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Is hobby interest in pre-WWII cars Dying?


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John, I will not own a convertible sedan. They just have too many reasons to pass on them. The order of body styles I posted is the current order for the new younger collectors.......a Coupe on RARE pre war stuff is often much more expensive than the convertible coupe. So it’s roadster, Coupe, Conv Coupe, Sport phaeton, Touring, Club Sedan, Conv Sedan......ect. I didn’t list Conv Victoria because many companies didn’t offer them. I would place it between the Conv Coupe and phaeton. 

 

As always, there maybe one specific car or case where the above doesn’t apply. Recently, in the mega car category, coupes have far exceeded Conv Coupe prices. The market today is VERY driven by style, and most of the custom car coupes look better than the rag top.

 

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Ed Remind all the guys with Auburn Conv't sedans you run into that they really aren't anything very desirable and let me know when you find someone that wants to part with one.   I might just get that chance to own one yet. ;) 

Of course my luck that's probably one of the exceptions. 

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1 hour ago, KongaMan said:

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. 

Are you a psychologist?  Let's see, you think you can psycholoanalyze me huh.  I won't say what I'm thinking.  I don't give a royal damn where the car goes of what the take off of it.  I do hope a street rodder doesn't get it, but I've protected it from them as long as my life will allow.  As for getting what I think is appropriate, I haven't gotten anything yet.  I'm too old to drive the snot out of it and I don't want to do that here.  I would like to add the money to my pot and try to move the hell out of Florida and back to Virginia's Northern Neck, but we don't think we'll physically be able to do that.    I just want to see it go to a good home if it can. 

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7 minutes ago, Dynaflash8 said:

I don't give a royal damn where the car goes …  I just want to see it go to a good home if it can. 

Which is it? ;) 

 

Take control.  Defy the cheap, the uneducated, and the ignorant. Crush it.

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1 hour ago, John_Mereness said:

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).

The brave new world.  Anyway, when I was on the AACA National Board I could see all of this coming.  That is why I designed and sold the AACA National Sentimental Tour to the National Board.  The Tour covers only 1928-1958 and is designed to keep these older cars collectible to the hobby members.  It makes a reason to have one of these beautiful old  cars in the garage.  The 2020 Tour in West Virginia is the reason I plan to try and keep the Suburban and the trailer for two more years.  After that, all bets are off.  Maybe then I'll find a 1955 Ford Fairlane Town sedan like the one I had when my wife and I were married.  One thing I don't want to do, above all else, is leave a bunch of old cars on my wife if I die first.  My wife is the most valuable thing I've got or have ever had.  I'm thinking of her first.  I don't want her to have to deal with trying to turn them into money.  I've got enough '39 Buick 40-60 mechanical parts to fill  a closed trailer.  Also have some 1941 and 1964 stuff too.  I am planning to buy a couple of spots at Hershey.  If I can go I'll take a lot of this stuff to sell.  If health says I can't go I just let that money be gone.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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1 minute ago, KongaMan said:

Which is it? ;) 

 

Take control.  Defy the cheap, the uneducated, and the ignorant. Crush it.

I just wrote you didn't I?  I don't want to do it again right now.  It's time for the ballgame.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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Auburnseeker - Just because something isn’t my cup of tea, it doesn’t make it any less of a car. I particularly like club sedans. Lots of people won’t own one either. After 45 years in the hobby, I just know what I don’t want. As they say, to each his own! 

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8 hours 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. 

 

Actually,  Eddy is right in a way.   More and more teenagers are not getting their drivers licenses.   This article has some stats in it, but there are lots if you google:

 

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/many-teens-dont-want-get-drivers-license

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2 hours ago, edinmass said:

John, I will not own a convertible sedan.

 

 

LIAR!!!!!   I know for a fact you would take a Murphy Convertible Sedan.   But,  your general point that convertible sedans are lower in the food chain is basically true.   I would personally take a convertible sedan over a touring car,  but that is just me.

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Sure, they have “pretty nice lines”, and I am a fan of several different model Auburns, and one of the very first cars I ever drove was a 1929 speedster............but the body style just  does nothing for me...........I rather a town car, or a Enclosed Drive Limousine than the four door ragtop with roll up windows. I guess it can be chalked up to an additional eccentricity,  to be add to my personality deficit list.

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

 

Actually,  Eddy is right in a way.   More and more teenagers are not getting their drivers licenses.   This article has some stats in it, but there are lots if you google:

 

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/many-teens-dont-want-get-drivers-license

 

Getting a drivers license’ is not a proxy for whether or not someone is a car enthusiast.   The proof of their interest can be seen in the events they go to and the content the create for the web. I would argue that not only are they passionate, they are more involved with cars because they have many more outlets then we did at their age. 

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Were chrome wheels common on upper middle class cars like Auburn's when new ? Or are the something later owners have added ? They look a little too over the top. Same with the wide white's  Very nice cars regardless . 

 

Greg in Canada

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Well, it has sealed beam headlight conversions, a non-authentic after-marked sunshade.   It is a Roadmaster, because you can see the two small rear windows in the picture. Take it from there.  I have a set of factory accessory front fender lights for sale.

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15 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

Were chrome wheels common on upper middle class cars like Auburn's when new ? Or are the something later owners have added ? They look a little too over the top. Same with the wide white's  Very nice cars regardless . 

 

Greg in Canada

I've never seen those on 1935-36 Auburns.  Auburn did offer full disc hubcaps to cover the wire wheels in those years.  OK, back in 32, 33 and before chrome wheels were probably accessories that most buyers of those and similar cars.  These were true Full Classic cars.  For that matter Buick literature says you could buy chrome disc wheels in 1939 (the year I have most literature for), but I've never ever seen a set on a car.  And, different subject, the Nationals lost another game tonight.  When will the fire the Manager and General Manager? 

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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I would obviously still take a speedster,  but reality has sunk in that they are fast outpacing my income and my only chance to own even a repro steel bodied one,  went by the way side when I didn't buy Xanders so I have decided that there is a slight possibility that I might some day obtain a worn Convertible sedan.  Problem is I haven't seen many that weren't worn to pieces.  Most not so great ones,  seem to sell for not much less than good ones.  

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1 hour ago, mike6024 said:

00U0U_1i3AVbMVkrD_1200x900.jpg

What is this one worth?

1939 Buick Century 81

I'll stab at it.  If it's got a good usable interior and decent chrome neither being real nice just decent with a Rot free body and runs/ drives OK 10G to 12,500 if you want to sell it in a short time. 

I will say that is based on one semi obscure photo.  If it's say closer to a 2 than a 3 probably another 3 to 4.   Headlight looks blown no wiper arms or blades. Paint looks pretty good, is the hood ornament pitted up,  looks like the trailing part has pitting.   All minor issues but what others are there?   

Edited by auburnseeker (see edit history)
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I didn't see the link until after I posted.  Not far off from what I thought though the interior is probably not correct it looks decent to the untrained eye. Figure a $1000 in chrome on the bumpers.  His sell price will probably be around 17,500 maybe 16,500 if cash is counted out on the hood.  It all depends on how bad the next guy wants it and he wants to move it.  

Small chrome pieces are a little crappy which adds up.  Drive it as is and improve the small trinkets as you go.  

As I mentioned these are the cars where the bottom is not far from the top.  Separated by 10 to 15G for good cars on both ends.  I would expect that under 30 would buy you a near perfect example. There was a 37 or 38 Coupe I think,  posted on Bring a Trailer that was really nice and brought I think 26,500?  I would think they are a little more valuable than 39's to begin with and that was alot nicer "restored" car than this one.

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For comparison, I have brought Jerry's 1939 Roadmaster for sale back to the top of Cars For Sale. I don't know if it has sold yet. I hope Jerry is doing as well as possible under the circumstances.  -   Carl 

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18 hours ago, Kevin M said:

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. 

 

I learned to drive a manual on my '35 Packard Twelve, back in 2007 after I bought the car.  (I had one lesson on a friend's Honda Accord beforehand, mostly in a nearby parking lot, but that was it.)  My first drive in the car was a 150 mile drive from the repair shop to home.   It was pretty nerve-racking at times.  But I made it, and after that one trip I felt like I pretty much learned how to do it.

Edited by 1935Packard (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, 1935Packard said:

 

I learned to drive a manual on my '35 Packard Twelve, back in 2007 after I bought the car.  (I had one lesson on a friend's Honda Accord beforehand, mostly in a nearby parking lot, but that was it.)  My first drive in the car was a 150 mile drive from the repair shop to home.   It was pretty nerve-racking at times.  But I made it, and after that one trip I felt like I pretty much learned how to do it.

 

A 35 Packard 12 shifts like butter!    You need to start out with a higher degree of difficulty,  like any of the non synchro earlier cars.   Nothing like double clutching and swearing at the same time.

 

My kids all have Tacoma trucks with the 4 banger stick.   They were not happy at first but come around to see their pops point of view on being able to manage a stick.

 

ps,  I learned on a 49 Plymouth 2 door Special Deluxe three on the tree.   We had a 120 foot long driveway and I would get up in to second by the time I need to slam on the brakes.

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10 hours ago, Buick64C said:

 

Getting a drivers license’ is not a proxy for whether or not someone is a car enthusiast.   The proof of their interest can be seen in the events they go to and the content the create for the web. I would argue that not only are they passionate, they are more involved with cars because they have many more outlets then we did at their age. 

 

We will have to respectfully disagree.   Have you been in any HS parking lot lately?    Everything is 100% vanilla.  No tuner cars, no nothing. 

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29 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

We will have to respectfully disagree.   Have you been in any HS parking lot lately?    Everything is 100% vanilla.  No tuner cars, no nothing. 

Stop by RHS looks like a BMW lot. 

 

Bob 

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5 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

Stop by RHS looks like a BMW lot. 

 

Bob 

 

Around here there seem to be 3 groups. Tuner cars. Lifted trucks with a fair amount of mud. Then the rest of the cars that are just transportation.

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In the Northeast part of the problem is you have 2 seasons,  summer and rust.  Old cars are consumed by mother nature so you really need a place to store them inside and then can only use them for a few months of the year,  so they become even more of a liability.  I bet if it was like southern CA you would see more old cars running around.  A guy with a family needs regular transportation for him and often the second car for the wife and kids so the third car used once in a while for less than 6 months of the year is the old car. With car prices rising annually it leaves less money for the toy cars.  I know the price of a base Toyota Tacoma seems to have gone up 5,000 in the last 4 years as my wife is contemplating on trading hers in as they will give her almost what she paid new for it 4 years ago, but the new one will be $7000 and her truck. $5000 could buy a good entry level old car,  but now the guy needs to spend it on a new vehicle.  It's hard to drive old clunkers around in the Northeast as the rust related repairs cost more than the depreciation on a new car if you can ever get to the point of actually purchasing one new straight out so you don't have payments and interest. 

My truck is a 2006 I imported from the south and have pickled to death,  that I now don't need to use too regular in the winter so I plan to drive it as long as it's feesable. I would rather spend the money on my old cars instead.  Replacement truck for mine would be about 60G new and 30G for a 5 year old one from somewhere other than the rust encrusted Northeast. 

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38 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

In the Northeast part of the problem is you have 2 seasons,  summer and rust.  Old cars are consumed by mother nature so you really need a place to store them inside and then can only use them for a few months of the year,  so they become even more of a liability.  I bet if it was like southern CA you would see more old cars running around.  . .  

 

There are a fair number of 60s and newer old cars around here. But you rarely see a pre-WW2 car. And nearly all you see on the road are obviously modified.

 

SF Bay Area seemed to have more unmodified older (pre-WW2) cars actively being driven. Possibly that is because there is relatively quick access to nice, slower, back country roads there versus having to drive an hour or so on a freeway to get out of horrible traffic in the greater LA metro area. At least that is my impression having moved from the SF Bay Area to SoCal just a few years ago.

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6 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

We will have to respectfully disagree.   Have you been in any HS parking lot lately?    Everything is 100% vanilla.  No tuner cars, no nothing. 

As I said above, you need to go where younger car enthusiasts go, if you want to see them. About a mile from my house,  a group held a Paul Walker tribute cruise. There were easily a few thousand cars there. This done with no advertising, no registration and no fee. The police had to direct traffic because of the line to get in was so long.

 

When I was in high-school and college, this sort of thing NEVER happened because we didn’t have the tools to coordinate it. 

Edited by Buick64C (see edit history)
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I have a 16 year old son who, along with his group of friends, couldn't care less about driving---and I've raised him--a person who loves cars (my 12 year old seems to get into it a little though).  Also, it is much more difficult to get a first license now in KY than it was when I was 16.  We talk about this at work all the time as my co-workers have kids the same age.  It's not as big a deal to drive at 16 like it used to be.

 

As far as the ones who do drive-my local high schools have all sorts cars in the lots that are modified/customized, clearly driven by people into cars.  We have a cars and coffee the first Saturday of every month (400-800 cars depending on the weather) and 75% of the crowd are twenty-somethings with all sorts of tastes as long as the cars are 1980 or newer.  The rest are mature adults with everything from a Model T to a new Ferrari.

 

It's all just a matter of, as time and generations pass, interest in anything older fades and wanes.  WWI and WWII defined this country for 100 years.  That of course included the auto industry and hobby.   Cars are by and large disposable now, just like washing machines and televisions.  A great percentage of folks now don't repair or even look into repairing anything, despite the fact that google and youtube will tell you how to do everything.  Consumer goods are relatively easier to buy than ever, which takes away any connection or reason to care much for them.

 

When you take into account that older cars often require a little more attention and maintenance, it's a recipe for limiting the appeal of them.  People, car lovers or not, love the looks of the pre-war cars.  Everybody loves them in that way.  When a friend sees my car, they don't even know what do.  It takes more than a finger to open a door.  It's so tall.  The seat looks like a couch.  I hear all sorts of funny comments.  Wanting to actually purchase one is a different story.

 

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Ford Motor Company does an annual "market trends" study that examines the younger generations -they spend a fortune on these things and are widely considered to be highly accurate. The last few years have all said the same thing: 1) kids are much more enthusiastic about new cell phones coming out than new car models, 2) 16 yr old kids are not eager to get their licenses or drive themselves-young folks would much rather call an Uber 3) they embrace little sense of pride from ownership they would much rather lease the latest and greatest (24 month leases are very popular for Ford)  4) they respond to new technology and convenience aspects of cars and care very little about performance.

-Obviously there are pockets of world where kids still love pickups and tuner cars and god bless them all-but they are vastly outnumbered.

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Where I went to college there were so many guys into lifting and off roaring their Jeeps it looked like a dealership when they’d all park together. I know a few guys who are really into that stuff. And I figure it’s not my thing but at least they’re interested in cars. 

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16 hours ago, auburnseeker said:

Ed Remind all the guys with Auburn Conv't sedans you run into that they really aren't anything very desirable and let me know when you find someone that wants to part with one.   I might just get that chance to own one yet. ;) 

Of course my luck that's probably one of the exceptions. 

It's funny as I have met many a person that has commented about Auburn Convertible Sedans being "dime a dozen" and for that reason did not want one - the irony is that about 1/4 plus of the survivors are out at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival each year - they are generally owned  by those people that tour, they will not give them up as they are favorites in the garage, the people actually are younger in age and/or younger in mentality which puts fewer out on the market, many have decent sized families, and ...   There are maybe 80 surviving 1935-1936 Phaetons with about an equal distribution of Supercharged to Non-Supercharged compared to about 125 Cabriolets and 125 Boattails.  

 

One of the particularly nice features of the 34-36 Auburn convertible sedan is that they are their state of the art body construction via being all steel. 

 

Personally, I like a roadster look (funny too as high values and in most marques they were literally the base model car), as well as convertible coupes and a phaetons too, but after a couple days of touring a roadster or phaeton is just a ton of wind and a Convertible Coupe I do not have everyone in the car with me matched to tight space.  And I find Coupes a bit claustrophobic.  

 

My preference really is a Convertible Victoria, but you cannot see a thing out of the rear of one when the top is up and they tend to be the rare of the rare in body style with prices reflecting. 

 

The one thing I do not like about many Town Cars, Limousines, and 7 passenger sedans is "many" tend to have a straight divider wall between the door posts at the cost of driver space and comfort.  I was pleasantly surprised with the RR PI Dover as once you played monkey to get into it there actually was plenty of space and comfort for someone 6 foot plus (and have been in a few Duesenbergs  and misc cars with space up front too), but have been in a few other make cars were you are all squished up with a steering wheel in your chest.   There are a few convertible sedans that were designed without thought to the driver too. 

 

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, 1912Staver said:

Were chrome wheels common on upper middle class cars like Auburn's when new ? Or are the something later owners have added ? They look a little too over the top. Same with the wide white's  Very nice cars regardless . 

 

Greg in Canada

Yes and no is the answer to the question.  Yes, there are surviving cars that had chrome wheels new in both a 31-34ish Auburns in both 8's and 12's, as well as "factory" photos existing of new cars that show them.  As to the 34-36 850, 851, 852 cars, there are a few factory photos existing and periodically a wheel shows up, but they were a much more rare thing.  I have not paid too much attention to 1928-1930 car original factory photos.  As a sidenote, there are a few 35-36 speedsters that sport chrome wires now, but if you find a factory Speedster photo with a car showing anything but chrome wheel disk covers be sure to flag it as to this date there are no original photos showing chrome wires or even exposed painted wires known to exist.   Factory photos, dealer photos, and tire dealer advertisements frequently can be found showing late 20's - 1936 Auburns with whitewalls - they tended to be flashy cars for flashy people. 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, md murray said:

Ford Motor Company does an annual "market trends" study that examines the younger generations -they spend a fortune on these things and are widely considered to be highly accurate. The last few years have all said the same thing: 1) kids are much more enthusiastic about new cell phones coming out than new car models, 2) 16 yr old kids are not eager to get their licenses or drive themselves-young folks would much rather call an Uber 3) they embrace little sense of pride from ownership they would much rather lease the latest and greatest (24 month leases are very popular for Ford)  4) they respond to new technology and convenience aspects of cars and care very little about performance.

-Obviously there are pockets of world where kids still love pickups and tuner cars and god bless them all-but they are vastly outnumbered.

I notice there is no words about research on what older Americans want.  We're just forced to buy what the companies put out there as if we have a gun in our back.  As for me, I've bought my very last new car or truck. 

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4 hours ago, Buick64C said:

As I said above, you need to go where younger car enthusiasts go, if you want to see them. About a mile from my house,  a group held a Paul Walker tribute cruise. There were easily a few thousand cars there. This done with no advertising, no registration and no fee. The police had to direct traffic because of the line to get in was so long.

 

When I was in high-school and college, this sort of this NEVER happened because we didn’t have the tools to coordinate it. 

 

Social media, folks.

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I think it is a fact that some young people have a natural attraction to noise and tire smoke. The entire " sport" of drift racing seems pointless to me. Anyone can put a very high boost engine in a small chassis and bake the tires off the rims. 

 All my competition driving involved the exact opposite, put the most power down possible without breaking traction. And at my level certainly no turbo's, it was hard enough to afford tires and engines with a 1.3, 1.6 or 2.0 NA car. Turbo's were for people way up the food chain with sponsors.

 Big detriment to on street antics when I was young, if your road license was suspended no start at the track. I only had to learn that once. No refund on the track fees either.

 

Greg

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36 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

I think it is a fact that some young people have a natural attraction to noise and tire smoke. The entire " sport" of drift racing seems pointless to me. Anyone can put a very high boost engine in a small chassis and bake the tires off the rims.

 

Remember these young hooligans with their big engines and smoking tires? Why wouldn't they just behave? Those Model Ts would surely have been much more fun if they had left them stock.

 

360eaa6ec7163ceb8717420d5aec555b.jpg

 

And how many '50s and '60s movies had car clubs as the villains?

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1 hour ago, mike6024 said:

 

 

This is a picture taken in my greater neighborhood, posted on the website NextDoor. The post was in a thread about side show activity in what should be quiet residential neighborhoods. Actually there is a lot of it. it also goes on in large parking lots in industrial areas. Inspired by the Fast and Furious movie franchise. I think I tried to watch one of those movies once because it was supposedly car-related but realized it was just so degenerate I turned it off. I think some of the newer sequels to it show young guys racing through the streets firing at each other with automatic weapons. A clip I happened to see by accident seemed to be like that. I find it very distasteful.

 

 

I too long for the days before F&F when teenagers drove responsibly and movies didn't include car chases and gun fire. :rolleyes:

 

Something more wholesome, like Bullitt or Gone in 60 Seconds

Edited by Buick64C (see edit history)
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