Dynaflash8

Is hobby interest in pre-WWII cars Dying?

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Dynaflash8 said:

You started too late I guess.  In 1970 I bought this car the first time for $1700.  The second time I bought back I spent over 15 times that much for it, but my Dad had passed away and left me that money.  Since that time I always felt I'd keep it until I thought the Grim Reaper might soon be knocking at the door.  It's not that I want to sell it.  I currently live in the old car end of the world in Florida, nothing to do with it except when I go to church.  It isn't a Classic car like my '41 Roadmaster, so it really isn't welcome at their events.  BCA events are mostly Sunday lunches and they are 90 miles away.  The only viable AACA club is in Miami and that is 155 miles away.  My other '39, which was my high school car and my '41 fill the usefulness bill here.  We have a 90 Park Avenue with only 3,600 miles on it, and it fills the bill for long distance from here AACA tours.  I took this car to AACA Sentimental Tours in NC and Texas, but in a closed trailer.  I want to either get out of  trailer hauling or buy an open trailer to haul my two closed sedans.  So, there you are.  My long awaited retirement extra security is suddenly no longer desirable and valuable like it used to me.  That's my story, always a day late and a dollar short.

 

Yes, the demographics of the boomers have always worked against me. In 1970 I was in Junior High with a paper route. About all I was buying were model Airplanes and even then only if they were on sale. Even when it was time to buy a house the boomer demand had pushed up prices much higher then several years previous.

  I know your problem almost exactly. You have a very nice example of a " average " desirability car.  The people who want it can't afford it, the people who can afford it want the next step up in the old car world pecking order.

I am in the same situation with the very limited production British car I am trying to lasso. 46 of them were exported to North America. The scruffy ones sell in my price range, except they are also in demand back in the UK so I keep getting beaten in my attempt to close a deal. Land logistics are more difficult for me than export logistics and by the time I have a plan for getting the darned thing home some one else has made their move.

 There is a very nice one close to home { very similar to your situation }. However the very nice one is twice as expensive as the scruffy ones I keep missing out on. No one wants the very nice one, it's been for sale for months.  I can just afford a scruffy one, no possible way I can think about one for twice the money.

  The scruffy ones sell in a blink. You could probably sell 25 of them in a year. Anyone who can afford the very nice one wants a higher status car and doesn't even look at the very nice one. They are concentrating on finding a scruffy example of cars a notch or two higher on the scale.

 It's a funny world.

 

Greg in Canada

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

     If anyone thinks your amazing convertible sedan is only worth 15k, they know nothing about old cars and should not be posting nonsense. Even if someone says it's worth only 15k, ask if he will produce the money right now, chances are he will not. This is one of the reasons I dislike selling cars although I must. People talk the talk but when it comes time to deal, they just keep on talking until they walk. You already know that my friend. Come on. 

Oh yes I know it!  You and I are birds of a feather.  And that's why I hate trying or wanting to sell a car.  The only one's I've enjoyed selling were to a dealer.  He said he would pay X for the car......never all I wanted but within reason, and one time recently a man saw my wife's prize winning Riviera, agreed to my price (which was in my opinion very reasonable), sent a man to check the car out and sent me the money.  Buyers like him are few and far between.  Selling to an individual hasn't worked for me in 50 years more than 2-3 times.  Admittedly I like cars that are not Fords or Chevrolet's and they don't have virualent followings.  It doesn't matter how good or rare the car is.  BUT, to be honest the price I was quoted for value in this tread was $25,000, not $15,000.  This dealer just sold a poor quality (IMO, because I didn't like the car or the guy who painted it for me) Wildcat 2dr hardtop for me for $22500 or more.  I don't know what I'll do with this Phaeton, maybe nothing before I die, but I won't give it away. I don't own a Mutual fund that pays more than 6.5%.  If I fire sale the car, I won't live long enough on that interest to ever get what I deserve to get for it.  I don't think the dealer is getting any calls at the base price on Ebay of $29,500.  Does that mean I should give it away for that?  He sells cars all over the world.  I can't market it like that.  He assures me that somebody out there somewhere will buy the car.  He just sold a '38 Ford phaeton for $55K.  Yeah, I know Buick doesn't have the following of a Ford, but having driven and ridden in these old Buick since I was 4 years old, I find that hard to believe.  My Dad bought one Ford in his life (a

35 Ford) after the Model T days, and kept it a week and took it back and traded for a '35 Buick.  He often told me that story.  Thanks for your post.

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5 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

 

Yes, the demographics of the boomers have always worked against me. In 1970 I was in Junior High with a paper route. About all I was buying were model Airplanes and even then only if they were on sale.

  I know your problem almost exactly. You have a very nice example of a " average " desirability car.  The people who want it can't afford it, the people who can afford it want the next step up in the old car world pecking order.

I am in the same situation with the very limited production British car I am trying to lasso. 46 of them were exported to North America. The scruffy ones sell in my price range, except they are also in demand back in the UK so I keep getting beaten in my attempt to close a deal. Land logistics are more difficult for me than export logistics and by the time I have a plan for getting the darned thing home some one else has made their move.

 There is a very nice one close to home { very similar to your situation }. However the very nice one is twice as expensive as the scruffy ones I keep missing out on. No one wants the very nice one, it's been for sale for months.  I can just afford a scruffy one, no possible way I can think about one for twice the money.

  The scruffy ones sell in a blink. You could probably sell 25 of them in a year. Anyone who can afford the very nice one wants a higher status car and doesn't even look at the very nice one. They are concentrating on finding a scruffy example of cars a notch or two higher on the scale.

 It's a funny world.

 

Greg in Canada

In the end you will end up with a lot more money in a scruffy one, and then you'll be like me either not being able to sell it, or if you do losing your shirt.  I've lost my shirt on every car I've had for 15-29 years, but I've had this car so long I figured I could make up for a little those many losses.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Dynaflash8 said:

 

I don't know what the car is worth on today's market.  It was 40, then 42 then 45K.  But apparently now its worth about $15 from what you all say.  So far not a single soul has ever made me an offer.  Yes, it is with a dealer and that adds money.  I'm hoping to find somebody like the dealers apparently always find who pay way more than anybody will pay to the owner themselves.  If it doesn't sell, and I get past my various illnesses (maybe not too far in the future) I'll bring it home and put in back in my garage.  Then I'll advertise it again, for what?  Best offer?  Before passing a dealer friend of mine sold a junk 1939 Buick Special sedan with a new paint job for $15,000.  Apparently most people here don't think a older prize winning convertible sedan is worth anymore than that.  Right?

 

No, that would be Wrong.

 

Earl,

 

As we discussed earlier today, based on a bit of experience with Straight 8 era Buicks, my semi-qualified estimate would be probably somewhere between $30,000 and $35,000 in the current market. Let me know when you get it back home and I will be happy to advertise it for you in the Torque Tube II and on the 36-38 Buick Club website. The right buyer will eventually show up, but you have to have a bit of patience. 

Edited by MCHinson (see edit history)

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2 minutes ago, Dynaflash8 said:

In the end you will end up with a lot more money in a scruffy one, and then you'll be like me either not being able to sell it, or if you do losing your shirt.  I've lost my shirt on every car I've had for 15-29 years, but I've had this car so long I figured I could make up for a little those many losses.

 

Respectfully , no I wouldn't . I like scruffy " driver" quality cars. And I do all my own work. Nothing shiny , heavy patina is quite acceptable in my books. As long as the mechanics are up to snuff and it isn't so ratty I get hassled by the police that just the way I like them. 

 People get underwater on lower end old cars treating them  as if they were in the $50,000.00 and up range. Paint , brightwork , interior cost nearly as much on a $10,000.00 car as on a $40,000.00 car, but you will recover very little of that expense at sale time. 

 My intention is to buy a scruffy one; make it mechanically  to my satisfaction, and drive, drive , drive it. If I bought the nice one I would be hesitant to even use it except on one or two perfect weather days each year.  And that would not serve my purpose in any way.

 

Greg in Canada

 

 

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15 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

 

Respectfully , no I wouldn't . I like scruffy " driver" quality cars. And I do all my own work. Nothing shiny , heavy patina is quite acceptable in my books. As long as the mechanics are up to snuff and it isn't so ratty I get hassled by the police that just the way I like them. 

 People get underwater on lower end old cars treating them  as if they were in the $50,000.00 and up range. Paint , brightwork , interior cost nearly as much on a $10,000.00 car as on a $40,000.00 car, but you will recover very little of that expense at sale time. 

 My intention is to buy a scruffy one; make it mechanically  to my satisfaction, and drive, drive , drive it. If I bought the nice one I would be hesitant to even use it except on one or two perfect weather days each year.  And that would not serve my purpose in any way.

 

Greg in Canada

 

 

Sounds like what the American Pickers preach on their TV programs.  If pretty has gone out of style, then I would prefer to go back to getting completely out of this hobby.  I had a good looking, mostly good running 41 Buick but I couldn't stand to look at it, so I gave away $30K to make the paint and chrome pretty.  Now I don't care about that.  I went in with m eyes open.  This '39 was done forty years ago in my home garage.  The guy is my next door neighbor here, except no more.  He got Alzeheimer's almost overnight and is in a home now.  He was the best restorer I ever knew or met because he did it for fun and a little money.  When I lost him, I decided it was time to sit on what I have until it needs a lot of work and start selling out.  The '39 convertible was, I thought, the best car I had.  I'm not going to let somebody beat me out of what this car is worth.

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Dyna, your car does NOT have a base price of 29500. on ebay.

 

Lets be clear here- it is based at 29999. and still has a reserve. so who knows what your "dealer" is trying to get for it, but as listed, can not be bought for 30k..............

 

as I mentioned at the beginning of this thread, totally wrong to list that way and no, Im not a dealer.

 

You better go talk to your dealer..........

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14 minutes ago, Dynaflash8 said:

Sounds like what the American Pickers preach on their TV programs.  If pretty has gone out of style, then I would prefer to go back to getting completely out of this hobby.  I had a good looking, mostly good running 41 Buick but I couldn't stand to look at it, so I gave away $30K to make the paint and chrome pretty.  Now I don't care about that.  I went in with m eyes open.  This '39 was done forty years ago in my home garage.  The guy is my next door neighbor here, except no more.  He got Alzeheimer's almost overnight and is in a home now.  He was the best restorer I ever knew or met because he did it for fun and a little money.  When I lost him, I decided it was time to sit on what I have until it needs a lot of work and start selling out.  The '39 convertible was, I thought, the best car I had.  I'm not going to let somebody beat me out of what this car is worth.

 

Please don't get me wrong, I probably like pretty cars just as much as you do. But unless I settle on a 1962 Plymouth sedan I simply can't afford a pretty ones. I have been involved in a number of high quality restorations years ago before I switched careers and became a Marine Engineer. I enjoyed the process a lot, from initial documentation and research to final assembly and de- bugging. 

 The only caveat is that someone with a much healthier wallet than I have was paying the bills.

 We all can like anything, but the crunch comes when we ask ourselves the all important , can I afford that ? Some will compromise on condition, some will compromise on what the actual machine is. A lucky few don't have to compromise at all.

  I am a machine guy { engineer } the pretty stuff is substantially less important to me. I virtually never show my cars, just drive them. 

 These days even at shows I am as often as not more interested in the drivers than the really shiny , rarely driven ones. I can sometimes seriously contemplate owning the driver quality cars. The really shiny ones are no different to me than a beautiful work of art in a gallery ; very nice to look at, but it is never going to come home with me.

 

Greg

 

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, mercer09 said:

Dyna, your car does NOT have a base price of 29500. on ebay.

 

Lets be clear here- it is based at 29999. and still has a reserve. so who knows what your "dealer" is trying to get for it, but as listed, can not be bought for 30k..............

 

as I mentioned at the beginning of this thread, totally wrong to list that way and no, Im not a dealer.

 

You better go talk to your dealer..........

Yeah I sort of agree with you.  But, until after my heart procedure I really have to let him do whatever he's doing.  He's sold a car for me recently and three for a friend of mine sometime over the last two years or so.  The last time I looked at the listing it was $29,500 base.  Maybe he changed it this week.  His story is that he never sells a car on eBay, but the eBay ad gets interested parties to contact him.  He has promised to bring me all offers like a real estate salesman.  I can only assume he hasn't gotten any.  I'll bring it home before too long.  At least I have a promise in writing that I won't have to pay to get my car back.  This experience has about killed me on the old car hobby now, after being in the clubs for over 50 years, spending 15 years on the AACA National Board and one year as National President.  That is sad.  But, as my restoration guy used to say before he got Alzhiemers Disease, "nothing is forever" and I guess I kept my car until I overstayed my welcome. It is or was the most beautiful car I've ever owned since 1955.

(Reserve not met)
Mercer09:  I just went over to eBay and looked.  Here is the ad and it says $29500.
1d 14h left
Wednesday,06:39 AM PDT

US $29,500.00

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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Here is my view on this subject: 

 

[1]:  The collectors like myself who enjoy the vehicles that their father may have had and remind them of their father or remind them of some other endearing relative are themselves getting old and not being replaced with younger collectors. My father drove a 1933 Buick to college in the late 1940s / early 1950s on the GI Bill with a car that he paid $45.  I own 4 of these beautiful 1933 vehicles that look to me like "rolling ART". However, I confess that part of the lure is that each time I get in one of these cars I am reminded of my father and all the fun I had as a kid in that old 1933 Buick, which old car spat out gas fumes and made those old car noises and old car smells. In May 2019 will some kid sit in his father's new 2019 car and have fond memories of being driven in his father's  Tesla? Will some adult today have fond memories of 30 years ago as a kid being driven in his father's 1975 Chrysler or 1979 BMW? I doubt it. ;

 

[2]:  The collectors that might purchase a pre-WW2 vehicle do not have the time to play around with stick sifting and engines that require a great amount of care and maintenance to get them on the road. Hence, these collectors stick to a vehicle that they can drive, like a 1960s to 1970s muscle car. For many collectors now, the pre-WW2 vehicle is too tall, or too boxy, or too "frumpy". They desire a more sleet, high horsepower, sexier car to collect which cars from the 1960s and 1970s are normally higher production numbers with more accessible spare parts as opposed to a pre-WW2 vehicle. If a part to a pre-WW2 car breaks it may take months to find a replacement part and the cost may be expensive, while with a 1950s, 1960s and 1970s vehicle the needed parts are easily found on Ebay or AMAZON;

 

[3]:  Too many people are spoiled with engines in modern vehicles that are maintenance free as compared to the time invested in maintenance of a pre-WW2 vehicle. There are some newer BMW sport cars now that the hood can't even be opened without going to the dealer as opening the hood voids the warranty;

 

 [4]:   For the vehicles from the 1920 to early 1930s, the potential collectors may like the physical appearance of these cars but as soon as they see the engine and what it takes to get these vehicles on the road they back off. I heard comments all the time about "Al Capone" when people make comments after seeing one of my 1933 Buicks. The problem is that most younger people can't even drive a stick shift and with collecting an old car they do not like the hassle of what it takes to get the car on the road or the problems with having to deal with stick-shifting on 3 gears with minimal horsepower compared to the new cars of today. You would be surprised at how many 40+ year old males ask me why the 1933 Buick does not have a smaller steering wheel? Or ask me to explain "mechanical brakes", or ask me where the lever is to "tilt" the steering wheel, or ask me why the roof has a hole filled with wood, etc. QUERY: If you are never introduced to a pre-WW2 car and want to drive an older car when you get older and have some money to spend on a hobby why would you want something other than a 1960s or 1970s vehicle?   How many pre-WW2 cars were at SEMA in Las Vegas in late October 2018? I was there at SEMA in 2018 as I was at SEMA in the years earlier and answer is very few pre-WW2 cars were exhibited and the ones that were exhibited there at SEMA were all Hot Rods.;

 

[5]:  Caveat: Yes the true rare classic cars (CCCA) with a pedigree through CCCA (such as being coach built by some coach builder like Brewster, Derham, Dietrich, Fisher, Fleetwood, Rollston, Murphy, Judkins, LeBaron, or Willoughby) still fetch some good prices but those collectors are few. Moreover, many of them who have very deep pockets are more interested in joining the "club" for those high dollar pre-WW2 classic cars to trade like a vintage baseball card that is stored in a glass case. Unlike when these vehicles were new and actually driven day-to-day and parked on the street through the 1950s or parked at a parking lot up to the 1950s, these cars after being restored at $150,000+ per vehicle to look better than when manufactured or "coach built"  sit in a storage facility for private display that is as good or better than a museum. They are only to be taken out in the Spring and Summer to be shown from time to time at some concourse or classic care event rather than driven for the fun of driving.  

 

 

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I am 30 years old. I did not know how to drive stick before I bought my 1926 Dodge, but I love its original engine and components. I am a stickler for keeping things stock, so I learned how to drive it. I have always had an unsual affinity for the past (1910s thru 1960s) and cannot provide and explanation as to why, but I will say that I was a rare bird when compared to the majority of my peers growing up. 

 

And by by the way, I posted this using my iPhone. Haha. 

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With an opening bid of 29,999 and a reserve I would expect the reserve to be twice that so I would instantly think it's too much and move on.  If a seller is going to use a reserve you need to start it cheaper to get interest in the item.  With or without a reserve you need to start stuff cheap to actually sell it on ebay.  You have to work to build excitement.  It must be working as Im able to sell stuff everyday that you can buy it now cheaper than it's bid to,  but only because I started almost all my bids at 2.99 with no reserve so the buyer knows they are going to own it with every bid placed and not guessing at some imaginary number.   I agree cars are tougher.   Though a perfect example is a Vette I was trying to sell that never got bid to more than 50G with a reserve of 65G never even had much interest.  It was a beautiful driver I hated to sell but needed to finance the new house so I had to cull my herd.  Anyways,  the car got badly damaged due to a fire.  I cleaned it up really well.  Clearly showed all the damage ran it through wit ha reserve of 30G.  It went right past that in the first 12 hours of the auction,.  then continued on to sell for 60G.  The only reason was once that reserve was met,  they knew they were going to win it.  Now if I started it at say 40,  I bet it would have probably ended right about there. The last hour of the auction saw it jump 10G.  It's no different than when you are at a live auction and the auctioneer is selling say a coke machine and starts at $500.  no bids,  everyone is sitting on their hands,  but drop that sucker down to $25 and watch the sharks start to circle. 

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Posted (edited)

Any collector item.......car, coin, stamp, painting, beer can........what ever it is, the true value of the item is what you can get for it in 24-48 hours. The “dump or cash out” price. Demographics and generational shift are causing adjustments in all areas of collectable items. 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..........mechanical things were in and part of our lives. Guns, fishing tackle, ect........today’s kids don’t  build tree forts, hunt, fish, chop wood, cut and stack hay bales..........how about raising livestock then butchering it and putting it on the table. Lifestyles are changing and the technology shift, social media, on line market places, it all adds up to what most of us would call homogenized youth.............they have very little interest in any one hobby, sport, pastime, ect. For many people today it’s about image and lifestyle according to their new modern style of living.........and their  discretionary dollars are far fewer, further between, and focused on things that we do not own. Wait till home ownership goes out of fashion...........and try and sell you home. Things change and evolve, people tend to stay the way they are..........don’t have all your eggs in one basket. I went from over twenty cars down to four....I have written off all my cars in my possession to zero value...........even though they add up to a chunk of my net worth..........I don’t intend to sell them while living, and if I had too, the overall loss would be 70 percent of my investment. I made a bunch of money in the old car hobby, and spent much more than I ever gained, and in the end will be in the hole for well over half a mile(large). Such is life, the money spent on vacation, weddings, funerals, parties, ect........the cash is gone. I can’t take it with me. The older I get the less I worry about money..........I wanted to retire early, and found out the more I work the happier I am. Now while still in my early 50’s I’m putting in more hours than I was twenty years ago, and I really don’t mind it at all. I also figured out I will work as long as I can......till my body will no longer let me..........sitting in front of the tv doesn’t interest me. Fixing things and interacting with people is what I enjoy, so I use my skill set to keep busy, make a few bucks, and interact with people with similar interests. Little known fact........every month or two I help people out on this site with their car problems..........to the extent that I should probably be paid for it.......I just do it to help people out. The reward is a thank you and a new friend or  acquaintance. Makes my life full, interesting, and busy. What more could one ask for? Sunday I worked on a Jeep for a local guy who had five shops try and fix it......a CJ-8 converted to fuel injection. It would barley run, and there was no way to hook the system to a computer or scanner for troubleshooting. I used my Fluke DVOM, and went back to the basics, testing my memory trying to remember Chrysler computer fuel control diagnostics and values. Fixed the thing in less than half an hour........felt good about it. It was fun to drive a Jeep again like back in my high school days. Now I also remember why I don’t own one today! Enough rambling.............it doesn’t matter how much money you have in a car, how rare it is, what year, color, ect.............it’s only worth what supply and demand dictates. I understand we may not like it, but reality is what it is. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

I've sold two cars that are somewhat similar to the one that is being offered here -- both late 30s or early 40s convertible non-CCCA cars.   What worked for me: 

 

(1) posting on the Internet a very large number of high resolution pictures of every aspect of the car,

(2) giving a complete history of the car, including who owned it, what work has been done, how much it has been driven, recent repairs, recent awards, etc.,

(3) making sure my ad was seen pretty widely, such as on Hemmings, club websites, etc. and

(4) including  a realistic price that made clear I was serious about selling, and that didn't require potential buyers to "make an offer" way below the offering price just to get into the realistic price range.   

 

The first of the cars sold in about 3-4 weeks to the first person who came out to see it, who had seen the ad in a club publication.  The second of the cars also sold in about 3-4 weeks, this time at my full asking price sight unseen (which certainly surprised me, but I was happy to take).  In both cases I sold the car for about 5%-10% more than I paid for them myself about 4 years earlier. 

Edited by 1935Packard (see edit history)
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8 hours ago, auburnseeker said:

Though a perfect example is a Vette I was trying to sell that never got bid to more than 50G with a reserve of 65G never even had much interest.  It was a beautiful driver I hated to sell but needed to finance the new house so I had to cull my herd.  Anyways,  the car got badly damaged due to a fire.  I cleaned it up really well.  Clearly showed all the damage ran it through wit ha reserve of 30G.  It went right past that in the first 12 hours of the auction,.  then continued on to sell for 60G.  The only reason was once that reserve was met,  they knew they were going to win it.  Now if I started it at say 40,  I bet it would have probably ended right about there. The last hour of the auction saw it jump 10G.  It's no different than when you are at a live auction and the auctioneer is selling say a coke machine and starts at $500.  no bids,  everyone is sitting on their hands,  but drop that sucker down to $25 and watch the sharks start to circle. 

 

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.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, 1912Staver said:

 

Yes, the demographics of the boomers have always worked against me. In 1970 I was in Junior High with a paper route. About all I was buying were model Airplanes and even then only if they were on sale. Even when it was time to buy a house the boomer demand had pushed up prices much higher then several years previous.

 

Looking at your timeline, it was probably Jim Pattison, and the rest of his Expo 86 committee which drove up prices in the Lower Mainland.  Once the highly successful celebration closed, land prices continued going up up up!

 

"I am in the same situation with the very limited production British car I am trying to lasso. 46 of them were exported to North America. The scruffy ones sell in my price range, except they are also in demand back in the UK so I keep getting beaten in my attempt to close a deal. Land logistics are more difficult for me than export logistics and by the time I have a plan for getting the darned thing home some one else has made their move.

 There is a very nice one close to home { very similar to your situation }. However the very nice one is twice as expensive as the scruffy ones I keep missing out on. No one wants the very nice one, it's been for sale for months.  I can just afford a scruffy one, no possible way I can think about one for twice the money."

 

Not sure what one of these 46 are, but a very rare Jensen-bodied Austin A40 convertible project was up for sale at the Red Deer Swap Meet two weekends ago.  And there is another restored example in Victoria.

 

Craig

 

 

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, BucketofBolts said:

I own 4 of these beautiful 1933 vehicles that look to me like "rolling ART". However, I confess that part of the lure is that each time I get in one of these cars I am reminded of my father and all the fun I had as a kid in that old 1933 Buick, which old car spat out gas fumes and made those old car noises and old car smells. In May 2019 will some kid sit in his father's new 2019 car and have fond memories of being driven in his father's  Tesla? Will some adult today have fond memories of 30 years ago as a kid being driven in his father's 1975 Chrysler or 1979 BMW? I doubt it. ;

What you say is so true.  I look at a 1939 Buick Special as "Rolling Art".  I even negate a Century because it doesn't look like the family car...the hood is too long.  I don't like the Roadmaster and Limited because the body is "too bulky".  I am really turned on by the 1939 Buick Special because when I was 3 my Dad bought one in 1941.  Everywhere we traveled until 1951 was in that Buick...every good memory of beaches, long trips, etc. were made and cherished in that Buick.  When I was 16 and allowed my first car...yes....I bought a 1939 Buick Special that had belonged to a friend of the family.  But, I was 16, and soon a girl (not my later wife) turned my head to a more modern car....in my case a 1952 Plymouth Belvedere 2dr hardtop.  I bought the second '39 Buick for $15 and sold it for $30.  After marrying and buying a house in Maryland I found another '39 Buick sedan for $120 borrowed dollars) and spent 18 years making it look exactly like the first one I had at 16 and having it win an AACA Grand National.  During much of that time it was our second car)  It remains in my garage today.  I wish I had time to restore it again, and maybe I do.  I always wanted a '39 Buick convertible coupe, but as a Classic Car enthusiast as a reader and picture looker only, I thought the convertible sedan was much rarer and more desirable with 724 units than a convertible coupe at 4200+ units.  In 1970 I found this car along my Dad's home delivery laundry route in Washington, DC.  In 1980-81 I restored it in Sequoia Cream, a color available new from Buick on convertibles only.  I kept it until 1985 when we decided to build a weekend country home in Virginia that would eventually be our first retirement home .  The late Lewis Jenkins of N.Wilkesboro, NC was the most well-known Buick restoration facility of the time.  He bought it and put it into his budding Buick-Cadillac Museum.  In 1999 my Dad passed and I was an only child.  Using some of my inheritance I went to Lewis Jenkins and asked if I could buy my car back.  He agreed in 2000 and the price I paid him amounted to about a 2.5% 15-year home loan.  I did some upkeep re-restoration that included a new top and some paint repair.  We've enjoyed it the second time for 19 years.  Over those years I owned ten other '39 Buicks, one being a Century Opera Coupe and I didn't like how that one drove.  Jenkins always told me the ones with 15-inch tires drove like a truck...and I sort of agreed, but the worst problem was the three piece manifold.  Once I got that fixed I sold the car.  In 1971 a new friend drove a 1941 Buick Limited from LA to my home just outside Baltimore.  I fell in love with that car, and eventually sidetracked into those....and owned two, restoring one to an AACA Senior.  I sold it for enough to pay off my house in 1981....never again to have a mortgage.  In the years to come I bought a 1941 Roadmaster 4dr convertible, substancially upgraded it, and sold that from the Buick Club magazine for a fair price.  I think I made an $1800 profit.  Recently, I wanted to be active in the SoFla CCCA Region so when the '41 Roadmasters were included as recognized Classics I bought a nice original sedan with 59K miles for too much money and then painted and rechromed it.  That's how I like a car....bright and shiny.  Nobody else would have done that to this '41 sedan and I expect to lose $20-25,000 on it if I live to sell it.  I won't sell the high school '39 Buick although on a recent tour the blue metallic got spotted when it was parked under some strange tree in Mississippi in the rain.  When my Dad died, his last car was a 1991 Buick Park Avenue which I inherited and gave to a daughter....but he'd turned me on all over again, in a modern way, to a Buick.  I owned five LeSabres and Park Avenue's until they quit making them.  Recently I found a 1991 Buick Park Avenue like my Dad's last car, except for color, with only 3,061 original verified miles on it.  I bought it for AACA tours far off from here, so I could stop towing a closed trailer there.  The convertible needs the protection of a closed trailer.  There is minus zero antique car activity here nearer than 100 miles away.  So, two '39 Buicks and one '41 Buick is just too many pre-war cars for a garage located in a vast wasteland of activity and the ability to enjoy them.  My longtime mechanic and restoration man moved here from Maryland 25 years before me because he liked the "quiet life".  Man, is this place the quiet life!  So, when we decided to move to Florida we bought the house next door.  He restored and repaired a number of cars for me since, including a green 1939 Buick Special convertible coupe which I won the first AACA Buick Heritage reward with.  I then had a bought with Cancer, got scared of all that money in the garage, and sold it for $25K less than I had in the restoration.  But, the enjoyment of that Award satisfied a lifelong ambition.  I never took the convertible sedan higher than an AACA Senior because I didn't want to get so much money it I'd have that kind of a loss.  It was sort of my holdback.  We still made it really nice though.  Now times have really changed.  My friend next door is two years older than me.  Three years ago he started into Alzhiemers and sixth months ago had to go into a nursing home.  I don't have my friend or my mechanic next door anymore.  I want to start my cutback too.....he didn't know that was coming.  I don't know what is coming either...hopefully not that.  I have a good local shop, but they work for modern hourly rates.  I want to get rid of the Suburban, the closed trailer, and my lovely '39 Buick convertible sedan.  After all it is aging too.  Instead of getting the hoped-for value of these ridiculous value guides, I've decided to take what I have invested in old money.  Seriously, what are 2000 dollars worth now, sixty cents?  I put it with a dealer who thought he could get 50K so I wouldn't have to meet or know whoever bought it....that's kind of painful to me.  He still thinks he can get his commission.  This website has beaten me down...destroyed something I'd hoped to achieve for 34 of the last 49 years.  It's going to be kind of a sad ending to a very longtime dream.  BucketofBolts your wife is different from mine I guess.  My wife has been headlong into the hobby with me all 60 years we've been married, but she started asking me as I kept wanting to bring another 1939 Buick home, "Why do you want so many cars that all do the same thing and drive the same way?"  You said it best.  I guess that's why.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)

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Dying is a very strong word—I would say it is declining. I would also say that the much of the traditional car hobby is in decline—folks who age out or pass on are not being replaced one to one with new folks.

 

A data point: my wife and I joined our local NCRS chapter in 2004. At that time, we were the youngest people in the chapter. We left the NCRS (long story) in 2011. When we returned in 2017, we were still the youngest people in the chapter.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, j3studio said:

Dying is a very strong word—I would say it is declining. I would also say that the much of the traditional car hobby is in decline—folks who age out or pass on are not being replaced one to one with new folks.

 

A data point: my wife and I joined our local NCRS chapter in 2004. At that time, we were the youngest people in the chapter. We left the NCRS (long story) in 2011. When we returned in 2017, we were still the youngest people in the chapter.

Yeah, Jay Leno made a speech somewhere twenty years or so ago warning of the "coming".  The late baseball pitcher Satchel Paige also made a warning "Don't look back, or you might see something catching up with you" (something like that).  Too many of us who grew up in the 1950s took his advice instead and now, it looks like to me, we've been caught.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)

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My suggestion is to advertise it in British and European old-car publications, even if it upsets you should it leave North America.  They can't seem to get enough American cars over there.  Have a look at the British publication, 'Classic American' magazine.

 

Craig

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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. 

 

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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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