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Is hobby interest in pre-WWII cars Dying?


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16 minutes ago, Buick64C said:

 

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

 

 

What about 2 lane Blacktop ?

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1 hour ago, Buick64C said:

 

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

You're being sarcastic?

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Prices are going down.  Way down.  A dealer has to make a mark up also so if you are pricing at what you think it is worth and add the mark up, cross your fingers for a long time.

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I think that's why we veered off topic.  Only so many reasons and scenarios why a nice convertible sedan is not selling and so many examples of similar cars that similar money can buy before you run out of things to say.  It's nice,  most likely priced above market, whatever that may be,  or it would have sold.  Nothing wrong with it just too much competition out there for the $$.  Simple supply and demand with a clientele that's most likely not looking for a 39 Buick per say so much as an early car of similar style.  I've seen alot of 36 to 39 Ford Convertible sedans for sale.  Some very nice and most were under or near 30.  You are competing with them as well and there are several to choose from.  Even some 39 Mercury models.  Some guys might even prefer the Ford over a Buick as they are for the most part a mail order car for replacement parts. 

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Is the interest in pre war car’s declining?  No. Is the market and the demographics changing? Yes, Yes, Yes. That being said, I have recently seen a pre war car bring a world record price.......and smack it down........ the issue is very, very, very simple. Supply and demand. If there is no demand, the supply of one car will crash the market. You can hold the car a day, a week, a month, or a year......even a decade. Simple fact is we very often love and cherish our cars......many others don’t. .....recently I listed my main residence for sale.......in dealing with the realtor, he said something that was profound.............he told me he is trying to sell my house, and I’m trying to sell a home. Two distinct and substantially different views of a tangible object. It is irrelevant what I place for a value on my home.......the buyer is looking for a house. We will meet somewhere........hopefully in the higher end of the spectrum. Fact is, I no longer need the home.......and the holding costs are well over 3200 dollars per month. So, do I sit on it for a year or two, and try and get every last dollar out of it........for the asset that now has almost zero value to me, or do I unload it in 60 days or less.......and move on. Simple mathematics that in the end can shake one to their core............ It’s got to go, I no longer want or need it. My selling price? In the end it doesn’t really matter, at about 40k per year holding cost, plus the pressure of carrying it for no reason, a 80k price cut is better than sitting on it for two years hoping to get the extra 100k. I’ll sell it at market and forget about it........it will only take me ten or fifteen years to accept it. The hard truth is ANY tangible asset is only worth what you can get for it in the  very short term.............I’m not going to like it, and I may never get over it..........but how many working people today can float a 4500 or 5500 dollar a month mortage and household budget? Less than one percent. I just need the next idiot in line.......to relieve me of my burden........I can assure you, I will NOT let him get away when I find him. The world is changing in ways us fifty, sixty, and seventy year olds find hard to understand and impossible to predict. To each his own, as for me........it’s time to get out. At what cost? I have no idea, but since I can’t change it, I’ll swallow hard and learn to live with it. It’s time to turn the page. And look forward to what is next in the time that is left. Shrouds don’t have pockets. Best of luck on the sale.........I think ALL of us are going to need it unless we are in the top 1/2 of one percent of the market. Best, Ed.

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edinmss: You're right.  Everything around is painful just like you say.  I'm no different than you are and the price on my car is very flexible.  How many time do I have to say that.  No I won't sell it for $1200.  Okay?  But, it is for sale and the idea is to sell it.  I don't like hardly anything in today's society I like anymore in or out of the hobby.  But it is what it is.

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auburnseeker: The same guy recently sold a '38 Ford 4dr convertible for $38,500.  That is easily in the ballpark of what I want.  His price gives him room to accept a trade-in if somebody wants to go that way.  Where I come from the asking price never means anything.  I had a $55K second home in VA listed for $49,900 that sold for $35,000 and her initial offer was $25K.  That's how the real world works.  I still think the market is drying up for not just pre-WWII cars but pre-1955 cars that aren't Fords, V8s or speciality cars like say a 1953 Olds Fiesta etc.

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12 minutes ago, Dynaflash8 said:

I still think the market is drying up for not just pre-WWII cars but pre-1955 cars that aren't Fords, V8s or speciality cars like say a 1953 Olds Fiesta etc.

 

Your observation about 1950's cars is interesting, Earl.

Two years ago, Hagerty (the antique-car insurer) observed

the same thing:

 

"Generally speaking,  1950's cars haven't been performing

all that well in the market, and that includes what might be

the most recognizable '50's cars of them all--the 1955-1957

Bel Airs.  Younger buyers aren't expressing much interest

in these cars, so as owners exit the market, demand continues

weakening.  Right now, Bel Airs lag behind the rest of the 

market in most measures, although prices have remained

strong on the private market."

 

On our AACA region's tours, cars of the 1960's are most

popular now, though our annual car show sees cars of

all decades.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, Dynaflash8 said:

The same guy recently sold a '38 Ford 4dr convertible for $38,500. 

Time to find a new seller if he couldn't persuade the guy to upgrade to a Buick for similar money. ;) 

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2 hours ago, Dynaflash8 said:

auburnseeker: The same guy recently sold a '38 Ford 4dr convertible for $38,500.  That is easily in the ballpark of what I want.  His price gives him room to accept a trade-in if somebody wants to go that way.  Where I come from the asking price never means anything.  I had a $55K second home in VA listed for $49,900 that sold for $35,000 and her initial offer was $25K.  That's how the real world works.  I still think the market is drying up for not just pre-WWII cars but pre-1955 cars that aren't Fords, V8s or speciality cars like say a 1953 Olds Fiesta etc.

 

Earl, if you're willing to take $40K for that lovely Buick and he has it listed for more than $60,000, that's a fishing expedition and fishing expeditions never work. There are no suckers left. What really happens is that the overpriced car gets old on the market and by the time you mark it down to the right price, all the buyers are gone. They've already seen it and moved on or worse, they assume something is wrong with it--otherwise, why didn't someone else already buy it? That kind of egregious margin is what is killing the sale of your Buick, no other reason. Nobody's going to offer $40K on a $62,000+ ask--they wouldn't even suspect such a thing was remotely possible. If, for example, I price a car at $64,900, that means I can probably sell it for $58-60,000. Not $38-40,000. That's an absolutely insane margin. Nobody's going to put up a reasonable offer against that. Nobody. They [rightly] assume that a $40,000 offer on a $62,000 ask would be insulting and embarrassing.

 

In addition, it's a pretty serious marketing issue. You'll note that every single car sales website has the ability to sort and search by price. A great many buyers will put their ceiling in there and see what's available. If you have $40,000 to spend, you want to see all the cars that cost between $0 and $40,000. So even if someone is punching in the $40,000 that you'd actually accept, they're not even SEEING your car, never mind thinking they can actually own it. Your dealer is eliminating a substantial number of buyers before they've even seen your car.

 

I'm seeing the problem here and it ain't fender skirts...

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I remember that Earl said the dealer would be

lowering the listing price.  However, the Buick is

priced at $62,500 on the Hemmings Motor News

website:

 

https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/dealer/buick/special/2221273.html

 

When I feel a car is priced substantially too high,

MAYBE I would inquire and say, "If anything changes,

give me a call."  I am patient, but by the time the seller's

expectations become reasonable, I may have bought

something else.  Most of the time, I simply wouldn't call.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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14 hours ago, auburnseeker said:

I think that's why we veered off topic.  Only so many reasons and scenarios why a nice convertible sedan is not selling and so many examples of similar cars that similar money can buy before you run out of things to say.  It's nice,  most likely priced above market, whatever that may be,  or it would have sold.  Nothing wrong with it just too much competition out there for the $$.  Simple supply and demand with a clientele that's most likely not looking for a 39 Buick per say so much as an early car of similar style.  I've seen alot of 36 to 39 Ford Convertible sedans for sale.  Some very nice and most were under or near 30.  You are competing with them as well and there are several to choose from.  Even some 39 Mercury models.  Some guys might even prefer the Ford over a Buick as they are for the most part a mail order car for replacement parts. 

I hate to say this, but there are a lot of really cool cars out there that have limited interest in them, have lots of interest but price is very important to those people interested, or whatever the case may be  - Generally speaking, perhaps if an owner wants a price starting with a 4 the price start with a 4, a wanted price starting with a 5 the price should start with a 5, and if the owner wants a price starting with a 6 then the price should start with a 6.  Keep in mind the dealers job is to get them the highest amount possible within the allotted time frame. 

 

I will say whoever does get this Buick, they probably will be very pleased with it no matter what number they pay as it is a very nice car - I especially like that AACA Senior badge on it (in the big or small scheme of things these badges are pretty coveted and few cars ever achieve such). 

 

I  went out this morning and looked at a very nice  early 1930's  CCCA  car  (I was first person on scene too) and the owner was someone who I never met (surprisingly given our area), who was really nice, and flexible on their price too, but I really would have only paid less than half their asking and I just felt we were too far away, so I chose to walk away rather than offend them (maybe if I had blurted out my number I would have a car, but plenty of cars out there too) - so I just thanked them and said I did not think it was the car for me and I will keep it in mind should I change my mind though not leaning that way at moment, and I wished them all the best of luck.  

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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An interesting topic to me. I was born in ‘71. I’m unsure of the demographic here but I’d wager the majority are over 60. 

 

I’m very much into old cars. Brass era. 20’s. Post war. Cars right up to about the mid-50’s. I have no interest in muscle cars or resto-mods.  Slamming a SBC 350 and turbo 400 in a vintage car makes me cringe. No thanks. If you like it. Great. To each their own. 

 

What differences do I see today, looking at my teen years, after raising my 2 boys? My Sons are 20 and 22. I think between them both, they know 1 friend who’s a grease monkey.  Rare it is to find any young person who does any of their own vehile maintenance. They just aeem to have zero interest. I can’t understand it.  It seems that the internet and social media is dumbing down society at an alarmning rate. Motivation to do most anything wothwhile seems to have vaporized from the masses. Throwing money at labor to have someone fix something seems to be a viable solution. I have a real hard time doing that. 

 

At 48 this year here’s where I’m at with a pre-war car. I want one. However I won’t buy one unless its a smokin’ deal. In reality meaning, it needs work. Engine smokes. Needs brakes. Maybe an engine and tranny rebuild. Part of the charm to me, is the journey of fixing it up. I don’t necessarily want a show car, paying $40,000 plus. If I could get it for $10K, sure. That’d be cool. Then I’d miss the whole “fixing it up” thing. I think a certian part of the bond with the car never develops. The sense of accomplishment. The pride.

 

I think there is superficial interest in these post war cars. Even antique cars. I’m not sure there are many out there who can really look after them. The knowledge pool is getting shallow. The interest in old cars seems to be on the surface. Many like to look at, and would jump at the chance to drive an old car. Owning one? Getting under one?...Umm. A likely “no”. 

 

This doesn’t need to be happening. There are car clubs. There are real good forums. Problem is everyone in the vintage car clubs are 65+. Like the demographic here I suspect.  Young people seem to have little confidence in their mechanical abilites. That’s earned from experience. You gotta put the iphone down and turn off You-Tube. Pick up a wrench. Get grease in your hair. Sadly less and less are doing so. Very sad. 

 

That’s just me. My position and my take on it based on my experiences. 

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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18 hours ago, keithb7 said:

It seems that the internet and social media is dumbing down society at an alarmning rate. Motivation to do most anything wothwhile seems to have vaporized from the masses.

 

Spent the morning between the garage doing some mellow waxing and then a little lawn mowing. Just got back from taking my Wife to lunch in my 16 year old BMW with more computer technology than any of the Apollo capsules. My Daughter was volunteering at some soup kitchen for the homeless in Boston.

 

Twenty years ago she showed some promise.

003.thumb.jpg.28a21d3e217daca2d7e236627e06840e.jpg

 

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, keithb7 said:

. . . You gotta put the iphone down and turn off You-Tube. Pick up a wrench. . .

 

I have to say that there were some YouTube videos that were very helpful for me when I had to do some work on my newer "daily driver". I probably wouldn't have figured out the easy way to get the dash disassembled to access the multi-function display without that resource. And the vehicle specific forum archive was instrumental in showing me which pins on which connector likely had bad solder joints causing the problem. A couple of hours searching the web saved me between $200 and $800 depending on new/used dealer/mechanic quotes I was looking at. In the end, it took me about 2 or 3 hours to fix the problem with no other expenses (I had the correct size wrenches, solder, soldering iron, etc.).

 

Maybe a way forward would be for us older folk to make the same type of "how to repair" videos for our old cars that the younger folk seem to do for the newer cars. That might save some of the knowledge for the next generation.

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39 minutes ago, ply33 said:

 

I have to say that there were some YouTube videos that were very helpful for .

 

Maybe a way forward would be for us older folk to make the same type of "how to repair" videos for our old cars that the younger folk seem to do for the newer cars. That might save some of the knowledge for the next generation.

I do that! Check out my You Tube Id “keithb7”.  I am trying to foster future generations to pick up the hobby. 

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8 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

Earl, if you're willing to take $40K for that lovely Buick and he has it listed for more than $60,000, that's a fishing expedition and fishing expeditions never work. There are no suckers left. What really happens is that the overpriced car gets old on the market and by the time you mark it down to the right price, all the buyers are gone. They've already seen it and moved on or worse, they assume something is wrong with it--otherwise, why didn't someone else already buy it? That kind of egregious margin is what is killing the sale of your Buick, no other reason. Nobody's going to offer $40K on a $62,000+ ask--they wouldn't even suspect such a thing was remotely possible. If, for example, I price a car at $64,900, that means I can probably sell it for $58-60,000. Not $38-40,000. That's an absolutely insane margin. Nobody's going to put up a reasonable offer against that. Nobody. They [rightly] assume that a $40,000 offer on a $62,000 ask would be insulting and embarrassing.

 

In addition, it's a pretty serious marketing issue. You'll note that every single car sales website has the ability to sort and search by price. A great many buyers will put their ceiling in there and see what's available. If you have $40,000 to spend, you want to see all the cars that cost between $0 and $40,000. So even if someone is punching in the $40,000 that you'd actually accept, they're not even SEEING your car, never mind thinking they can actually own it. Your dealer is eliminating a substantial number of buyers before they've even seen your car.

 

I'm seeing the problem here and it ain't fender skirts...

Well, it's too late now.  I listed it in January after he sold the other Buick and then I got sick end of February.  He thought he could get 50 and listed it for 62. Whatever.  What do I know?  This is why I hate selling cars.  All the books said it was worth $49K.  I would have listed it myself the second time for $45K.  I took the lazy route.  He does repairs in his shop before they go out the door to provide some sort of guarantee I guess and that costs him money.  I know they improved the other car a lot.

He listed the other car 10 over what I wanted and got it, okay.  He sells lots of cars.   After my next surgery if it hasn't sold I'll bring it home and re-clutter the garage.  If nobody wants it I do anyway.  I'll remove the Trippe lights and put them on the shelf, but I'm not going to touch anything else.  It is as is.  After awhile I'll put it in Hemmings for exactly what I want.  Haha, I can always give it to AACA for their Library/Museum.  In my tax bracket I'd get about $5,000 that way.  I just hope I can get it back without paying something.

 

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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 I hope your surgery goes well and you look back on this thread not as a criticism but as a possible learning experience. I've been following not because your car is my ideal car or because I'm ready to sell any of my cars, but the time is getting closer to selling even though I still get tempted to buy another.  I'm following for my own sake and wish you well in the upcoming surgery and the sale of one of your cherished cars.

 

Carl

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My Grandfather used to say "I heard its a piss poor man who won't go half way. I'll split the difference with you."

 

I was pretty young, but recognized it as a great way to boost you own self esteem and put the other guy in an awkward position.

 

Ahhhh, my formative years.

Bernie

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Okay, all of you got what you wanted.  I told the dealer I want the car back at 1 PM on next Tuesday, May 28.  I have to go up there to see it before I have AAA pick it or decide to drive it the 55 miles home.  It's been sitting for 5 months, but it has often sat that long in my garage, except the new battery might be dead by now.  He thinks I'm too old and sick to drive it home myself...ha.  But, I might take the easy way out.  I have AAA for 125 miles.  I hope I made everybody happy.  I dont' know if I'm happy or not.  He said he'd reduced the price to $41,500 and cut his commission, and I don't disbelieve him.  Actually, I like the guy personally.  But, according to one of you who should know, you can't just keep cutting the price.  After my heart surgery, maybe I'll put it up for sale in Hemmings, BCA and other places or maybe I'll wait until I'm 82 when I plan to sell the truck and trailer (June, 2020).  Hear this.  My wife is a tough cookie.  If anything happens to me I'll bet she'll be harder to deal with than me. 😀  Oh yeah, I'll take all the advice and remove the Trippe Lights and put them in my trophy case.

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

 I told the dealer I want the car back at 1 PM on next Tuesday, May 28. ...

 He said he'd reduced the price to $41,500 and cut his commission... 

 

Earl, I trust all will be well with you.

You and your wife could always put the car on sale now,

for very close to your bottom-line price, and she could

do much of the dealing.  Your dealer may be willing to take

$41,500, but he still has the 1939 Buick listed at $52,500

on his own website:

 

http://www.mjcclassiccars.com/1939-buick-special-phaeton/

 

And he still has it listed at $62,500 on the Hemmings website:

 

https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/dealer/buick/special/2221273.html

 

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A happy point to ponder:

One of our local AACA region members had a big sale

and dispersed most of his car collection.  However,

he lived well beyond that, to 100, and he and his wife

even celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary.

 

He regretted selling off his cars too soon!

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8 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

Earl, I trust all will be well with you.

You and your wife could always put the car on sale now,

for very close to your bottom-line price, and she could

do much of the dealing.  Your dealer may be willing to take

$41,500, but he still has the 1939 Buick listed at $52,500

on his own website:

 

http://www.mjcclassiccars.com/1939-buick-special-phaeton/

 

And he still has it listed at $62,500 on the Hemmings website:

 

https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/dealer/buick/special/2221273.html

 

I'll do any dealing as long as I'm living.  The price will be at the $37,500 when it goes on sale.  Meanwhile, if I really get it back Tuesday it can rest safely in my garage until I'm able and ready to do that.

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7 hours ago, Frank DuVal said:

A good rest for both of you and everything will be better! 👍

 

Take care.

Frank: I wonder just how good and complete Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg is.  When I lived in Montross, all of my friends who had any serious problem had to go to MCV in Richmond.  I'd dearly love to move back to Montross, but the state income taxes and snow turn me away. We have a good governor and no state income taxes here in Florida.  We've been looking at Lake City because they have a great AACA Region club, very active, and the climate is much like Virginia without the snow.  Living in Montross was the happiest time in our married life, especially before I retired in 1992 and we moved there full time from Maryland.  Until then we used the place for weekends.  I had 5 acreas, 3 in hilly grass.  Cutting that grass would kill us now.  I knew that and since we were 1/4 mile off the road, we decided to sell out in 2005 and come to Florida.  And yes, this is off the subject.  Please don't throw the thread off line with a bunch of comments on this off-thread note to Frank.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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On ‎5‎/‎18‎/‎2019 at 6:52 AM, Dynaflash8 said:

auburnseeker: The same guy recently sold a '38 Ford 4dr convertible for $38,500.  That is easily in the ballpark of what I want.  His price gives him room to accept a trade-in if somebody wants to go that way.  Where I come from the asking price never means anything.  I had a $55K second home in VA listed for $49,900 that sold for $35,000 and her initial offer was $25K.  That's how the real world works.  I still think the market is drying up for not just pre-WWII cars but pre-1955 cars that aren't Fords, V8s or speciality cars like say a 1953 Olds Fiesta etc.

 

Earl:

 

It's regrettable that some part of the hobby is a popularity contest.  That is why whether pre war or post war some Chevys and Fords sell for more money than Buicks and Oldsmobiles. 

 

I'm no expert but monitor the non auction high end market.  There is a culture shift going on and there are fewer buyers. edinmass and others move in a different more affluent collector world than 95% of us. 

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On ‎5‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 2:32 PM, Matt Harwood said:

 

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.

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.

 

Ding ding ding!!!  This is it for me, and I am not necessarily the benchmark for the market but I am at another tipping point where I can come back into the market and buy.  It will likely be this year.  My budget will be, eh, $40,000 tops.  And I probably won't spend that.  I want 2 cars not one. 

 

It's not fair to compare your car to some of the cars I am considering, but at age 55, I like cars from the teens to the 90's.  My sweet spot would be the large cars from Cadillac and Buick in the 1970's.  Yep, people collect those.  And I can get a low mileage well taken cared for collector car from this era for $6000 to $14,000. 

 

Or - there are 60's convertible "drivers" all day long for $10,000 to $15,000.  The fifties are an interesting sub market right now. 2 door hardtops and convertibles are pricey but if a collector wants to experience the hobby and smile all the way, get a four door sedan for - you guessed it - $10,000 to $15,000. 

 

I am following several 40's Cadillacs for no more than $20K asking that are not selling.  I am looking at a 1920 Cadillac for $25K asking and so on.  I am trying to get 2 cars for what you are asking for one.   I feel that scratches more itches, and I know Earl you have probably had more than one car at certain times. 

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A happy point to ponder:

One of our local AACA region members had a big sale

and dispersed most of his car collection.  However,

he lived well beyond that, to 100, and he and his wife

even celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary.

 

He regretted selling off his cars too soon!

 

In the end, it is only money and in most cases..........................extra.

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1 hour ago, mercer09 said:

In the end, it is only money and in most cases..........................extra.

 

Money is not that hard to get, and a buck is a buck. "I" have a '64 Riviera.

 

As to selling a car too soon in life, a lifelong friend of mine died a couple of years ago. Any time he saw me put a car up for sale he would ask "Okay, what don't you like about that one?". Perceptive guy. (Maybe he asked just a bit more coarsely)

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

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

 

 

 

Greg in Canada

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My comment was meant to be more general. All money is pretty much the same. All cars are different in many specific ways.

 

Referring to the person who sold his cars too early and outlived his expectations, when the car is gone, whether a "64 Riviera or a '39 Special, and all one has is the money, you are left with a handful of money that is just like anyone else's money. Personally, I am shooting to live to about 106. The Riviera will be with me. I wouldn't exchange it for some universal commodity like money. If I couldn't drive it I would sit and look at it...... probably in that same pneumatic draftsman's chair I sit in today.

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Sorry Bernie; I misunderstood the "money is not hard to get" part, I thought you were making a more generalized statement about money.  You actually meant if you have a reasonably valuable; ready to drive, car it is not hard to sell and turn into money.

 

I thought you were talking about new money, not the conversion of an existing asset into liquid cash. It's that new money part that gives many of us a challenge.

 

Yes , as long as one has a few desirable assets liquidating them should be reasonably straightforward.

 

Greg

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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