Dynaflash8

Is hobby interest in pre-WWII cars Dying?

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49 minutes ago, pwlovely said:

What is the price?

That could put and end to this thread. 

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22 hours ago, Licespray said:

 

But a hobby shouldn’t be about making money, should be about enjoying what you have :) (on the topic of spending more to restore than its worth, so I’m saying it’s good to spend more than worth to save a vehicle. Will hopefully get the chance to do that with a 4cyl Willy’s Knight).

 

If no one bothered to restore cars because they “aren’t worth the cost”, then there’d be waaaaay less old vehicles surviving, and no matter how common they may be, that’s still a loss IMO, when they could have been saved but everyone went “not worth it.”.

I have a great admiration for those with passion to restore things and end up backwards in the cost, but realistically I prefer not to work all day to earn an income to purposely loose that money. 

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16 hours ago, edinmass said:

 

Not in the seat next to me!😎

 

As crazy as this sounds, we are very occupied when on the tour...........so I really don’t pay much attention to the best  roadside spots. I think your best bet is to walk the line of cars in front of the Gooding tent till 830, and then I would head to Carmel as fast as possible to get a parking spot and watch the cars come into town for lunch. 

 

I agree with the Carmel Part but how is he going to get in front of the Gooding tent without a pass?

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32 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

I agree with the Carmel Part but how is he going to get in front of the Gooding tent without a pass?

No problem in 2016 and 2018, must be due to the great looks of my daughter. 

 

Bob 

DSCF0271.JPG

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Thursday lineup in front of the Gooding tent is free and open to the public. I never said going into the tent.........for that you need a bidders pass.

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2 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

I have a great admiration for those with passion to restore things and end up backwards in the cost, but realistically I prefer not to work all day to earn an income to purposely loose that money. 

 

I lose money on all my hobbies, why should an old car be different? My main goal in a leisure time activity is to enjoy the time I spend doing it, not to break even or make money.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, ply33 said:

 

I lose money on all my hobbies, why should an old car be different? My main goal in a leisure time activity is to enjoy the time I spend doing it, not to break even or make money.

 

Agreed. I think that is exactly what drives a lot of the frustration in the hobby--the need to turn it into profits. Why? Why does one "need" to get all one's money back? You've had your fun, should that be free? Amusement parks aren't free. Concerts aren't free. Cruises aren't free. Sporting events aren't free. Why does everyone seem to think that they're entitled to free entertainment from the hobby and maybe even some profit on the side?

 

People ask me all the time what a good car to "invest" in would be, and I tell them that they should drive down the road throwing $20s out the window for a while just to get a feel for what owning an old car is like. They usually laugh, but it at least opens their minds to the idea that owning an old car isn't an investment. 

 

IT IS NOT AN INVESTMENT.

 

If you're not doing it because you love the car, then don't do it. There are surely some people who can and do make money at it (and I'm not counting me because it's a little different) but most people lose money in this hobby. Many people, including myself, lose A LOT of money (I've lost more than $40,000 just in the last 12 months playing with old cars, money that I'll never get back and I'm actually HAPPIER now). You need to wrap your head around the idea that it's normal to spend money on an old car and never see it again. Don't worry, it's OK.

 

I liken owning an old car to taking a vacation. Spend the money and the time, make some great memories with your family, relax and enjoy yourself. But unlike a vacation, at the end you can sell your souvenirs. Wow! What other hobby gives you so much fun and gives you back some or even most of your money? Not many! If we were golfers we'd spend tens of thousands of dollars on clubs and memberships and goofy clothes and other ancillaries and have nothing more to show for it beyond a sunburn and a hangover. Makes being a part of the old car hobby seem pretty amazing, doesn't it? 

 

IT IS NOT AN INVESTMENT. YOU ARE NOT DOING THIS FOR PROFIT. THE HOBBY DOESN'T OWE YOU ANYTHING FOR BEING HERE. 

 

Whatever the cars are worth is what they're worth. If you're still living in a house with food on the table and your family is healthy and happy, then you've done your job and done it well. Selling a hobby car should be considered found money, a bonus, icing on the cake of all the fun you've had along the way. 

 

Isn't that enough? 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Agree with Ply33 and Matt for 95% of us.  I get the emphasis though for those whose hobby makes up for a significant part of their net worth, it's tough to ignore if one is in that position.  Yes, it is a hobby but a little different than, say, pond boats(which are kind of cool..)

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Posted (edited)

Certainly it's a valid point you raise Matt. It is just a hobby and personally I have never considered the hobby as a way of making money. 

 However collectors in many different areas of interest offset the out of pocket cost with horse trading. And the basic investing principle of buy and hold.

 It is a fact that if you have participated in the hobby for a number of decades; like some on this forum have, that from time to time you encounter cars that for one reason or another are undervalued / offered at a very good price.

 I generally don't buy things purely for resale however at times it can be financially rewarding to put all that decades long knowledge and experience into a paying position.

 On the few occasions I have dabbled in this area the profits have always been re invested in the hobby. And now that I am retired I now have more time and less money, why not re focus at least a bit of attention to offsetting the hobby's overall cost.

 And one can't deny that dealers have played a role in the runaway pricing of segments of the "hobby". Back in the 1970's and earlier there were relatively few dealers in the hobby car arena. Prices rose but slowly.  Now there are many, the profit and overhead cost has to come from the pockets of hobbyist's. It has to add to inflation of the cost of the hobby over time.

  All those cars that have appreciated out of reach of most of us made someone money. Sometimes a lot of money. Why should the hobby always be a direct sinkhole for cash for the little guys ? 

 Like I have always said , all those cars that priced out of my reach over the last 40 years are not important to me because they are now expensive. They were important to me when they were within reach. If I had of bought a few at 1982 prices I still would not be selling them even though many have seen at least a tenfold increase in price. Over the same period of time my income possibly tripled.  I would be using and enjoying them until the end of my days. And I would be just as happy if they only increased in price scantly. It's the car that is important, not the price tag. At least in my household. 

If you find a Lotus 11,or 23 or early Elva at a 1982 price please give me a call, you have my word I won't flip it. In fact I will even leave it to you in my will. Last time I went to look at a Lotus 23 for sale it was 1981. The car was partially dismantled but all genuine, the price was $2500.00. I had just started back to University and couldn't swing the Lotus and tuition both. By the time I had finished school all those cars and many more had climbed aboard the price elevator, never to be in my reach again. These days they are $150,000.00 ish, don't try to tell me someone along the line didn't have a very big payday.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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On a profit  percentage basis you can't compare flipping parts over cars. Bob 

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Posted (edited)

I also find it slightly amusing that a person may go and spend $60K on a new 1T diesel truck. To pull $40K restored car. 

 

5 years later get upset because they sold their car for $20K. Their is worth $30K. But that’s fine. New trucks all gown down in value. 

 

Or spend $1K+ a year golfing. Another $1K on ski passes, plus new ski gear.  Then there’s entertainment. Oh, then the boat get serviced. Then it burns lots of fuel. Wakeboards. Easy to hit a $4k/year year hit.  Yet, the darn vintage car dropped from $40K to $20K in 5 years. That’s unacceptable!

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

Agreed. I think that is exactly what drives a lot of the frustration in the hobby--the need to turn it into profits. Why? Why does one "need" to get all one's money back? You've had your fun, should that be free? Amusement parks aren't free. Concerts aren't free. Cruises aren't free. Sporting events aren't free. Why does everyone seem to think that they're entitled to free entertainment from the hobby and maybe even some profit on the side?

 

People ask me all the time what a good car to "invest" in would be, and I tell them that they should drive down the road throwing $20s out the window for a while just to get a feel for what owning an old car feels like. They usually laugh, but it at least opens their minds to the idea that owning an old car isn't an investment. 

 

IT IS NOT AN INVESTMENT.

 

 

Agree 100%. 

 

I think what makes it hard for some people is the suspicion that other people have made a lot of money this way.  If Joe down the street brags that he bought that Porsche 356 for 10K and sold it ten years later for 80K, then you start to think that you're a sucker if you're losing money. 

 

It doesn't help that there are some within the hobby who push the investment angle   For example, the website of a classic car dealer that seems to have a lot of nice cars includes this passage: 

 

Exotic cars are not only immensely enjoyable to own, they can also be fine investments, with prices rising year after year. As [our company's] customer reviews will assure you, we provide top-notch service and premium quality cars to investment car buyers the world over. With 5 decades of experience, we truly are one of the best partners you can choose to help you find and purchase your next investment vehicle.

 

Ugh.

 

 

Edited by 1935Packard (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, 1912Staver said:

Like I have always said , all those cars that priced out of my reach over the last 40 years are not important to me because they are now expensive. They were important to me when they were within reach. If I had of bought a few at 1982 prices I still would not be selling them even though many have seen at least a tenfold increase in price. Over the same period of time my income possibly tripled.

Funny you mention 1982.  In 1982 I sold my AACA Senior 1941 Buick Limited for $13,500 and paid off my mortgage on my house I bought in 1966.  I also owned my '39 Buick convertible sedan at the time.  I had fully restored the Limited, but not in a professional shop.  All of the NOS parts, both chrome and mechanical, had come from my own stock that I'd purchased on the cheap from dealers from Maryland, Virginia and W.Virginia.  I've never had another mortgage although I've moved several times.  The house brought $132+ in 1992.  That 1941 Buick Limited, today, would fetch between $40-50,000 I think.  I have a friend who has owned many 1955-57 Chevrolets and claims he's never lost a dollar on any of them.  So, I guess it depends on what turns you on and what you own, also.  I am sure the '39 convertible has appreciated over these many years, and yes there probably is some jealousy on my part that it won't bring what I've seen others like it bring.  As they said in the song "you've got to know when to hold them, and know when to fold them."  The object of this thread in the beginning was to point out that I think pre-war non-Classic cars have gone over to the other side of the mountain and the value is going down now, no longer appreciating.  I agree with every word that Matt Harwood has said.  It's only my fault that I've waited too long to get the maximum price for my car, by at least five years if not more.   If my luck remains how it's always been, there will be a rebirth in interest in pre-war cars that our parents or grandparents drove though WWII; cars that served them well for 10-15 years.  That would mean they experience a rebirth by the younger generation and I'll have sold the car too cheap.  That is, if I can sell it before I die. 🙂   HAPPPY MEMORIAL DAY TO ALL OF OUR VETERANS WHO SERVED SO WE CAN ENJOY ANTIQUE & CLASSIC CARS.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

 

The original question was whether interest in pre-war cars is dying. I'd say no... but that the market is simply changing and, at the moment, they aren't the hot commodity. Why anyone should imagine that all old cars are precious and that they all will appreciate endlessly baffles me. No commodity, especially one whose value is as subjective as an old car, does that. Nevertheless, I've been following an ebay auction that, coincidentally is in the next town to me, for an unrestored 1925 Studebaker. I was attracted to this because unlike so many, there was no reserve so it would be a real auction - for a 2-door sedan from the most awkward period, supposedly running (but we don't know how well) and not for some time. Based on what I've read here over the past several years, it would be greeted with a chorus of "you'll be underwater in no time" or worse... Nevertheless, there were 11 bidders placing 73 bids and the car eventually sold for $6,259.00 - more than I would have guessed and only about $1000 less than the asking price for a non-running but complete 1926 Chrysler 70 Roadster two weeks ago. Both cars sold - perhaps for less than would have been expected a few years ago unless the sellers were unusually realistic but they still found buyers. A drop in prices provides a new opportunity for would-be enthusiasts who would otherwise be excluded. I don't buy the notion that any old car will do...if I had to settle for a Model T or Model A, or a 1950s, 1960s or 70s anything, I would just loose interest and go elsewhere.

 

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Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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A friend of mine offered me this 1926 Essex with 3,000 miles on it for a price under $10,000. A neat old car, but in today's traffic it would be risky to drive. It is hard to find a country road where someone is not riding on your bumper at 60 MPH. And I have been passed at that speed by trucks towing travel trailers. My Wife couldn't believe it.

 

I wanted to buy the car and make a movie. My Son has skills in that area. The low mileage was due to its life in the backroom of an Alaskan hardware store. A couple of businessmen had bought six of them to fill the lack of vehicles they perceived in that state. It turned out they couldn't sell the cars because there were no roads to drive them on. My idea was to set up the same series of misinformed blunders by a couple of speculators in the low mileage antique market today, overlaying the same "get rich quick" scheme. It would have been worth buying the car but my Son wasn't interested.

Then I would have had a celebrity movie car to sell!

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Posted (edited)

There is a definite question of how much use you can get from a 1920's car. As Bernie points out above actually driving a 1920's car ; especially a lower end of the market , closed car , can be a very uncomfortable experience.  For many of us true semi deserted , country roads may be many miles away. Higher quality cars ; especially open cars with decent 360 degree visibility , will often be a bit more speedy than lesser steeds, and overall a much more enjoyable experience. 

 That Studebaker or Essex above probably start to feel a bit dodgy above 40 mph, less than many farm tractors these days. I think it is this limited speed potential that leads to many of the cars in this class  ending up as street rods. Then they can be driven at normal traffic flow speeds.

 Higher quality cars might be able to maintain 60 mph in very light traffic ,accounting for safe braking considerations. That extra 20 mph can reduce the stress other drivers and being overtaken  produce. And unrestricted vision is also a definite confidence builder.

 There are numerous 20's cars I like and would consider owning, but none of them in a closed body style.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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I agree - the car isn't one I'd be interested in but that was a good part of why I watched it... IF I were to buy another car, I'd be looking for a Cadillac or a Franklin or some other generally unappreciated larger car. An open one would almost certainly be beyond my means but I like sedans. I don't think it would be much more expensive to buy. I remember an early 1920s Pierce-Arrow sedan a few years ago that went for less than 10,000 - if it sold at all. Had it not been on the west coast, I may have bid on it. And yes...I've heard all the rhetoric about what it costs to restore...but buying a restored example is absolutely out of the question. It's the mechanical aspects of the car that interest me, not the bodywork and, if edinmass's opinion is valuable (it is to me) very few of the restored big cars are mechanically sound.

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24 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

 if edinmass's opinion is valuable (it is to me) very few of the restored big cars are mechanically sound.

When Ed says such, I tend to agree:  I am somewhat careful about not taking on too much cosmetics on 30's cars as generally speaking by the time I have them ready to take touring for several hundred miles in a day (and keep them that way), there is not much time, money, or interest left for the cosmetics.  I am not sure this just applies to 30's cars, but really applies to anything = I have found very few cars that you do not have to get into them mechanically to some degree (even if they just came off a Glidden tour or ... yesterday).  I will not say the work is bad, I will only say more that the work is not 100% matched to wear, parts availability, parts quality, and ...    I will say, it is a blast to take decent original cars and go through them mechanically whether to a level for a trip around the block or the level of a trip around the Country - or at least I enjoy it. 

 

By the way, I enjoyed reading the comments about willing to loose money on hobbies - hate to say it, but if you equally read through some of the same peoples past comments on various topics there may some do as I say and not as I do applying here, so perhaps the better expression should be "we are willing to loose money on hobbies, but we equally try not to loose money if it can be helped."

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Very interesting thread! I have enjoyed reading through it.

 

This seems like the only hobby I ever came across that has a huge segment of hobbyist that are afraid of loosing money. It is a hobby! Do model railroaders worry about loosing money? R/C plane? Golfers, Boaters, Fisherman, Hunters, and on and on...…. The hobbies I mentioned are loosing financial propositions from the start, there is no way to recoup any of the financial outlay back. I have noticed that the hobby has a attracted a new segment of what I like to call "day traders"

With any car pre war or post war the condition and quality will dictate the market value.

 

I have owned a few pre-war vehicles I the past 40 years and I do agree that conditions to drive them has become limited, too many people are self absorbed and must be looking at their cell phone every second they can. I sold my 31 Chevy at Hershey about 5 years ago because I almost got broadsided twice by drivers that were distracted. I still long for a Model A at one point in the future, just because my Father had a few in the 70's and I had great memories and fun. 

 

If people are concerned about loosing money or not making a profit then they should find another hobby. Having done a few high end restorations on a few of my cars I knew it was going to be loosing proposition going in, but I also knew it was going to be  a lot of fun restoring them.

If anyone got into this hobby for an investment, they are a fool, and must have more money then brains or watch way too much TV

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4 minutes ago, John348 said:

Do model railroaders worry about loosing money?

Get them on the topic of their brass locomotives.

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How about the people that brag about loosing money in the stock market, I've never understood that one. 

 

 

Bob 

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Interesting read. I suspect the truth for many of us is somewhere in the middle. Personally, I couldn'y afford to play with cars if they didn't have value. The fact that I can buy basket cases, rebuild them and have the joy of bringing them back from the dead, then sell them and recoup at least most of my money, if not all, makes it worthwhile. We have been told that antique cars are a better investment than stocks for several years and all kinds of traders have speculated. Cars are bought on the east coast and sold on the west coast for a profit.

 

Some years ago a friend restored a mid 30s Hudson coupe/ roadster. He took it to an action and got 60,000 for it. Turns out the auctioneer bought it and took it to the next auction where it brought 80. He no selled it and advertised it in the next auction where it brought a higher price but once again he didn't let it go. I think it finally brought around 120 and he let it go. Maybe those days are gone but how would I know? Why shouldn't I expect my car to increase in value?

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I have seen a lot of old guys that wouldn't walk across the street to look at certain models and years of cars..... unless it was for sale and they thought they were stealing it. Then they are out there at the next meet, strutting around telling everyone what a great car it is.

 

If you haven't seen that happen, in the next few days you will probably receive a notice that your chapter dues were not paid in January

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Posted (edited)

There is a lot more changing in the hobby than just the age of the current active people. Do the math...........if the time you spent on your computer/tablet/smart phone was spent in you garage working on your car........It would be finished by now. Disposable income and TIME are the most limiting factors in the hobby today........and time is what’s is really effecting it the most.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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