't have an answer beyond either buying the nicest finished car you can afford or do as much work as you possibly can before seeking out professionals. Personally, having been on both sides of the fence, I like buying a mostly operational car and sorting it out to drive and not worrying about cosmetic perfection. My '41 Century will eventually be finished, but I will probably have to pay someone to do the rest rather than do as much of it as I wanted to when I started. Short of things like chrome plating and machine shop work, you can probably do it yourself if you have the patience and the time. And that's really all a professional restoration does--trades money for time.

 

You're right, the marginal-quality cars whose condition:cost ratio is out-of-whack are going to vanish. Sorry. Maybe we have all the 6-cylinder 1926 Chrysler sedans we need. Restoring another one doesn't really help anybody or anything unless you do it for the joy of working on the car, but that seems to be a different discussion. If the projects all got crushed and we were stuck with only the ones that currently exist as running cars, I think we still have more than enough to go around.

 

It's not really fair to complain about "the market" because we're all part of it. Nobody else is "ruining" it for you if you can't afford to get in and swim. No, what's actually keeping most guys out (whether they'll admit it or not) is a refusal to date an ugly chick. The coming market-correction will make nicer cars less expensive, but if you're still on a very tight budget, you're still going to have to "settle" for C-team cars. For instance, I bet 1927 Oldsmobile 4-door sedans are probably not worth much today, you can buy one of those (or an equivalent) for about what a 10-year-old Hyundai is worth. Do you actually want one? Meh, that's why they're worth very little. So not only will the costs adjust, but the expectations also have to adjust. You're just not going to find a Marmon Sixteen in a barn, ready and waiting for restoration, owned by a kindly old farmer who has no idea of its worth. You're not going to find a desirable open car of any kind in ready-to-drive condition for only a month or two of paychecks. However, you will probably find a slightly scruffy but presentable 1932 Hupmobile sedan for relative pennies. If you have very little to spend and want into the hobby and want a car that you can use without expensive restoration work, that's where you'll have to shop. It won't be something amazing, but it will be something presentable and usable. If you are willing to date an ugly girl, I bet she has a nice sense of humor and a good brain and you can still have a lot of fun with her and screw what anybody else thinks.


For what it's worth, I don't think the guys who own amazing cars have any more fun with them than I have in my bargain-basement Buick. And I can guarantee the guys who are dating models have LESS fun with them than I have with my smart, funny, charming wife who isn't a model.

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I agree Matt. The problem is that at the culling stage they get wiped out across the spectrum. And then when certain models  are 40+ years old and once again popular the parts cars are no where to be found. 

 Zoning laws, the civic minded and a certain attitude amongst some car people that all non running 25 year old cars should be sent straight to the crusher is to me very short sighted. 

 If you are going to keep the decent survivor cars running you need access to parts cars.

 I buy every 1960's 70's and 80's  Renault I can find for parts for my Lotus Europa. And I can tell you there are blasted few of them out there.  20 years ago you could barely give away a R8 or a Dauphine. These days you will have a line up for one in any condition.  Same nearly all the European imports. There is a small fan base for nearly all of them. But 20 years ago they were scrapped to near extinction. Makes life difficult today. 

Renault engine parts are reasonably available thanks to the interest in Gordini's and Alpine's. But when you see the price you think you are buying Italian exotic parts , not valve guides for some cheap little French economy car.

 Many deserve scrapping for just the reasons you quote, but one size usually does not fit all.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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Saving them all because someone, someday might need something is how those hoarders end up living in their own filth. It's not sustainable, no matter what you're talking about.

 

When my grandmother passed away, we found her attic was full of those little green plastic baskets that strawberries used to come in. She just thought those were too nifty and potentially useful to just throw away. Never found a use for them, but there they were nonetheless, ready for whatever re-purposing someone might find. THOUSANDS of them, collected for DECADES.

 

My point is that if the hobby is shrinking in number and the lower-end cars are getting cheaper, there should be enough supply to meet demand without needing to resort to basket cases just to get your foot in the door. And if you really do want a basket case because you love the work involved (which is truly amazing and admirable) then finding and/or making parts is part of the challenge that such people enjoy and embrace. If you want readily available parts, good road manners, attractive looks, and decent performance, buy a Model A. Basket cases are cheap, finished cars are cheap, cars in the middle are cheap, parts are cheap, and you can get anything you need with a phone call.

 

If, on the other hand, you want something unusual, yet still cheap, well, you're going to have to embrace that part of your personality and learn to live with it, because it isn't someone else's job to save you from yourself by keeping all the possible parts for all possible cars for all possible future restorers.

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Just for grins, I went on Hemmings.com and looked for pre war cars under $10,000. 371 hits. Narrowing it down to cars with photos, I still got more than 100. Some examples:

 

63007130-212-0.jpg

$7500

 

66581059-212-0.jpg

$8000 (actually for two cars)

 

66985483-212-0.jpg

$9500

 

66969262-212-0.jpg

$4000

 

66937838-212-0.jpg

$5000

 

66918384-212-0.jpg

$8500

 

66856929-212-0.jpg

$7500

 

53955964-212-0.jpg

$8950

 

61010719-212-0.jpg

$9750

 

55605646-212-0.jpg

$8950

 

66817403-212-0.jpg

$9900

 

66759988-212-0.jpg

$8950

 

66749165-212-0.jpg

$9900

 

66715361-212-0.jpg

$8500

 

65846730-212-0.jpg

$9000

 

65554764-212-0.jpg

$6500

 

64817071-212-0.jpg

$8900

 

64049504-212-0.jpg

$7950

 

61431699-212-0.jpg

$8750

 

66612973-212-0.jpg

$7000

 

66983137-212-0.jpg

$8000

 

Tales of the hobby's death at the low-end of the curve seem to be greatly exaggerated.

 

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Not that I do any of this for profit, far from it. But this whole thread is about dropping values. Focus on pre-war I know, but really a reflection across the hobby. Those danged truly odd ball Europa's have shot up in value over the last 5 years. And all those R16 TS engines and gearboxes  I bought at $50 or $100 a whole car are now worth several hundred $ a piece in core condition. After I sold off the Renault only parts and the hulk for scrap most of the power units were free. Not that I intend on cashing out, I use that engine in my street Europa and my Auto X car so from time to time need a casting or forging or two. If I hadn't laid in a decent stock of parts years ago it would be much more difficult to live with a orphan. Once I decide on a car I tend to be in for the long haul. A Europa owner since 1977. 

 Fords, Chevy's and Buicks are easy. And unusual imports aren't for everyone. But you might be surprised about how many embrace the non -mainstream.

 

That Dodge at the bottom looks like a great deal.

Greg 

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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6 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

 Fords, Chevy's and Buicks are easy. And unusual imports aren't for everyone. But you might be surprised about how many embrace the non -mainstream.

Greg 

 

That's a choice. It isn't anyone else's responsibility to accommodate you and maintain junkyards full of oddball cars and parts because you might need something off of one of them someday. You were smart, you stockpiled when you could--I think we all do that. But expecting 1) things to always stay the same price, and 2) to always be available is unreasonable. You chose this path. It isn't the market's fault or the hobby's fault or the economy's fault that the path led you to an expensive neighborhood where you don't feel welcome.

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43 minutes ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

You can have as much fun with a Model A as a Model J!  Well, almost anyway.  😉

 

Between 0 and 50 mph you are 100% right.   Plus you stole that line from someone.

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Had fun with cars and trucks that were survivors when that was not as popular or pricey as today (1937 Dodge 1/2t, 1964 Plymouth 4dr).  Sold both due to unexpected life changes.  Also had inexpensive 1960s and 1970s scooters and motorcycles for tinkering.  Always desired a 1953 Skylark or 1955 Nomad, never reached that level of investment but still had fun in the process!  

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Maybe the old cars will get modernized like wagons did.

image.png.606b4a9331b0e2f32a95c9639e1ca5bd.png

 

Electric motor in the Jeep and one wagon for batteries.  Might have to buy a federal license to certify the non-methane producing ox.

 

There has always been a work around.

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2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

but the hobby will survive it.

 

The hobby will survive. It is based on dogma. Fifty years of now following the pack has taught me that.

 

And I just got home from a nice ride along the Lake Ontario in this.

010.thumb.JPG.255427ddecb0e3a58b221f32bbf33b9f.JPG

 

Sitting in the garage right next to the '64 Riviera. They were both 15 year old cars when I bought them.

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One thing you latest commenters have forgotten is the amount of inflation there has been in the cost of things, and the salaries paid.  When I was making $7,000 a year that was pretty good money and $1700 for my old car was a really high price to pay.  A mint cream-puff 1936 Buick could be bought for $800, and a parts car was $25, maybe $50.  But that money was still hard to come buy on the meager income most middle income young Americans were making.  That $7,000 restoration the man above in the thread was an out-of-sight figure for a guy making that much in a whole year.  But there were ways like scrounging parts from dealership attics and selling at "flea markets".  In the 1970s you could buy a pickup truck load of NOS parts for $50.  Now "flea markets" outside of Carlisle and Hershey are mostly a thing of the past.  Restoration labor then was $6 to $10 an hour.  A high level upholsterer was thought to be high if he charged $10 an hour.  $25 an hour was unheard of.  But that $10 an hour took a loan on the guys life insurance.  So, Pal, that $7,000 was as hard to do as $27,000 or more is to do today.  But, you think the old guy who struggled and denied his family to afford $7,000 should NOT have any advantage of the current inflated values.  You just want him to give you what should be his earned value.  In my opinion your ideas are to beat the old guy, because he might be an easy mark.  So now you're making $35,000 a year, but you want to buy cars at the level they were when people like you made $7,000 a year.  That seems fair?  I don't think so.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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5 minutes ago, Dynaflash8 said:

So, Pal, that $7,000 was as hard to do as $27,000 or more is to do today.  But, you think the old guy who struggled and denied his family to afford $7,000 should have any advantage of the current inflated values.

No, I think the guy who denied his family so he could play with an old car had some misplaced priorities.  Furthermore, I might suggest that if that old car doesn't bring quite the reward that he thought it would, that's just karma biting him in the ass.

Edited by KongaMan (see edit history)
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Beating the old guy statement says this thread is going nowhere fast.  You can’t force people to buy something they don’t have an interest in owning.  If the market for certain prewar cars that used to sell for more dollars and aren’t getting that now is a statement of interest, not trying to take across the old guy. This forum is sympathetic to prewar cars but in reality it takes a mix of cars to keep the hobby alive, just like Matt Harwood is pointing out. 

 

My wife and I have been buying and selling antiques and collectibles for nearly 40 years.  What was hot and desirable at one time probably is not today and investment in them years ago at more money than they bring today is part of the business whether we like it or not.  Past is past, today is today.  I wish I would have bought a bunch of muscle cars when they were just another used car, especially when gas and insurance costs were hurting the market. Believe me, when I was in the hospital getting bad news by the bushel basket-fulls every day the absolute last thing on my mind was what I was going to get for the stuff in my garage.    Be glad you had what you did, whatever enjoyment it brought to you cherish, and enjoy the memories.

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2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Just for grins, I went on Hemmings.com and looked for pre war cars under $10,000. 371 hits. Narrowing it down to cars with photos, I still got more than 100. Some examples:

 

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$7500

 

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$8000 (actually for two cars)

 

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$9500

 

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$4000

 

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$5000

 

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$8500

 

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$7500

 

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$8950

 

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$9750

 

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$8950

 

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$9900

 

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$8950

 

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$9900

 

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$8500

 

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$9000

 

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$6500

 

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$8900

 

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$7950

 

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$8750

 

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$7000

 

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$8000

 

Tales of the hobby's death at the low-end of the curve seem to be greatly exaggerated.

 

 

 

 

Did you take a good look at those cars? They are all restoration projects... most need frame off. Some look nice if you look fast with their ''20 footer'' paint but when you turn the picture, yikes! I don't think seeing the road through the footwell is a good sign.  Some have not moved for decades.

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42 minutes ago, KongaMan said:

No, I think the guy who denied his family so he could play with an old car had some misplaced priorities.  Furthermore, I might suggest that if that old car doesn't bring quite the reward that he thought it would, that's just karma biting him in the ass.

Sorry Pal, but I'm tired of you cutting everything I say on this thread.  You go your way and I'll go mine. 

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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8 minutes ago, PreWarQc said:

 

Did you take a good look at those cars? They are all restoration projects... most need frame off. Some look nice if you look fast with their ''20 footer'' paint but when you turn the picture, yikes! I don't think seeing the road through the footwell is a good sign.  Some have not moved for decades.

And restoration rates today start at $75 an hour and go toward $150.  Maybe more, I don't know.  I recently paid $70 per hour and got a wonderful job too.  But, I think he was on the "reasonable" side.  That old '38 Olds looks like it was probably really solid when they put it in that barn, and nobody has messed over it trying to make it look good either.  They had a really neat (or is it cool?) dash too.

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21 minutes ago, PreWarQc said:

 

Did you take a good look at those cars? They are all restoration projects... most need frame off. Some look nice if you look fast with their ''20 footer'' paint but when you turn the picture, yikes! I don't think seeing the road through the footwell is a good sign.  Some have not moved for decades.

 

Your point being what, exactly? No car needs a frame-off restoration and if that's your only standard, well, enjoy riding the pine for the rest of your life. My only point is that there are operational pre-war cars available for prices that are not outrageous. Expecting inexpensive cars to also be perfect and desirable is not reasonable. However, I see more than a few cars that could be made road-worthy and fixed up at modest cost--the two 1941 Oldsmobiles and the 1941 Studebaker would be my choices, perhaps that Star/Durant. I don't figure they're turn-key, ready to show, but I also don't see evidence that they are basket cases and in need of massive amounts of capital and most of the ads say the cars are running and driving. More immediately, I sold the two Pontiacs below were great runners with minimal needs for $10,250 and $9200, respectively.

 

001.jpg001.jpg

 

This 8-cylinder Buick sold for $9500. It also drove beautifully and was a proven tour car with a fresh interior:

 

001.jpg

 

You want cheap pre-war cars, this is the market. No, they're not Pierce-Arrows and Packards and they're not convertibles or coupes. It looks like about $8000 is the floor for a complete pre-war car that can be made road-worthy with a modicum of effort. I didn't decide that, it is what it is. And if you compare it to days of yore when everything was so great, I bet the prices weren't all that different (bearing in mind that the value of a dollar was considerably different).

 

I'd love to have a 1934 Packard Twelve coupe/roadster. I can't afford one. So I buy stuff I can afford and do the best I can with what I've got and I have fun nevertheless. I bought a Buick that needed everything but paint, interior, and an engine rebuild, and made it into a great car. I bought a Cadillac that literally HAD been sitting for decades. Neither was a restoration project but neither was turn-key, ready-to-go, either. They didn't just magically fall into my lap as perfect cars at a deeply discounted price, I bought them because they were what I could afford and then, with some considerable effort, I pulled them back up to an acceptable standard.

 

Like I said, a big part of the problem with guys who complain that there are no affordable pre-war cars is that they're not willing to lower their standards to match their budget. That's not my fault.

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Matt's right, you have to decide if you want top shelf, or other. If other, there are good cars out there, you just have to be patient and flexible and yea maybe she isn't going to be a beauty queen. The old song " make an ugly women your wife, you'll be happy for the rest of your life " works for me.  Pre war sedans are cheap even Packard's, and if you are buying paint, chrome and sandpaper, they cost the same for a Model A, or a Packard. Over the top restorations are for the Pebble Beach crowd. Let them loose the money. I saw a 32 Packard convertible at Hershey last year for $ 1.3 M, and it had a lot of the same stuff my lowly 901 has, it was amazing to see the similarities. I bet that guy gets no more attention then I do, for a whole lot less money. Enjoy the hobby, and don't take it to seriously. Buy what you like, not what someone else likes, unless your like me, I had to buy a Packard, my wife spend 30 yrs working for Packard ( Electric ) so I had no choice.

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44 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

Your point being what, exactly? No car needs a frame-off restoration and if that's your only standard, well, enjoy riding the pine for the rest of your life. My only point is that there are operational pre-war cars available for prices that are not outrageous. Expecting inexpensive cars to also be perfect and desirable is not reasonable. However, I see more than a few cars that could be made road-worthy and fixed up at modest cost--the two 1941 Oldsmobiles and the 1941 Studebaker would be my choices, perhaps that Star/Durant. I don't figure they're turn-key, ready to show, but I also don't see evidence that they are basket cases and in need of massive amounts of capital and most of the ads say the cars are running and driving. More immediately, I sold the two Pontiacs below were great runners with minimal needs for $10,250 and $9200, respectively.

 

001.jpg001.jpg

 

This 8-cylinder Buick sold for $9500. It also drove beautifully and was a proven tour car with a fresh interior:

 

001.jpg

 

Those cars (from what I see) have little to do with the list you showed from Hemmings... Why try to prove your point by showing me (what seem to be) extremly good deals? Good deals are not representative of the market as a whole and are very rare.

 

 

 

44 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

You want cheap pre-war cars, this is the market. No, they're not Pierce-Arrows and Packards and they're not convertibles or coupes. It looks like about $8000 is the floor for a complete pre-war car that can be made road-worthy with a modicum of effort. I didn't decide that, it is what it is. And if you compare it to days of yore when everything was so great, I bet the prices weren't all that different (bearing in mind that the value of a dollar was considerably different).

 

Never said I wanted a Pierce-Arrow. I would of liked a model A but there is none in GOOD shape under 16-18k

 

 

 

44 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

Like I said, a big part of the problem with guys who complain that there are no affordable pre-war cars is that they're not willing to lower their standards to match their budget. That's not my fault.

 

I'm not complaining, I'm giving my opinion. Younger guys have more choice... they can buy something between 1900 and 2019... They can tune, mod, drag, drift, lowride. If I like a Model A JUST AS MUCH as a Supra, Camaro, Mustang, , why would I spend twice the amount to buy a model A? I'm going to have just as much fun with my Mustang and I'll probably meet more guys my age anyway... So THIS is the answer to the questions you guys ask youselves at your meets (why is there no younger guys here?) I'm ready to bet that its not out of lack of interest but rather when a young guy has 10 000$ to put on a car and sees (if he's interested in pre war cars) a rusted car from the 20's with mold all over the interior uphostery and then he sees a car from his youth like a Camaro IROCZ in near new condition for 10 000$ what do you think he'll choose?

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13 minutes ago, PreWarQc said:

Those cars (from what I see) have little to do with the list you showed from Hemmings... Why try to prove your point by showing me (what seem to be) extremly good deals? Good deals are not representative of the market as a whole and are very rare.

 

Disagree, and I know because I do this for a living. In fact, all of those cars took quite some time to sell. If they were screaming bargains and rare finds, they would have been snatched up quickly. All sat for well over six months waiting for new owners. And ultimately, the guy who bought one of the Pontiacs needed two visits to make sure it was right and his hang-up was that it wasn't perfect and cheaper. In fact, I offered one of those Pontiacs and the Buick to you during your last thread about "too much money, too little car."

 

14 minutes ago, PreWarQc said:

Never said I wanted a Pierce-Arrow. I would of liked a model A but there is none in GOOD shape under 16-18k

 

Sold this one for about $12,000, a MARC touring award winner:

 

001.jpg

 

And this handsome and unusual victoria, an older frame-off restoration, for $15,000:

 

001.jpg

 

If $18,000 was actually your threshold, you could have had this one (until last month), an AACA National First Prize winner:

 

001.jpg

 

Or either of these with overdrives (the coupe is still available, by the way):

 

001.jpg 001.jpg 

 

I don't feel that any of these was an unusually amazing bargain. If you couldn't find a really decent Model A for $16-18K, you simply weren't looking very hard. 

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