Dynaflash8

Is hobby interest in pre-WWII cars Dying?

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Licespray said:

 

 

Havent read the whole thread yet, but the last 5 or so posts above this one sure point out some stuff.

 

CCCA - they seem to only recognise cars they are well out of reach of the average Joe (for “full classics”.). That’s an issue.

 

AACA - People like the above where they say the hobby doesn’t need young people, despite the fact it’s population is rapidly dying out. Good luck getting new people when you don’t want new people. It’s a toxic attitude to dislike someone for their use of technology. I don’t use any of the Facebook, Twitter etc platforms either, but I have a basic understanding of them and sure do see their use. Facebook alone is responsible for killing off thousands of forums by making them redundant (although I much prefer forums, keeps information easier to find and more visible). Facebook (and I hate Facebook with a passion) has a huge market place, and gives huge exposure. It’s incredibly stupid to not advertise something for sale in places where it’ll get the most exposure based on your personal biases.

 

As for is interest in pre war cars waning; I’ll say no. It’s just the prices are getting too high for most.

 

Cheers,

Troy.

Troy: A 1940 or 1941 Buick Series 71 sedan is now a CCCA Full Classic.  You cab buy a decent driver quality one of those for $12-14,000.    That the price of a decent paint job, and maybe a pretty good one.  The days are and should be over for a nice $600 pre-War cream-puff car are long since over.....since the mid-sixties in fact.    But, I think that is what people seem to be longing for.  The real point is that a 1939 Buick 4dr convertible like mine but in desperate need of a new top was sold at an RM Auction in 2015 for $50,000.  I was there and saw it happen.  Now, three years later my car with a new top and some badges, although old now, people are trying to tell me $37,500 would be a really high price for it.  I was told tonight that a pre-war Buick sedan is lucky to sell at auction now for the price of a good paint job.....and he said, worse, people are taking it.  So, I don't think there is much question about interest in pre-war cars (the ones that brought us through World War II and well into the 1950s) is dying and fast, and the population of older people who drove them as first cars or family cars is dying off with the interest in them.  You can't argue with facts.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, 1912Staver said:

Yes Bernie, money is not hard to get. But it all needs to be eventually  paid back; with interest, although these days that part is not so painful as it once was. Now that I am retired debt is something I personally avoid unless a true deal of a lifetime miraculously appears.

 The old car price slump still hasn't effected my local market. Asking prices are still generally  quite high, although it's hard to tell if anyone is actually finding a buyer. Perhaps another few years are necessary.  There are still too many empty nester's around here that downsized their house over the last 3 or 4 years and have a very substantial bucket list bank balance.  For some of them an old car is still on the list so prices ; optimistic or not, seem to me to be very strong. I hope to stay in my present home up to the end so no windfall gain for me. In any case the local property bubble finally seems to be deflating so it would not be much of a payoff anyway, plus a ton of work to relocate.

 

 

 

Greg in Canada

Hi Greg,

I know you've said how living in certain parts of the country is a Catch-22 where you have some advantages, but pre-war cars & shows are 1000s of miles away. Have you heard of the Buick for sale not far from the HBC Post Fort Langley? It's a 1930. I'll copy the text from the May AutaBuy Magazine,  pg 163.

 

"1930 Buick Landau Coupe. Rumble seat. For restoration. Big 6-cyl, w.b.134". Body in excellent cond., no rust or dents. Engine is out of car & 98% complete. Call or e-mail for details. 8,000 USD. benheinhuis@hotmail.com 604-534-Four Eight 99."

 

Someplace called Langley, BC, Canada. 

Edited by jeff_a
typo (see edit history)

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23 minutes ago, Dynaflash8 said:

Troy: A 1940 or 1941 Buick Series 71 sedan is now a CCCA Full Classic.  You cab buy a decent driver quality one of those for $12-14,000.    That the price of a decent paint job, and maybe a pretty good one.  The days are and should be over for a nice $600 pre-War cream-puff car are long since over.....since the mid-sixties in fact.    But, I think that is what people seem to be longing for.  The real point is that a 1939 Buick 4dr convertible like mine but in desperate need of a new top was sold at an RM Auction in 2015 for $50,000.  I was there and saw it happen.  Now, three years later my car with a new top and some badges, although old now, people are trying to tell me $37,500 would be a really high price for it.  I was told tonight that a pre-war Buick sedan is lucky to sell at auction now for the price of a good paint job.....and he said, worse, people are taking it.  So, I don't think there is much question about interest in pre-war cars (the ones that brought us through World War II and well into the 1950s) is dying and fast, and the population of older people who drove them as first cars or family cars is dying off with the interest in them.  You can't argue with facts.

 

 

Heya,

 

My mistake. Based my CCCA comment off of the cars I’ve read about that were listed, rather than looking at their (CCCA’s) actual list (which was a dumb move on my behalf. Ill informed comment).

 

Also, hope you manage to move your car on soon. I’m 27 and like it, but I never liked 30’s/40’s cars and now they are slowly growing on me :)

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Actually I know Ben and his Buick quite well. I talk to him weekly . It's a very worthy car but needs a fairly comprehensive restoration.  It is probably worth the $8,000.00 asking price but only if you have the further $30,000.00 it needs to be a usable car again. And spare time for probably 5 + years to restore it.

Tons of potential but a big commitment .

 

Greg 

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1 minute ago, mike6024 said:

That couldn't possibly be a typo, could it?

 

It's a 1930, last year for the 6.

 

Greg

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18 minutes ago, Licespray said:

Those cars were finally approved after a long battle.  That was August 2017.  Also  some of the 1940-1941 Cadillac 62 sedans are pretty reasonable too.  Earl

 

Heya,

 

My mistake. Based my CCCA comment off of the cars I’ve read about that were listed, rather than looking at their (CCCA’s) actual list (which was a dumb move on my behalf. Ill informed comment).

 

Also, hope you manage to move your car on soon. I’m 27 and like it, but I never liked 30’s/40’s cars and now they are slowly growing on me :)

 

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From my vantage point, I will say that interest in Prewar cars is not dying. Like all commodities, prices go up an down. At the moment, the prices seem to be down a bit for these cars. The recent auction results almost make me wish I had been there. I could have afforded another 1937 Buick (although I don't have a need or space for another). The economic downturn in 2008 is still affecting the amount of disposable income that a lot of potential collectors have to spend on a hobby car. At the moment, it is a lot easier to sell less expensive cars than those in the price range of Earl's convertible sedan. In my capacity as newsletter editor and webmaster for the 36-38 Buick Club, I have recently seen a number of prewar Buicks sold. Those in the $7,500 to $20,000 range seem to be selling much more quickly than those over $20,000 or so. Good drivable Buicks that can be purchased for less than $20,000 sell well. The higher priced nicely restored examples seem to be a bit more difficult to sell at the moment. There are still plenty of people who like them, but there are just not as many who can afford to buy them at the moment. With that situation, the demand is down. Supply is up, and with more elderly owners planning to downsize, as well as plenty of estate sales, the supply will not be going down very soon. With higher supply and lower demand, the prices are currently down. In time, they will rebound, but I don't expect that to happen as quickly as a potential seller would prefer. There are still plenty of younger potential collectors who are or will be interested in prewar cars, but most of them will not be able to afford a high dollar collector car for a while.      

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Posted (edited)

Matt: So it seems like the old people are the ones to suffer after assembling a lifetime collection, large or small huh?  That sucks.  I never thought much about it until I got old.  I put a lifetime into this hobby, and more than it would cost to buy a nice 2200 sq ft suburban home, (on the East Coast that is 😀) hoping to make this hobby better.  They call me the father of the AACA Sentimental Tour. <smile>  That was about as hard to achieve as getting the 1940 and 1941 Buick 70 Series cars accepted by CCCA. "As the old man used to say", (My Dad's favorite saying), "Oh well".  They don't call me "Buy High, Sell Low Earl" for nothing.  Maybe I'll just let my car sit in the garage until really is worth nothing.  We'll see, as  Trump likes to say.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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Earl,

 

I seem to have spent a lot of time buying high and selling low too. Maybe that is why you and I are friends. Luckily for me, I should still have a couple of decades to enjoy driving my prewar Buicks. I probably have more money in my 1937 Century than I should, but I have had a lot of fun with it. By the time I finish restoring the 1938 Century it will cost me more than I can probaby ever sell it for, but after a couple of decades in the hobby, I wanted to be able to say that I had done a total restoration. 

 

A lot of people invested a lot of money in a lot of different items, not just antique cars, that turned out to not be great financial investments. At least with antique cars, you can have fun in the hobby. 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, 1912Staver said:

Actually I know Ben and his Buick quite well. I talk to him weekly . It's a very worthy car but needs a fairly comprehensive restoration.  It is probably worth the $8,000.00 asking price but only if you have the further $30,000.00 it needs to be a usable car again. And spare time for probably 5 + years to restore it.

Tons of potential but a big commitment .

 

Greg 

Dang. Thought I found one you never heard of. You & Mike caught my 1930/1990 typo, too; both will take you from point A to point B, but the former a little more stylishly, IMO! If Earl had a 16-year-old granddaughter....wouldn't she rather be dropped off at the Prom or Jewel Ball in a 1930s Buick than a 1990?

 

Image result for used 1990 buick

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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Matt, I've had a lot of fun in the hobby, just not in South Central Florida.  Judy and I plan to look at a house in Live Oak, FL, near Lake City next week.  I just don't think I can afford to move all my junk, and I'm pretty daggone sure without friends like I had in Virginia and next door here, who have gone on to that place in the sky or a nursing home I simply can't put another house back together by myself.  They do tell me my upcoming heart surgery should make me as good as new again though......according to others who have done it.

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an auction car sells for 50k...................big surprise.

 

did you add in the auctioneers cut???????????????

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1 hour ago, mercer09 said:

an auction car sells for 50k...................big surprise.

 

I didn't see the post you were referencing?   There is significant cost to sending a car to auction.  If you see a 50k sale price at auction,  take off 10% of that as the buyers fee (advertised sale price includes commissions,  which is different than the hammer price).   Deduct another 5% (or more) for sellers fee.   Usually the entry fee is another 500-1500.   Not to mention the cost of getting the car there.   There is a hidden cost of bringing it and having it not sell too.  

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dyna talking about the one that went large......................................

 

gold once hit 1900. for about a day................ not getting that today.

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Lots of collectors bought high and they or their estates sell low.  I have been buying literature from estates for the last few years.  Some guys brought it home from the dealership years ago and their families or them make out well.  Others amassed a collection over their life and sometimes at very high prices.  Now they are liquidating them.  One very well documented collection I bought part of, had prices paid,  date and from whom it was bought on a note in every piece.  I can tell you, other than the low buck stuff they bought for under 10.00 and that might have been 10.00 back in the 70's many of their items have sold for 10 to 20 percent of what they paid.  That's what I sold them for,  so the estate I bought them from got even less.   I've heard toys and seen lunchboxes have done the same.  Unless it's ultra rare and desirable,  the world wide web has driven down prices as the availability is there.   Maybe even so with cars.  Lots of options where in the old days,  you got the trader once a week or Hemmings once a month and that was it,  limiting to only what was listed.  So guys jumped on stuff like your Buick because they didn't see any for sale so if they had an inkling yours was it.  You couldn't easily punch in Convertible,  put a price and size of the area search limit and see what came up like now,  where you will be presented with cars you didn't even think about that catch the casual buyer's eye more than yours. 

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

 

I didn't see the post you were referencing?   There is significant cost to sending a car to auction.  If you see a 50k sale price at auction,  take off 10% of that as the buyers fee (advertised sale price includes commissions,  which is different than the hammer price).   Deduct another 5% (or more) for sellers fee.   Usually the entry fee is another 500-1500.   Not to mention the cost of getting the car there.   There is a hidden cost of bringing it and having it not sell too.  

Al: Using your figures the worst case scenario is that the guy ended up with $43500.  What I really wanted was $43500.  So that would have worked great for me, even $42500, okay?  I was hoping it would bring that same $50,000 by the dealer, because dealers can sell cars for 15-20 grand more than owners.....otherwise there would be no dealers....only makes sense.  So, now I've gotten a reprieve from my doctor.  I can go out of town whenever I want until I see the heart doctor on June 14, and then he goes on vacation the next week.  So my time frame has lengthened.  My dealer is trying to work a deal now, so I may give him a little more time.  I really do not want to sell the car myself.  I sold my 41 Roadmaster 4dr covertible and my wife's 71 Riviera myself but the people came to me...I didn't have to sell them.  So, now for the big news.  I had a picture of the '39 4dr convertible on my trophy shelf and never realized it was there until I happened to notice it last night.  It was taken before I put my Trippe lights on it.  Most of  you have all damned the Trippe lights on the car.  So I scanned the picture in as a jpg.  The PDF came up much better, but you can't attach a PDF here.  Picture has some age on it so don't rely on the color shade.

Scan_0009.jpg

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The car hobby is like a life time collection of Kodachrome's. They ought to write a song about that.

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That whole auction problem is if you don't sell it,  you are now another say nearly 3G in the hole so a car you couldn't sell for say 40 you will now definitely not sell for 43 so you effectively take the hit and lose another 3G only to sour you that much more. 

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7 minutes ago, Dynaflash8 said:

I was hoping it would bring that same $50,000 by the dealer, because dealers can sell cars for 15-20 grand more than owners.....

 

Never, Earl, confuse dealers' high asking prices

with actual prices realized.  Why would any car hobbyist

pay $15,000 or $20,000 more to a dealer?

 

If a dealer really could achieve high prices regularly,

he should pay more for the car in the first place.

Wouldn't, for instance, a cash-strapped widow like an

extra $10,000 to live on?  "Ma'am, these cars bring

good prices at my dealership.  You're asking too little!"

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Posted (edited)

Yeah John, you never know the game completely.  I certainly don't.  I just know the man sold my last car that I sold, and I was happy with the deal to me.  This one is obviously harder.  It's also about 100times rarer.  Also, I guess there are old-time hobby collectors like you and me and newer people with the wear-with-all just entering the hobby.  Many of those people have only seen the hobby by watching Barrett-Jackson or "Chasing Classic Cars" on TV.  Those people probably aren't reading our threads here.  Whatever I sell this car for will go into mutual funds where my wife and I can earn a monthly check for the rest of our lives.  That will give us back some of the money lost here.  I have three cars now that can go on each of the AACA National Tours I care about or the more local CCCA Tours.  So, I don't need two that can only do the same thing the others can do in AACA.  Haul a convertible and you need a closed trailer.  And, the two pre-war sedans can go on an open trailer if I decide to keep the truck awhile longer.  A closed trailer is nice, but it is bulky to haul.  But, to be frank, I don't think somebody much over 80 should be pulling any trailer.  Some say the older cars should be able to drive wherever you want to go.  But think about that.  Tours 1,000 to 1,500 miles away.....no parts availability and no mechanics who have a clue about how to work on a Buick straight 8 with a closed driveshaft.  I found out with the 71 Riviera there were no mechanics who knew how to install points and condenser.  Yeah, I know, I should have known how, but I'm a five thumb mechanic and always have been.  Most of my friends who were good mechanics are dead or disabled now.  Think about it.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)

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38 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

That whole auction problem is if you don't sell it,  you are now another say nearly 3G in the hole so a car you couldn't sell for say 40 you will now definitely not sell for 43 so you effectively take the hit and lose another 3G only to sour you that much more. 

 

Yeah,  I was alluding to the hidden costs of not selling.   Sometimes the buyer for your car is not in the room that day, or there is not two guys to get the price in selling range.  But your car can be stigmatized by the low bid associated with the no sale.

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50 minutes ago, Dynaflash8 said:

Al: Using your figures the worst case scenario is that the guy ended up with $43500.  What I really wanted was $43500.  So that would have worked great for me, even $42500, okay?  I was hoping it would bring that same $50,000 by the dealer, because dealers can sell cars for 15-20 grand more than owners.....otherwise there would be no dealers....only makes sense. 

 

If you are up to it,  you may need to hand sell on your own with a starting price around the 43,500.   My experience with dealers has been generally positive, and I understand the value they add to the transaction.   Cleaning the car, proper photography,  proper description and dealing with all the idiots that would drive me insane makes the 5-7% worth it to me.   Maybe not to everybody though.

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If you have something ultra rare that's siblings are constantly moving the bench mark higher,  then an auction is probably the way to go especially if you have not nearly what they are bringing in it,  so a down day wouldn't crush you,  but when working on the low end,  unless the goal is to strictly liquidate, then probably not a wise decision to send to auction. 

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Old car guys discussing the current prices of cars and the one they bought 40 or 50 years ago may not be the most objective.

 

Bring in an observer like my Wife. Tell her "Bernie bought that '64 Riviera for about two grand 40 years ago and and he says they are selling in the mid $30,000's today. He's figuring maybe the high 20's if he sells it." Mona Lisa didn't roll her eyes when she gave that little smile.

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

If you are up to it,  you may need to hand sell on your own with a starting price around the 43,500.   My experience with dealers has been generally positive, and I understand the value they add to the transaction.   Cleaning the car, proper photography,  proper description and dealing with all the idiots that would drive me insane makes the 5-7% worth it to me.   Maybe not to everybody though.

I certainly am not hard up to sell it.  I just want not to be responsible for a 4th old Buick that provides me only with the same options as my high school first car, which is absolutely not for sale.  And, I'd like to repaint that one...the blue '39.  So, I thought with the "thought-to-be" profit in the yellow convertible I could afford to waste some of it on a new paint job for the blue one and add the rest to my mutual fund income.  This dealer did good for me once, and three times for one of my friends.  Of course my friend had two 1958 Pontiac Bonneville's, one a convertible which sold immediately.  He also repairs problems with the cars he sells before they go out the door and no cost to the seller.  He has a full shop in an old Lincoln Dealership building.  I don't think pre-War cars are in his bread basket, but he does sell them.  Low mileage later model cars in the sixties and seventies are in his bread-basket.  I probably set my aims too high to begin with based on all I'd read about since I was 14 about how rare cars and convertibles were worth so much more.  It might have been true once, but I think I let the best of times pass me by.  If I was dabbling in real estate I could have made a killing in 2005, but that same house today would be worth $100,000 or more less than it was then.  Then is then and now is now.  I don't think I really anticipated that.

 

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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