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Is hobby interest in pre-WWII cars Dying?


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1 hour ago, 1935Packard said:

 

With apologies for going slightly off-topic, I've always found this psychology rather odd.  I realize it's indeed how a lot of people react, as it's how auctions make a part of their money.  But the whole idea of people committing when something is at a low price, and being willing to then overpay because they have committed already, strikes me as strange.  You'd think people just pick a dollar amount that is what the item is worth before the auction and that they stick to it -- but I guess many people don't do that.

The fact that ebay actually works and is still passed off as an auction with people bidding the first day an item is listed only to have people ding their top bid for 7 more days on average baffles my mind.   

If it were a traditional auction that kept going I could understand it a tad more but still would wait until the last day. 

I'm glad they do or the whole scheme wouldn't work so well.   It's a poker Game disguised as an auction.  Why show your cards 6 days early?  I understood this after I lost my first few auctions.

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6 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

The fact that ebay actually works and is still passed off as an auction with people bidding the first day an item is listed only to have people ding their top bid for 7 more days on average baffles my mind.   

If it were a traditional auction that kept going I could understand it a tad more but still would wait until the last day. 

I'm glad they do or the whole scheme wouldn't work so well.   It's a poker Game disguised as an auction.  Why show your cards 6 days early?  I understood this after I lost my first few auctions.

 

It's been a while since I've actually won an auction on eBay. I stupidly bid what I think the thing is worth to me (plus a little extra, just in case). Then I wait days for the end of the auction where a guy with software beats me with 0.8 seconds left. The only recent win I've had is where someone with a sniper program beat me, then didn't pay and the seller asked me if I wanted the item.

 

I try to stick to "Buy It Now" items for stuff I really need and the rest, well...

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I think there are more people into old cars than is let on.  The money isn't there for alot of them to buy one and you don't see them out so much at shows because, aside from being busy,  they can get alot of their old car fix on the screen right in front of them,  unlike the old days when the only way you got to see an old car,  other than a 2 d image of one corner of a car in a magazine, was to go to a show.  Now they can look at every angle and even go for a virtual test ride/ drive in one on You tube.  If there was less or no interest in old cars,  you wouldn't see the amount of TV programs dedicated to them.  I remember in the early 90's there was My classic car, I think on PBS and that was pretty much it.  That was with the generation then being heavily involved in cars.  If they hadn't shipped alot of our blue collar jobs overseas, ban shop class, and feed kids graduating high school the need to have a Heavily indebted college education that those kids are still trying to dig out opf,  things would be alot different. 

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 That will hit a nerve Auburnseeker, think of the Billions of Dollars lost on college "educations" and the cars, motorcycles, unfinished projects & parts parents parted with that could fund their retirement or car collection. 

 

Bob 

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In the completed auction section of your cars listing it has been bid up as high as $33,400.00 and still not met the reserve. That tells potential buyers the reserve is probably at least $35,000 and possibly higher. $33,400 could be your cars realistic market value. Get the dealer out of the picture and shoot for that price on your own. If it is too much trouble to sell the car yourself do you have a knowledgeable friend that might help out ?

 

Greg

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22 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

Recovering the cost of the Professional Restoration rarely happens on any car.

 

That would be correct.

 

That's why we call it a hobby—even though some of us try and a few of us succeed at making a business out of it.

Edited by j3studio (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Kevin M said:

I like these cars and I’m 25. I’d love to own a 39 Buick, even more so a four door convertible. From the pictures that your broker has on Hemmings and how you’ve described it, along with all the posts that you have commented on I believe it’s worth exactly what you want. Or more. 

I have a few friends in my age range who are Into classic cars. The guy with the oldest one has a 74 vw bug. Next is a guy with a 78 Datsun. I have a 91 Reatta. I did meet a 19 year old who restored a 25 model T with his dad so there are some people out there. Not many that are young are into pre war cars. I always go out of my way to talk to guys with pre war cars at shows. It usually makes them very happy to have a young person talk to them. 

My main reasons for not buying something Pre War are I don’t know how to drive a standard, I’m saving up to move out and buy my own house, and if I did buy one my mom would kill me. 

 

 

Just something to ease your worries about driving a standard.  I too have a 1939 Buick.  They are engineered and powered so effectively that, on flat ground, you can let out the clutch and it will take off without even giving it any gas.  Its a great car to learn on.

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You also may not see alot of families and associated young guys at shows because money is still tight.  Alot of bigger shows get 10.00 a head or so for spectators.  Think about it.  Some do allow kids under 12 in free,  but a family with two early teens mom and dad,  that's $40 to start.  Add any food and you are at $60+.   I know it's a hobby but when battling for ever important family dollars they may be spending that money elsewhere.  I know when I had  3 or 4 cars registered in a show, when I was a little younger and more foolish to try to get that many vehicles to a show,   I would take all the extra passes out to the street that came with the cars and find a family that looked like they could use it and give them the passes.  No sense in wasting them.   I bet more families in the lower income levels are into cars than upper income levels.  They have to make do and work on them often buying lesser vehicles and rebuilding them so many appreciate nice old machinery that's been well taken care of,  some not so much but I bet many do. 

My family was always doing that. You bought something that needed work and fixed it up so you had a nice car.  Not old cars and restoring just regular cars you used every day.  I know my Dad bought atleast 4 wrecked cars / trucks and rebuilt them, but he has told me of many more I didn't see, back before today's whole salvage issue and branded titles became such a big deal as well as cars became so much more sophisticated. 

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Over the weekend my Wife and I drove past a place where it looked like a guy was selling his 50 year collection of golf clubs. It sure made me glad I was into old cars.

 

I guess things could always be worse.

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I also know as a kid pre 16 say. I think I only went to a couple of local car shows ever.   There are only 2 I can recall.  After 16 I did attend a few more.  It doesn't mean I didn't have oil pumping through my veins and consumed anything old cars,  even though Dad was a car guy,  he often worked 6 days a week, there wasn't alot of time to do stuff like that,  and he is an old car guy,   just not one that had a cushy 40 hour a week job with lots of time off.  He also never had an old car when I was growing up.  He had a couple before but that's when most were junk and now has 3 in his garage that he still has no time for as he just went back driving Dump truck on construction at 78. 

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6 hours ago, edinmass said:

Younger people are not car centric like most of us were thirty or more years ago. Just about everyone here went from a bicycle, lawn mower, mini bike, go cart, motorcycle, ect

 

I think you're conflating a lack of interest in old cars with a lack of interest in cars. Car culture among Millennials is very strong, you just need to look for it in the right places. 

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2 hours ago, Kevin M said:

My main reasons for not buying something Pre War are I don’t know how to drive a standard, I’m saving up to move out and buy my own house, and if I did buy one my mom would kill me.  

 

You know, there really isn't a lot to it.  Even my 79 year old wife can drive a straight shift and my 62 year old daughter.  It isn't really the big thing a lot of young people seem to make it.  You could become smooth at in a day of practice.  That's a lot quicker than a smart phone from my point of view.  I know, I've been trying since Friday.😀

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I know its not hard to learn.its more of I haven’t had a chance to.  My younger brother and I are probably going to buy 90s Jeep to learn on this summer. Maybe keep it maybe not. I also want to learn on something other than my first pre war car purchase. That sounds like a potentially expensive mistake depending on the car. 

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2 hours ago, 1912Staver said:

In the completed auction section of your cars listing it has been bid up as high as $33,400.00 and still not met the reserve. That tells potential buyers the reserve is probably at least $35,000 and possibly higher. $33,400 could be your cars realistic market value. Get the dealer out of the picture and shoot for that price on your own. If it is too much trouble to sell the car yourself do you have a knowledgeable friend that might help out ?

 

Greg

That doesn't tell you a thing.  You don't who was bidding or why.  So you think $35,000 is too much for a 4dr convertible?  You can't simply go to the lowest denominator.  I just know the 41 4dr convertible was proven to be worth $55,700 and that is a fact.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, auburnseeker said:

You also may not see alot of families and associated young guys at shows because money is still tight.  Alot of bigger shows get 10.00 a head or so for spectators.  Think about it.  Some do allow kids under 12 in free,  but a family with two early teens mom and dad,  that's $40 to start.  Add any food and you are at $60+.   I know it's a hobby but when battling for ever important family dollars they may be spending that money elsewhere.  I know when I had  3 or 4 cars registered in a show, when I was a little younger and more foolish to try to get that many vehicles to a show,   I would take all the extra passes out to the street that came with the cars and find a family that looked like they could use it and give them the passes.  No sense in wasting them.   I bet more families in the lower income levels are into cars than upper income levels.  They have to make do and work on them often buying lesser vehicles and rebuilding them so many appreciate nice old machinery that's been well taken care of,  some not so much but I bet many do. 

My family was always doing that. You bought something that needed work and fixed it up so you had a nice car.  Not old cars and restoring just regular cars you used every day.  I know my Dad bought atleast 4 wrecked cars / trucks and rebuilt them, but he has told me of many more I didn't see, back before today's whole salvage issue and branded titles became such a big deal as well as cars became so much more sophisticated. 

There is never any public admission charge to an AACA National Meet.  There may well be a strong parking free though.  Carlisle is something totally different for example.  There is a strong entrance fee an strong parking fees there also.

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

I'm not good with touch screens.  My fist keeps getting in the way of the icons. ;) 

 

 

The big turn off to the iPhone people besides the superiority complex they have is the obscenities involved in trying to show you photos on a 3x3 screen. ---ing this ----ing that, finger flaying across the screen, can't put up with it, no reason to join the heard of lemmings. Bob 

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34 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

The big turn off to the iPhone people besides the superiority complex they have is the obscenities involved in trying to show you photos on a 3x3 screen. ---ing this ----ing that, finger flaying across the screen, can't put up with it, no reason to join the heard of lemmings.

 

Casually writing off 90 million in the US alone would strike me as an effective way to make this hobby smaller. The iPhone is just a tool; and a very effective one for some of us.

 

Big tent, big tent!

Edited by j3studio (see edit history)
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Just now, j3studio said:

 

Casually writing off 90 million in the US alone would strike me as an effective way to make this hobby smaller. It's just a tool; and a very effective one for some of us.

 

Big tent, big tent!

Yes, I noticed some people have a built in flashlight in theirs. 

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44 minutes ago, Dynaflash8 said:

That doesn't tell you a thing.  You don't who was bidding or why.  So you think $35,000 is too much for a 4dr convertible?  You can't simply go to the lowest denominator.  I just know the 41 4dr convertible was proven to be worth $55,700 and that is a fact.

 

 

I have no real idea of what a very nice 4 dr convert is worth. Once a car is clearly beyond me price wise I for the most part tune them out.  Very nice cars for someone with far more disposable income than I will ever have. Same with boats, pre -war motorcycles, airplanes etc. All things that at one time were possibly within my reach and I was very interested in however time priced me out of the market for all of those things. Now they are of a slight academic interest to me , nothing more.

  I was only stating what I observed someone was willing to pay, and suggesting that in todays market place that might be close to a realistic value. I am no expert on the realistic price of any car that I am not prepared to put up the cash for. I can only concretely make statements on cars I have actually purchased or been willing to purchase and been a little too late on.

On ebay do you ever know who is bidding or why?

It's your car, you can put whatever value you want on it.

 

Greg

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Buick64C said:

 

I think you're conflating a lack of interest in old cars with a lack of interest in cars. Car culture among Millennials is very strong, you just need to look for it in the right places. 

 

This.

 

A primary factor driving all segments of the hobby is sentiment and memories. Earl bought his '39 Buick because of the pleasant memories he has of his father's '39 Buick. I have a '41 Buick because my father had one. I bet most of you have a similar story behind the cars you own. There's an emotional connection, what I call a touchstone, to certain cars that drives the way you participate in the hobby.

 

That's not the ONLY factor, of course, but it certainly shouldn't be a surprise that kids today don't really have a touchstone to anything that old. Their 60-something fathers probably have muscle cars, not antiques, which were the cars of THEIR youth. Today's young hobbyists probably drove Toyota Corollas and Ford Tauruses in high school, not '52 Chevys they bought for $65 and slapped on a set of Fenton headers. The touchstone just isn't there for pre-war cars and younger people unless they've been in the hobby with their parents who also collected pre-war cars (and it is likely that the only reason THEY collect pre-war cars is because THEIR parents did).

 

I suspect it was the same years back when everyone in the hobby was wondering why the hell all those fools would want to collect '50s cars or muscle cars. It's normal and it's time marching on.

 

I don't think there's anything we can do to make young kids like older cars if they aren't predisposed to that already. I was weird in high school because I wanted a Model A to drive every day in the '80s (my father had one), and it's certainly not going to be any better today. My friends had 5.0 Mustangs and Camaros and Chevy Blazers, while I had a '76 Eldorado convertible that I scraped off the pavement when my father was done abusing it. Exposure is the best way to promote the older cars, but to assume that if those stupid young people would just get out of their phones and listen to us that '30s cars are better, they'd want them, well, that's just not gonna happen.

 

What will happen is values will decline rapidly on cars that older people are selling and younger people don't want until they're cheap enough that young people can afford to buy them out of curiosity. The same kids who are farming in New York City and making hand-crafted knives in blacksmith forges. They won't have any idea what they're getting into, but they'll be curious and maybe the cycle will start all over. Maybe. The only thing that I can guarantee is that someone will always own the cars and values on anything but top-shelf exotic stuff are going to fall and fall hard. Sorry.


Enjoy your cars and the time you have. Forget the money. Like vacations, hobbies aren't supposed to pay you back for participating. I guarantee the guy with the used golf clubs in Bernie's post isn't expecting to make a profit on their sale...

 

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Selling cars and selling parts is the same concept, only the numbers differ. I've often accepted an offer on a part I may have over valued. Having that $100.00 in hand vs a maybe $200.00 many times allows me to Buy a $300.00 item for $100.00' 

 

 

Bob 

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a nice 39 convertible coupe sold at Hershey this past fall for less then 19k.

nowhere near the condition of this car, but a good driving car with an old amateur restoration.

 

I was surprised it was that low and half tempted to buy it. but I already have about 20 cars around here and need to sell more then a few off.

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Downward mobility during our 50's and 60's for a number of us in the middle class is just as much a fact as upward mobility was in our 30's and 40's.

 You have a middle class car that mainly  appeals to older middle class buyers. 

And your price needs to meet the ability to pay of your potential market in order to make a sale. So far your experience and frustration suggest there is a gap.

 

Greg

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1 hour ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

This.

 

A primary factor driving all segments of the hobby is sentiment and memories. Earl bought his '39 Buick because of the pleasant memories he has of his father's '39 Buick. I have a '41 Buick because my father had one. I bet most of you have a similar story behind the cars you own. There's an emotional connection, what I call a touchstone, to certain cars that drives the way you participate in the hobby.

 

That's not the ONLY factor, of course, but it certainly shouldn't be a surprise that kids today don't really have a touchstone to anything that old. Their 60-something fathers probably have muscle cars, not antiques, which were the cars of THEIR youth. Today's young hobbyists probably drove Toyota Corollas and Ford Tauruses in high school, not '52 Chevys they bought for $65 and slapped on a set of Fenton headers. The touchstone just isn't there for pre-war cars and younger people unless they've been in the hobby with their parents who also collected pre-war cars (and it is likely that the only reason THEY collect pre-war cars is because THEIR parents did).

 

I suspect it was the same years back when everyone in the hobby was wondering why the hell all those fools would want to collect '50s cars or muscle cars. It's normal and it's time marching on.

 

I don't think there's anything we can do to make young kids like older cars if they aren't predisposed to that already. I was weird in high school because I wanted a Model A to drive every day in the '80s (my father had one), and it's certainly not going to be any better today. My friends had 5.0 Mustangs and Camaros and Chevy Blazers, while I had a '76 Eldorado convertible that I scraped off the pavement when my father was done abusing it. Exposure is the best way to promote the older cars, but to assume that if those stupid young people would just get out of their phones and listen to us that '30s cars are better, they'd want them, well, that's just not gonna happen.

 

What will happen is values will decline rapidly on cars that older people are selling and younger people don't want until they're cheap enough that young people can afford to buy them out of curiosity. The same kids who are farming in New York City and making hand-crafted knives in blacksmith forges. They won't have any idea what they're getting into, but they'll be curious and maybe the cycle will start all over. Maybe. The only thing that I can guarantee is that someone will always own the cars and values on anything but top-shelf exotic stuff are going to fall and fall hard. Sorry.


Enjoy your cars and the time you have. Forget the money. Like vacations, hobbies aren't supposed to pay you back for participating. I guarantee the guy with the used golf clubs in Bernie's post isn't expecting to make a profit on their sale...

 

 

 

Absolutely everything you said is correct Matt and has been obvious to me since Jay Leno said it was coming.  I've seen all of the macinations (sp?) that AACA has gone through for the last 15-20 years up close and personal.  You'd think I would have realized the value of my car was melting away before my eyes BUT it is a 4dr convertible!  It won't happen to me......ha-ha-ha.  I have kept her too long....sort of like holding on to a company stock while the company behind it was going up in flames.  Remember, I started at 14 and followed this hobby until I'm 80.  The saddest day in my life is to think this car that has shared my life for almost 50 years is facing a new sociey that wants to throw it away.  I worked all of my adult life to keep this car "for the future" to only find the future is gone now that I don't have that much future anymore.  I have nobody to blame but ME.  It's like the guy who keeps smoking while watching friends and family dying all around him from lung Cancer.  He keeps thinking, "Oh, that won't happen to me." 

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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Your car has many fans who certainly don't want to throw it away.  But money is a problem for many middle class people once they hit their 50's.  

The new society might not generally want a 1939 Buick. But lots of people age 50 and up still have up to 30 years left to enjoy cars like your Buick. They just don't have any or many earning years left. So hobby cars need to be in the modest price range for it to work for them. Kids education and retirement savings are first and foremost.

Repeat, there are hundreds ; if not thousands ,of people who do not want to "throw it away".

 

Greg

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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I will say a convertible sedan , especially of the late 30's variety of any make is less sporty than a convertible coupe.  Sporty sells, always has.  That's probably one of the reasons there has been little activity on your car. 

I remember seeing a few very nice 41 Convertible sedans for mid 40's not all that long ago,  perhaps even when the market was better, and they weren't selling.  I thought wow what a deal on those, can't believe they aren't selling.  I imagine it's only gotten worse.  I have seen some pretty nice 41 to 47 Caddy convertible coupes lately for the money I think you want out of yours, so in many cases you are competing with cars like that as brand and model loyalty dies so that only flash comes into factor. 

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17 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

Your car has many fans who certainly don't want to throw it away.  But money is a problem for many middle class people once they hit their 50's.  

The new society might not generally want a 1939 Buick. But lots of people age 50 and up still have up to 30 years left to enjoy cars like your Buick. They just don't have any or many earning years left. So hobby cars need to be in the modest price range for it to work for them. Kids education and retirement savings are first and foremost.

Repeat, there are hundreds of people who do not want to "throw it away".

 

Greg

Staver: I am very very much middle class.  Did you read that my Dad was a route laundry truck Driver in Washington, DC?  I was making $4,040 dollars a  year in 1959 when I got married.  I had to borrow the $120 for the '39 Buick I bought to restore to look like my first car.  My Dad, who thought all old cars were foolishness,  made me sell our second car, a '49 Buick, to buy a refrigerator after he helped us get our first $10,500 house in Glen Burnie, MD for that reason.  But I persevered two years later when I borrowed that $120.  He only began to believe a little when I sold my restored 1941 Buick Limited in 1981 for enough to pay off my mortgage on the new house in Severn, MD.  He told his friends his son found somebody "crazier than he was" to pay all that money for it.  My wife and I had to hire a babysitter for our once month night out to go to Chesapeake Region meetings and that's all we could afford.  Yeah, for the first ten  years we weren't even up to being called middle class, but we budgeted, scrimped and saved and I stayed with the same job I hated for 35 years so I could claw myself up, never higher than middle class.  I never went to college.  I made many mechanic and body men friends in the hobby who helped me restore at home.  Another friend and I bought obsolete Buick-Pontiac and some Chevrolet-Cadillac & Olds parts from dealerships and sold them at flea markets and through the mail.  That made a big difference, but it was hard work on nights and weekends.  I couldn't buy this car in 1967 for $1,000 because Dad wouldn't help and I couldn't borrow that much.  By 1970 I was able to pay $1700 to another guy who had been able to afford it for $1,000.  I guess I made money on it in 1985 when Jenkins bought it, but I gave it all back to him plus a lot more when I bought it back in 2000.  As I said, all these years I've loved it and driven it, but it's also been my one "hold-back" for my old age.  Here that is and there it goes with all the promises the hobby made until now.  It's too bad Mom & Dad didn't have a '55 Chevy, huh?

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2 hours ago, mercer09 said:

a nice 39 convertible coupe sold at Hershey this past fall for less then 19k.

nowhere near the condition of this car, but a good driving car with an old amateur restoration.

 

I was surprised it was that low and half tempted to buy it. but I already have about 20 cars around here and need to sell more then a few off.

And it wasn't that nice.  It needed a whole lot of stuff.  I just sold the guy $518 in parts for it when he visited about a month ago.

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6 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

I will say a convertible sedan , especially of the late 30's variety of any make is less sporty than a convertible coupe.  Sporty sells, always has.  That's probably one of the reasons there has been little activity on your car. 

I remember seeing a few very nice 41 Convertible sedans for mid 40's not all that long ago,  perhaps even when the market was better, and they weren't selling.  I thought wow what a deal on those, can't believe they aren't selling.  I imagine it's only gotten worse.  I have seen some pretty nice 41 to 47 Caddy convertible coupes lately for the money I think you want out of yours, so in many cases you are competing with cars like that as brand and model loyalty dies so that only flash comes into factor. 

 

Good point--always look at what else that money will buy. I've found that there are two kinds of buyers for most cars: the specific buyer and the opportunity buyer.

 

The specific buyer wants a 1939 Buick Special convertible sedan. That's what he wants--not a '38, not a '40, not a Century--so he looks at all of those and buys the one that best meets his condition/price ratio. This is how I bought my 1941 Century.

 

The opportunity buyer has $XX,XXX to spend and looks at everything in that price range. Maybe he has a few specific makes or a range of years he's interested in, but he's not looking for any one specific year/make/model. That's how I acquired all my cars except the Century. I had a certain amount of money, I wanted a certain type of car, and I shopped until one made me fall in love. Melanie wanted a 1965-1968 Mustang convertible for under $25,000, one that wasn't red or white. That was it. So we looked at all of those until we found the right one and bought it. When I bought my '29 Cadillac, I wanted a big Full Classic with sidemounts. I had $XX,XXX to spend. I shopped until I found the Cadillac, but along the way I looked at Packards and Lincolns and even an Auburn. I had quite a few choices and picked the nicest car for the money rather than spending more for more car--all I had was all I had. I bet most buyers have a similar process.

 

It's illustrative to look on, say, hemmings.com and just browse by price. Put in the price of your car and then look at what other cars are available for the same or less money. A lot, right? How many of those are more desirable/more valuable/nicer/faster/more powerful/more prestigious than yours? Just by doing that you can quickly determine if you're in the right ballpark to capture the opportunity buyer (which is a majority of the hobby).


What else can I buy for that money? We should all ask ourselves that question before we paste a price on any car we're selling.

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That was exactly the point I was trying to make earlier.  People who don't have quite enough money might like the car. People with enough money are probably looking for a higher stature car than a 1939 Buick Special.

Your buying habits line up exactly with mine Matt.  Generally an opportunity buyer, every now and then a specific buyer. We may be more alike than you think.

 

Greg

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On 5/13/2019 at 8:16 AM, edinmass said:

One more short comment on ANY pre war car.......the younger generation of old car buyers almost exclusively want two doors.........touring cars and sport phaetons were once the top of the heap, now it's roadsters, coupe, conv coupe, phaeton, touring, club sedan, town car, conv sedan, and sedan.......basicly in the exact order I listed the cars. Many collectors will not buy a convertible sedan for a bunch of reasons, and having owned more than 50 pre war cars, I have never purchased one even to flip.......they have always been a hard sell. 

Ed, you should try a Convertible Sedan, they are really nice cars and after having several now I would run to a convertible sedan for touring with before anything else  - joy to have everyone inside, place for luggage, put the top down if you want, as little or as much air as you want, in a downpour you are at least somewhat dry given nature of the beasts of the time :)and .... (personally, I would say the hierarchy should be - Roadster, Convertible Coupe, Convertible Victoria, Touring, Convertible Sedan, Coupe, Club Sedan, Town Car, and Sedan and/or Coach).  As previously mentioned, I know plenty of people that went after other things and then somewhere along the line got into a Convertible Sedan and now would not have it any other way.  

 

As to convertible sedans, we always had early 30's Convertible Sedans (and some came and went more than the Franklin that we had for eons) and then I went out and found a 1935 Auburn 851 Phaeton - and that easy replaced all the earlier cars and actually prefer it over a 1941 Cadillac.   I put friends in a 35 Packard Twelve Convertible Sedan and they are loving it (took them a while to get over its size being having a large collection of smaller size cars, but grew on them quickly thereafter).   Not many people get the opportunity to try a Convertible sedan though as they tend to be fairly rare in any brand car (and would tell you "generally" they are harder and more expensive to restore  than most other body styles too). 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Dynaflash8 said:

Staver: I am very very much middle class.  Did you read that my Dad was a route laundry truck Driver in Washington, DC?  I as making $4,040 dollars a  year in 1959 when I got married.  I had to borrow the $120 for the '39 Buick I bought to restore to look like my first car.  My Dad, who thought all old cars were foolishness,  made me sell our second car, a '49 Buick, to buy a refrigerator after he helped us get our first $10,500 house in Glen Burnie, MD for that reason.  But I persevered two years later when I borrowed that $120.  He only began to believe a little when I sold my restored 1941 Buick Limited in 1981 for enough to pay off my mortgage.  He told his friend his son found somebody "crazier than he was to pay all that money for it.  My wife and I had to hire a babysitter for our once month night out to go to Chesapeake Region meetings and that's all we could afford.  Yeah, for the first ten  years we weren't even up to being called middle class, but we budgeted, scrimped and saved and I stayed with the same job I hated for 35 years so I could claw myself up, never higher than middle class.  I made many mechanic and body men friends in the hobby who helped me restore at home.  I couldn't buy this car in 1967 for $1,000 because Dad wouldn't help and I couldn't borrow that much.  By 1970 I was able to pay $1700 to another guy who had been able to afford it for $1,000.  I guess I made money on it in 1985 when Jenkins bought it, but I gave it all back to him plus a lot more when I bought it back in 2000.  As I said, all these years I've loved it and driven it, but it's also been my one "hold-back" for my old age.  Here it is and there it goes.

 

 

Your story sounds much like mine. Except that you had the money to buy a pretty expensive car in 2000. When you were close to 60.

I am about 20 years younger than you. It's  a certainty I won't be buying a car even close to the equivalent price to what you paid for the Buick when you were 60 ish. My generation has less prosperity than your generation had, and the younger yet generations are even further down the scale. 

I had a trade qualification, a 5 year technical education teaching degree, and a qualification as a marine engineering ships officer and I only made as much as my father with a high school only education made up until the last 5 years or so of my career. My generation got hammered in the 1980's just as we were starting out and never really made up the lost ground. Then hammered again during the 2007 recession.  My fathers generation ; he was 84 when he passed away at Christmas, was effected to a much smaller degree by those two events. During the first he was already well established in his career. During the second he was already retired.  I suspect you had a similar experience to my father.

 People in my age group are often squeezed by an ever rising cost of living combined with decades of stagnant wages. I don't  attempt to speculate about your financial situation however my father had a slow steady rise in income over the vast majority of his earning years. Almost always at least a little more than inflation, and an almost unbroken slow ,steady upwardly mobile standard of living.

 My wife's story is identical.  Vastly more qualified in her career  than her parents. Masters degree in Health Care management vs high school.  And practicing at a much higher level of skill and responsibility.  Significantly less financialy successful than her parents. They are also in their early 80's.

 

 

Greg

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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I am 70, been through the stroke, heart attack, by passes and have a quite modest collection of cars. Each sits in my garage for a special reason that means a lot to me. And maybe a few others, but it would be hard to find someone who liked them all. The garage is 135 feet from my house and I am just remembering the day I walked all the way to the garage holding my little pillow over the healing stitches in my chest. That was exciting. One car in there has been mine for over 40 years. When I turn 80 it will have been with me 50+ years.

Those cars don't owe me anything. I could walk away from them or give them away and still be happy with a lot of memories the cars and the hobby have given me.

My Wife and I have talked about the ability of my nephews to own and maintain any of them. My own children are not interested. My friends all have cars. The cars would pretty much be a burden, even to the most anxious to own them. And once the burden was realized, I think there might be more guilt attached because they wouldn't get the care.

A friend died a few years ago and left his wife with a few cars and inflated ideas of their value. I watched and saw the true definition of a curse.

My Wife has a spreadsheet showing each car with pertinent information and a very low price so she can divest quickly. I think it would be a blessing to her. She knows my best friends and I have told her to give them one if they show a sincere interest. Tools, too!

I am a strong believer in, what I call, the cost of ownership and the value of ownership can cancel out the residual value of almost any item. Today my main interest in the future would be 3/4 of an acre on Grand Cayman. The cars have served me well.

Bernie

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That was a good read Bernie, and a great outlook on things. As I read it I envisioned all the cars I like, guess we share the same passion, just enjoy totally different eras of cars. Bob 

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The reason my wife does not cause me problems with my old cars is that I hide them away from the house and the wife and make my kids swear to tell mom that the cars belong to Uncle Robert. When that day comes that I can't enjoy the cars I'll deal with it like most people. I will die and my Estate will sell the vehicles for whatever they can get on a fast sale.   In short, I purchased these cars for pure enjoyment knowing that as an investment I would be better off buying stocks.  You cant drive your stocks or take a friend for a drive in your investment portfolio. 

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As to  dying, also certain pockets of the Country and certain European Countries where older cars are more popular than others (ie you are not alone in your enjoyment of them) - so the day to day perception gets easily skewed.  In Cincinnati, we use to be a hub of pre-war cars, but not so much anymore (all be it many still here sitting in garages, but they are not out daily in summer, not out at shows, and not many out on the regional tours and a lot has to do with age of people, not as fun to be the odd duck, not many people around here to work on them, parts availability, ease of driving, , and .... - people grab the something more user friendly from the garage first).

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My take:

1. You don't want to sell the car, and you're upset that you are.

2. You're not getting what you think is appropriate value, and that upsets you more.

3. Folks are suggesting that others may like the car better if configured differently (i.e. rejecting your opinion), and that makes things worse.

 

So, if you net $30,000 on the sale and the buyer yanks the skirts, it's going to grate at you for years.

 

Go back to point 1.  Then pull the car off the market, bring it home, and drive the snot out of it.  Take it to the grocery store, the doctor's office, church, or wherever you go.  If you get a ding or two, so what?  If that's a $30,000 car, half the cars in the parking lot are worth more.  If you lose a couple of thousand from the wear and tear, big deal.  The payoff from your enjoyment will more than make up for whatever assessed value you lost. 

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